HBO Go App Headed To Xbox Live

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm


I don't know much about cards...
​I have had numerous discussions lately, all independent of one another, about how HBO Go needs to be more available than just on computers and on cable. So, the news that HBO Go will have an app on Xbox Live starting April 1, 2012 is very welcome, and honestly, rather topical for me.

You see, I watch The Wire all the time. I watch it when I get home from work, while I'm blogging, and when I go to sleep. Pretty much every day, on a digital copy on my computer and with physical boxed copies. And I would just love it if I could be playing some awesome game like NBA 2K12 and get the inkling to watch it and be like: bam menu-button, "Y" exit to dashboard, HBO Go, The Wire, Season 3 Ep 7, and I'm there.

You should be there, too. If you want to get there, you'll need to contact your service provider and get HBO. It is worth it, as HBO's dramas are unparalleled. Some people are into this new show called Game of Thrones or something.

Five Things That the PlayStation Vita Should Do (But Doesn't)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 12:00 pm
Title - Vita.jpg
​By Jason Helton

It's safe to say that the world of mobile gaming has changed dramatically in the last three decades. Where once rudimentary games were played on tiny LCD screens similar to a digital watch, now portable systems rival their at home counterparts with amazing graphics and complex games. But we're also living in a world where 35% of all adults in the US carry around a gaming device daily, namely their smartphone. With sales of dedicated portable gaming systems on the decline, is the PlayStation Vita a revolutionary entertainment device, or the final shutters of a dying portable gaming industry?

While I've certainly been impressed with my short time on the PlayStation Vita, it feels like there may be something missing, something overlooked either to cut costs, or to get one last system out on the market before smartphones officially take over.  The following are five things I think the PlayStation Vita missed out on, some of which they may still have time to fix.  
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Literacy, Video Games, and the Strategy Guide

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 10:00 am
The Zelda: Ocarina of Time Perfect Guide, by Versus Books (RIP). The greatest guide I ever knew.

​I'm proud to say that my grand entrance into the world of literacy came directly via my love of video games. In the moments I wasn't hooked up to my Nintendo I would furiously study the strategy guides of the games I was playing, and it got to the point where the glossy images of screen-by-screen Zelda maps and Street Fighter Re-Dizzy combos just weren't enough. Literacy was a necessary thing I had to acquire in order to more deeply understand and love my games. In this and many other ways, mine is a trajectory I feel studies like these - that look at the entire enterprise of gaming as a zero-sum activity, and one that is intellectually akin to zombiehood -- disregard unwisely.           

Those strategy guides of mine grew into something separate from the games they described, over time, and something powerful. When I went away to summer camp, or had free time to read at school, they would be my prime material. They got me excited about the game itself, built my anticipation for when I would next play and whatnot, but I got a somehow separate pleasure from immersing myself in the details of the game-world when I wasn't actually playing. It was a love of knowledge that was driving me. It came out most apparently in my obsession with the appendices: the bestiaries, the equipment and items listings. I would spend hours digging through those things, noting which enemies had low magic defenses and in which areas I might find them; or which cocktail of accessories and outfits in Mario RPG would maximize the power of my Mario-Bowser-Princess A-Team. 



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Five Underrepresented Character Types in Video Games

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 3:01 pm
This type of guy tends to turn up a lot in video games.
I want you to do something for me. Go to the nearest video game retailer you can find. Bring duct tape.

Don't worry, I'm not asking you to do anything illegal! I'm not asking you to kidnap a Gamestop employee or anything. No, I don't think this is illegal. Though it may get you banned from the store.

I want you to stand outside the store, wrap duct tape around your face until you are effectively blind, and then go inside. Fumble around until you find the game displays. Now select a game, entirely at random, and flail about wildly until you get a sales clerk's attention. (Don't worry, someone who has covered their face in duct tape and is waving a video game around in the air is probably only the third or fourth weirdest person this sales clerk has had to deal with today. Retail is a harsh, unforgiving world.) Now buy the game and exit the store. Apologize if you've accidentally body-slammed anyone during this process.

So now you have purchased an entirely random game. Drive home (please take off the duct tape first) and fire up your console or gaming computer. Pop the random game in and start playing. Now take a good, long look at your player character. What kind of person are they? If you had to describe their personality in one word, what would it be?

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Five Reasons to Get a PS Vita - Review

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm
PS Vita is rocking my face.

Yes, friends, this is a super-endorsement of Sony's PlayStation Vita. No use hiding the fact that I love this handheld device, something that feels like a smartphone and plays like a PS3. And while it does have some mehs, there are plenty of reasons to grab one even if you have devices like a Nintendo 3DS or an iPad.

You might consider this next section a sales pitch, but I promise to offer criticisms. In short, the Vita had a successful launch, but we're just seeing the beginning of its power. Or so I hope.

Also, I won't bore you with all the tech speak. Specs are posted hereMore >>

Dorkly Un-Scary-fies Limbo, Using Only A Flashlight

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Ah, the obligatory Dorkly post.

If this team wasn't so clever, or so easy to write about, you wouldn't see nearly the syndication that you do. But, they are great, so here's their latest.

It shows that Limbo's dark, disconcerting atmosphere is a total sham once you bring a flashlight into the equation. 

Tags: Dorkly, limbo

Super QB Robert Griffin III Is Next NCAA Cover Star

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 10:00 am
This message may be falling on deaf ears, but I care about it. So, you'll need to lend me just a second of your time. It is about football -- something I know many of you don't follow, but definitely should.

Robert Griffin III, the Baylor superstar, 2011 Heisman Trophy winner, and Andre 3000 lookalike, will be featured as the cover athlete on EA's upcoming NCAA Football 2013. The game, which will likely see release in late July or early August, is going to feature Griffin alongside a classic superstar. This is the equivalent of a college "Wheaties" athlete for our generation.

On March 12, polls will open on Facebook for fans to vote and decide on Griffin's box-mate. Voters will decide between Herschel Walker (UGA), Andre Ware (Houston), Marcus Allen (USC), Desmond Howard (Michigan), Charlie Ward (FSU), Barry Sanders (OKST), Doug Flutie (BC), and Eddie George (OSU). I, personally, am an Andre Ware fan, so full disclosure, that's who I'm going to be voting for.

PSA: Medal Of Honor Follow-Up Revealed

Monday, February 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm
Last year at this time, we were being told that Battlefield 3 was going to be EA/DICE's ass-kicking, record-breaking, Bobby Kotick-castrating phenomenon. It was the fight of the century -- the year before, Call of Duty: Black Ops had positively killed every single game sales record out there, and Modern Warfare 3 would be lighting up the Fall season. Bad Company 2 had won over tons of fans with its taut multiplayer and great handling, and Battlefield 3 was going to be next.

It's safe to say that EA's goals were lofty, overly ambitious, even. But on the whole, Battlefield 3 was a respectable game with some powerhouse gameplay mechanics and a lot of multiplayer action. It just didn't sell 15 million copies.

Well, EA is looking back to the Medal of Honor franchise to carry the flag in Autumn, as Activision rolls out what will assuredly be another CoD title. The game is officially called Medal of Honor: Warfighter, and will be dropping in September. The whole thing is going to be built by Danger Close, who spearheaded the singleplayer campaign in the franchise reboot, in all modes of the game including the multiplayer.

So, what do you think folks? I'm not a big fan of the game's name. Medal of Honor: Warfighter sounds a little bit like "Guys With Guns: Army" or "The Heisman: Football Players!" However that has nothing to do with a game's quality. Quality-wise, I anticipate we'll get another solid shooter that stands in line right next to all over 100,000 mil-shooters that are out there right now.

This Is A Live Action Mass Effect 3 Trailer

Monday, February 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm

BioWare took off its pre-rendered pants and put on some real, live action duds for this trailer spot. We saw them do something like this last week, but apparently BioWare doesn't think we got the message. They want us to think this catastrophe is real!

So they gave us what is effectively clips from Children of Men and Independence Day (pow! Welcome to Earth.) mashed together with a Commander Shepard twist. The game releases in like a week or month or something I think if you want to know the exact date just Google it. 

JK it's March 6. But if you want to play Mass Effect 3, or have even a fleeting interest in video games, you already know that. That date is being thrown in my face so often I am having nightmares about it. Like it was the apocalypse or some shit.

Oh Shit, What Did You Play This Weekend?

Monday, February 27, 2012 at 12:00 pm
Damn it people, I forgot to ask again what you had on tap for the weekend. I'm sure you're disappointed. Some Fridays are nutso for me, and I just got caught up in other things. Like my "day job." So, I apologize. I hope you didn't think I forgot about you.

I want to know now what you played this weekend. I'm going to disappoint you once more right here and say that I played about 6 hours of NCAA Football 2012. I know only a thin sliver of our readership likes football, but I love it. Enough to make up for everyone else. In the Road to Glory mode, I created myself as the high school football dual-position star (Woodinville, stand up). I am the starting QB/DT who gets recruited by all the top schools in the country... which makes this the most 'wish-fulfillment' video game experience I've ever had.

Also, I jammed on a little bit of Bastion, just to hear Rucks' voice again. What about you?