Sorcery Casts Fun and Trouble [Review]

Thursday, May 31, 2012 at 3:00 pm
Under Finn's spell.

Sorcerers are few and far between in this realm we call Earth, but if you've ever wanted to become one who wields magic, Sorcery is moving you in the right direction. This is a PlayStation exclusive that requires the PlayStation Move, used for combat and spell casting in a fantastic world that takes cues from fairy tales and Disney. That is, through all the alchemy, you might find that its style is enchanting yet its substance - its story, really - needs more ingredients.  More of that faerie honey, perhaps?
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The Life Vicarious

Thursday, May 31, 2012 at 9:19 am
Do I live too much of my life in imaginary worlds?

While games and game culture have become more and more prevalent in our society, the echoes of old mockeries still exist. Some of these are shallower than others, but I've realized over time that most of them come from a single source of contempt.

For instance, what are some of the meanest things that have been said to you over the course of your life as a gamer? Most of the usual insults center around the gamer's supposed inability to get laid, or the gamer's assumed permanent residence in their parents' basement. Depending on how these jokes are told and how much painful truth they uncover, these can range from annoying and hurtful to actually legitimately funny (after all, if you can't laugh at yourself, you're doomed).

But, when I think about it, these jokes are really about one thing: the amount of time a person spends in a world that is not our own.

Because what is the shared implication of these kinds of insults? That serious gamers are so involved in their in-game universes that they don't have the time or the real-world skill to do things like date or earn a living wage. All these littler jabs are smaller versions of a bigger idea, perhaps the bigger one directed at gamers by disapproving authority figures -- "You're wasting your life on those things."

As an actor, reader and avid gamer, I spend huge portions of my life in the creation or consumption of fiction. So this idea -- that I've forsaken the real world, the only world that matters, for a life of fantasies and make-believe -- has the potential to really bother me.

How far is too far through the portal to Pretend?  How can I justify the time I spend on the other side?

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Samsung + Victoria's Secret

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 12:00 pm

How do you draw attention to a new product? Sex! Samsung has a new television line on the way, and the video above illustrates its key features in a cheeky way. Despite the presence of a Victoria's Secret model, it's only mildly sexy and generally SFW.

So why am I posting it? The TV's motion control feature appears to be heavily drawn from Microsoft's Kinect. Technology like this poses an interesting question for console manufacturers. With this tech becoming more common, does Kinect lose some of its appeal? Will Microsoft find a way to step it up at E3, which is right around the corner?

Among The Sleep Is Some Unique New Horror

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 10:00 am

Since Amnesia: The Dark Descent came out, I feel like the whole horror game fan base is just waiting for a slew of similar psychological/Clock Tower-esque survival horror games to drop. It was too brilliant as a horror experience to not get its mimickers. Experience surviving rather than fighting for it. Lovely.

Well, Among the Sleep, a new horror sim from Krillbite, takes the mystery and majesty of Amnesia and sticks it in front of the eyes of a toddler. And from the gameplay footage, you can see just the kind of nightmarish opulence we could be in store for.

It's A Rough World Out There

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm


It's a dangerous world out there for video games. For once, we're not talking about the controversies surrounding game content, nor are we discussing the conflict between studios and gamers when it comes to the sales of used games. We're talking about the fragile nature of this very industry, and how certain elements can change on a dime.

As of Thursday, May 24, 2012, 38 Studios and Big Huge Games are no more. It's a disappointing end to a barely begun enterprise that released its only game this past February, and was prepared to tease us with glimpses of a future project at this year's E3. Sadly, the tale of 38 Studios comes to a discouraging end, during a week with another already discouraging piece of news.

If you're an Xbox 360 player, and you've been considering updating your gear, you might want to do it soon, because come August, Xbox 360 sales may be banned. They already did in Germany, so who's to say it can't happen here? It comes down to possible patent infringements on Microsoft's part, and while using someone else's product to enhance your own is not an honest or fair way to market, it's not exactly a surprise, either.

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Resistance: Burning Skies Not Quite a Bullseye [Review]

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 8:00 am
RBS cover.jpg
Let's just cut straight to the question everybody is asking concerning Nihilistic's Resistance: Burning Skies for the PlayStation Vita: Was the developer able to successfully translate the first-person shooter experience to a portable console?

The short answer is "absolutely." I was pleasantly surprised with how good it felt to play RBS on Sony's new handheld. I spent much of my time torn between two mindsets; one that kept geeking out over how cool it was to be playing this kind of a game without the need of a Sixaxis controller, the other arguing that just because it's a portable game doesn't mean some offenses should be too easily overlooked.

If what you're looking for is a half-decent FPS adventure that will supply you with a good six or so hours of single player action and a bare bones online offering, then Resistance's trip to the Vita is going to leave you one happy camper. If, however, you've come to expect a bit more out of your shooters (specifically in the content department), you could be in for some disappointment.

Burning Skies actually improves on the Resistance formula in several areas and is clearly designed by a group of people who know and understand the universe. Quite a few rough edges and little attention paid to the portable nature of the console, though, keep this from being a must-buy.

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PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale: My Dream Roster

Friday, May 25, 2012 at 11:47 am
Royale cover.jpg
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale could hit store shelves this year and, honestly, I'm getting pretty dang excited about that fact.

At first I found myself in the camp that felt the game was just a smidge (or several hundred smidges) too similar to a certain other melee game in the Nintendo lineup. But after some deep soul searching, I realized that that's exactly what I wanted out of this particular game: A proven brawler formula populated with more characters I've grown to know and love over the years.

Sony has so far announced six of their Royale combatants, including Kratos (God of War), Fat Princess (Fat, um, Princess), PaRappa (PaRappa the Rapper), Radec (Killzone), Sly (Sly Cooper) and Needles Kane, a.k.a Sweet Tooth (Twisted Metal).

What this roster says to me is that players can expect a well-rounded group of characters from a wide range of genres and series, including some that we might not expect. There's perhaps nothing more absurd than the idea of PaRappa riding down the God of War of his skateboard or Fat Princess calling on her minions to pummel a Helghast officer, and it's those types of interactions that has me so pumped to get my hands on this game.

With E3 just around the corner, chances are pretty good that we'll be hearing news on another batch of playable characters in the coming weeks, which got me to thinking: Who would I like to see make the cut?

Sony staples like Crash, Cloud, Solid Snake, Nathan Drake, Lara Croft, Jak and Ratchet seem like no-brainers. But what other characters might make an appearance? Here's my wish list. Feel free to add yours in the comments section below.

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Ghost Recon: Future Intern

Friday, May 25, 2012 at 10:00 am

I generally don't go in for "parody" videos that are actually official marketing materials, but this one is pretty funny. Find out what happens when a Ghost Recon soldier takes an internship at IGN. I'd hire this guy. 

Catch Both Uncharted 1 & 2 Online Soon

Thursday, May 24, 2012 at 10:00 am
Thumbnail image for uncharted_2_preview.jpg
So, you're one of the dozen people that owns a PS3 and doesn't have the first two Uncharted games yet. Well, you're wasting your time. And you can stop wasting your time with this simple bit of news information and what will likely amount to about $30.

According to PSBlog, both Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves will be available for download on June 26, 2012 on the PlayStation Network. The prices are not included in this, but I'd say you're looking at $19.99 for Uncharted 2 and $9.99 for the debut title. That would seem about right to me.

An Enjoyable 'Ride'

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 10:00 am

joy ride turbo_thumb350x198.jpg

Joy Ride Turbo is an enjoyable, inoffensive time waster, and if you enjoy Xbox Live avatar-centric games, then you'll likely find this one a pleasant addition to the catalog, with its cars of all stripes, colorful, different environments, and a stunt park area that offers up an entertaining alternative to the car races that form the meat of the game.

While your avatar pilots the car of your choice (sport, truck, or muscle), you race around tracks that start off basic, and get somewhat more complex, sometimes with crates in the way, other times with roller-coaster styled twists and valleys. When you hit brightly lit panels, your vehicle will rapidly accelerate, and if you hit a ramp, you will zip off into the sky, allowing your Avatar to perform skateboard-styled tricks on top of your car, of a sort, while your transport wibbles and wobbles to the tune of your joysticks. As you hit the ground, you will resume the action alongside your seven opponents, all of whom want you out of the way, but in a rather polite fashion, other racing games considered.

The game feels like a bizarre amalgam of Tony Hawk ProSkater, meshed with a gentle, friendly version of Twisted Metal, but in a good way.

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