The E3 Press Conferences (So Far)

By Jeremy M. Zoss in Videos
Tuesday, June 5, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Want to catch up on the E3 press conferences from yesterday? Here they are. Microsoft is above. Sony, EA and Ubisoft are below. Enjoy. 

Diablo III's Record-Breaking Day

By Jeremy M. Zoss in Gaming News
Tuesday, June 5, 2012 at 10:00 am
Yes, we know E3 is happening right now. We'll have some of the latest from the show in a bit. Until then, would you like to see just how much money Diablo III made in a single day? Of course you would, especially if it's in handy infographic form. Check it out below. 

Gravity Rush Review: And I'm Free...Free Falling

By Ryan Winslett in Reviews
Monday, June 4, 2012 at 2:00 pm
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I sprint along the side of a building, nimbly leaping over windows as I collect floating gems that will help me grow stronger, my scarf fluttering to the left to show me which direction true gravity is pulling.

At the push of a button I'm floating, spinning around to locate another crop of gems located on the underside of a bridge. I push the button again and gravity shifts, sending me careening towards my next destination. The bottom of the bridge becomes my new playground as I run around upside-down, gathering more glittering goodies.

In Gravity Rush, I have taken on the role of Kat, the "Gravity Queen." With the mysterious ability to spit in the face of Newton's most famous law, I can explore literally every surface of this massive world, collecting gems and destroying the disruptive Nevi creatures that occasionally invade throughout the storyline.

What I'm doing isn't exactly flying so much as bending physics to my will. My movements are none-too-graceful and I usually crash into buildings more often than land delicately upon them. Buzz Lightyear would call it "falling with style," and it's the most fun I've had on the PlayStation Vita to date.

'Difficulty Settings' and Marketing

By Alexandra Geraets in Serious Infotainment
Monday, June 4, 2012 at 11:00 am

A few weeks ago, the science fiction writer John Scalzi wrote up a rather interesting perspective piece entitled 'Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is'. Scalzi's article is about straight white male privilege, and how the only way for men to grasp this concept is to think of life like an MMO or a video game. He goes on to explain that harder levels of difficulty belong to other groups, like women and minorities, and that straight white men get off easy. Life is handed to you guys on a platter. You'll never have to hunt for spare ammo, never run low on health, and you'll never be fighting for the best spot in the multiplayer queue, because, lo, you are straight white men. You've already got the world by the tail.

I'm oversimplifying Scalzi's point, but you get it. Congratulations, straight white men. You get to live life easy, and you can't reset your difficulty rating.

Now, direct your attention Exhibit B, at top: The Hitman: Absolution 'Attack of the Saints' trailer. This, my straight white male gamer friends, is what video game marketers think you like. Scantily clad women, guns a-blazing, mindless slaughter, and a snazzily-dressed bald man with a barcode on the back of his head, dishing out bloodshed and violence, and leaving all those lovely ladies in varying states of blood-drenched death.

Straight white male gamers, allow this female gamer to say: I'm so sorry, guys. I am so, so sorry that this what they think about you.

Taking my Game to the Tabletop

By Ryan Winslett in Infinite Ammo
Friday, June 1, 2012 at 9:07 am
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We're taking the discussion away from the living room this week and moving it into the dining room, shifting focus from games of the digital variety to the physical sort you play at the table.

Early 2012 has been a little slow for me in the new games department and it looks like the summer drought is going to be in full effect, so I don't expect things to change over the next few months. To fill that time usually reserved for the latest AAA hotness, I've found my interests shifting to tabletop games as of late.

As a kid, I moved away from board games because video games pretty much streamlined that whole process. Nowadays, I find I'm incorporating more and more tabletop games into my routine for the exact opposite reason. Occasionally I want a more tactile experience than video games can offer, and I'm finding there really is no substitute for the experiences you have sitting around the same table with a group of pals, rolling dice, moving markers, and hurling good-natured insults at the person sitting to your immediate left.

Read on for more table top ramblings and a handful or recommendations for you gamers looking for an alternative to having a controller in-hand through the entire summer break.

Sorcery Casts Fun and Trouble [Review]

By Rich Shivener in Reviews
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?

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?

Samsung + Victoria's Secret

By Jeremy M. Zoss in Videos
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

By James Hawkins in Gaming News
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

By Alexandra Geraets in Serious Infotainment
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.