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FF XIII-2's ugly titled DLC to be downloadable by Feb 28

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FF-XIII-2 next DLC is called *Waaaaiiit for it!!!!!!*

SAZH: Heads or Tails?

Yes, with a question mark, making you unsure if you should buy this thing. Not sure if you guys care or not considering how Mass Effect 3 is the following week after that. I got the news straight from Square Enix PR people. Even they were shaking their heads.

Oh, there are new costumes too.

Is this the first Final Fantasy game to make major use of DLC? XIII-2 already has 2.

Hacker gets SWAT team to show up at XBox gamer's house - who's fault is it?

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Not sure if you guys heard of this story or if Gamespot already produced it but here's somthing I've always wondered.

Yes, the hacker was wrong for pulling the stunt...but what about Microsoft and XBox Live, shouldn't we expect more security from XBL accounts? How about the SWAT team? Why are they being dispatched without any filtering. They got their call from a hearing-impaired message center (which can potentially be hacked as well).

What do you think?

Can Kickstarter bring so-called 'dead' genres back to life?

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First Double Fine. Now Obsidian. What is interesting about this whole crowdfunding trend is just how out of touch traditional publishers are of certain types of games (i.e. anything that's not an FPS). Even more interesting is the amount of people supporting these so-called dead genres that publishers don't want to take a chance on.

When DoubleFine started their funding project, it was for 400k. Now they're at 1.7 million.

That's 1.7 million dollars of of real support to a project that might fail vs. a zillion kids asking mommy and daddy to purchase the next Call of Duty.

This is exactly what needs to happen. Developers need to go directly to the public and find out if people are interested. Nothing shows more true interest than someone betting on it with their own cash.

It maybe tougher for smaller developers that don't have the clout DoubleFine does but who says you can't at least gauge interest?

Will Smart TV's and cloud gaming replace consoles?

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Been forever since I posted. I've been on the blogging front lately. It's been how many months before I actually got a chance to get back on here.

Anyway, in my blog post I talked about how the CEO of Gaikai (cloud gaming similar to OnLive) said that Microsoft will have to make a TV. I'm sure you've already read about it in the Gamespot News. It's mostly my rebuttal and how these CEOs are just out of touch:

You can check it out here.

Here's an excerpt:

"A prediction from a company exec said that Microsoft will make a TV.Microsoft has to be laughing about this. It's apparent that the boys at Redmondwant to turn the Xbox, be it the 360 and/or its upcoming Xbox 720 or whatever we're calling it, into an all-around entertainment hub where people get get internet, TV, movies, radio, and video games all from their console.

So, where the hell did this whole point of the nextgen XBox coming into form as a TV comes into play? Two words: David Perry.

David Perry is the head of cloud gaming company Gaikai. He says "the transformation from a console to a media center is making things too complex for the overall consumer" and that the "public will get confused".

According to David Perry, the transformation from a console to a media center is making things too complex for the overall consumer.

He's completely out of touch and is mostly analyzing the gaming landscape from an anecdotal perspective.That and the fact that he said that a mass market console includes plugging in "a cartridge and flick a switch and a game appears on the screen".

Hedelineateshow large retailers like Best Buy provide services to install something ascomplexas the Playstation 3 into your home and that they need to "just work". But, Mr. Perry. They do work."

Child of Eden - Exactly what the Kinect needed

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I got a chance to play this thing at E3 and didn't even know what the hell I was doing. I was clapping trying voice commands and didn't realize how much of a fool I looked.

Recently, I bought the copy two days ago and I haven't been hooked on games in general for awhile until I got this.

Very easy to pick up and play. The rhythmic style of play and the esoteric stages you traversed in is easy to be absorbed in. The more you play the more you understand the symbolic nature behind the game.

You find yourself doing alot of Wax-On Wax-Off sort of movements but controlling the reticle through hand movements is actually responsive (depending on the speed of your cursor of course) and feels great.

It's different from anything I've played before and I tried to play with a controller. The difference in playing between Kinect and a controller is night and day. Honestly, within the oversaturated FPS and me-too crap out there this is probably one of the more refreshingly original games I've played in awhile not just for the sake of being original but because it's just so damn fun.

I'll have a review up soon.

What Kind of Kinect Games Can Appeal To Both The Casual And Hardcore Gamer?

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For some gamers, no matter what you do, Kinect or even any kind of motion gaming is not their cup of tea - and that's ok. There is still a lot to explore with standard controls such as narrative and lesser explored genres. So let's get this straight: standard controls will never go away. The pinpoint accuracy and immediate response you get from standard controls is unmatched. Yet, there are some gamers out there that want something new. They've played everything there is on a controller and don't mind standing and doing a little cardio while there at it. Dancing and Pet games aside, these gamers simply want a satisfying experience from their Kinect. However, there's this other group: The uninitiated, the soccer moms, the spectators, etc. This is the same group that finds the controller too foreign and fearful to handle. Most of that group would rather watch instead of wince at pressing the wrong buttons to avoid embarrassment. While the Wii and Move have helped immensely in bringing this group to the world of electronic entertainment and Kinect takes the extra step by taking the controller away altogether.

So what does this have to do with Kinect and Hardcore Gaming?

In my personal experience, Kinect serves as an easier bridge that my wife crosses to experience games - friends too. Unfortunately, for me, that appeal does not last very long based on Kinect's current library. Hardcore gamers who I've debated with about Kinect's viability in the marketplace need real games in order to appeal to our kind - which is, unfortunately, not the kind of games I'd expect them to imagine. Many of them think that slapping on a First Person Shooter (FPS) or Real-Time Strategy Game (RTS) would fit the bill but this is Kinect - and doing the "pew pew" motion isn't exactly the kind of game I'd enjoy. Whatever game that can be enjoyed and controlled better with a standard controller should be left alone. FPS games can work fine on motion controls like the Move or the Wii but FPS games by nature aren't exactly inviting to casual gamers either.

We need games that are easy to understand but hard to master.

But what about a boxing game? Wait. Another boxing game? Ok. I know what you're thinking. Boxing games are plentiful in the motion control arena but have no depth aside from dodging and punching yet it's really easy to understand the appeal of boxing games. And what if this new boxing game can account for the type of fighter you are? Are you an inside-fighter? Brawler? Southpaw? What if the game can account for your footwork as well as your punching angles and defense. Obviously this type of depth might be too much for the casual gamer who may not care about boxing technique and just wants to knockout someone - which you still can.

But what if we can gradually introduce defensive technique of bobbing and weaving and train someone's form with sparring or mitts? What if we can adjust the CPU settings to accommodate beginners but reward vets at a higher difficulty level? It can be an addictive learning curve and potentially provide a more satisfying experience. One can also get a kick out of learning actual stances, defense and actual terms used in the ring. Boxing itself is a cerebral sport and when you can provide even just a little taste of what actual fighters go through and have a great workout too. All of a sudden a standard controller would seem less fitting for this type of game.

How about Fight Night Champion? That could be a great example of a boxing game with great depth that can extend beyond the controller. Obviously, you'd have to make changes to the game from it's side view perspective a more natural first person experience.

Point-and-click type adventure gaming is also another genre that doesn't get explored often that could work well with Kinect. I imagine one of those old school Sierra games getting the reboot like Police Quest. It's a great contrast from the more strenuous fitness and sports games while allowing you to sit on your couch. Guiding your character would not be much of a problem since the emphasis would be more of exploration as opposed to constant action. Being able to investigate or manipulate objects by holding them in your hand and rotating it in 3D space can lead to some intriguing gameplay scenarios. And what about interrogation sequences? Asking questions by voice and "pressuring" your suspect to coax out some answers sounds good on paper too.

Personally, I think first person and third person shooters that require precise movement and targeting is something that Kinect needs to stay away from. I'm also noticing a disturbing trend of dancing games show up often which is understandable but misses the whole point altogether. Dance Central is a hit among some of my hardcore friends but the last thing they need is more of the same while my casual gaming friends share the same opinion. I guess the reason for this commentary is not to make the mistake of suggesting to developers "you gotta do this game on Kinect because it's whole lotta fun on the controller". Instead, we should consider what works naturally with Kinect instead of trying port over what already works perfectly fine with standard controllers. Hopefully, when E3 rolls around, we can only hope that Microsoft will provide something that can appeal to both types of gamers.

Blog Version (visit if you want)

Mortal Kombat Review

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Yup. I've finally put that Mortal Kombat Review out. Anyone else played it? A major part of me always has to finish the game first and play it thoroughly before providing a review. Any thoughts? Thanks for your support guys. I really do appreciate the follows and likes.

Gamespot Version

My Blog Version(With pictures. Yes!)

Excerpt:

Nowadays, fighting games have followed the common trend of improving the multiplayer experience and it's completely understandable. Great fighting games boast a wide variety of characters that not only contrast in fighting ****but provide a delicate balance. Dedicated gamers have a deep appreciation for balance and detail that delivers popular fighting games to the limelight of tournament play and, ultimately, better longevity. Unfortunately, it is this type of trend that has led a lot of top developers to skimp on something that has been missing for many years - solo play.

Mortal Kombat fills this void with care and provides a unique package that not only raises the bar on story mode but provides some of the most compelling game modes outside of online play. In other fighting games, story mode (or arcade mode) was mostly relegated to experiencing the backstory of your character and discovering his or her fate after fighting the last boss. The motivation would come down to unlocking other characters, costumes and other endings and eventually taking your newly unlocked character to the training grounds to learn some combos to play people online.

Story mode intertwines the backstories of its esoteric characters resulting in all out revenge, unstable alliances and nasty betrayals. Instead of experiencing one character's trials to victory, Mortal Kombat follows a single story through most of its fighting roster. The game pays homage through its prequels; specifically the first Mortal Kombat Trilogy. The story begins with the whole cast laying dead entrails-n-all in a barren wasteland while Raiden begins his futile attempt at fighting Shao Khan in a final battle. Right before Shao Khan lands the final blow in slo-mo, you are whisked through a whirlwind of flashbacks resembling cutscenes from Mortal Kombat 1-8 which becomes Raiden's visions of the impending future. When Raiden gains back consciousness from his daydream, he finds himself back in the middle of the first original tournament standing next to Liu Kang with a new premonition - effectively rebooting the story and reintroducing the characters.

Social Gaming vs. 'Regular' Gaming

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Yes. Try to ignore my blatant links. But you're welcome to check them out. :)

So today, I went on gaming news frenzy on my blog. Reporting stuff on inFamous, MW3, Bioshock Infinity, and of course the SOLID GOLD release of Duke Nukem. Everyday, I go through these news feeds and think about how each of these studios go through so much work to not only market these bad boys but develop them. Then I read a feed about Zynga (the guys behind Farmville, Mafia Wars, etc) and its overvaluated company. Now, I'm not condemning anyone who plays these social type games and I've actually played a couple of hours on these games and I can easily see the addictive value behind them. I just find it crazy how a company like Zynga can bevaluated at $10 billion. Last year, Zynga generated $400 mil in revenue. Ask any small publisher of 'regular' games who have the same number of staff as Zynga to see how they can step up to that. With the sad exception of the Call of Duty series (sorry if you're a CoD fan), social gaming is still growing and with the IPO, it may become more mainstream as Zynga hits the airwaves. Although the positives behind it mean more opportunities and jobs, I can't help but see how execs at top publishers will try to cave in to making games more social to appease stockholders as opposed to simply making them more fun to play. I just hope they can do it right. If anything, they should take a look at Demon Souls as a proper example of how to execute the social aspect of games.I really don't mind social games but I guess I'm a little bothered by how that type of business is more profitable than some really good 'regular' games out there.

What's your take on social games? Have you played them? If so, provide some thoughts

Review of Portal 2

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It's been months since I've pushed out a review. You can check out the mostly-text gamespot version. But if you would so be so considerate to check out the version on my own site (which also contains some nifty screenshots to boot), I'd greatly appreciate it.

I really enjoyed this game and still continue playing it. I wish there were more games out there that didn't conform to the marketing numbers.

http://www.lazytechguys.com/reviews/portal-2-review/

Exerpts:

Often times when you play most games (including some top notch franchises), you're blown away by the graphics but the levels feel mostly deliberate by design. Convenient ammo drops, hiding places and obvious areas to flank enemies look obvious at first glance making the game not only less believable but more of the same. Not so with Portal 2. Every single level is purposefully designed as a piece of a much bigger world. The details behind the level designs are staggering not because they just look really nice but gives you a believable place to explore. In Portal 2, you'll never find a level where a desk or wired gate separates you from your exit because, frankly, it won't exist here. If you see a huge gaping hole in the ground or some kid's science project sitting around, you'll know why they're there or at least understand why they could be.

Please leave comments on the site if you get a chance.