Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Early 2011 Video Game Releases

That's if they don't get delayed, of course. Early next year, we can look forward to some video games that were originally set to be released by 2010. Crysis 2 is on the list. This FPS is the sequel to highly praise PC game. Crysis 2 will be available for consoles. Another game to look at for is Portal 2. The original was packaged with the Orange Box, but it gained such popularity, the sequel is being released on its own in February 2011. Killzone 3, a PS3 exclusive, will be compatible with Move, and has 3D support. Bulletstorm is a new title set in the future where players are a drunken space pirate.

Hopefully, these games will be released when they are suppose to be. It gives us something to look forward to after the post Christmas gaming frenzy.

Here's a complete list.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Quality Casual Video Games for the Whole Family

Just because you want to play a video game with the younger members of your family, that doesn't mean you have to suffer. Let's face it, there are a lot of really bad kid friendly casual video games. Nintendo seems to release a god awful third party game every other week.  But, there are fun, quality video games that are can entertain the avid gamer and the inexperienced one too.

Everyone knows about Wii Sports Resort. It's the game where grandma can kick your butt at  bowling. But there are other quality casual games the whole family will like to play. Uno is available for download on consoles. Tetris Party Deluxe is a neat spin on the puzzle game I still play too much. Lego Rock Band maybe a good choice for little rock stars.

For a complete list of quality casual games click here .

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sex and Nudity in Video Games: What's the Big Deal?

Yeah, what is the big deal, cause I don't get it. R rated movies and even PG-13 movies have sex and/or nudity in them all the time and few people complain. But when it comes to video games, we all got to "think about the children". I'm not a child and just because I don't mind games with sex and nudity, that doesn't mean I'm some immature pervert.

But these two reasons are the driving force behind the outrage over sex in games.  One one hand, you have the idea that video games are still toys meant for only kids. This is usually spewed by people who don't play games or have much to do with them. The other reason, the immature one, is an idea shared by some gamers who feel because they are adults, they are too mature to look at the occasional set of  digital boobs.  Why can't we treat games the same as movies or TV? They are all  rated and as forms of entertainment, they should be treated equally.

Read the full article here

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Exclusive Wii Video Games Releasing in Time for Christmas

With all the news about Xbox 360's Kinect and PS3's Move, let's not forget about the Wii. At this year's E3, Nintendo announced some highly sought after sequels to popular titles.  I literally jumped up and down over Donkey Kong, yeah I really did. Why? Because I have fond memories of DK Country on the N64. I'm beyond excited that a new Donkey Kong will be released by Christmas 2010.

Also, Kirby finally gets a long overdue game with Kirby's Epic Yarn. The fabric texture world of the game looks amazing. Another Nintendo game that fans have been waiting an update of, GoldenEye, will be released this Christmas as well. So don't count the Wii out yet. There are great exclusives coming out soon. It's not Zelda, but I'll take what I can get. :)

For all the details click here.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Remembering Reach: Halo: Reach Review

I have a secret... when Halo Combat Evolved was first released, I didn't like it. I tried it and all the hype said it was the greatest thing ever. But something was missing. Maybe it was what I feel is a lack of narrative or that it seemed I was running around the same places over and over. It just didn't do it for me. Same with Halo 2. But granted, I didn't give that one much of a chance after playing the first one.

Fast forward a bunch of years: my son is old enough to enjoy games like Halo. He borrowed Halo 3 and became hooked. He asked me if I wanted to play with him. Begrudgingly, I did and I found myself enjoying the experience. A lot. We got ODST when it came out and pre-ordered Reach. Even though, I can't say I've been a fan from the beginning, it's a bit strange to think Bungie will not be making any more Halo games. But Reach is a fitting end.

My review of Reach

Friday, September 24, 2010

Most Promising Features in Fallout: New Vegas

Next month, Fallout: New Vegas will be released.  It would be an understatement to say I'm excited. I can not wait to get lost in a new Fallout game. I also can't wait to try out all the new features. How cool is it that we can mod the weapons? What about Hardcore mode and the fact that you have to sleep, eat, and drink in order to stay alive? I can't wait to try it. Another great feature is Reputation. Together with Karma, Reputation will make your moral choices mean more then they did in Fallout 3 and it will improve how your companions interact with you. The weirdest new feature is sex with robots.  While it isn't explicitly shown, it is hinted that characters can have sex with robots. I'm umm.. curious to see what that's all about.

For a full run down of the new features in New Vegas click here .

Sunday, September 19, 2010

5 Strange Ways to Die in Red Dead Redemption

I've played enough video games to know there are some weird ways to kill off your character. But, I think Red Dead Redemption takes the cake. Some of them are a little more then average, like Rockstar's decision to have John drown when he sticks his big toe in any body of water. (Oh why? It was so cool to have Niko swim in GTA IV) Others are so strange I don't think I could ever recreate them. So I made a list of my favorite (or frustrating) strange ways I have kicked the bucket in Red Dead Redemption.

5 Strange Ways to Die in Red Dead Redemption

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Comparing PlayStation Move to Xbox 360's Kinect

Four years after the Wii started the motion control craze, the PS3 and 360 are finally getting on board. In just a few days, PlayStation Move will be released. On November 4, Kinect hits stores.

Which one is better, cheaper, more fun? At this point, it's hard to tell. But I feel in my gut, when the dust settles, Move will be seen as more "hardcore " gamer friendly, with Kinect winning over little kids and families. I could be wrong.

With the price, Kinect has bundles starting at $150.00. Move has bundles, two types of controllers, and the Eye camera.

Move games seems to be geared towards older kids and adults, especially with the all the support Move is getting from established titles like LittleBigPlanet2 and Killzone 3. Kinect has Fable III and has announced big games like Gears of War 3 will not have Kinect support.

For my complete comparison read Comparing PlayStation Move and Xbox 360's Kinect

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Upcoming FPS Video Games Releasing in Fall and Winter 2010

It will soon be Christmas and every gamer knows TONS of games are released in fall and winter for the holidays.  One of the most popular genres, FPS, always seems to cram as may games as possible in before the year's over. Some of this season's games are going to be huge, without a doubt. There's Halo Reach, CoD Black Ops, and Medal of Honor.  Great, right?

The only thing that brings me down is the number of  FPS games that have been delayed until next year. Crysis 2, F.E.A.R. 3, and Rage have all been delayed until "early 2011". *sigh*

But for FPS games that will be released in 2010:


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Xbox Live to Raise Prices in November: What's Included in the New Features?

When Microsoft named Kinect at E3 this year, I don't remember anything about raising prices on Xbox Live. They didn't mention it when talking about ESPN on Xbox Live, either. So I was pretty shocked yesterday when I got an email saying prices are going up starting November 1, 2010.

Sure, it's not that much money-$10.00 extra for a year subscription. But, what gets me is the fact that not everyone who uses Xbox Live is going to be interested in the new features like Kinect, ESPN, or Hulu Plus. So they're paying extra for nothing? Maybe I'm being too harsh and I admit Hulu Plus might be tempting. But Hulu isn't coming until 2011. Besides, that the Hulu service cost an extra $10.00 on top of the extra $10.00 Xbox Live is going to charge. Still,  it's cheaper then cable.

As you can see I'm conflicted over the price hike, it might be justified, but I'm not into ESPN or Kinect. (unless they start releasing games that look really cool, which may take awhile)

For the full story on the Xbox Live price hike:


Monday, August 30, 2010

Video Games with Terrible Controls

Everyone has played a game with terrible controls at one time. What sucks is no matter how much you wanted to play the game, the controls are so bad, they force you to stop. One example that always comes to mind for me is Destroy All Humans Big Willy Unleashed for the Wii. My husband and I had such a good time playing Destroy All Humans 2 that as soon as Big Willy came along, we snagged it right away. Unfortunately, the controls were so terrible we traded it in soon after we got it. The camera would spin out of control if you weren't careful, nothing worked like it should, and the whole control scheme was too sensitive.  What a disappointment.

There are other games notorious for crappy controls like Superman for the N64 and tons of third party mini-games for the Wii. What terribly controlled games can you think of?

I must say I really did think about adding Resident Evil to the list for their "tank" controls. But for me, at least, I was able to get used to the controls and beat the older RE games. Video games with really sucky controls can't be learned and then the game is essentially broken, imo.

Here's what I think are some games with the worst controls:


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

3D Dot Heroes: a Love Letter to the Legend of Zelda

Ever wonder what those nifty 8bit games of the past would look like if they were updated, pixels and all? 3D Dot Game Heroes gives us  a glance. While some criticize the game  for being too close to Zelda (and I admit I was a bit surprised  at some of the similarities), overall the game does has a style all its own. You can create a character block by block or pick from pre-make ones. You just don't create a person either. Any sort of creature is possible.

The world of Dotnia is place of exploration, filled with towns and people who joke about games. It's close enough to Hyrule that players feel comfortable, but unique enough to stand on its own.  While I can understand how some would feel it's "ripping of Zelda",  I tried to look at the game differently and found it's not a cheap knock off, but a solid, fun game. And isn't that what gamers want?

Read my full review here:


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Hardest Final Boss?

Recently, I wrote an article about 5 difficult video game final bosses. When taking the assignment, I had a few in mind.  I featured final bosses I have personally fought and that weren't only hard, but fun too. I'm sure every gamer has seen that youtube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQZuidKexBQ. And that's all well and good, but I've never played that game, so how can I say that's the hardest boss?

It was easier to pick out the hardest game because some games are ridiculous from start to finish. A boss fight is different and everyone seems to have radically different opinions about what gave them the toughest time.  Some boss fights require strategy that is easily thought of by one gamer and not another. Others require loads of time, health kits, and ammo where people die from lack of planning.  Some of it's just luck.  So here are my favorite difficult boss fights:


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Watching Someone Else Play a Video Game

Ever watch someone else play a video game? Do you scream instructions? Tell them where to go while grabbing the controller out of their hand?

These are no-nos. While it can be exciting and fun to be the "backseat gamer" most of the time, it's just plain annoying. So I created a handy guide about common mistakes people make when watching someone else play. These are things I've noticed through the years that drive me crazy when I'm trying to play a video game. So the next time you're a watcher, keep these tips in mind.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Back to Hyrule

It's no secret I love the Legend of Zelda games. I could probably babble on endless about all the Zelda video games, judging one against the other, comparing all sorts of things. In the future, I'm sure I will.

Today I wanted to focus on the enemies in the Zelda world. Not the mini-bosses or boss, just enemies lurking in the temples or wandering around the map.

Since I was a kid, I have been making a mental list of all the hardest, most annoying Legend of Zelda enemies. I know many other Zelda fans will agree that my list of 10 are some of the worst. Or maybe they won't get why I picked one over a different enemy.  Either way, it's just my opinion of the hardest, most annoying enemies in the entire series.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Hardest and Easiest Video Games

What exactly makes a video game difficult or not? A lot of it comes down to personal experience and opinion. What I think is easy or hard, someone else might struggle or breeze through. There does seems to be a general agreement on hard video games. Battletoads is often noted as being nearly impossible. The entire Ninja Gaiden series from its beginnings on the NES to recent games on the PS3 and 360 are always a challenging experience for even seasoned gamers.

Easy games are more difficult to pin point, I think.   There seems to be some games mentioned a few times like Yoshi's Story. But when trying to come up with an "easiest games" list.  I had to ponder the topic a lot longer then the "hardest games" list. I included games like GunGrave and Lord of the Rings Conquest. I wonder if these games were as easy for other gamers as they were for me.

Take a look at both of my Hardest and Easiest video games list here and see what you think:



Friday, July 30, 2010

Do You Want Clayton Carmine to Die?

On July 21, Epic Games announced that fans of the upcoming Gears of War 3 will be able to vote if the newest Carmine will live or die. Shirts with either a "Save Carmine" or "Carmine Must Die," are being sold for Xbox Live avatars. The cost is 80 Microsoft points. All proceeds go to charity. I want Clayton to live!  Here's a brief history of the unlucky Carmine clan.

In the first Gears, we met Anthony, an enthusiastic rookie who looks up to Marcus. His death takes place in a cut-scene after the House of Sovereigns battle. While Anthony shows his often jamming Lancer to Lt. Kim, he exposes his head. A Locust sniper then shoots and kills him. When I first played the game, it was a quick, confusing moment. I couldn't believe Anthony died like that after the action ended.  In Gears of War 2 , we met Ben. I had a feeling Ben Carmine was a goner from the beginning. He was just as enthusiastic as Anthony and a total rookie. His never could reload his gun properly and even dropped it on his foot. While Ben does last a lot longer then his fallen brother, he still dies.

Clayton, the oldest Carmine, looks completely different from his brothers. He's huge, buff, and has several tattoos. One of the tats is a tribute to his 2 fallen brothers. Isn't that sweet? While deciding whether he lives or dies, think about poor Mother Carmine. Granted, she's a fictional character we know little about. I am hoping this bigger, badder Carmine will be able to survive the entire game. Will Gears fans be merciful or will they let Clayton become Locust chow? From what I've been reading in forums, most people think Clayton will kick the bucket. But, I've also seen quite a few Carmine savers too.

Save Carmine!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Thinking about a DS?

I have a DS lite and I love it.  The charge is great, the design is sleek, and the graphics are bright. But, I know Nintendo has received some  flak over releasing so many versions of the DS. The XL just came out in March and a new 3D DS is set to be revealed at E3 next month.

So, if you want your first DS or are thinking of upgrading, picking one can feel a bit overwhelming. But, I think choices can be a good thing. On a budget? Maybe buying an original DS or lite is right for you. Want a bigger handheld? Pick the XL. Or wait and see what is revealed at E3 with the new 3D technology.

I wrote a handy guide for DS buying. It covers price, availability, features, and colors.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Zombies, Left 4 Dead 2, and Resident Evil

There are few things I like to do more in a game then kill zombies. Don't ask me why, I just do. Sure getting a headshot on any enemy is a blast, but zombies are different. Maybe it's just more satisfying. In honor of my zombie killing obsession, I had to get Left 4 Dead 2's first DLC, The Passing. How cool is it to see the old L4D cast? Granted, I wish there was a bit more interaction between the 2 groups of survivors, but I'm happy with the DLC. And I never realized how hard it would hit me to only see three people from the original group, not four. Apparently, a DLC for the first L4D will be released explaining why umm..so and so isn't with us anymore.

L4D is certainly different from the RE series, especially the older ones. I'm currently playing the first Resident Evil on the Wii. I played it on the PSone was it was first released way back in 1995-ish. If you love crappy camera angles, impossible puzzles, and tank controls, this game's for you. And I say that with all nostalgia and admiration. Yes, I still love the old RE. Yes, it's still a game that makes me curse my head off, but it's a rewarding experience and I'm having a blast with it. I shall write a proper review when I'm done.

For now my review of the Passing is up:


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Video Games and Women

So ladies who are gamers, do you feel the gaming industry is getting better or worse for us?  Do we need to label ourselves as "gamer girls" or should we all just be "gamers?"

On a day to day basis, I don't really think about how women fit into video games. I have games and I play them. But I do think about what it means to be a women who likes to play games  every so often. Like in the Discovery Channel's Rise of Video Game series. It describes gamers as going from "boys" to "young men." Really? I've been playing video games since Nintendo was released in the U.S., so I feel girls who grew up on games should be mentioned.

And of course there's the "fanboy."  Magazines will proclaim the "fanboys" are going to love this game or that game. Why can't we just be fans?

Women just don't play Cooking Mama or facebook games. In fact, I don't play either. I prefer shooters, RPGs and action/adventure. I don't care if my character is female or male. I just want to kill zombies, shoot the Locust, set the Big Sister on fire with a plasmid etc.

Do we need all the labels? Is it a good thing or bad thing? I'm not sure. But at the end of the day  I just want to play.

For more on Women and Video Games:


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Why Spirit Tracks is better then Phantom Hourglass

Don't get me wrong, I love Phantom Hourglass. But compared to other Zelda games, it seems short and not as deep. And don't get me started on that damn timed temple of doom. Yikes! I didn't really like the backtracking or if time ran out, your health dropped like mad. That's why when I read reviews of Spirit Tracks, I hesitated in buying it. Maybe all DS Zeldas were going to be carbon copies.

I'm not a big handheld gaming person anyway, so I rented it from gamefly. Then I kept it. (Yes I paid for it, using their "keep" button). I'm happy to report I'm in love with Spirit Tracks. The Sprint Temple, although quite like the timed temple in Hourglass isn't as tedious. It's not timed and Zelda is there to help you. And It's pretty funny when Zelda gets into a guard's amour and is scared. She does a little dance, it's great. There is some much to do, explore and unlock. And Link looks so cute in his little train conductor outfit. The game is challenging and loads of fun.

For my full review of Spirit Tracks read on here :


Friday, March 19, 2010

In a Zelda Kind of Mood

Maybe it's because we're suppose to be getting a new Legend of Zelda for the Wii by the end of the year (although I would be shocked if that happened) or maybe I've just been playing Spirit Tracks on my DS nonstop, but I have been in Zelda mood lately.

What is it about that little green clad boy that I love? I guess it's because I grew up with Link. From playing the original Zelda in my childhood to beating Ocarina of Time when I was pregnant with my son. To staying up late after the baby went to bed to play Majora's Mask to playing Wind Waker with my pre-schooler on my lap, I've been addicted to all thing Zelda since the beginning. When I get in a Zelda mood, it lingers for awhile.

So to celebrate all things Zelda, I am working on two Zelda related articles.

Before they're done, you can read my "Why the Legend of Zelda is the Greatest Game" article. I wrote this in honor of Game Informer magazine giving the original 8-bit masterpiece the title of best game of all time.

My favorite line in Game Informer's paragraph about Zelda goes something like this: How many life long gamers did Shigeru Miyamoto create with Zelda?
While nobody can give an exact number, I proudly count myself among the millions.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Strange Little Things I Love in Video Games

I think I might start a series like this if I keep picking my brain and remembering strange little fun facts about games.
Today, I'm going to look a few silly little things you can do in video games. These aren't minigames, or sidequests, just small, amusing activities.

Fallout 3
I could probably write a book about all the neat little things in Fallout 3. From surviving glitches to collecting Bobbleheads, this game is full of weird, wonderful things. The strangest thing I have found is Cow tipping, yep COW tipping. (Well, it should be called Brahmin tipping). After you get the Chinese Stealth Suit, you can sneak up on the Wasteland's bovines and push them over. It's great fun. You don't hurt them, they just moo and fall over.

Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past
Attack of the chickens!! This never ceases to amuse me. If you attack a chicken long enough, a whole flock will come out of nowhere and attack poor Link. Granted it's been awhile since I played A Link to the Past, but from what I remember you really have to hit that chicken a lot (I'm talking minutes and minutes) for the flock to come. Still, it's weird little thing tucked into the game.

Gears Of War
Marcus and Dom love to boogie. My brother taught me this one. If you place Marcus or Dom against the wall while under cover and switch their weapons over and over, it sort of looks like they're dancing. Like a disco too! Maybe I'm just easily amused...

For some cool video game facts that actually have a point in the plot, check out my Shocking Video Game Plot Twists article.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

About me

I've been playing video games since the original Nintendo Entertainment System. My favorite game of all time is the Legend of  Zelda. I'm also in love with the BioShock, Portal, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Fallout, Super Mario Bros, Resident Evil, and Gears of Wars series, among many others. I play every type of gaming genre except for sports, music, and racing. I own a Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS, and PSP.

Besides the video games, I'm a Harry Potter nerd, a Star Wars geek , obsessed with the Venture Bros and Dethklok is one of my favorite bands.

I  write for YCN where I'm a Featured Video Games Contributor and BrightHub for the Console Channel.