GameGeex

Most days you will find me hip deep in Hearthstone, pushing my way up through the ranks.  I haven't been playing since the beta launched, I'm sad to admit, because I really didn't understand how a card game could be fun, but I'm playing it now.  The trouble is, Legend seems so very far away, and no matter how much I work at it, it seems like my progress is less cheetah and more snail.  

It appears though that I am not as bad at the game as I thought.  Blizzard has released some statistics to give the non-Legend players an idea of exactly how awesome they really are at the game -- and how really unattainable that Legend card back really is.  

The Mommie Gamer is a semi-weekly column covering the topics that affect all mothers who game.  In this I intend to look at both the dark and light sides of gaming not only from a parent's perspective, but also from a woman's. 

I never knew that when I became a parent I would also become an advocate.  It seems as if there are so many decisions you not only have to make, but also have to defend be it online or to friends or family.  One of the decisions I struggled with for a long while was the villainization of electronic entertainment.  I am the sort of person who believes experts, but when the experts tell me to never let my child see an episode of Sesame Street, never let them watch a movie or play a video game, I have to wonder at how grounded those experts are in reality.  

I am a gamer, and it is only natural that I should share what I love about interactive storytelling with my child.  So far my son is too young to really understand the relationship between a tap on a screen or the press of a button and an on-screen character's movement, but he has been exposed to games for the entirety of his life.  Very soon he will learn the skills neccessary to play games himself, and I am eager for that day, and also dread it.  I don't like the idea that I will have to defend my choice to let my son play video games in the same way I have to defend my decision to play them.  My parents still think everything that has to do with gaming is evil, and that the only thing in World of Warcraft is killing.  I've tried to share my love of these things with them, but they are just not interested in seeing this medium from my point of view. But as much as I really don't want to have to advocate for gaming among my friends and family, I am willing to do it.  

Sometimes it's easy, as in the case of this post, because we're talking about literacy.  Often times when we talk about the teaching potential of games (and we will here too, at some point) we talk about their amazing ability to teach math, science, and problem solving skills.  All of these things are true, but games also teach something every child in the world need to learn:  How to love reading.  Games are a way for kids to interact with text in a way that they will actually enjoy.  It's not homework, it's not reading, it's just a game.  While there are some games that have no text at all, many games require players to reason through large passages of text in order to understand the mechanics.  And there are even some games that focus on word play as their core mechanic.  I thought I would take some time and introduce some of the games that focus on reading, words, and the love of the letter.

It's about time I posted another comic, so I made this comic about time. While this single panel ditty probably isn't what you would call "laugh out loud" funny, it is an image that has been stuck in my head since the announcement of Warlords of Draenor. Over the past week, through the power of digital artistry and pure masochism, I was finally able to get it out and unleash it upon the world. I hope I will sleep better tonight.

I'm going to try to get comics up more often, but I can make no official promises; while I often have the desire and inspiration to draw, I rarely have the time and energy. I am working on that, though, one sleepless night at a time. Now if you'll excuse me, I have this sudden need to listen to some Huey Lewis and The News...

If you're a fan of Sword Art Online and Nexon's side-scrolling platformer, Maplestory, you'll be pleased to hear about this cross-over. It turns out Maplestory players will be able to access an exclusive, limited-time SAO dungeon that resembles the floors found in Aincrad.

All you have to do in order to play is to reach level 13, where you'll have access to the dungeon. Once inside, you'll get to play as either Kirito, Asuna, or Leafa at random and fight bosses and monsters seen from straight of the anime--you'll even get to use exclusive skills unqiue to the character. To me, this is kind of ironic since in the anime, Sword Art Online is every gamer's VR dream, but Maplestory is a fun,amusing sprite-ish side-scroller. It's still pretty neat if you ask me.

Check out all the details on the main website here.

There was an epic glitch in Madden NFL 2015 discovered this week that made LB Christian Kirksey a tiny man--thus he was dubbed The Tiny Titan. The glitch in question was so awesome, EA decided they were going to go along with it.

Click the jump below for the heart-warming story of Tiny Titan.

As an added bonus, we all know EA is quite good with handling their glitches, so I've inserted other EA play-alongs for your enjoyment. Thank me later!

For all you Heavenly Sword fans out there, just in case you didn't know, the Heavenly Sword movie is already out on DVD right now. I know you want to see it so badly but perhaps a copy is just out of your reach. Don't worry, wipe-up those tears, GameGeex has you covered. Starting right now, you'll have a fair chance at winning one of two available DVD copies. All you have to do for us is draw a cool sword.

Click the jump below for further details on the contest.

What's that? Your talents pale in comparison to that of Van Gogh? Don't even worry bout it'! Just show us what you got and maybe we'll select you as a winner. Whip something up in MS Paint, or heck, have your much more artistically-inclined 8-year-old sibling draw in your stead. That doesn't mean don't try to make it as good looking as you can, but really, I swear this is all just for fun (that and we figured drawing swords would be less bloody than having you fight with one).

The Mommie Gamer is a weekly column covering the topics that affect all mothers who game.  In this I intend to look at both the dark and light sides of gaming not only from a parent's perspective, but also from a woman's. 

I'd like to say that it all started with a video.  The thing is, it goes back much further than that.  This video was just the latest spark on the fire.  Over the last couple of weeks several issues have arose that highlight a very ugly part of our gaming industry, one I struggle to come to terms with.  I'm struggling even as I write this, because I enjoy (and curse on a daily basis) a moderate level of anonymity here on Game Geex.  We are a small site with an even smaller readership, and as such we as a writing team have a greater amount of freedom when it comes to what we write about.  It's that freedom that I am risking here when I even bring up this subject, but if I don't talk about it, really I am allowing the bullies to win.  And that is the wrong message any parent should send.

So here goes.  I apologize in advance for starting off this column with two very dark subjects.  Honestly there was a story I was writing a few weeks ago that was even darker.  I think that it speaks to where we are as an industry in that when I talk about the intersection of being a parent and a gamer, I have to talk about my gender even before I can get to the lighter stuff.  The thing is, in order to not let this negativity fester inside me, I have to share it.  And this negativity isn't about anything other than being a woman, and wanting to play games that respect all the members of their cast, be they male or female.  Because somehow, being a woman and being a gamer are quickly becoming a crime punishable by hatred.

The multiplayer reveal trailer for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare left fans crying. Crying for more information as a response to how awesome it was. Others were left crying about how it's just Crysis mixed with Halo and Titanfall. I'm not even sure if I can label that as criticism or not. All I have to say to that is sign me up!

The Advanced Warfare trailer changed the scope of Activisions' (Ahem-- Sledgehammer's) plans for Call of Duty. The trailer alone shows everything has changed, from the way the game is played -- with the addition of more combat verticality-- down to the way players interact with the menus and character customization. The older, simplistic Call of Duty all of us once knew is gone; and while I can't say it's a good or bad thing (yet...), I welcome our new, more advanced FPS overlords.

Minecraft Mondays is a somewhat irregular feature focusing on mods for Mojang's block simulation game. We will try to highlight some of the coolest player-made content around, as well as discuss the core game as changes come up.

Well it's happened.  The world has been destroyed by man's hubris, and there is naught left but a small floating island in the sky, and the hope that someone has the tenacity and patience enough to rebuild the world.  That someone is you.

This is the premise of Agrarian Skies, a Minecraft mod created by jadedcat.  What makes this particular mod so magical is that it takes the Skyblock challenge and wraps it up in a quest system straight out of an old RPG.  Plus it makes dirt mean more than you ever thought possible. Come with me as I explore the world of Agrarian Skies.

To think it's about to be 10 whole years since World of Warcraft has launched. Since then, a lot has changed in Azeroth; there are new races and classes, the talent system is simpler, and the world was destroyed and rebuilt. Somewhere in between are events a lot of you have experienced, but players like me have not like 40-man raids and what not. But it looks like we'll be given a chance to do them for the first time (or again...) in Blizzard's upcoming 10-year anniversary event... Oh and you get a sweet Molten Corgi pet for simply participating in the event which is the whole incentive for writing this post.

Sometime in November, according to a battlenet.com post, players will be able to experience a 40-man raid finder version of Molten Core. While I don't know who this Ragnaros fellow is, a lot of my WoW-playing friends said he's a really fun, if not obnoxiously congested, fight. I take it 40-man is pretty intense... in a colorful way. Those who complete Molten Core will recieve an achievement and a special Core Hound mount reward. Ah, I can already see the completionists renewing their WoW-subscriptions now.

The event has no exact launch and this is all just a sneak peak of what's to come. Stay tuned for more updates as Blizzard announces more of what's in store. I'm a sucker for this nostalgia stuff since these are things people talk about when the conversation topic is "things you should experience."

Excellent hand-eye coordination, fast click speed, and high actions per minute are the typical traits of a pro gamer. It's common knowledge that top level competitive gamers have fast target acquisition and incredible game skill, but in the long run, what exactly separates the good players from the great ones? Team Curse, in conjunction will Alienware, have done a study to find that answer.

In the latest episode of Lessons with Saint, Brandon "Saintvicious" DiMarco joins Dr.Amine Issa of the Mayo Clinic to provide gamers with data that prove mechanics, while helpful, aren't quite as important as game knowledge or realtime decision making.

I remember a time when most of the games I played utilized a pet system. On some occassions, playing a game meant checking on my virtual buddy and repeatedly staring at the clock to ensure I wasn't late for its hourly feeding. As tedious as it may sound, it was an integral part of extending the life of some games. 

Having a virtual pet that you can tame, feed, and grow has always been attractive to me and a lot of gamers I come across. World of Warcraft's pet battle system and Pokemon training conversations rank high on my covention topic list. While in a lot of aspects, pets in video games act as mere vanity, they come as an accesory people want to get their hands on--some willing to dish out real cash in whatever game's cash store or dump extra hours of gameplay into providing for them. But why is this?

Well, I think it's just another part of the fantasy experience to own a virtual pet, especially in a living space you inhabit albiet virtually, and invest a ton of time in to. I mean, there are very few reasons to NOT own a pet dragon or little robot (unless games allow for destructible housing furniture, but thank goodness that hasn't become a thing yet). Pet systems in games can range anywhere from the typical feed-and-play to being utilized in the primary gameplay experience as a combat buddy.

The Mommie Gamer is a weekly column covering the topics that affect all mothers who game.  In this I intend to look at both the dark and light sides of gaming not only from a parent's perspective, but also from a woman's. 

We live in a gaming-saturated world.  Where just a few years ago gamers were considered pariahs, now game franchises are routinely being turned into comics, television shows, and even films.  The world has started to take the gaming industry seriously, as can be evidenced by how huge game conventions like E3 and Gamescom have become.  Yes we are a new medium, but we are one that is striving to be taken seriously.  So why then are we still so far behind the curve when it comes to representing both genders in the characters we play?

A month ago, Ubisoft came under fire for releasing their latest installment of the Assassin's Creed franchise without including a female playable character.  Today they revealed Elise,  a character central to Assassin’s Creed Unity’s story," to quote the announcement.  Does this character address the issues that the gaming community brought up?  Was the community right in judging Unity so harshly?  Let's take a closer look at Unity, Elise, and what this all means.

Riot Games has just teased their upcoming champion, Gnar. It's been such a long while since they've done a champion reveal that I have triple the typical amount of Influence Points (60 games?) needed to purchase a champion--perhaps I've grown a beard too but that's besides the point.

The teaser alone is worth a look see but not much is revealed about Gnar other than that he's a primitive, yordlesaurus rex--most certainly the largest of his kind. Even with the lack of direct info from the delightful teaser site, here's everything we know (so far) about Gnar:

Blizzard Entertainment is celebrating it's 20th year, and with such a milestone they are also rewarding their most loyal employees.  While most companies give out pins or watches when long-standing employees reach their five, ten, or 15 year mark, Blizzard is a little more, flashy.  

For being with the company two years, you get a stein. For five years, they give you a sword. At ten years, they give you a shield.  At fifteen?  A ring.  But what about those who have been with the company since the beginning?  What about those people who have put in 20 years of service?  They get a helm, a silver thing of beauty worthing of any king on an icy throne. 

Now this got me thinking.  What about Rogue Knight Studios?  We've been around for three years now.  I put the question to you readers. What sort of items should we give out to our employees?  And what would the gifts be for readers who are as loyal as the team members?

I'm feeling experimental this morning.  Perhaps it's because it's Friday, or because it's raining, or because Curse of Naxxramas is on its way.  Whatever the reason, I'm in the mood to play Hearthstone, and I figured, "hey, why don't I just stream while I'm at it?"

So after the jump you'll find me, playing Hearthstone, mostly poorly.  Nothing special, it will probably last as long as I continue to be in this mood.  If you enjoy this sort of thing, drop me a line in the comments and let me know.  If not, drop me a line in the comments and let me know.

[Update: New cards are being released by the nest load, so we're updating our gallery.  We'll continue to add new cards to the gallery as Blizzard announces them.]  

Original article: Do you hear that?  It's the sound of a ripple in the meta.  That's because Blizzard Entertainment has announced that their first solo adventure for Hearthstone, Curse of Naxxramas, will be floating into your game July 22nd.  This means that new cards will be folding into decks from hear on out, and that means a shift in strategies from nearly every player.

If you haven't heard of the Naxxramas pack before, it's a series of five wings, each unlocked via gold or real money.  There are some sweet new cards available (especially if you're a fan of Deathrattle), as well as a new Heroic Mode, where you can earn an exclusive card back for those insane enough to try this.  I'm reminded of our "The Undying" title from World of Warcraft, and how one quick heal on my part meant that we got our title even when RNG tried to snatch them from out grasp.  You're welcome, Noctambulists.  

Two days ago a new game called Gigantic was announced.  Now, games are announced everyday, but there's something special about this game: It's designed by James Phinney, former lead designer of StarCraft and Guild Wars.  Gigantic touts itself as a free-to-play action game, governed by WASD movement and physics-based abilities.  

While they aren't expressly using the term MOBA here,  I think it's safe to say that an action game where you choose your hero to play on the battlefield, select combos and abilities on the fly, and work as a team in a pvp format is most likely a MOBA.  The Gigantic sight does mention that each team will be protecting and building up a Guardian on the battlefield, so perhaps this will be their defining characteristic.  I just hope that it won't end up being a little more than a massive gimmick.

This is the first game from Bellvue-based Motiga, and if this is what they have to offer us, I expect gigantic things from them. Get it?  Gigantic?  Because that's the name of their game?  I slay me.  Hit the jump for the announcement trailer and screenshots.  We will learn more about the game at PAX Prime in September.

Based on a Playstation best-seller, the Heavenly Sword movie makes its way to Blu-ray and DVD on September 2nd. This animated film hosts an all-star voice cast including Anna Torv, Alfred Molina and Thomas Jane.

Heavenly Sword was an excellent game and I'm excited to see a movie adaptation of it, albeit an animated one. That might be for the best though. I'm not very keen on some of the live-action versions of some of our favorite pop culture (and that includes gaming) franchises.

You can check out the trailer after the jump.

If I were asked to make a list of the people at Blizzard Entertainment that helped shape the company into the powerhouse generator of "concentrated cool" that it is today, the fourth name on my list (behind Morhaime, Metzen, and Didier, in order) would undoubtedly be Rob Pardo. The original Lead Designer on World of Warcraft, Pardo has also had his influence in just about every one of Blizzard's main franchises somewhere along the line. Less than a year ago, it was revealed that he was returning take WoW's Lead Designer reigns for the latest expansion, Warlords of Draenor. Which is why his announcement of departure today came as a bit of a surprise, at least to me.

I remember way back at the first ever BlizzCon in 2005, our very own Mandifesto stood in line after the final panel had concluded, waiting for a chance to talk to him about how an aspiring writer would approach making a career in writing for Video Games. This was well before either of us had even dipped our toes in the waters of Game Journalism, so I distinctly remember being very proud of her for having the courage to suppress her social anxieties and approach the Rob Pardo. I can only imagine what advice she recieved that day, as they talked for nearly half an hour, and even if she had then related his tips on to me I have long since forgetten what they might have been. It was nearly 10 years ago, after all.

The complete public announcement he wrote up is included after the jump.
 

No, I do not mean he created actual space pants. Sam Smith, a 12 year old home-schooled boy, spent his free time creating the endless runner app store game called Spacepants. I'm sorry I can't fulfill your anti-gravity dreams.

Spacepants is an endless runner that takes place in a single room. You must dodge all the absurdities inside this claustrophobic mess of game ranging anywhere from pulse lasers to blockers while only running around along the inside of the square. This app game is actually really amusing and it's a great waiting-in-line game, but it's also really hard. It's like the Dark Souls of ap -- NO! I'm not using that phrase.

Polygon is reporting that the ESRB has finished their rating work on Bungie's upcoming shooter of highly-anticipatedness -- Destiny.  Although every entry in the Halo franchise was rated M, Destiny will be rated T for Teen.  

This marks at least in my mind, a decided backlash against the hugely violent games we saw at last year's E3 presentations (and even this year's Sony presentation comes to mind).  And coming from Bungie, the idea that they are creating a game aimed at the teen boys who will be buying it anyway speaks volumes.  It's almost like the video game industry is growing up and realizing that they don't have to build a huge AAA title and soak it in blood in order to sell copies.

Destiny's rating comes to it via its use of "animated blood" and "violence".  There will be no harsh language in the game, and its denizens won't be smoking, so take that Space Marboro Man.  The game will be out for September 9, 2014 for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

Yesterday Blizzard Entertainment released a video about two upcoming skins for Heroes of the Storm.  While these were first announced at PAX East 2014, this is the first time we get to see them in action.  While seeing Illidan as a Spectre is very cool, it's the second skin that really made me smile:  King Kandy Muradin.  For you see, this can only be a serious jab at King entertainment, makers of Candy Crush Saga.

If you're not familiar with the evil candy empire, they spent the better part of the last few years trying to squash any games that might infringe on their beloved candy swiping monopoly -- and that includes games that came out before theirs.  Normally a move like the Muradin skin would prompt an army of lawyers to swoop down upon Blizzard, but this is Blizzard after all, and even King can't take them down. Enjoy the candyness after the jump.  Two words: Chocolate form!

Whether you're mad with power or simply wished video games were made a certain way, Shards has a place for everyone.

In Shards Online, every player is given their own Shard. This Shard equates to a world -- or a server in this case -- where 32-players (with options for more down the road) may enter. The owner of the shard governs their own world and can create whatever game they want by either spawning mindless violence on a whim or creating a role-play only, conflict-free game room. The choice is yours.

The Evil Within has one mission. To scare you.

When I last saw Shinji Mikami’s The Evil Within at E3 in 2013, I was the farthest thing from scared. The game felt more like an action-based, anti-zombie kill fest filled with horror cliches' that had me yawning and rolling my eyes.

One year later, I get my shot at The Evil Within yet again at E3 2014. Minutes into the gameplay experience, I've concluded that everything about the game is sick and twisted which had me out of the demo room spewing bile and profanity from my mouth. That's not a bad thing at all. I was scared.

I was picked out of the crowd and placed in a bunch I've never seen before. Square Enix' Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn made a showing at E3 2014 and had a battle challenge where random teams of eight attendees tested their might against the great primal: Leviathan HBNQEM (Hard but not quite extreme mode and yes, they told me that's what it was). The brave souls who succeed take home a fancy 'I Beat Leviathan' t-shirt. However, the great primal of the deep is not the ultimate threat; it's who you were likely partnered with that caused more trouble.

That first paragraph may seem cynical, but it turns out I would go on to enjoy my real life duty finder experience. As a member of the press, I always had to be inserted into groups due to appointment restraints. As an individual, I'm an experienced veteran of FFXIV; infact, I have the Leviathan encounter on farm so whichever group happened to scoop me up will be guarunteed at least one decent player. As for the nature of the event, most people haven't even played the game which is troubling on the surface, but watching their face light up when they do something right? Priceless.

It's swipe swipe revolution down at E3 as I got some hands on time with Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call for the Nintendo 3DS. I've never been big on rhythm games but Curtain Call delivered this sort of magic that kept me captivated for quite some time . Sorry to the poor lad who stood behind me. Curtain Call had a catalogue of musical samples that span a decade of Final Fantasy. From the orignal FF all the way to FFXIV and even Lightning Returns.

But it's not just the music that had me enjoying the game, it's a quick nod to the gameplay of past titles as its our job as the player to conduct the events that happened where the music took place. A simple swipe of the stylus on the touchscreen of the 3DS could mean Cloud is about to swing his sword. A tap could mean a bolt from an FFIII black mage.

The combination of music, action, and gameplay easily made Curtain Call one of the best subtle treasures I encountered at E3. It was just too amusing and remotely addicting to just tap and swipe to the beat of lightning's super frenetic costume changes and Sephiroth (?) crashing through walls.

As day three of the Electronic Entertainment Expo opens in Los Angeles this morning, it's time to take a look at the game announcements thus far.  The easiest way to share these with you is in video form, so that's what I'm going to do:  Creat a big long list of trailers for you to watch.  As the week progresses I'll add to this list, until it is chock full of everything E3 2014 has to offer.  Then we can sit down and discuss the games themselves in other posts.  I might need to break this up into multiple posts.  It depends on the insanity that unfolds below the jump.  

Please enjoy the trailers, and let us know which is your favorite in the comments below.

 

How it feels good to actually be afraid of something in a video game sometimes. In Evolve, players will have the opportunity to play as humans or monsters. Yours truly and three other poor victims were pitted against the mighty kraken -- and let's just say we were barely able to put up a fight.

As a soldier on the ground, it plays like a pretty standard FPS game. You can shoot, aim, and switch weapons. There are some unique pieces of technology like shields, but I spent the majority of my time running and gunning, barely escaping the wrath of the mighty kraken. I can tell whoever took on the role of Cthulhu was having a blast in this particular 4v1 situation. The kraken could fly, shoot lasers, and pretty much just hide behind his legion of disposable creatures. Not to mention the bugger was just plain hard to kill. I'm not saying the kraken is OP but he was such a huge threat to the human team that you really had to stay close together and watch eath other's back or else you'll just get picked off.

To be honest, I liked the style a lot. Its like Gears of War's Horde Mode except the creature was vastly more superior and had a few unique tricks up his sleeve. I'm sure there are more bad guys to play as but the kraken was a pretty good appetizer. Evolve so far is looking fun. I only got to try the one map as humans so I didn't get a full taste of the game. Stay tuned for the creatures hands-on as well as the full preview where I can really dig deep into the game.

The word "crazy" doesn't even begin to describe the newest Super Smash Bros. Super epic brawling at its finest, Super Smash Bros. 3DS allows you to take the mayhem on the go with very little sacrifice to your gameplay experience . I was fortunate enough to able to get a play session in despite a long line.

The demo didn't really have the crazy roster so I just went out and chose Mario. I lost. Badly. But I still had a blast! (Literally). Right off the get go, the game feels like the combination of both Melee and Brawl; the game was fast paced yet had a level of polish to it that makes it feel updated. Playing the game is very straight forward and will be familiar to fans of the fighting series. You have two buttons for special and basic attack, the joystick for motion and up,down,left right attacks, then you a have the bumpers for dodge and evade.

With the dual screen of the 3DS, you get the action on top and the details on the bottom. No more damage percentages cluttering your combat view. It's both a good and bad thing because on one hand, you get all the graphics unhindered but on the other hand, I had to move my eyes down too far which was distracting. The graphics honestly aren't that bad for a portable. They are cell shaded which means the colors were very bold; its not for everyone. If you can look around that, the visuals of the game are fantastic. They are, at the very least better than Melee's graphics, in my opinion.

It's not an Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) without Ubisoft and their sporadic conferences that range anywhere from rhythm to death. Presenting the conference and all our favorite Ubi-games is returning host, Aisha Tyler, who I actually enjoy but it wouldn't have been the end of the world if they went off and got another drunk comedian. But hey, she loves video games so you have to appreciate that.

The show kicked off with some good ole' fashion Far Cry, complete with a crazy axe murderer bent on killing the main character. The presentation was the first 5-minutes of Far Cry 4 and by the looks of things, it should appeal to fans of the series since it was, with lack of a better word, crazy; borderline intense.

Halo, to me, is one of the greatest video game series of our time. I still remember the first time I held a fat, original Xbox controller and proceeded to remove Covenant scum off the face of the planet (ring?). I wasn't the hero Earth needed; but The Master Chief sure was and his story and character captivated me for the rest of my childhood. It saddens me that most of the gamers of the new generation, especially among my immediate circle, have never played Halo or any of its sequels and have not experienced the epic duo of Master Chief and Cortana.

343 Industries aims to change the lack of classic-Halo awareness by bringing all the classic Halo games -- Halo: Combat Evolved all the way through Halo 4 -- onto the Xbox One with the just announced Halo: The Master Chief Collection. While the revamp can be criticized as a way to make extra moolah, passionate fans argue that the classics can't be beat and graphical upgrades, with their mechanics untouched, is the way to go to further revive the franchise. That's exactly what we're getting. A deliciously packaged collection of those Halo games with new graphics overlays and the same engine they shipped with a decade ago all on one disc. Now that's a mouthful.

The new Sony tag line is "Play it first, play it better." Well I'm not sure if they are better, but they definitely were more.  They took two hours for their press conference, and managed to pack it with dozens of game announcements.  For the most part, I can break Sony's E3 game announcements into two categories: The Bloody and the Beautiful.

 

The Bloody

In addition to being announced for the Playstation 4 at the Sony Conference, Grand Theft Auto V was also announced for PC and Xbox One according to a gameplay trailer by Rocksteady.

Grand Theft Auto V originally launched last year for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 and sold 33 million units of those versions. With these next-gen versions on the horizon, I'm sure that number will go up just a tad bit more. As for me, the announcement to put GTAV on the PC is exciting because I'm curious to see what gamers will do for the game in-terms of mods. Watch_Dogs Auto V, anyone?

Grand Theft Auto V in next-gen and PC is on its way Fall 2014. Click the jump below to see the trailer.

After 6 long years, the next installment in The Rainbow Six franchise has officially been announced. Rainbow Six: Siege made its debut at the show to roaring applause. We're not talking a teaser either. We're talking full-on alpha footage gameplay. With a cops and hostage theme, Battlefield: Hardline kept going through my head. At the end of the gameplay footage, my mind was blown.

Strategy and team work is the theme of the game. We were presented with the first-person view of the blue team leader in a 5v5 objective based multiplayer mode. With four other teammates, they were tasked with taking out the orange team who had control of the location as well as the hostage whos served as the objective. No respawns.

I'm going to shut up here and let you experience the greatness for yourself. Check out the exclusive trailer below.

Putting video games at the forefront of their presentation, Microsoft opened The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), and they came out swinging. I can see that they really wanted to go old school and actually bring a nice catalogue of games to the show which include some new and returning IP. Who would've thought 2014 would be the year of the game? TV was soo 2013.

At the conference, we get a taste of a handful of titles we come to expect like Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Tom Clancy's The Division. We also got things we didn't expect like a new Crackdown and a reboot of the cult classic Xbox game, Phantom Dust. Lara Croft is also getting another installment in her franchise in the form of The Rise of the Tomb Raider which has a rather interesting trailer; I like it when the developers make my favorite action heroes more human than game-ified super character.

And so it begins. The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) dawns on us yet again and with it, the hope that all our gaming dreams will come true.  Sometimes you get dissappointed but every so often, something tingles your excitement gland and makes you want to spray whipped cream all over your face. Alright, maybe not you, but that's how I celebrate.

As for me, I hope the line-up for E3 2014 involves a good mix of excellent Star Wars titles. It would also be nice to know more about some juicy games that have previously been announced but have been left in the dust till this very event. Below are a list of games I wish to see.

Oh, how the mighty has fallen. I can't say Curse Gaming's League of Legends team has, in the past, always been a dominant presence but they typically have a decent showing year-to-year and aren't often caught outside the top four list. In this Season 4 League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) summer split however, currently being in last place and a 2W-5L record denotes a lot of decline for Team Curse, especially when their fellow big-named teams are all tied for first place. You can tell me how early it is all you want, but there are a number of things wrong with how Curse is managing their eSports team right now.

Youtuber FamilyJules7X makes a video game metal medley so good, even I started headbanging... That doesn't happen FYI.

In this 17-minute video of pure gold, you'll enjoy music from video games across a span of 30 years, in a metal theme of course. The video is a compilation of work that took the creator 3 years to accomplish. The recognition from gamers across the web is well-earned. Rock on!

Click the jump below for the video.

Looks like gamers will get to catch up on the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) live on Twitch.tv. Reported by Joystiq, the popular streaming company signed a three-year deal that made them the official streaming partner of E3 which gives everyone the opportunity to see the event for themselves... I swear, if the server crashes during Star Wars: Battlefront 3, there will be blood. I would take this opportunity to plan what you are dying to see because from the looks of all the recent announcements, rumors, and hints, it's going to be a great show.

It's an exciting day for fighting game -- especially Mortal Kombat -- fans. NetherRealm Studios has officially announced Mortal Kombat X! The trailer that did the deed shows off some pretty graphic cinematics and has the good ole' MK feel to it.... Except for the rap song. That was just weird.

From the looks of the trailer, we're going to see the return of being able to x-ray the innards of your victims as well as the much enjoyed fatalities (What? I'm a sicko, I guess). The new thing this trailer shows, aside from the pretty graphics and subzero losing (that doesn't happen in my world), is the ability to use the terrain to your advantage. Unless that was just there for added effects, it brings a whole new mechanic to the MK scene especially if they add new moves to those who pick up the might stick.

Mortal Kombat X will launch sometime in 2015. For now, enjoy the trailer below.

Did you know that Season 2 of Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is ending?  Did you know it had a name?  I didn't, well at least I didn't know the second part.  Evidently this past season was called Ranked Play Season 2: Brave the Black Temple, so we shouldn't be all that surprised that the card back reward for Season 2 is a green Black Temple inspired design.

You have just a few days to be elligible for this season's card back, but it's a pretty simple process to qualify.  All you have to do is get to Rank 20 via Ranked matches, and the sinister green design will be yours.  Personally I've been rocking the Fireside Friends back.  This new card back seems a little too Warlock to me.

For those who are top notch at the game there was a second section to the season end announcement.  If you've reached Legend Rank 16 or better in the last six months, you can qualify for the World Championship to be held at BlizzCon 2014.  There you'll be able to try your hand (see what I did there?) for a chance to win part of the $250,000 prize pool.  My guess is that my paltry level 15 won't count.  Head on over to the official site for more information about the tournament. 

It looks as though a large number of people hit an all time low and gave Wolfenstein: The New Order a high amount of illegal downloads. In a report by gamesindustry.biz, TorrentFreak just released information saying the game received 100,000 illegal downloads despite the large 43.65GB file size. That download count doesn't take into consideration the potential downloads at other torrent-based websites (or other illegal means for that matter).

Interesting how so many people resorted to downloading illegally. Even with the torrenting, the latest Wolfenstein hit #2 in UK sales, just behind Titanfall. An inetresting statistic also shows people ended up just buying the game after the download took too long to seed. Ironic.

Bethesda just announced that it's going to push back its upcoming Horror-Survival game, The Evil Within, another two months for polishing. The original launch date was set for August but the game now won't hit the shelves till October. Yeesh, did they wait to see if Watch_Dogs was going to be good or not to find out if their game needs more work? Or maybe they realized a Halloween launch would be a little cooler. Hmmmm.

The press statement reads:

"Shinji Mikami and his team at Tango Gameworks have asked for additional time to further balance and refine the game in order to deliver the polished, terrifying pure survival horror experience they set out to create."

The Evil Within is now scheduled for October 21st 2014. If they're gonna delay it, they might as well give it those extra 10 days to make it a little more special.

This was not what I wanted to hear from Sony. One of their biggest titles that had a shot at making a 2014 holiday debut, The Order: 1886, is being pushed back to 2015.

Eurogamer reports that Ready at Dawn founder and CEO Ru Weerasuriya suggested the extra time was necessary to make the game a uniformly high quality experience. Doesn't sound any different from what Ubisoft Montreal did with the recently released action-adventure, Watch_Dogs.

"We want to hold true to something we've talked about in the past," he said, "which is delivering the experience without having this ebb and flow of: oh, this was really great and that was kind of meh, because we sacrificed a little time on it."

I'm kind of dissappointed because The Order 1886 was on my top must-have games for the PS4. Alright, only lord knows if it's going to be good or not, but new IP excites me. Guess we'll have to wait on E3 for more news.

Imagine a world where every technological device could be breached. It's not hard to do because we already live in one. Ubisoft's Watch_Dogs presents Phreaked Out, a Motherboard Studios production. This new web-series takes us into the lives of real-world hackers. In this week's debut episode, real hackers go in-depth on how our everyday technology could in-fact be breached and that nothing is truly 100% safe.

This is one of those moments where it's best to say "hit the jump and watch the video" so you know what? Hit the jump and watch the video.

It's time to amass your very own army and stop the Dark Lord! In this new trailer for Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor -- Make them your Own, players will learn they have the power to manipulate those around them and force em' into fighting for the greater good. A pretty wicked cool power if you ask me.

The story trailer reveals the general plot line of the game: Oh hey bad dude, go get your own army now to stop him. Seems straight foward enough but I've always wanted my own middle-earth army to command.

Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor launches October 7th, 2014 on Xbox 360, Xbox One, Playstation 3, and Playstation 4. Check out the trailer after the jump.

Imagine all the things you could buy with $6 million. Now imagine all of that money being earned for playing a game. Not possible? Talk to Valve and their upcoming tournament, The International, which just hit a prize pool worth $6.1 million. The tournament's prize is fueled by the purchase of an eBook titled The Compendium which adds $2.50 to the pool per sale.

The idea is simply brilliant since the eBook acts as a conduit that allows viewers to interact with the tournament (exactly how, I'm not sure) making it a great purchase incentive to eSports fans around the globe. To me, this continuously increasing prize pool is just a direct correlation to how much of an upward spiral eSports itself has gone towards. The days of sitting on bleachers and barely filling a cafeteria are gone.

The International 2014 will take place in Seattle, WA on July 18th through the 21st. By the time that happens, I wouldn't be surprised if the prize pool hit $10 million.

It's been a while since we last heard that the devs over at Carbine Studios were listening, but today they released a new DevSpeak video.  This time we're getting a glimpse at what raiding will look like in WildStar, and I'm happy to see the return of the 40 man raid experience I loved so much in that other game people don't like to talk about. I haven't had a chance to unpack my speakers (someone decided they just HAD to have a new job in the gaming industry and moved us across country.  Pfft), so I will have to hunt down a set of headphones in order to watch this bad boy.

At the same time, today is the day that you can start reserving your character name choices for WildStar.  I'm going to quote the details below as they were posted on the NCSoft forums so you have all the deets.  Then, once you have all your Voldemorts and KhalDrogos reserved, you can watch the DevSpeak and drool over the raid screenshots, which will also be below.

Jesta, on 13 May 2014 - 02:55 AM, said:

Mac lovers have often times been known for their affinity  for all things visual.  The Apple computing platform itself has long been the standard for art driven programs, preferred by artists and educators the world over.  But games for the platform are only recently growing in popularity.  This week Mac will get another feather in its cap, in the form of the M.C. Escher-esque puzzler, The Bridge.

Released in 2013 by a two-man development team known as The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild, The Bridge won the hearts and minds of the gaming community with it's mind-bending gameplay and unique visual style. They call it Isaac Newton meets M.C. Escher, and after seeing the release trailer I can see why.  This game completely missed my noticed when it was released, but now that it's getting a new audience on Steam I think I will check it out. Granted, physics and perspective aren't necessarily my forte, which is why I'm a writer and not a scientist.  

The Bridge is currently available for Windows PC and Xbox Live Arcade, and will be available for Mac and Linux via Steam on Friday, May 16th for $9.99.  Hit the jump to watch the launch trailer, then cross on over to their site and order your copy of the game.

The popularity of zombie survival games have boomed in the last few months. However, SuperCrit saw an opportunity to throw dinosaurs into the mix and came up with a game called The Stomping Land. Here, players will be dropped into the world with few resources and very little means of survival, and must tackle every prehistoric obstacle they encounter -- yes, that includes raptors.

One of the core components of the game is being able to acquire Expertise which then translates to taming dinosaurs. The longer you survive, the higher your Expertise skill is and the more dinosaurs you can tame. These large beasts become a threat to other players so it's up to the world around you to ensure your untimely demise.

Check out the game's most recent trailer below and tell us what you think!

The new trailer for the next Call of Duty title has officially been released into the world! This time, Sledgehammer Games has taken up the helm of this title and they have dubbed their new project: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Based on the trailer, the game is much more futuristic considering all the recent World War era trends from recent shooters. Advanced Warfare sort of reminds me of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 but there seems to be more depth this time around with jumping and wall-scaling.. Guess we're pushing into a more sci-fi era of shooting games with Titanfall that released earlier this year and upcoming Destiny and Halo titles scheduled for the end of the year.

For now, click the jump below to check out the trailer.

Despite a diverse amount of MMORPG's under my belt, I have never leveled a crafting or gathering profession in any of them. Without a doubt, in most games, having one leveled gives you a stable income and makes earning in-game money such a breeze once you have invested the time and resources into doing them. To this young lad however, they just felt monotnous and I found plenty of ways to make a stable income doing other tasks like soloing difficult creatures for other players or doing some absurd escort adventure like my past escapades in Final Fantasy XI. As a skilled gamer, there were just other ways for me to make my MMO-earnings.

But now, I'm spending a lot of my time in Eorzea playing Final fantasy XIV and the game does not cater to my style of income-gain. The game is fully instanced and none of the gear that can be obtained through intense grinding sessions can be traded or sold so the whole 'kill for Gil' thing doesn't really exist. Yea, selling instances was an option but in the end, I just helped people do them for free because I simply did not have the heart, or any reason for the matter, to get paid to do such easy tasks. And alas, since the dawn of patch 2.1, I really want a house and my magic dream home isn't going to materialize itself with flies coming out of my wallet.

It was announced unofficially yesterday by Xpecial himself that he would be benched from the starting roster of NA LCS' #2 seed, Team Solo Mid. The decision has been finalized earlier today by a direct statement from the team's owner and coach, Reginald, who claims the move was made not for Xpecial's performance but as a business decision. This comes as a shock to many fans, who are now criticizing Reginald for his actions.

Xpecial, who is NA's 2013 support all-star and veteran player for the iconic League of Legends' pro team, TSM, is regarded as NA's best support player and is said to have some of the best gaming mechanics among his peers. In several occassions, he has made most of the plays in a handful of games for his team. With accolades like that, of course fans of the player, as well as the team, will riot. But of course, before any one comes to any crazy conculsion, I feel we need to analyze what we have and piece together as much of both sides of the story as we can.

The League of Legend's summer promotionals have come and gone and the North American League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) has two new teams to add to the line-up: Complexity Gaming and LMQ.

Unfortunately, with two teams coming in to take two of the eight elusive team slots implies that two teams must give up theirs. The LCS had to say goodbye to the youthful and aggressive Team Coast, who held a spot in the top 8 for the past two seasons, as well as Team XDG, who was originally regarded as one of the top NA teams prior to season 4.

Legend spoke of a game so horrible, that the company themselves buried the game in a landfill in New Mexico. While I definitely don't condone the 'hate it, bury it' motif, E.T. the video game was cited as the contributing factor to Atari's massive financial losses during 1983 and 1984. Somebody up above must have been really angry, yeesh.

For years, I thought this gamer's folktale was just a myth, but it turns out it's nothing short of real. Escavators in the Alamogordo, New Mexico area unearthed the hidden stash of plastic cartridges. While no one is sure if there are millions or thousands of these games in the ground, at least a few "hundred" of them have already been dug up.

You know, I have always wished eSports could have been a party of my daily High School life but sometimes, it takes the previous generation to push the next one forward. The High School StarLeague is an organization that sets-up eSports competitions -- featuring some of the hottest titles like League of Legends, Dota 2 and StarCraft 2 -- for high school students across North America. This season, the final round of the competition set in June is offering a scholarship of more than $20,000. Twitch and Newegg each contributed $10,000 to the league to help support the cause. I really wish I had an opportunity like this in school so for all you youngins reading this, take advantage!

Wondercon 2014's video game showing wasn't all too grand but Nintendo never fails to give the event a jolly good show. A demo for Mario Kart 8 was available to play on the Wii U.

The demo had a slew a playable characters to choose from, like the classic Mario and Yoshi all the way to new additions like Roselina. From the looks of things, the characters don't make a difference in terms of driving performance since I did not see any stats or character classes like Mario Kart 7's light,medium, and heavy archetypes. That's faily dissappointing since I liked playing different characters because of their styles but I guess Nintendo went for a more casual approach, giving everyone the ability to play whatever racer they wanted. Mind you, this is an impression on the demo so if the game does have archetypes, enlighten me.