Max Payne hasn’t been in a video game in since 2003. He did star in a feature film in 2009. His legacy is rough, full of hard knocks and Rockstar had kept everything tucked away until 2012 with the release of Max Payne 3. The big question is for fans of the series, should they buy it?
News sources all over the web are stating that long running Xbox Live loyalists might get a free anniversary edition 360. The big question everyone wants to know, is there a catch to this so called freebie? When will Sony and Nintendo do something like this?
As our time with the Wii draws to a close, a few of us at GoozerNation would like to take a moment to reflect on some of the more poignant memories of it's lifetime. The Wii has a large library and with that, unfortunately, gained a reputation of being a console full of shovelware. This may be true to the casual audience but to true fans there are some great games.
The Wii shall live on through backwards compatibility. Many a Wii will continue chugging for the GameCube compatibility (and the Virtual Console if they are not transferrable), but many a Wii will also be shut down forever or traded for it's replacement.
Wreck-It Ralph is an amazingly fun film. It's got a cute story for those who know nothing of classic gaming, yet a Blu-Ray featurette's worth of pop-up nerd history that I can't wait to watch personally. In Ralph's world, many classic characters exist, but three unknown games serve as the main settings for the movie. This was necessary: if the movie took place around Donkey Kong, people would have wanted a Donkey Kong movie. If Sugar Rush had been replaced with Cruisn' USA, the rating would have had to go up, and people would wonder why there's so many bimbos in bikinis all over the place.
The three games in the movie are at the time of this writing mostly nonexistant, but who am I to deny them the opportunity for a review? Perhaps in a few days I'll get my full feelings down on the movie, but for today, I thought I'd discuss the games that appear in the movie as if they were real, and how we'd see them fare in modern society.
FAIR WARNING: You're probably here to enjoy some of the story behind Wreck-it Ralph, but there are obviously spoilers ahead. Turn back now if you want to go in fresh. But if you are like that, then what are you doing looking at articles about the movie anyways?
With great power comes great responsibility. I'm pretty sure that means don't kill everyone. Of course, that's entirely up to you. Dishonored puts you in the shoes of a noble bodyguard turned steam punk assassin in the fictional city of Dunwall, an industrial fishing city-state. The economy revolves around the robust whaling industry, as the whale oil powers all of the city's technology. Dunwall is in the middle of an industrial revolution and the worst plague in recorded history. Bodies pile up in the streets and the rats swarm underfoot. The empress you swore to protect is murdered before your eyes, the princess is kidnapped, and you take the blame, awaiting your execution in prison while everyone in the city curses your name.
Dishonored is a great game for gamers who are looking for something different in the plethora of fall releases. Arkane Studios and Bethesda did an excellent job with this new IP and hopefully its success guarantees a sequel or two. The question is, what sort of gamer does Dishonered appeal to?
I don't have fond, childhood memories of Mortal Kombat. My only memories of it were of watching my older brother play it and of my mother shaking her head with passing glances. I've been wary of playing Mortal Kombat since, as it is difficult to understand the complex story and the relationships between the characters. Thankfully, the newest Mortal Kombat serves as a much-needed reboot to the series, and a retelling of the first three games. Its awesome. This game is packed to the brim with content. You have an expansive campaign, a classic arcade ladder, 300 level challenge tower, an interactive "Krypt" with 300 unlockables, and of course multiplayer with both regular, tag, and king of the hill modes.
If you’re a nerd like me you probably ran out and bought Windows 8 last weekend. After using Microsoft’s new OS for the past few days I’ve come to see the Windows experience in a whole new light. Instead of thinking of my computer as a blank canvas upon which to create, Windows 8 throws you a ton of content at you to help get you started. It’s great for people who don’t know what to do with their computer. It’s also great for people who do know how to use a computer and just want something fresh and new to look at every time they turn it on. As a gamer, how will that new experience affect me?
I think back to Valve/Steam founder Gabe Newell’s comment about Windows 8 being a “catastrophe.” He goes on to elude that Steam will cease compatibility if Microsoft continues down this direction with its OS. As a matter of fact, Steam is now entering into beta status on Linux! Why the sudden turn around on Windows -- Steam’s largest user base? After finally getting my mitts on Windows 8 (I did not participate during the Release Candidate period), I’ve come to some conclusions as to why Newell feels so harshly about the new OS.
If you’ve used Windows 8 then you’ll instantly notice that it looks and feels much more like that of a tablet. The OS also supports touch screen monitors as well (something I’m surprised Apple hasn’t jumped on already). If you have an XBOX 360 or a windows phone, then you’ll notice that they all look and function almost exactly alike. This is all part of Microsoft’s plan (much like Apple) to unify and unite its products across multiple platforms.
The old fashioned Desktop and Start menu that has been a staple of Windows is now gone (though a version of it can be turned on if you need to use a legacy program). Instead, your screen is filled with apps, which can be downloaded, installed, and run in an instant. It also surprises me how fast Windows 8 is at switching between them. This is clearly the direction Microsoft intends on taking the Windows experience and I believe that it can be a healthy one if done right.
The root of Newell’s main criticism of Windows 8 is that this new direction seems to close off the open ended architecture of Windows in general. All apps and programs must go through some sort of an approval process before they can appear on the OS (much like Apple). Microsoft can also reject any apps. I suppose the less open nature of Windows 8 is a valid argument on Newell’s part but I believe he’s over dramatizing it. The legacy Desktop app allows you to access all of your older programs in a formant similar to Windows 7. You can even access the good ole’ Command Prompt (now that’s old school). Trust me, Windows will still remain open. Instead, let’s look at the real motive behind Newell’s comments.
About three months ago Steam released a new feature called Big Picture. Big Picture (currently in open beta) throws the entire Steam experience into an easy to navigate user interface that can be entirely controlled by an XBOX 360 controller. It’s intended for gamers, like me, who have their PCs hooked up to their fancy widescreen televisions and prefer to game from the couch rather than a desk. Newell and company have put a lot of time and money into making Big Picture work and the results are wondrous. Once you’ve used Big Picture, there’s no going back; it’s awesome! I love it and I think it is a step in the right direction for Steam.
The problem arises once you’ve put Big Picture and Windows 8 together. At this time Steam doesn’t work natively within Windows 8. Whenever you run it, it switches back to legacy Desktop mode. With Big Picture and Windows 8 being developed separately, simultaneously, and by different companies, it’s no surprise they are the technology equivalent of water and oil. Steam and Big Picture was never intended to run as an app. It is a program that runs apps of its own -- games. As a matter of fact, Microsoft indirectly places itself as a competitor to Steam in that it too runs a service and app store within Windows 8. The first reason that Newell hates the new OS is because he sees it as an instant (1) COMPETITION BUILT INTO EVERY COPY OF WINDOWS 8 SOLD.
Getting back to the topic of Steam and Big Picture mode not working natively within Windows 8, it doesn’t really seem that difficult for Steam to create a working app that launches within the OS. We all know that Steam rakes in a lot of money (just look at the number of games in my account) and also has some of the most talented people in the business. Steam has proven itself to be the leader in online game purchasing. Why don’t they just create that app instead of busting their heads over Windows 8’s architecture? The answer is they did! It’s called Big Picture! The problem is that it was made for Windows 7! They just didn’t know what Microsoft had down the Windows pipeline when they were creating it! So now Steam just (2) WASTED TIME AND MONEY CREATING A MAJOR FEATURE FOR AN OBSOLETE OS.
With Microsoft taking Windows into new territory, Newell and company wonders where to take Steam next as well. Mac and Linux seem like a natural expansion of Steam but with such a small install base compared to its Windows audience it’s going to be hard to generate as many sales. The tablet and phone market are also biting a chunk in the traditional gaming pie. Other online services such as Origin, Green Man Gaming, and Amazon Downloads are also cutting into Steam’s profits. I believe that steam is (3) FEELING THAT ITS PLACE IN THE GAMING MARKET IS BECOMING THREATENED. It’s amazing Newell can even manage to keep it together at this point!
Steam is at a turning point in its life. It can either accept to roll with the changes or die with the past. I believe these criticisms from Newell are part of its growth. I, for one, love Steam and hope to see it continue, and run natively in Windows 8 one day (and soon too). Come on Gabe, stop with the criticisms and get working on that app!