The Game Guy

lombardiSuper Bowl week is upon America. While #DeflateGate (cringe) has cast a massive shadow over the game itself, it’s important to remember that the actual game still has to be played on Sunday. Thanks to "Madden 15," an Xbox One, Twitch and a capture card, I’m going to host my own “Virtual Super Bowl Virtual Party” tonight!

The party will consist of a full length game of “Madden 15” between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks streaming live on  at 9:00 p.m. eastern. The game will be completely handled by the "Madden 15" A.I. I’ll watch for the duration of the game and chat about football, video games or anything else with anyone who chooses to stop by and participate in the Twitch chat.

There’s only one game of NFL football left in the 2014 season, and football withdrawal is all too real. For those of you like me who just can’t let it go, tune into tonight at 9:00 p.m. to watch a virtual preview of the big game!








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GrimFandangoCoverWho would’ve thought that 17 years after “Grim Fandango’s” original release would be the perfect time for a remastered edition? Here we are in 2015, and the peculiar point-and-click adventure fits perfectly among newer friends like “The Walking Dead,” “Game of Thrones,” “Tales from the Borderlands,” and “The Wolf Among Us.” “Grim Fandango” returns to show how it paved the way for these games back in 1998.

What “Grim Fandango” has that the aforementioned games don’t is a unique cocktail of narrative themes and devices. Developed by Tim Schafer’s Double Fine Games (originally developed by a LucasArts team led by Tim Schafer), “Grim Fandango” tells a comical tale of the afterlife through a veil of noir styling. Comedy and noire aren’t normally paired, but the narrative makes it seem like the perfect fit in its distinctiveness.

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Pokémon symphony comes to life at Heinz Hall

Wednesday, 21 January 2015 01:30 AM Written by

(Photo Credit: Jeron Moore)


Video games and symphony came together on Saturday for Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions at Heinz Hall. Princeton Entertainment and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra showcased music from the “Pokémon” series beginning with “Red” and “Green” for the original GameBoy, and working through each generation to “X” and “Y” for the 3DS.


This is not the first time the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has played songs from beloved video game soundtracks. Producer Jeron Moore and composer Chad Seiter tapped them in 2013 and 2012 for the Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses tour. Pittsburgh was just the third stop of the Pokémon tour, with more tour dates and locations being announced in the near future.

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Opinion: The New 3DS deserves a power cord

Wednesday, 14 January 2015 03:30 AM Written by

3DSConsumers deserve better. They also deserve a power cord. Nintendo finally announced the long awaited New 3DS (that's the actual name) for North American markets today. The new device, which will hit stores on February 13, will have a faster processor and an extra control stick that will enhance gameplay. But the package has one peculiar omission. It doesn’t come with an AC adapter.


It’s not that the updated 3DS has a nifty new gadget that that replaces the conventional power cord. There is literally no way to charge the device’s battery right out of the box. It requires the same power cord that has charged Nintendo handhelds since the DSi released in 2009. Users will have to hold onto a charger from an old DSi or 3DS. If this is a consumer’s first 3DS system, however, he or she will have to buy a charger separately.


As outrageous as this news sounds, Nintendo has been getting away with this practice elsewhere in markets outside of the U.S. for some time. The video game manufacturer sold its 3DS XL in Japan without the power cord.


How essential is a power cord for something like the New 3DS? Every handheld owner will quickly tell you that it’s as essential as a charger is for any other electronic device. It’s completely and totally necessary. There’s no way around it. But the real question is, “how essential is it to package a power cord with the New 3DS?”

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TwitchSo you want to play video games while dozens, or perhaps hundreds, or perhaps thousands (!) watch you live? I must admit that it’s an attractive proposition. The idea of being on a live stage while introducing video games to the masses is an intriguing one for anyone who wants to be a content creator


But where do you even begin? Maybe you got a new PS4 or Xbox One during the holiday deals. Maybe you’re kicking around the idea of picking up a capture card. There are a lot of different ways to get a polished streaming channel up and running. Some of these avenues are simple, while others are more complex. It all depends on how seriously you want to take the experience. All those avenues begin at Twitch.

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FC4What’s it like to be a stranger in a strange land; to be in a place where both culture and nature are working toward your demise? The “Far Cry” series has always attempted to shed light on this question. It’s one of the rare series that is able to take an earthly environment and make it seem otherworldly.

Ajay is a young American who travels to fulfill his mother’s final wish. She wished for her ashes to be laid to rest in her home country of Kyrat, a fictional mountain country in the Himalayas. What begins as a routine trip to a foreign land quickly spirals out of control, and Ajay finds himself on the front lines of a brutal civil war. It’s the rebels versus Pagan Min, a ruthless dictator who keeps the poor oppressed and kills anyone who opposes him.

Upon arriving in Kyrat, Ajay learns of a bond between himself and Min. Min and Ajay’s mother have a history; one that Ajay will learn more of as the story in Kyrat unfolds.

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The following review has been updated as of 11/21/14 to include a review of online features in "Super Smash Bros." for Wii U. Online features went live at 12:00 a.m. on 11/21/2014.


Mario jumps on turtles. Donkey Kong collects bananas and plays bongos. Samus hunts space pirates, and Link is a sword-swinging adventurer. What would happen if you threw this ragtag group into a battle arena along with the rest of Nintendo’s deep bench of characters? The result is the “Super Smash Bros.” series; one of the company’s most successful and beloved franchises.

It has been almost seven years since the release of “Super Smash Bros. Brawl” for the Wii. The new “Super Smash Bros.” for Wii U has some serious hype to live up to, and it’s never easy for a game like this one to please its broad audience. It has to wear many different hats. A “Smash Bros.” title has to please the competitive crowd, while being a fun party game for friends. It also has to attract newcomers to the series. There are few games that can pull off this tall task, but “Super Smash Bros.” for Wii U just might be up for the challenge.

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LBPcoverWhat is the defining characteristic of the “LittleBigPlanet” series? Most would say it’s the creativity that the game unlocks, or the ability to let imagination run free. While that’s not wrong, I would argue in favor of its charm. “LittleBigPlanet” has always had an intoxicating charm to its stitchwork worlds and characters that keep an everpresent smile plastered on my face.


The fourth game in the series, “LittleBigPlanet 3,” is no exception. New developers to the series xDEV and Sumo Digital have kept that charm intact while adding some new wrinkles to the story and gameplay. The series’ structure of running, jumping and typical tomfoolery is all there. While I still believe the Vita’s “LittleBigPlanet” is still the best game in the series, “LittleBigPlanet 3” is a close runner up.

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