The Game Guy

Prototype 2 - review

Tuesday, 08 May 2012 01:50 AM Written by

“Prototype 2” put me in the throes of a personal quandary.  I wasn’t expecting to get much of anything out of my experience based on “Prototype 1,” the gameplay I saw at E3 2011, and temperate buzz from gamers whose opinions I trust. After logging a few hours on the game, I admittedly enjoyed my experience far more than I expected to. But my conflict came into play when I realized that “Prototype 2” wasn’t showing me anything that I hadn’t already seen.

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E3 is fast-approaching, and arguably the most discussed and analyzed part of the expo happens before the doors even open.  It’s the big press conferences from Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony.  There will be plenty of conjecture in the coming weeks, but I thought I’d get the ball rolling early.  I’m going to break down each upcoming presser and examine what each company will present, should present, and I’ll add a couple bold predictions at the end.  Here’s an explanation of each:

Sure things:” These are the surefire talking points for the companies.  If these topics don’t get addressed in the press conferences, I’ll be shocked.

Needs:” These are the topics that the fans are dying to know about.  These are the burning questions that demand answers.  If they aren’t addressed, prepare to hear complaints.

Bold predictions:” Certainly not guaranteed discussion points. These are what I would like to see, but are a long shot.

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Hauppauge HD PVR 1445 - review

Thursday, 26 April 2012 05:23 PM Written by

The Hauppauge HD PVR 1445 is used to record high-definition gameplay footage from your video game console to your PC.  If you’ve never heard of Hauppauge or a PVR, I was in the same boat with you a few months ago.  I consider myself a tech geek, but video capturing is not my area of expertise.  So I’ll begin by saying that this review is from the perspective of a hardcore gamer whose first experience with a PVR was for this review.

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The LAN party atmosphere was alive and well in Castle Shannon, PA this weekend.  Friday evening kicked off Iron Storm XIII, an annual event organized by the Pittsburgh LAN Coalition or “Pittco” as it’s often referred to. 

Gamers began filing into the Castle Shannon Memorial Fire Hall at 6 p.m. on Friday with their PCs in tow.  Some came from as far as Canada and New York to take part in the three-day, 42-hour festivities.

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I’ll admit that I was a bit worried when I first started playing “Trials Evolution.”  It had nothing to do with the game itself, but my dread stemmed from seeing early review headlines.  I remembered seeing a tweet that said it was “more than just a sequel,” which led me to believe that the things that made “Trials HD” one of my favorite XBLA games had been changed. I worried that it wouldn’t be the same experience.

After about ten seconds on the first course, my fear melted away.  This is the second coming of “Trials” on the XBLA.  The development team, RedLynx, has improved upon the original formula, making “Trials Evolution” one of the best experiences available in the online marketplace.

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I don’t enjoy getting stressed out when I play video games. That’s why I shy away from certain genres when gaming in my free time, like RTS games for instance. I dabbled in “StarCraft II,” but the learning curve was so great in the online arena that it became more of a headache than fun. Every one of my matches followed a similar format: feverishly working to build an army, only to have my poor defenseless miners obliterated by ruthless opposing forces before I even have a chance to form units with firepower.

I don't want to take anything away from the “StarCraft” universe. I respect both “StarCraft” 1 and 2 and recognize that they are the pinnacles of the RTS genre. I’m impressed by anyone who can play them on a competitive level. They're just not for me.

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The Splatters, an XBLA title developed by Spiky Snail, is puzzly action that we’re used to seeing on a mobile device rather than Xbox Live.  Its format is reminiscent of Angry Birds or Cut the Rope, but the gameplay is anything but.

The game has a fresh, original concept while keeping the “trial and error” gameplay style of the above-mentioned games.  The stages get progressively complex and difficult, and success is measured by a 1-to-3-star rating, again, much like Angry Birds.

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I spoke to Twitch.TV heads Emmett Shear and Matthew DiPietro about their fast-growing company, PAX East, the future of consoles, and e-sports on the whole.  This piece going to run in Wednesday's Edition of the Post-Gazette, but here's a sneak peak.

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Competitive gaming is a popular part of video gaming culture, yet it’s often overlooked by the mainstream audience.  Gaming tournaments are held locally and in the surrounding regions, like Tekkoshocon, which is held annually in downtown Pittsburgh.  The popular PC game “StarCraft” has spawned events known as “Barcraft” events, some of which have been held in Pittsburgh.  BarCraft events are held at local bars where fans meet to watch players compete in the “StarCraft” competitions.

Competitive gaming, often referred to as electronic sports or “e-sports” for short, has grown quickly over the last three years with help from the website Twitch.TV.  Twitch.TV is devoted to e-sports, and is comprised of streamed, community-based content.  Any gamer can live stream gaming footage through Twitch.TV, and can then be watched by anyone around the world.

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