The Game Guy

The long running baseball sim “MLB: The Show” has been widely accepted as the reigning champion of baseball games for years. It sees little opposition from the “MLB 2K series,” so it would be easy for the developers at San Diego Studios to rest on their laurels and make minimal improvements each year. Fortunately for us they haven’t, and continued their run of excellence in “MLB 13: The Show.”

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'Tomb Raider' - review

Sunday, 03 March 2013 11:02 PM Written by

You are shipwrecked. Forced to fend for yourself on an unforgiving island, you search for your lost crew. You find them, but the island natives capture your team and it looks as though all hope is lost. How far are you willing to go to save them, and more importantly, how far will you go to save yourself?

These are the questions posed to Lara Croft, the famous explorer of the “Tomb Raider” series.

Crystal Dynamics has put together a reboot of the long-running series, and the legendary Lara Croft has been taken back to her roots. You are in control of a young novice adventurer who has the skills she needs to survive in the wild, but lacks the confidence to play the steadfast hero.

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Aliens: Colonial Marines - review

Friday, 22 February 2013 12:30 AM Written by

It’s only February and already this year has had its biggest disappointment. Once lauded as the title that could finally deliver a top-shelf “Aliens” game to fans of the franchise, “Aliens: Colonial Marines” is a train wreck of “Duke Nukem Forever” proportions. Developers Gearbox and Timegate have given us a title that is barely worth half its $60 asking price.

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Tonight's special Sony presentation entitled, "The Future of PlayStation" is about to kick off at 6PM EST from NYC. I'll be watching and liveblogging, giving up to the minute updates along with my thoughts on the big announcements. 

5:30 PM - Just under a half hour left to go before Sony's announcement. Any last minute predictions? Sound off in the comment section below or on Twitter. Mention me @GameGuyPGH.

5:34 PM - I'm guessing a two-tier pricing method will be in place for the PS4. My prediction - $450 for the low end model, $550 for the deluxe. I do think it will play used games. I think it will hit shelves before Microsoft's next console. 

5:46 PM - Another prediction: Full backwards compatibility will be included. Under 15 minutes to go! 

5:53 PM - Less than 10 minutes left until the potential for an announcement of a true next-gen home console. This is exciting.

5:59 PM - Video is coming up. Twitch.TV is having some issues. If it fails, I'll just switch to the dozens of other streams out there. 

6:04 PM - Andrew House is on the stage talking about the future of PlayStation. Talking about the strength of Playstation and the strategy of the company. Mentions that the living room is no longer the center of entertainment. 

6:06 PM - House talks indie games on the Vita. Vita is the focal point at the moment. "Today we will see the future of Play."

6:11 PM - stream is out. Great. Looking for one that works.

6:12 PM - Working now. Sorry for the delay. Now talking about multipurpose gaming devices. PS3 takes the focus now. "PS3 is the top platform for Netflix." I didn't know that. "I'm proud of the cell technology of the PS3." Sounds like he'll be talking about the innards of the PS4. When building the next step in gaming, Sony wanted to listen to fans and developers. 

6:13 PM - 8 GBs of system memory. It will have a hard drive. Showing off the Dualshock 4. Says it will have tighter control. Lightbar, headphone jack, touchpad. Controller will have a camera! UnrealEngine 4 running on prototype hardware. 

6:22 PM - Game called "Knack" is being shown. Doesn't look like any gameplay. Cartoonish look, like Jak and Daxter. I always like to see new IPs. 

6:23 PM - You can suspend play at any time. It puts the system into a sleep mode, while saving your progross at any time. There's a dedicated chip for downloading/uploading so you can play while downloading a game. You'll be able to play a game while that game is downloading! Complete redisign of the OS. You'll be able to share gameplay video. Watch livegame video of what a friend is playing. you'll be able to assist friends by taking over the controller. All online. Wow, that's great. You'll be able to watch those on smartphones, too. OS layout will be customizable. 

6:27 PM - Transitioning to a new segment now. Dave Perry, CEO of Gaikai. "Excited to be working on the PS4." Claiming that the PSN will be the fastest and the most powerful gaming network in the world. Sounds like you'll be able to stream demos instantly. Yep, you'll be able to play demos instantly thanks to Gaikai's streaming technology. Now talking the ability to spectate. With a push of a button on the controller, you'll be able to broadcast your gameplay. With your permission, you can allow friends to post text to your screen. Talking the ability to allow someone to take control of your controller in a game again. That is really awesome. Partnering with USTREAM to broadcast gameplay. Yes, you'll be able to watch this gameplay on phones and tablets. "Remote Play" is now being discussed. "PS Vita is the ultimate companion for the PS4." You'll be able to stream any PS4 game to your PS Vita.  

6:38 PM - That means the PS4 and the PS Vita can do the exact same thing that a Wii U can do. Unreal. Talking up the network now. Playstation Cloud services will be rolled out in phases. Playstation games will be playable remotely in seconds thanks to the Playstation Cloud. PS4 not backwards compatible with PS3 games. It sounded like once the Playstation Cloud gets up and running, you'll be able to play old playstation games on any Sony device. I'm assuming there, but that's what it sounded like. 

6:44 PM - Watching a video of developers talking about the potential of the PS4. 

6:45 PM - Michael Denny from Worldwide studios takes the stage. "PS4 will be a new synergy between software, hardware, and the fastest gaming network in the world." Guerrila Games takes the stage now presumably talking about games coming to PS4. Killzone Shadowfall being demoed. Gameplay demo. Graphics look next gen for sure. Huge, sprawling cityscape. Realtime reflections from buildings, water effects. If this is really gameplay, this looks incredible. Looks a little more Halo-esque than Killzone usually looks, but wow is it pretty. Environmental effects are something to behold. This game is gorgeous. Switches to first-person action now. Very futuristic weapons. Tons of stuff happening on the screen. Smoke effects, fire, dust, in a huge outdoor environment. Drop-down assassination shown which triggers a quicktime event. Player is going in and out of slow motion. Not sure if that's controlable. Shooting while hanging from a cable on a moving aircraft. Killzone Shadowfall directed by Michael Bay? 

6:56 Evolution Game Studios presenting DriveClub. Nothing shown except a cinematic. Apparently this is going to be a "team-based driving experience." "Not just about cars and locations. What about people." Gameplay being shown in the background. Of course, it looks pretty. There will be a DriveClub app on smartphones and tablets. You'll be able to set up events from those devices. First-person perspective will be a focus. of the game. "True first-person racing." Shows opening the door, getting in, strapping up, and starting the car. 

7:03 PM - Switching to a new game. This sounds like Watch Dogs. Talking about security cameras and cell phones. Superhumans will be able to bypass these security measures. I'm intrigued. It's from Sucker Punch, exclusive the PS4. Doesn't look like this video is gameplay footage, but who knows for sure. Superhero is taking down vehicles, soldiers, everything. Looks a lot like Prototype. It's called inFamous: Second Son. 

7:08 PM - Time for a new game. This one debuting on the PS4. Jonathoan Blow, creater of Braid, takes the stage. It's called "The Witness." They've been working on it for the last three years. Sounds puzzly, in a good way. Mentions the "ah ha" moment. Sounds like moments in Portal. This is going to be a "compact open world." Here comes the trailer. Simple art style. Big range of color. Music sounds minstrel-esque. They're showing buzzles, but they make no sense when just looking at them for the first time. I'm really intrigued by this. Looks pretty and I love puzzle games. Not sure if I've ever played an open world puzzle games.

7:15 AM - David Cage from Quantic Dream takes the stage. New engine being shown in 3D in realtime. Showing an old man in 3D. It's so real it's creepy. 

7:19 PM - Now talking about recording dreams. This is the creative side of the presentation. Not showing any games. "Move controller will revolutionize the PS4." The Move controller will be a sculpting tool to build creations. You'll be able to point and click to build. They are about to show what someone builtwith the Move controller. They aren't being very detailed in describing how these mechanics work. Two guys are controlling a man and a woman with Move Controllers. Now the characters are playing instruments and the players are flailing with their Move wands. I just don't know how this works. 

7:27 PM - Yes! Yoshinori Ono from Capcom taking the stage to God of War music! Talking about the history of the Playstation and how the tech has evolved. Game code named Panta Rhei. It's a new engine that will "take game design in entirely new directions." About to show a new IP using the new engine. Game has a working title, "Deep Down." Looks a bit like Dark Souls. Again, there's no way to proove that this is gameplay. If it is, it's spectacular. This is a fantasy game. Sworded knight fighting a fire-breathing dragon. 

7:34 PM - Square Enix is about to take the stage. Luminous Studio is about to show a new Square Enix engine. Yes, yet another new engine. Another fantasy based game. Or maybe a shooter? Maybe both? Magic and AK 47s. Could be interesting. This really looks like a cinematic, rather than a new engine. Lot's of action is happening in this demo with no explanation. Yep that was just a video. Showed no detail about anything. That was kind of misleading. 

7:40 PM - Shinji Hashimoto came on to tell us to be excited about E3. Nothing more...

7:43 PM - Ubisoft takes the stage. Talking about Watch Dogs. Can't wait for this one. It was my favorite game of E3 last year. Talking about being able to tap into technology. New full-blown live demo. Exploring a new open world. Art certainly looks Assassins Creed-inspired. Third person, over the shoulder look. As to be expected, graphics look amazing. Pulling up bios for every NPC in the game. Just, wow. Hacked into an ATM to grab some free money. Intervening in a petty crime. Street chase time, on foot. You can hear the 911 call since you're tapped in. User blew a curcuit box remotely to slow the criminal. Remotely raised traffic posts from the ground to stop police cars. Threw the breaks on a cable car to jump on top of it and hitch a ride. Game of the year whenever it comes out. 

7:52 PM - Chris Metzen from Blizzard is on the stage now. Very interesting. Blizzard and Sony entering into a partnership! Talking about transfering the Blizzard games to PS4. Diablo 3 coming to the PS4. Actually it's coming to the PS3 and the PS4. There will be a playable demo of it on the PS3 at PAX East. Completely redesigned interface for console. 

7:57 PM - Eric Hershberg of Activision on the stage. More will be shared in the coming months. Talking about Bungie now. Here comes some talk about Destiny. Bungie talking about shifting the directions of the typical FPS. As they have been in the past, pretty quiet on details. First "shared world" shooter, whatever that means. Destiny will have exclusive content for the PS4. 

8:02 PM - Wrapping up now. Doesn't look like there will be any talk about price, or release date. Oh there it is, Holiday 2013. No other details. 

8:06 PM - There you have it. No image of the system itself. Just the new controller. What did you think. Something to buy day 1? 

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Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance - review

Tuesday, 19 February 2013 01:33 AM Written by

“Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance” was originally announced in 2009 at E3. I remember it well. This would be the first “Metal Gear” game for Xbox 360. A single still shot of Raiden, not Solid Snake. The following year brought promising game footage, but rumors surfaced that the production wasn’t going smoothly. By 2010, it was at a halt.

Luckily, Hideo Kojima and company were saved by the capable hands of Platinum Games, the masterminds behind “Bayonetta,” “Vanquish,” and “MadWorld.” The game was resurrected and renamed. Usually when a game goes through this type of tumultuous journey, the final product ends up being a mess. Not so with “Rising.” Platinum Games has created a sword-swinging action game of the highest caliber, and my new favorite game of 2013.

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Dead Space 3 - Review

Tuesday, 12 February 2013 01:08 AM Written by
In the first “Dead Space,” you play as Isaac Clark, the voiceless engineer. He’s tossed onto the deserted mining vessel called the USG Ishimura. Isaac gets separated, the lights go out, and he meets the horrific necromorphs for the first time: disfigured, bloody creatures that use former human beings as vessels. With plasma cutter in hand, Isaac is forced to use this typical engineering tool as a weapon. His goal is to survive.

“Dead Space 3” is a far cry from these terrifying elements. Isaac begins his journey with two military-grade weapons that have been fused on top of one another. He wears a custom suit inspired by Commander Shepard of the “Mass Effect” series. I felt powerful when I took my first steps. “Powerful” was a feeling I never experienced in the first “Dead Space.” Yes, what you may have heard is true. This series has traded horror for action. But why is that a bad thing? It’s a different experience, but it’s still as polished and immersive as ever.

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The mobile phone has become an integral part of everyday life for some more than others. For me, it’s the device that I use more than any other electronic gizmo. It holds my life. It houses the means  to contact friends and family. If it were lost, I’d be able to recall my home number and the police, and that’s about it. It tells me what my day looks like, gives me reminders when I forget my to-do list, and tells me how to dress appropriately for the weather. It unlocks the power of social networks, putting me in a state of constant communication with complete strangers and acquaintances alike. It’s my personal assistant.

But the phone is more than just chips and a carrier of data. It’s about  function as well as fashion. A phone says a lot about the owner. A simple flip phone tells me that its user doesn’t wish to be “connected” 24/7, and call functionality is enough. A phone with scratches, scuffs and a cracked screen says the person doesn’t value technology, or maybe he or she is just clumsy. A Blackberry tells me the person is a business-minded senior citizen.

There is a yin and a yang when it comes to today’s cell phone culture: A personal side and a technological side, which is why I thought it appropriate to split this piece into two parts. My leap of faith from Apple to Android wasn’t an easy one. The technological part will explore the ins and the outs of the Android OS, and the personal side will explain how I came to be an iPhone user, how you may have called me a “fanboy,” and how I finally reached my breaking point. Let’s start with the latter.

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Strike Suit Zero (PC) - review

Thursday, 31 January 2013 12:29 AM Written by

Flight simulation combat games seem to be a lost art in the current generation of video games. It’s easy to forget about classics like “Crimson Skies” and “Star Fox 64.” British development team Born Ready Games is attempting to remind us why those games were great with their debut project: “Strike Suit Zero” for Steam.

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