Gaming

Evo Championship Series 2014 Results

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Evo Championship Series 2014 Results

This past weekend, the annual fighting game tournament Evolution Championship Series, Evo for short, took place at the Westgate Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fighting gamers from all around the world converged on one location to find out who would be crowned as champions at the end of the tournament.

As a fair warning, this post contains the final results for all of the games present at Evo this year, so if you still want to watch the archived footage without being spoiled, avoid this post! For those of you who want to know the results of the finals, continue reading and enjoy the clips of each final match. Read On

Review: “Dragon Quest VIII” for iOS

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Review: “Dragon Quest VIII” for iOS

Reviewing a Dragon Quest game from an American standpoint is an interesting prospect. The long-running RPG series is a cultural phenomenon in its native Japan. Those in the Japanese gaming industry consider it Japan’s national game, with new Dragon Quest games selling up to four million copies. The series has received live-action ballet adaptations, and its music has been performed annually in concert halls since 1987. There’s even a bar in Tokyo modeled after Liuda’s Bar from the games, where fans can go to swap stories and collect treasure maps.

Why, then, has this series never caught on in the States? Sadly, there were barriers from the start. The first game in the series had to be released under the title Dragon Warrior for copyright reasons, but Nintendo still thought it could rustle up the same excitement as it did in Japan, promoting the game heavily in its magazine Nintendo Power. Dragon Warrior garnered generally good reviews, but sold so poorly — half a million copies, only a third of the number sold in its homeland — that Nintendo had to resort to giving copies away. Nintendo then decided to let U.S. publishing duties fall to Enix, the studio that created the games. The next three games, also released under the Dragon Warrior moniker, sold less copies combined than the original. Following this, Enix opted not to release any of the Super Famicom DQ’s in the States, eventually shutting down its U.S. operations completely.

Dragon Warrior Read On

Review: Fable Anniversary – Xbox 360

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Review: Fable Anniversary – Xbox 360

We all have those special memories: moments in our lives that really changed our outlook. Sometimes for us gamers, it’s a particular game, and for me it was having my eyes open to Western RPGs.

I had just purchased the gigantic original Xbox and was looking for something other then Halo 2 to play. I was recommended Fable. After just a short time of playing the game I was instantly hooked. I had grown up on Dragon Warrior, but there was something about Fable that really spoke to me.

With Fable among the games receiving HD remastering, I was more then interested in giving it another spin. A long lost friend I would soon have the pleasure of meeting once again. Does the game still hold it’s charm?

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[E3 2014] Battlefield: Hardline Impressions

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[E3 2014] Battlefield: Hardline Impressions

The Battlefield franchise is near and dear to my heart. I have incredibly vivid memories of the huge hype leading up to Battlefield 1942, the bewildered excitement, the confusion. What do you mean I can be a soldier and drive a tank and steer a battleship? HOW?

Battlefield 1942 and its slew of excellent successors – Vietnam, 2, and especially 2142 – ran along the cutting edge of class-based, team-oriented objective multi-player in the competitive scene.  Battlefield has inspired many of the industry’s finest titles, from Star Wars: Battlefront to the Enemy Territory games, to Red Orchestra and a handful of others. Battlefield has always led the way in large-scale military multi-player mayhem.

The adage: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” doesn’t seem to be first in mind with the Visceral Games team for the franchise’s newest outing Battlefield: Hardline. They’re looking to take the franchise in a very different direction with a strong campaign featuring a TV-centric  episodic structure, big-name voice-over actors and likenesses, and a highly-modified multi-player dynamic. As per usual policy, EA has given Visceral the greenlight on a Beta test to run the new mechanics around the corner and see how they hold up. The Pixelated Geek staff, particularly PXL Plays! Johnathan Crass and your truly, have spent the last several days pulling heists and TASER-ing bros in order to bring you the most honest and grounded of impressions.

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[E3 2014] Hands On – When Harvest Moon meets Minecraft

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[E3 2014] Hands On – When Harvest Moon meets Minecraft

I find Harvest Moon a fascinating game, as it continues to survive the onslaught of various Facebook Farming games.

After the last iteration (Harvest Moon A New Beginning for the 3DS) it seemed  Natsume had found the sweet spot. Its mix of both farming and customization led me to wonder what innovations or direction the next Harvest Moon would take. During our floor coverage of E3 2014 I was given a behind the scenes look of the newest version Harvest Moon Lost Valley. Which promised taking customization to the next level.

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Comic Issues #175 – Geek Out!

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Comic Issues #175 – Geek Out!

What’s better than sitting down with your friends and playing an awesomely geeky game? Why, sitting down with your friends and mercilessly crushing them with your massive amounts of geek knowledge! So this week, we’ll do both.

Join Anthony, Elizabeth, Leland from Movie Issues, and Cliff “I will destroy you with tabletop trivia” Roach from the Villainous Lair as we play Geek Out, the awesome party game that you should definitely go out and buy right now. Along the way, someone argues that the Enterprise does SO count as a “technology,” someone remembers a really weird rabbit, someone accidentally bluffs her way to a point with the totally wrong answer, and someone else spectacularly flames out when his brain refuses to come up with just one more movie I swear I know this one I just had it gimmie two more minutes!!

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[Review] Watch_Dogs

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[Review] Watch_Dogs

Ubisoft is a class act as a whole, with a portfolio full of blockbusters, fan-favorites, and a decided lack of shovel-ware.  Ubisoft Montreal has a similarly positive reputation, responsible for many of its parent companies greatest triumphs – Splinter Cell (and it’s superlative sequel, Chaos Theory), Rainbow Six: Vegas I & II, the Prince of Persia franchise, the Assassin’s Creed franchise, and just a ton of others.  Ubisoft Montreal is one of the most prolific and development houses in the industry – almost to the point of absurdity.

(In fact, there is almost no way Ubisoft Montreal is just one team, but that is beyond the scope of this article. )Ubisoft has one of the very best reputations as both a development and publishing house, and as such any of their products, especially a new IP, will be judged by critics and the public alike accordingly.

watch-dogs-coverartIt should come as no surprise that many of Ubisoft Montreal‘s share more than just a higher than average overall quality.  Many of the their products share a hyper-clean, near-future aesthetic, similarly clean but markedly utilitarian user-interfaces that are refreshingly explained/excused within the game world, and a broad range of game-play in both the  macro-meta design sense as well as moment-to-moment, tactically within the experience.

I mention this for a reason  Watch_Dogs may well be a brand new IP, and the intended launching point for a new blockbuster franchise, but it is in almost every pertinent way very much a Ubisoft Montreal game for both ill and good.  It is a compelling experience, and far more mature and intelligent than virtually all of its competitors, but flawless it is not.

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[E3 2014] Alien Isolation Oculus Rift – Hands On

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[E3 2014] Alien Isolation Oculus Rift – Hands On

There are some video games that you just want to be amazing. From the first trailer for Alien:Isolation I was very much hopeful, that we’d finally get a true Alien game. Knowing that I would be on the floor at E3 2014, as a fan of the series of movies and a gaming journalist I knew I had to find out the truth and get some hands-on time with this title.

Simply getting hands-on time would have been enough. But having the Alien Isolation “Experience” was far more to my liking. I was lucky enough to have a behind the scenes look at the Oculus Rift demo of Alien Isolation.

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