Friday, August 31, 2012

The State of Gaming & The Entertainment Industry

I've decided that it's time I voiced my thoughts on the state of the entertainment, and gaming industry. I have invested over 20 years of my life in video games, and various other forms of entertainment. As time has passed I've seen many changes concerning the quality, and motivations behind various video game, and entertainment releases. Some changes have been for the good of things while others haven't helped the declining situation at all. In these current hard times things definitely seem to have taken a turn for the worse resulting in a marketplace that is anything but consumer friendly. Greed is now the motivation that leads developers, and companies to release half-assed products to people who have trusted them for years. As a result I'm left wondering if the gaming, and entertainment industry will last much longer. If they bleed us of our last hard earned penny this world will no doubt become a chaotic mess very reminiscent of the apocalyptic scriptures of old. In retrospect our entertainment will become like that of the days when gladiator events were held. I'm not kidding.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Blog Update 8/30/2012

Hello Everyone!!!,

I'm glad to see that people are still visiting the blog even with the lack of reviews. As you probably noticed by now I've hit a sort of dry spell. The XBLIG marketplace isn't producing anything noteworthy, and my contacts for the latest XBLA releases are busy at PAX. I should be getting "The Walking Dead ep.3" when that contact returns, so at least you'll have something to look forward too. In the meantime I've contacted a couple of websites who offer skins, and products for controllers and consoles. One of the companies is called "WraptorSkinz". They offer some really cool stick-on graphics for your Xbox 360 controllers as well as other products. I will be receiving a couple of samples from them, and will give you my reviews on the products. As usual I'll be posting photos along with the reviews.

Monday, August 27, 2012

SquidGrips (Xbox 360)

When it comes to products in general I'm always glad to see things that are actually made here in the USA. Sadly it's becoming more, and more evident that our jobs are being outsourced to other countries. Before you get all riled up about what I just said, I'm glad that we are getting some products from other countries. I'd just like the United States to be more self sustaining if you know what I mean? Without rambling on too much further ... SquidGrips are a high quality product that are made here in the USA which is totally awesome in my book. Aside from that fact the packaging of the product is environmentally friendly. It even has a label stating that the product was made using environmentally friendly methods (100% wind power). It's a "win-win" situation if you ask me.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

RocketGrips: "Xbox 360 Controller Skins With Griptile"

Most of you know of my inquiries about modded game controllers, and even controller skins due to my tweets on Twitter. I'm not one to shy from requests simply, because they are out in public view. I've always been one to get results using any means necessary, and Twitter has been an awesome gateway for me to be able to do such things. As a reviewer it definitely helps to be bold sometimes. If you don't ask, you'll never know. I live by that motto, and as such I'm able bring to the table reviews that most reviewers avoid or don't think are possible. It all boils down to whether or not you want to advance as a reviewer, or to stay stuck in a rut. I think my request for the RocketGrips was the only logical next step in the evolution of my blog. In that sense I have decided to advance with what I do.

I'm thankful that the creator behind "RocketGrips" was more than willing to give me a chance to review his product. It might not be the custom controller I'd initially hoped for, but it's a small step in the right direction. If all goes well with the following review then I might just be able to bring you guys & gals reviews on even more Xbox 360 related products. I hope you enjoy the following review, and that you gain the necessary knowledge about the product after reading it. I will do my best to be thorough. Enjoy the read!

Music Spotlight: "e-dubble"

Recently I stumbled upon a hiphop song, and artist/musician that I just could not forget. The lyrics, and the chorus are stuck in my head even to this day. The song of course is none other than "Robot's Can't Drink". The song in question originally debuted as a "Freestyle  Friday #53" tribute song on e-dubble's (the artist) youtube channel as well as a free downloadable song on his own website. I initially found out about "Robots Can't Dance" after watching a "Straight Up Knives" MW3 montage as most of you have probably also done. After doing some research I found that e-dubble has an impressive amount of tracks available, and that each song has lyrics that would put a lot of rappers out there to shame. Aside from offering free mp3 downloads on his site, e-dubble also is trying to keep his hard work afloat by offering songs on familiar mobile media platforms such as Napster, and itunes.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Spyleaks (XBLIG): "A Retro Espionage Story Featuring Two Classic Game Genres"

This is one of those indie games that I would have likely passed up if it weren't for the developer (HeartBit Interactive/The Benjamin Ficus) requesting a review. After receiving the developer's request I watched the youtube trailer that was attached in hopes of better understanding what I'd be getting myself into. I was surprised to see that the game had an oddly familiar style of puzzle solving gameplay to it. It was a style of puzzle gameplay that I haven't seen in what seems like ages. If you've ever played the Nintendo game "The Adventures of Lolo" then you'll know what I'm talking about (Be sure to check out the video attached to this review for reference to that). After noticing this similarity along with the fact that there was actual shmup (shoot'em up) levels in the game I was totally hyped! Needless to say I agreed to the request, and did my playthrough so I could give you guys the inside scoop on this Espionage driven puzzle/shmup hybrid.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Evil Controllers: "Custom Controllers"

As a reviewer I'm always looking to expand on what I feature here on this blog. In my search for new review subject matter I contacted 'Evil Controllers', who are known for their amazing custom console controllers. I put in my request to review an actual controller from them, and they told me it might be a possibility in the near future. This is definitely good news even though it isn't certain. Anyways I'm here to bring you the latest scoop on something new that 'Evil Controllers' is offering their customers. In the details of the press release you'll find info on the special custom design process as well as info on a sale, and even details about a contest. Enjoy!

Monday, August 13, 2012

DUST: An Elysian Tail (XBLA): "A Visually Stunning Masterpiece!!!"

Last year during my rise to reviewer fame I found a youtube video featuring a future XBLA game release that attracted my undivided attention. This game of course was none other than Humble Hearts (The Developer) debut title "DUST: An Elysian Tail". I put in my request for the game immediately after watching the teaser trailer. I knew this game was going to be something special, and I could not wait to get it even if I had to pay for it out of my own pocket. Thankfully the developer spared me the expense, and kept true to their word giving me early access to this totally amazing fantasy rpg/platformer. Today I bring to you my review of this breathtaking masterpiece that could very well be the best "Summer of Arcade" title this year!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Street Fighter x Tekken (Xbox 360): "Revisited"

I never thought in my wildest imagination that I would be so bold as to give "Street Fighter x Tekken" another shot. The game just isn't that great to be honest, but I figured I'd give it a second chance since it was rather cheap with all the discounts I got from Gamestop. Most of you know where I stand on the matter of SFxT. You probably also know of my rant, and review that are here on this blog. You've likely even read them. As harsh, and unrelenting as both articles were they were quite true at the time of posting. To sum things up the two articles detailed my complaints about how terrible the online was as well has how money hungry it made Capcom seem. While most of my opinions concerning those issues have somewhat changed since my recent playthrough of the game parts of those complaints are still very valid.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

HYBRID (XBLA): "A 3rd Person Hybrid Shooter"

If a developer were to apply similar gameplay concepts as those from games like "Killzone", and "Gears of War" they'd most definitely wind up with a game like "HYBRID". Staying true to it's title, "HYBRID" seems to borrow a little something from such games as the before mentioned titles. In that sense it's a lot like a hybrid itself. This 3rd person tactical shooter revolves around the scenario of an intergalactic fight for resources that includes an invading alien (Variant) army, and the humans (Paladins) who were thrust into a fight for survival as a result of the invasion. Alongside this reminiscent "War of the Worlds" plot is a unique online 3rd person multiplayer that combines cover-to-cover combat, and territorial domination strategies.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Rock, Paper, Lazers (XBLIG): "A Whimsical Shmup With A Unique Twist"

When it comes down to reviewing XBLIG titles there are certain things that I look for. The most significant thing of all though is originality. As we all have noticed by now there are copies  upon copies of indie games plaguing the XBLIG marketplace. Very rarely do I see an entirely unique, and well developed game on there. It's a sad situation that has become more prevalent as time has passed. Thankfully all is not lost. There are some indie developers such as Cubegg who try to at least put a new spin on an old genre. With their newly released title "Rock, Paper, Lazers" they have added some spice to the dull appetizer that is the XBLIG marketplace.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Murder For Dinner (XBLIG): "A CLUE-like Murder Mystery"

Indie games seemed to have once again picked up in popularity among aspiring game developers. I'm not only seeing more unique XBLIG titles coming to light, but kickstarter programs have also spawned featuring entirely unique video game creations by never-before-known developers. Recently a new XBLIG developer called Detroit Game Studio contacted me about reviewing their latest creation, "Murder for Dinner". In their email they told me a little about the game, and described it as an Agatha Christie/Clue style murder mystery. Needless to say the idea of the game definitely caught my attention. As a reviewer I try to cover games that are truly "unique", and this game fit the bill. I set out to see what the fuss was all about, and find out why it warranted a 240 msp price tag.

Pinball Arcade (XBLA): "Update"

Well it seems that the developers over at 'Farsight Studios' may have actually been listening to reviewers such as myself. This morning during my routine browsing of the Xbox Marketplace I found a fairly significant update for the "Pinball Arcade" game. This update was 88+ MB in size, and included fixes for the game's visuals, and other things that plagued the quality of the game. After downloading the update I set out to see just how much had changed since the last time I played the game.