Monday, May 31, 2010

More Family Fun for Your Wii & Xbox 360

More Family Fun for Your Wii & Xbox 360

Hasbro's Family Game Night and Family Game Night 2 have been popular purchase for Xbox 360 and Wii-owning families and now there's even more fun to be had! Hasbro, together with Electronic Arts has announced a third version of the game: Hasbro Family Game Night 3. The game's got lots of great new features!

The game, which should be available for release this fall, will make a great holiday-time purchase. The game, which has, in the past, featured virtual Wii versions of your favorite classic Hasbro games, will have five new games, as well as the opportunity for online play that will unite families across the world in the name of family fun!

The new version of the game is set in a theme park and hosted by your favorite Mr. Potato Head, who is returning from a previous version of the game. He will host your game play and guide you through the park. New games include old favorites with a modern twist: The Game of Life, Clue, Twister, Mouse Trap and Yahtzee. Up to four players can play each game.

New to the Family Game Night series is ability for online game play. You can challenge opponents across the globe in both the Wii and Xbox 360 versions of the game. You can even add your Mii or avatar to your games.

In a press release, Chip Lange, General Manager and Senior Vice President of the Hasbro Division at Electronic Arts, said, "Families have embraced the Hasbro Family Game Night video game franchise because it brings them together around the TV for quality time they’ll remember for a lifetime. Hasbrow Family Game Night 3 has been developed with next generation online gaming at the forefront and will enable people to play the five new and iconic Hasbro game brands online with friends and family all across the world."

Mark Belcher, the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Digital Media and Gaming at Hasbro believes the game will help families and friends who live far apart have fun together anytime. "This third installment in the successful Hasbro Family Game Night video game series delivers another great lineup of time-tested favorite Hasbro game brands and uses online play to take the entertainment and competition to an entirely new level. No longer will travel distance be a hurdle for families and friends to get together and have some fun," he said in a press release.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Disney Sing It: Family Hits

Disney Sing It: Family Hits

Gather the family around the TV for some Disney karaoke fun! The new game Disney Sing It: Family Hits for PlayStation 3 and Wii is sure to bring your family together for hours of entertainment. The game features your favorite songs from 20 of your favorite Disney films. You'll even get singing tips from Anika Noni Rose from Disney's Princess and the Frog.

Songs for Disney Sing It: Family Hits will come from old classic films and new favorites. Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Toy Story, Cars, The Lion King, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and The Princess and the Frog to name a few. The karaoke is easy to follow with full screen HD videos featuring montages and footage from various Disney movies.

Craig Relyea, senior vice president of global marketing for Disney Interactive Studios says, "The Disney Sing It franchise has produced a passionate fan base, and they’ve expressed a big demand for songs from Disney’s timeless movies. Now, music fans of all ages will be able to enjoy Disney Sing It: Family Hits, both as an engaging karaoke performance game as well as perfect entertainment for family fun.”

The game features a pitch bar that will help players hit the right notes. You can sing a solo, or a duet, compete against your family and friends, or play the exciting Family Mode, which has you passing the microphone to up to eight different players. Sing It Encore Mode let's you play back your performance and add special effects and customize your songs.

Want to improve your performance or unlock awards and Disney themes? Actress and singer Anika Noni Rose (she voiced Tiana in The Princess and the Frog) will help you by providing vocal exercises and techniques, basic voice instructions, game tutorials, and singing games that will help you become a better singer. You'll learn proper microphone technique, how to hit high and low, long and short, and fast and slow notes, and other valuable tips!

The game is rated E for Everyone and is scheduled to be released this summer.

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Free Online Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Adventure

ripley's believe it or not online gameRobert Ripley has been an intriguing figure to the public for years. His legacy is remembered through Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museums, books, TV and radio shows. Soon there will be another way to experience and appreciate the world of Ripley…through online gaming.

This June there will be a brand new free online adventure puzzle game called Zon8. The game will take players through the fictitious warehouse of Robert Ripley. You must collect a variety of clues, discover artifacts, and solve puzzles throughout the game.

Now even though this is a free online game, there are prizes that can be won. The first 50 players to finish will all receive some sort of prize. The first 10 players to finish the game will receive a unique prize, a custom made shrunken head that was created by Ripley’s F/X department specifically for the game. Only 10 have been made for the game, and they are the only ones in existence. Those who finish in spots 11 through 30 will receive a copy of the Ripley book, “In Search of the Shrunken Head,” and finishers 31 to 50 will win a copy of the Ripley book, “Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Seeing is Believing.”

The game is set to launch the week of June 28th, but it does not yet have a specific start day. To receive of notice of when exactly the game will start, players must sign up for the game.

2Advanced Studios designed this online game. The company is known for pushing creative boundaries to deliver wonderful media masterpieces, so there is much to be expected from this interactive game that is supposed to take between 6-8 hours.

I thought that this online game was a very intriguing idea from the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! team. If you’re looking for something to do towards the end of June, it might be something to check out. It’s free, sounds fun, and you could even win a prize. Sign up if you want to be notified about when the game starts up.

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Wal-Mart’s New Online Game Center

wal-mart gamecenterWal-Mart has just launched a new online game center on their website. The site offers savings, first-look exclusives, game trailers, interviews, and so much more to gamers.

Right now they have some great deals going on. If you pre-order at least three games you will receive a $50 eGift card. Some of the titles that you can pre-order include: Medal of Honor, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, and Fallout: New Vegas.

The deal for the month at Gamecenter is that any customers that pre-orders UFC Undisputed 2010 will receive a $10 eGift card. There is also a buy 2 get 1 free deal on Xbox 360 Platinum Hits that last until June 20th.

I think that Wal-Mart will profit from their new Gamecenter. It will make people more aware of what games Wal-Mart has to offer and let them in on some possibly great deals. Gamecenter at is definitely a site to check out.

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Top 5 Video Game Realeases for Summer 2010

Its almost officially Summer which means late nights on the porch watching fireflies, barbecues on the beach, and eating franks at the ballpark. Its a time for stretching the legs after a long winter and to go out and explore a new world. Awww, what are we saying. Just exactly who are you trying to fool here? You’re going to play video games for three months straight and there's nothing that's going to get in your way. So in support of those who would rather go without sunshine, here’s 5 games coming out this summer that are guaranteed to make you forget its even summer out there.

5. Green Day: Rockband – Tuesday, June 8th

Following in the wake of the successful Beatles: Rock Band, it seems only appropriate that Harmonix would select another well-known band for their next title. Although they might not be as influential as the iconic 60's rock band which saw their music explode in popularity across multiple generations, Green Day can still be identified among the younger generation of gamers, particularly those born in the late 80's and early 90's. Like the Beatles before them, Green Day will give you the chance to play and sing along with all the songs you know and love. Best of all, this Rock Band title comes equipped with two full albums - 1994’s “Dookie” and 2004’s “American Idiot”. Also included in this title will be Green Day staples such as “Brain Stew/Jaded,” “Geek Stink Breath” and “Hitchin’ a Ride”. With over two decades of influential music under their belt, you can bet Green Day will continue to stand out against the continued noise that is Guitar Hero.

4. Blur - Tuesday, May 25

Bizarre Creations hopes to bring something new to the tried and tested racing genre by debuting their latest project called Blur. Don’t let the name fool you, as this racing title will be anything but on your gaming radar. Blur is an in your face racing game that will see players jump straight into heart-pumping and dangerous action with 20 cars on a single track all of which have the same objective - to finish #1. This arcade style racing game ala Mario Kart will see players trade paint with one another as they collect power ups and special weapons to blast cars with huge bursts of energy, increase speed, and perform hairpin turns. If there's one thing you can count on, it's that this game will deliver on all party game fun without pandering to the younger generation.

3. Singularity - Tuesday, June 29th

Announced way back at E3 in 2008, it seemed like Activision and Raven Software would never get around to releasing this title and it was suspected of being locked up in development indefinitely along with Duke Nukem. But thankfully, Activision has gone out of their way to finish this game as well as remind us it will be out this summer. In singularity you will fight your way through an ever-shifting environment, haunted by creatures warped by time itself, while glitches in time hurl you back and forth between a 1950's past and the present day as you try to solve the mysteries of the remote island you are stranded on.

The gameplay will revolve around a time manipulation device strapped on the main characters arm which can employ 4 different abilities. Revert, Age, Stasis, and Impulse - all of which will without a doubt play important roles in problem solving, advancing the storyline, and, of course, crushing those who get in your way. Revert will allow players to rewind an object or human being backwards in time while age will do the exact opposite. Stasis enables players to pull or push an object Jedi Knight style, but they will also have the ability to freeze said object in time. Last but not least, impulse sends out a wave of energy which functions in the same way as a 360 degree force push. All of the abilities will be upgradeable giving the player their own style of time manipulation.

2. Mafia 2 - Tuesday, August 24th

You can't get two more different approaches to open-world gaming than Just Cause 2 and Mafia II. While both titles descend from the same inspiration - Grand Theft Auto III - and both utilize a sandbox approach through the game's lead actor, you'll find that main staple of this game doesn't revolve around chaos and unwanted destruction. Instead, you'll find yourself immersed in the world of underground crime and find your main interests lie in expanding the family business and going out for a stroll in 1950's America.

The setting itself is doubly appropriate since, as you can guess from Empire Bay's name, takes inspiration from two well known US cities. San Francisco is one half of the lifeblood for this fantasy with the other half being New York. When you finally get around to playing this game, remember that comic mayhem commonly found in open-world tradition simply won't be appropriate for the hard-won realism that Mafia II will tout. Expect punishing gunfights and a hard to shake police force in this gritty crime drama.

1. Alpha Protocol - Tuesday, June 1st

In the genre-bending world that is modern videogames, things are not always what they seem. Take the game Alpha Protocol for example which walks like a shooter, talks like a shooter, and even looks like a shooter. But, once you take a peak under the hood, you'll find a third person, skills-based, action espionage RPG that's far more about character stats and interactive cut-scenes than it is about running and gunning. Alpha Protocol is certainly different, and playing it will require a reboot of your third-person shooter instincts. Gamers will have a direct impact on how the game plays based on the decisions they make in-game and how they flesh their character out.

Whether or not you plan on spending summer camped out on the couch or only visiting your gaming system on a rainy day, there's no denying that there is some excellent content this summer that may make you think twice before putting on that suntan lotion and heading for the pool.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Wild Wild West of Red Dead Redemption

red dead redemptionThe wild frontier of the American West has always been an inspiration for movies, novels, and children’s playtime for quite some time, but there has never really been any great video game that follows this time period that has been extensively depicted throughout the media. Well, Rockstar has decided to put an end to that with their newly released Red Dead Redemption. Rockstar is the group that was made famous for all of the Grand Theft Auto games. They have definitely hit another home run with Red Dead Redemption. There’s tons of excitement and endless hours of entertainment.

Red Dead Redemption places you in the shoes of the former outlaw John Marston. He has changed his ways, but discovers that those he once called friends are now his enemies. He is left to fight for his future alone in the very law-lacking West.

Over the course of the storyline you will visit a vast number of places stretching between the border of the U.S. and Mexico. Marston is attempting to set things straight about himself, and on his journey he meets a numerous amount of interesting and intriguing characters. All of these supporting characters feature great dialogue and voice acting, which can sometimes be difficult to find in a game.

The main game will most likely take players somewhere around 20 hours to finish. Many will take longer though due to the variety of different distractions in the game. Its very difficult to focus on one single thing. Rockstar is famous for their open world gameplay and this game definitely delivers in that area. You can do an endless amount of different activities including: herding cattle, breaking mustangs, tracking outlaws, treasure hunting, and sharpshooting. You can do whatever you want. You can buy new outfits for Marston, play a game of poker, go on a wild game hunt, or pick herbs and flowers. It is entirely up to you. This game as the ability to keep the player interested for months in the world of Marston.

red dead redemptionNow as you develop the kind of character that you want to Marston to be, the game also develops around you. Marston’s morality is left up entirely to the player. He can be the kind of man who robs stage coaches and assaults women or he can be kind, helpful, and honorable or he can even be something kind of in between. You have completely free reign of your character. The wild West does still have a legal system that will keep the worst criminals in check, but really you can decide how you want to live Marston’s life.

Due to the fact that the game allows you to pretty much do whatever you want, many people question the game itself. They feel that it is indecent. This is certainly not a game for little kids, hence the M rating, but whether or not you think this game is inappropriate is obviously your decision. I feel that as long as you’re being semi-behaved in the game then there is nothing wrong with it, but that is just my opinion.

There is plenty of action to be found within the game. Something is constantly going on. Whether it’s a cougar or bear ready to attack Marston, a poor man being drug through the streets by a lynch mob, or a prostitute being assaulted by a drunk man, something will always be going on in Red Dead Redemption.

The graphics are awesome for this game and the scenery is really quite breathtaking. The art direction is excellent. Rockstar definitely took their time with generating every possible little detail in Marston’s world. The results are fantastic.

It should be known that this game is not completely flawless. It does have a few glitches. People complained of having a few cut scenes that involved a doubled image of the same character doing different things. They said it created a sort of ghost effect. There were also some complaints of the game freezing at certain points. Considering everything that is going on in this game though, I feel that Rockstar did quite a good job.

red dead redemtionThe controls for Red Dead Redemption are pretty simple. Riding your horse can be a little difficult to get the hang of at first because the controls are very sensitive, but other than that its very easy to figure out. At times the target assist makes combat a little too easy, but it is very helpful when attacking enemies while riding your horse.

The great thing about Red Dead Redemption is that once you complete the storyline there is still tons that you can do on the game. There are online games where you can play with up to 16 players. There are team games, free-for-alls, and capture the flag style games to play online. Another online activity is called Free Roam. This allows 16 different players to explore the entire single player map. You are able to form posses, assault bandit hideouts or forts, simply shoot each other, or ride across the countryside hunting together. While in this Free Roam, there are still missions and side distractions that can help you unlock new character models, modes, or better mounts to ride. The Free Roam has enough stuff to do that it is like another whole game.

Basically, I think that this game is awesome. It features so many different things that can keep the player occupied for really months. It has great graphics and storyline. All the choices are yours. You can make the game anything you want it to be. It’s very much like Grand Theft Auto just set in the wild West. It also has great online play. If you liked the Grand Theft Auto series then you are sure to love Red Dead Redemption. It is certainly a fun look at the wild wild West.

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Drew Brees to Grace Cover of Madden NFL 11

Drew Brees to Grace Cover of Madden NFL 11

The 11th game in the Madden NFL series of games will be in stores on August 10, 2010, and this year, the game franchise is allow fans to make the call on a number of features. One of the biggest being which NFL star graces the cover of the game. Recently, Electronic Arts announced that New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees had been voted on by fans in the Doritos "Change the Game" program. According to the press release, this is just the first pairing of Doritos and EA that will allow ans to shape the future of the Madden franchise.

Said Drew Brees about the selection, “The Madden NFL franchise holds a special place in popular culture and the cover is a coveted position for players all over the league. I’m honored to be the first cover athlete chosen by Madden NFL fans and it’s a great way to cap off an amazing year for the Saints and the city of New Orleans.” The Saints won the Super Bowl this year, with Brees leading the way.

Fans had the choice of Brees, Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen and Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne, and could vote at from February 4 through March 15. Each voter was also entered into a drawing for a chance to win a trip to the NFL draft. During the voting period, NFL greats Eddie George, Marshall Faulk, and Shaun Alexander were featured on bags of Doritos in an effort to help get out the vote.

Brees was the Super Bowl MVP this year. Not only has he had an exceptional career on the field since joining the Saints in 1995, but he has been big part of rebuilding the New Orleans community after the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina. He has been in four Prow Bowls and won three NFC Offensive Player of the Year awards, among other various awards. He's created the charity, the Brees Dream Foundation, which helps raise money for various charitable causes and academic institutions in San Diego, New Orleans, and West Lafayette/Purdue, Indiana.

In addition to choosing the cover, fans of the Madden franchise had the opportunity to vote for three match-ups from March 31 through April 26, and to decide which teams would be featured in the game's demo. Fans will also have the opportunity to rate rookies and influence the player's ratings in the game.

As for the game itself, Madden 11, is said to have a "Simpler, Quicker, Deeper experience." Simpler, because you can "Call plays like an NFL coach with ease using an all-new play-calling system, GameFlow, which executes an authentic, situational game plan for you." Quicker because "The new play-calling system will enable players to spend more time on the field and less in the playbook - completing games in half of the time." And Deeper because "Madden NFL 11 is feature-rich, with improved animations and control options, enhanced online functionality, and new broadcast and audio presentation that delivers the NFL experience fans have come to expect."

The game will be available for Xbox 360, Playstation 2 & 3, Wii, PSP, and for download on iPhone, iPod Touch, and other mobile phones.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Walmart Squares Up Against Gamestop in Used Video Game Sales

It seems Gamestop will always be able to rely on their customers trading in old titles to buy used games and businesses are taking notice. Especially since nearly 50 percent of Gamestop's profits are attributed to the used game market alone. In a recent attempt to exploit this trend Walmart and Best Buy decided to test the waters by partnering with a third party vendor called E-Play which would handle the used video game transactions at a self-serve kiosk. However, shortly after the partnership, E-Play decided to suspend their operations leaving both companies no other options except to close shop. With Movie Gallery dead, Blockbuster struggling, and Walmart's and Best Buy's recently failed excursion into the used video game market via E-Play's unmanned used games kiosks, video game retail giant Gamestop seems to have little to no competition in sight for the used game market.

However, WalMart isn’t concerned about Gamestop's grip on the marker nor have they been bothered by their recent ventures into the industry. The retail stock is determined to give their rival video game retailer a run for their money by once again entering into the used gaming business. This time Walmart will be partnering with a fresh face to allow consumers the ability to trade and cash in on all of their undesired home electronics. This isn't just Wii, Xbox, and Playstation discs. Walmart will be toying with the idea of movies, console systems, media players, and other home entertainment products as potential trade ins for store credit and possibly cash.

Walmart will be partnering with small retailer Game Trader in 5 test locations throughout the US to see if they can penetrate the market. This time they will be abandoning the self serve method for a more personal retail experience inside the store. If this venture proves to be successful its likely that Walmart will expand this concept to become one of the main components of their electronics sections. Walmarts success is also likely to bring more competitive pricing to the mix which would be a plus for all consumers.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Monopoly Streets Coming to a Console Near You

Monopoly Streets Coming to a Console Near You One of the most popular board games turns 75 this year and to celebrate the anniversary of the Hasbro creation, Electronic Arts has announced the game Monopoly Streets. Monopoly Streets will be available for Wii, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. Imagine playing your favorite board game in the world of 3D video games!

Not only will the game be fun for the family to gather around the console, but it will also feature online multiplayer capabilities, as well as downloadable content for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions. The game won't be available until the fall, but gamers are already anticipating all the fun it's sure to bring. Oh, and if you're a Nintendo DS player, a classic version of monopoly will be available for that console.

Immerse yourself in the world of Monopoly. You'll experience the game at street level. Just like in the classic game, you'll buy and develop properties, building houses and hotels, and each step will make your 3D Monopoly world just a little bit more appealing. Each player will have his or her own headquarters that will rise and fall according to how much you're worth.

The game will have lots of twists. You can create house rules, which means you and your friends or family create your own rules, and Wii players can play as their Miis, while Xbox 360 players use their avatars. Your cities can even be populated by your friends' Miis and avatars. And if you're itching to play the classic game, there's a mode for that, too. If you play online, you can play against players of all levels from around the world, and keep track of your progress on local, national, and world leaderboards.

Chip Lange, General Manager and Senior Vice President of EA's Hasbro Division said in a press release, "We’re taking Hasbro’s No. 1 family game brand and masterfully striking the balance of offering the classic Monopoly play experience and adding a spectacular new visual treatment as we bring the classic board to life with players walking the streets of Monopoly. Monopoly Streets will bring people together and connect families all over the world by offering online gameplay through their gaming consoles. We think this unique, combined offering will bring families together around the TV this holiday season for a classic family gaming tradition they’ll remember for years to come."

Monopoly was created in 1935 and has since sold over 275 million copies in 111 countries and 40 languages. The original game was based on the streets of Atlantic City and despite hundreds of different versions being created throughout the years, the classic continues to be the most popular.

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