Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hori Real Arcade Pro V3-SA

Hori Real Arcade Pro V3-SAIf you aren't familiar with the Japanese company known as Hori, then you must not be a hardcore fighting game fan. Hori is typically known for their Japanese arcade sticks which are usually imported for those gamers out there whose console controller doesn't quite work for them. Though Hori's main market is Japan they have released some of their arcade sticks, like the Arcade Pro 3 SA for the PS3 and the Real Arcade Pro EX for the 360, in the United States.

The latest stick to come out of Hori is the Real Arcade Pro V3-SA for the PS3. The problem is that it is only available in the US through export. The V3-SA has an attractive styling about it meant to compliment the design of the PlayStation 3. It has a matte black casing with all white buttons and some gray and red added in for additional coloring.

All the buttons as well as the four way joystick are Sanwa brand parts. This just means that they are arcade quality and come standard in Hori's high end products. The entire thing feels pretty solid due to a metal housing with hard plastic skirt. The V3-SA feels comfortable on a lap and, thanks to the rubber feet, it can be easily used on a table as well.

The V3-SA features a full PS3 layout including a PS button. In addition to that, there are independent turbo switches that have two speed settings for each buttons, a switch that allows you to switch between analog and d-pad control and a 9.8 foot built-in USB cable with storage department. The only controls that the S3-VA does not support is the L3 and R3 analog clicks as well as simultaneous use of both analog sticks or d-pad and analog stick.

The V3-SA is very responsive and the joystick features a clicking mechanism that you can feel and hear in all 8 directions which makes fighting combos a lot easier to pull off. Turbo switches work as you would expect allowing you to hold down a single button to perform repeated strikes.

Overall, the Real Arcade Pro V3-SA is a solid controller. It manages to include all the features you would expect from an actual arcade stick as well as attractive styling and solid construction. The controller is versatile across a wide variety of games and when compared to the Real Pro 3 SA model that is available in the US, the V3-SA is clearly better. Granted the average PS3 owner will have no use for a controller like this, but the ones that do will be very happy with this product.

You can order the Real Arcade Pro V3-SA from Hori's website for a price tag of around $150.

Source: Kotaku

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dive Without Leaving the House with Endless Ocean

Dive Without Leaving the House with Endless Ocean for Wii

Ever dreamed of diving into the ocean and swimming alongside sea creatures, but don't have the time money, or maybe you're just scared of sharks? Never fear! With the new Wii game, Endless Ocean: Blue World, you'll be going on a diving adventure right from your own living room.

The game, which will launch on February 22, 2010, and takes Nintendo's Endless Ocean series to a new level with new features and elements and hundreds of new marine animals and adventures.

You can play along with a "choose your own adventure" like story that involves Oceana, a girl who in on a mission to investigate the "Song of Dragons," just as her father, an ocean explorer, was before his death. Advance the story by exploring underwater environments.

If you'd rather not play the story, you can investigate various environments from around the globe and find out information about creatures of all sizes. You can also interact with some creatures. Train dolphins, send out pulsar waves to calm sharks and crocodiles, or heal sickly fish. You can even sell salvaged item and buy coral to attract new species to reefs.

Cammie Dunaway, Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Nintendo of America said in a statement, "Endless Ocean: Blue World gives Wii owners the chance to take a round-the-world vacation from the comfort of their living rooms. With exotic locations and hundreds of new marine animals to encounter, the game’s adventures are as vast as the ocean itself.”

The sequel to the original game, Endless Ocean: Blue World has enhanced graphics, more captivating creatures, and engaging story mode, and even an option to use the Wii Speak microphone to chat with other players who are online, playing the game via WiFi, making the game the ultimate social experience. Go on a cooperative dive with a friend from another country and talk while you do so.

The game is set to sell at $29.99 and comes bundled with the Wii Speak microphone.

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Project Runway for Wii Hits Stores Next Week

Project Runway Hits Stores Next Week
Last fall, we reported that Project Runway is Coming to the Wii, but there was no specific release date and details weren't exactly set in stone. Well, the wait is over, fashion fans! The game, modeled after the hit reality TV series, is coming to a store near you on March 2, 2010. Yep, just in time for Fashion Week. The game is being launched exclusively for the Wii.

If you're a fan of the show, the game is a must-have! In it, you'll become the aspiring fashion designer. Just like on the show, you'll create designs to meet an array of theme challenges, dress your model and fix her hair, make-up and accessories. After you play fashion designer, you can become the model. If you own a Wii Balance Board, you can use it to strut your stuff down the "runway."

In addition to the main challenges, the game features a number of other games and features. These include an interactive garment studio, a fashion career mode, hair and make-up studios, a Wii Balance Board-compatible catwalk game, and a feature that allows the player to take part in high-profile fashion shoots and take on the role of a fashion photographer.

The game will feature talent from the show, including Tim Gun, Nina Garcia, Micahel Kors, and of course, host Heidi Klum. It also features the top eight contestants from the show's sixth season, including winner Irina Shabayeva. The show, which airs on Lifetime, is currently in its seventh season. The game is being released by Atari.

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Friday, February 19, 2010

10 Great Wii Games for Family Night

10 Great Wii Games for Family Night

If you're bored with movies and looking for a fun activity for family night, maybe you should consider getting a Wii. Or maybe you already have a Wii but you're not sure how to make it fun for the whole family? Never fear! Here is a list of ten family-friendly games that are sure to keep everyone from 5 to 75 having family fun for hours. Each game is rated E for everyone and allows multi-player game-play.

1. Hasbro Family Game Night ($39.99) What family game night list would be complete without a game of the same name? This game was designed for social activities and offers you the Wii version of your favorite boardgames. Two to Four players can play, depending on the game, and you've got classics such as Battleship, Connect Four, Yahtzee, Boggle, and Sorry. There are some new twists on some old games as well. You can even decorate your own digital Wii living room.

2. Hasbro Family Game Night 2 ($39.99) The sequel to first game, this one offers even more fun as a virtual Mr. Potato Head hosts even more traditional games. Play Operation, Jenga, Bop-It, Connect 4x4 and Pictureka and collect pieces of the "Golden Potato" as you win. As you continue to win, you'll unlock new themes and the ability to customize your Mr. Potato Head host.

3. Wii Sports Resort ($49.99) Spend your family fun night on a tropical island where your Mii will take part in a wide range of sports and activities. Sword Play, Table Tennis, Bowling, Archery, Biking, and Power Cruising are just a few of the games you'll play. Throw a disc to an adorable little Mii-like dog or jump out of an airplane. There are tons of different activities to try! Some games require the Wii Motion Plus accessory.

4. Family Feud: 2010 Edition ($39.99) Just like the TV show, you'll try to come up with the most popular responses to survey questions! Customize your own characters and walk on to a realistic set. The game features text entry assistance, spell check, predictive text, and concept grouping so you get credit for a not-quite-right-but-close-enough answer.

5. Carnival Games ($29.99) If your family likes carnival games, you can spend endless hours in your living room playing them with this game! Test your strength and your aim, or try to soak an obnoxious loud mouth in the Dunk Tank. Play Lucky Cups, Nerves of Steel, Hoops, Day at the Races and more. There are 25 games to choose from! You can even learn your future at the Great Swami machine and win more than 250 prizes.

6. Monopoly ($29.99) If you think this Wii version is just like the capitalist board game, you're wrong. It's even better! The game combines the original version and the new World Edition of the game with all the virtual fun of video games. Play the old-fashioned way or play various mini games, either way, the whole family can trade properties and own hotels in this fun classic.

7. Monsters vs. Aliens ($39.99) A battle is about to erupt and the fate of the planet is in your hands as Dreamworks animations come to life on your TV. The characters, voiced by Reese Witherspoon, Will Arnett, Seth Rogan and Rainn Wilson are just like those in the movie, something that is sure to captivate your kids. Play as one of several monsters as you fight against the alien invaders, using unique powers. Explore locations from the film and beyond.

8. Mario Kart with Wii Wheel ($49.99) This game plays great with the new Wii Wheel that comes with it, or you can use the Wii Remote and Nunchuck for a more classic control style. Whichever way you decide to play, you'll explore brand new tracks and arenas, tour classic tracks, perform tricks such jumps, flips, and wheelies, and more! Also, you can play as one of the classic Nintendo characters or as your own personalized Mii.

9. Mario Party 8 ($49.99) There's always a party when Mario and friends are involved! Mario Party 8 features tons of new mini games. Shoot at Boos in a haunted house, punch a statue to pieces, enter a cake decorating competition, say the right answers in game show challenges and so much more!

10. EA Playground ($19.99) Ever wish you could return to the playground to play your favorite childhood games? Now you can! This game allows you to play dodgeball, tetherball, wall ball, kicks, slot car racing, paper racers, and dart shootout. Collect marbles and stickers, encounter the not-so-friendly playground bosses, and discover mini-games as you go!

Looking for a Projector Rental for your next big event? Then call 800-736-8772 today. Or check out our Refurbished BenQ MP522 Projectors as a great way to save.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Rock Band Delivering Hendrix and Green Day Experiences

Jimi Hendrix Guitar HeroGuitar Hero definitely set the tone for music-based games when it debuted in 2005 but it seems that Rock Band is taking it to the next level a lot faster than the Guitar Hero franchise, especially with all the single artist exclusive games its pumping out.

Rock Band already has an AC/DC Live exclusive game as well as the hugely successful The Beatles: Rock Band, which was one of the fastest selling music games ever. In light of the success of those games, developer Harmonix along with publisher EA have acquired the exclusive rights to create Green day: Rock Band.

Now this title was revealed back at the Spike TV Video Game Awards not too long ago with the members of the band revealing to the public plans for a Green Day themed Rock Band game set for release in November of 2010. The game will feature songs recounting all the years of the band's history as well as the bands favorite venues and imagery. The game will play just like all of the other Rock Band games allowing gamers to play either the guitar, bass, drums or vocals.

Now what may come as a surprise to many of you is that EA and Harmonix may also be releasing a Jimi Hendrix themed Rock Band game as well. According to the stepsister of Hendrix, a Hendrix: Rock Band could be hitting store shelves by years end. In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Janie Hendrix revealed the mystery project set to be released sometime this year.

If there is anybody out there that deserves a standalone music game like Rock Band its Hendrix. However, it seems kind of strange that EA and Harmonix would release two single-artist games in the same year. It seems more likely that the Hendrix game would be a very large track pack DLC or that the actual game, if it exists, would be released in 2011. On the other hand, this is the 40th anniversary of Hendrix's death so, from a promotional standpoint, releasing a Hendrix game now would be a logical move.

But things are never as they seem. Guns-n-Rose's guitarist Slash speculated to Rolling Stones Magazine in 2008 that a Hendrix-themed Guitar Hero game was already in the works following the Guitar Hero exclusives Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, Guitar Hero: Van Halen and Guitar Hero: Metallica. Is it possible that Janie Hendrix is confusing Rock Band with Guitar Hero? Yep. Plus, Hendrix's character has already been featured in Guitar Hero: World Tour so the modeling is already there. Until concrete proof arises, however, all we can do is speculate.

Source: G4TV

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Friday, February 12, 2010

New Fable 3 Details

FableFable 3, the highly anticipated sequel to Peter Molyneux's huge hit Fable 2, was announced last fall at the GamesCom Convention over in Germany. Since the announcement of this game, as well as the announcement of Project Natal, there has been a lot of industry clammer about the use of Natal in Fable 3. But, as described at GamesCom, the use of Natal in the game is "yet-to-be-decided".

But enough about what we don't know and on to what we do. You lead character in Fable 3 is not your character from the previous game but is you character from the previous games 18-year old son. Again, Albion is ruled by an evil tyrant and your goal is, like always, to dethrone said evil tyrant and take over. The demo showed off at GamesCom had multiple parts to it.

The demo showcased some of the new gameplay mechanics we will be seeing in Fable 3. The first concept, and probably most important to Molyneux, was the "touch" concept. This concept was shown by having your character hold hands with an NPC and lead them around the town of Bowerstone. The demo gave us two examples of how the touch concept worked. The first was finding your daughter and taking her home to your pissed off wife. When you find your daughter and begin to take her home, she will notice certain things, like when you walk to close to the pub. She will then remind you of how your wife doesn't like how often you go there.

The second example of the touch concept cones in the story of a down-on-his-luck bum and getting him back on his feet. The bum thinks you are going to help him to a shelter but freaks out when he realizes you are taking him to the factory to be sold as a slave. Molyneux also said that the touch concept would carry over into two player co-op allowing you to hold hands with your friend as you merrily skip through the streets admiring what you have done.

The second new mechanic showcased comes as a significant change from previous Fable games. Molyneux is throwing in some pretty serious action-RPG mechanics. More specifically the game will have on-screen indicators, more traditional weapon upgrades and leveling up through experience. To be more specific, in stead of a health bar, your camera warps and blurs ala Modern Warfare 2. The weapons system is different. Instead of having to upgrade your weapons, the weapons upgrade themselves in both appearance and power based on how you use them. For example, kill a certain enemy a lot with one gun and the color and texture will change. The more kills you rack up with a weapon, the bigger and cooler it will look. The glow emanating from the weapon will also change depending on the guilt or innocence of your victims. Your leveling up and experience has been replaced by a "followers" concept. You gain or lose followers based on your in-game decisions.

During GamesCom, Molyneux discussed the idea of revolution and maintaining rule. During the first half of the game, your character is tasked with gathering followers and leading a rebellion to overthrow the evil tyrant leader and assume the role as the new leader of Albion. The second half of the game, however, deals with the ramifications of how exactly you acquired the role of leader and the responsibilities that come with the title. When this happens the game, thankfully, does not change too dramatically. Your character will still be able to go out and complete quests but there are two new gameplay mechanics that get introduced. The first is the ability to make judgments that affect the citizenry of the land. The second is a secret. Molyneux did say that he would reveal what the second mechanic is at the upcoming Game Developers Conference.

when questioned whether or not the game would continue when you became king, Molyneux was only willing to say that there would be consequences and debts that must be take into consideration that are related to your rise to power. Needless to say fans of the first games will definitely want to get there hands on this one. Too bad you are going to have to wait until, literally, the very last day of the year to get it.

Source: G4TV

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Monday, February 8, 2010

BioShock 2

BioShock 2Way back in a far away time known as 2007, Irrational Games drove gamers into a twisted nightmare known as Rapture, the philosophy-riddled Utopian society gone mad which was the setting for one of the greatest and most innovative games ever, BioShock. The new take on the first-person shooter genre was an instant hit with gamers but it was the world itself that kept you involved and hooked.

Well nearly two and a half years later, irrational Games is taking us back to Rapture thrusting gamers into a story that takes place nearly ten years after the events of the first game with a new main character, a new villain and a whole slew of new and terrifying enemies.

Rapture is now under the control of anti-individualist ideologue Dr. Sophia Lamb, the woman who played a min role in sparking the civil war that ripped Rapture apart. The player takes control of "Subject Delta", the very first "Big Daddy". If you played the first game then you know that the Big Daddies were formidable foes and the only ones you ran away from in the game. The main difference with being the first Big Daddy is that in addition to having all the benefits of the original foes, you also have the ability to use plasmids to enhance your combat capabilities.

To describe the plot in a nutshell, you are Subject Delta and after being separated from your Little Sister (the creepy girls with needles from BS 1) Elenore you awaken from a coma that you have been in for 10 years. You are then tasked with reconnecting with Elenore in order to save her, yourself and rapture from the evil Dr. Lamb.

The cast of characters is not as vast as it was in the first game. BioShock provided a gripping story through the characters of Andrew Ryan, Atlas/Fontaine, Tenenbaum and others. But even though the character number in BioShock 2 is lacking, the incredible voice acting that was displayed in the first game is still in full swing and some familiar voices from the first game will definitely bring back fond memories to fans of the first game.

The main thing developers try to do with a sequel is improve on the gameplay mechanics that didn't sit well with fans of the previous game and 2K Marine does just that. One of the best additions is the ability to duel wield Plasmids and weapons instead of having to quickly switch between each. It adds a great sense of real time variety to the fights you encounter. Another improvement is the exclusion of the hacking mini-game and the inclusion of a new hacking device that allows you to remotely hack devices while still engaging in a fight. In the first game players could use a camera to snap pictures of enemies which gave them research points, providing advantages in battle. The only problem was that you had to continuously collect film for your camera. In BioShock 2, you have access to a movie camera with unlimited film which also helps in keeping the game moving.

The enemies have received a redesign as well. The new enemies keep you from having total control in a fight which adds a new tension to the combat. When you set a Little Sister down to harvest Adam in this game, enemies come out of the woodwork requiring you to protect the little sister while simultaneously fending off multiple threats. Take that aspect and add in huge tank splicers, other Big Daddies and wall-crawling spider splicers and you have one hell of a combination on your hands.

One of the biggest things that had fans talking about BioShock 2 was the addition of a brand new multiplayer mode. This mode will not appeal to all gamers but the goo news is that it was developed by a completely separate team than the main story and in no way does it feel like a cheap add-on. The multiplayer takes place during the heart of Rapture's civil war and also serves as a narrative in explaining the plot and world of Rapture.

There are six modes in the multiplayer: Capture the Sister, which is capture the flag with a Little Sister instead of a flag. Survival of the Fittest, which is a free-for-all mode. Civil War, a team death match game. Last Splicer Standing, similar to free-for-all but without respawns. ADAM Grab, one player must control a Little Sister and harvest as much Adam as possible. Team ADAM Grab, ADAM Grab with a team. And finally Turf War, a king-of-the-hill style game. BioShock's interesting combat of weaponry mixed with Plasmids makes for an intense, crazy and unique multiplayer but not one that can compare with traditional online shooters. Still, if you love the game then you should try out the multiplayer.

BioShock 2 is a terrifying and intense game that has, like all sequels, its step-ups and step-downs from the first game. The innovations to the combat are great and add so much to the overall flow of the game but some players may find the narrative to be lacking compared to the first game. Overall BioShock 2 is a must play, especially for anybody who loved the first game.

BioShock 2 will be available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Windows February 9th, 2010.

Source: IGN

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Saturday, February 6, 2010

10 Wii Games for Animal Lovers

Wii Games for Animal Lovers

A few days ago, I decided to take on extending my Wii library. After all, one can only play so much Sports Resort. The Wii aisle at Best Buy was so crowded and confusing and I didn't have time to pick through every game, nor did I want to make a hasty investment in something that may or may not interest me. So, I asked some friends, but it seemed like the girls could only suggest workout "games," such as Wii Fit and the guys could only come up with those Call of Modern Warfare-type games or whatever they're called; neither of which I was interested in. Finally, figuring the Wii must have actual games that won't require me to do squats or kill someone (figuratively, of course), I took matters into my own hands and I found that it does, indeed. There are all sorts of games that you have more-than-likely never heard of. Today, I'll take a look at games that are perfect for animal lovers. If you've ever dreamed of running a zoo or going on an African safari, among other things, there's a Wii game for that!

1. World of Zoo ($29.99) With the World of Zoo, you can build you own personal zoo and fill it with over 90 different animals, in addition to unique animals that you can create with the Animal Creator tool. You'll also attempt to build relationships with your animals and earn their trust by taking care of them and seeing to their needs. This game is educational - National Geographic fact cards fill your head with knowledge - and fun! Take a break from your zoo to play various mini-games and work to unlock new items as you complete various tasks.

2. SimAnimals ($29.99) Become Mother Nature in this simulation game, as the forest is yours to control. You'll find all sorts of wild creatures and plants, such as bears, deer, squirrels, owls, badgers, flowers, and trees, who are depending on you for their survival. Interact with the animals, move them around, and accommodate their needs. Keep them fed, happy, and away from predators and you'll unlock new levels, which include woodlands, swamps, and castle ruins.

3. Animal Crossing: City Folk ($49.99) This game is all about cultivating and maintaining relationships with your neighbors, but animals are just as important as humans. Time moves at a realistic pace, allowing you to experience everything from seasons to holidays. Take part in whatever activities your heart desires, but don't forget to work on those friendships with animals and neighbors. Design clothing for animals to wear or give gifts. You can hunt for eggs or go trick-or-treating, collect bugs and art, get a Mii makeover, and even compose letters and post on the bulletin board, as you play with people from all over the world.

4. SimAnimals: Africa ($29.99) Take the forest fun from SimAnimals to Africa! This time you'll rule the world of elephants, gorillas, zebras, lions, rhinos, and hippos, each animal with its own personality and abilities. Move your animals through savannahs, jungles, river deltas, and volcanic deserts to suit their needs and help them survive. You can even customize the and. Find new items, earn badges, find new lands and complete challenges to earn the ability to play as a baby or full-grown version of each animal. If you've ever wanted to go on an African safari, but just don't have the time or the money, $30.00 gets you there via your Wii...well, close enough!

5. Jambo! Safari Animal Rescue ($39.99) If you're not into SimAnimals, this game may be your cup of tea. You're the park ranger in Jambo! Safari Animal Rescue! Rescue, diagnose and take care of over 40 different species of sick animals. Keep them healthy and happy, return them to the wild and complete exciting missions. You'll go on daring animal rescue trips through the mountains, grasslands, and riverbanks of Africa, as well as take wildlife photos, and go on some off-road travel excursions. You can even customize characters and outfits.

6. Endless Ocean: Blue World ($29.99) If sea creatures are your thing, this is the game for you. It won't be released until March, but ocean-lovers are already anticipating the game's arrival. You'll be given a chance to explore the ocean, diving with real-life species such as whales, dolphins, seahorses, and various fish, and monitor the creatures' heath while attempting to help them. You can follow a storyline if you please or befriend a dolphin who can do tricks and swim alongside you. You can even connect your Wii to a Wi-Fi and play with your friends.

While most of the games mentioned above are rated E for everyone and are sure to bring lots of family fun, the games below are aimed specifically at younger children and would make great gifts for your young animal lovers.

1. My Horse and Me ($19.99) At some point in every little girl's life, she wants a horse and while the real thing may not be a possibility, a virtual one most certainly is. With My Horse and Me, you can ride and care for your very own horse. Take part in competitions around the globe, from rustic stables to fancy riding schools. Your horse is very lifelike and will need to be fed and groomed. Practice moves for upcoming competitions and eventually find yourself in the official leagues. And of course, there are a few fun mini games available when caring for your mare or stallion has lost its fun.

2. Littlest Pet Shop Friends ($29.99) The Littlest Pet Shop is one of the most popular toys, but now your kids can take care of these cuddly pets virtually. There's gonna be a pet party at the pet shop and you are invited! Meet new pets with lots of personality, including the Ladybug, Great Dane, Collie, and Peacock. There are lots of mini games to play, towns to explore with your pets, party invitations to be delivered and treats to be served. Play alone or play with a friend, dress your pets up with lots of fun accessories, and most importantly, have fun!

3. Puppy Luv ($19.99) If your little one wants a puppy but you aren't looking forward to cleaning up accidents and losing your favorite shoes to sharp little teeth, then this might be the game for your house! In Puppy Luv, players can feed, groom, and train their very own virtual puppies just like in real life. Take your dog in eight different areas around your home to play ball, take a walk, or teach it twelve different tricks. You can also travel to the store to buy rewards and supplies for your puppy. Dress your pup is over 27,000 various accessories and even brush or bathe it with just your Wii remote! Includes popular breeds such as Dalmatians, German Shepherds, Beagles and Golden Retrievers.

4. Petz Crazy Monkeyz ($19.99) If your child is a little more creative in the pet department, maybe they've always dreamed of having their own monkey. This game allows you to do not only that, but to own a whole family of monkeys...or Monkeyz. Choose from various breeds, from squirrel monkeys to gorillas, and let them start their own monkey family. You're responsible for their well-being, rewards, discipline, and overall happiness. Train them to do tricks, encourage them to bond and watch your family grow to up to ten at a time!

Looking for a Projector Rental for your next big event? Then call 800-736-8772 today. Or check out our Refurbished BenQ MP522 Projectors as a great way to save.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Original Xbox Gettting Cut from Live

Xbox LiveWe all knew this day would come. Back in the subscripts of our minds we feared that Microsoft would one day finally pull the plug on our original Xbox Live gaming and the orders for termination have been delivered.

According to some, the original Xbox games and systems have been the sole cause holding back a lot of new XBL features, some of which include raising the cap on your friends list and mobile tie-ins.

What is happening is that any original Xbox console connected to Xbox Live will be permanently disconnected from Live. But the original Xbox hating doesn't stop there. Microsoft is even going as far as to discontinue Xbox Live for any and all original Xbox games still being played on Live. That includes any original Xbox games downloaded onto your 360 or being played on your 360 via backwards compatibility.

In a statement from Marc Whitten, GM of Xbox Live, "On April 15, we will discontinue the Xbox LIVE service for the original Xbox consoles and games, including Xbox v1 games playable on Xbox 360 and Xbox Originals. This isn't a decision we made lightly, but after careful consideration, it is clear this will provide the greatest benefit to the Xbox LIVE community."

Whitten also said that "As we look down the road, we'll continue to evolve the service with features and experiences that harness the full power of Xbox 360. To reach our aspiration, we need to make changes to the service that are incompatible with our original Xbox v1 games." But Whitten and the Live people do not plan to cut off the faithful Xbox v1 gamers with no compensation. Whitten says that he "views you as partners" and went on to say "I encourage you to check your LIVE messages and associated e-mail account over the coming weeks for more details and opportunities."

What this could me for the ones out there still clinging to Halo 2 and games of that sort is till unclear. Maybe it means a coupon or some free XBL months or content but nevertheless it is good to see Microsoft taking an interest in the original Xbox gamers out there. This announcement comes to us just a few days before the X10 event taking place February 11th in San Fransisco which, I don't think, is a coincidence. I am positive we will find out most of the details by then so check back here for updates.

Source: IGN

Looking for a Projector Rental for your next big event? Then call 800-736-8772 today. Or check out our Refurbished BenQ MP522 Projectors as a great way to save.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

MAG - Massive Action Game

MAGMAG is, without a doubt, the biggest shooter to ever hit the PS3 ans it has finally arrived to the wanting public. MAG, or Massive Action Game, is a team based shooter that promises to deliver online play on a scale unheard of to any console game. But is what the game promises enough to pull people away from Modern Warfare 2?

The game's story line takes place in the year 2035 where the world as we know it has devolved into an arena for three different paramilitary corporations that engage in global battles in the name of "world peace". Players can choose from three different factions. The first is Valor, which is primarily North American forces. Then there is Raven, a latte-sipping European force with high-tech weapons and finally there is S.V.E.R which is comprised of the former Warsaw Pact nations as well as the Middle east.

Being a semi-futuristic game, most of the weaponry is still familiar with assault rifles, SMGs and rocket launchers. Most guns are not licensed which means your gun may look, feel and act like an AK-47 but run under the name of an AK-12. When you first start off you are only allowed to use the most basic weapons just as you do in MW2 with more advanced weapons being unlocked as you gain notoriety in your faction.

As you level up you earn points by gaining one point per level gained. Minor skill upgrades, like longer grenade tosses, only cost you one point whereas most weapons attachments (grips, sights, etc...) cost two with new weapons costing you three points or more. You can unlock whatever you want whenever you want to providing you have the points and you can even reset your points every 10 levels. Just like in MW2, weapons and equipment can be added to one of 5 loadout templates that can be switched during respawn times. Each of your loadouts consists of one primary weapon, one sidearm and then can be upgraded with rocket launchers, explosives repair kits and tons of other niffty items.

MAG focuses it's experience rewards on teamwork by doing things like giving you twice as much XP for reviving a downed teammate as you would earn from killing an enemy. Unlike in MW2 your health does not regenerate so medkits are very very important. This adds a whole new mechanic to the online play. Instead of insulting your teammates for sucking you will need to ask for help and thank them for helping you which, as many of us know, is something you hardly ever hear in an online shooter.

The maps in MAG are massive (as the title hints to) and there are objectives everywhere which means a lot of things are going to be happening at once making the channeling of troops difficult. This is where the game's squad leaders come into play. Each game has players split into 8 squads with each squad being split into platoons making up the offensive or defensive forces. At each level, a leader is assigned (i.e. Squad Leader, Platoon Leader or Officer in Charge (OIC)). Squad leaders have the ability to call in air strikes or artillery, set up waypoints or provide directives called FRAGOs which consist of things like protecting or destroying buildings or objects. If players obey the squad leader's commands then they will receive bonus experience. If you ignore them, which most players will tend to do at first, you won't lose any xp, just the fight.

Platoon Leaders and OICs can not assign FRAGOs but are capable of applying physical bonuses to nearby troops. By doing this the Platoon Leaders and OICs can receive things like UAVs, scatter bombs or bunker-busting ammo. But again none of that stuff matters in the game when people do not listen to their Squad Leaders and people just do not like working together in online shooters. The way a person becomes a leader is also somewhat flawed. The position of Squad Commander is unlocked when the player reaches level 15 but in order to advance to positions like platoon leader and OIC you need to earn leadership points by actually leading your troops which is hard in a genre where nobody listens to anybody. The choosing of a leader where multiple people are eligible is completely random and it may take you a long time before you get to take control. Add this to leaders without microphones or ones who only complain about their team and you are in a no win situation.

Now when the developers entitled this game Massive Action Game they meant it. MAG supports insane 256-player matches and there were questions as to whether or not the PS3's infrastructure could handle it. Well MAG handles it pretty well. There is some lag in the gameplay but no more than you would expect in any other shooter. The network code for MAG is solid but the rest of the game is a bit weak. At its absolute worst the game can feel like a tech demo and there is also a complete lack of a single-player campaign as well as any useful training. The game also has repetitive character models, bland atmospheres and generic sound effects making the game lack a certain personality that other games, like MW2, seem to have.

MAG stands for Massive Action Game which is exactly what it is and which is the sole biggest strength and sole biggest weakness of the game. The lack of a tutorial makes for a steep, experience only learning curve, the weapons need more variety and the graphics resemble something that we may have seen at the launch of the PS3. Despite these issues the game can be really fun or really bad depending on the community you are playing in. If you can get yourself on a team with competent teammates and a leader that knows what he is doing then you will have a truly unique and enjoyable experience. This PS3 exclusive is available now.

Source: G4TV

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