Here is the 2nd trailer for “her”, one of my most anticipated films, directed by Spike Jonze.
Here is the 2nd trailer for “her”, one of my most anticipated films, directed by Spike Jonze.
COSPLAY UPDATE: My jacket for my Infamous: Second Son Cosplay is finished, what do you guys think?
Got these games last night!
Yesterday I posted an overview of the next-gen consoles, the pro’s and cons and all that jazz. In my overview of the PS4, I mentioned that my console, like many others at the time, was delivered to me DOA, if that wasn’t nightmarish enough, I’ve not only had to deal with a broken console, but I’ve also had to deal with a website that I regularly trust for all my shopping needs, Amazon. Tomorrow will officially be one week and a week that I can wholeheartedly say was one of my worst weeks ever, here’s why:
So Friday, I plugged in the console and got the “Blinking Blue Light of Death” after waiting 90 minutes on hold from Sony, I hung up at around 8:00 as the call center had been closed by then. In a fit of fury, I chose to return the console back to Amazon for a full refund, not given any other option since Amazon didn’t send replacement units at the time and the rumors of 6 week repairs from Sony plagued the internet.
Saturday I shipped the console out via UPS, I came out of it with a clear conscious and a broken heart, a console that I had pre-ordered all the way back in June, I was sending back in it’s own personal coffin. However, the story doesn’t end there.
Monday, I found out about Amazon’s newest “exchange program” regarding defective PS4’s, it basically stated that if I had a broken PS4, I could send it back to Amazon and receive a replacement unit in a matter of days. I jumped on the opportunity, however, this would be harder than I originally thought. At the time, 95% of the call service representatives had no idea about this exchange program and thus I was given the typical work around, they didn’t have any replacement consoles, they could only give me a refund. But I persisted, the 2nd time I was told by a manager that I’d be put on a list for a replacement PS4 and I’d be emailed and notified when it’d ship, only that never happened.
The following evening, I live chatted with a representative for a third time, I asked him about the status of my replacement, he said that there was no replacement status of any kind. Angrily I sent him a transcript of the past conversations, I wanted a replacement PS4 as soon as possible. He agreed to put a note on my account for a replacement unit.
On the 19th, with no word on a replacement unit and no change to my status on my defective PS4 from refund to replacement. I live chatted with another representative, again, she said that there were no replacement units in stock and therefore I couldn’t qualify for a replacement. I sent her a link to a website that had an article about the exchange program, her tune quickly changed and I was told that a replacement unit would be shipped out immediately and I would receive it on Thursday. Finally, I’d be getting a replacement unit without any problems, or so I thought.
Wednesday, I checked my orders and found not one but two replacement orders for my PS4, the one that I made on Tuesday and another that had been made on Wednesday without my knowledge. I once again chatted with another representative and told me that she would stop the delivery of the other PS4 replacement unit. However, the replacement unit I requested was still on track, or so I thought.
Which brings me to Thursday, or today (at the time of this post) I tracked the status of my replacement unit and found that there had been no progress beyond the initialization of the shipment. I called FedEx and they told me that the console hadn’t left the carrier facility (which was in Tennessee, I live in Oregon), although the estimated delivery was still today at 4:30pm. I then called Amazon, who assured me that the package would be delivered on time today. Finally, at around 1:20pm PST, my PS4 replacement unit was finally in transit for delivery, only it was coming from Memphis, TN and it was due to be delivered in less than 3 hours. Now, I’m no mathematician, but unless FedEx has a super fast jet for all their deliveries, I don’t think I’ll be receiving my replacement unit like I had originally planned.
In total, since Monday I have contacted Amazon over 6 times about the replacement unit and have contacted FedEx once. Do I regret not sending the console to Sony? Yes, absolutely. Am I mad at Amazon, no, that’d just be silly, they’re only doing their jobs. Am I stressed out beyond belief that Sony would send out broken consoles on launch day and that I haven’t received a replacement unit from Amazon even though I’ve been requesting one since Monday? Hell yes.
Call it a string of bad luck, call it a consequence of purchasing a console at launch, however, until I officially have a replacement unit in my hands, I can safely say that this has been one of the most stressful, frustrating and one of my worst weeks ever.
Please don’t charge your 3DS like this ⊟
That thing looks so close to breaking from the charge cable and falling to its doom. And then what will you play Pokemon or the new Zelda on?
Ry-Spirit explains, “God knows why theres a wall socket that’s so freakin high in this hotel room. Anyway I had to use it. No choice.” But isn’t that another outlet near the baseboard?! I presume the one up there is typically used for some kind of light fixture — even with the chair, how the hell did he reach up that high to plug in the charger?
Seriously, this is freaking me out. Don’t do this.BUY Nintendo 2DS and 3DS/XL consoles, upcoming games
Okay seriously why would you ever do this? Even if you had no other choice, seriously man you’re on vacation, enjoy yourself.
The release of the Xbox One is two days away and I think it’s time to kind of chime in as to what’s going on in the next generation of gaming. Keep in mind that this is an overview of all the consoles, treating each with a fair and concise opinion with no bias or prejudice whatsoever. Let’s begin.
The Wii U came out last year and while many people don’t consider this console as next-gen, you’d be surprised at how underrated this system truly is. The Wii U supports all its games in 1080p and with 60 FPS, the graphics are absolutely stunning on the Wii U, despite its relatively lower graphical specifications compared to its competitors. All things considered, while it may not have the graphical prowess of the PS4 or Xbox One, it makes this up with it’s innovation and approach to the kind of experience it wishes to give it’s players.
Firstly, lets talk about the controller, the Wii U sports a tablet-like controller called the GamePad, complete with a stylus. This controller allows for asymmetrical play as well as Off-Screen TV play, so you can play your games even when the television is in use. I’ve had a lot of fun with this feature and I’ve spent many nights relaxing on my couch while watching a Netflix movie or playing a game on the Gamepad. The technology simply works and it truly feels like a next-gen experience to be able to play console quality games even when you’re not using the television.
It also sports its own social network known as Miiverse, which allows communication between other Wii U owners in “communities” which are basically forums dedicated to every new game release, as well as a discussion of a series in general, such as Super Smash Bros. and The Legend of Zelda. You can either post a text message or a hand drawn message using the Gamepad’s stylus. This feature in particular has sparked a creative movement in the community and I’ve seen some fantastic hand-drawn art on these communities by people who fully utilize the Gamepad’s functionality.
Nintendo is making a seamless transition into the internet age with their online features, Nintendo Network ID permanently eliminates friend codes, games are released on its digital shop (or “eshop”) on Day 1 and if you run out of space in your digital library, the console itself supports External Harddrives, allowing up to 2TB of Memory, something that neither the Xbox One nor PS4 support at the time of this post.
Apart from these features, there is also backwards compatibility with Wii games and Wii controllers, the only next-generation console to support this. There is also a feature called Nintendo TVii which much like the Xbox One, allows you to use your Gamepad as a universal remote and allows you to watch TV using the Wii U’s functionality.
With its remarkable first party lineup, a year’s library of games ahead of it’s competition and more stellar games to come this holiday season, don’t disregard the Wii U just yet, because while it lacks the sheer power of it’s competition, it shines in accessibility, innovation and most importantly, fun.
The PS4 is the next in Sony’s Playstation line and while its launch had a rocky start (>1% of owners received bricked consoles, including myself) the 99% unanimously agree that this is a console made for gamers. 8 GB GDDR5 RAM, along with an x86 AMD 8 core processor and 1.84 TeraFLOPs GPU, make this console a force to be reckoned with in performance. However, despite what others may claim in regards to what is considered “next-gen”, graphics alone do not warrant a purchase, part of the charm of a console is not only its features, but it’s games as well.
First let’s talk about features, The PS4’s biggest focus is one the ability to share content with your friends, whether it’s screenshots or even video. The PS4’s DVR captures up to 15 minutes of gameplay and allows the sharing and capturing of both audio and video to Facebook and Twitter. However, the biggest draw for gamers is unanimously its streaming capabilities. With support for UStream and Twitch streaming on Day 1, anyone with a controller and a console can share their skills (for better or worse) with the entire world.
Much like the Wii U, you can play PS4 games off-screen using Sony’s Playstation Vita. The transition between console and handheld is supposedly seamless and it looks and plays phenomenally.
You also have the ability to play games as you download, download games remotely to the console even when you’re not at home and you can also access your PSN account from Multiple Consoles. Which brings me to another big draw of the PS4, its PS+ service. This time around, PS+ is now required for online play, but don’t raise your pitchforks just yet, besides the ability to play online, you’re also getting free games every month thanks to its Instant Game Collection feature, as well as Automatic Game Updates and PS+ Members-Only Discounts, besides that, everything else is completely free.
That’s right, you can use streaming video services such as Netflix for free, you can stream from your console for free, you can record gameplay and take screenshots for free and everything that you can do online, you’ll be able to without paying a single cent. However, in this case, why wouldn’t you? For only $50 a year, you’re getting free games everything month, the ability to play online, cloud storage and discounts on the PSN Store. That is a steal and unlike Xbox Live, it doesn’t let you miss out on a majority of it’s online features.
Many would also argue that the controller is another important part of a console and the Dualshock 4 doesn’t disappoint, it’s comfortable, it’s responsive and most of all, it just feels right in your hands. The triggers are more responsive, the thumbsticks are easier to grip and use and the inclusion of a touchpad onto the controller doesn’t feel invasive and its presence is welcoming, rather than a distraction. This is simply one of the best controllers that Sony has ever produced.
As for the games themselves, there are only two first party launch titles, Knack and Killzone Shadow Fall, along with a vast lineup of third party games. While the lineup of games isn’t as strong as it could be (DriveClub and Watch_Dogs were scheduled for launch, but were unfortunately delayed till next year), the inclusion of fantastic titles such as Resogun and Contrast, available for PS+ members for free, more than makes up for it. Hell, Resogun alone is one of the best reviewed games on the console and it’s simply beautiful to look at.
The PS4 also sports a Playstation Camera, while not included in the box, it’s quite interesting and although not as powerful as the Kinect, still does what it’s supposed to do. You can use it for facial recognition, voice commands, video capture during streaming etc. However, the only game able to use the camera for anything at this point is “The Playroom” which comes free with the PS4, this is simply nothing more than a tech demo, but it works and through this game, you can see how much potential the camera has. It’ll be interesting to see what the camera can be used for in the future, if it’s used at all.
The UI is also more simplistic than the PS3’s, simple, seamless and most importantly, fast. Transitioning from game to menu and back again is almost instantaneous, it really makes you feel like you’re playing a next-generation console due to how everything feels blazing fast and responsive. At the time of this post, there’s no way to customize the UI in anyway, however, that remains to be seen.
The PS4 fixes everything that was wrong about the PS3 at launch and while it isn’t a major step up from it’s predecessors, the amount of potential presented in it’s hardware and features, along with the impending release of first party titles such as Infamous: Second Son, DriveClub, The Order: 1886 and many more, await the console in it’s future. This is simply a console that has a lot of potential to grow and I look forward to seeing how far this console can go.
Microsoft’s multimedia monster or The Xbox One is the last console to be released and it has been quite a journey for this behemoth of a machine. Originally, the console itself was sporting an Always-Online requirement, didn’t allow the use of used games without jumping over hoops and hurdles and the Kinect 2.0 was always required to be plugged in, no matter what. It also didn’t help that Microsoft seemed to focus more on its ability to watch television than its ability to actually play games. Simply put, this machine was a PR disaster and was slaughtered at E3 by critics and companies alike.
Thankfully, the power of the players shook Microsoft to its core, the overwhelmingly negative response of the console’s features made Microsoft go back to the drawing board and it’s a surprise that the console was still able to make its November 22nd launch date at all. Reflecting back on the journey of the Xbox One, it’s easy to disregard the machine as a shell of it’s former self, however, what the Xbox One does right, it does right.
For example, the integration of television is seamless, the ability to transition from game to TV and back again is as easy as a simple voice command. Simply put, the console is a multi-tasking genius, able to function as not only a game console, but as a centerpiece for your living room.
However, on the graphical side, it’s in the middle, sporting 8GB of DDR3 RAM, a custom made 8 core CPU and 1.31 TFlops of GPU. Making it not as powerful as the PS4 graphically, but superior to the Wii U graphically. Again, graphics aren’t everything, I’m simply going over these specifications so that those that are focused on graphics can see what each system has to offer.
One of the most unique features of the console besides its TV integration is its HDMI Input, that’s right, the console not only has an output but an input as well. This can be used on almost anything that supports an HDMI cable, everything from a television to a computer to another console entirely. The ability to access your content all in one place is remarkable and hopefully is as easy as it sounds when the console itself is released.
Much like the PS4, the Xbox One also sports a Game DVR, although it’s limited in its recording time, clocking in at only 5 minutes. However, the ability to share screenshots is still there as well and as far as I know, uploading gameplay to YouTube is supposedly exclusive to Xbox One as well, however streaming through Twitch will not be available at launch.
Unfortunately, most of these features, whether it’s the Game DVR, streaming video services, party chat etc. is behind the Xbox Live Gold paywall. Unlike PS+, Microsoft’s console feels 50% complete when you’re not subscribed to its online service, It’s unfortunate and can ultimately play a big factor for consumers who simply want more for less.
I’m not going to lie when I say that the Xbox 360 controller was probably the best of the previous generation and the Xbox One controller doesn’t disappoint, if anything, it improves on what already works, integrating pressure triggers and a more comfortable feel. It doesn’t innovate anything as much as the Dualshock 4 does, but when something isn’t broken, why fix it?
The launch lineup for the Xbox One is stronger than the PS4’s, sporting more exclusive titles than it’s competitor, the most anticipated being Dead Rising 3, Ryse: Son of Rome and Forza Motorsport 5. Early adopters will breath a sigh of relief when they realize how much they truly have in terms of it’s game library at launch. Xbox One also supports a great third party library as well, in the games department, Xbox One is the leader of the pack and it’ll be interesting to see what else they have up their sleeve in the future.
Lastly, I’d like to talk about the Kinect. Admittedly, I wasn’t a fan of the Xbox 360’s Kinect and I felt that Microsoft’s somewhat unhealthy obsession with trying to market this camera to consumers was unjustly. At around a $100 price range, I certainly didn’t have any incentive to rush out and buy one. However, when it worked, it worked and I enjoyed the idea of being able to tell my Xbox what to do.
The Kinect 2.0 improves on its predecessor vastly, with more focus towards its motion control functionality, according to Microsoft it’ll even be able to track the movement of fingers, whether that’s true or not remains to be seen. Much like the PS4, The Kinect 2.0 can be used for voice commands, facial recognition etc. However, the remarkable similarities to Window 8’s UI in the Xbox One’s UI, makes the Kinect’s voice commands almost feel necessary and at times, tedious.
You have to be direct to your Kinect, if you want to play a specific title, you’ll have to say the title in full, including subtext. If you want to turn the console off, you have to say Xbox Turn Off and then confirm the selection, this is much more complex than turning on the console which is as simple as saying Xbox On. The point I’m trying to make is, while the Kinect’s voice commands are cool, it’s ultimately primitive. Unlike Apple’s Siri, everything you say feels forced and contrived, it likes giving commands to your dog and that’s not how voice commands should be, then again, I never thought that voice commands were a necessity to begin with.
Luckily, you can unplug the Kinect if you ultimately get tired of it, however, despite the console no longer making it a necessity, the UI looks and feels like it was built with the Kinect’s Voice Commands in mind and that’s unfortunate for those who would prefer to do things manually through a controller.
The Xbox One is a different beast than it was months ago and admittedly, I’m more impressed with The Xbox One than I was at its announcement, the features that work, work seamlessly and with little effort. However, I can’t help but feel that it doesn’t really innovate anything apart from its TV integration. If I walked into a room twice in one day and you were playing a Xbox 360 and Xbox One, I probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference apart from the graphical capabilities.
The Xbox One is not a terrible console by any means, reflecting back on the features of its former self, it would’ve been very interesting to see how the critical reception of the console would’ve gone if it hadn’t changed any of it’s original features. Ultimately, it feels like an Xbox 360.5 rather than its own entity, hopefully over the next few years of its lifespan, Microsoft will update and improve on the console’s capabilities and really show what makes the Xbox One truly unique from its competitors.
I hope that this piece allowed you to grab a better perspective of how each console performs, as well as it’s pro’s and con’s and I wish you all a very happy gaming holiday season.
All aboard the Bowser Train ⊟
Bowser Car’s time in the spotlight is over, before Super Mario 3D World is even out. It’s all about that Bowser Train now. But even that faces competition from the Bullet Bill Train, and its accompanying giant cat Bullet Bill.
This game.PREORDER Super Mario 3D World, upcoming releases
OMG DOS GRAPHICS O_O
Finally caught Xerneas last night and I have to highlight it’s awakening cutscene, it’s so well done and seriously DAT ROAR.
Took the DeLorean for a spin this morning and brought back a souvenir.