Blogs > Yay For Video Games

Random thoughts and news in the world of video games.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Grand Theft Auto V releasing Sept. 17, angering the masses

Rockstar Games has announced the highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto V is now delayed to Sept. 17, roughly four months later than originally scheduled for release. The GTA Team has apologized for the delay, but if you look at the comments section under the post, many people are fuming, which led to a response from Rockstar:

"Hey all, we understand many of you guys are disappointed with this news – unfortunately sometimes such delays are necessary in all forms of entertainment, and especially in the case of a game experience as massive and complex as GTAV. ... To those of you saying or seeing various conspiracy theories about there being some other ulterior motive for this delay, rest assured that they’re all nonsense – literally the only reason we’ve delayed the release is because we want the game to be as good as it needs to be."

Delays stink, I get it, but it shouldn't be a surprise since we've heard barely anything about this game other than a few screenshots here and there. All you can hope for is the extra time will lead to more polish and a better game experience overall. Besides, there's plenty of other games coming out before then to tide us over. I'm not worried about it and neither should you.

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Nerf the Blue Shell and let's go on an adventure: What I'd like to see in Mario Kart for Wii U

In their latest Nintendo Direct, the company announced the new Mario Kart game for the Wii U is scheduled to be playable at E3 this year. It sounds like the game is pretty far along, and I wouldn't be surprised if it released this holiday season, especially to combat the expected console launches from Microsoft and Sony. Nintendo has tweaked the mechanics here and there over the years to keep the franchise fresh, but the games mainly play the same. Here's what I'd like to see on the Wii U title.

More new tracks (initially)
Mario Kart typically follows a formula of Mushroom-Flower-Star-Special cups with four new tracks in each one. The addition of retro courses from past games is nice, but is it too much to ask for more than 16 new tracks? When I go for the gold on all of the cups in the 50cc, 100cc and 150cc classes, it quickly becomes a drag. What would be neat is to have different track layouts from the same course for each class. Imagine three different Rainbow Roads or Bowser Castle tracks to race through, or mix in some long, one-way tracks. I fully expect Nintendo will take advantage of DLC in the form of new courses and characters, too. If it's done and priced right, maybe at $10 per cup ($2.50 per course), I'd be all over it.

Nerf the Blue Shell
People that say violent video games are horrible have never had a Blue Shell experience. There's nothing more rage inducing than racing toward the finish line with first place in sight when a Blue Shell comes crashing down, crushing all of your dreams and sending the controller flying across the room. I don't think we should get rid of it, but it's time to tone down its use. Make it so it only pops up once per race, or not at all if all the racers are tightly packed together. Having a barrage of Blue Shells wreaking havoc everywhere ruins the flow and fun of the game.

Add an adventure/story mode
Diddy Kong Racing for the Nintendo 64 was a fun title like Mario Kart but had a hub world to drive around and the evil Wizpig to stop. Ever since Diddy Kong Racing, I've been hoping Nintendo would someday create a Mario Kart adventure. How about Mario and Co. driving around the Mushroom Kingdom stopping an evil force plaguing the land, and you have to find hidden stars in each course to progress through the story? If Bowser's up to no good again, boss races could include Baby Bowser, Kamek (on his broom), a giant Thwomp, and other Mario baddies. This could replace the normal Grand Prix mode since you still would have online for regular races, but it would need lots of depth to make the risk worth it.

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Super Bowl XLVII Madden simulation: David Akers kicks 49ers to win

The "HarBowl." The "SuperBaugh." Whatever you call it, the clash between the Harbaugh brothers - Jim and his San Francisco 49ers against John and his Baltimore Ravens - makes for an interesting Super Bowl XLVII. The following is a Madden simulation of the big game.

First quarter
The 49ers received the ball first, but wouldn't hold onto it long. Tight end Vernon Davis fumbled the ball, giving the Ravens excellent field position. Justin Tucker kicked a 29-yard field goal to give the Ravens the early 3-0 lead.
After another Tucker field goal made it 6-0, the 49ers offense was finally moving down the field when they turned it over again, this time by a fumble from running back Frank Gore.

Second quarter
The Ravens again took advantage of a turnover, moving the ball down the field effortlessly. After breaking a couple tackles, running back Ray Rice found his way into the end zone on a 17-yard score, extending the Ravens lead to 13-0.
The 49ers had enough of that. On the next drive, the offense finally got things going. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick found Randy Moss and Michael Crabtree for some big receptions, and Gore hurled himself into the end zone on a 1-yard touchdown run to get the 49ers on the board, 13-7. Kaepernick was stellar again with minutes remaining in the half, quickly moving the offense down the field on more big pass plays. He fired a bullet to Moss in the end zone from 17 yards out for the touchdown, and the 49ers entered halftime with the 14-13 lead.

Third quarter
Not much happened early in this quarter with both teams punting the ball. That changed quickly after a big hit on Ray Rice, causing a fumble. Not only did 49ers' Aldon Smith recover it, he took it back for the touchdown to give his team a 21-13 lead.
Ray Rice would redeem himself later in the quarter on a short touchdown run from the goal line to make it 21-19. John Harbaugh decided to go for two points to tie the game, but quarterback Joe Flacco's pass was knocked away.

Fourth quarter
With a small lead the 49ers looked to take as much time off the clock as possible, and at the same time put the game out of reach. However, Kaepernick threw an easy interception to Ravens' Dannell Ellerbe, giving his offense great field position. Tucker kicked another field goal to give the lead back to the Ravens, 22-21.
The 49ers quickly punted the ball after a 3-and-out, and the Ravens punished them for it. Flacco found tight end Dennis Pitta downfield on a 3rd-and-long to extend the drive, and Anquan Boldin hauled in a 4-yard pass for a touchdown to extend the Ravens' lead to 29-21 with a few minutes remaining.
The 49ers needed to answer quickly - and they did. Moss was able to break free along the sideline and Kaepernick found him for a monstrous 71-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead back to two points. But just like earlier with the Ravens, the 49ers' two-point conversion failed.
Instead of attempting an onside kick, Jim Harbaugh took his chances the defense would get the job done and kicked it off instead. It wasn't looking good until the most nightmarish scenario happened to Ravens fans. Rice fumbled the ball away for a second time with under two minutes to go, giving the 49ers new life.
It all came down to kicker David Akers, facing a 46-yard attempt for the championship. He nailed it, and the 49ers defeated the Ravens 30-29 to win Super Bowl XLVII.

For the 49ers, Kaepernick threw 16/23 for 259 yards and two touchdowns, Gore rushed for 48 yards on 22 carries and one touchdown, and Moss caught six passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns.
For the Ravens, Flacco threw 22/26 for 245 yards and one touchdown, Rice rushed for 62 yards on 37 carries and two touchdowns, and Boldin caught five passes for 35 yards and one touchdown. In his final game, Ray Lewis was credited for eight tackles.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wii U in a software drought now but Zelda, 3D Mario, Mario Kart and more in the works

Since its launch in November, the Wii U is in the midst of a dry spell when it comes to games. The next notable release is at the end of February with Rayman Legends, followed by Lego City Undercover and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate in March. The big one, Pikmin 3, is scheduled for release later this spring.

Until then we're stuck playing with launch games. It's disappointing and I wish there were some more games already out, but I'll survive. Reading exaggerated comments online, whether fake or real, about how Nintendo is doomed is always a laugh. They're not going away anytime soon, as they proved with their most recent Nintendo Direct presentation.

One of the big announcements was the HD remake of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, originally released on the GameCube. It's scheduled for release this fall, giving the Wii U some holiday power. A new Zelda game is also in the works, but we won't see that for a long, long time.

The team behind the Super Mario Galaxy games for the Wii and Super Mario 3D Land for the 3DS are working on a new 3D Mario game for the console. It's scheduled to be playable at this year's E3 along with a new Mario Kart game. Could both of these games actually release this year? It would be a huge lineup to go up against possibly Microsoft's and Sony's new consoles during the holiday season. I would bet Mario Kart gets released then, then Mario 3D early in 2014.

The team behind Kirby's Epic Yarn is developing a Yoshi game set in the cutesy world of yarn and fabric. Even though it was very simple, Kirby's Epic Yarn was a good-looking, relaxing game. Hopefully Yoshi's game will be more challenging.

Other announcements included a new Wii Party game planned for a summer launch; a Pikmin 3 (above) feature allowing players to take pictures and share them on the Miiverse; a Fire Emblem-Shin Megami Tensei collaboration; a new game from Monolith Soft, who worked on Xenoblade for the Wii; and Wii Fit U will let players create user communities on Miiverse, and share fitness goals and tips with one another. The Wonderful 101 and Game & Wario are scheduled for launch in the first half of 2013. The newest Super Smash Bros. installment and Bayonetta 2 are also in the works. Virtual Console software will be available in a spring system update.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Resident Evil Revelations coming to Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii U on May 21

Capcom is releasing another Resident Evil game, although those who own the 3DS may have already played it. Resident Evil: Revelations, a fun appetizer from the popular zombie series, will make its way to the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii U on May 21 in North America; Europe will see the game a few days later on May 24. It will also be available digitally on the PS3 and PC.

Presentation upgrades include HD visuals, better lighting effects and audio, and thankfully some additional content, including a "terrifying new enemy," extra difficulty mode and improvements to Raid Mode like new weapons, skill sets and playing as other characters in the series such as Hunk. In Raid Mode, you blast through waves of enemies across different missions either alone or co-op online, earning weapon upgrades and leveling up characters along the way.

However, it won't be cheap. With a cost of $49.99, that seems a little pricey for what is a 3DS port with a little more content and fancier presentation, but console games demand console-like prices. What's also nice to see is a Wii U version available. We haven't heard much from third parties when it comes to future Wii U content, so it's nice to see a game like this coming out for it, even it was initially made for the 3DS.

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Quick thoughts on Anarchy Reigns

I've pummeled countless enemies in Anarchy Reigns, a hectic brawler for the Xbox 360 and PS3. Here are some thoughts on the game.

There is a story mode, which isn't anything special. It kind of introduces you to all the wacky characters you'll be able to play as in multiplayer. There's only several small stages to travel around in and unlock missions. It wouldn't have hurt to add more mission types and make these overworlds bigger.

Playing this game online is fun. 16-player matches get really crazy, maybe even too much since you can have a good combo going and someone interrupts it by backstabbing you. One-on-one cage matches have their charm, too.

Check out my full review at

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Here's a screenshot of new Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg in NHL 13

Henrik Zetterberg was named captain of the Detroit Red Wings today. EA Sports celebrated by releasing a screenshot of No. 40 scoring a goal, showing off the 'C'. Let's hope this happens a lot this shortened season. Go Wings.

Quick thoughts on DmC Devil May Cry

I've slashed my way through Limbo in DmC Devil May Cry for the Xbox 360. Here are some thoughts on the game.

There's been a mostly negative response to this franchise reboot now developed by Ninja Theory. Their version of Dante is a younger, rebellious character who thinks he's all that and then some. Dedicated fans of any franchise are fearful of change, and I understand that, but after playing this game for a while, I think they'll be pleasantly surprised.

DmC Devil May Cry is a gorgeous game. Even though all the action takes place in Limbo, the variety of settings you'll travel through in each mission is superb. The visuals will dazzle your eyes, and watching the environment constantly change and explode into place never felt old.

It wouldn't be a stylish action game without a healthy dose of attack options. Dante's weapon arsenal increases as the story progresses, and they each come with numerous moves to unlock with upgrade points. It gets overwhelming at first trying to remember what triggers are held for certain weapons, but it becomes second nature after several rounds of combat.

Watch out for my full review at

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera places third in MLB 13 The Show cover contest

Detroit Tigers slugger and Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera placed a shocking third in the MLB 13 The Show cover contest, racking up only 76,740 votes. The victor and cover boy is Andrew McCutchen from the Pittsburgh Pirates, who pulled in 108,148 votes. Second place went to CC Sabathia from the dreaded New York Yankees with 89,056. Matt Kemp from the Los Angeles Dodgers got 72,467, Bryce Harper from the Washington Nationals got 42,542, Buster Posey from the San Francisco Giants received 31,508 and Ryan Braun from the Milwaukee Brewers earned a measly 13,153.

Sadly, Cabrera won't join the club of recent video game cover boys from Detroit: Justin Verlander (MLB 2K12) and Calvin Johnson (Madden 13). The voters have spoken ... and by voters I mean diehard Pittsburgh fans who went all out to get McCutchen the honor. After this upset and Pavel Datsyuk getting voted out of the running for NHL 13 cover boy, Detroit sports fans have some explaining to do.

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Sonic the Hedgehog live-action fan film features awkward acting, Jaleel White

Blue Core Studios, the makers of the infamous "MegaMan" fan film, have done it again, creating a live-action Sonic the Hedgehog movie, titled "Sonic." The nearly 19-minute film features comically bad acting, along with some notable entertainers. Jaleel White, aka Steve Urkel from "Family Matters," voices the title character, just like he did for the cartoons back in the day. James Rolfe, more known as the Angry Video Game Nerd, also makes a cameo appearance.

At least Dr. Robotnik looks cool.

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Hitman HD: Trilogy brings together Hitman: Contracts, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin and Hitman: Blood Money

Square Enix is giving Hitman fans an HD collection of three games set for release Jan. 29 for the Xbox 360 and PS3. Hitman HD: Trilogy features Hitman: Contracts, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin and Hitman: Blood Money, along with Hitman: Sniper Challenge, a standalone title available to those who preordered the recently released Hitman: Absolution. All together there's more than 40 levels and 75-plus hits to experience. That's a lot of Hitman for $39.99.

This limited edition release also includes an art book featuring 22 artist reinterpretations of classic moments in the series. A website,, is also being launched where fans can buy autographed lithographs from the art book for - conveniently - $47 each. A contest allows participants to submit their own artwork, with the grand prize being a custom Agent 47 Xbox 360 system.

So if you've never played a Hitman game before or want to all over again in amazing HD, here you go.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Nintendo 3DS getting a boost: Pokemon X, Pokemon Y coming October 2013

The Nintendo 3DS has seen its hardware sales rise to the heavens in Japan, but not so much elsewhere the rest of the world. To help boost sales, Nintendo will release Pokemon X and Pokemon Y, the first "proper" mainline games for the handheld, worldwide in October 2013. The announcement was made recently in a special Pokemon-themed Nintendo Direct presentation.

The sprite look is gone, and battles will be in glorious 3D. Three new starters include Fennekin (fire), Froakie (water) and Chespin (grass). There are also two new legendaries to seek out.

We all knew a mainline Pokemon game was coming, and the wait for confirmation is finally over. Nintendo's not messing around, either, releasing these very likely multimillion sellers around the world in October, just in time for the 2013 holiday season. Expect 3DS hardware sales to reflect those from the 2011 holidays, when Nintendo had the double-headed beast of Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 providing a major boost to 3DS sales. This past holiday, New Super Mario Bros. 2 and Paper Mario: Sticker Star just didn't seem to catch fire, at least from looking at November sales figures.

Also expected out this year in North America is Animal Crossing: New Leaf, which has took Japan by storm. Animal Crossing plus Pokemon for the holidays? That's a winning combination for the 3DS.

Also, #TeamFennekin.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Miguel Cabrera part of MLB 13 The Show cover athlete contest

Detroit Tigers superstar Miguel Cabrera has a chance to do what Calvin Johnson did after coming off an amazing season: Get on a video game cover.

The Triple Crown winner is part of a group of MLB stars chosen to compete in the MLB 13 The Show cover athlete contest that begins Jan. 7. His competition includes Matt Kemp from the Los Angeles Dodgers, Ryan Braun from the Milwaukee Brewers, Andrew McCutchen from the Pittsburgh Pirates, Bryce Harper from the Washington Nationals, CC Sabathia from the New York Yankees and Buster Posey from the San Francisco Giants. Like with Madden and NHL games from EA Sports, voting for cover athletes has become the norm.

I wasn't surprised Megatron made the Madden 13 cover, and I won't be surprised if Cabrera wins this cover contest. Winning the Triple Crown should automatically put him in the winner's spot, but we'll see how the voting pans out. Thankfully there's no Mike Trout around. We didn't need another WAR statistics controversy surrounding this competition.
Update: Totally forgot Justin Verlander also made the cover of MLB 2K12. Pavel Datsyuk for the Red Wings had a shot for NHL 13 but was eliminated.

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