Category Archives: #videogames

XBox: Troll My Teammates

Turns out voice commands are becoming a fertile ground for how you name your online accounts. The user below decided to turn his gamertag into a trolling command. The gamertag? "Xbox Sign Out." Often times, when you're playing with a group of strangers, your gamertag is the only moniker they can use to express frustration with you. When your gamertag is also a legitimate command for your gaming system? It becomes a tricky piece of trolling. Observe:

Preparing for Pokébank: What You Can Do Now

Pokémon Bank (hereafter referred to as Pokébank) and Poké Transporter are two services being launched on the Nintendo 3DS and 2DS to finally bridge the gap between the current 6th generation of Pokémon games and the previous generations. Pokébank will be a cloud-based service wherein players can store up to 3,000 of their own Pokémon. The opportunity to access 30-day free trial of the service will be available until January 31st as of press time, though due to the rocky rollout of the service, this date could be extended. Poké Transporter is the free companion tool that serves as the vehicle by which players can transfer their Pokémon from the four 5th generation games – Pokémon White, Pokémon White 2, Pokémon Black & Pokémon Black 2 – to the current 6th Generation games, Pokémon X & Pokémon Y. As has been widely publicized, the Pokébank rollout got off to a rocky start. Nintendo had intended to launch both services two days after Christmas. However, during the initial launch in Japan, Nintendo found that the combination of users accessing the new service, added to the users who were linking their systems to the newly-introduced Nintendo Network ID for the first time, was in fact too much for the servers to bear. Nintendo’s strength has never been – and quite frankly, will never be – online services, but they are at least making strides into this modern era of internet connectivity. The Nintendo Network ID serves much like an Xbox Live account or an Apple ID, allowing games demos and game content to be downloaded, deleted and re-downloaded later. As such, step one in your preparation for Pokébank should be to link your handheld to the Network. Creating a Nintendo Network ID: If you are a new 3DS or 2DS owner, you will need to create an ID. To do so, follow these directions:
  •  Assuming you have already created a Mii for your system, you will need to navigate to your 3DS or 2DS’s System Settings.
  • Select Nintendo Network ID Settings. If you do not see this option, perform a System Update.
  • Follow the prompts until the option “Create New ID” appears, and then click “Next.”
  • Side note: The Nintendo Network ID is NOT the same as a Club Nintendo Account, despite a few similar functions.
  • Accept terms and conditions and enter relevant personal information. The country of residence cannot be changed.
  • Choose a Nintendo Network ID. It cannot be changed, and it cannot be vulgar. Standard Nintendo fare.
  • Create a password, then enter an email address. Take the time to review your information. Changing information with Nintendo is either impossible or ridiculously difficult.
Linking an existing Nintendo Network ID: If you already own a Wii U, the Nintendo Network ID process should be vaguely familiar. Again, this ID is NOT the same as a Club Nintendo ID, so be sure you’re linking correct IDs. Only one Nintendo Network ID can be used on one 3DS/2DS system at a time.
  •  Navigate to your 3DS or 2DS’s System Settings.
  • Select Nintendo Network ID Settings and click “Next.”
  • Select “Link An Existing ID”
  • Read through Nintendo eShop information and related account information and click “Understood”
  • Enter your existing Nintendo Network ID, password and email, then click “Done.”
  • Click “Link.”
That’s it! Following these steps will ensure that you are ready for Pokébank when it finally launches. All information above is from the Nintendo website. For questions regarding the Nintendo Network ID on a 3DS or 2DS system, click here. For questions regarding the Nintendo Network ID on a Wii U system, click here. For an illustrated example:

 Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 9.46.48 PM Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 9.47.09 PM Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 9.47.15 PM

[Images from Nintendo]

Nintendo Fails Online — Again

Nintendo has had so many missteps in the realm of online gaming, I'm not so sure they still deserve to be as beloved in the hearts of as many gamers as they somehow yet remain. Even I still have a misplace affinity for the company. Sure it's largely nostalgic in nature, but I still somehow own both of Nintendo's newest systems ... and I didn't want to. I wanted the 3DS, sure, I'll admit that one. But the Wii U? Absolutely not. No interest in owning/playing/looking at that system. The only reason I do is because of the Legend of Zelda special edition system. My obsessive purchasing impulses kicked in on that one. The original Wii was a smash hit during my college years, because it was the perfect passive gaming system. You put a group of drunken co-eds in a house with a Wii, and you KNOW there is about to be some epic (motion-controlled) bowling showdowns. Hell, I wanted the Wii so badly, I bought it for $50 above MSRP from a guy who had decided to sell his and go for an Xbox 360. But the Wii debuted without any sustainable online connectivity at a time when everything was moving online, not just gaming. Facebook had begun to launch en masse to the public and not just to college  kids, "tweets" were making their way into national news stories, the iPhone was a mere 6 months away, the original Xbox had found success with their online pay-service, Xbox Live. The closest they had mustered - so far - were eShops for the Wii and DS systems. Tiny microcosms consisting of some retro game releases and a smattering of original downloadable titles. Jump-cut to: Today. My Xbox Live account is 6 years old. Various roommates of mine over the years have owned Xbox 360s, so even when I didn't have one myself, I had an account because I was always near a system. Online operability is so intrinsically necessary in today's world for a whole host of reasons, the most important of which is convenience. Sure I downloaded a load of the older NES, SNES & N64 games on my Wii, but the process was unintuitive and complicated. Thankfully all of the newer systems now just allow you to link a credit card to your account and download, but there was a time when it was required that you purchase proprietary points and use those in lieu of actual currency. Hell, because Nintendo had no account-based system, your purchases were not tied to you, but rather to your console. In the last month+, Nintendo has actually taken the step toward unifying purchases and information into one account (almost a decade after everyone else) by introducing the Nintendo Network unified account. This is not to be confused with the Club Nintendo account (which they also sort of use to verify purchases, but not in any substantial way.) No, this is a real effort to broaden their online capabilities and unify users on both of their current platforms regardless of which they may own. Your Mii & (Nintendo's avatar version of yourself) and your account nickname is now the same on both your Wii U and your 3DS. For once, Nintendo actually seemed to be righting some wrongs and gearing up for the real world of online gaming and operability. BUT... that wasn't the case. In October, Nintendo released latest games the still wildly popular Pokémon series, Pokémon X & Y. They announced then that two compatible services would be launched in December which would allow you to store your Pokémon in the cloud - Pokébank - and transfer them from older DS games -Poké Transfer. That due date was two days ago. Ever the woefully unprepared, Nintendo discovered that this big plan of theirs was in fact too taxing on their servers. (Servers which, I can only guess, had not been upgraded for the occasion.) Related articles across the web At this point, there's no word on when the services will be officially introduced beyond this pitiful message found on Nintendo's website:

Nintendo and The Pokémon Company International have postponed the launch of Pokémon Bank and Poké Transporter - two software applications that were originally scheduled to launch for Nintendo 3DS on Dec. 27 - due to a large volume of traffic to the Nintendo Network service. Due to the high traffic, players are having trouble setting up Nintendo Network IDs and downloading content in the Nintendo eShop on both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. We truly regret the inconvenience, and wish to reassure everyone that providing a solution is our top priority. We apologize for the delay and thank you for your continued patience.

I hope they get their shit together. I really do. But things just aren't looking up.

TellTale’s ‘Walking Dead’ Season 2 Is Here!

Coming Soon It's Here!! The video game version of the Walking Dead is geared up for the second season. Told in episodic chapters, the game is an adaptation based on the Walking Dead comic book universe, rather than the television show universe. I've got to hand it to Robert Kirkman for turning his ten year old series into a string of recent successful revenue streams. Anyway, the first 'season' of the video game saw focus being placed on protecting a little girl named Clementine. This season, it appears she's the protagonist, so we're sure to get a look into the developing psyche of how a child becomes a post-zombie-apocalyptic adult. The game is coming to all major previous-gen consoles and also to iOS, so give it a spin! Season two, chapter one is available now on consoles, and will be launching soon on iOS!

“XBox: Activate Penis Scanner”

Okay, folks. The news has been making the rounds today that the new Xbox Kinect 2.0 sensor set to be launched with the upcoming Xbox One on Friday can "see your penis." I will not fully buy in to this story until I've done some testing of my own (and you can be assured that I will be doing testing of my own.) As a lifelong bulge watcher, sometimes-sketch artist and overall tech-savvy fellow, I have a unique combination of analytical skills at my disposal to hopefully dispel some of the hype. First, the original Kinect used a combination of infrared & RGB imaging to create the image the motion sensor relies on to turn you, the player, into a console controller. The image was, to put it politely, a rough avatar of the players general shape but did indeed have a decent ability to mirror movement. The newest iteration of the Kinect will obviously be a vast improvement of that same technology, but while the image sensor will indeed be highly upgraded – there are reports that the new sensor can actually monitor your eye movement and the flushness of your face in high-activity/stress tests – the days of consumer-ready x-ray tech are still a ways off. Not impossible, but it's not happening this week. Now, this is the video that has every dude with a dong in a tizzy today: The Bulge Vs. The Penis As I said before, I've been crotch-watching since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, and I can assure you that what you're seeing above is not, in fact, an x-ray image of this poor chap's willie. If I might, I'd like to point out that this: is not actually an x-ray image. Sure, as you can see in the video, you can see the dong flopping around, but it's not because the Xbox Kinect is suddenly a home TSA scanner. It's because this guy is hung. Pure and simple. Here is a slightly contrasted/lightened regular image of the guy: Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 8.20.44 PM 2 Now, his bulge, cropped/chopped/zoomed/arrowed: Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 8.20.44 PM The only alterations that I made included a standard lightening of the image, dropping the contrast a few notches, upping the saturation bumping up the shadow slider in the image properties and –bam! – the outline appears. The sensor so sensitive, that it's picking up the shadows created by his bulge, not piercing beneath the denim to display his actual cock. Again, this guy is hung. He's clearly wearing boxers (if he's wearing underwear at all) and quite simply, he's faced with the same problem that Jon Hamm is faced with on a daily basis; prominent bulge syndrome. Seriously. Imagine Jon Hamm in front of that sensor. O gawd. Jon:

Batgirl Revealed in Injustice: Gods Among Us

It was revealed last week that one of the downloadable characters for DC Comic's recent fighting game "Injustice: Gods Among Us" would be none other than the original Batgirl, Barbara Gordon herself. Today, gameplay footage was released of Babs in action. I have to admit, she's a bit more gimmicky than I expected. Nonetheless, she is one of my all-time favorite comic book characters, so I'm just happy to get a chance to control her avatar in a pretty decent game. She'll be available to players who purchased the "Injustice" DLC season pass soon.

What Are You Playing?

What are you guys playing right now? My full Tomb Raider review is coming next week, and my Bioshock: Infjnite review will follow that. Both of those games have had me chained to my XBox in my spare time. What are you playing?

Go Play Your Video Games

Angry Birds I don't think anyone has quite milked the potential of launching on the iOS platform quite like Rovio has with their mega-hit "Angry Birds." This brand began as one game, grew into 8+ others and then spawned a wide-reaching merchandise empire that rivals any Hollywood entertainment property. Speaking of Hollywood, they've even partnered with films in the past (Rio) and more recently with the Star Wars brand. It's quite possible to be sick of seeing Angry Birds everywhere even if you've never played it. But, this is the game that started it all, and it still holds up as an excellent slingshot-puzzler, so this weekend while it's free, be sure to download both iOS versions. For iPhone & iPod: Download Angry Birds For iPad: Download Angry Birds HD   Tomb Raider Nitty Gritty LaraLara Croft is back. Sort of. Technically this is the first time we're meeting Lara, because Crystal Dynamics have partnered with publishers Square Enix and have breathed new (and improved) life to the iconic video game heroine. Expect my full review sometime in the next two weeks, as I'm currently in the thrall of the campaign, but read on for my initial take. Original developer/publisher team Core/Eidos had stretched the original Tomb Raider series just about as far as they could when they partnered up (and eventually handed over) Lara to developers Crystal Dynamics. CD actually managed to put their own decent spin on the series, releasing "Legend", a 10 year anniversary remake of the original titled, aptly, "Tomb Raider: Anniversary" and a finally a continuation of their own original storyline called "Tomb Raider: Underworld." Underworld was actually quite good and felt modern, while still very true to the original intent. But sales just weren't keeping up, so the Lara think tank went back to the drawing board, trying to figure out how to make an essentially nine-sequeled game exciting again. Next, Eidos badly damaged by investments, was absorbed by publisher Square Enix (publishers of hits like Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts & Hitman) and Crystal Dynamics retained developer rights. As a result, we now have "Tomb Raider." Sharing a name with the original best-selling and trend-setting game that essentially launched the 3D exploring adventure genre, the newest version of Lara's exploits is easily her best to date. Definitely worth your $60 to check out. The gameplay is the best combination hybrid I've seen in a game like this, borrowing back the best pieces from so many games that borrowed from the original series. To buy Tomb Raider *while* supporting #nerdjizz, go here! Halo 4 Promethean KnightAt this point, I'll play anything Halo Related. They've taken a more methodical approach to releases than the original Tomb Raider series did. As such, their candle hasn't burned out yet, and likely won't be needing a reboot any time soon. The newest exploits of everyone's favorite couple who can't consummate their relationship finds Master Chief and his Artificial Intelligence assistant Cortana uncovering secrets of the creators of life in their universe. The Elite are certainly back for action too, but they can't quite match up to the killing prowess of new enemies like the Promethean Knights. (Pictured to your left.) Seriously, Promethean Knights are a bitch to take down in the game. Especially on Legendary (the hardest difficulty setting, for non-Halo folk.) So, if you loved the outings of Master Chief before, you're probably going to love them again. Might as well go pick it up and start playing today!       Walking Dead The final entry I'll mention today is a particularly interesting game. Based on the hit comic book series "The Walking Dead" from which the universally-loved tv show comes from, this game began and exists as an episodic adventure. Originally there were a couple of months to a few weeks between releases giving the game a true sense of originating from the world of Kirkman's comics. If you're not much of a gamer, this installment-based adventure might be perfect for you. The game is driven by about 70% story and 30% action. It comes close to achieving a perfect rendition of "interactive storytelling." Not only that, but there are more on the way! These first five "episodes" complete the first "season" of the game. Season two is on its way soon! And given that it's available on just about every platform available, from your phone to your XBox to your computer, you don't have many excuses not to try it. For XBox 360 owners, you can find it here. For Mac users :: For PC Users PS3 folks can buy it here. For iOS users, pick up your copy on the app store. The Walking Dead by Telltale Games

They’ve Got 2UP

I think this might be my favorite Mario & Luigi image ever. [Source: Randy/Toons]

Assassin’s Creed: Kinect

How did I miss this awesomely epic April Fools video from earlier in the year?