And another Extra-Life 24 hour video game marathon is complete.
On November 5th, along side many many gamers across North America, I took part in my 3rd annual Extra-Life marathon to raise money for the Children’s Hospital Network. Starting at 8am and playing straight for 24 hours.
This year, Nichole an I decided to race each other in God of War to start the day. Me with my old fat PS3 (the backwards compatible model) and her with a 2nd hand PS2 we bought from the local retro video game store ($60 for the PS2, controller, and PS2). Everything started out fine, but as the morning, and day went on, the poor PS2 started to hang, freeze and drop any progress Nichole was making. This ended up ruining our race, as to be fair, I would pause and wait for her to catch up to where her game froze. By the end of the day, it became unplayable, and we needed to give up, and move on. I was able to finish the playthrough, and see Aries dead. With shaky hands, and a deep sigh of relief, I placed the controller down. I had defeated Aries for both of us.
Throughout the day and into the early morning hours I had a large handful of people stop by and hang out to play some games. We played some Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, Halo Master Chief Collection, some Rocket League and Castle Crashers too.
The first year I participated, i was able to raise $450, which was well above my $200 goal. Year 2, my goal was $500, and I was able to push just under $700. This year I sent my sights high, with a lofty goal of $1000. Before game day itself, I had already surpassed my Year 2 total raised, which was amazing. By the end of the 24 hour, I had landed on exactly $1001.
I thank everyone that participated and hung out, donated, and sent their encouragements. The money goes to a good cause, and I am happy to participate every year, making sure the event gets more attention and participation. Our donated went to the BC Childrens Hospital, and this year, local gamers were able to raise $136,000 and counting. The event still goes till the end of the year for donation, but the big event, and my part, is done.
I’ll hopefully find some time to go through the footage and pull out some worth gameplay clips.
Back to what I do, news, games, games, and news. Obviously before I jump back into reviews, a little warming up is warranted. Write the rust off. Flex the hands.
I have a lot to talk about in the near future, reviews needing writing, news needing telling, impressed needing sharing. The holidays are nearing and free time is becoming a hot commodity.
Rise of the Tomb Raider’s PC Date Square Enix had previously announced that Rise of the Tomb Raider would be released on the PC in “early 2016” and it appears we have the real date, outed by Amazon. RotTR’s Xbox One timed exclusivity ends January 29, 2016 and will come bundled with the Baba Yaga DLC.
Rainbow Six Siege’s Changes Mid-to-late December, Ubisoft will be syncing up the HUD for both casual and ranked playlists, making the experience more consistent. This will encourage casual players to try their hands at the ranked areas without feeling overwhelmed, and competitive teams to test and experiment new plays in the casual arena without risking rank droppage. Ubisoft also announced hardcore playlists for next year – including minimal HUD, and mag count instead of bullet count.
Unravel Price and Date EA and Coldwood have announced that Unravel will release February 29th, 2016 for $19.99 on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.
EA describes Unravel as “a heartfelt story about love and longing, and the ties that bind, with Yarny as the red thread that runs through it all.”
Looking forward through the looking glass, I have a lot of things to post and talk about, and I’m excited to be back. It’s been a nice break for sure, and I played a lot of games, and drew a lot.
I have quite the queue of reviews to get through over the next few weeks: Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain, Need For Speed, Star Wars Battlefront, Assassins Creed Chronicles: China, Tales From The Borderlands, Wolf Among Us, Mushroom 11, Valiant Hearts: Total War, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, Battlefield Hardline, and Pneuma: Breath of Life, to name a few.
I also plan to do a top 2015 Games I Played List.
ARK Early Access on the Xbox One releases tomorrow, so I’ll be talking about that. I still have Assassins Creed Unity and Batman Arkham Knight queued before Mad Max.
And some website optimization, re-org of categories and menus for the New Year. I honestly don’t know where I’ll find the time. Wish me luck.
Hi again! If you’re back reading this, it means I’m a decent blogger, right? I’ll add it to my resume!
So this week will be a combination of new news and old news as I start my catch-up from the past two weeks. While I was gone, I published a Top 10 Xbox 360 list and published a new short story. As well as started the run-down for Gamescom 2015. I’ll be adding new articles to that page as I get to it.
That said, the rest of the week should be the usual: News, New Games and Deals, What I’m Playing, possibly a review, and achievements.
Rise of the Tomb Raider Exclusivity Square Enix has announced that the console exclusivity for Rise of the Tomb Raider would last one year. The Steam/ PC release would be early 2016, and the PS4 version likely available holiday 2016. No exact dates were revealed.
World of Tanks Released on the Xbox One on July 28th, World of Tanks supports cross-platform play between the Xbox One and 360. Additionally, the Xbox One version features enhanced graphics and battle damage, and a new PVE mode for newer players. It’s free-to-play, so I’ll be providing my opinions of the Xbox One version when I jump in.
Xbox’s Reverse Streaming More on the Window’s 10 features and impressions later on, but Xbox boss Phil Spencer has confirmed that Microsoft is currently looking into making it possible for Xbox One owners to stream PC games to their console now that the infrastructure is in place to do the opposite. This functionality would eliminate the need for a Steam Box.
New Battlefield Game in 2016? EA has confirmed that a new Battlefield game will be released next year. EA has confirmed that a first-person-shooter over the next few years will be one of the core titles. Battlefield Hardline was released earlier in the year, and Star Wars Battlefront is late this year. I still haven’t completed Battlefield Hardline but I hope to soon, to remove it from my ever-growing list of incomplete games.
Star Wars Battlefront News A new multiplayer mode has been confirmed for Battlefront, in Blast, which will give the players smaller, close-quarters encounters instead of the featured large-scale battles.
10 versus 10 team deathmatch face-off between Imperials and Rebel forces. Winning team is the first to reach 100 kills or lead the way after 10 minutes. Maps won’t be scaled down version of the regular modes, but specifically designed close-quarters maps taking place within interiors of several key settings.
The Dreadnaught is a brand new playable environment coming with the next Destiny expansion, The Taken King. The Dreadnaught is the home of the Hive enemy class. It will proved the setting for the upcoming campaign missions as well as Patrol and public events too. The new strike and strike boss, Darkblade, will be fought aboard the Dreadnaught. Expect more destiny news as we approach the September release.
I upgraded to Windows 10 when I came back, and so far I’m really impressed. It has a cleaner interface, and improved navigation, especially for tablets (which I use primarily). Now I haven’t used it to its full potential, and never will, but the Xbox App was the most important feature to me, and it’s incredible.
It has a very impressive feature set and works seamlessly with the Xbox One in the same room. It’s more robust than the smart glass app, and supports Xbox parties and game DVR. The last feature I tried was the Xbox Streaming, and with a Xbox controller wired in, it nearly works seamless. A little graphics loss, to be expected, but it did glitch out when I tried plugging in headphones to the tablet. Could be a hardware issues, so I’ll have to look into it further.
The Xbox app drops you into the Home screen when you log in. This looks similar to the Xbox One home, where it shows you the activity feed and friends list on the right. It will also show you your current party, last played game, and menus for customization, Achievements and friend options.
On the right is your menu: Home, My Games, Messages, Activity Alerts, Achievements, Game DVR, Store, OneGuide, Connecting to the Xbox One and Settings.
It’s not 100% polished yet, but it’s very impressive already with more TV DVR options in the future.
Tomorrow, I’ll continue with the news catch-up, new game releases, game deals and Games with Gold discussion.
Today in Video Game News, we’ll talk about Gearbox’s Battleborn, Uncharted, Dues Ex, Mirror’s Edge, Wolfenstein and Destiny.
Battleborn’s Reveal – E3 Trailer
Gearbox presents Battleborn, their latest game since Borderlands 2, and it appears to be a fusion of game genres. It’s a very stylized first person shooter with a MOBA framework. The game boasts 25 different playable characters that we can play alone or co-op, in a narrative driven campaign, and online competitive.
Uncharted – The Nathan Drake Collection
Nathan Drake’s first three adventures are coming to PS4, remastered in full 1080p and at 60 fps.
Dues Ex: Mankind Divided E3 Gameplay Square Enix has confirmed that gameplay footage for the Dues Ex highly anticipated sequel will be revealed during their upcoming Square Enix E3 Press Conference. Square Enix’s showing will be on Tuesday, June 16th, however I will not be watching it live like Monday’s shows, so I’ll be doing a late write up post that evening.
EA files Mirror’s Edge Trademark
New intriguing info has come to light as EA files trademark for Mirror’s Edge Catalyst. The sequel for Mirror’s Edge has been confirmed for 2016, and is currently under development at DICE. Hopefully we’ll hear more about it at EA’s E3 press conference next week.
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood gets Physical Release
Previously thought only to be digital, a disc version of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC will be available July 21, Bethesda Game Studios announced today.
Even More Destiny Info, Possibly MORE at E3
New rumours have surfaced about the next big Destiny expansion, The Taken King. $40 expansion, to be released Sept 15th, 2015.
The new content will offer a new subclass and new elemental super ability for each of the three character classes. Warlocks will get an electrical storm (arc), Hunters will receive a gravity bow (void), while Titans will have a flaming hammer (solar).
The expansion will introduce new Strikes, new PvP maps and a new raid.
Enough News, check back tomorrow for some new games and Gold Deals, and then impressions on an older but amazing title, in Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Hopefully an iReview before the week is out – I think I promised Sniper Elite III. Maybe a column, and then Achievement of the Week to wrap it all up.
Alright, we have some catching up to do, so let’s stick to the big stuff, shall we?
Today we’ll talk more about: Star Wars Battlefront, Dishonored, Assassin’s Creed, The Last of Us, Rainbow Six Siege, DOOM, Need for Speed, Halo MCC, and Evolve.
I’ll also briefly talk about the games I have on the go and up-coming, and plans for E3.
Star Wars Battlefront: No Ironsights, Squads or Classes EA and Dice are doing away with some of the expected FPS features included in their previous games like Battlefield. Star Wars Battlefront won’t have ironsights for its common blasters, but some rifles will still have scopes. Looks like you’ll be shooting from the hip. Also, there will be no more Classes or Squads. You can outfit your character however you see fit, with the items you’ve unlocked, and there will be a “partner” system, that will allow you to see your friend on the UI, and will allow you to spawn on them.
Dishonored Next-Gen Release? Looks like there might be a Definitive Edition release of 2012’s Dishonored; a fantastic game that I’d like to play through again. Fingers crossed.
New Details on the next Assassin’s Creed Assassin’s Creed Syndicate will feature two main playable characters, one of whom is a woman. Brother and sister duo – Jacob and Evie Frye. The game will take place in Victorian London in 1686. The brother will be taking the lead in the story in terms of playtime, approximately 75% of the story. October 23rd, 2015 release date on the PC, Xbox One and PS4.
The Last of Us’ Left Behind DLC Now Standalone Playstation and Naughty Dog’sThe Last of Us was one of 2013’s greatest games. The Left Behind DLC featuring Ellie is now available as a standalone package, no longer requiring The Last of Us game.
Rainbow Six Siege Release Date Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six Siege has found its release window: October 13th, 2015.
DOOM Gameplay Teased, Full Reveal at E3 Bethesda has revealed that it will be showcasing its DOOM reboot at its E3 press conference on June 14th. I’ll discuss my E3 plans at the bottom.
Need for Speed 2015 Electronic Arts and Ghost Games are rebooting Need for Speed, and it’s titled just that: Need for Speed. EA promises “deep customization, authentic urban car culture, a nocturnal open world, and an immersive narrative that pulls you through the game”. Seems like it’s going back to the Underground days? Release date is November 3rd, 2015, and will require an online connection.
“It’s been going from studio to studio, and creatives were creative, but there wasn’t really a strategic way of thinking of what the brand is and what it stands for,” EA Executive Producer Marcus Nilsson. “For sure, it’s been delivering great experiences, but not experiences that can build on top of each other to become better and better necessarily.
“If you look at the last few games – Hot Pursuit, The Run, Shift, Rivals, Most Wanted – and you asked people, ‘What does Need for Speed stand for?’, you’d get a million different answers.
Halo 3: ODST Re-mastered Now Available The re-mastered edition of Halo: ODST for the Halo Master Chief Collection, is now available for those who played the game during the launch window.
Evolve’s New Arena Mode Free Evolve has a new update and it’s free, and it’s a new mode: Arena. The 4 Hunters face off against a stage 2 monster in that typical 4 v 1 method. The change is that it’s in a small enclosure now, and it’s best of 3. No longer are the hunter’s required to track down and chase the monster. Take-Two recently announced that Evolve is permanent franchise for the publisher, joining Borderlands, Grand Theft Auto, among others.
So I recently went through my queue of games that I currently have on the go:
Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China
Assassin’s Creed IV – Blag Flag
Borderlands – The Pre-Sequel
Far Cry 4
Splinter-Cell: Blacklist (Xbox 360)
State of Decay
Tales From the Borderlands
Contrast I should be able to wrap up pretty quick. Unmechanical is a quick puzzle game I just finished recently, and there’s a review for that on Friday. I recently completed Sniper Elite III as well, with a review around the corner.
I have a few games on the shelf waiting to be played: Metro 2033 and Last Light bundle, Badland GOTY that I picked up today, Assassin’s Creed Unity (after IV), Shadow of Mordor. I’d like to give The Evil Within another shot, but who knows. Also, out in the wild is Evolve, Alien Isolation, and Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. These are homeless, out on the streets, looking for a nice warm home on my hard-drive.
Lastly, E3 is just around the corner. I’m going to be posting a new section for E3 news on the title bar, and I’ll be watching the press conferences on Sunday, June 14th, and Monday June 15th, and live blogging those all day.
Exciting stuff is just around the corner: New Games and deals tomorrow, early reviews and What I’m playing on Thursday, an iReview on Friday. Stick around, as I’m back.