Monday, September 22, 2014

Destiny Review

If you've been around the internet for the past couple of weeks you have probably heard a decent amount about Bungie's new game Destiny. The game has been a commercial success bringing in $325 million in its first five days and earning the title of the best-selling new video game franchise in history. But while the game has been commercially well received, the reviews from both critics and fans have been somewhat mixed. I've spent an inordinate amount of time playing it recently so I figured I'd weigh in on the game myself.

The very first thing that I noticed about Destiny when I booted it up is that both the visuals and the gameplay are tremendously impressive. The game provides a cornucopia of fantastic visual backdrops and locations from the swamps of Venus to the craters and caverns of the moon. All of the weaponry, characters, projectiles and other environmental graphics are rendered beautifully on the PlayStation 4 and Destiny is one of the best looking games I've played.

Similarly, the gameplay is as fluid and dynamic as you would expect from the creators of one of the best first-person shooters of all time: Halo. Bungie knows how to make you feel comfortable using your weapons and balance the enemies so that you never feel totally overwhelmed or like you are about to breeze through the level. The challenge amps up very well over the course of the game and you will not become bored with the gameplay (assuming you enjoy shooters in the first place).

While Destiny is not a first-person shooter game only, that is definitely the best aspect of the game at large and I believe is one of the main reasons why this game has done so well commercially and has so many people playing it. The game is great to look at, even better to control and a ton of fun to play.

But we can't leave it there or else we'd have a near perfect game and that certainly isn't what Destiny is. While the actual mechanics of the combat are fantastic, the game also incorporates MMO and RPG elements that are not nearly as fleshed out and are definitely not explained well enough in game.

Players can use either the online multiplayer (called the Crucible) or story-based missions to rank up their experience and get to the level cap of 20. This first portion of the game will take a decent amount of time (depending on how well you can manipulate the system) and basically serves as an incredibly long introduction to the game world.

After level 20 players can continue to rank up but now experience no longer means anything and you need to find equipment that has a high amount of "light." How do you get this equipment? You can buy advanced equipment from vendors in the Tower (the social hub for the game) or you can do random strike missions or regular missions hoping to pick up some good loot from enemies along the way.

This would all be fine if the way of buying the equipment wasn't so difficult. Throughout the 20 level "intro" to the game you utilize a currency called "glimmer." Once you reach level 20, you can only buy advanced equipment with different types of currency like Vanguard and Crucible marks. You also need a certain reputation level with those vendors (which you get through missions, multiplayer matches and bounties) to buy some of the equipment.

It isn't the most complicated system but it is frustrating because of how long the strike missions take to complete and how few marks and how little reputation you earn. I will routinely do 30+ minute strike missions only to get 2 Vanguard Marks (for reference, most of the good armor requires 120+ marks).

While you aren't given the greatest rewards for completing activities, it is fun to play the game and that is one of the reasons why Destiny is doing so well; it is flat out fun to play. Even when you are grinding through the same strike missions over and over or doing patrol missions on the different planets, killing the same enemies constantly, the gameplay is so smooth and fun that it is addicting.

Destiny does a very good job of balancing the PvP with the PvE elements to create a complete package of gameplay but the other major gripe that I have with Destiny (aside from the complicated and frustrating leveling system) is the fact that the storytelling is not very good.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of the people who is blasting this game for "not having a story" or "having a crappy story" because the story itself is intriguing and fun. The problem that Destiny has is in the actual way that is explains the story. Huge story elements are glossed over in the beginning to bring players into the gameplay early. To appease fans that don't want to sit and watch cut scenes all day, the story throughout the game is haphazardly told through almost non-related story-based encounters with various enemies with a few cut scenes sprinkled in.

The world that Bungie has created is exceptionally vibrant with tons of rich story elements and great characters to explore, but none of them are explored well in the game. Much of the backstory is told via Grimoire cards on Bungie's website and that just isn't an effective way to tell a video game's story.

Destiny spans several different genres of video games but doesn't really get any of them totally right. Its storytelling is not good enough for a story-based first-person shooter, its dialogue, class options and leveling systems are too streamlined for a good MMORPG and the game just doesn't have a handle on all that it is trying to be.

This review could go on forever as I would continue to explain more good and more bad about the experience but in the interest of everyone's time I'm going to wrap it up here. Destiny is an ambitious project that attempts to put a ton of different genres of games together and appease everyone. While it doesn't work on all fronts, it does deliver an addictive single player and multiplayer experience that will keep fans coming back for more. Even though the game has a bit of an identity crisis, it is still a phenomenally fun game and one that I am looking forward to playing a lot more of in the future.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Ghostbusters: The Video Game Gripes

It's been a very long time since I first played and reviewed Ghostbusters: The Video Game (over four years to be exact) and now that I just recently replayed the game, I figured it would be a good time to go over some of the major gripes I had with the game. Don't get me wrong, I love the game, but it is nowhere near perfect and there are so many things I wish had been done better or had been expanded on.

Lack of Trappable Ghosts

I noticed this back when I was playing it once or twice a day (yes, full playthroughs once or twice a day) but it became more obvious to me this time through. The game has plenty of ghosts to trap but most of the enemies are enemies that you just blast into nothing. Some levels have a pretty good balance (the Museum level is probably the best) but some- like Lost Island- don't have any. I get that the trapping process might be a bit daunting at times but it is the iconic way that the Ghostbusters capture ghosts and it needed to be just a bit more prevalent.

Cool Ideas Aren't Given Enough Exposure

The Super Slammer trap was brought into the game in the second level and it allowed gamers to use Ecto-1B to trap ghosts via a large slam trap on the roof. This was one of the coolest things in the game and it helped allow for more trappable ghosts in that level (since all you needed to do was slam them into the trap) but after that it was never used again.

Sure, the Ecto-1B was escorted through the Central Park Cemetery at the end of the game, but the Super Slammer got damaged before it could be used. It's just a big tease in that level and the final non-boss battle encounter would have been much cooler had it been there.

Similarly, the possessor ghosts only made one quick appearance in the museum and then were hastily never heard from again. The concept that these ghosts could take over human bodies and would require exorcising (via the slime blower) was a great idea and made for a really cool gameplay mechanic. The scene at the museum gala is great but we never get to do that again in the game and that's a real shame.

I'm A Ghostbuster, Not A Doctor

People have brought this up before and they are absolutely right, the Ghostbusters need reviving WAY too much (especially on the higher difficulty settings). The revive system is similar to Gears of War but instead of the occasional wounded comrade, the other Ghostbusters are constantly being knocked down.

This makes certain encounters ridiculously hard and many times you can't fight ghosts for a while because you are running around trying to help all the other Ghostbusters.

Missing Presentation

Ghostbusters: The Video Game features some great CGI cut scenes that are beautiful, but the in-engine stuff is ugly and just not up to spec. The lip synching is dreadful, the character models are OK but their movements and facial expressions can be wonky, and I think there are some missing lines.

There are times when characters react to nothing like a line was said (case in point: Peter says "Come on Ray, I'm the one who gets a face full of slime every time "the little green buddy" escapes" after Ray has said no line that would warrant that reaction).

These presentation hiccups become more noticeable over time and the lack of polish really hurts the overall experience.

Plain Jane Multiplayer Options

The multiplayer in Ghostbusters: The Video Game is actually really fun and being able to play as any of the four Ghostbusters or the Rookie is a cool way to let players into the boots of those characters. However, the game suffers from a dull leveling system that is WAY too easy to max out (level 20 and you are done) and no real customization options. The uniforms change as you level up-which is cool-but instead of being able to go back to other uniform colors, you are just stuck with what you have.  I've been at level 20 since June of 2009 and I can't change the uniform color so that kind of stinks.

The Most Wanted Ghosts system (where random ghosts will appear in multiplayer matches that the player has a chance to catch) is a cool idea but it was marred with glitches on launch and takes some serious grinding and hassle to complete even now.


The game was supposed to have a level that takes place at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade but it was cut and we never saw it again. Why was that level not DLC? Some of the cut scenes had been made since parts of them made their way into trailers for the game so there was clearly a lot of the work already done.

The game also never got any map packs even though some artwork of a River of Slime map (the Van Horne stations to be specific) surfaced later. Why did the game never get even one map pack? This would have helped the multiplayer immensely but it never came to fruition.

I love Ghostbusters: The Video Game so much but it really is not perfect and the more I play it, the more I see the things that my love for the franchise blinded me to back then. I don't want this to be a downer, I just wanted to open up my end of a dialogue on what could have been better and what I have noticed as I have played the game more and more.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What is the Next Generation?

With E3 2013 over and the next generation of games finally beginning to come into focus I can't help but feel that the term "next generation" means more than just the next consumer product that will be made available to gamers. Since gaming's infancy, the "next generation" has given gamers more and more immersive and realistic experiences and this coming generation needs to figure out what it will give gamers besides just pretty graphics.

When we talk about the next generation we immediately think of the fantastic graphical power of a game like Battlefield 4 or The Witcher 3 but do better graphics completely define the next generation? I don't think so, and I think that gaming history is full of generations that not only added graphical power but an X factor that pushed gaming farther and farther.

Look at the difference between the second generation of game consoles and the third generation of game consoles. The second generation was dominated by the Atari 2600 and it focused on "high score" experiences that were simple and fun. A gamer's imagination needed to be pretty solid to immerse themselves in the world of those early games.

The third generation saw the emergence of the Nintendo Entertainment System and 8-bit gaming. 8 bit gaming was much more visually appealing (actually doing a pretty good job of representing what each object was supposed to be) but the graphical boost was not what made the third generation so much better. It was the kind of experiences that were possible with this new technology.

Not only had the control scheme been refined with the gamepad, but the ability to save allowed large RPG experiences like The Legend of Zelda to be imagined. Now instead of striving for high scores, gamers were taking characters through grand stories.  That innovation is ultimately what pushed gaming forward and made experiences more immersive and fun for future generations.

3D gaming, first-person perspectives, co-operative play, competitive multiplayer, and online components have all been the true reasons that games have gotten more immersive, not the fact that they look better than they used to. Graphics are an important part of immersion in a game but I think they are often overrated in the conversation of what makes a game tick.

So as we look into the next generation of gaming, I am waiting to see how gameplay innovations are spurred on by technological advances and how that will help evolve gaming in the future. The Xbox One, Wii U, and the PlayStation 4 (and of course, PCs) are all connected to the internet in some way (whether you like it or not in the case of the Xbox One) and that seems to be what will catch on as we head 5-10 years into the future.

Many games that are picking up hype in the gaming community are connected and living worlds that will be inhabited by thousands (if not millions) of gamers and molded by their participation. That move towards an always-connected world seems to be what is going to push gaming forward in the future and it will be interesting to see if that pans out.

Friday, June 14, 2013

E3: Final Thoughts

So E3 2013 has finally come to a close and the show gave us a ton of games to gawk at and a new generation of consoles to look forward to. Overall the conference was a lot of fun and I think that the next generation of games will definitely be something to excite gamers and challenge them to play in new and unique ways. Here are my final thoughts about the show. Get ready, cause I have a lot to say.

-Sony Won E3 

Gamers love to decide who "won" each E3 and this year it seems like the core gaming audience is vehemently for the PlayStation 4 over the Xbox One or the Wii U. Sony's PR team did a fantastic job of spinning Microsoft's willingness to speak out first against it. Microsoft repeatedly came out and explained the way that things were going to be on the Xbox One and Sony just let them speak until they dug a hole. Sony then made that hole even bigger by jabbing its own "policies" (which are the exact same as the system in place right now) at its press conference.

Sony deserves a lot of credit for swaying gamers' opinion in its favor and I think that right now, the PlayStation 4 is receiving quite a boost from that favorable opinion among gamers. Gamers determine the winner of E3 and it seems like Sony has won over the vast majority of hardcore gamers (you know, the ones who actually pay attention to E3)

-Microsoft Is Not Really in That Much Trouble

As much as the internet and Sony fanboys would like to make you believe that Microsoft has somehow already lost the next generation, that really isn't the case. The Xbox One might be in a bit of a PR nightmare coming out of E3 but lets be honest, most people who buy the Xbox aren't really watching E3 anyway. Parents of young children and casual gamers have flocked to the Xbox 360 and are most likely not watching the coverage of E3.

The price point for the Xbox One is going to be a bit of a hurdle and that might hurt sales. The used game policies and the "always-online" (I put that in quotes for a reason) will definitely sway some gamers away from buying the console. But overall, the Xbox One is still going to sell well and we have a lot of time before these consoles actually ship.

Used game fees are up to the publishers on both consoles (though Microsoft has created a convoluted system that Sony does not have in place) so you have to think that each publisher will do the same thing across all consoles. The Xbox One needs to connect to the internet every 24 hours but for most people who are willing to shell out $500+ for a video game system they probably can manage a two second connection once a day. Even spotty internet works some of the time.

Policies aside, Microsoft has a Kinect that might actually do something useful (more on that later) and a plethora of exclusive titles that will entice gamers. Overall, the package is going to be impressive and I can see plenty of people choosing the Xbox One once we better understand some of these policies.

Will the Xbox One beat the PlayStation 4? No one can say but right now it appears that Sony has jumped out to a bit of an early lead. But this race hasn't really begun so it's kind of useless to call it one way or the other.

-Nintendo Had a Quietly Solid E3

Nintendo has become a bit of in enigma in the gaming world because of how the niche the audience for its games seems to be. "Hardcore" gamers usually don't even seen Nintendo as a viable competitor to Sony and Microsoft so the company tends to be ignored a lot. But Nintendo seems to be doing well by its fans and it could seriously help them out in this console cycle.

The Wii U has never been the graphics powerhouse of the generation (even before the other consoles are out we can say that) but Nintendo doesn't necessarily need that raw power as much. Nintendo has survived for a very long time with more cartoony and stylistic game franchises that look at art direction in games in a way other than "it needs to look real."

This has turned off many gamers but for Nintendo's franchises the system works well and leads to some really nice looking games. Nintendo's E3 showing was full of games from Super Mario 3D Land to the next incarnation in the wildly popular Smash series. And for the gamers who prefer the more realistic games, the Wii U has proven that it can handle third party titles like Assassin's Creed IV and Watch Dogs pretty well.

Many people at E3 have remarked that Nintendo's booth seemed to be buzzing the most as many people in attendance wanted to try out the new games and regardless of the fact that "hardcore" gamers might have left Nintendo behind, there are still a ton of people who care and are probably going to be thrilled with Nintendo in the coming months.

-Kinect 2.0 Might Actually Be Cool

The Kinect for the Xbox 360 was a gimmicky device that promised to immerse players in their games more and instead had them flailing their arms around and jumping up and down to play silly games. The implementation of the Kinect into more "mature" experiences (like shooters or RPGs) has not gone so well and it caused a rift with many gamers who were upset with Microsoft's insistence on using the device.

This was exacerbated by the fact that the Xbox One comes packaged with the new version of the Kinect and it has to be connected in order for the console to work. This also seems to have affected the price point, most likely being the reason that the Xbox One is $100 more than the PlayStation 4.

But if articles like this one on the Verge are to be believed, developers may have finally found a cool way to use the Kinect. Instead of replacing the controller with your voice and body, developers seem to be using your voice and body to enhance your experience while keeping the controller the main input method. Hearing about the voice commands in Ryse: Son of Rome or the Kinect interactivity in Dead Rising 3 have made me feel that it may be more than gimmick.

Will the Kinect revolutionize every game that we play? Most likely not, but the ability for it to enhance our experience in ways that are only limited by a developer's imagination is pretty cool and definitely something to keep an eye on.

-Connected Experiences Are the Way of the Future

As much as it pains me to say this seeing as I am usually a single player only kind of person, connected worlds and multiplayer experiences seem to be the way of the future for games. While many games at E3 2013 were either single player experiences or multiplayer experiences (or both), a good amount of the titles that generated a lot of interest were the always-evolving connected worlds.

Look at Tom Clancy's The Division, or Bungie's Destiny, or Titanfall, or Need for Speed: Rivals. These are just some examples of games that are basically grand multiplayer experiences that will call for a lot of interactivity between players and an almost "always online" component to function at full force.

While some games can be played completely solo (Need for Speed: Rivals doesn't require multiplayer interaction) many of these games are not meant to be tackled solo and some can't even be tackled solo at all. Titanfall is a multiplayer game, even Respawn confirmed that focus. Destiny is basically an MMO. The Division is also a completely connected experience that will depend greatly on the online community.

Game developers have been trying to find ways to make the internet work for the benefit of games as a whole for quite some time now and it seems like we are beginning the push towards a highly connected future. Does this mean all single player games are gone? Of course not, plenty of games at E3 were shown off as single player experiences and they will continue to make them in the future.

However, the fact remains that the huge titles of E3 were mostly centered around some form of connectivity and that seems to be the big way forward for developers to push the gaming experience and make the medium more mature.

-Murdered: Soul Suspect Deserves Our Attention

While there have been several new titles that have caught my eye at E3 (Ryse, The Division, etc) Murdered: Soul Suspect might be more of a surprise to many gamers who decide to take a look. The game begins with the murder of the main character (a detective named Ronan O'Connor) and you will need to solve this murder as Ronan.

Ronan now lives in a place called "The Dusk," a limbo-like stage where ghosts with unfinished business roam after they die. While you cannot directly interact with the environment, you can possess people to ascertain information and put the pieces together to solve the mystery of your murder.

But "The Dusk" is not exactly the friendliest place; certain spirits who never resolved their issues turn into demons who will try to attack Ronan and eat his soul (yikes). Ronan can fight back against these spirits but only by sneaking up on them and tearing them to pieces.

The non-traditional gameplay and the intrigue of a murder mystery could easily meld well with the supernatural elements to create a really fun game. Definitely check this game out if you are into supernatural games or action adventure mysteries.

-Mad Max Might Be Able to Tide Over Fallout Fans 

Fallout 4 has been on every single Fallout fan's mind since Fallout 3 was released. Even after New Vegas hit store shelves, the next installment from Bethesda proper (New Vegas was developed by Obsidian) has been the talk of fans worldwide. When Mad Max was unveiled at the Sony conference, I'm sure every Fallout fan was praying it was Fallout 4.

But now that we know it isn't, Mad Max might actually help make that wait for Fallout 4 more bearable. While Mad Max is set in a different universe with a different mythos, the basic premise of a post apocalyptic open world is there. Vehicle combat looks to be an important part of the game (possibly similar to RAGE) and the team that is making it is known for the massive open world playground of Just Cause 2.

Regardless of whether or not the game is phenomenal, we pretty much know that is will be an enormous open world to explore and that might help tide over Fallout fans while still providing a springboard for a new type of experience.

That's about all I have to say for now but I'm sure I will think of a ton of other things to comment on. If you would like to know my take on anything I haven't spoken about or if you would just like to sound off with your opinion, feel free to do so in the comments or tweet @jamespungello

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

More E3 Thoughts

I have finally caught up with a lot of the demos that I had missed out on (mostly following IGN Live but Gametrailers has some good coverage too) and I thought I'd share some E3 thoughts after a few hours of watching demos and listening to interviews.

-Quantum Break Gets Better by the Minute

I already thought that Quantum Break looked amazing when I saw it at the Xbox One reveal and then when we saw a little bit of it at the Microsoft press conference. However, when I saw two interviews with Sam Lake from Remedy and he explained more of the premise, I got even more hooked.

Quantum Break is going to be a single player experience that includes episodic content in the form of gameplay and a live action series. The live action series will follow different characters but the events will be the same, so you get to see two sides of many events. Your specific gameplay choices will not only affect the game, but the show as well.

As Sam Lake notes you will get your own "director's cut" live action series that responds to the choices you made in the game. This idea sounds really cool and much more manageable than the TV show/Game combo that is Defiance.

The idea that time itself has been broken can lead to an interesting storytelling and gameplay device and that fact that you will play as the main bad guy in key moments (determining how the story will continue forward) is interesting.

-Arkham Origins Looks Great

I saw the gameplay demo several times and heard two different developers from Warner Brothers Montreal go over the game and I am impressed. The graphics don't look all that much better than Arkham City but that is to be expected since it is not a next gen title.

What really impresses me is the fact that the game is taking a very interesting approach to a Batman "origin" story. Instead of seeing Batman turn from Bruce Wayne into a vigilante, we instead see a Batman who has dealt with vastly inferior foes (regular criminals) for a few years and is now finally being tested against some villains who can best him.

This means that the game centers around Batman being taken aback a bit by these new criminals and learning  something about himself in the process. I think this will help the storytelling immensely and is leaps and bounds better than rehashing the "my parents got shot so now I need to fight crime" story again.

Other than that, the changes to the combat (characters who can counter you) and the detective mode (the crime "recreation") all seem to be phenomenal while still maintaining everything that made the other games great. It will be a long wait until I can play this one.

-Need for Speed: Rivals Has my Attention

I can't say I'm the biggest fan of racing games but I do enjoy the occasional romp in  Burnout: Paradise. However, Need for Speed: Rivals has completely sold me on the concept of the game. The Frostbite 3 engine makes this game look so gorgeous and the idea of using the cops vs racers angle to give more than one experience in the game is pretty cool.

The sensation of speed, the graphics, the ability to seamlessly go from single player to multiplayer, and more  all had me excited to get my hands on the game and I think it is going to be a very solid racing title when it is launched.

-Ryse: Son of Rome is One of the Best Looking Games at the Conference

At this point I have seen quite a few game demos and many of them are absolutely stellar in graphical quality (Watch Dogs, inFamous, Quantum Break) but Ryse: Son of Rome is the one that sticks out in my head as the best looking game at the conference.

The facial animations, the environments, the character movement, and the whole package is just incredibly impressive. The combat itself seems to rely heavily on QTEs (though the developers vehemently disagree that it is a QTE) but that isn't a huge problem for me.

One thing I was impressed with was the idea that you are "a warrior with the controller and a general with your voice." Using the Kinect for general squad commands while you are engaged in combat (like asking for assistance from archers while you are in the middle of fighting) seems to be one of the most practical ways of integrating the Kinect into a game that hardcore gamers will want to play.

Ok that is probably enough for tonight, I will be sure to give my thoughts on some more games that are being showcased (and cover a few that I have already seen but neglected to talk about). Check VGU.TV for E3 coverage (we are planning on a lot of podcasts and some great feature pieces are on their way) and let me know what you thought of these games or anything at E3 in the comments or you can tweet @jamespungello.

Monday, June 10, 2013

E3 Press Conference Thoughts

So I thought I would update this blog for the first time in forever to give a basic overview of what I personally thought of the E3 press conferences now that the most hectic day of the year for me is over. These are just some thoughts with a lot of personal opinion so take them as such and be sure to let me know what your opinion is as well.

-Microsoft Had a Better Overall Conference than Sony

Sony won the E3 press conferences (more on that in a minute) but not because its conference was better. Microsoft hit the ground running with Metal Gear Solid V and never really took the foot off of the accelerator throughout the course of the show. Tons of exclusive games that looked awesome were shown off and even the multiplatform stuff had some exclusive angle (like Battlefield 4's first map pack coming to Xbox One first).

Microsoft also did a good job adding some value to Xbox Live Gold by giving members two free games per month and allowing account sharing with other members of your household. The conference skewed heavily towards games and exclusives like Ryse: Son of Rome, Quantum Break, and Halo were highlights of the show for me.

Even when the conference wasn't at its highest, it never dragged and I had a legitimately fun time watching it. Sony, on the other hand, was a bit of a chore to watch and cover. The conference moved along at a snail's pace as the PlayStation 3 and Vita were hammered into the ground for about 1/4 of the conference.

Even when the PlayStation 4 stuff began, it was slow and boring. Some games looked kind of cool but they were choppy and AC IV totally pooped out at the end of its presentation. Kingdom Hearts III was announced but there was barely anything there. It seems like every time I was about to go "all right, let's get into it" they moved on to the next game.

Sony did a good job of pricing the PlayStation 4 ($100 cheaper than Xbox One) and basically telling Microsoft to "shove it" when Jack Tretton came out and said PlayStation 4 plays used games just like PlayStation 3 and  it doesn't need to connect to the internet. But other than that the conference was just boring, and they masterfully slipped in the fact that online multiplayer is now a premium service on PlayStation without much groaning.

Sony's handing of the "hot button topics" for gamers is what won the company E3 but the showing from Sony was lackluster and I didn't enjoy watching it all that much. I was hoping for so much more.

-Quantum Break Blew Me Away

For a game that didn't show a ton of gameplay (the demo was in-engine but it was basically a cut scene) Quantum Break was SO amazing. I'm not sure if it is just bias because I know Remedy is making the game but it seems so interesting and I KNOW the gameplay possibilities will make it a fun experience.

The idea that "time" has been messed up and these weird "rifts" seem to be making certain people move slower than others (or maybe they are going faster) is an intriguing one and I can't wait to see it implemented in the game itself.

NBA Live 14 Might Actually be Really Good

I know many of colleagues at VGU.TV aren't that big into sports games (apologies to those who are) but I personally love sports titles and NBA Live 14 was not one that I was looking forward to.

But EA took the gloves off and really showed a cool mechanic in the new physics-based system to for ballhandling. The game looks like it may rival the NBA 2K series in quality and after having seen what 2K had at the Sony conference, this will be an interesting year for basketball games.

Overall, I think that Microsoft had a solid showing, Sony was lacking in most areas but found a way to beat Microsoft anyway, there were tons of cool games shown, and I think next gen gaming is going to be a lot of fun!

Check out VGU.TV for E3 coverage including news, reactions, analysis, and more!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I Want Free Microsoft Points!

As you can see in that news article, Microsoft is giving out points for playing Halo 4 multiplayer until you literally drop in the month of November. I want my free Microsoft points so I have applied for a rewards membership and should get it all locked in by the end of the week.

So why am I telling you this? Because I want you guys to help me get there but playing multiplayer matches with me and making it even more enjoyable to run up my parent's electricity bill all month long. It will take a ton of dedication to make it to 140 hours but 70 seems like a reasonable goal for someone with as much time on my hands as me. If you want to play with me on Xbox Live my gamertag is Pungello1988. Follow me on Twitter @jamespungello to find out when I am playing or just let me know when you are going to be playing and I'll jump on with you.

I'll be posting gameplay videos, coordinating live streams for the site and doing all kinds of other cool stuff with the ridiculous amounts of multiplayer I'll be playing over the next few weeks so stay tuned. I hope to have another multiplayer madness edition up soon, with tons of Halo 4 stories.