Meet Mario on his Cross-Canada Tour!

Nintendo is inviting fans to meet the one and only Mario as he makes his way across Canada to showcase his latest games. Be among the first to play the new Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 games on the Nintendo 3DS system. While your there enjoying the 3D Gaming don’t miss out on your very own souvenir photo with Mario himself!

Schedule (subject to change – confirm dates here):

Vancouver:

  • November 13 – Comic Con* at Heritage Hall, 3102 Main Street, Vancouver from 1:00pm-3:00pm PST
  • November 13 – Vancouver Giants* at Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver from 6:15pm-10:00pm PST
  • December 2 – Bright Nights in Stanley Park from 5:00pm-9:00pm PST
  • December 3 – Nintendo’s Holiday Mall Tour at Metropolis at Metrotown from 11:00am-2:00pm PST
  • December 3 – Best Buy Metrotown, 4805 Kingsway Street, Burnaby from 3:00pm-5:30pm PST
  • December 4 – Rogers Santa Claus Parade from 10:00am-12:00pm PST (pre-parade appearance)
  • December 17 – Breakfast with Santa at the Vancouver Convention Centre* from 8:30am-11:30am PST
  • December 18 – Breakfast with Santa at the Vancouver Convention Centre* from 8:30am-11:30am PST

Whistler Blackcomb:

  • December 17 – Roundhouse Lodge*, Whistler Mountain, Whistler Blackcomb from 10:00am-3:00pm PST
  • December 18 – Rendezvous Lodge*, Blackcomb Mountain, Whistler Blackcomb from 10:00am-3:00pm PST

Calgary:

  • December 9 – Calgary Hit Men* at Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary from 6:15pm-10:00pm MST
  • December 10 – Nintendo’s Holiday Mall Tour at Cross Iron Mills from 11:00am-6:00pm MST
  • December 11 – Nintendo’s Holiday Mall Tour at Cross Iron Mills from 11:00am-6:00pm MST

Edmonton:

  • November 25 – Best Buy Edmonton South, 9931 19th Avenue NW, Edmonton from 3:00pm-5:30pm MST
  • November 25 – Future Shop South Edmonton Common, 1320 99th Street NW, Edmonton from 11:00am-1:30pm MST
  • November 26 – Edmonton Oil Kings* at Rexall Place, Edmonton from 6:15pm-10:00pm MST
  • November 27 – West Edmonton Mall from 11:30am-4:00pm MST

Toronto:

  • November 20 – Toronto Santa Claus Parade from 10:00am-12:00pm EST (pre-parade appearance)
  • November 27 – Future Shop, Trinity Common, 149-70 Great Lakes Drive, Brampton from 11:00am-1:30pm EST
  • November 27 – Best Buy Downsview, 695 Wilson Avenue, North York from 3:00pm-5:30pm EST
  • December 10 – Nintendo’s Holiday Mall Tour at Square One Shopping Centre from 11:00am-5:00pm EST

Montreal:

  • November 18 – Best Buy Marche Central, 8871 De L’Acadie Boulevard, Montreal from 11:00am-1:30pm EST
  • November 18 – Future Shop Montreal-Centreville, St. Catherine Street, Montreal from 3:00pm-5:30pm EST
  • November 19 – La Récréathèque*, Laval from 11:00am-6:00pm EST
  • November 20 – La Récréathèque*, Laval from 11:00am-6:00pm EST

*These events may charge a fee for entry

Winter is Coming…

The wildly popular HBO series Game of Thrones is coming to a Console near you in 2012. Atlus is collaborating with George R.R. Martin, Author of the ‘Song of Fire and Ice Series‘, to build this interactive RPG story line that coincides with the Timeline of Robert’s Rebellion (For those that didn’t read the books, this happens before the first book).

Play your part as soldiers in Robert’s Army as you journey across the Seven Kingdoms. More details coming soon – watch GameOfThrones-thegame.com

Review – Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Just a quick note to say that I have not yet finished the game and have only managed to get in about 30hrs of gameplay. I know I’ll get a lot of haters on this but seriously, the game really is that freaking big.

Oblivion burst onto consoles in the Spring of 2006. I remember being so amazed by the images I saw online and the intense hunger for a good long RPG, that I rushed out to pick up Oblivion the day it hit shelves. I was both impressed and unhappy at the same time. The Environments looked incredible but the characters all looked spectacularly brutal. I swear each character was only 2 generations removed from Apes walking upright. The gameplay itself was an RPG using a First Person Shooter Perspective which I found to be a little cumbersome, I was always getting lost and every single town I entered wanted me dead or to toss me in jail due to my own ignorance. The sheer size of the game also soured me on the whole experience because it was new and I had never before seen anything so big in a game….but after playing through Fallout 3 and New Vegas, I’m a new man and an old pro at exploring vast worlds…

***Possible Spoiler Alert – Scroll down to avoid***

The game starts off with a cart full of prisoners as they’re being taken to a fort to be executed. Once in the town, the player gets off the cart and begins their character customization. Right off the bat I noticed a remarkable improvement on the character models. From there we get to witness the execution of a prisoner when he’s laid down and beheaded with his head dropping into a basket and his lifeless body being kicked to the side. It’s now your turn to face the hold steel of the executioners blade when out of nowhere, a Dragon lands on a house and begins attacking and destroying the town thus leaving you to your own devices to escape and learn some of the fundamentals of the game which pretty well plays very similarly to it’s predecessor and the true beginning of your quest.

The story is not a direct sequel to Oblivion so much as it takes place a few hundred years later after the Empire began relinquishing territories to the Elven nations because there was no heir to the throne following the Emperors death. The player eventually learns that Skyrim’s civil war is last prophetic event foretold by the Elder Scrolls, which also speak of the return the Nordic god of destruction, Alduin.

Taking the form of a dragon, Alduin is prophesied to consume the world with his servants, the Jills (a race of black dragons). The player character is the last Doväkiin (Dragonborn), a dragon hunter anointed by the gods to help fend off the threat Alduin poses to Skyrim and Tamriel.

***End of Possible Spoiler***

***EDIT***Here’s an extra special follow-up post for all the people whose comments both made me laugh and shake my head. But let’s soldier on good reader. You’ve asked for more detail so here we go.

I will admit , that there is an aspect of the game that I found to be enjoyable though I’m not sure if it was a feature in previous games and I forgot to report back on it – Sue me I’m only human and do this for fun purely based on my love of all things videogames. That aspect of the game I speak of is called “Smithing”. Very early on in the game (right after the escape from the Dragon that’s destroying the town from the beginning***Ooops Spolier Alert!***) the player is introduced to Smithing of weapons and armor. Smithing requires a proficiency in working with various metals such as Iron and using animal hides to make leather in order to make repair, augment and improve weapons and armor. All it really requires are the right ingredients using the forge, the grinding stone, then applying augments to it(where applicable) on the workbench. A minor gripe I have with the Smithing is that it’s unfortunate that it’s not more like a mini-game or had some form of user creation tool to give each weapon/armor a personal touch. Off to the Gallows with me!

Next up is the control scheme – The controls are pretty well just like Fallout 3. Analogue sticks should be self explanatory – Push up and you move forward – Back and you move backward, Left and right strafe. The right stick turns the character. Press down on LS and you crouch, press down on RS and it changes the camera to a 3rd person perspective. B button opens the tree menu with skills, items, map and magic. The Skill tree is laid out as though looking at constellations – beneath each skill, the user can see the features of each skill and the path they take. IE: The first level of  Smithing starts off with proficiency in crafting with Iron as you progress and hone your skills, you’ll eventually be able to create Dragon Armor.  X button draws your weapon and puts it away. A button interacts with people or takes items and Y button jumps. Right trigger swings your weapon where the Left trigger guards unless you have magic equipped in which case, you can hold the left trigger to charge up your spell and release it to cast. LB sprints and only last as long as your Stamina will allow and RB shouts/power moves. Pretty standard fare.

As I said before, and was lambasted for, the map is huge. It very easily dwarfs Fallout. I haven’t yet even seen all of it and it appears to be considerably larger with more destinations to visit and it can take what seems like forever to go from point A to B. Thankfully there is a fast travel option as well as a stable you can go to and pay for a ride or…you can be a total bastard and steal a horse risking life, limb, gold and freedom in the process.

The graphics for Skyrim are a vast improvement over Oblivion and Fallout but still not on the same level as something like Rage’s iD Tech 5(which I find to be one of the sexiest new engines out there right now). The new “Creation Engine” is a variant of the same engine used for Oblivion and Fallout but it’s no slouch.  The environments are lush and lively as expected in this type of game, the animations are smooth and the characters look awesome, however, I didn’t care for how the horses looked while riding them to different locales. When walking over a rock, for example, the horse will just jump up over the rock and fall back down on the other side – I found it to look very unnatural. Surprisingly Skyrim all fits onto one disc and the load times are reasonably short (I can’t speak for the load times when running off disc)I love the way the weather systems look in this game. The weather effects in the game look awesome, in particular in the snowy regions though I did notice that no tracks were left behind. Aside from those minor complaints, everything in the world just feels to be more alive.

I actually encountered a bug when I encountered 2 different NPCs – When trying to interact with them, they don’t actually say anything and the subtitles I have turned on whip by without giving me the opportunity to read what’s going on. My immediate thought was my controller was acting up but, this has happened with 4 different controllers – it appears that this is not a controller issue. Time will tell if this is a common issue Keep an eye out and let us know if you encounter the same thing. Sad Bear face!

The audio is awesome – when I have the luxury of having it turned up loud (the man cave is below my daughter’s room), the bustling sounds of a city, the serenity nature and the ferocity of violent battles really adds to atmosphere. The soundtrack is fantastic, well timed and placed throughout.  As expected from Bethesda, there’s an  insane amount of spoken dialogue, some spoken by celebrities like Max Von Sydow, and Christopher Plummer.

The game is quite challenging especially at the beginning. I’m one of those guys that loves to run in guns-a-blazing (swords-a-swinging in this case) and as I quickly learned that’s just not how to play this game. This is an adventure game that takes it’s time to tell a story and build and I am taking my sweet time plodding through avoiding the main quest for the most part for the time being. I’ve put a great deal of emphasis on Lock picking for all the obvious reasons,  Smithing to have the best weapons and armor, Heavy weapons to deal the most damage and speech to help with persuading people and save some precious gold when buying items – Anything to try and help me get the leg up on this game.

This title is sure to eat up countless hours well into the new year.

In my previous post I stated that the amount of time I had with the game was extremely limited in the grand scheme of things and that I wasn’t a fan of Oblivion assuming you could read between the lines (I didn’t finish it even after repeated attempts – I disliked it that much) but it seems that’s not the case. Also, the hate I get for rating something a 9 out of 10 is staggering (I just might be Public Enemy #1).

Yes! Online is important to me and I would love to see co-op in a game f this magnitude- No it’s not a deal breaker. Yes those are my views and opinions – No it doesn’t make my opinion right. Yes I see your side – No it doesn’t make your opinion right. No I won’t be changing my original score.

It’s a 9 out of 10 game.

Pros

  • Length of the Game – I’m 30hrs in and don’t see an end in sight.
  • Replay Value – There’s just so much to do and see the game will no doubt warrant a 2nd or even 3rd play through.
  • Sandbox games – I’m a sucker for sandbox style games. This one is huge.
  • Graphics – the characters look cleaner and the environments have much more depth resulting in a prettier appearance.
  • Sound design

Cons:

  • No Co-op – I always get shit for this but I’m a huge fan of coop experiences. This game screams for it.
  • Some glitchy animations
  • Only encountered 1 bug on 2 different occasions and it did prevent me from understanding what was going on because it was tied to the main quest.

 

 

Kinect Sports: Season Two Challenge Pack #1


The teams from Rare and Big Park Games just released a free game add-on and the first of a series of monthly updates for “Kinect Sports: Season Two.”

Available yesterday, Nov. 7, on Xbox LIVE Marketplace six new sports included in Challenge Pack #1 include:

  • Baseball: Frantic Fielder – Oil up your mitt and get ready for action! “Frantic Fielder” for Baseball gives all new meaning to playing catch. Fielding an endless stream of balls from a lineup of mascots tests everything from hand-eye coordination to speed. The more you catch the harder it gets – three misses and you’re OUT!
  • Darts: Smart Shot – Exercise the brain and throwing arm simultaneously with “Smart Shot” for Darts. If hitting the bulls-eye wasn’t challenge enough, try competing against the clock with mathematical puzzles that require a sharp mind and even sharper aim.
  • Football: Crazy Kicker – As the star kicker in “Crazy Kicker” for Football, you’ll discover the challenge of making a 40-yard field goal with all eyes watching. Account for factors like distance and wind to line up your shot perfectly and score! The crowd and mascots will cheer you on with every amazing goal.
  • Golf: Champion Chip – “Champion Chip” for Golf takes the short game to a new level. Chip shots become increasingly challenging from different surfaces, distances, and with natural obstacles like wind steering the course.
  • Skiing: Cool Ringings – Swoosh down the slopes with a license for speed, dodging mascots and ringing the cowbells for extra points in “Cool Ringings” for Skiing. Five different courses help players build their ski legs just in time for ski season.
  • Tennis: Rapid Returner – Breaking a sweat is easy with “Rapid Returner” for Tennis, where mascots serve up a variety of zingers at increasing speeds to the forehand, backhand, net and baseline. If you’re looking for the ultimate Tennis training game, grab your racquet for and get ready for action.

New game add-ons will be made available each and every month through Spring 2012, with each release including some kind of free content to keep you on the field and in the game.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6 Patriots


Terrorism has evolved, and so has Team Rainbow. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6 Patriots brings back all the team play, tactics, and realism that fans love in this long standing franchise. In Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6 Patriots, Team Rainbow faces a new and very real threat called the “True Patriots,” a highly-trained, well-organized revolutionary group that claim the American government is irrevocably corrupted by greedy politicians and corporate special interests. The True Patriots will do whatever it takes to reclaim their country.



In addition to the immerseive single-player storyline, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6 Patriots will introduce a huge variety of new innovative co-op and multi-player experiences. Players will be rewarded for working as a team and mastering the game’s new features that enhance communication and tactical execution between teammates. Success will come from a mix of split-second decision making and working to coordinate attacks against the enemy.

For more information about Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6 Patriots, please visit www.rainbow6.com

Rayman goes back to his roots

The Game that put Ubisoft on the map returns with Rayman Origins.

When the Glade of Dreams is overrun by “nefurrious” Darktoons, the Fairy Council hastily invokes Rayman to save the day; but the hero of light isn’t quite all there…To help him, Rayman teams up with his best friend, Globox, and two crafty wizards, the Teensies. Together, the world’s most hilarious team of heroes will need to restore peace to the Glade or watch as their beloved home vanishes like a bad dream…



Rayman Origins Demo available on November 9th and in stores November 15th for the PlayStation 3 system, Xbox 360, and Wii.

BestBuy Launches Game Reward Program

Building on the already successful BestBuy Reward Zone, gamers are now able to get bonuses for doing what they love… Buying and Trading games in the Reward Zone Gamers Club.

Membership has it’s privledges, in the Gamer zone you can expect:

  • 2X the Reward Zone points for every dollar spent on new and previously played games and gaming accessories
  • Program gives more rewards, perks and offers to gamers than any other retailer
  • Reward Zone Gamers Club members still get to take advantage of leading pre-order and trade-in gaming program
  • Monthly perks such as draws for limited edition games and special invites via the Reward Zone Gamers Club e-newsletter
  • Welcome offers such as 10 per cent off any pre-owned game
  • Special member-only pricing on select accessories
  • No membership fee – free program to join

What are you waiting for go join – didn’t you see it’s FREE – Sign up here: http://www.bestbuy.ca/rewardzone

Zelda and Link are Coming to Toronto

Nintendo fans don’t think we’ve abandoned you, I’m sorry it’s been a while since we talked but it’s just been a busy summer with the other consoles… But fear not we haven’t forgotten about you!

Here is the make good on our absence…

ZELDA AND LINK ARE COMING TO TORONTO and you can get your hands on the game early if you show up over the weekend to see them (details below).

The first 150 attendees present at the event on Friday, November 18th and the first 150 attendees at the event on Saturday, November 19th will obtain a wrist band (limit one per person) for the opportunity to buy The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword bundle on Saturday, November 19th from 9:00pm-10:00pm at Future Shop Yonge and Dundas.