Rockstar Announces Grand Theft Auto V Gets A Launch Date

Los Santos, CA, you better get ready the streets are about to get bloody as Grand Theft Auto V is heading your way officially in the Spring of 2013.

GTA-V

If you forgot about the announcement here is a refresher on the GTA V Trailer from November 2011:

Get your pre-order on starting next week November 5, 2012, more news as it’s released.

More info: Grand Theft Auto V

Nintendo Wii U Holiday Event

Nintendo 2012 Holiday Event

Nintendo Wii U 2012 Holiday Event – Toronto, ON

Nintendo knows how to throw a party, and they didn’t pull any punches when getting ready for the 2012 Holiday Season.  The Wii U is the little Nintendo device with a very neat looking controller that’s on everyone’s minds.  Will the WIi U help Nintendo compete with Xbox and PlayStation in the coming year?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIP3JmQ7yvY&w=560&h=315]

First, let’s take a closer look at the Wii U itself:

  • The Wii U will display games in HD.
  • The Wii U is backwards compatible with your Wii controllers
  • The Wii U controller has a touchscreen, camera and 2 analogue sticks.
  • The Wii U will be available in 2 different models each at a different price.
  • The Wii U Basic is white, comes with 8 GB of internal storage and will retail for $299.99.
  • The Wii U Deluxe is black and will retail for $349.99. It includes 32 GB of memory, Nintendo Land, a charging station and stands for the Wii U controller and console.

Now on to the Wii U launch titles we checked out….

Nintendo Land

Nintendo Land aims to be that party game that also demonstrates and teaches you how to use the Wii U controller.  Think of it like Wii Sports for the Wii U, but the game seems more complete than a simple collection of mini games.  Nintendo Land launches with the Wii U.

New Super Mario Bros. U

Take to the mushroom kingdom in HD with New Super Mario Bros. U.  You can bring your own Mii into the mix this time around and a 5th player can join in on the Wii U Controller to help the other players.  We had a good time with this one and the platforming was as solid as you would expect from a Mario game.

Scribblenauts Unlimited

Scribblenauts Unlimited is from 5th Cell and WB Games and is available for the Wii U on November 18th.  Scribblenauts is even bigger this time around and with more recognized words and items to play with than ever before.  Paige even helps demonstrate how the spell check can kick in and help out…could have been me just as easy.

Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two

Epic Mickey 2, The Power of Two from Junction Point and Disney Interactive is also out on November 18th  You can play drop-in/drop-out co-op with a friend  and the colors look great in HD.

FIFA Soccer 13

FIFA Soccer 13 makes its way to the WIi U and will be available at launch.  The Wii U controller adds new options for both gameplay and in management modes.  We got a close look at how the controller adds to the gameplay in this title.

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razors Edge

Ninja Gaiden 3 Razor’s Edge from Techmo and Team Ninja was also on display.  Usethe Wii U control to select weapons, trigger Ninpo and more.  Ninja Gaiden 3 Razor’s Edge will be available November 18th as another launch title exclusively for the Wii U.

Zombi U and Black Ops II

I took aim at Zombi U from Ubisoft and how players can take out Zombies from a distance using the Wii U controller.  Call of Duty Black Ops II, is also out for the Wii U on November 18th and brings this intense first-person shooter to a new audience now that Nintendo is HD.  Will the control pad add to the gameplay?  Don’t look for killstreaks either…at least not by that name..here they are called scorestreakes.

Kirby’s Dream Collection (Wii)

We tried out Kirby’s Dream Collection that’s already been released on the Wii.  Kirby fans rejoice! This 20th Anniversary collection from Hal Laboratory and Nintendo includes 6 Kirby titles.

3DS Games

There was also a room for new and upcoming 3DS games.  We checked out a bunch of 3DS and DS games while we were there.  Pokemon Dream Radar and Style Savvy: Trend Setters got Paige’s attention while I really liked playing Crashmo, sequel to Pushmo and New Super Mario Bros. 2

We also played Paper Mario: Sticker Star set to be released on November 11th 2012

The Nintendo Holiday Event was fun this year…and the upcoming Wii U release on November 18th has us asking a lot of questions.  I can’t wait to see more as developers find ways to take advantage of the unique controls.

Thanks to Nintendo and to the attending developers.

Nintendo 2012 Holiday Event

Review – Borderlands 2

I was a shade late to the party with the original Borderlands when it hit consoles in 2009. Most of my friends had already moved on and no one wanted to play but still I found myself strangely compelled by the game as I played through it on my own. What I found was a game that was low on a quality story but extremely high on fun factor. At the time I had vowed that Borderlands 2 would be in my console the day it hit shelves.

Borderlands 2

Taking place 5 yrs after the events of the original, Borderlands 2 takes us back to Pandora with a 5 new characters (4 at launch with the Mecromancer coming a month later as DLC).

  • Maya – The Siren uses phaselock and abilities similar to Lilith from the original
  • Salvador – The Gunzerker who takes the role of insane tank over from Brick but can actually dual wield weapons as his special ability
  • Axton – The Commando, resembles Roland and uses Auto-Turrets
  • Zer0 – The Assassin who can create decoys of himself to distract enemies
  • Gaige – The Mecromancer who was not available at the time of release and arrived about a month after the game’s release DLC (free to those of us who pre-ordered). Gaige has a pet Robot who she can deploy to dispatch some serious hurt on enemies.

Much has changed in the short time since the original game. Since the original Vault Hunters defeated the Destroyer, a new valuable mineral called Eridium has begun invading Pandora’s crust resulting in a Hyperion Corporation’s employee known as Handsome Jack seizing control of this new mineral and using it to take over the planet and ruling with it’s citizens with an Iron Fist. Rumors had begun spreading through the galaxy of a larger more valuable Vault on Pandora bringing in Vault Hunters from far and wide in search of these riches only to be killed by Handsome Jack and thus begins the journey through Borderlands 2.

Borderlands 2 takes the gameplay from the original title and build upon it. Just like the original, players start off by picking their character class, and taking on new missions/quests given to them by job boards and by speaking with other NPCs in the world. As the player gains experience and levels up, they can decide which of the 3 specialities they want to assign the points to. 4 Player Co-op makes a triumphant return resulting in loads of laughs, gun play an hours upon hours of social gaming.

The enemies by and large haven’t changed much but there have been some new interesting and challenging additions to the portfolio of endless baddies. Their AI is improved upon to some degree but I mostly found them to be rather mindless. It’s the sheer number of enemies and their attacks that tend to put people on their backs.

All in all Borderlands 2 is just a whole lot more of what the original title brought. Guns, Explosions, treasure hunting, guns and more guns. Hardly a bad thing. The story was still a little to be desired as I found myself just not caring and wishing I could skip past the story moments in favor of just getting on with the looting. I’ve now finished the game 3 times, with 2 different character builds. The Gunzerker and now the Mecromancer. I just can’t seem to get enough of the social aspect of this title because I’m rarely if ever in a game with any less than 3 other people and we all help each other complete missions, Bad Ass challenges or just farming areas for the best loot. I’m now well over 400hrs into this game and while I still have about 5 more games that need to be finished, I keep coming back for more as more and more of my friends get the game and want to play or ask for help. It’s rare that a game can captivate me the way this one has.

This is a must have for any gamer.

Feed Your Console gives Borderlands 2 an enthusiastic gun toting 9.5 out of 10

Pros:

  • 4 player Coop makes for some great social gaming marathons
  • New variants on familiar character classes and the new Mecromancer
  • Keeping the basic recipe for gameplay the same

Cons:

  • Weak story – I just couldn’t bring myself to care about it

Psy Gangnam Style is coming to Just Dance 4

Today Ubisoft release news that South Korean Music sensation Psy’s Gangnam Style will be available as DLC for Just Dance 4. Now unless you’ve been under a rock or living with out electricity for the last couple of months you’ve either seen, heard or watched Psy TV or the internet. Gangnam Style has ranked up over 480 Million (yes 480 Million) views on YouTube and the video have launched parodies and covers from the likes of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Oregon Ducks Marching Band and the Stratford Festival Casts of 42nd St and Pirates of Penzance.

Psy was quoted in the Ubisoft release as saying “Gangnam Style and Just Dance 4, I can’t wait to see all the YouTube videos”.

Imagine this in your living room – maybe with a few less Horses…

Oppa Gangnam Style!

Gangnam Style will be available in November 2012. Download details and pricing will be similar to previous Just Dance DLC. For the latest information on Just Dance 4, please visit: www.justdancegame.com.

Gangnam Style

Developer Interviews – Skylanders Giants and LittleBigPlanet Karting

Developer Interviews - Skylanders Giants and LittleBigPlanet Karting

Developer Interviews – Skylanders Giants and LittleBigPlanet Karting

From the Sony PlayStation 2012 Holiday Event in Toronto, Canada

Welcome to our Developer Interview Double Feature.  We focus on games that little ones can play but are still fun for more experienced players.  We present Hands-on demos and Developer Interviews for the upcoming titles, Skylanders Giants and LittleBigPlanet Karting.

The recent Sony PlayStation Holiday Event here in Toronto provided the perfect venue to learn more about these titles

Skylanders Giants:

Skylanders Giants, from Activision and Toys for Bob is out for the PS3, Xbox360 Wii and 3DS on October 21st 2012.  A Wii U version is available on November 18th, 2012.   It continues and builds upon the gameplay style of Skylander’s Spyro Adventure.  In Skylanders Giants you get to play as…you guessed it Giants!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azMpiEEvnHk&w=560&h=315]

Using the portal you change out characters on the fly, making use of their specific abilities and upgrades and all the information is stored on the figures.  I love how it doesn’t take batteries and the newly added advanced difficulty levels should add to the replayability.  Check out what Lou, Production Coordinator for Skylander’s Giants has to say.

LittleBigPlanet Karting:

Rated E for everyone and out on November 6th 2012, LittleBigPlanet Karting or LBPK combines the Play, create and share concept of LittleBigPlanet with kart racing action and gameplay we’re already familiar with.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-XqKjYxJUk&w=560&h=315]

Developers from United Front Games worked with Media Molecule to bring this fun, accessible and creative kart racer exclusively to the PS3.  An adventure spanning over 25 levels over a few Planets and online play and sharing can be found here.  LittleBigPlanet Karting gives you up to 4 player multiplayer locally and up to 8 races online.

We get a chance to talk with Nick, Gameplay Designer for LittleBigPlanet Karting to get the low-down.

Spy Hunter Released

Warner Brothers Interactive announced this week that the launch of a rebooted Midway classic – Spy Hunter – is now available for the PS Vita and the Nintendo 3DS.

1983 Spy Hunter
1983 Spy Hunter
2012 Spy Hunter
2012 Spy Hunter


Gamers that remember the 80’s will be familiar with this title that mixes racing and high tech gadgets. Agents will get behind the wheel of the G-6155 Interceptor supercar to travel the globe and prevent a world wide terrorist organization from succeeding in their plans for world domination. Switch from a street racer to an off-road assault vehicle complete with up-gradable weapons, technology and gadgets to assist your missions.

Some new features included in Spy Hunter include new crash animations, slow motion camera capabilities and an unmanned drone to assist and amp up your destruction levels to 11.

Players will also recognize the familiar sounds of the Peter Gunn Theme getting a reboot. The Music of Spy Hunter soundtrack, composed by none other than Toronto Native and Grammy nominated composer Ryan Shore, is now available from WaterTower Music.

Watch the Announcement Trailer now:

PlayStation 2012 Holiday Event Video Report

Sony_Holiday_Event_2012

JoystickUnicorn’s PlayStation Holiday Event 2012 – Toronto, Oct. 3, 2012

Because the idea of opening new video games on Christmas morning always filled me with a childhood sense of wonderment, let’s take a look at the Sony PlayStation 2012 Holiday Event through a child’s eyes…literally.

On Oct. 3 2012, Sony and many leading developers showcased new and upcoming PS3 game titles for the holiday season.  Paige and I made our way to the Palais Royale on Toronto’s Waterfront to see what we could expect from PlayStation over the holidays.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMiDhsFOYT8&w=560&h=315]

Paige was instinctively drawn to Skylanders Giants from Activision and Square Enix.  Out on Oct. 21st, Skylanders Giants lets you switch out your figures on the fly during gameplay as its the figures that store the individual stats.  More game modes have been added along with more advanced difficulty modes and a fun co-op.

LittleBigPlanet Karting available on the PS3 on Nov. 6th blends the kart racing we all know and love with the creativity typically found in games with LittleBigPlanet in the title.  We raced a few laps using the PS Move Steering wheel in this title from United Front Games and Media Molecule.

Paige with the Sony WonderbookThe Sony Wonderbook, set to be released in December was on display with their launch title, Book of Spells.  This interactive, AR experience is set prior to the events of the Harry Potter movies, but Paige loved seeing herself in the environment, conjuring magic.

The Unfinished Swan was a delightful surprise.  This innovative game is available for download on the PSN Oct 24th.  You use the PS Move to traverse a blank white canvas, painting the environment as you go.  The controls were simple and intuitive.

Sly Cooper 4: Thieves in Time from Sanzaru Games and Sony Entertainment picks up after Sly Cooper 3. It includes a new costume system used to give Sly abilities like additional defence and more.  It’s out Feb. 5th, 2013

Paige and I faced off in Injustice: Gods Among Us.  She as Harley Quinn, me The Flash.  The over-the-top power moves and gameplay was fun for me, but not so much for my 6 year old daughter.  Injustice: Gods Among Us is out in the Spring of 2013

PlayStation All-StarsWe checked out Assassins Creed III and the naval battle mode.  I thought the ship moved well through the water.  This is another title geared more for me.  Check it out yourself on Nov 20th.

Playstation All-Stars Battle Royal out Nov 20th provided a ton of fun.  While Paige wanted to exclusively play as Fat Princess, we had the chance to see a few different fighters in play.

As for the PS Vita, we checked out FIFA 13 and Sound Shapes.  I Thought the Vita controls worked well for Sound Shapes especially.

Stay tuned for more from the Sony Holiday Event as we talk with developers from LittleBigPlanet Karting, Skylanders Giants, Book of Magic and PlayStation All-Stars.

Sony PlayStation Holiday Event 2012