- Gordon Cameron at Games Blog7 hrs ago
There are apps that let you listen to music, apps that let you identify music, and apps that let you share playlists. What’s always been trickier is an app that can let you create music -- without requiring a lot of specialized knowledge. If you know your way around a MIDI sequencer or an electronic keyboard you’ve got plenty of options, but what if you just want to belt out a tune and have a virtual Jay-Z take over the production reigns?
Chillingo aims to change all that with Zya, a new iOS app that launched today on the iTunes store. Zya lets you combine guitar, bass, and drum riffs in various genres – from hip-hop to rock to pop – then add your own vocal stylings to the mix. The app seamlessly welds together the various riffs, makes sure they’re in the same key and tempo, and pops out an original musical creation.
It’s all made possible by Zya’s cloud-based system, which offloads the heavy computer processing onto Chillingo’s servers. That means state-of-the-art, pro-quality mixing and autotuning are happening behind the scenes, ensuring that every song will be as slick and polished as possible.
- Mike Krumboltz at Games Blog9 hrs ago
For gamers who want to enjoy all the traditional components of a Christmas dinner and don't mind doing so in the most disgusting, least appetizing way possible, we present...Christmas Tinner, the Christmas dinner in a can.
Those with sensitive tummies should stop reading now, because this one will haunt your nightmares. There's just no other way to describe a tin can that comes with nine layers of food, one on top of the other.
Pop open the can, and you're greeted with a top layer of scrambled eggs and bacon. But wait, there's more! Below that resides some fruity mincemeat.
Still with us? Good, because it's time for the main course: turkey and potatoes, plus carrots and other side dishes, including gravy, cranberry sauce, and Brussels sprouts or broccoli, depending on your preference. (Apparently, some people who eat Christmas Tinners will draw the line at Brussels sprouts.) At the bottom of the can is your dessert/reward/finish line — Christmas pudding.
- Ben Silverman at Games Blog9 hrs ago
They’re already a leading developer of free-to-play online games, but San Francisco-based Kabam Entertainment is hoping to become more of a household name. Especially if your household graduated from the University of California at Berkeley – or just follows college football.
Kabam dropped a whopping $18 million to acquire naming rights to the field at Cal’s famous Memorial Stadium, hereafter known as "Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium," because that really rolls off the tongue.
Paid out over the next 15 years (at $1.2 million per year), the naming rights deal is the largest in the history of college sports.
The exorbitant sum is good news for Cal, which is looking to pay down over $300 million in debts incurred after renovating and retrofitting the 90 year-old stadium in 2012. Three of Kabam’s four founders, including CEO Kevin Chou, are Cal graduates, which might explain why they’d drop so much coin to rename a field for a team currently sporting a 1-11 record (as a Cal alumnus myself, it pained me to write that).
- Chris Morris at Plugged In11 hrs ago
EA's biggest game of the year is broken, and the publisher is taking extraordinary steps to get it fixed.
Players of military shooter Battlefield 4 have reported several big issues with the game, including a bug that applies damage from a single bullet multiple times, killing the player instantly (quickly dubbed the "one-hit kill" by players). As a result, EA has said it will not work on any planned expansions to the game until the core product is running smoothly.
Speaking to IGN, an EA rep said "we know we still have a ways to go with fixing the game - it is absolutely our #1 priority." As a result, Developer DICE is "not moving onto future projects or expansions until we sort out all the issues with Battlefield 4."
- Wired: Game|Life at Games Blog11 hrs ago
By Chris Kohler, Wired: Game|Life
Earlier this week, amidst all the hype over the launches of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, the Bloomberg news service took a step away from the wall-to-wall coverage of the new consoles to discuss Nintendo and the Wii U. They say no press is bad press, but…
“Sony Corp. and Microsoft Corp. each sold more game consoles in 24 hours than the Wii U maker did in nine months,” read the story. “[Nintendo] sold just 460,000 Wii U machines in the six months ended Sept. 30, about 5 percent of its target for the fiscal year.”
- Mike Krumboltz at Plugged In11 hrs ago
2013 was a great big fantastic year for video games. A-list titles lived up to the hype. Critically-acclaimed indies hit just about every platform imaginable. With all the choices, gamers may have forgotten or missed some of the year's top time-sucks.
Internet to the rescue! Malcolm Klock posted a video that calls out many of the year's best titles. And though the clip is short, Klock manages to fit a lot of deserving games into its two-minute run-time.
- Mike Krumboltz at Plugged In12 hrs ago
Sure, the Internet has its problems. But it also has Smooth McGroove and his a cappella version of the Tetris theme song.
Mr. McGroove (probably not his real name, but hats off to him if it is) posted a video of himself (actually eight different versions of himself) performing “Theme B” from the 1980s game classic. We never noticed before, but Theme B sounds a bit like “Carol of the Bells.”
The video looks a bit like the “Brady Bunch” intro, with the eight different McGrooves surrounding the center square. In this case, Alice the lovable maid has been replaced by a GameBoy-esque Tetris screen.
McGroove has posted similar videos before and each has garnered a slew of comments on YouTube. His version of Guile's theme from Street Fighter 2 racked up an astounding 4.5 million views.
- Chris Morris at Plugged In1 day ago
Christopher Evan Welch and Danny Wells, two television actors who made significant marks on the video game world, have both passed away.
The losses are a blow to fans of kitschy gaming tie-ins. Welch was the original voice actor for Miles "Tails" Prower in the "Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog" animated TV series. Wells portrayed Luigi on "The Super Mario Bros. Super Show," another Saturday morning staple.
Welch, 48, died in Los Angeles after a battle with cancer. His role as Tails was his first professional credit, though he later went on to guest star on shows such as "The Sopranos," "The Good Wife", "Rubicon," and "Law & Order: SVU." Additionally, he appeared in films including Steven Spielberg's “War of the Worlds” and “Lincoln.”
The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, which first aired in September 1993, starred Sonic (voiced by Jaleel "Urkel" White) and Tails in a neverending quest to thwart the evil Dr. Robotnik. It lasted three seasons before it was cancelled. Welch appeared in all 65 episodes of the show.
- Plugged In1 day ago
The 1980 comedy classic "The Blues Brothers" features a slew of car chases, each more outrageous than the last. Relatively early in the film, Jake and Elwood Blues attempt to lose their police pursuers by driving through a shopping mall. The scene features over-the-top destruction and deadpan dialogue by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd.
"Pier One Imports," says Aykroyd, as if he's making a note to shop there once the heat's off.
Unquestionably, it's a great scene in a movie full of them. Turns out, it's just as amazing with Lego bricks. Duncan McConchie, the mad genius at Bricktease, created a shot-for-shot redux of the famous scene done entirely with Legos. He nails the details. The windows smash, the cars spin and overturn, the shoppers flee and scream, and, of course, the Blues Brothers escape to continue their mission from God.
McConchie posted a side-by-side comparison of the chase scene so viewers can see the differences. And really, there aren't too many. This is a labor of love, and it shows.
Curious about how the clip was made? There's even an 11-minute making-of video.
- Ben Silverman at Plugged In1 day ago
Planning to have a video-game themed wedding? Then you’ll need an appropriate cake. And while cakes based on Super Mario, Portal and the PS3 are undoubtedly awesome, they’re not actually much fun to play.
New-Jersey-based Posh Entertainment, however, has upped the wedding cake game by projecting a variety of playable games directly onto the multi-tiered treat. In other words, you're playing video games on a cake:
That’s a fully edible cake there, people, on which you can play Donkey Kong, Dig Dug, Ice Climber, Pac Man, Sonic the Hedgehog and Candy Crush Saga.
The cake itself was made by catering company Meals For Reals, while the projection mapping -- the real key to getting this cake console working -- was handled by both Posh and Invader Visuals. The only problem? When you eat the cake, it's game over. So never eat this cake.