- Scott C. Jones at Plugged In3 days ago
I wanted to like Pixels .
Or, at the very least, I wanted to not be embarrassed by it.
Even though gaming has been part of my career for 15 years now, it ’ s still occasionally tough for me to admit I ’ m a gamer. I grew up in the 70 ’ s and 80 ’ s, which was a time when being a gamer was a touchy subject. My parents never really understood games or understood my interest in them. This means, sadly, that there will always be a part of me — that oddball gamer/weirdo part — that they will never fully comprehend.
Now along comes a movie that slaps a big Pac-Man on its poster. It stars Adam Sandler, an actor my fussy father claims to have enjoyed seeing in 50 First Dates . When I said that I didn ’ t want to be embarrassed by Pixels , what I was trying to say was this: I hoped this movie might somehow help my parents understand why their oldest boy has chosen to live his life the way that he does.
- Chris Morris at Plugged In4 days ago
Cyber athletes might not juice in quite the same way as a UFC fighter or MLB slugger, but performance-enhancing drugs are becoming a big enough concern that one of the largest pro gaming organizations in the world is about to start testing its players.
The Electronic Sports League (ESL) has announced it will begin policing substances that could unfairly improve a competitor's performance.
"The growing visibility and popularity of eSports, as well as increasing prize pools, make it not only more tempting for teams and players to break the rules, but also more damaging to our sport as a whole when they do," the group said in a statement. "ESL has an ongoing commitment to safeguarding the integrity of our competitions and providing a fair playground for professional players. With this in mind, today we’re announcing further steps our organization is taking, to determine and enforce guidelines and rules the use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) at ESL events."
- Matt Cabral at Plugged In5 days ago
A few hours into Godzilla , I’m engaged in what should be an absolutely epic monster-on-monster melee. As the iconic beast, I'm belly-deep in the ocean trading blows with King Ghidora. With a stretching skyline in the distance, military strikes raining down from above, and my three-headed opponent against the ropes, the stage is set for a battle worthy of the King of the Monsters.
Except that the ropes are literal: We’re artificially penned-in by an ugly rectangular outline.
That’s just one of the ways Bandai Namco's video game take on the fire-breathing baddie for the PS3 and PS4 is off base. Much like the game's idiotic, gung-ho military that are convinced they can stop Godzilla, I was continuously fooled by cool concepts ultimately sullied by awkward implementation, fun-halting flaws, and bad design choices. While Japan's government remained clueless — shocked till the very end that Godzilla was coming for their precious G-Energy — I smartened up much sooner.
- Chris Morris at Plugged In6 days ago
Over-the-top celebrations are perfectly fine when you've won a big game. Just make sure you've actually won first.
That's a lesson one pro gamer learned during the Evolution Championship Series (more commonly referred to as EVO) this past weekend when he prematurely took a victory lap.
A player named Woshige was in the semi-finals in a tough Guilty Gear Xrd SIGN battle against a fellow pro named Ogawa. After a back and forth fight, Woshige scored a knockout and began strutting around the stage with his arms raised.
The problem? The game wasn't over. He still needed another victory to seal it.
He realized that a few seconds too late, rushing back over to grab the controller as Ogawa effortless pounded his opponent to win the semifinal. As Ogawa made his own victory lap, Woshige sat slumped in his chair with his head down, humiliated but chuckling at his own mistake.
- Yahoo! Games at Plugged In10 days ago
If you’ve ever fired up a decades-old VHS tape, you may have noticed that the old commercials are often more interesting than the shows you or your parents were trying to tape.
A memorable commercial is a magical time capsule, a portal to bygone hair styles, dated social mores, crude special effects, and weird theme songs. Here are ten awesome board game commercials (and quasi-board-game commercials) covering over three decades’ worth of frenzied advertising.
Legendary filmmaker Orson Welles was obliged to do a lot of side gigging in his sunset years. When he wasn’t , Welles even dipped his formidable toe into the games business. Here he is seriously classing up the joint while pitching the coveted early-80s electronic board game Dark Tower . Take a lesson from the maestro: that’s how you phone it in.
This perfectly serviceable commercial works more as a nostalgia hit than as anything especially weird or funny. We’re mainly impressed with the bluesy way the vocalist sings “Hippooooo” at 0:05, and with the narrator’s punctilious grammar. (Does anybody say “whosever” anymore?)
This one is, um...nope. We’re not going to say anything. Mr. Bucket, everybody.
- Ben Silverman at Plugged In11 days ago
Move over, Madden Curse. Tiger Woods wields some dark magic, too.
What else can explain the drama surrounding Rory McIlroy PGA Tour ? After spending well over a decade slapping Tiger’s mug on the cover of PGA Tour games, EA Sports decided to switch it up and distance themselves from the ailing pro. I suppose you can’t really blame them. EA’s in the business of selling golf games, so swapping the troubled Tiger for the top-ranked player in the world was a no-brainer. There is no fairer weather fan than a video game sports publisher.
But a mere ten days before EA Sports released their new golf game, McIlroy severely injured his ankle while playing soccer with his pals. It’s bad enough to keep him out of the British Open and possibly impact his ability to contend at the PGA Championship in August, a terrible break for both the young pro and the company hoping his popularity will help sell some golf video games.
- Scott C. Jones at Plugged In13 days ago
I ’ ve always been partial to the irate Kratos.
The star of Sony ’ s God of War series is two things that most video game protagonists don ’ t have the guts to be: he is angry, and he is blatantly unlikeable. Like a heel in the WWE, Kratos has no use for kind hearts or good wishes (or shirts, for that matter; Kratos is most at home in his dangling loin cloth and Florida sandals). Love him, hate him, or love to hate him, he is going to yell at Athena and pleasure nymphs and cut open demons regardless.
Kratos ’ bloodlust has been highlighted in four original consoles games, three compilations, two PSP games, and one mobile phone game. That ’ s a lot of murder, but gamers keep eating it up. The central genius of the God of War series is pairing highbrow subject matter (Bullfinch ’ s Greek mythology, basically) with puerile gameplay. We ’ ve been pulling the heads off of enemies in video games for dozens of years, but if the head happens to belong to Medusa? Well. Pour me another chardonnay, barkeep, because things just got 82-percent more sophisticated.
- Chris Morris at Plugged In13 days ago
We saw plenty of great looking games at the recent E3 2015 conference. And while some of those will indeed live up to expectations, every single one is just a few bad decisions away from disaster.
All too often, we convince ourselves that a game is going to be awesome based on fancy tech demos, early impressions, or the developer's pedigree…only to watch in horror as 50 things go wrong and it turns out to be a mess. Here's a look at 10 of the biggest busts in gaming history.
Duke Nukem Forever (2011)
The one, the only. Long considered vaporware, this ill-fated shooter actually got released. It probably shouldn’t have.
First announced in 1997, Duke Nukem Forever was originally planned for a 1998 release. Ten years later, gamers still didn’t have anything to play, and when developer 3D Realms downsized in 2009, the game was seemingly cancelled. But where there’s a square-jawed, butt-kicking icon, there’s a way. Gearbox Software swooped in and resurrected Duke Nukem Forever a year later, and it finally hit shelves in 2011.
- Chris Morris at Plugged In14 days ago
Like many gamers, I was shocked to hear Sunday night's news about the sudden, unexpected passing of Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. Just as Nintendo isn't your typical video game company, Satoru Iwata wasn't your typical video game executive.
It would be inaccurate to say Iwata and I were friends. We never discussed our families, we never met in non-professional circumstances, and we were often forced to do the pas de deux of a reporter and executive who have different goals in the conversation. But our relationship, which evolved over the course of many annual get-togethers at the E3 video game conference from 2005 to 2013, was definitely friendly.
What struck me most about Iwata was his enthusiasm for gaming and the benefits it could offer. That kind of optimism is hard to maintain when you're in a leadership role, juggling the constant demand from shareholders to improve performance and the many moving parts of a massive, multi-national company.
But in all the times we met, Iwata was never without passion — even when his detractors were at their loudest.
- Ben Silverman at Plugged In15 days ago
Satoru Iwata, the president of Nintendo, has passed away. He was 55.
Nintendo announced the tragic news in a brief statement, listing his cause of death as “a bile duct growth.”
Iwata’s health had been declining for some time. In 2014, he missed the E3 conference in Los Angeles on advice of his physician. He underwent what was believed to have been successful surgery shortly thereafter.
Iwata’s career began as a developer with Nintendo subsidiary HAL Laboratories, where he worked on popular Nintendo games such as Balloon Fight and Earthbound . He became president of HAL in 1993. Seven years later he became the head of corporate planning at Nintendo proper, a title he held for only two years. In 2002, Iwata succeeded longtime company president Hiroshi Yamauchi to become only the fourth president in Nintendo’s history.
Greatly admired by gamers and peers, Iwata steered Nintendo through some of its brightest days. During his tenure, Nintendo released the DS line of handhelds — the best-selling video game system of all-time — as well as the wildly popular Wii console.