Playing Video Games Actually Have A Lot Of Benefits

Benefits of Playing Video Games

Video games may be thriving in recent weeks (or years) as a “booming” new industry, but that wasn’t always the case. Back then, people believed that video games were addicting sources of entertainment. That these video games were pointless and that they, uhm…rot your brain. Well, experts believe the contrary. A lot of researches had been conducted in order to prove otherwise and the scientists and researchers actually found a lot of benefits in playing video games. Here are the top benefits that video games might give you along with a few sample of games that might help you in that specific area.

Multitasking

Not Easy.
Yeah…the gist is, you will be controlling all of those at the SAME TIME. Easy, right? Nope.

Games: http://multitaskgames.com/

Try this: you’re watching the episodes of Game of Thrones because the new season is approaching really fast, while watching your kid, while writing this article, while doing another thing. Oh, look! You forgot your dinner on the stove. Handling this kind of scenario might be brain-wrecking for most people because they can’t handle multitasking. Well, worry not, my dear. Researchers found out that playing video games actually helps with doing (or at least paying attention to) multiple things at once.

But, it is important to note that this might be because the participants of the research were doing the same thing for thousands of times during the whole duration of the experiment which might be the reason why they were so good at it. It may be wonderful, fascinating even, to be able to do multiple things at once, but still you’ll be more efficient if you try to focus on just one task at a time.

Improved Attention

I know you've played something similar to this, right? Right?
I know you’ve played something similar to this, right? Right?

Games: Quake, Doom, Call of Duty, Overwatch, basically any action-packed games

Walking on a busy road, looking for a friend in a crowd or, following a ball during a game requires great effort and, sometimes, intense concentration; and these certain scenarios might be between life or death…ok, that may be taking it too far, nonetheless, it is a critical survival skill. In order to fully understand the relation between video games and Multiple Object Tracking (MOT), researchers from California designed, implemented, and evaluated TrackFX, a game that can be used by children as young as 30 months old.

The game is basically just like a hide-and-seek game where a ladybug and a spider are covered with leaves and were moved around. Then, after a few seconds, the movements stop and the player can then choose which leaf hides the ladybug. This way, the ladybug acts as the target and the spiders act as distractions. The results of the experiment were astonishing, the children still perform well despite the levels becoming more difficult.

Decision Making

Prof. Daphne Bavelier's test video game
Look at those dots! Oh, oh, oh!

Games: Tell-tale games, simulation games, and well…action games

One might look at gamers as if they are just ‘playing’ a game and not much is happening in their heads, but this is not the case. Each and every bit of a gaming session involves a lot of small and big decisions to be made; and some requires a reaction in a snap of a finger. This was further discussed by a team of researchers from New York. Oh and get this, the gender of a person doesn’t really matter.

What they did is that they assigned 14 people (half men, half women who haven’t played video games) to play two action games for no more than two hours a day up to a total of 50 hours. Then a second set of four men and seven women joined in but they played a Sims-like game where they direct the lives of the characters. Both of the groups improved greatly with the test game the researchers prepared but, action gamers responded faster. I can hear you cheering from here.

Do you think video games?

That’s all I got for now. There are still a lot of benefits that video games may offer us, but just like what my momma used to say, “Too much of everything is not good”. How about you? What are the benefits that video games have to offer us? And, have you experienced the benefits of games first-hand? Comment them down below and let’s have a chat.

GOG Spring Sale: 90% Off of More Than 500 Indie and AAA Games

spring sale for video games

What a great news! Wait, what is GOG you ask? GOG, a subsidiary of CD Projekt, is a software distribution platform serving DRM-free video games and movies. They have a kit if games ranging from critically acclaimed indie games to big and awesome triple-A video games. Guess what, their prizes range from as low as $5 to $10 for old games and for newer games, they can range from $5 to $30. You can get The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt for only $30! Can the prices go any lower? Oh yes! Enter, Spring Sale.

All Hail the Spring Sale (March 6 – 12, 2017)!

Adorable...Here, take my money!
Adorable…Here, take my money!

If you’re wondering which games do they have in store for us this Spring Sale, let me give you a sneak peek. For the indie game lovers out there, here are some of the indies they have for Spring Sale:

  • Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons – $2.24
  • Undertale – $4.99
  • World of Goo – $2.49
  • Crypt of the Necrodancer – $3.74
  • Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number – $3.74
  • Braid – $3.74
  • Bastion – $3.74
  • Invisible Inc. – $6.66

If you are not an indie game lover and more of a triple-A kind of a gamer, these games might be right in your alley:

  • Mirror’s Edge – $4.99
  • Metro 2033 Redux – $4.99
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (GOTY) – $29.99
  • Deus Ex GOTY Edition – $2.99
  • Dragon Age: Origins Enhanced Edition – $4.99
  • Dead Space – $4.99
  • Tales from the Borderlands – $6.24

…And a lot more!

Personally, I’m planning to buy Divinity: Original Sin, Invisible Inc., World of Goo, Bastion – yes, I know. I’m more of an indie-loving guy – then, for the triple-A games, Witcher 2 and 3, and I’m still thinking about getting Medal of Honor or Hitman. Definitely Hitman. There are also some story-rich games like Gemini Rue, Alan Wake, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, and a lot more.

Want to link your Steam Library?

Want to connect your Steam library with GOG? They got you covered with GOG Connect. With this tool, you can permanently import your games in Steam to your GOG library. But, a little heads up, my dear gamers. They only have a limited number of eligible games and are for a limited time only. This is because not all developers and publishers agree with the whole DRM-free idea.

I believe that this is a great opportunity to try out games that we weren’t able to play in the past. How about you guys? Which interesting games are you planning to but? We are curious and are eager to hear from you, guys. Comment your games down below and let’s have a fun conversation.

Video Games With Unique and Innovative Gameplay Mechanics

With the beautiful games being released this past few weeks, we can’t help but wonder if they will also capture us with their gameplay or detach us from the immersion that the game’s graphics or story gives us. Most of these upcoming games are overly hyped and we don’t want another, for a lack of better word, disappointment. No man wants to see a sky of unfulfilled promises – I know, not the best wordplay out there. Heads up! Minimal spoilers ahead. I did my best to keep all the spoilers to the least while keeping the integrity of the explanation about the video games with innovative – or unique – gameplay. Here are video games that got us hooked with their gameplay. These games are not rated on which is the best; this is an unsorted list. *wink* Enjoy!

Superhot

Unique Gameplay. Simplicity truly is beauty
Simplicity truly is beauty

Minimalist graphics? Check. Challenging levels? Check. Innovative and easy-to-learn gameplay? You guessed it – Check. Meet Piotr Iwanicki, the game designer of one of the best examples of indie-done-right video games. And, no, I will not try to pronounce his name. Superhot started out as an entry in a 7-Day First Person Shooter game jam back in August 2013. It was then greeted with a lot of praise from gamers and critics alike. Finally, released into a full-blown game back in 2016, thanks to crowd-funding and a lot of great publicity.

The gameplay can be explained in one sentence and the developers did just that stating that, “SUPERHOT is the first person shooter where time moves only when you move.” – You can’t explain it any simpler than that. Yes, time stops when you do; you can see the bullets mid-air, you can stop playing and go do something else, and you can smack people in the head then take their weapons, which you can also see fly up in the air as the enemy falls to the ground. This unique gameplay truly makes you feel like Rambo or Jack Bauer, a hero to save the day. Well, not in 24 hours or less, because you will be playing this game for dayz just to get through the challenges.

Papers, Please

It's fun, you have my word.
It’s fun, you have my word.

Have you experienced travelling to another country? Did you ever wonder how the immigration officers do their jobs? If the thought crossed your mind, I suggest grabbing a copy of Papers, Please, a game made by Lucas Pope. He was a developer from Naughty Dog, the studio behind the award-winning video game series, Uncharted. He made this game with a thought in his mind that video games are a form of art.

In Papers, Please, you get to play as an immigration officer and you’ll get to experience how to stand on the other side of the window in the immigration office. The graphics for the game is simple, but the gameplay is unique. It starts simple, some basic rules will be laid out for you to follow. And these rules will be the basis  whether an applicant can pass through or not. Then as each day in the game progresses, new rules or requirements will be presented: additional paperworks will need to be verified, new tools will be introduced in order to asses the immigrant, and other additional actions which is very similar to how immigration really works. After playing this, you might think twice before unleashing your rage in the immigration office.

Monument Valley

The title doesn't spell "Challenging", right? Wrong.
The title doesn’t spell “Challenging”, right? Wrong.

Puzzles, puzzles, puzzles. We all thought that video game puzzles will always be the same: you will encounter an obstacle, then you’ll be asked to find certain objects or pieces then place them in or on a specific place, you’ll be asked to draw a line going from a point around the obstacle and to a certain end point, et cetera. Then Monument Valley came into the picture and it came in with a bang. With multiple awards, citations, commendations, and praises, this video game sets a mark for the next generation of more challenging and innovative puzzle games.

I’m pretty sure you’ve seen or at least heard of impossible objects. Those objects that we perceive as physically impossible or, at least, bothering. Monument Valley used it as the main gameplay mechanic of the game. The players are asked to control a silent protagonist, a princess named Ida through  various levels of optical illusions. You might be thinking that it’s simple, you just need to get through the whole “illusion” of the stage. Nope. There will also be tiny objectives like, activators, bridges, pathwalks, etc. that you need to activate and manipulate in order to get through the stage. If you’re the type of gamer who likes some excruciating mental challenge, you might want to give this one a shot. Thank me later.

The Elegy for a Dead World

Oh, writing. The act of materializing the wonders of the human mind – the adventures, wishes, dreams, visions, and other abstract or philosophical constructs of the human mind. This is what Dejobaan Games, the developers of the Elegy for a Dead World, used as their main gameplay mechanic.

You are a traveler whose ship was broken and who is tasked to record the history of the planets around you. The gameplay is pretty simple, you get to choose from three planets where you want to write about first. Then, you can start with a certain premise of the world or you can go wild with your imagination with the free writing option. This video game is now being used as a tool for teaching English as a second language or ESL in various schools and universities around the world. This shows that video games can be more than just a ‘game’.

Valkyria Chronicles

You will cry. Trust me.
The 7th platoon of the Gallian Militia

This video game is one of the games I’ve played (and anime I’ve watched) that delivers great story with astonishing twists, relatable characters, and an immersive gameplay. Valkyria Chronicles is brought to you by the developers of Sonic. Yes, that’s right – Sega.

Like most RPG/JRPG, character development is embedded in the core gameplay of Valkyria Chronicles. But, what makes this game unique is its turn-based battle system called BLiTZ or Battle of Live Tactical Zones. I know, sounds awesome, right? Well, that’s because it is. This battle system is composed of three parts or modes. The Command Mode, the Action Mode, and the Target Mode.

The first one puts you in an overhead map of the battlefield. This is the time when you can learn of the enemies’ whereabouts and plan where to position your units and where to strike. Then, you can select a unit to control, which brings the player to Action Mode. While in the Action Mode, you can control your character like a normal third-person shooter. Movement costs Action Points which varies for each of your units on the field. Lastly, when you’re finished positioning your units, you can enter the Target Mode. In this mode, the player has control of the unit’s aim, but you can’t move. This allows for headshots and other awesome kills.

During the player’s turn, each action – whether the control of multiple units or the same unit consecutively – depletes his/her Command Points. There are also different classes of characters to experiment with. The environment also affects the flow of the combat. Snipers can take the higher grounds for a vantage point, tanks can knock down walls, and many more.

This game is truly worth the try. But, I suggest watching the anime first.

Other Video Games with Unique Gameplay

  • Patapon – because of using different notes and rhythms for attack, defend, run, etc.
  • Her Story – because of using video footages of a real person
  • Portal – Handheld Portal Device
  • Eternal Darkness – due to the Sanity meter
  • Shadow of Mordor – Nemesis System, enemies remember you and yes – creepy.
  • Katamari – cute anarchy

These are just some of the games that I’ve played that I think has an innovative gameplay. How about you? Have you played a video game with a very unique gameplay that got you immersed for hours? Tell us in the comments down below. We like to hear more games that exhibits innovation.

Twitch The Place to Stream Games And Soon To Buy?

Twitch Logo

I was reading my Twitter feed a few days ago when a streamer announced that viewers could download Banner Saga for free. Since I’m a console gamer, I had a feeling that this initiative would not apply to me but to PC gamers. I was sad to see that I wouldn’t be included in this deal but a part of me wondered how and why they were doing such a promotion. Fast forward a few days later, the news breaks that Twitch will allow for viewers to purchase games straight off the stream. This is a shocking turn of events! Let’s get into the logistics of how Twitch is now becoming a place to stream and buy games.

To Buy On Twitch Or Not To Buy On Twitch?

“Said streamer will get five percent of the sale, with the buyer netting themselves RANDOMIZED Twitch Crates which include exclusive emotes and chat badges among other things.”

Twitch Buy Button
Image Caption: http://www.pcgamer.com/twitch-to-sell-games-in-streamer-supported-initiative-this-spring/

In an article by PC Gamer the “whys” of the Twitch initiative became clear. This new program was being introduced as a way to “support” streamers trying to make their Twitch career goals come true. Sometime this spring, no concrete dates were given, a “Buy Now” button will appear below a stream allowing for viewers to purchase the game they are viewing. PC Gamer reports “Said streamer will get five percent of the sale, with the buyer netting themselves randomized Twitch Crates which include exclusive emotes and chat badges among other things.” Or in other words, player loot boxes ala Overwatch or MOBAs.

How will the players get the games? Not through game keys but through existing services that will be linked to the viewers Twitch account. There is already a partnership with Twitch Prime that allows for players to receive free promotional games so it will probably work through that. There are also several developers on board for this initiative like Ubisoft, Telltale Games and Double Fine. The notable absences are Riot and Valve which, if you frequent Twitch know, dominate the directory with League of Legends and Dota 2 respectively.

Better For The Streamer Or Consumer?

On the other hand, as I understand this is a business, streamers already ask for follows and subscribers so this seems like another thing to “sell” to viewers while watching.

games on TwitchSo this is where my thoughts come into the mix. On one hand, if viewers were thinking of buying the game anyway this is probably a good thing. This would be a one stop shop to get everything you want without needing to change too many tabs and help out a streamers you many like. On the other hand, streamers already ask for follows and subscribers so this seems like another thing to “sell” to viewers while watching. At times I just want to hear the streamer talk about the game or gauge their reactions not feel like I’m watching QVC. Hopefully they will be able to find a balance.

What do you guys think? Is buying your games on Twitch something you never knew you wanted? Is this a bad idea? Let us know in the comments section below.

Gamers Make Their Move Following USA’s Immigration Ban

Insomniac Games

Immigration Ban

Last January 27, President Donald Trump signed an executive order stating the ban of immigrants entering the United States from seven countries. As stated in the executive order, these countries are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. And now, there is a recent news that the order will be ‘streamlined’. This news shocked the world and urged the gaming community to take action. Players, developers, publishers – the whole gaming community joined hands and made their own statements regarding the immigration ban. Read on and hear the various opinions and views made by the developers and publishers we all support and love.

Unity

Immigration Ban: Unity

 

For those of you who’s been living in a rock for the past decade; Unity is a renowned gaming engine that powers various video games that you might have played. Here are some of those games: War Commander: Rogue Assault, Werewolves Within, I Expect You To Die, Superhot, Ori and the Blind Forestand – the game that reminds us all of the beauty of Shadow of the Colossus – Prey of the Gods.

Now that we got that out of the way; Unity’s CEO, John Riccitiello, sent an internal message to Unity’s employees expressing the effect of the immigration ban to the company’s core values. He also stated that Unity is willing to match the donations (up to $1000) that the employees donate. The donations will be given to reasonable charities/countries like ACLU. Unity is also willing to fly 50 developers from the list of countries impacted by the immigration ban to the upcoming Unite Amsterdam. Now that is awesome.

 

ESA

ESA

Alright, I’ll say it real quick: ESA is the one behind E3. Multiple AAA developers and publishers refer to ESA’s statement. Here, have a look at their statement:

“The Entertainment Software Association urges the White House to exercise caution with regard to vital immigration and foreign worker programs. As a leading force in technology and exporter of entertainment, the U.S. video game industry thrives on the contributions of innovators and storytellers from around the world. While recognizing that enhancing national security and protecting our country’s citizens are critical goals, our companies rely on the skilled talent of U.S. citizens, foreign nationals, and immigrants alike. Our nation’s actions and words should support their participation in the American economy.”

Insomniac Games

Insomniac Games

The developers of Ratchet & Clank and Sunset Overdrive made their stand publicly with a video. Insomniac’s founder and CEO Ted Price said, “We at Insomniac Games stand united in strongly opposing President Trump’s immigration ban. There’s no question that these orders will harm us as a company, and many of our team members”.

He also begged the question, “We ask, is this the American way? Is discriminating based on religion, faith, or national origin American? Absolutely not.”

Price also asks those who support Insomniac games to make a stand and let their voices be heard. If you want to watch the whole video, you may click here.

Microsoft

Microsoft

Of course, Microsoft! Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, posted a while back about an email that was sent to the company’s employees. In the email, Microsoft states that the company is willing to provide legal advice and assistance for their employees and for their families who are affected by the order.

Aside from a lot of employee support from the developers and publishers. Some companies showed their support in a different way. For example, Humble Bundle offered bundles of games for only $30. Some of the bundles include: The Witness, Stardew Valley, Super Meat Boy, The Stanley Parable, and a lot more.

These are just some of the statements that developers and publishers made in response to the recent immigration ban. How about you? What do you think of the executive order and how do you think does it affect the gaming industry? We like to hear your thoughts in the comments down below. Let’s talk.

 

Insomniac Reveals Newest Game, Song Of The Deep

Insomniac Games of Ratchet And Clank fame has taken a step back from triple-A development it seems, as the project they’ve been teasing, now known as Song of the Deep, is an underwater ‘Metroidvania’ that strangely looks like a small indie game.

One of the weirder, more unexpected announcements of late, check out the reveal trailer here.

I have to say, I’m really digging the simplistic aesthetic; reminiscent of an aquarium. It’s also refreshing to see such a big studio responsible for some huge games take a step back and make a project that is the complete opposite of everything they’ve tried to do in the past.

Here is the press release from their website, which you should definitely check out for more information.

Song of the Deep is a Metroidvania-style action-adventure game following a young girl’s quest into the unknown to find her missing father. Combining discovery, skill, and suspense with an unforgettable narrative, this underwater journey will challenge players to explore, experiment, and skillfully navigate a vast ocean landscape. Song of the Deep launches on PS4, Xbox One, and PC this summer, 2016.

The most notable yet somehow absent detail is that the game will be released on a disc, but only through GameStop as an exclusive. Otherwise, you’ll have to suck it up and buy it digitally.

I hope to see other smaller games receiving retail packaging, even if it happens to be exclusive. I refuse to let go of physical media!

A Request To Developers Regarding In Game Choices

Recently I have been playing through Dreamfall: Chapters, I’ve been having fun and it is serving as a good follow up to Dreamfall: The Longest Journey . There is one thing that I would like to criticise however. Whenever a choice is made in the game regarding another character the game tells me that the other person will remember that, or that this choice will affect the relationship between the two characters, or something else along those lines. Later when the consequence of the choice becomes apparent the game lets me know that my choice has had an impact on the game’s narrative. In all fairness this isn’t a feature unique to Dreamfall: Chapters, I merely use them as an example because it is a game that I am currently playing. The Wolf Among Us was guilty of the same thing.

On the face of it this would seem like a harmless feature but I have to come feel that it is a feature that would best be abandoned because it discourages thinking about the story. When it comes to enjoying a good story part of the fun comes from thinking about it afterwards, wondering what might have happened if characters had acted differently, and why they acted the way they did. This is even more true of games like Dreamfall Chapters, in which the player can guide the narrative and wonder how things may have unfolded differently. When a game sign posts the effect of a choice the effect is to remove all ambiguity. The player no longer has the fun of speculating how their choice has affected the game, they’ve been told explicitly what their choice has resulted in. The player doesn’t need to ponder the the nature of the relationships that unfold with the game as they are given all the answers. This takes away some of the mystery from the story and breaks some of the immersion of the game with its story. Imagine watching a movie, now imagine trying to watch that movie with someone telling you “that was important”, or “that happened because of that thing that happened earlier”. Unless you had turned on the commentary option it would be very annoying.

It also serves to highlight the limits of the game. No game can offer 100% freedom in what you do or how you change the story but a good game can distract from you this and make you feel like you really made a difference. If you know exactly what you did to change it then it highlights the limits of your affect on the story. This ties back to my earlier point. If the game didn’t feel the need to highlight the impact of every choice you made then it would be harder to pin down how the game is different because of your actions and choices. This would result in the game’s plot unfolding in a much more organic fashion that felt like more than the sum of its parts, rather than a series of set choices with a story built around them.

I should stress at this point that experiencing this has never ruined my enjoyment of a game. I raced through The Wolf Among Us because I was so captivated by the story. I am similarly enjoying Dreamfall: Chapters and I do feel like my actions as a player have made a difference. I just wish that the game didn’t feel the need to signpost every decision. Avoiding this feature would, in my opinion lead to a story that felt a lot more natural.

Sometimes a little subtlety goes a long way.

Video Game Vacations: 4 New Games For A Cheap Tropical Getaway

Games

We love a good bit of unguided map discovery, (the Legend of Zelda series is enough proof of that) so here’s a few games with exploration at their core that might just entice (or deter) you to catch a small, badly serviced biplane to Bermuda. Now, where did I put my sunscreen?

The Forest

Is your busy life weighing you down? Do you have a penchant for DIY? Fancy a change of scene and to meet some enthusiastic locals? Well then The Forest is everything you want and more. With stunning, densely packed fauna and scenery so beautiful you’ll fall in love before you can say cannibals- err… I mean, okay there are cannibals; you’re going to have to sign this waiver before we continue.

Your plane has crashed on a (dubiously) deserted island. With little hope of rescue, you decide to tough it out and turn on your inner Bear Grylls, using your rudimentary tools and resources to make something that will just keep the rain off of your head. Rest assured though, soon you’ll be building multi-storey bases and that tree house you always wanted, but soon the secrets of the island beckon, taking you outside of your comfort zone.

Only announced for PS4 last December with little fanfare, The Forest looks to be a fluid and dynamic experience.  A totally nonlinear survival horror sandbox game with a base building mechanic… and cannibals? If that doesn’t float your boat then how about pretty graphics and sharing capabilities?

Be sure to pack enough Jungle formula to ward off a small mosquito colony.

Rime

This is more like it. Much more of a relaxing affair. Plentiful fresh water springs, monolithic ruins to explore and cell shaded surroundings so lovely you’ll even be glad when it starts raining on you. While you’re exploring the island be sure to note the changes between night and day, as different perspectives can alter your holiday experience. Please do not attempt to interact with the warthogs, they are a savage beast no matter how pretty and innocent they look.

Little is known about the way Rime will play out, but here’s what we do know. From a presentation at Gamescom last year we know that we’ll be playing in a large open, Dali-esque world which subtly changes with day and night cycles. We know that the format of the gameplay will be a platformer/puzzler and that your character has to survive or escape from the island on which he finds himself. We also know that there will be no combat at all, which is a refreshing change of pace.

Being heralded as the love child of PS2 classic Ico and Legend of Zelda The Windwaker, Rime will surely be a destination that gets a good star rating on trip advisor.

Wild

If unearthing the origins of mankind is your idea of a vacation then our Neanderthal package is just for you. Explore lush open environments filled with long extinct creatures. Take a ride on a giant eagle and see the land from above. Dining options are limited on this excursion, expect to forage for meals and source your own fresh meat (a herd of rampaging buffalo, for instance).

Set 10,000 years ago, Wild looks to be more than a survive ‘em up, caveman life sim. An online multiplayer experience, the trailer from Gamescom suggests a large dynamic world full of both necessity (in the form of hunting for meals, possibly crafting tools) and mysticism, represented by the unusual wildlife, skeleton shaman chief and tree giant. Seriously, check out the trailer below. The most interesting thing about this title is that you can reportedly play as any creature in the world (that includes the tree giant), and if what was shown in the trailer was just a snippet of the avatars available, we’re in for some incredibly varied gameplay experiences when the TBA release date dawns.

The Witness

As Islands are obviously notorious for containing a lot of unexplained puzzles (see Rime), The Witness meets the requirements of any budding Island adventurer just trying to get away from it all; like the holiday equivalent of having a day off with a book of crossword puzzles.

The Witness was among first PS4 games to be announced and we’re still waiting to trawl through the mind-bending island to find out what we’ll actually be ‘witness’ to. First impressions would have you believe that the entire experience has players completing line puzzles in order to progress to different areas, yet creator Jonathan Blow insists there is more to The Witness than meets the eye. Recent footage from the Playstation experience has given some hint to what he means. The Witness is a game without instruction, thus all development is facilitated by the player. It’s a game that makes understanding feel natural, and this will assist the player in the games growing complexity.

Personally though, what intrigues me the most are questions about the island and the character. Who are they and why are they here? Hopefully, a little trip to The Witness in the future will provide some answers.

That’s it holiday goers. Are there any places from currently released games you’d like to spend a day or two? I’d stay clear of Racoon City; the locals don’t understand the concept of personal space.

E3 2014 Preview

E3

It’s that time of year again, and E3 begins on June 9th. In only one week LA will be crawling with game developers, press and players as the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo begins again. If you have never heard of  the show, it’s basically 4 days where developers have a chance to show off their games at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Console manufacturers and publishers will set up booths, allowing journalists and guest’s to play games months before their release. The real attraction of E3 comes from the Press Conferences and similar events, where the curtain is pulled back on the next year’s new titles. Titles like Watch Dogs and Bioshock Infinite became instant hits when they debuted at E3, proving a great performance at the show can kick-start a game’s success like nothing else.

But what about this year? What games are confirmed to be their? When are these Press Conferences and where can I watch them? Should you be going? These are the questions we want to answer, so without any further ado, here is a quick intro to E3 2014.

E3

To begin, let’s talk about when the press conferences are and how you can watch them. These are the selling point for E3, when all eyes are on some of the biggest names in gaming and it’s either put up or shut up. Last year we saw Sony and Jack Trenton steal the show, more-so than anyone had in years. Microsoft used the stage to try and recapture their fanbase who had just been cold-shouldered weeks earlier. These press conferences determine how the next year worth of coverage will look from journaler’s and fans. These are the times when everything can change, conversation’s can change from ‘They don’t know what they are doing’ to ‘I can’t believe they just did that!’ for better and worse. The interesting part is that almost every company holding a press conference has a different method for doing so.

First up is Microsoft, who kicks things off on June 9th at 12:30pm (All times are in Eastern). Microsoft’s strategy has been to be the first thing you see from E3, hoping that their announcement stick with you throughout the day. If you want to watch it, then you have a few options. For those in the US and Canada, Spike TV will be showing the event live. Online you can watch it through Xbox.com, Xbox Live and Windows Phones.

Following Microsoft will be EA at 3pm. EA’s will also be on Spike TV, with streams on their website and Twitch as well. Then at 6pm, Aisha Tyler hosts Ubisoft’s presser for a third straight year. For the past two years, Ubisoft has managed to garner a ton of attention due to some high profile announcements, namely Watch Dogs back in 2012 and The Division in 2013. Hopefully Ubisoft manages to surprise us again, but that remains to be seen. Rounding out the day, Sony hits the stage at 9pm. After last years blockbuster performance everyone has high expectation for this year’s presentation, a downside to blowing away the competition.

For those who want to see the conference, Sony is offering a number of options. As with the others, numerous streams will be available online through Playstation’s site, This year they are also showing it in over 40 theaters across America, with freebies to all who attend. Nintendo goes last, and for the second year in a row they are doing things their own way.

A Nintendo-Direct, view able from Nintendo’s website, will be on June 10th at 12, just before the show floor opens to the public. After all these announcements, gamers will flood into the LA Center to get there hands on all the newly revealed games. If you want a preview of how these events happen, click these links to check out SonyMicrosoft and Nintendo’s from last year.

E3-Logo-864x1024

 The complete list is sure to include both blockbusters and duds as E3 is home to both the best and… not the best. Here is the list, ordered by the console and then alphabetical, of games confirmed for E3. (Updated Games can be seen below) (A Question mark indicates that a game has been talked about for E3, but not official confirmed.)

For Nintendo, the list is as follows;

Wii U

Chariot

Disney Infinity: 2.0 Edition

Hyrule Warriors

The Legend of Zelda (Wii U)

Sonic Boom

Super Smash Brothers

3DS

Disney Infinity: 2.0 Edition

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (Not Confirmed, but highly likely)

Sonic Boom

Super Smash Brothers

And Now on to Sony,

PS4

Aliens: Isolation

Assassin’s Creed Unity (?)

Batman: Arkham Knight

Chariot

Deep Down

Defense Grid 2

Destiny

Dragon Age: Inquisition

EA’s UFC

The Evil Within

Evolve

Far Cry 4

Kingdom Come Deliverance

Kingdom Hearts 3 (?)

Lord of the Fallen

Mad Max (?)

Metal Gear Solid: Phantom Pain

Metro: Redux

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor

Mirror’s Edge 2 (?)

Natural Doctrine

NHL 15

The Order: 1886 (?)

Star Wars Battlefront

Tom Clancy’s The Division

Uncharted

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

PS3

Alien: Isolation

An Assassin’s Creed Game (?)

Borderlands the Pre-Sequel (?)

Destiny

Dragon Age: Inquisition

The Evil Within

Fairy Fencer F

Far Cry 4

Hatsune Miku – Project DIVA- F 2nd

Mad Max

Metal Gear: Phantom Pain

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor

Natural Doctrine

NHL 15

Persona 5 (?)

Ultra Street Fighter IV

Xblaze Code Embryo

PS Vita

Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair

Disgaea 4

Hatsune Miku – Project DIVA- F 2nd

Natural Doctrine

Xblaze Code Embryo

Here are Microsoft’s confirmed titles,

Xbox One

Aliens: Isolation

Assassin’s Creed Unity (?)

Batman: Arkham Knight

Below

Chariot

Defense Grid 2

Destiny

Dragon Age: Inquisition

EA’s UFC

The Evil Within

Evolve

Fable Legends

Fantasia Music Evolved

Far Cry 4

Forza Horizons 2

Halo 5: The Guardian

Possible Halo Collection (?)

Kingdom Come Deliverance

Kingdom Hearts 3 (?)

Lord of the Fallen

Mad Max (?)

Metal Gear Solid: Phantom Pain

Metro: Redux

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor

Mirror’s Edge 2 (?)

NHL 15

Quantum Break

Star Wars Battlefront

Sunset Overdrive

Tom Clancy’s The Division

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Far Cry 4

Forza Horizon 2

Mad Max (?)

Metal Gear Solid: Phantom Pain

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Xbox 360

Alien: Isolation

An Assassin’s Creed Game (?)

Borderlands the Pre-Sequel (?)

Destiny

Disney Infinity: 2.0 Edition

Dragon Age: Inquisition

The Evil Within

Fantasia Music Evolved

Far Cry 4

Forza Horizon 2

Mad Max (?)

Metal Gear Solid: Phantom Pain

NHL 15

Project Spark

World of Tanks

And lastly PC,

Aliens: Isolation

Assassins’s Creed Unity

Batman Arkham Knight

BattleCry

Battlefield Hardline

Below

Borderlands the Pre-Sequel

Broforce

Chariot

Civilization: Beyond Earth

Defense Grid 2

Disney Infinity: 2.0 Edition

Dragon Age: Inquisition

Elite Dangerous

The Evil Within

Evolve

Far Cry 4

Grey Goo

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

Kingdom Come Deliverance

Lords of the Fallen

Mad Max (?)

Metro: Redux

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor

Mirror’s Edge 2

Not a Hero

Project Spark

The Sims 4

Star Wars Attack Squadrons

Star Wars Battlefront

Tom Clancy’s The Division

Warhammer 40K: The Eternal Crusade

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

World of Tanks

Updates:

Homefront: The Revolution- PS4, Xbox One, PC

Mortal Kombat X- PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC

Battlefield: Hardline- PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC

That’s a lot of games for a variety of consoles, and more importantly a lot of games to check out. For highlights of these games and all of E3 be sure to check back with VgamerZ throughout next week.

Game Announcments: Mortal Kombat X, Forza Horizon 2, Homefront: The Revolution

Kombat

This morning a lot has been announced and confirmed. To start off, the new Mortal Kombat is officially titled Mortal Kombat X, and due out in 2015, will feature both Scorpion and Sub Zero, and can be seen in this awesome trailer. Watching the trailer seems to reveal the return of X-ray moves, a fan favorite addition in MK 9. A close observer would also catch many of the moves that are trademarks of the characters, and identical to the move sets in 9 (Like Scorpions Teleport and Sub-Zero’s Ice Slide) Update: WB Games has confirmed the title to be for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox Onee and PC.

MKX

The next announcement comes courtesy Deep Silver, who has confirmed that Homefront: The Revolution indeed exists. The Crytek developed title will only appear on PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mac and Linux. It’s post invasion America storyline continues from the first game back in 2011, this time Philadelphia taking center stage. Early details reveal that the mission structure will be suited to the story, as a resistance players will do assassinations and covert ops instead of going in guns blazing. The idea sounds unique in the FPS space, and we will be able to see more when it comes out in 2015. You can check it’s announcement trailer here.

HTR2

The last big announcement from this morning comes in the form of a new Xbox exclusive racing game. That’s right, there’s a new Forza on the horizon, Forza Horizon 2. The game was revealed by IGN earlier today, and has been confirmed for Xbox 360 and One for Fall of 2014. IGN’s first details reveal that the game is under development by Playground and Microsoft, and is set in Southern Europe.

FH

All of these titles and more are sure to be covered more at E3, so as the conference kicks up next week be sure to check back here for more news on these three titles.