Dec 26, 2011

PAX Easter

PAX East 2012 falls later in the year than usual. Instead of a tradition weekend in March, PAX East will be held the weekend of April 6th - 8th, 2012. That happens to be the weekend Easter Sunday falls. Make sure you get your passes to PAX Easter. You don't want to be left out on the first annual PAX Easter.

PAX East has been awesome ever since it's debut in 2010. A convention that's focused only on games has never been seen on the East Coast. PAX East changed all of that by hosting the first annual PAX East at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Massachusetts. I was one of the 52,000 people that attended in 2010. It changed my life. It made me believe that being a gaming journalist is really possible.  I saw people walking by with different badges that said "Media" on them. I asked myself,

"If people with "media" badges are able to attend PAX East for free to cover the convention, why can't I?"

My search for that answer brought me to PAX East 2011. PAX East really outdid itself in 2011. It moved from the Hynes Convention Center to the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) in South Boston. BCEC opened in 2004, and proved to be a better home for PAX East. As one of the 69,000 attendees, I would say it was epic. I feel like I did more to promote "Errol Games" during this convention. I did interviews, I took pictures, and I settled disputes during that weekend. I learned that people who have media badges like to make fun of your 3 Day Pass if they don't like you.  I like my 3 Day Pass. I have no problem paying money to cover PAX East my way. It would be nice to go to PAX East for free tho. I feel like I need to win a contest or something to make that happen. I could use some guidance.  2012 should be an interesting year.

Dec 22, 2011

#Bestof2011 Nintendo 3DS

What a year for the Nintendo 3DS. After a slow start and speculation that the 3DS was a flop, Nintendo got the ball rolling. The first major improvement to the Nintendo 3DS was it's controversial price cut. The people who paid $249.99 for a Nintendo 3DS were shocked to see the price go down to $169.99 a mere five months after it's release. Nintendo admitted their mistake and gave 20 free games to early adopters labeling them ambassadors to the 3DS. I was one of the early adopters of the 3DS, but I didn't take the price drop so personally. For starters it was a gift, but I had invested so much time playing my 3DS that I felt like I had already got my moneys worth.

Let's face it the first year for any new gaming system is rough. It usually consists of a heavy price tag and a software lineup that is less than favorable. I can't remember a launch title for the Xbox 360 besides King Kong. The Nintendo 3DS software lineup was bleak for most of the year, but there were some gems. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars is a fan favorite. My personal favorite was Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition. That game held me over until the release of Super Mario 3D Land in November. Nintendo always brings their A game when it comes to a Mario Adventure, and his first 3DS outing is no exception. Every 3DS owner should give Super Mario 3D Land a try.

The Nintendo 3DS enters 2012 ready for competition. It's outsold the first year sales of the Nintendo DS, and hasn't slowing down since. The lineup for next years games looks spectacular with titles such as Resident Evil: Revelations, and Metal Gear Solid 3D expected hit stores the first half of the year. The smaller price tag also makes it a tough contender against the PlayStation Vita which is set to be released this February. In the meantime I'm going to get back to Super Mario 3D Land.

Dec 18, 2011

#Bestof2011 Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition

I thought Capcom had done it all when they released Street Fighter IV on 360 and PS3. Boy was I was wrong. Super Street Fighter IV 3D for the Nintendo 3DS is the best version of Street Fighter I've ever played. I go back with Street Fighter to the early 1990s with Street Fighter II: Championship Edition on the Genesis. Never have I ever invested as much time on any other game as I've invested on Street Fighter 3D. Before you say "I could play this version on the console," here are the things that make Super Street Fighter IV 3D better than the console version.

Better Graphics
You can't reproduce the 3D graphics seen on the 3DS version of Street Fighter on the console versions. Sure the graphics on console have a lot more going on in the background, but the 3D effect is really cool. I notice the detail on the fighters better on the 3DS.

Better Control Scheme
No need to buy an expensive arcade stick for the 3DS version. The button layout on the 3DS is perfect for Street Fighter. The face buttons are low/mid punch and kick while the shoulder buttons are high punch and kick. Having only two shoulder buttons gave me more patience learning the control scheme. The touch screen buttons make Street Fighter accessible to more players because it doesn't require as much effort to learn tough combos. Makes me wonder how come it took so long for Street Fighter to show up on a portable Nintendo console.

I play this game during times when I can't play other games. They include when I'm in bed and on the toilet. Sorry for the insight, but my mornings get off to a great start as I'm on the toilet playing Street Fighter 3D. At night I found myself playing until I fall asleep. It's awesome. I could also play this game outside, but I prefer to play it with a WiFi connection.

As of right now I've invested 440 hours and 10 minutes into Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition. I can't wait to finish writing this blog post so I can get back to playing it. If you have a 3DS you should seriously check out this game. It's my most played game this year.

Dec 13, 2011

The Pros and Cons of Using Gamefly

I've been a member of Gamefly since August 2009. In those two years I've been an overall satisfied customer. There have been a few hiccups here and there, but the service has been solid. A friend asked me if Gamefly was worth it? I put this list of pros and cons together to help you decide whether or not you should subscribe to Gamefly. If anybody who has a Gamefly account has anything to add feel free.

Huge Selection
Gamefly is the only place that allows me to rent Nintendo 3DS titles. $40 is a lot of money to put towards a game that I might not even like. It's not like Gamestop is going to give me a full refund on an opened 3DS game because I didn't like it. Whenever a 3DS game that interests me is released, I'm using Gamefly to play it. Gamefly also has a bunch of games that my local Blockbuster doesn't carry. Games include Catherine, Cursed Mountain, & Tony Hawk's Project 8.

Fast Shipping
It usually takes 2 days to receive a game after Gamefly sends me a confirmation email. They also ship out new games the day before they're released which means I usually have a new release the day after it hits stores.  An example I use is Uncharted 3. It was released on Tuesday November 1st. Gamefly shipped it Monday, October 31st, and I received it Wednesday, November 2nd. I have no problem waiting an extra day to play a new release. The shipping might slow down next year when the United States Postal Service slows down their next day mail service.

Game Availability 
One problem I've encountered is the availability of a new videogame after it's been released. You can almost guarantee a new release will have "Low Availability" for it's first month. I've had it take weeks to receive a confirmation email after a games been released. A game that comes to mind is Batman: Arkham Asylum. If I had been better about shipping the game I had back to Gamefly, I probably would've received one of the first copies of Arkham City they shipped out. I waited 2 weeks for an email that Gamefly shipped out Arkham City, but it never came. I gave up and put dibs on Uncharted 3. I'm current;y waiting to see how long it's going to take before Gamefly ships me a copy of Super Mario 3D Land.

Remembering to ship games back
I've ran into this problem more than a few times. I finish a video game, put it back in the packaging, and leave it in my car for over a week. Forgetting to ship a game back seems like a small problem until you miss the deadline on that new videogame you wanted to play so bad. Now you've got to wait for who knows how long until you get a confirmation email. Another word of advice would be not to ship a game back too close to the release of a new game. Best bet is to give yourself a week. The holiday rush of new games is pretty much over so I guess it's pretty much a game of waiting for a confirmation email. Remember to ship your games back when you're done.

Would I recommend Gamefly???
I absolutely recommend Gamefly if you're a Nintendo 3DS owner. That $40 price tag on videogames is expensive, and most 3DS titles at this point have not been getting great reviews. Save your money and use Gamefly. For everyone else I recommend giving Gamefly a try. They have a one month free trial where you could get a feel for how it works. Give it a try. You won't be disappointed.

Dec 11, 2011

Why the 2011 VGAs Rocked

Ladies and gentleman I stand corrected. I had every expectation that the 2011 Video Game Awards were going to be two hours of boring television. Boy was I was wrong. The 2011 VGA's were great. Really great. I enjoyed watching it from beginning to end. Here are some reasons why the 2011 Video Game Awards Rocked.

Better Music
The VGA's made a bunch of additions to the show this year that rocked. One of the additions was an in house DJ by the name of Deadmau5. He's already official when it comes to rocking awards shows since he was the inhouse DJ at the 2010 VMA's. A bunch of people tuned in just to see Deadmau5 perform.

Of course on television his epic music and light shows kept getting cut short thanks to commercials, but he did his thing. Deadmau5 also introduced a new helmet which is way more detailed than the one he had on at the VMA's. The new helmet is cool because it has a bunch of videogame designs on it. The Right Eye is Pac Man and I see a 1UP logo on his right ear. Very appropriate for the occassion.

Great Host
A great awards show begins with a great host, and Zachary Levi was just that. His Portal 2 leap across the venue was a great entrance, and the guy knew what he was talking about. That's a huge step up from last years host, Neil Patrick Harris, who was cool, but I couldn't really relate to the him as a gamer. Zacahry Levi was funny as well. His joke about him and Jane Lynch being sexy male hosts had me laughing. He also kept the show moving. I wouldn't mind if he came back to host the Video Game Awards again.

Better Presenters  
Remember the people who presented at last years Video Game Awards? Me either. This year we saw a bunch of famous faces present awards, trailers, and musical guests. The guys from that show Workaholics were hilarious when they presented the trailer to Alan Wake. They came out as if they won an award and went on to introduce Alan Wake 2. By the way they were presenting the trailer it wasn't clear if they knew the game they were presenting or not adding to the humor. 

What about Charlie Sheen presenting? That was definitely a highlight of the night. Say what you want about Charlie Sheen, that man is winning. Gotta give kudos to Will I Am and Hulk Hogan. The special guests that attended this year makes me want to go to next years VGA's. I'd get to mingle with some stars for real.

Hall of Fame
This year the Video Game Awards gave out it's version of the Lifetime Achievement Award by inducting The Legend of Zelda into the Video Game Hall of Fame. The only thing bigger than Zelda being the first game inducted into the Hall of Fame was creator Shigeru Miyamoto being there to accept the award. Both Zelda & Shigeru Miyamoto deserve that first spot in the Hall of Fame.

Despite all of the recent controversy around rumors of Miyamoto is retiring, it was good to see him on stage smiling. Something tells me this isn't the last time we'll see Miyamoto accepting a Hall of Fame award. I give it 3 years tops before Mario makes his way into the Hall of Fame. The Videogame Hall of Fame is a genius award within itself. I look forward to seeing what game get inducted next.

You know those award shows where the person who wins give a really long acceptance speech? The VGA's aren't one of them. Gone are the days of people thanking everyone from GOD to the cleaning lady at their hotel. If you take too long at the VGA's you risk getting teabagged by a US Soldier.

I thought the host was joking when he said if you take too long accepting your award you'll get teabagged. That was until the guys at Infinity Ward set off the alarm for going too long on their acceptance speech for Best Shooter. Next thing you know the soldiers on the stage Teabagging one of the guys from Modern Warfare 3. How's that for a win? You've got the best selling game of the year, the award for best shooter, and you got teabagged on stage. I look forward to the day I get to accept a VGA. The only thing I'll have on my mind is avoiding getting teabagged. Until next year.

Dec 10, 2011

Why The VGA's Matter

It's that time of the year again folks. The last month of the year means we have to spend one of our weekend nights watching Spike TV for the Video Game Awards. The VGA's is like a dentist appointment. I don't look forward to going, but I have to go. The VGA's might not be fun to watch, but they do matter. Here's why.

It's on TV
The VGA's matter because they're the only Live Televised videogame awards show around. All the other videogame award shows (the IGA's, GDC's, etc) are invite only. I usually find out who won those awards after they happen via Twitter or a gaming website. With the VGA's everyone's invited. All you gotta do is tune in to Spike TV tonight at 8p ET / 5p PT and you're there. The best part is seeing the games win in real time and and having a collective conversation about it on Twitter with other gamers.

New Game Announcements/Trailers
It wouldn't be the VGA's if we didn't get trailers and announcements for upcoming games. I would say after E3 the VGA's is the place to find the most announcements for new games. There's a rumor going around that Tony Hawk is announcing a new videogame tonight. I'm curious to see what that games gonna be like. I also heard that a new trailer to Mass Effect 3 will be shown tonight. That should be interesting.

Can You Say Game of the Year? 
The VGA's kicks off the award giving season we get in videogames this time of the year. I figure since we're all able to watch the show, we should allow the VGA's to be the first to give it out the Game of the Year award. I'm probably going to disagree with their choice since the game that's on my list wasn't nominated, but that's besides the point. At least we all find out who won their Game of the Year award at the same time. It's not like I'll wake up in the morning to people spilling the beans that (insert gaming website here) gave out the Game of the Year Award.