They did it for the PlayStation 4, so it’s only fair they whip something up for the Xbox One. Here’s the entire Xbox One (it’ll be a while before that doesn’t sound weird) reveal event distilled into an itty bitty video sure to inspire laughs aplenty. Xbox, go home! You’re scaring the house guests.Tweet
Another one of my Top 5 Video Game Rappers, ytcracker, released an album not long ago featuring remixed tunes from the EarthBound series and the previews are on his Soundcloud here. The full album is available on a pay-what-you-want basis at bandcamp.
Not sure? Listen to the songs on his Soundcloud and let me know which is your favorite in the comments.Tweet
After today’s lackluster reveal of the new Xbox, I decided to take a gander at Microsoft’s Official Lauch Site and what I see front-and-center is all about how it blends the delivery of all media types (music, movies, television, news, and oh yeah, gaming) into one device. It even features a picture of your super hip dad (or Bill Gates) in his purple sweater. Because, you know, us Xbox 360 gamers are geriatric now and buy odd colored and poorly fitting clothes from the local thrift shop (which is kinda hip now by the way).
The feature list doesn’t excite much. Although I do find the Built-In Gameplay Recording a near idea, it will need a time-caching system so that I don’t have to remember to begin recording before I start playing. The moments best sharing are usually the ones you weren’t anticipating recording. I’m also concerned that this feature is going to make hours of other people’s boring video playback even more proliferate on Youtube and other video sharing sites. Seriously, I’ve already seen about all the World of Warcraft raid-waiting that I can stomach for a lifetime.
Also, who needs a 1080p Kinect camera watching you whenever you are in your living room? If that thing is always on then I’m unplugging this thing when I’m not actively using it. The whole talking to your Xbox with voice commands is nothing more than a feature-grid checkbox requirement. Remember when cell phones featured voice activated dialing? Who uses that anymore? It is pompous and seems creepier than useful.
The Smart Matching match-making system is long overdue, but no one has figured out a great algorithm that gets me into a game quickly against people of comparable skill level in any system I’ve participated in – the latest being Blizzard’s Starcraft II ranking system. It takes several (n>30) matches for it to accurately place you, and over time your skill level changes, and if you sometimes play while sloshed then is the creepy Kinect-thing going to know that it is 2:30am, I’m shit-faced drunk, and I’m holding the controller upside down? Granted, these systems are better than nothing, but it isn’t a feature that is going to significantly change that value you get out of this new system.
Xbox’s new Achievement System “has richer detail and spans across your games and experiences, which means achievements are no longer confined to a single game”. So it means, what? Why, as a gamer, should I care about this? How does it benefit me? “Our new achievements portal not only keeps track of what you earned, but how you earned it, so it’s more personal than ever”. I DON’T UNDERSTAND! WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!!!11ONE!1!
“As real as real life.”
Forserious? Because I usually play video games to escape real life. Not because I need a Second Life (see what I did there?)?
Microsoft claims the architecture is integrated with a “powerful Windows OS”, which means that you will be dying to Blue Screens more than ever. I’m not surprised: I forecasted yeas ago that the next gen consoles would be more like PCs than consoles. What I hate most about this integration though is the Skype. It is the most god awful voip client known on earth, and the user interface seems to have been designed by an undergraduate with a pirated copy of Photoshop.
Living Games Technology? Please give me a concrete example. Sounds like streaming patches to me, not some sort of magical process by which games will continue to become more awesome without developer effort. Also, “playing while games update” has been around on PCs for years now. Steam and Blizzard both have this technology baked in.
The most promising feature is the Xbox Smart Glass, where you can control your Xbox with your mobile fun. But this begs the question: aren’t you supposed to be controlling your Xbox One by speaking to it? Also, will I be able to use Android, or do I have to use a crappy Windows Phone?
Bottom Line: Let me thank my dad up there in the purple sweater for giving me several good reasons to continue using my PC as my primary gaming device. These are not the features of a “Next Gen” console. This is a money grab to control the infrastructure that delivers the media that you want to micro-monetize.
Blizzard recently published an infographic on the Diablo III blog for Diablo III’s one year anniversary. It is a nice infographic, and it finally reveals some interesting stats about the player base that have thus far been elusive.
Some of the more interesting stats:
- 14.5 MM Unique Players
- 67.1 MM Characters
- 12.7 MM Level 60 Characters (18.9%)
- 5.8 MM Highest Daily Player Count
- 2.1 MM Average Daily Player Count
- 9% of Player’s Characters are Hardcore
- Most Popular Class Order: Demon Hunter, Wizard, Barbarian, Monk, Witch Doctor
- Players by Region: Asia (34%), Europe (33%), Americas (33%)
- “For every Elite monster slain, 18.4 normal monsters bit the dust”
- 3.3 Trillion Monsters Slain
And this radiant gem:
You can check out the full infographic here:Tweet
Max Gleason, aka Smooth McGroove, puts his talent to the task once more to produce something truly magical. We’re not talking about the beard, folks, though we could at length. No, we’re talking about his wicked ability to render recognizable gaming music in fantastic acapella. This time he tackles one of the crown jewels of classic gaming music, the Moon Theme from 1989′s DuckTales. Just one listen and you won’t be able to get this out of your head for days.
Look for the HD remaster of DuckTales to hit Xbox Live, the PlayStation Network, and the WiiU eShop this summer!Tweet
Dr.Awkard, one of my Top 5 Nerdcore artists, release an album not too long ago that mixes in some Zelda tunes and overlays some deep emotional hip hop goodness. Fans of the Zelda series will no doubt be able to pick out the tunes the Doc chose to sample for his beats on this 8 song album. How much for this album? Whatever price you want. The Doc uses a pay-what-you-want model for his music. Listen to samples of each and get his album here.
Got other favorite Video Game Rappers? Let me know in the comments.Tweet
I’ve spent the last week dabbling in the world of Sanctuary of the Diablo universe to see what “improvements” might have come with Patch 1.08 which was released earlier this month (May 2013).
The changes that I’ve found most important to the gameplay are:
- Players can now identify all items in their inventory by speaking to Deckard Cain or by using the Book of Cain that can be found near the shared stash in all Acts
- Players now receive a 10% bonus to Magic Find, Gold Find, and Experience per additional player in a multiplayer game, up to a maximum of 30% in a four-player game
- A notification is now sent to all players in a multiplayer game whenever a party member engages an Elite monster or Treasure Goblin in combat, and their location will be shown on the mini-map
- In addition to this, an icon will also appear over player banners in town to indicate if they’re in combat with a monster, Elite monster, or Treasure Goblin
- Players can now queue up multiple items and gems at a time within the same tier to be crafted, so long as they possess the necessary materials
- Players can now craft items using materials located in the shared stash
- Players can now disable the confirmation dialog when salvaging items of Rare quality
- Templar Skill: Loyalty Now regenerates 310 life per second (up from 155)
- In multiplayer games, the increase in monster hit points per additional player has been reduced to 50% (down from 70%)
- Nekarat the Keywarden now has a chance to drop a random Key (of Destruction, Hate, or Terror) in addition to the Infernal Machine plans
I’m still at a loss when I ask myself why I play the game however. The whole gear-chase aspect that reminds me so much of pulling a slot machine bar over and over doesn’t really appeal to me anymore. I think completing the game through Inferno difficulty (which isn’t difficult since progression is only a function of the gear your character wears) is the only thing really left to entice me.
What I had hoped the game would be was a new adventure with a dark, haunting, adventure with group quests, group challenges, and better loot chance curves (emphasizing Quality over Quantity).
There is still hope that the new lead designer, (not Jay Wilson), can bring some changes to the game that gave players some sort of tangible activity/goal to keep players playing the game, but from this standpoint, the game is a year old and the sun has already set on the majority of would-be Sanctuary Heros.