“Tales of Zestiria” announced by Namco for worldwide release on PS3, The Walking Dead Season 2 “Ep 1 – All That Remains” to be released soon and New PS4 Firmware availabe for update

Next core installment in the “Tales” franchise announced by Namco Bandai for global release: “Tales of Zestiria”



Official announcement logo for Namco's newest "Tales Of.." title

Official announcement logo for Namco’s newest “Tales Of..” title



It’s official, Namco Bandai has unleashed what will start the hype machine for the next Tales RPG game, titled “Tales of Zestiria” being released exclusively for the PS3. This announcement is significant in that it marks the first time a “Tales Of..”  title has been simultaneously announced for release in both the East and the Wast. While no official release date has been made available to coincide with the press release, I can only assume that with Tales of Symphonia HD and Tales of Xillia 2 coming to NA in 2014, I can theorize that this new title will be available by sometime in 2015. This is the next main installment in the series and it’s announcement and eventual release will commemorates the 20th anniversary for the Tales Of.. franchise which will occur in 2015. Here is a direct quote from Hideo Baba, producer of the Tales series via a press release:

“Over the past few years the Tales Of team has taken great strides to strengthen our relationship with players across North America and Europe, To respond to their love and support I am honored to open a new chapter of the Tales Of series together with Japanese and overseas fans.”

Tales of Zestiria is being developed exclusively for the PS3 and will be released in Japan with a western localization to follow soon after.



The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 1 “All That Remains” to be released soon


TellTale Game’s hit episodic series based on the comic of the same name, “The Walking Dead”, has a new trailer to accompany the imminent release of the first episode of Season 2 entitled “All That Remains”. Season 2 picks up where Season 1 left off, and puts the player in control of everyone’s favorite little post-apocalyptic zombie survivor, Clementine. This should definitely be interesting, as most players found themselves being very protective over little Clementine, trying to retain some of her child-like innocence from a world overrun by zombies and without any trace of humanity and civilization. Now playing as her, how will players navigate and brave the harsh reality she now must face on her own? “All That Remains” will be released digitally for PlayStation 3, XBox 360, PC and iOS. Check out the trailer below:


Sony officially releases Firmware Update v1.52 for PlayStation 4

Sony has officially released a new firmware update for it’s newest console, the PlayStation 4. Firmware revision 1.52 became available December 11th and while no new features have been added to the OS or UI,  it seems several reports have surfaced that some features of the PS4’s sharing capabilities have had reduced loading/downloading/uploading times. Sony maintains this is purely a “stability and security” update, but if you have noticed any reduced lag in the performance of your PS4’s OS or sharing features, please feel free to let us know in the comments section below.




PlayStation 4 and Xbox One officially here, The Last of Us Single-Player DLC Announced, Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea DLC pt. 1 released and ex-Game Informer Editor Meagan Marie makes a good impression as a Cosplayer

Check out my PlayStation 4 Launch Experience with “PS4: Gamer on the Ground” Article

Unless you live under a sand dune on Mars or you have that Helen Keller disease, you probably are aware that Sony and Microsoft have both launched their next-gen consoles on Nov 15th (PS4) and Nov 22nd (Xbox One), respectively. Being a gamer requires that you also understand the finer things in life, like how to talk away that mustard stain on your hoodie as canvas paint or know how to camp out and prepare yourself for a midnight system launch. It’s been nearly seven years for Sony and over eight years for Microsoft, so to say these console launches aren’t as exciting as before is underwhelming. Attending the midnight launch of the PlayStation 4 at my local GameStop, there was so much excitement people could hardly contain themselves as we discussed past launches, the games we loved and why I was the only person at the launch who wasn’t actually buying a system (the latter fact is irrelevant guys, BECAUSE I SAY SO). I tried innumerably to convince my fellow gamers to all pool in their funds and buy me a console, but my desperation only compounded matters for the worse and did me no favorable service. My associate who worked at GameStop told me that I had ZERO chance to obtain a unit without first pre-ordering months a go, so I cried and screamed and begged like a child having a temper tantrum, only to be forcefully removed from the premises. “Act your age” everyone said…. “Nobody wants to see a big, fat almost-30 year old man child writhing on the floor in tears” they said… WELL SCREW YOU GUYS!  OK, so maybe I embellished some of the above statements, and I didn’t actually get kicked out… I left of my own accord with dignity. I did return however with a bag full of chocolate because everyone knows gamers can’t resist big bags of snacks…. and was thus welcomed back to the launch party swiftly. “Chocolates for all” I declared! So as the night went on I snapped a few photos when I could and returned during the evening to my local Best Buy with my entourage in tow to play the PS4 demo kiosk and get some intimate, hands-on time with the console myself. Here’s what happened when trying to play first-party launch exclusive “KNACK”:


Unfortunately, we were shutdown and ejected by the evil Best Buy Dragon Queen because the legality of filming violates their PR policies. I couldn’t buy a PS4, I don’t know anyone that owns a unit who will let me rebox and unbox to have my own cool unboxing video then play it for hours while they sit and watch (apparently the only person I do know that owned one wanted to play it all for themselves launch day, go figure) so I did the next best thing:  going to a business that owned one with my film crew and using their free generosity to mooch gaming playtime and record it. Can a broke, ambivalent man-child gamer really be blamed for such gratuitous behavior? For my complete “PS4: Gamer on the Ground” article, click on the following link or click on the tab of the same name under the Editorials tab:



The Last of Us Single Player DLC “Left Behind” announced, Ellie a returning character

I have advocated every chance that has come to pass for TLoU to be a Game of the Year frontrunner and with this next DLC pack, scheduled to be released early 2014 my contention only grows stronger. Naughty Dog has confirmed the single-player story DLC for “The Last of Us” will indeed see the return of Ellie as a playable character and in fact, be a prequel to the core games story. It will also introduce the character of Riley, one of Ellie’s best and only friends at the military orphanage where she was being schooled. If you’ve read the Dark House 4-part comic series “American Dreams” then you should have some idea of what to expect, although the DLC is not an exact recreation from the comics story and appears to take place after the events from the last comic and in-between the beginning of the main game. I implore you guys to read “American Dreams” because not only does it offer a great precursor to Ellie’s backstory, but it also serves as a companion piece to the game’s main narrative. Here’s the teaser trailer for the DLC, entitled “Left Behind“:


Bioshock: Infinite “Burial at Sea” pt. 1 released

Return to Rapture before it's downfall and see it as in the utopia Andrew Ryan envisioned. Liz seeks out Bookers help as a Private Investigator in "Burial at Sea".

Return to Rapture before it’s downfall and see it as in the utopia Andrew Ryan envisioned. Liz seeks out Bookers help as a Private Investigator in “Burial at Sea”.

The first part of a duo DLC single-player pack for Bioshock: Infinite was released on November 12th for a MSRP of $14.99, or if you have the Season Pass then it’s available digitally as a download now for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. “Burial at Sea” is a two-part adventure that returns the player to Rapture in it’s glory days before plasmids corrupted the loyal denizens into Splicers and all hell broke loose.  Featuring some new weapons and a whole new story, you’ll play as private investigator Booker DeWitt hired by very more adult, demure persona of Elizabeth in the first part then take over and play as Elizabeth in the second part.

I was really disappointed with the story direction featured in Bioshock: Infinite’s single-player two part DLC “Burial at Sea” and although the concept and the return of Liz and Booker are certainly welcome, it seems so much more could’ve been explored within Infinite’s universe instead of returning to a glorified Rapture. Probably the most intriguing, albeit silent protagonist in a game this year was Infinite’s “Songbird“, the giant mechanical fowl that served as Elizabeth’s frightening ward in the main campaign. For all the lip-service Irrational paid to it’s newest terrifying creation (the collectors edition featured a 12-14” statue of the character and was aptly dubbed “Ultimate Songbird Edition“), Songbird was hardly featured in the core game and ultimately relegated to a minor supporting role. It seems their was so much back story for this character and situational set pieces that could’ve been crafted within a DLC campaign to give Songbird a more involved role. Am I the only one that feels this way? Comment below and speak your mind about what your ideal DLC scenario for Bioshock Infinite would’ve been.


Cosplayer Meagan Marie strikes a pose and brings her characters to life

Recently featured on Kotaku’s Fancy Pants (http://kotaku.com/5876329/the-very-best-of-meagan-maries-cosplay/), I knew she looked familiar. Sure enough, flipping through some of my past print editions of “Game Informer” I saw Meagan’s picture appear several times co-mingling with other GI editors, game developers and game industry folks. Not only is she a hell of a writer, but she can cosplay with the best of them. Take a look for your self:


Meagan portraying Anya from Gears of War, one of the few female gears that could take down herds of the locust with the boys


Meagan as Marie Antoinette, the ill-fated last queen of France and dare I say, one of the original "it-girls" before there even was a Hollywood.

Meagan as Marie Antoinette, the ill-fated last queen of France and dare I say, one of the original “it-girls” before there even was a Hollywood.

If you want to see more of Meagan’s tireless effort to recreate our favorite fictional and non-fictional characters, then go to her website and admire her skill as only us gross, girlfriend-less gamers could; by showering her with lots of praise and stalking her. Just kidding Meagan, all my subjective comments come from a place of gamer love

Meagan Marie’s WordPress Blog:


P.S.  You’ve cosplayed titular gaming characters, historical and mythical figures and even sci-fi badasses. But their seems to be one missing from your resume that happens to be my all time favorite gaming character: Samus Aran. Yes, I know it’s been done but there are so many different ways to approach her. A strong female lead when console gaming was still in it’s infancy and female heroines were uncommon, most women in games were relegated to the “damsel in distress” cliches. Her revelation came as a pleasant surprise to most gamers who played through the original Metroid and were expecting anything but. One of the original Nintendo stalwart characters, Samus has always been my favorite and if Nintendo would release a new Metroid game where she resumes the role of the silent, lone-wolf character (no more talking please, Samus spoke enough in “Other M” to last the next three generations of Metroid games), I would instantly go out and buy a Nintendo console just to play it. Just a thought, or rant. Whatever.






New trailer for InFamous: Second Son that makes me want to wet myself and PS4 indie game Rime sends shivers down me spine

The PlayStation 4 launch is a mere 3 months away, however the new inFamous game, Second Son won’t be available until sometime along in 2014. I’ve never had much interest in the Infamous series of games, but the depth of story and characters in this sequel are definitely changing my mind. At Gamescomm, Sony showed off a new trailer for Sucker Punch’s latest installment to the series that offers more of a brief glimpse between Delsin and interaction between other characters in the games setting of Seattle. Check out the Fetch trailer below:

Another game that caught my attention was the independent-based PS4 title “Rime“, which brings back memories of exploring sandy vistas in the hit PS3 indie release “Journey” and shows gameplay akin to “Legend of Zelda” or something out of a Team Ico game. Oh yeah, by the way, WHERE THE HELL IS THE LAST GUARDIAN? Studio Japan and Team Ico have kept mum on any news regarding their latest masterpiece, with a little trickle every now and then coming out just to remind us that the game is “still in earnest development” (Team Ico’s words, not mine). Anyways, enough of my ranting. Here’s the trailer for “Rime”:

[UPDATE 8/25] Sony PS4 Official Launch Date Announced, Vita Price cut looming and new videos, reviews posted

Sony's Next-Generation Console, the PlayStation 4 has a confirmed official launch date for NA and EU: November 15th and November 29th, respectively.

Sony’s Next-Generation Console, the PlayStation 4 has a confirmed official launch date for NA and EU: November 15th and November 29th, respectively.

Well it’s official, you foaming-at-the-mouth, can’t get enough news Next-Gen Gaming bastards: Sony will launch it’s next-gen console, the PlayStation 4 on November 15 in North America and in Europe November 29th. SCE Chief Executive Andrew House made the announcement at this year’s GamesComm, a annual game expo and fair taking place in Germany, Europe to be precise. Also announced is that soon the PlayStation Vita will drop to a lower price point from $249 down to $199 (I’ve been advocating for this for quite some time, and if the Vita is incorporated into the PS4 as much as Sony has defined it to be, it will be a must-have companion piece for hardcore gamers. Not to mention that the Vita has it’s own catalog of games, around 150 I believe, so that will instantly add value to your PS4 collection since the Vita itself has Vita-specific and exclusive games designed for the maligned handheld. House also mentioned that the PS4 console will be available in 32 countries worldwide during the holiday season.

Compare this to Microsoft Xbox One console launch, which still doesn’t have a set launch date and won’t be completely rolled out until next year in many other territories.

Sony also livecast their GameComm’s conference via the internet while Microsoft held their conference to a select few in the gaming press behind closed doors. Sony also reiterated their strong support for smaller, independent-based developers by reveling in the PS4 exclusive and non-exclusive content offered via the indie developers showcased at the GamesComm expo available through Sony’s various gaming distribution channels, such as the PlayStation Network. 

A Review of the classic MetalSlug X for the PSOne has been posted along with various exclusive gameplay videos AND the unboxing of Tales of Xillia Limited Edition for PS3

HiddenDefiniton is not just PS3 and current-console centric, but we also like to indulge in gaming’s past, reminding us of how far we have come, how fun these games still are and being nostalgic for nostalgia’s sake. The PS3 is really a wonderful piece of hardware, playing not only current-gen games but PSOne classics, where it all started. Earlier PS3 units even had the H/W capable to play PS2 games, then later to reduce cost PS2 games were played under the aura of software emulation. However, Sony has since removed the PS2 backwards-compatibility citing that they kept their newest platform restricted to a price-barrier which was not competitive. So the PS2 back-compatibility features were axed in favor of a lower price point. Now the remnants of Sony’s early PS3 backwards-compatible units are considered a rare find and usually cost upward of 200-300 dollars depending on the type of PS2 capabilities and other features that have since been removed from the early brethren of PS3 units. Sony has a consistent knack for castrating it’s features from early models of their consoles and H/W from future models to make them more affordable, although I wish they could find a balance between both. Typically, if you find a used PS3 that contains four front USB ports and a flip-cover on the front of the unit for Micro-SD storage-type cards, these are usually the units that contain the much sought-after PS2 backwards compatibility. However, it should be noted that ALL PS3 units still support PSOne games, a great feature since the PSOne has a huge library of excellent games yet to be converted into a digital format for Sony’s PSN storefront. I took the time this past weekend to play through a SNK-PSOne Classic: Metal Slug X. A straight arcade port with all the bells and whistles one would expect from an arcade port. I also took it upon myself to record gameplay video borrowing my friends HD Camcorder, with droll commentary of course! It’s all included in the review of Metal Slug X. I hope you enjoy a stroll down memory lane of this fun, yet mindless 2D Contra-like shooter as I shall be doing more of these classic retro reviews when time permits. Enjoy! Click on the following link to view my review and watch exclusive gameplay video of Metal Slug X:


Released during the glory years of the PSOne, this classic arcade port from AgeTec includes quite literally a blast from the past as developer  SNK includes everything more from the arcade port, including cooperative mayhem.

Released during the glory years of the PSOne, this classic arcade port from AgeTec includes quite literally a blast from the past as developer SNK includes everything and more from the arcade port, including cooperative mayhem.

[UPDATE] Sci-Fi Movies of 2013 list Finished; Reviews Reviews Reviews Reviews! Much to do about reviews….The PS4 Launch Edition may include a PS4+Vita Bundle and most current features of the PlayStation Network will still remain free when the PS4 Launches

New Review added, plus several more on their way and Awesome Science-Fiction Films of 2013 list compiled and posted

Dear enlightened HD readers, thank you for sticking by my floundering blog all these days. I am working on adding a ton of new content, including a section dedicated to my most second favorite form of entertainment: Movies! Although a passive experience, I enjoy cinema very much and while In no way am I qualified to write reviews about films, I certainly can still make recommendations on which films are worthy of your Almighty Dollar to see in the theaters or buy on VOD/Blu-Ray/DVD. I just finished compiling my top picks for interesting, awesome and maybe even some original science-fiction movies for 2013, with each film receiving a brief synopsis and accompanied by their respective YouTube trailers.

Here’s the link with Five of my top picks (thus far) of interesting science-fiction films to be released this year:


For my fellow gamers, I have been working feverishly to finish some of my recent game purchases so they can be reviewed. Coming soon to HD’s Reviews are “Sound Shapes” and the recently released, retro style fantasy brawler “Dragon’s Crown“. In the meantime, I have reviewed Gearbox’s blended FPS/RPG masterpiece “Borderlands 2“. You can read the review by clicking on the following link: Borderlands 2 Review

Sony reaffirms that most services for PlayStation Network will remain free and a PlayStation 4+Vita Bundle could be one of the launch editions this holiday season!

While not much of a surprise, Sony has reaffirmed that most non-gaming services offered via the PlayStation Network will remain free. The PS Plus Membership is required to actually play PlayStation 4 titles multiplayer online. Other portions of PSN, such as accessing Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, the game-video recording feature touted by Sony at the PS4’s February reveal and text/voice chat along with basic features such as maintaining your friends list, messaging your friends etc will all still be free (as it should be). Microsoft, in stark contrast, requires an XBOX Live Gold Membership which costs $59.99 a year to access any of the consoles services online features. Just another reason I choose Sony over Microsoft for this current generation of consoles. For a cash-strapped gamer, free online+multiplayer was a HUGE selling point in my decision to trade in my XBOX 360 towards the PS3.

A great idea for a PS4 Bundle: including Sony's under appreciated handheld, the Vita. All PS4 games will be capable of Remote Play, meaning that you can start your game on the PS4 and if interrupted, take the game with you on the move using the Vita. A really cool feature and it would definitely make sense for Sony to create a bundle including both consoles since they compliment each other extremely well. Although just a rumor for now, hopefully this will materialize into reality quite soon.

A great idea for a PS4 Bundle: including Sony’s under appreciated handheld, the Vita. All PS4 games will be capable of Remote Play, meaning that you can start your game on the PS4 and if interrupted, take the game with you on the move using the Vita. A really cool feature and it would definitely make sense for Sony to create a bundle including both consoles since they compliment each other extremely well. Although just a rumor for now, hopefully this will materialize into reality quite soon.

A rumor that has been making it’s way down the gamer totem pole is that their will be a PlayStation 4 SKU that includes the Sony Vita in a bundle. Sony’s much maligned and floundering handheld needs a big boost if it’s to survive against Nintendo’s 3DS and the onslaught of Smartphones, Tablets and casual mobile gamers in general. The Vita is a powerful little handheld and will be capable, come PS4 launch day, of remote play. In other words, you can start your game on your PS4 console, go outside for some fresh air and resume the game where you left off on the Vita all without interruption. A very cool feature indeed. Also, since the Vita has it’s own exclusive catalog of games, people who purchase the rumored PS4/Vita Bundle, rumored to have a MSRP of around $500, will have instant access to a multitude of decent Vita only software. There are a good amount of Vita games, including some of Sony’s stalwart franchises in special Vita-exclusive versions such as Uncharted, Assassins Creed, Resistance, Killzone, Metal Gear Solid, Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale and some new IP’s such as Gravity RushSoul Sacrifice, the soon to be released Tearaway (the next upcoming hit from Media Molecule, responsible for all those awesome Little Big Planet titles) and my favorite, Persona 4 Golden (the reason I currently have a Vita on my gamer “must lust” list of gaming purchases I want oh-so badly to make).

Bioshock Infinite DLC: Clash in the Clouds released, Future Bioshock Infinite DLC Packs revealed and more new game purchases!

The Poster Art for the recently released DLC Pack for Bioshock Infinite: "Clash in the Clouds"

The Poster Art for the recently released DLC Pack for Bioshock Infinite: “Clash in the Clouds“. It is now available on multiple online storefronts at an MSRP of $4.99.

Bioshock Infinite: Clash in the Clouds DLC Pack released: details, trailer and info here now!

It’s been a looong time coming but Irrational Games was adamant in their stance that the DLC would be out by late July and was not just hacked off content from the initial release but fully developed new content AFTER the games release for us fervent BS:I fans. True to form, the first DLC pack for Infinite entitled “Clash in the Clouds” has been released via Steam, XBL and PSN. For those who purchased the Season Pass during the games launch, the content will be waiting for you to download free of charge in your respective platforms network. If you did not purchase the Season Pass, the MSRP is around $4.99 and the DLC pack weighs in around 1.4 GB (for the PSN version, I cannot confirm if it’s the same for other platforms). Here’s the details about what to expect via this expansion pack from a quote via Polygon: (SOURCE)

The DLC includes four new maps, each with fifteen encounters and challenges, broken up by a visit to an armory of sorts where players can select their weapon load-out or use cash earned to power up their Booker.

The game rewards cash, which is also the player’s score, based on kills, combos and meeting specific, increasingly difficult challenges.

The end result, Dowling said, is a experience that pushes players to flip through weapons and vigors, pulling in tears and jumping on and off the Skyline to survive.

The roughly five-hour experience also has leaderboards and a clutch of unlockable audio and video files, concept art and models that can be unlocked with cash.

Here’s the trailer revealing the bullet points of all the new additions and features to “Clash in the Clouds” DLC:

“Clash in the Clouds” is the complete opposite of what most Infinite fans were expecting. Instead of a narrative, story-driven based experience, “Clash in the Clouds” does a complete 180 by making the games combat the central focus. While certainly not a bad thing, I found the combat in Infinite to be monotonous and repetitive, with the few breaks in redundancy being Liz’s dialog, Songbird scares and Skyhook ventures. Thankfully, “Clash in the Clouds” appears to focus more on the varied combat in Infinite rather than the standard “enter the arena, kill all the baddies and move on” regimen that was prevalent throughout most of Booker and Liz’s adventure. The DLC will revolve around the increased difficulty featured in the “1999 Mode” that could only be unlocked upon completion of the game. It will also feature significant challenges with the wide array of Infinite’s exceptionally designed characters, emphasizing challenges around using the Skyrails, vigors and defeating certain enemies using different combat techniques. The DLC pack rewards you with further audio diaries, game developer videos and some concept art. The next DLC pack, however, definitely seeds back to the games roots of coupling Booker and Liz together in narrative, story-driven gameplay. Read on below for more information regarding the next DLC pack for Bioshock: Infinite….

The Poster Art for Bioshock Infinite's 2-part "Burial At Sea" Expansion Pack coming out soon at a MSRP of $14.99. Season Pass holders will obviously have instant access to the DLC pack via their respective platforms online storefronts.

The Poster Art for Bioshock Infinite’s 2-part “Burial At Sea” Expansion Pack coming out soon at a MSRP of $14.99. Season Pass holders will obviously have instant access to the DLC pack via their respective platforms online storefronts.

Bioshock Infinte: Burial at Sea is a two-part DLC pack that invites players on a return trip to Rapture before Andrew Ryan’s Utopian-like Sea-scape fell and crumbled under it’s own ambitions 

While we will have to wait for the more interesting expansion pack for Infinite, at least we now have details on what to expect.. “Burial at Sea” is a two-part tale of how the Columbia/Rapture parallel takes place and allows for you to explore the doomed underwater utopia as Booker DeWiit while it’s still a functional, beautiful city occupied by it’s faithful citizens before they go batshit crazy and turn into Splicers and Big Daddies. One of the most exciting concepts seems to be that you play as both Booker and Elizabeth, albeit a more grown-up adult version of Liz. Here’s the trailer courtesy of GameStop:

New game purchases and pre-orders to my already expansive and vast PlayStation 3 Collection of games

So during one of my last few posts I talked about the awesome PS3 exclusive “Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection” released on July 9th, which includes around 10 Metal Gear games from 1987 until 2012. For a price of $49.99, spanning content on TWO Blu-Ray discs and even including a very nice Metal Gear artwork book with the standard release, this collection is well worth the investment IF you can find it. My local GameStop sold out of MGS: Legacy Collection instantly and when they stocked more copies to be put on display for sale, those subsequently sold out just as fast. I eventually found my copy at Best Buy and picked it up immediately. I urge all Metal Gear and Hideo Kojima fans (the creater/writer of the Metal Gear franchise) to buy this game instantly if they find it, otherwise I guarantee it will sell before you have a chance to come back and get it. This is one of those rare titles that will be worth 2-3 times the original purchase price within 2 years because it had such a limited release.

For my birthday my best friend Jared also got me “Red Dead Redemption” GOTY Edition. I have seen this game being played by other friends of mine and know of its multiple accolades so it’s a worthy addition to my PS3 collection. And when Jared saw that this version included a “Zombie Mode”, he couldn’t resist. Thanks Jared! You and Mike are truly my BESTiES 4 LYFE luLzZzZ (<3333’s at retarded internet sentiments and acronyms).

For my Birfday, my best friend Jared purchased the GOTY Edition of Red Dead Redemption. Thanks goes to Jared for being an awesome friend and to Mike for being a great videogaming buddy! Look for a full review on HiddenDefinition of "Red Dead Redemption" soon.

For my Birfday, my best friend Jared purchased the GOTY Edition of Red Dead Redemption. Thanks goes to Jared for being an awesome friend and to Mike for being a great videogaming buddy! Look for a full review on HiddenDefinition of “Red Dead Redemption” soon.

PS4 On it’s Way to American Shores as it passes FCC inspections, Sound Shapes for PS3 rocks!…Final Single-Player DLC Campaign released for Aliens: Colonial Marines final Story-based DLC available for release & why I won’t be buying it [UPDATED: August 11th at 2:30 AM, 2013]

The FCC inspects the PlayStation 4 Devkits and the home-based Console units which both have passed FCC Regulation this week


According to Engadget.com (as per the link above) Sony’s latest console has passed FCC regulation and that makes it one step closer to setting sail for American shores. The Sony PS4 Devkit was apparently already approved by the FCC earlier this week. The Devkit, which is supposed to cost around a modest $2,500 (a much more reasonable price point than the full-featured PS3 Devkit which can cost nearly $10,000 for complete unit) is not yet for sale by Sony but has been loaned out to certain Independent Developers who have caught the eye of Sony. Eventually at some point, I’m assuming the full fledged Devkit will go on sale for all game developers, big or small, once the console has properly saturated the market. For more information on developing for the PlayStation 4, please visit http://us.playstation.com/develop/. Here’s part of the schematic’s Sony sent over to the FCC (again, courtesy of Engadget.com) to give you a better idea of this process:

A List provided by Sony to the FCC for it's physical and some internal specifications such as it's MAX Clock Frequency hovering around 2.75 GHz.

A List provided by Sony to the FCC for it’s physical and some internal specifications such as it’s MAX Clock Frequency hovering around 2.75 GHz.

Also, here’s a physical specification image sent over by Sony to assist the FCC in providing and attaining proper measurements perhaps?

A schematic of the visual appearance and measurements of Sony's PlayStation 4

A schematic of the visual appearance & measurements of Sony’s PlayStation 4

Best of PSN Collection has me hooked with the Dynamic Sound Platformer “Sound Shapes”

After installing some of the games included on Sony’s awesome “Best of PlayStation Network Vol. 1” Compilation I have fell in love with Queasy GamesSound Shapes“. It’s a great little platformer that includes awesome contemporary and retro music from popular groups such as Beck, Deadmou5 (don’t know if I got that spelled correctly, feel free to rampage me with corrections in the comments section), I Am Robot and many others. You play as this little amorphous blob-type creature that looks conspicuously like a egg cooked over easy. Sound Shapes retains the basic platformer elements such as jumping, speeding up using the square or trigger button to run and complete larger jumps as well as using different colored platforms to latch on to so that you can move around them, even upside down, without fear of reprisal. Also, the more sound shapes you jump and acquire during each level the more robust and awesome the music becomes. By jumping on certain sound shapes or certain platforms, you can add a drum beat, vocals, snares, hi-hats and the like as well as vocals, choruses, keyboard and guitar chords. Depending on how you play you have the ability to radically change the music from the beginning spawn point until the levels end. Hit all the right notes and you can unlock more features that can be used and added in the level editor to your own maps. What an awesome way to skyrocket the value of the games replay-ability. While I have yet to delve into the map editor myself, I have taken the basic tutorial and it seems overwhelmingly simple, easy to understand and even friendly to newcomers not used to game modification. Each series of maps is divided by a number of campaigns, and each campaign is essentially a different album from a variety of music artists. To further the games expandability, you can download new albums to add to the diversity of campaigns available as well as unlockables that can be used in the level editor. You can also purchase via the PlayStation Network Store new drum kit samples, new 8-bit retro samples etc to add to the games already ridiculous amount of musical content. Look for my full review coming soon!

One of the first campaign series of levels with the album comprised by musician "I Am Robot"

One of the first campaign series of levels with the album comprised by musician “I Am Robot

Aliens: Colonial Marines finally gets story-based expansion via the latest DLC pack. The real questions is: Does anyone care and does Sega and Gearbox really deserve more money for this abomination of gaming?

The Short Answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT. and the long answer is 100 PERCENT ABSOLUTELY NOT!

After spending over $100 on the collector’s edition of this piece of garbage game and being seriously disappointed, they should be giving any DLC that is half-way decent away FOR FREE to it’s customers that bought or preordered this game brand new. The final DLC pack, entitled “Stasis Interrupted” involves three different characters who awake from their cryosleep only to discover in horror that their transport ship has been plagued with a scourge of Xenomorphs. The DLC’s intent is on resolving the half-hearted (OK, no heart really) attempt for Hick’s back story that took place between the end of Aliens and the beginning of Aliens 3 in A:CM is supposed to be answered in this DLC pack. Really though, at this point does anyone still care about this game? It was without a doubt the biggest letdown of 2013 for me after seeing those also FALSE and FAKE trailers that ran on high-end PC’s which were actually developed by TimeGate studios and had virtually no involvement or input from Gearbox, other than GB telling TimeGate to make sure the E3 2012 demo “look awesome”, regardless of what the XBOX 360 and PS3 could actually handle. The notorious demo, which can still be seen in all it’s glory shows many things that never made it to the full game, maps that were significantly altered and the AI looking much sharper and imposing than the games final release. Thanks to several absurdly huge updates for both Console and PC version, the game Is much more playable now then when it was initially launched in February. Unfortunately, the PC version benefits from this the most as updates and patches that can severely modify the game’s content can only be released for the PC version. I am holding out very little hope that the graphical anomalies, dynamic lighting, better textures and sharper AI will also be included in the future console patches and updates.

The UK Standards for Advertising (not sure if this is the actual name, but I think it’s close enough. Essentially, it’s kind of the U.K.’s equivalent to America’s Better Business Bureau) actually reprimanded Sega for falsely advertising their product and forced Sega to accompany banners that appear during each of the game demos and trailers which have all left us feeling very betrayed. The demos and trailers now must display a message forewarning anyone watching that “THIS FINAL PRODUCT DOES NOT LOOK ANYTHING LIKE THIS DEMO” or something to the effect of “THIS DEMO IS A RENDER BEING PLAYED ON A HIGH-END PC AND THIS IS NOT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE FINAL VERSION OF GAME” or something along those lines. How embarrassing for Sega…a once well-known console and game developer now relegated to 3rd party publisher partly based in BAD DECISIONS like releasing A:CM upon the world when it clearly should’ve been canned altogether or had it’s release date pushed much further back so Gearbox, TimeGate, Demiurge or WHOEVER WAS WORKING ON THIS TRAINWRECK had time to properly correct this mess and make some good of it. Unfortunately, companies only answer to one entity: their shareholders. If they lose profit and nothing is gained from pouring millions of dollars into A:CM over that ridiculously long 7 year development period then the other companies that support Sega could jump ship, leaving them in financially dire straights. It’s not as if Sega is a bad publisher. Actually, quite the contrary. Sega has released some excellent console games, including the PS3 awesome PS3 exclusive “Valkyria Chronicles“, “Vanquish“, “Resonance of Fate” and their awesome “Sega Genesis Collection”. They also have released a few decent PC games over the years, such as the Company of Heroes series.

Even more saddening is that TimeGate Studios, the company largely responsible for trying to put this hulking disaster of a mess together during the past several years has had to layoff many employees and I believed, as of this writing, filed for bankruptcy. Also as of this writing, I’m not sure if TimeGate even exists as a game developer anymore. Even more upsetting and sad, considering the amount of slander Gearbox sent their way after the initial backlash from fans over the internet during the games release. Anonymous GB employees were quoted as saying that TimeGate had made a mess of the game when they had their paws on it and threw away most of the assets and work GB had already completed, although I don’t know what these were since several TimeGate employees responded to the negative and unfounded Gearbox posts on Reddit by simply stating that “The work, assets etc. Gearbox presented to us during A:CM’s final last years of troubled development clearly did not amount to 7 years of work Gearbox had been claiming”.  Many in the gaming community theorize that during these 7 years that A:CM was supposed to be in development, GB actually using Sega’s money to finish up their prized IP “Borderlands” and begin and finish work on “Borderlands 2“. While Sega are nowhere near completely innocent in this mess of a release, after year 6 Sega probably should’ve done a little investigative work and saw that their hard-earned capitol wasn’t even going to one of their published projects but to another Gearbox game entirely.  Bottom line: I have never seen such a disaster and aftermath following a games release since the likes of the Diablo 3 server fiasco and even going more far back, John Romero’s constant hype of his new studio Ion Storm’s first release “Diakatana” after splitting from legendary game developer ID Software which built the game into this amazing object of hype and fervor, to the point where there was no way it could be realized. Diakatana was critically panned by the press and public and Ion Storm went under not to far after. You think developers and to a further extent, publishers, would’ve learned their lesson with constant game failures of seismic proportions since the late 90’s and on but they still haven’t seem to get it yet. Games still get stuck in development @#!*% , they are continually hyped to the point of no return and have their release dates constantly pushed back and back and back AND BACK only to be released as underwhelming, buggy, graphically inferior and just altogether crap games. With all that has gone wrong with A:CM, the bankrupt game studio, the cancellation of the Wii U version, the constant patches and fixes, the non-stop finger pointing by Gearbox employees (just take a look at Randy Pitchford’s Twitter page who is floundering in his dismissal of gamers accusations that his company was just trying to innocently release it’s creative vision on the world but failed at their attempt – OK MAN, whatever. you. say) and the U.K. enforcing Sega to put disclaimers on all the games trailers and demos stating that the demo represents the final product in no way. Oh yes, did I also mention that several gamers have joined together in a Class Action Lawsuit against Sega for falsely advertising A:CM? I mean, their case does kind of have merit ALREADY, what with the U.K. calling fowl on Sega’s misrepresentative game trailers for A:CM.

So I guess if any of you are really interested to see if “Stasis Interrupted” is worth the 10, 15 or whatever amount of money for this DLC pack to a game that never deserved our hard-earned dough in the first place is really your call. If the DLC pack actually corrects all the bad graphics, horrible AI and terrible characters that crapped their way into the initial release and somehow salvages the story and interjects some emotionally-invested characters into this title, then maybe the ten-dollar investment for this DLC may be worth it. However, after already paying over $100 for the special edition of this game, I can personally tell you unless it’s free I have no intention of investing any more of my hard earned time or money into this mess that is Aliens: Colonial Marines.