Humor? So, Microsoft Says NOT To Stand That Xbox One On Its Side… Or Else.

XBOX_ONEGiven that the current model Xbox 360 can indeed be placed upright (although it can lead to disc scratching if the surface it’s placed on isn’t perfectly level and subject to being bumped into while playing a game or watching a DVD), it’s a given that some owners of the upcoming Xbox One will be looking to do the same with Microsoft’s new system.

However, according to this GameSpot UK article, a company representative says vertical orientation isn’t how the new console was designed. Of course, there will be a ton of hard-headed or space in that entertainment center challenged gamers who won’t follow the company’s “suggestions” at all or try out that standing position just once to “see if it works”, and you can never stop those folks from doing what they do.

On the other hand, I personally feel that there’s another, far sinister reason they don’t want you to stand that thing up… especially if you happen to do so and place that new, improved Kinect on the now top part of the system and power the thing on. To wit (actual test footage stolen from a Microsoft test facility):

(thanks, Donald Carten!)

Remember, you’ve been warned!

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Bad PR 101: Sega’s “Funny” Folly Went Over (and On) the Heads of Some…

next gen sega card (Large)Yeah, that postcard to the left was promising back in 1996, but less than three years later, the Sega Saturn ship was about to come crashing to earth in a slow nuclear explosion. While the console did get a number of excellent titles, fans of the system in North America suffered through Sega of America’s leadership at the time that seemed to ignore some pretty obvious Japanese 2D imports in a few genres in favor of approving too many first and third party polygon-based games or imports that seemed “safe” bets if the right segment of the system’s audience was willing to buy them.

Combine that with some third-party games taking seemingly forever to arrive and Sega deciding to only ship limited quantities of the last few major games on the platform and having the gall to rub consumer’s faces in it for the best game on the platform (see below the jump) and you end up with a console that died a horrible death it really didn’t need to…
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E3 2013: NMA World Takes On Microsoft & EA

Ouch. This first video is actually from May 30, but leave it to the awesome Taiwanese animators toiling away mercilessly over at NMA to poke some of there incredibly mighty pointed stick in the eye fun at some recent gaming news. The Dragon Age 3: Inquisition video is also a total hoot and even funnier because I’d bet the folks doing the animation have gamers among them who probably wish the game would be as awesomely hilarious as they make it look here.

Off to dig up some lunch now – back in a bit. This stupid storm rolling through here is keeping me from a better connection, so updates will be less than I’d like by a lot today, grrr…

E3 2013: Microsoft, Meet The Real World…

no_dataSo, according to Microsoft, their new Xbox One wonder-box of miracles ABSOLUTELY requires an always online connection, restricts sharing of physical or digital games and does a few other things so terribly wrong for the sake of the “future” that it all means if you live in an area with no, crappy or “borrowed” internet access… you’re screwed.

Actually, you’re not really screwed… you just need to find another console to play your games on. Boo. To paraphrase the original Star Trek’s good Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy: “It’s a console, NOT a cellphone!”

Yeah, well… someone’s going to be in for a big, fat Greek surprise this holiday season and it’s not the consumer who’s decided to move on and spend their money elsewhere. It will be any Microsoft executive expecting a gigantic bonus check for implementing possibly the worst enforced evolution scheme in the relatively brief history of video gaming.  Want to hand a used game down to the kids in another home? Good luck with that. Want to lend someone you recently became acquainted with a game you bought and beat a few days back? Nope – they need to be on your Friends List for at LEAST 30 days. Not 29, 20, 14 or 4, folks. 30 or up. There’s a lot more, but it’s all downhill and garbage gibberish that sounds as if it was randomly generated PR nonsenseContinue reading

E3 2013: Surprises From DICE? Maybe (If You’re Very Easily Surprised, That Is)…

Hmmmm… Let’s see now. As much as I dislike speculation about this sort of stuff (my brain usually has better things to do with its time), I figure I may as well play along for a few minutes and get this out of the way so I can be proven wrong and get back to other, more important issues. I’d guess that we’ll see a big Battlefield 4 reveal, something very Star Wars related (and perhaps exclusive to a certain upcoming console/cable box hybrid), a lot of DLC news and maybe, just maybe something portable gamers may want to get their paws on (maybe). That is all. If I’m right, I’m pleased with this three minute forecasting exercise. If I’m wrong, well… what else is new?

Fantasia: Music Evolved: Harmonix Has A Hit Here (But I Bet The Real Yen Sid Is Rolling In His Freezer…)

Ho-kay. I’m so behind the times in the modern music thing that I initially thought this was going to be a game featuring that former American Idol winner who fell on hard times (pay your taxes, people!) getting a second chance in a new IP where players got to sing in front of their KINECT-enabled TV’s. Boy was I wrong. Look, I’ll give Harmonix every benefit of the doubt because they’ve made some great and innovative music and dance-themed games for a number of consoles, but this trailer is pretty lousy because it doesn’t say “Disney” to me at all – it says “desperation” for whomever got behind this and forgot all about the original movie and that still impressive classic animation/classical music combination.

Yes, I get the whole argument about tuning in to modern tastes, and YES, poking about for previews has revealed that the game has a few interesting aspects that make it sort of a cross between Child of Eden and some sort of exploration/collection-fest. That said, as a fan of traditional animation and more types of music than the not yet completely revealed track list that’s seemingly made up of later 20th to more current hits, I have to pull the emergency brake and fall onto the heaving bosom of a tutu-clad cartoon hippo for comedic effect. Come on, Harmonix – there’s a great library of classical tunes that deserve being introduced to folks who have no clue what an orchestra is.

Yeah, this will probably do well and make people like me warm up the oven to pop in another frozen crow pie, but no classic Disney magic means… no classic Disney magic, period. Bruno Mars and classic Queen are for listening to when you’re dancing in the shower (watch that soapy floor!) or driving to the mall with the kids (as they’re screaming at you to change the station because Freddie Mercury’s voice freaks them out). I guess this being an exclusive for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One means the chances of a Wii U game that’s closer to the original film (or hell, even Fantasia 2000) in tone. But, whatever – maybe I’m just old fashioned or something…

Memo to Microsoft: You Can’t Rewrite History By Erasing It…

Call Me IshmaelI was going to save this (or a variation of this) for after Microsoft’s E3 press conference, but I may as well do some (ugh) speculation based on their current mine cart zooming to the cliff full of baskets of freshly laid rotten egg ideas.

Actually, I’ll lay some new-age Nostradumbass foundation here and follow up after the show (or during if I’m able to recover from whatever “major game announcements” they throw into the pot that either make or break their new console as a purchase around these parts.

Anyway, for some insane reason, Microsoft keeps wanting to ignore, avoid or otherwise stamp out its gaming history in favor of shipping out a new console that does even more to be less of a gaming system and more of a cable box with a gaming “service” added in, an always connected all-seeing eye that some are already seeing as having serious privacy rights issues and what’s looking like a near complete focus on North American entertainment tastes, well… sure, go right on ahead. I still have three working Xboxes, two dead Xbox 360’s (and when your first console is better made than your second… that’s a bit of an issue) and a nice chunk of physical media to fall back on.

Sure, you’ll get sales from those who want to buy into your service plans and monetization schemes, but but at what REAL cost at the end of the day? You can indeed keep those shareholders and non-gaming investors and overpaid analysts happy all you want, but torching the forest and salting the ground behind you means no one will remember that Microsoft once (at least outside the U.S. of A.) was KEY is helping create a more important part of game history at one point in the faraway past.

That would be the MSX and its variants and not the Xbox, by the way.

More sane over-thought processing to come during or after E3…

New Young Justice Legacy Trailer: This Hit’s Really Going to Hurt…

Little Orbit and Freedom Factory’s upcoming action/RPG might not help being the fan-favorite show back, but it’s going to be a hell of a lot of fun to play for many out there who want more of these heroes in a more interactive form. Sure, it’s not packing the most amazing visuals, but there’s a ton of fun to be had busting heads and solving some straightforward puzzles as the game progresses. I got a bit of hands-on time with an earlier version of the game not too long ago, so I’m really hoping the final product adds even more polish and does well at retail. This sort of non-MMO hero-packed game used to be a bit more popular a few years back, but it would be nice to see this do well enough that this sub-genre makes a welcome return.

Young Justice Legacy Hands-On: Teens & Titans Collide In Little Orbit’s Upcoming ARPG…

GA_IceRiver_001One of the nicer surprises at the Namco Bandai Global Gamers Day event was a playable build of Young Justice Legacy, set for a fall release on PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, 3DS and PC (what, no Vita version?!). Fans of the show should be pleased to know that developer Freedom Factory is cooking up a fast-paced action/RPG in the vein of the X-Men Legends and Marvel Ultimate Alliance games featuring stylized 3D visuals and a nicely-sized roster of characters from the series. The game has a few months more cooking to do on the developer’s stove, but it’s definitely going to one of those the more dedicated fans of the currently canceled cartoon should dive right into as soon as it hits stores.

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Young Justice: Legacy Gallery: Little Orbit & Freedom Factory Are Doing It Right For The Fans…

Fans of this freshly canceled (or hopefully just “on hiatus”) Cartoon Network show will have one really cool thing to comfort them in these desperate times: Young Justice Legacy is coming along REALLY nicely. While my overall impressions are embargoed for a few more days, I can safely say that fans of games like Marvel Ultimate Alliance, X-Men Legends and yes, even Justice League Heroes should be pleased with what’s coming from Little Orbit and Freedom Factory. That trailer shows off an older build, as the HUD is now different (it’s in a corner now) and anything else you want to know will have to wait (sorry!). As for looks, the stylized 3D visuals mimic the show’s 2D art style well enough and I like that the dev team didn’t go for the overused cel-shading some probably wanted or expected.

Of course, the BIG question is will the game do so well at retail that the powers that be over at Cartoon Network and DC want to kick things back into production? That, dear reader… is all up to YOU. Petitions are groovy and all, but buying the game and telling as many friends with a PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, DS and 3DS (Hey! Where’s the Vita version?) as possible and making sure they also vote with their wallets is the best thing to do if you want to see something positive come from all this hard work. Hey, even if the show never gets a second chance on TV, I’d say the game deserves a solid sequel that addresses that cliffhanger finale, right?

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