Hmm… I’m Seeing Ghosts All of a Sudden Thanks to Activision…

ghostsI actually wasn’t expecting to get a copy of Call of Duty: Ghosts for a bit after launch for my Wii U, but surprise!  Activision shot over a PS3 copy of the game this morning, so into the queue it goes. Actually, progress has been made on more reviews, so I’ll be popping this one into my old system (still going strong after what, almost seven years?) later this evening.

I’m about to run out the door here in about 15 minutes to go to some press events or I’d be playing this now. OK, back in a bit to see what all the fuss is about. I’m a campaign guy first and foremost, so I’m gathering if this one’s like the last couple of installments it will be pretty intense and dramatic (to say the least) with a few unexpected surprises. Alrighty then – off to the races with me. Now, I’ll be thinking of controllable army dogs and some sort of high-speed vehicle chase until I get back home, woof!

As Usual, Call of Duty Gets A Celebrity Crazy Live Action TV Spot…

Here’s an answer to a question I was asked by not one but TWO readers in person within the space of a week or so (yes, people ask me stuff on the street when they see me) about coverage of some of the bigger AAA titles and why I don’t spend a ton of space covering them like other sites. It’s mostly because I prefer to NOT rush out a review before or with everyone else and partly because I can;t get access to loaner debug units like I used to a few years back. Complain, gripe, whine, et cetera, et cetera. I miss my old PR wranglers who did me the occasional odd favor, but what can you do, kids? Meh, life goes on! I was supposed to get a trumpet blast with that last sentence, but I’ll settle for a bleated out note on the STL Ocarina I’m reviewing…

Anyway, I actually liked last year’s big celebrity-packed TV ad much better, but this has its fun moments:

COD_G_Wii UGranted, I’m a LOT more interested in Call of Duty: Ghosts for the single player campaign (no matter how long or short it turns out to be) and YES, I’m much more interested in the upcoming Wii U version just to see how it turned out (Yes, *shocking!* isn’t it?), as Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 wasn’t bad at all on Nintendo’s overly maligned (by some of the Internet’s troll-iest under bridge dwellers) console which REALLY just needs some love and a lot more good games from first and third parties, as there’s NOTHING fundamentally wrong with it at all.

That said, it certainly looks great on any system I’ve seen it on, so I guess everyone will have it on their a favorite console soon enough. Yeah, that’s right. I’m a root for the underdog guy myself these days, so there you go…

Late Night Game Week (Day 4): Jimmy Answers the Call of Duty, Gets Ghosted…

I actually wrote the headline before Jimmy’s show kicked off (hey, planning in advance works when you know what’s coming, correct?), but in case you missed it, the proof is above (or will be once NBC gets its act together, grrrr!).

Anyway, the show was a bit more game-centric and snappier than last night’s thanks to Defiance’s Grant Bowler, Jimmy running viewer videos of themselves playing with their mothers (pretty damn funny) and Elijah Wood geeking out with Fallon over The Last of Us before talking briefly about the new season of Wilfred and the remake of Maniac and then some fake video games in a skit.

As for CoD:G, well, it looks great on the Xbox 360 (but I think that dog has a LEAN button… whaaaat?!), but the demo was too short and other than a nice scripted building tumbling down and the novelty of playing as Riley (the dog) for brief bits, it’s looking like a CoD game, which is great to bad depending on your bias in either direction. I only play for the campaign mode anyway, so I may look into this on the PS3 or PS4 in the future. And oh yeah, I was actually wrong up above! Jimmy didn’t suck so much at the game today. Well, other than barking at the screen at one point (OK, it made me chuckle a bit).

Well, tomorrow is Nintendo’s day on the show, although I noted in the teaser for the show, they had “Nintendo Wii” and not “Nintendo Wii U” as the system being demoed. Oops. Er, unless Nintendo has some surprises we didn’t see at E3 planned for tomorrow, that is…

Call of Duty: Ghosts Teaser: For A Minute There, I Was Expecting A Trip Back In Time…

Another year of life in the 21st century means a new Call of Duty game rolling up onto store shelves and digital shops soon (and raking in a nice chunk of change for Activision), but for a hot and exciting few seconds there I ALMOST thought this one was going to be set in the past with all sorts of weapons swinging and throwing warriors throughout history. Welp (as the kids say), no such luck (this time)… but the super hardcore CoD fans will all be gleefully dancing in the streets and dodging bullets with blood in their eye soon enough. I may pass on this one, as I’m FPS’ed out lately, but I think I’ll hold out for Call of Duty: Caveman just so I can see where all this war stuff got started in the first place…

Call of Duty MW3 TV Spot: It’s Guy Ritchie’s Turn To Show He’s A Gamer Too…

‘Ey! What’s all this now with popular directors tackling video game ads? First it’s David Fincher producing a wild and intriguing Halo 4 ad and now Guy Ritchie on this CoD MW3 commercial… hmmmmm. Well, I guess people need to work and hey, it’s always great to find out some quality movie talent are gamers, right? So it’s all good in the end. It’s also good that we’re not seeing these guys tackle adaptations of the games they’re doing ads for as full-fledged movies. I know I said in an earlier post that it would be a good idea to see longer form works from great directors based on games, but given that you’d end up with 21 writers trying to fit too much into a two-hour flick and the creative control disasters that would result from this sort of collaboration, TV spots and quick trailers are a better thing in the end foe gamers concerned about quality and continuity. OK, someone dial up Ridley Scott – I’d love to see him tackle some upcoming title (if he’s got an interest in gaming at all, that is)…

Wii U on the Way. November 18 Is the Day.

Let’s keep it simple: The Wii U is coming. North American launch date: November 18 (Europe, you’re up November 30). Two different models: $299 for a Basic white system: a console with 8GB of memory, one GamePad, AC adapter, sensor bar, and HDMI Cable. $349 nets you a black console with all of the above, but 32GB of memory, a copy of Nintendo Land and to push digital a bit more, a promotion that allows buyers of the more expensive system access to a rebate system for purchases made online. Guess which one I’m recommending. Bet on black, kids. YES, the console is indeed backward compatible with current Wii titles (but forget about GameCube functionality, something missing since the Wii was streamlined into its current incarnation). WIll the console support standard RCA jacks for those who still aren’t set up for HD? Probably, but I’d imagine you’d want to poke around Nintendo’s site to double check (use the first link above, of course)

There’s also TVii, a function I personally will never use, but one Nintendo is targeting at those millions of more connected users and consumers who love watching their favorite shows in a more social manner (I call it “Distracted Viewing” but hey, people seem to love doing this, sooo…):

Anyway, there will be a raft of games on the way from the launch onward, notably some amazing exclusives as well as titles Nintendo-only fans will be thrilled to see- but those (well, SOME of them) are below the jump…

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CoD: Black Ops 2 Documentary Gets You Up To Speed About Things To Come…

By now, Activision and hard-working developer Treyarch have no doubt developed quite the thick skin (and a deaf ear from all those ricochets) when it comes to listening to the anti-CoD crowd wailing away when news of a new installment breaks. I’ve pretty much heard it all, from JRPG fans who “hate FPS games and CoD players” with a rather biased viewpoint (sorry, they’re not all “frat boy jerks” or “gun nuts”) to fans of other shooters who never seem to realize that most of the games they like wouldn’t be around if CoD wasn’t busting sales records and forcing a few innovations (like them or not) into the genre (which IS a bit stale after so many years with so many AAA games coming and going).

That said, and as I noted earlier, when it works, it WORKS, and Black Ops was one of those games that packed so much content onto a disc that you didn’t really need to play it online to enjoy some prime content. OK, let me shut up and let you enjoy this little “documentary” about the future world weapons and such presented in this upcoming sequel that’s bound to make all involved another mint. Oh yeah, I’ll be nice for a change and not even ask what Oliver North is doing in the video. Put him in the Zombies game next time, guys.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Trailer Reveal: Well, Well… Now With More Mind-blowing Action (And Horses!)

Ah, this month’s (or was it last month’s?) worst kept secret finally gets an official trailer. Pretty slick stuff so far – the horseback section should be amazingly cool to play if it’s done right. The most amusing thing about the whole future weapons aspect of the trailer and the older guy narrating it was it reminded me of Metal Gear Solid 4 in terms of tone. Maybe that’s just me, but I bet a few other people will make that comparison soon enough…

Anyway, I loved the first Black Ops because even with the darker tone, it was the funniest CoD in terms of the breakneck pacing and crazy bonus content in single player (I didn’t venture online at all). That said, I’m REALLY hoping that Activision doesn’t wall away the fun though a pay system that screws me and folks like me out of an otherwise cool experience. Now, I don’t take the franchise so seriously that I bend over backward to praise everything and not think about the stuff that’s flawed. Nor do I bash the franchise (and other well-made shooters like it) for basically doing the same stuff year after year because, hell, it works. If you’re an adrenaline junkie and love big, crazy roller coaster rides with screams and explosions and splashes of blood mixed in with dead serious storytelling where need be, it’s always been fun to blast through a CoD game over a weekend or so and have a gab-fest the next week or so with friends who’ve also enjoyed what’s been served up.

That said, Hey, Activision! Where the hell is that CoD zombies game compilation? You know, the RETAIL disc one with Call of the Dead, Moon, and every other bit of Zombie content from the series? I say it would sell like hotcakes, especially if you guys rounded up the cast from Call of the Dead and made a new campaign-based game with them appearing as playable characters (single, co-op and multiplayer modes). Get on it and get back to me. No charge for the idea (as usual)!

COD: Black Ops Rezurrection Promo Poster Is A Two-Faced Keeper…



While this one isn’t as high quality or quite as large as the Call Of The Dead poster, it IS double-sided, which is funky (but not unheard of).

AS I noted a while back, Activision absolutely NEEDS to slap all the DLC on a disc and get out some sort of Game of the Year package while very seriously thinking of making a full-on standalone zombie-blasting series at some point.

Oh, I haven’t decided if I’m going to give this one away like I did with the other posters, but if I do, you’ll be the first to hear about it… watch this space.

Call of The Dead Promo Poster Makes Me Wonder…


This HUGE and amazing poster for the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops: Escalation DLC arrived today and fooled me for a hot second as I thought it was for an actual FULL GAME. Robert Englund, Sarah Michele Gellar, Danny Trejo AND Michael Rooker in a game as zombie killers? Whaaaaaat?!! That’s a day ONE buy, Oh hell yeah!

Then I see the release date and had to feign a dropkick at my PS3 (for not getting this pack on the same day AND the current PSN debacle). My 360 is deader than a pack of blown-away flesh-eaters, so it looks like I’ll be a lonely, lonely non-undead killing fool next week (*sob!*). Ah well, there’s always the long wait for the Game of the Year Edition, I suppose…

Er… Activision? I’m sure a whole hell of a LOT of diehard COD fans, zombie fans and B-movie fans wouldn’t mind skipping yet another military-themed COD one year for a dozen or so of non-stop hours of zombie destruction with these four genre legends, a great single-player/co-op focused storyline packed with genre cliches galore, some fine multiplayer modes (YES with MORE arcade bonuses) and so forth and so on. Trust me, it’ll sell like.. er, like Call of Duty, dammit!

Oh, that’s George A. Romero as the lead zombie, in case you haven’t guessed. I’d know those over-sized thick glasses ANYWHERE.

Say, does anyone reading this (in the U.S. of A, that is) WANT this awesome poster, by the way? Shoot over a reply and I’ll see what I can do…