Category Archives: For GFN
In March of 2010 Forbes online stated that ”the new face of videogaming is almost as likely to be a 30-something woman as a teenage boy”, and that “women are increasingly eager to ride the game wave.” This movement is exactly why the folks at Sony Online Entertainment are so dedicated to inspiring women’s involvement in the video game industry, as well as for providing an open gateway for those pursuing careers in the field of creative and applied arts.
Since 2008 SOE has been sponsor to The G.I.R.L—Gamers in Real Life—Scholarship. The purpose of G.I.R.L is to positively impact the way females are depicted in video games and create and influence content to be appealing to women. Another purpose is to help raise awareness of the serious female gaming audience to the media in an effort to encourage the gaming industry to positively promote women throughout all facets of games, game production and into game management. And 2012 marks the 5th pairing of G.I.R.L. and SOE to bring the scholarship to a very fortunate student. The recipient will be awarded a unique opportunity to get a foot in the door with an optional internship at SOE, plus $10,000 towards tuition and other educational expenses at the school at which the student is currently enrolled.
“The goal of G.I.R.L. has always been of opportunity, education and recruitment to get more women into the gaming industry,” said Laura Naviaux, Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing, Sony Online Entertainment. “Over the last few years, we have been nothing short of impressed with the hundreds of amazing submissions from talented students nationwide. Now in our fifth year, we can’t wait to see the creativity that comes out of the G.I.R.L. program.”
The G.I.R.L. Scholarship is for any individual who is 18 years of age or older at the time of entry and a legal resident of the United States, who is currently enrolled at an accredited school in an undergraduate program related to video games, including programs related to video game art, design, animation, production, programming or visual effects, has an average GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale), and will not graduate before the end of the 2012 spring term. The SOE internship is an optional ten (10)-week position at one of SOE’s studios (room, board, transportation and living expenses not included). The internship will provide invaluable real-work experience & will offer the student an opportunity to grow both professionally and personally, as well as make tremendous networks for a future in gaming.
It happens to the best of us, the gaming backlog. Whether it is because you are over extending yourself, there was a really good sale, you have too many favorite franchises, or life just got right in the way, it happens. Now you sit with anywhere from three to six games (or more) that you were really excited about but haven’t touched. Games and guilt are piling up and the task seems overwhelming. With the release schedule starting to pick up again, it’s time to consider how to tackle the mounting backlog before it gets any bigger. Here are a few tips to consider to help you make sense of it all.
Previous Iterations: Play or Pass
Yes, The Darkness II just released! But, what’s that, you haven’t played the first one? Well, that may or may not be necessary. Sure, many game franchises continue one large storyline (as with Assasin’s Creed), but not all do. Sometimes, even with a continuous story line, playing all of the previous iterations is not always necessary (as in Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim). Take some time to read the reviews of previous title releases; decide for yourself whether or not you are interested in devoting the time to the back story or if you are ready to jump in feet first. Your decision could be wildly based on how many releases are part of the franchise, how inexpensive it would be to invest in the franchise, and if there is any benefit to revisiting those missed titles (such as will the carry over benefits in the Mass Effect titles).
Are you passionate about the Genre
It’s true, Star Wars the Old Republic looks great! The community it has created is fun and all of your friends are playing it. The screens, the memes, the universe itself, is so intriguing that this game has been put on your ‘to play’ list. There’s just one catch, you’re more of a FPS kinda player. MMORPGs have never really been your ‘thing’. This might be the kind of game that can get cut from your backlog team. While it is great to broaden your horizons from time to time, save it for the off season or when there aren’t more interesting things at your disposal.
Multiplayer games are tons of fun when there are other players to play with. A multiplayer title that has been on your radar since before release should probably move up to the top of your backlog. This title should be experienced with other players, and you will have the most opportunity to play with others closest to the release of the game. That’s not to say that there aren’t folks to play with later on, but nothing stinks like jumping into your favorite multiplayer game (such as a racing game or co-op action adventure) and not being able to find folks to play with.
Budget of Time
What kind of games are in your backlog? Are they the kinds of games that require 3-4 consecutive hours at a time? Do you have that much time to dedicate right now on a regular basis? Do you commute to work? Is there a game in your backlog you can play for short amounts of time more frequently? Carefully look at the time you are able to allocate to catching up. If you have an hour break each day for lunch but only use 15 minutes of that for actual food consumption, that might be a great time to pull out the laptop and grab a few quick levels, achievements, or quests. Perhaps you can take that handheld with you on the commuter train. Whatever games are in your backlog, understanding how they can fit into your budget of time without interfering with what caused your backlog in the first place, will go a long way in helping you to reduce it.
Whether you are trying to catch up before the newest iteration of a franchise drops, working through games you bought while on sale, or are just now getting to titles you always meant to play, the inevitable gaming backlog can seem like a daunting task. Examine what you have, the time you can allot, and how excited you are about the game(s), and your backlog should seem more like a plethora of unexplored adventure, rather than a race to catch up with the masses.
What games are in your current backlog?
What helps you through your mounting library? Don’t forget to leave us a comment below.
For the first time ever, Fan Expo Canada™ is extending its show westward!
Highlighting celebrities, shopping, panels and workshops, you will be able to find the newest and hottest in Anime, Manga, Comics, Sci-Fi, Gaming and Horror.
April 21st-22nd 2012, come out and meet your favorite celebrity or creator and shop for the hottest or most rare in comic books, graphic novels, manga, toys, t-shirts and more!
Fan Expo Vancouver™ is brought to you by way of Hobby Star Marketing Inc. HSM was founded in 1992 as one of Canada’s premiere sports and entertainment marketing agencies. The company first staked its claim in 1995 with the successful launch of the Canadian National Comic Book Expo. It has since been re-branded as Fan Expo Canada featuring Comic, Anime, Science Fiction, Horror and Gaming. The event has evolved into a spectacular, annual, multi-media even with prestigious acclaim, becoming North America’s 3rd largest event of its kind.
Fan Expo Vancouver is uniting all fans of comics, gaming, anime, horror, and sci-fi. For years fans have been asking Fan Expo Canada to come to Vancouver. Comicon Hollywood North has final arrived! Tickets go on sale: February 21, 2012.
Special Guests include: Adam West (Batman), Burt Ward (Robin), Tom Felton (Harry Potter), Colleen Clinkenbeard (Fullmetal Alchemist), Veronica Taylor (Pokemon), Richard Cox (Inu Yasha) Trevor Deval (Mobile Suit Gundam), Mike McFarland (Dragonball Z), Brian Froud (Bakugan & Jimmy Two Shoes), Nicholas Brendon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Kristen Bauer (True Blood)…and more to be released soon!
FanExpo funtimes will include:
- Celebrity Autographs & Photo Ops
- Celebrity Q & A’s
- Sketching Duels
- Workshops & Seminars
- Web Series for Grown Ups
- Artist Alley
- Retailer & Exhibitor Area
- Voice Acting 101
- Ultimate Fan Expo Party
- Horror Author Panels
- The 501st Legion: Star Wars Photo Session
- Sci-Fi Fantasy Author Panels and Readings
The expo takes place April 21-22, 2012 (Saturday & Sunday) at the Vancouver Convention Centre, 1055 Canada Place, Vancouver, BC. Tickets go on sale: February 21, 2012.
sources: press release, official website
If you are a student of game design or art and you intend to work in the games industry after graduation (and you live in Scotland, India, China, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, or Sweden), this is a competition you will not want to miss out on! Run by the University of Abertay Dundee, Dare to be Digital sees hundreds of students every year competing to become one of the 15 teams to build a working game prototype in just nine weeks.
At the end of the competition, the prototypes are displayed at talent showcasing event Dare ProtoPlay. The general public and industry experts get to play and vote for the games. At the Dare awards ceremony, three prizes of £2500 will be awarded to the three highest scoring teams based on the criteria of innovation and creativity, market potential and use of technology (none of the three will be specifically attributed to any particular criterion). Seven months later the winning teams attend the BAFTA Video Games Awards to compete for the coveted “Ones to Watch Award”. What better way to spend your summer semester than kicking down the door of opportunity with other ambitious students?
The competition is open to all Universities and Art Colleges in the UK and to sponsored Higher Education Institutions outwith. Be sure to visit the official site for details.
There are a specific terms and conditions for applying but I don’t want to leave you in the lurch so here they are:Terms & Conditions(as per the official site)
- The closing date for applications set out on this website is final. Entries received after this date will not be considered. (April 10th)
- Dare to be Digital (the Competition) is open to undergraduate or postgraduate students studying at Universities or Art Colleges.
- Entry for teams must be 5 members except specified countries sponsored by the Scottish Government, namely China, India, and Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden). Teams from these countries must be 4 members.
- Those teams applying from the island of Ireland MUST have a mix of team members (a minimum of 1) from institutions (further education and 3rd level colleges) in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
- Teams with members graduating in 2012 are eligible to apply.
- A maximum of 2 members in a team of 5, similarly a maximum of 1 member in a team of 4, can be graduates of up to 2 years as long as they are not currently employed in the games / interactive entertainment industries. The rest of the team must fit the normal entry criteria as set out in (2) above.
- A maximum of 2 members in a team of 5, similarly a maximum of 1 member in a team of 4, can be studying at a Further Education college as long as the remaining 3 team members fit the normal criteria as set out in (2) and (5) above.
- Applications from individuals are not permitted.
- No applicant should have had any extensive (more than 6 months full time) work experience in the games industry as a graduate or study break. Part time relevant work, internships or placements undertaken during consecutive years of study are permitted. Please refer to the Dare team if you are unsure.
- Applicants who have previously taken part in the Competition are not permitted to apply. This includes applicants who were successful in securing a place in the Competition but who later withdrew from the Competition either prior to its commencement or after the Competition had started.
- Applicants who have previously applied to the Competition can re-apply. This includes applicants who were successful in getting to the interview stage but who were then not selected to take part in the Competition.
- The selection dates announced by the organiser will be the sole dates for selection. No other date will be set with any team.
- The Competition will be hosted at Abertay University, Dundee, Scotland between 11th June and 12th August 2012. Each Team Member is required to work on the Team Project at the host centre for a minimum of 35 hours per week during Normal Working Hours and attend the public showcase event Dare ProtoPlay from 10-12th August 2012.
- You are not permitted to take any time off (Monday to Friday) during Dare, unless it is under exceptional circumstances, of which the Competition Organiser will be sole judge. Any time off will be deducted from your weekly stipend.
- All Team Members will be present during Normal Working Hours (9am-5pm) on Compulsory Attendance Days (comprising the first and last two weeks of the Competition).
- No Team Members are allowed to engage in any form of paid employment during the course of the Competition other than work outside Normal Working Hours which has the prior consent of the Competition organising team, and which does not impinge on the Team Project and has the approval of all fellow Team Members.
- A judging panel involving industry and funding representatives will determine which teams will be selected to take part in the Competition. The judges’ decision is final and not open to negotiation. No correspondence will be entered into.
- All works and ideas submitted must be original, created specially for the Competition and not infringe any copyright.
- All Dare participating teams can start the preparation work for their game idea as soon as they are informed that they will be entering the Competition. Any work done prior to the start of the Competition will need to be declared when the Competition starts.
- All successful candidates have to make their own travel arrangement to arrive Abertay University, Dundee before the starting date of 11th June 2012.
- Accommodation will be provided throughout the whole Competition period between 11th June and 12th August 2012.
- Successful applicants will have to abide by the IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) conditions set out in a formal contract before they start the competition. The contract sets out that Dare to be Digital will own any generated IP until proposals are made by any team to explore exploiting their game IP after the competition finishes. Post-competition IP agreements will protect team members from each other and allow freedom to explore non-commercial and commercial activities. Dare to be Digital will not require any payment for post-competition exploitation until a team creates profits and, even then, the payments are currently planned to be limited to £1,800.
- Each Team/Team Member shall consent to taking part in the filming of a documentary film of the Competition for the Competition period. The Competition organiser shall be entitled to use any such film for any purpose at its sole discretion. This will be used in the promotion of the Competition.
- The above terms are subject to change.
- You must complete all fields and submit your application no later than 5PM (GMT+1) Tuesday 10th April 2012.
- Each team member should have registered on the Dare to be Digital website using the same email address.
- every applicant has to provide a reference from your university – preferably your lecturer. The reference can be the same for all applicants. Make sure you seek prior consent from your lecturer before you put his/her contact details on the form.
- Team members must have a good level of the English language: written, spoken, listening, reading. If your team is selected for interview, each team member MUST provide a copy of their IELTS or TOEFL certificate, Level 5 or above is acceptable. If any member of the team does not have a IELTS or TOEFL certificate they must be able to provide a similar certificate or a letter from their lecturer confirming that their command of the English language is of a good standard.
- All applicants MUST have a valid/current passport.
- In order to provide you with a better opportunity to pitch your game to the judges, Dare 2012 is requesting teams to provide a video of up to 5 mins to explain your game. Please make the best use of this 5 min to explain clearly your game concept and the strength of your team. You should try your best to include the following elements in the video:
- Game Play
- Game Mechanics
- Storyline (if any)
- Unique Selling Point
- Target Audience & Age Profile
- Project Plan; Briefly outline the key milestones to demonstrate how you are going to complete the project on time
- Visuals: artwork, storyboards, design diagrams of core mechanic features of your game to help the judges see what you want to develop.
- The video must be in the MP4 format, with *.mp4 extension (You can use HandBrake for transcoding videos)
- The file size of the video is not allowed to exceed 100MB
- The video should be a maximum of 5 minutes long
- Ideally all 5 team members should be present on the video, however if this is not possible, a minimum of 3 members are to be present
- Make sure that your video can be clearly understood
- All team members must introduce themselves indicating what skill set they will bring to the team. If there are team members missing, make sure their skill sets are also mentioned
- All material used on the video must be the work of the team applying
What are the benefits of entering such a contest? Well I am glad you asked. Dare to be Digital’s website explains the benefits very concisely:
- Enhance your CV
- Get mentoring from the industry
- Produce a demo to take to interviews
- Hone your skills and get the experience that employers are looking for
- Expose your skills and work to games industry luminaries / potential employers
- Experience working as part of a team
- Weekly stipend of £150
- Team budget of £200
- Free accommodation at Abertay’s halls of residence throughout Dare
- Build industry contacts
- Work with friends and make new ones from across the globe
- Opportunity to start your own games studio
- Work on your own ideas
- Exhibit your game at Dare ProtoPlay where thousands will play it
- Chance to win one of three £2500 prizes
- Chance to win the BAFTA Ones to Watch Award
BAFTA-nominated Sophia George from Dare 2011 said: “I think people should enter Dare to be Digital because it is a great opportunity for people who are keen to break into the games industry. I feel the experience was priceless and I met so many wonderful people.”
Elaine Russell, Dare to be Digital project manager, said:
“Taking part in Dare to be Digital is a life-changing opportunity for many young game developers, giving them incredible experience and access to leading industry experts from companies like Rockstar and Sony. And the experience of seeing thousands of people play your game at the Dare ProtoPlay games festival at the end of the competition can be life-changing for students looking to enter the games industry. With the many innovative release channels available in the market, we are particularly keen to see how the students can use Dare to be Digital as a platform to launch commercially in the gaming market.”
Still not sure? Check out these links to find out even more about the competition, past participation, details on budding teams, involvement, and how to apply.
sources: http://www.daretobedigital.com/ http://www.youtube.com/user/DareToBeDigital Gamasutra
In just about every corner of the internet where gamers come together to talk about their favorite games, you will inevitably find the age old discussion of whether or not video games are art. For years I’ve been voicing the advocacy that, yes, video games not only contain art but are art themselves. This year, from March 16th until September 30th, the Smithsonian American Art Museum will be supporting my personal cries with a new exhibit (and events) The Art of Video Games.
From The Smithsonian American Art Museum:
“The Art of Video Games will explore the 40-year evolution of video games as an artistic medium. The exhibition will highlight how new technologies have allowed for increasingly interactive and sophisticated game environments while staying grounded in the traditions of each game type. It will feature games with striking visual graphics and recognize some of the creative individuals who have made significant contributions. The exhibition will also explore the many influences on game designers and the pervasive presence video games have in the broader popular culture, with new relationships to video art, film and television, educational practices, and professional skill training. The Art of Video Games is not about the most popular games of all time, nor is it about the individual games themselves. This is not a historic review that seeks to capture every memorable moment in video game history.”
The exhibition will not only include a national tour (below) but will also be host of an opening weekend you will not want to miss.
Exhibition tour includes:
- Boca Raton Museum of Art (October 24, 2012–January 20, 2013)
- EMP Museum in Seattle (February 16, 2013–May 13, 2013)
- Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, NY (February 15, 2014–May 18, 2014)
- Flint Institute of Arts in Flint, Michigan (October 25, 2014–January 18, 2015)
- Memphis Brooks Museum of Art in Memphis, Tennessee (June 6, 2015–September 13, 2015)
“GamesFest is a three day festival celebrating the opening of the ground-breaking exhibition, The Art of Video Games, with insightful talks by video game pioneers, panel discussions where you can meet designers and artists, movie screenings, costume photo-ops, and hands-on play.”
Check out the PDF schedule for a FULL list of events that will be occurring during GAMEFEST. Events like:Friday, March 16, 2012
- 3–6 p.m. – Evolution of Video Games – Panel Discussions
- 7 p.m. – Nolan Bushnell: Video Games in Retrospect (advance registration required)
- 8:30 p.m. – Film: TRON
- 11:30 a.m.–7 p.m. – GameFest! Day 2: Open play, craft activities, live action gaming with Spontaneous Art and dj MKO, and musical performances by 8 Bit Weapon and Triforce Quartet.
- 5 p.m. – It’s All in the Design with Robin Hunicke
- 7 p.m. – Film: The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
- 11:30 a.m.–7 p.m. – GameFest! Day 3: Open play, craft activities, live action gaming with Spontaneous Art and dj MKO, and musical performances by ComputeHer, 8 Bit Weapon, and Triforce Quartet.
The Smithsonian American Art Museum invited the public to help select the video games to be included in the exhibition. The 240 games on the ballot were selected by Chris Melissinos, who worked with the museum and an advisory group consisting of game developers, designers, industry pioneers, and journalists. The games were selected based on a variety of criteria, including visual effects, creative use of new technologies, and how the game fit into the narrative of the exhibition. Voting took place between February 14 and April 17, 2011. More than 3.7 million votes were cast by 119,000 people in 175 countries!
Want to know which games will be featured and under which categories? You can read THIS pdf to see all of the winners and runner-ups for each era and category.
Still not sure why The Smithsonian would take a stance on this, for some reason, controversial embrace of video games as art? No need to guess because they have addressed this directly in their exhibit FAQs.
“Why are video games being featured at an art museum?
Art is beguiling. Much like a great novel or film, you can become engrossed in the world created by a video games and the Smithsonian American Art Museum wants to celebrate the designers and developers who create these worlds. Video games are an emerging medium for creative expression and we’re very excited to explore their artistic evolution over the last forty years. All video games include classic components of art—striking visuals, a powerful narrative, a strong point of view. What’s new is the role of the player. Of course, contemporary games have taken this creative expression to a whole new level, so the museum decided that this is the right moment to look at this popular global phenomenon.”
So no matter which side of the video-games-are-art debate your opinion falls, The Smithsonian American Museum of Art is about to open its doors for some fantastic exploration, discussion, and retrospect on the genre and its development. If you live in the Washington, D.C. area, or can get to it with ease, and have an interest in video games I encourage you to check out the Smithsonian exhibit, The Art of Video Games, or the GamesFest opening weekend events. Don’t forget to share with us your experiences at the exhibit or panels. We would love to hear from you.
Visit the official exhibit page at The Smithsonian American Museum of Art for more information.http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/archive/2012/games/winninggames/ http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/archive/2012/games/taovg_faq.pdf http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/archive/2012/games/winninggames.pdf
Please be aware of the following correction by @JAWltd
” EA did NOT publish Stranger’s Wrath HD. Oddworld Inhabitants self published it.”
Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD Locks and Loads for First Person Adventure on PlayStation Network
The Fabled Oddworld Series Makes its Return in High Definition via PSN
It’s time for gamers to scrape together “moolah” and step back into the boots of Stranger, the most fearsome bounty hunter in all of Oddworld. Just Add Water, developer of the hit retro arcade game, Gravity Crash, has completed production of Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD in collaboration with Lorne Lanning, the original creator of the Oddworldfranchise. The HD version of Stranger’s Wrath is now available in native 720p resolution, running at 60 frames per second on the PlayStationNetwork $14.99.
Stranger’s Wrath follows the story of Stranger, a fearsome bounty hunter that captures outlaws to raise “moolah” for a mysterious surgical procedure. After encountering the backwater town of the Grubbs, Stranger discovers that there are a few too many secrets about the past and his future as a bounty hunter.
Just Add Water worked with Lorne Lanning to preserve every nuance of the original while making sure that the new game took full advantage of current generation hardware. The updates include:
- Gorgeous Characters – The game’s 84 character models have all been beefed up with increased polygon counts and high resolution textures, including Stranger’s unique “Live Ammo” system for fluid movement
- Beautiful Environments – All the game’s locations feature upgraded, high resolution textures, along with reflective surfaces and textured vegetation
- Upgraded Audio – All in-game audio was up-sampled to 16-bit, 44kHz stereo, with support for 5.1 DTS/Dolby Digital surround sound
- Trophies – Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD has 37 trophies, including a Platinum
“The original Stranger’s Wrath was very significant for us since it broke out of the traditional Oddworld mold and took us into the world of FPS. It was a tough labor of love for the original team,”
said Lorne Lanning, Co-Founder of Oddworld Inhabitants and creator of the Oddworld series of games.
“Remaking the game with a polished look and new content while remaining true to the original was not an easy task, but Stewart and the team at JAW did an incredible job and delivered a great complement to the original team’s creation. I’m looking forward to working with them on our future titles!”
“The Oddworld franchise represents one of the pinnacles of achievement in the canon of video games, andStranger’s Wrath is such a unique game that we felt it needed to be represented on the next-generation consoles,” said Stewart Gilray, content director for Just Add Water. “We knew the only way to do justice to the original was to work with Lorne Lanning, one of Oddworld’s original creators. Together, we’ve dug up some new concepts that were passed over for the 2005 original to give gamers an amazing Oddworld experience on the PlayStation 3.”
I love the current trend of bringing some of my favorite titles to HD and Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD is continuing the trend with gusto!Source: Electronic Arts UK Press Release
As some people hunker down for a long winter’s nap, Nintendo is getting things fired up. The first quarter of 2012 offers great new installments in popular franchises for both the Nintendo 3DS™ system and the Wii™ console. Nintendo has something for everyone, from family fun to three-dimensional adventure.
On the Nintendo 3DS system, Capcom’s Resident Evil® Revelations launches on Feb. 7. In a new chapter of the hit survival-horror franchise, players fight a new enemy and virus in 3D without the need for special glasses.METAL GEAR SOLID® 3D Snake Eater from Konami arrives in the first quarter of 2012. The game is a re-interpretation of METAL GEAR SOLID 3: Snake Eater, and offers a rich jungle world with customizable stealth and camouflage options. On March 23, the epic odyssey Kid Icarus™: Uprising soars into stores and lets players help the winged warrior Pit fight Medusa and her Underworld Army.
The Nintendo eShop for Nintendo 3DS will also be busy with a variety of downloadable offerings. Dillon’s Rolling Western™ brings tower-defense strategy and touch-screen driven action to the Old West. Armadillo ranger Dillon defends pioneer villages against waves of attacking rock monsters using gun towers, defensive structures and his own exciting attack abilities. In Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword™, players travel to ancient Japan and guide a young warrior as he battles waves of enemy soldiers. Players must identify the enemy’s attack, dodge and counter-attack with the mystical Sakura Sword to win the battle. The critically acclaimed VVVVVV and NightSkyfrom Nicalis, mind-bending action of Mighty Switch Force from WayForward and immersive 3D visuals of Mutant Mudds™ from Renegade Kid™ round out a diverse selection of downloadable games.
Details about distribution in Canada for the Circle Pad Pro will be announced shortly.
On the Wii console, Rhythm Heaven™ Fever arrives on Feb. 13 at a suggested retail price of $29.99 in Canada. The game asks players to test their rhythm in more than 50 easy-to-learn, tough-to-master minigames to prove they’ve got the groove. Two weeks later on Feb. 27, PokéPark™ 2: Wonders Beyond lets players take on the role of Pikachu™ and his Pals — Oshawott™, Snivy™ and Tepig™ — as they try to make it through PokéPark and discover the secrets of a mysterious new world. On March 11, Mario™ and friends reunite for a new party game adventure in Mario Party™ 9, which introduces new game-play elements to the series such as boss battles and vehicular travel across a wide assortment of stages.
Nicktoons MLB 3D – March
Resident Evil® Revelations – Feb. 7
Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc.
METAL GEAR SOLID® 3D Snake Eater – Q1
Pro Evolution Soccer 2012 – January
NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc.
TEKKEN 3D Prime Edition™ – February
Tales of the Abyss® – Feb. 14
Kid Icarus: Uprising – March 23
Published by SEGA® of America
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games™ – Feb. 14
SEGA® of America
CRUSH™3D – Q1
NCIS The Video Game (Based on the TV Series) – March 6
Horses 3D – March 6
Funky Barn – Q1
Rayman® Origins – Q1
Colors! 3D – Q1
VVVVVV – Q1
NightSky – Q1
Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword – Q1
Dillon’s Rolling Western – Q1
Kirby’s Block Ball™ – Q1
Mutant Mudds – Q1
Fun! Fun! Minigolf TOUCH – Q1
Jett Rocket Super Surf – Q1
Mighty Switch Force – Q1
Zen Pinball – Q1
MLB 2K12 – March 6
Country Dance™ Special Edition – Feb. 1
Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc.
Karaoke Joysound – Q1
Rhythm Heaven Fever – Feb. 13
PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond – Feb. 27
Mario Party 9 – March 11
La Mulana – Q1
Nintendo DS™ Family
MLB 2K12 – March 6
Shin Megami Tensei®: Devil Survivor™ 2 – February
Silverlicious™ – March 20
Xia Xia™ – March 20
Gogo’s Crazy Bones™ – March 20
Chess for Kids – Feb. 14
NARABA: The Labyrinth of Light – Feb. 21
NARABA: The Mysterious Palace – Feb. 21
Box Pusher – Q1
Cake Ninja – Q1
Remember that Wii and Nintendo 3DS feature parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about this and other features, visit http://www.nintendo.com/wii andhttp://www.nintendo.com/3ds.
For more information about Nintendo, visit http://www.nintendo.ca.
Source: Nintendo Canada Press Release
Are you looking forward to The Darkness II by 2K Games and Digital Extremes? Do you love to draw? Did you happen to pick up The Darkness II: Confession on Free Comic Book Day? Are you a member of DevianArt.com? Could I possibly ask anymore leading questions?
DeviantArt.com (the web’s largest online social network for artists and art enthusiasts) is creating an opportunity for you to win an amazing The Darkness II prize pack while flexing your artistic muscles. The three prize packs include:
- The Darkness II video game
- Signed 100th Issue of
The Darkness Comic
- $1,000.00 Cash Prize (USD)
- 10,000 dA Points
- dA PRO Digital Artist Backpack
- 1-year Premium membership at deviantArt
- $750.00 Cash Prize (USD)
- 5,000 dA Points
- deviantWEAR Tee of their choice*
- 6-Month Premium Membership to devianArt
- $500.00 Cash Prize (USD)
- 2,500 dA Points
- deviantWEAR Tee of their choice*
- 3-Month Premium Membership
And here’s how to win:
Illustrate The Comic
Draw a page for the 100th Issue of The Darkness comic!
In the new game, The Darkness II by 2k Games, it’s been two years since Jackie Estacado took his revenge on those who killed his girlfriend and became the Don of a New York crime family. A strange and terrible power called The Darkness has remained locked tightly inside him, but now it’s ready to come out once again.
Let your own inner demons out to play and join Jackie in his brutal internal battle against The Darkness by drawing a
three-panel comic using the script created by Top Cow writers.
Become a pro by winning and have your three-panel comic published in the 100th issue of The Darkness comic.
How to get Started:
#1. Learn about The Darkness property so you can reference the look, style & feel of the existing comic book series. Click here to see The Darkness II: Confession comic for reference
#2. You must use the supplied storyboard for the 3 panels you are being asked to produce.
You must use the supplied storyboard for the 3 panels you are being asked to produce.
#3. Download the template for the 3-panel comic page. Download Template
#4. Once you’re done, submit the completed template as a .JPG or .PNG file! Submit
25 Semi-Finalists will be selected by full-time deviantART Staff.
From the Semi-Finalists, the final three winners will be selected by Marc Silvestri, the CEO and Founder of Top Cow Productions, Inc.!
All entries will be judged on the following criteria:
- Suitable for The Darkness Comic
- Success in Presenting the Storyboard
- Overall Impact of the Work
- Technical Skill
Entry must be received by 11:59:59PM (PT) on January 1, 2012 and be submitted through the contest gallery on deviantART.
- Entrant must be at least 18 years old;
- Entries must be in traditional or digital art mediums only;
- Entries must use the comic storyboard to illustrate within the provided Template;
- Entries must be submitted in the following dimension – full-bleed size of 6.875 inches x 10.437 inches (with a safe zone of 6.625 inches x 10.187 inches and live area of 6.125 inches x 9.687 inches);
- Entries may use the comic book example as a direct reference for how to present the characters and their environment;
- Entries may not use any watermarks or distinguishing artist marks (such as any signatures or symbols representing the artist);
- You may submit more than one entry;
- You must be a member of deviantART to enter. Membership is free; and
- Other requirements and restrictions apply, please read the Official Rules carefully.
Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for your Lady Gamer
Rumor has it that some men (and women) find the holiday shopping season to be a little daunting. I’ve also heard that the men folk, most typically, like to leave the daunting task of shopping until the last few panicked-filled days before the big deadline. Well guys, I hear ya! Procrastination is as common and the flu this time of year (something else you are likely to bring home with you from the mall. Yuck!). But there may be one small hitch in your plan kids. If you happen to be shopping for a lady gamer this season chances are your shopping efforts will be far more successful if done online. And, guess what, now is the right time to get surfing for that perfect lady gamer gift.
So you want to get your lady gamer friend, girlfriend, or significant other a kickin game related gift that goes beyond the newest titles? That’s fine. Remember that the games themselves always make a great gift, as do gift cards to game stores, points cards for PSN or Steam, subscription cards for XBL, and the accessories that every gamer eventually collects and uses (personalized controllers, new headsets, etc). But if you are looking for something a little extraordinary, but still thematic, then read on!
Don’t worry guys and gals, I won’t leave you in the lurch. I have compiled some of the best gifts on the ‘net’ for your lady gamers. Take a look at some of the gift ideas that any lady gamer on your list would be happy to receive!
Red Power Ring
$35.99Red, the color of crimson determination. Fiery and bold, it commands with hot intention.
This artisan hand-finished rhodium plated cast .925 solid sterling silver ring boasts the elegant look of platinum without the heavy price. Rhodium is a highly reflective metal currently valued at about four to six times more than gold.
The symbol’s translucent color reflects and shimmers in different lighting, giving the illusion of being either dormant or magically lit from within.
$11.99While the Long Fall Boot is currently unavailable outside of Aperture Laboratories’ testing facilities, you can still sport the latest look in test subject fashion with these Long Fall Socks. As part of a previously mentioned test protocol, we are required to tell you that these socks won’t actually help you survive any long falls, however they will make your feet look attractive whether you’re safely on the ground or plummeting towards an imminent demise.
From 80’s Tees
PacMan Tank Dress
$19.99Forget the fact that the descriptor is telling you how sexy these tank dresses will make you and consider for a moment a great pair of tights, perhaps some knitboots and scarf, or even consider this as a great night dress.
Controller Replica Soaps
Approx $10.00 – $22.00 (depending on which you choose, size, etc)Gamers spend so much time gaming that the soap sitting in the tub often gets neglected. Now, gamers don’t have to part with their consoles to get clean! This 3-D replica of the PlayStation controller weighs a minimum of nine ounces and is hand carved on the bottom. Each soap is individually handcrafted in the U.S. Makes a great conversation piece and modern home decoration.
Approx 75.29Tetris Mirror is comprised of thirteen interlocking mirrored acrylic panels, which can be arranged on your wall to form a rectangle, or broken apart into their individual puzzle blocks. It is laser-cut out of an acrylic mirror sheet. It wastes minimum amount of material in manufacturing and takes up minimum space when packaged.
From Igor Chalk
Space Invaders Sofa
An instant conversation starter, this unique retro gaming inspired couch will be the highlight of any room. Designed and manufactured in Los Angeles, California; to insure the highest build quality. It features and all fine leather pixelated retro design, a low profile, and memory foam cushions.
MegaMan Winter Hat
$27.00Made from super soft double-layered fleece, foam inserts in the crest, polyester batting in the ear muffs. One size fits most and they do stretch. Hand wash in cold water, dry flat.
From Fun Toy Mall
Centipede Game Storage & Tv Stand
- FITS UP TO 37 FLAT PANEL TVS
- HOLDS GAME CONSOLES, 4 CONTROLLERS, GAMES & ACCESSORIES
- DURABLE & STRONG DOUBLE WIRE CONSTRUCTION
- SPACE-EFFICIENT DESIGN
- BROAD FEET FOR STABILITY
- STORES & ORGANIZES GAMING GEAR
From Assassin Apparel
Slightly Pissed Off Birds Short Heel Women’s Shoes
2012 Jeep Call of Duty/Modern Warfare Edition Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited
WRANGLER MSRP* STARTING AT $ 36,495
WRANGLER UNLIMITED MSRP* STARTING AT $ 40,070Only one vehicle is tough enough to play in your world. Built on the Rubicon platform, this hero stands ready for deployment. Be one of the few to carry the Call of Duty® MW3 theme into your day-to-day campaigns.
So no matter who may be on your list this holiday season there is no time like the present (get it? present…) to get surfing for that truly unique gift for the lady gamer on your list. And while you may not need to grace her with the new Call of Duty edition Jeep Wrangler, there is sure to be something out there that will make your gift giving reflect the little extra care you’ve put into the hunt.
And remember, the holiday season doesn’t have to break your bank. Be financially responsible and don’t put yourself into debt this December. If you don’t have the extra cash this season nothing beats a mutliplayer game rental, a bucket of popcorn, and a couple of controllers. Your time is worth far more than your financial crisis. She (or he or anyone) will just be thankful that you care.
Bethesda’s newest Elder Scrolls could easily be named Game of The Year at the upcoming VGAs and has received perfect scored reviews all across the web. Also nominated for Studio of the Year, and Best RPG; what is all the hype about? Is it really that good? I am pleased to confirm, for our readers here at GamerfitNation, that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim does live up to the hype. With amazing visuals, an abundance of gameplay, and a completely immersive mythology, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is every bit deserving of the zeitgeist as it has created.
Skyrim is the fifth installment in the Elder Scrolls franchise and as such already had a substantial fan base. Following Oblivion, Skyrim’s 11.11.11 release by Bethesda, developers of other such notable titles as Fallout 3, Brink, and Rage, hit the market during what is arguably the busiest gaming time of the year. Competing with the likes of DarkSouls, Assasin’s Creed Revelations, Uncharted 3, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Battlefield 3,Modern Warefare 3, Rayman Origins, and Saint’s Row The Third, it’s amazing to fathom that Skyrim still set a record with over 280,000 concurrent players, far outdistancing all other titles.
The largest question for me was: Is Skyrim enough to appeal to the player not at all familiar with the Elder Scroll franchise? Because most games on the market create multiple iterations it can create a bit of hesitation to jump into one on the third, fourth, or fifth installment of a long running and popular franchise. Like jumping into the middle of a really good novel, gamers can often skip perfectly wonderful titles for fear of the unknown backstory that the franchise had already built. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is no game to miss just because it is the fifth title in the series. A large mythology surrounding Skyrim, the places and characters within it, are all explained throughout the game through various interactions with people, and objects such as books. While fans of the franchise will appreciate the subtleties of return characters, and the way Bethesda builds upon previous experiences, new players will appreciate the ease with which the Elder Scrolls world is introduced.
Because of the vastness of Skyrim, the complete emersion of experience, and the richness of those experiences, I cannot for a moment pretend that, despite the hitches I encountered on the PC version of the game, I will not rave about The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The game is full, engaging, amazing, and worth every penny. After playing 21 hours of Skyrim over the past 6 days for the purposes of this review, I will undoubtedly jump right back into the game after writing this and make an attempt to catch up to the nearly 50+ hours that most of my friends have already put into it. With only 20+ hours into Skyrim at this point (and 4 of 50 achievements) that is a cost value of $3 per hour of entertainment. If, as I suspect, I hit the 50hour mark with this title, that entertainment cost drops to $1.20 per hour of entertainment. This entertainment cost assessment is a common way for me to evaluate the value of an experience and when examined makes it hard to deny the worth of this title. This is no 8 hour campaign with perhaps some multiplayer for good measure, this is game that will earn its place on your shelf.
Skyrim offers you an open world that can be explored as one of the multiple character races who will propel you through the main quest line or experience a variety of side quests. You will have multiple quests simultaneously and can choose which to pursue at any time. The map is large and the terrain varies. As you explore the map and discover new places you will be able to travel by foot, by horse, or by fast tracking between previously discovered points. Once you have discovered most places they will appear on your map so that you may find them again at a later time. The main quest line will take you through the major cities where there are a myriad of NPCs ready to lead you in the right direction and an equal number ready to lead you astray. During your travels you will have the opportunity to join guilds and work through their quest lines, taking you to all corners of the world.
Very quickly you will learn that the story of Skyrim is one that you were always meant to be a part of. As the unfathomed return of dragons plague Skyrim, your appearance, as the only recent dragonborn, means that you are the pivotal key in the destruction of these beautiful but deadly creatures who are ravishing the world of Skyrim. Along the journey you will encounter conflicts between the people of the land and be able to play a part in their stories as well.
In order to progress through the story you will need to learn, build, and fight to increase your sustainability. You will work to increase your health, magic, and stamina all while building skills in weaponry, alchemy, sneaking and lock picking, one and two handed combat, archery, among so much more. The skill trees develop as you level up and the more you explore the more you are able to build and continue to level up. Each time you play this game your experiences will be affected by the areas you choose to develop creating a phenomenal potential for replay value.
So now that I have you eager to try this game for yourself I’d also like to talk to you a little about maximizing your Skyrim experience.
Consider your PC:
I am running Skyrim on the minimum system requirements for PC and it shows. The game is slow, the graphics are at the lowest setting, and load times are lengthy. If you are not running a top of the line machine I strongly suggest picking up a console version of the game. After playing on PC for so long, I jumped over to the 360 version of the game (the platform my BF is currently playing Skyrim on) and the graphical differences are mind blowing. That is not to say that you shouldn’t play this game on PC, you should, but in order to get the most of this wonderfully rich, vivid, and beautiful environment offered in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, consider what your PC is capable of and make the best decision for your gameplay.
You need a Gamepad:
The interface on the PC is not the most mouse friendly. As an artist I use a tablet on my PC. The Intuos 4 allows me to jump from pen to mouse with ease and let me switch back from gaming to drawing with ease. Don’t do this. I made a switch to a regular usb mouse about 2 hours into my experience and the responsiveness improved greatly, yet the interface was still troublesome. Using the WASD to navigate through your quests, skills, maps, and magic, is fine but the movements and fluidity of the game is still hindered with the mouse. After a number of hours with this I then began playing with a 360 style 3rd party gamepad and it was a game changing experience. If you don’t have a gamepad for your PC, consider one for this game, or consider how intuitive you are with the mouse. It’s a little different than your regular FPS, and the gamepad will save you tons of frustration.
Save often. The game’s autosave feature is fine and does a decent job but there is nothing more frustrating than clearing half of a particularly challenging cave only to meet your death and have to restart. Use the save feature and save often, over and over again.
IGN has reported that Bethesda’s new patch will be coming after Thanksgiving to address issues with the game that have been reported across all systems (specifically a texture glitch that many of my gamelist has encountered). I have not encountered this problem but have encountered some bugs, such as getting stuck in the environment’s rockface, that in no way take away from the game’s experience.
For all that it is, for all that it still will be, and even given the time of year that it was released, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is an easy contender for the VGA’s Game of the Year and certainly has quickly become one of my favorite Bethesda games. Because of the sheer magnitude of the game, the inspiring graphics, the phenomenal sound, score, diversity of the game, and the engaging mythology, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim gets a 9.5 out of 10 (rounded to a 9 for the slight difficulty in the PC user interface without a gamepad) and has easily made my favorite pick for Game of the Year: 2011.