Valiant Hearts: a hit with kids & dogs

Gamer Dude’s playing Valiant Hearts — released today on XboxLive and there’s a valiant dog protagonist that’s caught our dog Astrid’s attention. She’s watching the screen wagging her tail and offering her computer game dog friend the lacrosse ball she pinched from the ball bag! LOL

Valiant Hearts was released today for Microsoft Windows, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Steam.  Powered by the same engine as Rayman Origins the game was developed by Ubisoft Montpellier. I’m already a fan. The game art, storyline and musical score is compelling and has a arty feel to it. It’s not an epic war game, but this game has plenty of heart. From the looks of things, the puzzles are satisfying too.

According to Hayden Dingman from PCWorld.com,

Far from a detriment, the silent-film nature of Valiant Hearts is one of its greatest strengths. The game is able to support a multicultural cast—French, German, American, Canadian—without any one culture dominating. And still, these are some of the best characters I’ve played in recent memory, thanks to some strong archetyping and brilliant animated cutscenes.

You also fall in with a trained war dog early in the game, and it’s this dog that most of the game revolves around. The story is the primary draw here, but play revolves around solving a cadre of puzzles more than actual combat.

I’m literally watching Dude play as I write. I’ll update later after the game’s done!

 

Oh Foxconn, PS4 being built on backs of students?

Foxconn @ Public Eye Awards 2011 (WHY?)

Foxconn @ Public Eye Awards 2011 (WHY?) (Photo credit: Greenpeace Switzerland)

I know, I totally owe you all an actual gaming review. But I read this report about Foxconn allegedly using forced student labor to build PS4s and I really wanted to weigh in with you. Mere minutes ago, my phone buzzed with breaking news from AppyGamer. According to them,

“Reports suggest that the PS4 may be being built using forced labour in China by manufacturer, Foxconn.”

Apparently students from China’s Xi’an Institute of Technology have been told they will lose course credits if they don’t participate in Foxconn’s internship. The internship has students working in distribution and shipping as well as production, which have little, if nothing, to do with their program of study. Further, students aren’t being paid for their labor.

It is not clear whether Sony knows about this situation, reports NowGamer.

 

Microsoft testing backward compatibility on Xbox One

We still haven’t decided whether we’re buying Xbox One or PS4 consoles in this gaming house, so you can imagine the excitement around here when we read the breaking news report from Appy Gamer this morning:

Some fantastic rumors are emerging this week, suggesting that Microsoft has been secretly testing a feature, to allow the playback of Xbox 360 games running on a PC — using streaming and Microsoft’s new-found cloud technologies.

As you may or may not already know, PS4 will not be accepting PS3 discs. That said, Sony and Gaikai are positioned to change the PlayStation gaming experience in a massive way with Gaikai’s cloud service. Gaikai and Sony plan to release a PlayStation app which would allow users to tether smartphones and tablets to the console’s hub. Users will then be able to stream mobile games and access PSN and the PS Store. Using Gaikai’s cloud, Sony plans to offer users remote play and streaming of PS3 games on the PS4.

I’ll provide more news about Microsoft’s plans to use their cloud for backward compatibility as I have it. Looks like the competition between the new-gen consoles continues to be close…

Xbox One or PS4? Choice is yours.

Not sure if you’ve heard the news about Xbox and Playstation — they’re soon unveiling their newest consoles: Xbox One and PS4 respectively. Microsoft is currently taking preorders for Xbox One and Playstation is taking preorders for its PS4. At my house the debate about which one GamerDude will choose to spend his dough-re-mi on is anyone’s guess.

Today we found this fantastic music video from Machinima which provides some insight  into the gamer’s console choice dilemma:

*note, it gets a little sweary at the very end of the video. The swears are bleeped (for comic effect), so if that kind of thing bothers you, skip the end (or the video — your choice).

Challenge: Keeping Up With Ubisoft & Todd McFarlane

It’s next to impossible to keep up with Todd McFarlane and Ubisoft, which, if you’re the parent of an Assassin’s Creed (AC) fan, you’ll be smart to try. Since today is the widely publicized release day for the Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag game trailer and game release announcement, I’ve been online upon waking. In case you missed it, AC4 is slated for October 29, 2013 release. View the game trailer here:

In my last post on this topic I jokingly suggested a media blackout as a means of staying ahead of Gamer Boy — at least until I knew more about this installment to the AC franchise. I was feeling pretty pleased with myself until last night at dinner when he asked me if he could pre-order AC4, “Pleeeease! If I do I’ll get a limited edition Assassin’s Creed IV poster by Todd McFarlane!”

Two steps behind him again. Sigh.

I checked into the poster bonus today and discovered that Tood McFarlane has indeed illustrated a poster (source: IGN). The Assassin’s Creed website provides a pre-order purchase link, but it’s still leading to a PRODUCT NOT AVAILABLE page (at time of publication) — buying me more time to make my decision.

In the process of conducting this AC4/Todd McFarlane research I stumbled on another goody for AC fans:

These toys were made public on February 12, less than a month ago, but they won’t be available for purchase until this summer, giving me the gift of time. And really, it’s only a matter of time before Gamer Boy starts in on me for these action figures (& DLCs!). Still, it’s a small satisfaction being ahead of him on this one, if only for a moment.

I’ll keep you posted about my decision re: to buy AC4 and the figures, or not.

Games & Content Will Influence Success.

Cautious optimism. Currently inhaling news & info about Playstation 4. One thing I’ll say is the games look spectacular in this video (click!).

Edit: Just read JC Fletcher’s Joystiq report about Playstation 4’s backward compatibility — me likey! 

PlayStation 4 will stream PS1, PS2, PS3 games

 

 

Tech News Condensed

Hey folks,

Here are the highlights from Sony’s PlayStation event tonight. Probably will have more tomorrow in all the post-announcement buzz.

Enjoy!
Joshua

PlayStation 4:
– PC-like architecture. x86 CPU with an “enhanced PC GPU” for graphics
– 8 GB of RAM
– New Dual Shock 4 controller – more rounded with rubberized grip and “enhanced rumble capabilities”
– Controller has a touchpad on top in the middle, a share button, and a headphone jack.
– Controller also has a stereo camera that can track the 3D position of the controller through a light bar used to identify players.
– Users can download or update games in the background and digital titles are playable even as you download.
– Ability to live-stream your gameplay and friends can even help out by taking over the controller.
– Social network will use real photos of people, real names and mobile apps that…

View original post 154 more words