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Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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October 2015

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Single Player Modes: Are They Still Necessary?

October 28, 2015

It's a strange question to ask, particularly given the video gaming market as a whole. With some very big titles coming out that will be very heavily single player, the idea that a single-player mode for most games may no longer be a necessity or even a thing any more is unsettling and unexpected. But there are some who are advancing that very concept.

While checking out the news at IGN, the question came up via IGN's "Up at Noon" series, do single player modes really constitute a necessary point any more? The idea came about after finding that "Call of Duty: Black Ops 3" would be coming to last generation consoles, but only as a multiplayer option.

Summer Camp Turns Into Official Friday the 13th Game

October 27, 2015

For many, the thought of a horror movie turns to one of the big three franchise runs that started up in the late 1970s and ran clear through to the late 1990s and beyond: Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, and Friday the 13th. Now, Friday the 13th is making the jump back to video games, taking over "Slasher Vol. 1: Summer Camp" and turning it into "Friday the 13th: The Game."

Of course, that's a bit of a misnomer. There already was a Friday the 13th, the game, released way back in the days of the eight-bit Nintendo Entertainment System. By most reports, it was a tragedy; I played it myself as a youngster and it had the controls of a brick coupled with gameplay that might best be described as an extended variant of the shell game mixed with "Contra," coupled with a terrible ending.

This version, however, is set to bring with it all the most impressive developments that this generation's consoles and PCs can bring to bear, and that's a lot of firepower.

Free Halo Content for a Few Short Videos

October 27, 2015

With Halo 5 about ready to emerge, plenty of excited gamers are dying to get hands on the latest go-round with Master Chief and all the rest. But 343 Industries is throwing in a little something extra that shows off the kind of marketing power a game can offer.

Those who play will have access to REQ packs, which are 343's version of microtransactions. Microtransactions, in turn, are those small transactions offered commonly in games that allow users access to new points of content. These can either be cosmetic, like with new hats or costumes or paintjobs for weapons and vehicles, or even related to plot, like new areas and weapons.

What's the Most Anticipated Game of 2015? It's Not Fallout 4.

October 21, 2015

When I heard that slice of news earlier today, you could have knocked me over with a feather. Really? Really? "Fallout 4", the game that gamers all over the Web have been anticipating since those three magic numbers came out all the way back in mid-June, 11-10-15, is actually NOT the most anticipated game of the holiday 2015 season?

Even Microsoft Thinks It Might Be Second This Round

October 14, 2015

Microsoft might just be waving the white flag for this round of the console generation, as Phil Spencer himself appears to be doubting his platform's ability to catch up to Sony, declaring that the competing console brand had a "huge lead" going in, one that Microsoft may not even be able to match.

Indeed, looking at the sales numbers, it hasn't been good news for Microsoft. Sure, the bundles going into the holiday season last year gave Microsoft some edge, but it was an edge that didn't last as Sony came back and stayed back.

Naturally, this didn't mean that Microsoft was out of the action, by any stretch. While at the 2015 GeekWire Summit, Spencer noted that Sony had both that big lead mentioned earlier as well as "a good product." But Microsoft still had some fine content to it as well as a great games line-up, and that was certainly true.

$1.8 Billion Annually By 2020: the eSports Market Heats Up

October 13, 2015

While the news these days has seemingly been heavy on the console market and the host of games that will be making it to such platforms as the holiday shopping season rapidly closes in, there's still word coming out around esports. The latest word suggests that this is going to be one doozy of a market in short order: $1.8 billion worth of revenue by 2020 big.

The word came down from R.W. Baird analyst Colin Sebastian, who released his findings in a report called "esports readying for prime time". Sebastian noted that, while esports in general was still an early-stage market, it did represent something that could ultimately prove to be "the next big thing in media and entertainment."

The esports market already represented $200 million in annual revenue in 2014, and the amounts have already gone up from there.

Console Hazards: Microsoft & Sony

October 12, 2015

Console gaming can be a great time. It's nice to be able to get a game right out of the package, install it, and have it be ready to go. Admittedly, it's not so great as it once was, thanks to installations and the like, but it's still nice to know that most any game will work in its console, and that you don't need to upgrade the console to play a certain game. But there are hazards in the gaming market, as we recently saw with some issues in both Microsoft and Sony camps.

For those who remember a couple weeks back, Microsoft's Xbox Live service found itself seeing a lot of outages and downtime, a development that Xbox top dog Phil Spencer noted could really do a number on user confidence in the system.

Getting Motion Sick From VR Games? It's The Software, Says Designer

October 8, 2015

Many of us have felt that familiar queasy feeling from first person shooters, particularly those that spend a lot of time rushing through cramped corridors. Indeed, for some, it makes virtual reality highly inaccessible, rendering what should be an amazing experience into a blurry, nauseating mess. But word from Valve writer / designer Chet Faliszek is that, those who do find themselves nauseated by the experience should look at the software, rather than the hardware.

Faliszek had a rather profane opinion of the idea that it's the hardware--the actual VR headsets--causing the seasickness, noting that the hardware has matured since its earliest days, and is now no longer the cause. Faliszek actually went so far as to say that, should a user get sick from a VR experience, that user should immediately call the software developer out on it, saying "As consumers and people in the community, hold developers to it.

Good News for Star Wars: Battlefront Players

October 6, 2015

Sometimes good news for gamers can be in short supply. Some of the best news doesn't hit, delays show up, and sometimes there's nothing at all about your most anticipated titles for weeks, or even months. But sometimes the news is quite good, and today we found that out firsthand with news about "Star Wars: Battlefront."

First off, the word about credits in the game has been clarified thanks to Niklas Fegraeus, who serves as Battlefront's design director. The credits are, at last report, earned based on gameplay, with completed challenges offering up available options for further play within the game proper.

PlayStation VR Pricing Drops, Sort Of

October 5, 2015

It's easily one of the biggest developments around, and the word about the PlayStation VR headset is enough to keep anyone's attention focused. But now, word from PlayStation president Andrew House suggests just how pricey the PlayStation VR will be when it emerges, and the news is a mixed bag at best.

Word from House about the PlayStation VR--formerly known as Project Morpheus--comes with good news and bad news. The good news is that the platform will have over 10 titles ready to go at launch, so gamers will have no shortage of potential virtual reality experiences ready to go. Good news?

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