Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
| The video game industry has gone from a mole hill to a mountain in no time flat, Chris DiMarco is your Sherpa as you endeavor to scale Mount “Everquest”

June 2016

You are browsing the archive for June 2016.

Yantouch Eye Speaker Review: Brilliant in Sound and Color

June 29, 2016

Anyone who's been reading my review work for a while knows that the greatest thing I can find in a product is versatility. I love it when something does more than one thing and does it well, and the Yantouch EyE is a terrific example of versatility in action. Yantouch sent a pair out for review, and these are going to really deliver on a variety of fronts.

The Yantouch Eye is a portable three-in-one speaker that comes complete with a light show mounted in its transparent outer rim. Those using a pair of these at the same time get what's called "True Wireless Stereo," meaning that the pair will consolidate into a left-and-right channel speaker effect.

Feel the Bern, The Game, With Bernie's Journey

June 28, 2016

First it was Socks the Cat. Now, it's Bernie Sanders, as a new game called Bernie's Journey brings a new look at a presidential campaign as gigantic metaphor. You'll play the man some may describe as an elderly demagogue as he pursues a slate of missions in a bid to do what we now generally know to be impossible: seize the Democratic Party nomination for 2016.

In the game, you'll be called upon to take on a set of debates, fight off biased media outlets, and take on both of the presumptive party nominees--Hillary Clinton for the Democrats and Donald Trump for the Republicans--backed up by a handful of allies familiar to Bernie buffs like Jill Stein and Killa Mike.

Interestingly, reports note this is Bernie's second time as a game star; back in 2006 he released Bernie Arcade, which had him flying a hydrogen-fueled plane in a bid to snag fact sheets and fend off "fat cats", various mudslingers, and emissaries of the right wing.

Available on Kickstarter currently--it sought $500 for development costs and has as of this writing beat that several times over--the game is expected to be released in 2017, which would be too late to influence the outcome of the election even if Bernie weren't already pretty much out of the fray. If the game proves profitable, reports note, its creator intends to donate a portion of the proceeds directly to Sanders.

Some might call this a moot point, or even an outright lie; even if Bernie Sanders managed to win in the game, it's pretty much impossible right now for that win to be mirrored in real life. Others might call it a curiosity in the making; a Bernie Sanders video game, or any presidential candidate for that matter, isn't exactly common.

Mifa M1 Speaker Review: The Pocket Nuke of Speakers

June 27, 2016

Sometimes I get in on something that's a real shock, and for those who want some powerful sound on hand no matter where they go, then a great place to start your search is with the Mifa M1, which the folks at Mifa sent out for me to review.

The Mifa M1 speaker system is a Bluetooth speaker system that, for a speaker system, is extremely tiny, able to readily fit in the palm of most hands. Each Mifa M1 contains a pair of speaker drivers and a "bass radiator," which provides some impressive sound; more on that testing later. They also come with a Micro SD card reader and a USB cable, allowing them to not only readiliy recharge, but also connect to a PC or laptop for playback there. It offers around four hours of music on a single charge--though that varies depending on volume--and there's even a built-in mic to allow users to answer and take calls through the device.

Video Games: From Art to Artifact

June 22, 2016

The idea of video games as art has been something of a gray area for a long time now, with gamers insisting that games are indeed art, and everyone else insisting that gamers have been inhaling their own Cheeto dust for too long. For one online community, meanwhile, video games are less an art than they are an artifact, a kind of rare bird to find and preserve at all costs.

Alex "Xkeeper" Workman is one of the names in this particular field, a PHP developer and system administrator who has a hand in The Cutting Room Floor, an organization focused on discovering and revealing points that are hidden within the cartridges of gaming's olden days. Xkeeper didn't actually start The Cutting Room Floor, but many suggest that he was a big part of its rise to prominence.

Essentially, as Xkeeper notes, his pursuit of the variations involved in video gaming is like backstage access at a concert, or like urban exploration; it's about getting to look at old, familiar spaces in a whole new way.

"Secret Stupid Legal Nonsense" Concludes, No Man's Sky Keeps Its Name

June 21, 2016

The vagaries of the legal process aren't always clear to the average layman, whether by happenstance or by design. So when Hello Games noted that some "secret stupid legal nonsense" had finally been settled, all that most gamers would likely care about in the aftermath was that No Man's Sky would remain No Man's Sky.

Reports suggest that Hello Games had been hit by the British broadcasting company BSkyB, who had previously gone after Microsoft over use of the term "Skydrive." Following that encounter, Microsoft was left needing to change its products name to "Onedrive," so a company that can take on Microsoft and win is clearly a force to be reckoned with.

Hello Games, however, seems to have come out successfully on the other side. With the game already delayed to August--it was formerly expected out in June--it would have been easy to think the legal proceedings had something to do with that delay. That wasn't the case, however, as the company reiterated that No Man's Sky is an unimaginably vast game, unlike anything tried before, and so some delays should have been expected in the end.

So Who Won E3 This Year?

June 20, 2016

It's the question that launched a thousand arguments, and it comes around every year. With E3 2016 now one for the history books, we've got the inevitable question to try and answer, and this year is unusual. We've been asking the E3 question for the last few years now, and for the first time in a while we've got a more definitive answer than normal as it looks like Microsoft edged out the competition this time around.

Where last year, the gamers won E3, and the same before that--though admittedly, it could readily be said that Bethesda took the title last year--this year had a much clearer victor in Microsoft. Not only did it absolutely kill the event by bringing out two new consoles in the upcoming Xbox One S and the slightly more upcoming Project Scorpio, it also brought out a very nice slate of games.

E3 2016: Friday the 13th Game Footage Emerges

June 15, 2016

Exciting new development as the Friday the 13th game gets that much closer to reality, as some new footage recently emerged showing us what it's going to be like at Camp Crystal Lake, and what we've got here is some very exciting content afoot.

The good news here is that not only will you get to play as one of the beleaguered camp counselors being pursued by the nigh-invulnerable killing machine that is Jason Voorhees, but you'll also get the opportunity to play as Jason Voorhees, nigh-invulnerable killing machine. As Jason, you'll do what Jason does best, roaming what I guess to be Camp Crystal Lake and putting down the various campers and camp counselors that show up in a bid to avenge his own long-ago drowning at the hands of a completely different set of negligent camp counselors.

The footage in question came from an alpha build, which means it's definitely unpolished and will almost certainly not look this way when it releases. Even the footage looks surprisingly like old-school VHS footage, a development which is particularly satisfying given that Friday the 13th got its start on VHS footage after its theatrical releases. You'll even get access to the kind of strange psuedo-teleportation ability that let Jason appear out of nowhere to attack his prey.

E3 2016: The Disaster that was Bethesda's Show

June 14, 2016

After the first-ever press conference for Bethesda at E3, in which a slate of games were introduced including the long-awaited Fallout 4, there was little doubt players were looking forward to the goodies that came out of Bethesda's show. Sadly, on many fronts, Bethesda did not deliver, and while it wasn't a complete loss, it's a safe bet no one will claim Bethesda won E3 this year.

The good news is that there were some noteworthy points out of the show. A remastered Skyrim, for example, was no longer a thing to be discussed but a new and exciting reality. Throw in the availability of console mods and that opened up floodgates on par with the best; we will soon have access to the huge array of new features and storylines developed by the user base, and that's great news for console gamers.

Meizu M3 Note Review: Smooth But Not Problem-Free

June 13, 2016

Today we've got something very unusual; our friends out at Proexpo sent out a Meizu M3 Note smartphone for us to review, and it's a Chinese-make device. I've had more than a little history with Chinese devices, and though they can be a little odd to those of us used to North American devices, they've also got a lot going for them. My time with the Meizu M3 Note shows that there's been little change in that, for better...and for worse.

The Meizu M3 Note offers up a 5.5 inch full-HD display, backed up by a Helio P10 octa-core processor, your choice of 16 or 32 gigabytes of memory, and your choice of two or three gigabytes of storage. Also included is an ARM Mali T860 image processor, a 13 megapixel rear camera with panorama shooting capability, a five megapixel front camera for video conferencing, a fingerprint recognition system with capacity sufficient for five fingerprints, a magnetic sensor, gyroscope, IR proximity sensor, digital compass and more.

Are Gaming Journalists Irrelevant?

June 8, 2016

Any time a notion like that crops up, it's the kind of thing that should take anyone aback. Are game journalists irrelevant? The answer, as is commonly the case with any broad question like that, is a little of yes and a little of no.

The notion of games journalists' irrelevance started up quite some time ago, as gaming news magazines began to shut down, much like print mags did, in the face of growing online competition.

Getting Drunk on Gaming With Mortal Kombat Beer

June 7, 2016

There have been, over the years, a variety of unusual gaming tie-ins involving food and drink. From the bizarre to the mundane, from a Super Mario Bros cereal to perhaps one of the strangest new releases: a Mortal Kombat X-themed beer from Global Beverage Traders. With three kinds on hand so far, you'll be able to enjoy some of the best in Mortal Kombat characters with a brand new drink.

Coming in Sub-Zero Imperial IPA, Scorpion Imperial Stout, and Raiden Imperial Saison, the three brews have different characteristics depending on which you go with, representing their respective individual subclasses of beer. Each comes in 22-ounce bottles, and can be found online.

Elon Musk: We're Likely All Just Characters in a Cosmic Video Game

June 6, 2016

The nature of the universe has long been a quandary of philosophers and those who have been drinking heavily alike. Recently, Tesla's CEO and technologist extraordinaire took a whack at philosophy by considering the nature of the universe, and coming to the conclusion that the universe is likely one big video game.

Musk, while appearing at the Recode Code conference, noted that he'd thought quite a bit about the idea of life being just one big video game, and that we were all essentially just participants in one big simulation. Musk reportedly noted that there was a slim chance this wasn't the case, and if it wasn't, we should all be grateful that was the case.

Musk compares technological development to the technological development of gaming; consider one of the first games, Pong. It started out as just two lines and a dot on a field.

Report: Xbox Plans to Step Into VR Come to Fruition Next Year

June 1, 2016

With all the hubbub around PlayStation VR and the Oculus Rift and a host of other entrants into the VR realm, Microsoft has remained noticeably silent about the whole thing. That's about to change as new reports suggest Microsoft could be VR-ready in 2017, complete with a new Xbox One and a new game.

The reports suggest a "major developer" out of Europe is working on a new virtual reality game to launch on Xbox One sometime in 2017. Additionally, the game would be shown at E3, though no one's saying if it will be shown privately or publicly. There was also no word on whether or not the game would be playable on all the Xbox One versions, including the couple projected for announcement at E3.

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