New ‘Silent Hill’ being developed by Kojima and del Toro – 08/12/2014

Silent Hill
Sony unveiled at Gamescom 2014 that a new ‘Silent Hill’ game is in the works and it’s being developed by horror icon Guillermo del Toro along side gaming icon Hideo Kojima.

It was first reported back in 2012 that Konami asked Kojima to create a new Silent Hill game, which he accepted.

The game was being promoted by Sony as “P.T.” before the gameplay teaser was unveiled it to be a new Silent Hill. The hour-long teaser features a character exploring the setting in a first-person perspective before revealing that del Toro and Kojima are responsible for this project.

At the end it’s revealed that the main character is played by Norman Reedus, from The Walking Dead. Not much details about the game is known other than it will be titled Silent Hills and that it’s being developed using the Fox Engine.

News of a Silent Hill game being created del Toro and Kojima has surprised the media while having gotten the attention of the gaming community. Gamers voiced their support for Silent Hills and welcomed collaboration between the two icons.

Many should have suspected that del Toro and Kojima were working on a project after two were seen hangout together at Comic-Con 2014.

With del Toro now working on Silent Hill, its unknown if his previous horror game is still in development or has it been cancelled. It was unveiled back in 2010 that he was working on inSANE but the project was put on hold after THQ went bankrupt.

Silent Hill is a horror survival series known for its eerie tone and for having help establish the genre alongside Resident Evil. The series focus on the supernatural forces that haunt a small town and the people connected to the evil presence.

Written for Digital Journal 
08/12/2014
Original Article: New ‘Silent Hill’ being developed by Kojima and del Toro

‘Grand Theft Auto: Online’ mod allows players to rape others – 8/12/2014

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‘Grand Theft Auto: Online’ may have been developed to allow gamers to build their own criminal empire online, but some may have take it too far by developing a mod that allows players to rape others.

This mod was developed and used by a few players trying to “troll” the games online community and is not connected or endorsed by Rockstar Games.

The mod allows the player to manipulate their character and the environment to allow them to force themselves onto other innocent players in a very sexual manner. To develop such a mod would require a player to tamper with the game engine, which could get a player banned from the servers if caught.

News of the mod was first reported by players on Reddit with the username, mrerikmattila, who reported having such an encounter with a player named DEEPER_IN_DA_ASS. The user further elaborated the encounter with Patrica Hernandez of Kotaku.

Hernandez elaborates that while such encounter are rare, there have been videos found on YouTube showing hackers sexually assaulting other players in the game. She also hints that Rockstar may need to do another round of house cleaning to crackdown on hackers who tamper with the game engine.

News of the mod has repulsed many gamers who find it to be distasteful and disturbed by the fact some one took the time to make such a program. One user stated on Kotaku, “What the hell kind of person starts playing GTA and thinks, “I wonder how I can make these characters rape each other?” Worse, what kind of person then dedicates actual time and effort to making this a reality?”

Grand Theft Auto V was released on September 17 and it has been highly praised by critics as one of the greatest games developed for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Grand Theft Auto: Online is the multiplayer feature and it went live two weeks after the games launch.

Written for Digital Journal 
08/12/2014
Original Article: ‘Grand Theft Auto: Online’ mod allows players to rape others

Gamers enthusiastic about ‘Resident Evil’ HD remake – 8/6/2014

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Capcom official announcement that an HD remastered version of ‘Resident Evil’ is in the works has been meet with enthusiasm and support from the gaming community.

Based on the discussions on social media like Facebook or news sites such as N4G, there has been a strong demand for Capcom to release an HD version of the GameCube remake (dubbed REmake) of the classic game. Many in the game media who are also fans of the series have voiced their support for the project.

Devoted fans of the series have been demanding an HD remastered version of Resident Evil for a long time. Many fans had missed out on the GameCube remake since they owned a PlayStation 2 or an Xbox.

The demand by fans was most vocal back in January when Capcom published a report that blamed the failure of Resident Evil 6 on its audience “growing old” while announcing an HD remake of Resident Evil 4.

After the announcement was made, the game’s official Facebook page was flooded with comments while many showed their enthusiasm by plastering the official Facebook page with the “Shut Up And Take My Money!” meme. One such fan was Souheil Abou Zelof who stated,Finally Capcom FINALLY , after all these years you did something right with the Resident Evil series , RE remake was the best RE game for me (also remake Resident evil 2 , it deserves one).

Rourke Keegan was another fan who stated, Seriously, this is the best news I’ve heard all year. REmake is my favorite horror game- and I have an extensive library (Silent Hill, Fatal Frame, Alone in the Dark). I have ABSOLUTELY no problem with buying this on every available platform. Capcom, you just got at LEAST four sales from this fan, if not five (it may or may not work on my computer). I cannot WAIT to see how pretty this is, cannot wait to unlock every trophy/achievement for this, and above all, REmember, REality, RElive!

James Cage was also an enthusiastic fan who stated, Thank You for bringing it to PS4!! Finally back to what Resident Evil is all about!!! Now start remastering RE2 next!!

Despite the enthusiasm, many fans also expressed their desire to see a remake of Resident Evil 2, which was never remastered for the GameCube.

The original Resident Evil was released for the PlayStation in 1996 and has been hailed as one of the greatest games for establishing the foundation of the horror survival genre. The franchise has spawned a massive franchise that includes many sequels and spin-off games along with a movie series.

Written for Digital Journal 
09/6/2014
Original Article: Gamers enthusiastic about ‘Resident Evil’ HD remake

Review: ‘The Last of Us: Remastered’ is a classic polished for the PS4 – 7/29/2014

‘The Last of Us’ was probably one of the most iconic games of 2013, having become a modern classic not due to its technical and gameplay innovations but because of its groundbreaking story.

With over 200 “Game of the Year” awards, The Last of Us has made its mark not only on video games but also on the cultural arts.

However one should not be foolish enough to compare The Last of Us with Grand Theft Auto V as they are nowhere in the same league. BioShock: Infinite would be its only true rival of 2013 as they both are story-driven games that shared the same concepts of a father and daughter relationship during a troubled era.

It’s always a challenge to improve an already perfect work of art but Naughty Dog would not settle for having The Last of Us be remembered as one of the best games of 2013. Like a perfectionist devoted to their work, Remastered is a polished improvement of a modern classic for the PlayStation 4.

To recap the story: 20 years after a deadly pandemic brings about the collapse of civilization, the survivors try to live on within the quarantine zones or out in the wasteland. Players take on the role of Joel as he becomes Ellie’s guardian during a journey to a resistance camp, as her blood may hold the cure to the infection that has ravaged the world.

As a narrative-driven game, The Last of Us was a flawless masterpiece that had an environment created with the picture-perfect graphics along with an ideal musical score. However it would be wrong to neglect the deep emotionally-driven performance of Troy Barker and Ashley Johnson in the main roles.

The game also brought something that has been long absent in the horror survival genre, the actual concept of horror survival. The gameplay is a return to the roots of the genre when gamers had to actually struggle to survive the horrors of the environment as opposed to fighting waves of zombies (or monsters). While many horror games have traded their survival concept for a Call of Duty-imitation, The Last of Us has instead drawn influence from classics like Resident Evil.

The Last of Us: Remastered sets itself apart from the original taking full advantage of the PS4’s hardware capability with a visual display of 60fps at 1080p. This gives the game a crisper visual image that adds more depth to the game’s environment while improving the fear factor.

However this is not simply another HD remake as the game offers more than a new coat of paint. As a bonus feature, the game also includes all the multiplayer map packs and the critically acclaimed DLC, Left Behind.

So why should a gamer give The Last of Us: Remastered a play-through if it was perfect back in 2013? The best answer is they missed their chance because they were most likely too occupied with Grand Theft Auto V or their last console was an Xbox 360.

Like Grand Theft Auto V and BioShock: Infinite, this is a title no gamer should have overlooked back in 2013. However for those who missed out on playing The Last of Us on the PS3 should add Remastered to their PS4 collection.


Final Score:
5/5

Written for Digital Journal 
07/29/2014
Original Article: Review: ‘The Last of Us: Remastered’ is a classic polished for the PS4

Op-Ed: A minor delay is better than a broken game – 7/26/2014

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It appears that the 2014 Holiday season is going to be a dry one for gamers as so many highly anticipated titles have been pushed back for a 2015 release.

Early this week, gamers got the news that Electronic Arts is pushing back the release date of Battlefield: Hardline from October 2014 to an unknown date in 2015. They are not alone as Ubisoft had announced before E3 that Batman: Arkham Knight and Tom Clancy’s The Division would be delayed until 2015. CD Projekt RED has also made the hard choice to push back The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt for a Winter 2015 release.

While gamers will be disappointed that they have to wait until 2015 for another Battlefield, long time fans will understand that it was necessary to avoid another disastrous release like Battlefield 4.

Battlefield 4 was a very promising game and superior to Call of Duty: Ghosts in terms of the quality of gameplay. Yet due to a series of of glitches and bugs made the game unplayable upon its release. Hence many disgruntled fans began referring to it as “Brokenfield“.

Sadly a lot of the problems that plagued Battlefield 4 could have been avoided had more time gone into the development process. Yet due to an unrealistic deadlines along with the need to compete against Call of Duty: Ghosts probably pressured EA to sail full-steam ahead into the iceberg.

Common sense would dictate that delaying the game would have been the best action, yet game industry considers such a decision as a catch-22. Its a common belief that the longer a game is in development, its chances of being a disaster increases. Many studios continue to fear releasing a disastrous game like Duke Nukem: Forever while many old school fans still recall how Daikatana sullied the reputation of John Romero (I’m still confident he will have a career comeback).

However many always overlook that games like Duke Nukem: Forever and Daikatana were in development for more then four year while undergoing multiple software changes that forced the development team to start from scratch. Meanwhile Arkham Knight and Hardline are being delayed because more time is needed to fix the glitches and patch-up the bugs.

The decade long murky production of Duke Nukem: Forever has now become the textbook example of how not to develop a game. Production started by 3D Realms Studio back in 1996 using the Quake II engine until they switched to the Unreal engine in 1998. Meanwhile as the industry model began to change in the early 2000’s, 3D Realms failed to adopt while being in constant conflict with its parent company, Take-Two Interactive.

After a long production time, Gearbox acquired the intellectual property and took over the project with the goal of a 2011 release date. When the game was finally released for all major consoles, it was universally panned by both critics and gamers. Despite a decade long production, the game was neither innovative or cutting edge while also suffering from a series of annoying glitches.

Meanwhile successful games that have had long production time have been both innovative and groundbreaking while the staff had been focused on a set goal. The obvious example to look at would be Grand Theft Auto V, which development started back in 2009 and was released in 2013. Rockstar North had setup a series of goals that had to be meet while working with the RAGE engine along with adding components of the Euphoria engine and Bullet Physics.

Finally when Grand Theft Auto V was released in September 2013, it was highly praised by critics and gamers. Its story was highly praised for its in-depth analysis of the American Dream in a post-2008 crash society in a style influenced Jack Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson. It also became one of the biggest selling media properties by generating over $1 billion in three days while going on to generate almost $2 billion by December.

Yet the production of Grand Theft Auto V might be a unique example while Ubisoft has demonstrated that a small delay payoff when the final game is a hit. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier and Watch Dogs had their release date pushed back while South Park: The Stick of Truth needed to be delayed as Ubisoft acquired the rights after THQ went bankrupt.

Ubisoft has demonstrated that a small delay is always necessary if time is needed to ensure the game is flawless when hits store shelves. The botched release of Battlefield 4 has taught the gaming industry the backlash of releasing a broken game outweigh the disappointment when it has to be delayed.

Gamers who were hoping to play Hardline or The Division are better waiting for a flawless game rather than playing a broken one in 2014. On the bright-side; Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Far Cry 4, and Destiny should keep gamers entertained.

Written for Digital Journal 
07/26/2014
Original Article: Op-Ed: A minor delay is better than a broken game

Rumored ‘DmC: Devil May Cry’ port reignites old animosities – 7/13/2014

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According to details posted on a Russian online retailer, a Next-Gen version of ‘DmC: Devil May Cry’ may be in the works and it has reignited old friction between old school gamers against fans of the reboot.

Retitled as DmC: Devil May Cry Ultimate, the game is a port that rumored to bring the series to a new audience. Not much details have been given but its expected the game could be unveiled at Gamescom.

Despite only being a rumor, the concept of a Next-Gen port has already reignited old debates among gamers. Once again message boards and chat rooms are besieged with gamers fighting among each other over the legacy of DmC: Devil May Cry.

Meanwhile many in the game media are stumped if such a port is in the works due to the game’s controversy among the fans along with its commercial failure. The reboot caused a major division between gamers who disliked the makeover and those who welcomed the change.

The biggest critique from fans was the game abandoned the series’ principal themes to make a simple hack and slash that was devoid of any real challenge. Fans of the reboot felt restarting the series was necessary while having brushed off critics as being upset over “changing Dante’s hair.”

Adding fuel to the flame were pundits in the game media who branded critics of the reboot as being “entitled“.

Due to the controversy of the reboot and the friction it caused between gamers, Capcom had to cut its projected sales by half. After its release, DmC: Devil May Cry would be critically praised while becoming a commercial failure.

Regardless if the rumors are true, old schools gamers and fans have still not forgiven Capcom for DmC: Devil May Cry.

Written for Digital Journal 
07/13/2014
Original Article:

Review: ‘Modern Warfare 2′ brings the battle to the Mac – 5/22/2014

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It has been six years since ‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2′ wowed the gaming world but Aspyr Media is hoping to reignite that spark for Mac gamers.

While most of the gaming community has moved on to Black Ops II and Ghost as they await the release of Advanced Warfare, Mac gamers now have the opportunity to play one of the most iconic shooters. The series has changed since but Mac gamers have never had the chance to finish the story of Captain Price and Soap MacTavish.

To recap the story; the game is set several years after the events of the previous game with the Ultranationalist having take control of Russia while Irma Zakhaev has become a national martyr. Meanwhile an international special forces unit designated Task Force 141 is established under the command of General Shepard and the leadership of John “Soap” MacTavish.

The war never ended for Vladimir Makarov, a Zakhaev protégé, who has embarked on a terrorist campaign against the West. A CIA operation tries to shutdown his operation but it ends with America being framed for a terrorist attack in Russia. In response to the attack, Russia launches a massive invasion of the eastern United States which forces Task 141 in a race against time to capture Makarov.

The single player campaign switches between the Army Rangers defending the American homefront and Task Force 141’s hunt for Makarov. The Multiplayer feature gives players a verity of gameplay options while unlocking new gear as they improve their status. Overall it’s the same classic that console and PC gamers fell in love with a long time ago.

Some might feel it’s redundant to port a game that is six years old while the series has radically changed. However, it needs to be noted that Call of Duty games are the most popular online game and Modern Warfare 2 still has a strong multiplayer presence on both consoles and the PC.

Compared to the titles that followed, Modern Warfare 2 is an outstanding game by improving on its predecessor while enriching the already beloved characters and pushing the story to a peak of perfection.

Given the limited selection of games that are available for the Max OS, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was the perfect title. Now Mac gamers can finally play the iconic shooter that all their PC and console friends talked so much about.

Final Score: 4/5

Written for Digital Journal
5/22/2014
Original ArticleReview: ‘Modern Warfare 2′ brings the battle to the Mac

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