Thursday, March 20, 2014


Ryse: Son of Rome is the much-maligned Xbox One exclusive that launched alongside the next gen system in the fall of 2013.

The Abridged Video Review

The game has a 60-metacritic score from critics and a 6.0 from users. While the visuals have been praised, the gameplay is often criticized for being too repetitive and simplistic, the combat mechanics far too forgiving on the gamer.

Having just completed my playthrough (I only recently got an Xbox One), I can confidently write that Ryse: Son of Rome is a victim of expectation and gamer group-think, and that it is in no way deserving of the vitriol it has received.

The expectations going into this game were skewed by the fact that it was a launch title for a console that promised to usher in a new era of entertainment. To discover that Ryse is a fairly straight-forward (yet sophisticated) hack & slash game (not a third person action adventure as it is described), affected critics' and gamers' ability to judge the game more fairly. The Internet also has a way of galvanizing for the purpose of hating a game the instant there are any complaints or issues with it, oftentimes without having actually experienced said game, and Ryse is yet another victim of such a dangerous trend.

With the benefit of time and tempered expectations, here is, what I hope to be, the fairer assessment the game deserves.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


For a series as old as I am, it is a monumental task to reinvent itself while still retaining the core mechanics and entertainment value that has kept fans intrigued and coming back for more. From Snake Eater's survival mechanics to Guns of the Patriots' run and gun addition to Portable Ops and Peace Walker's home base and deployment features, Hideo Kojima has always been on step ahead of the fans and the technology he uses to bring his acclaimed series to life with.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


The good ole' days.

Each week there are deals on the Xbox Live Games Store that digitally inclined, penny-pinching gamers would be wise to explore.

Sometimes this deals are promoted right on the home screen when you sign in, and other times they're tucked away in the 'Sales and Specials' window. To get to that pesky window take the following steps:
  1. Scroll over to the games page
  2. Select 'browse games' located on the left side of the screen
  3. Select sales and specials, which is usually at the bottom right
  4. Select 'deal of the week: exclusive to gold'
  5. Treat yo self!

This week gamers have the following options (to name a few):
  • Assassin's Creed IV - 33% off
  • I Am Alive - 75% off
  • COD: Ghosts - 33% off
  • Call of Juarez - 75% off
The best one on this list is ACIV. You're likelier to get a better deal in disc-form at your local games store, but if you like the idea of owning a game on your harddrive then you can't go wrong with this particular choice as it's always good to have around. I've logged something like forty hours in this game and there's still an overwhelming amount of content left.

Enjoy, happy gaming, and may the force be with you.

Be sure to check back each week for new deals, gamers. And follow us on Tumblr and Twitter.


Part I

Watch Dogs, developer Ubisoft's new IP (intellectual property), has received a release date after being delayed from its initial November 2013 date.

Gamers eager to take on the role of Aiden Pearce and hack the city of Chicago will be able to do so on May 27th, 2014. This date feels a little more solid, because Watch Dogs went radio silent after not making the 2013 holiday season. So it's unlikely Ubisoft would move forward with this news unless the new date were more solid, given how anticipated this game is, and how it's being groomed as the next big Ubisoft franchise. The added six months of polish will hopefully help fix whatever problems there are.

Along with this announcement, Ubisoft released a new story-focused trailer:

If you really want to see what the game is made of, though, watch this next video. If you want to skip ahead to the best part, be sure to watch the last couple minutes, where it's revealed other real-players around the world can enter your game and attempt to hack your phone, thus beginning a back and forth game of revenge - seamlessly transitioning between single player and multiplayer action:

Watch Dogs certainly looks impressive (especially that coat!), a game potentially worthy of the title "Next-Gen". So, if you're interested in the game, get excited, because May 27th will be here before you know it!

Part II

Author's Totally Biased Personal Note That You Should Not Take As An Absolute Judgment of the Game and Permit to Affect Your Individual Thoughts:

I've always been excited for Watch Dogs myself, ever since it was announced. My excitement gradually waned over time, however, most likely due to the many delays. While much of the gameplay looks fun and impressive, I'm remaining cautiously optimistic. I have no doubt it will be an enjoyable, forward-thinking game in many ways, but I can't help but be irked by some of the cheesy, teen-game-quality dialogue in that trailer and the pacing of certain ancillary missions.

This game looks very much like a spiritual successor to Assassin's Creed (it's developed by the same studio after all and is rumored to take place in the same universe), and that particular series is one that has left me incredibly frustrated (though IV was, for the most part, purely good fun).

Some of the side-missions in Watch Dogs appear unsettlingly reminiscent of the eavesdropping in all of the Assassin's Creed games (albeit more elaborate versions). I think the dip in initial hype, coupled with the delays and the re-reveals that emphasize the same hacking abilities (how many times have we seen those police barricades pop out of the ground?), have put a dent in my expectations, and made me worry that playing it for myself will result in less fun. I feel like I've seen all the best jokes in a comedy-movie-trailer.

The game still looks amazing when Aiden is simply running and gunning, though, and a seemingly sentient Chicago that can be manipulated promises to be an exciting, innovative environment to explore.

And I always look forward to jumping on trains.

So I don't want to hamper anyone else's enthusiasm and contribute to the cynicism of the internet. I merely share my own thoughts because I strangely feel compelled to write about them. It's because of how much I want the game to be good and how cool I think it could be. My reservations are based on the gameplay I've seen and mostly with my checkered past with Assassin's Creed. The first game in the series was, and remains, one of the most frustrating let downs in my gaming-life, and the excitement I had for that game is very similar to how I initially felt about Watch Dogs.

Still, it'll be nice to have a new free-roam next-gen game, and a chance to run around Chicago.

Thanks for reading, and live long and prosper.

Are you excited for Watch Dogs? Will you buy it on May 27th? Let us know in the comments.

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014


We got this logo first!

Ladies and gents, never have I needed Batman to come to my rescue more than now.

After watching last night's Monday Night Raw where CM Punk did not return to the WWE, I found myself faced with a level of dejection unlike any I've ever experienced. It was a strange, previously unknown emotional state to me, brought on by the gradual realization that my wrestling hero was gone, perhaps forever. I was not angry (that would have been a welcome, familiar response). I experienced what I can only describe as a mix of deep mourning and deep indifference to the darkness of the world.

And then, with a few casual clicks on Facebook, came the serendipitously, timely, much-needed, and much-appreciated reveal that Rocksteady will release a new Next-Gen Batman game in their illustrious Arkham series titled Arkham Knight.

And there's even a trailer:

Reports are that the game will take place in a revamped, larger Gotham City with "wider streets" because players will finally be able to take control of...

That's right! At long last gamers will be able to get behind the wheel of the coolest car in the universe; THE BATMOBILE!

Harvey Two-Face, Harley Quinn, The Penguin, and the master of terror, The Scarecrow, will be present as evidenced by the trailer. The game takes place years after Arkham City and, if the trailer is any indication, will once again raise the stakes for The Dark Knight - forcing him to endure another terrible night.

Here's that awesome logo again, only this time it's on fire!

Standby for a trailer analysis from The Future Machine, and come back for all future updates as we eagerly await the release of Batman's next virtual adventure.

Thank you, Batman. I'll always believe in you.