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Here is what has been making news: New Releases, Dead Space III, The Walking Dead: Episode 1, PSN’s Latest Update, Gun Sellers Using Video Games, Facebook iOS App Allows Hack, NRA Blames Gaming, Google’s Best Android Apps, Tomb Raider Multiplayer, Star Trek, Ubisoft Buying THQ?, Grand Theft Auto V.
December 30th – January 5th
Sunday, Dec 30th
Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition will be available for the PS Vita.
Monday, Dec. 31st
Tomb Raider 2011 will be available for the Xbox 360.
Final Fantasy Versus XIII will be available for the PS3.
The Last Guardian will be available for the PS3.
Six Flags Fun Park will be available for the PS2.
My Spanish Coach will be available for the Wii.
Wizardology will be available for the Wii and PC.
Defenders of Law, Inc.: Crime in Willburg will be available for the Wii and NDS.
Barn Yard Blast will be available for the Wii.
Aquatic Tales will be available for the Wii, NDS and PC.
Zoo Vet: Endangered Animals will be available for the Wii.
The Amazing Race will be available for the Xbox 360, NDS and Mac.
AFL Challenge will be available for the PSP.
Ender’s Game: Battle Room will be available for the PSP, Wii and NDS.
Spy Q will be available for the NDS.
Gish will be available for the PSP.
Harker will be available for the Xbox 360.
Hanna Montana: Pop Star Exclusive will be available for the NDS.
Hell’s Kitchen will be available for the PS2, PS3 and PSP.
The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack: The Video Game will be available for the NDS.
The Delusions of Von Sottendorff and his Squared Mind will be available for the Xbox 360, PS3, PSP, Wii, and NDS.
Aero-Cross will be available for the Xbox 360 and PS3.
Space Station Tycoon will be available for the PSP.
Fun Park will be available for the PS2.
Tuesday, Jan. 1st
Harvest Festival: All Signs will be available for the iPhone.
Thursday, Jan. 3rd
Unchained Blades will be available for the 3DS.
Galaxy Saver will be available for the NDS.
Snowboard Xtreme will be available for the NDS.
Demo on its way
If you have been looking forward to playing Dead Space 3, come Jan. 22nd you will be able to get yourself into the demo. Xbox LIVE gamers can get in on the fun a week early (Jan. 15th) if you register for a code at deadspace’s official site. Electronic Arts tells us that the early access codes are first come, first serve and the offer will expire at 11:59pm Pacific time on Jan. 14th.
In the demo, Issac Clarke and John Carver crash land on the planet Tau Volantis. We don’t know yet if the demo will feature co-op game play, we hope so.
Dead Space 3 will be available in North America on February 5th, and in Europe on February 8th, for the Xbox 360, PS3, and the PC.
Free on Xbox Live
The holiday spirit seems to have struck Telltale Games because they are offering The Walking Dead: The Game: Episode 1 – A New Day for free on Xbox LIVE Arcade. Seriously, it may be a bit old school compared to what you play now, but this is a must have game in any serious gamer’s collection. The free offer is for a limited time so go download the game now .. you won’t be sorry.
With a bunch of discounted games
There are some additions worth noting on the latest PSN update. First off, Plus users will be able to add Retro City Rampage to their instant game collection. Additionally, the once xbox exclusive, Munch’s Oddysee HD, has made its way to PSN and the Vita version is expected to arrive next year.
Additionally, the Holiday Essentials sale is continuing with a bunch of discounted games including Journey, Papo and Yo, Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, and Starhawk, just to name a few. Resident Evil 6 has also been discounted from $60 to $40.
If you have been looking to upgrade your digital collection, now is the time PS3 gamers!
Helping them sell guns
According to the New York Times, Electronic Arts had a promotional deal with a maker of sniper rifles, the McMillan Group, and a seller of assault weapon accessories, Magpul. Gunmakers who produce weapons like the Barretta, Glock, Colt, and Heckler and Koch firearms, license their brands to EA so they can be featured in games like Call of Duty – Black Ops II.
In part, these deals are done for legal reason which require permission of the maker before a depiction of a weapon can be used in a game, however, the other part is naturally the promotion of the weapon for the benefit of the maker.
Since the Newtown massacre, these deals are taking on a bit more scrutiny. Apparently the shooter had played Call of Duty for several hours prior to going on his real life killing spree. The Norwegian killer who took 77 people from this Earth in 2010, had stated that he “trained” himself on Call of Duty before committing his murders.
One of the things us gamers love about a game is its realism, it’s believability, we want to feel as if we are actually there. Now, I can’t say that all the hours I’ve spent on first person shooters (my favorite type of game) has turned me into a murdering monster in real life, but I do believe that blatantly promoting assault-type weapons in connection with a game, any kind of game, simply is not the responsible thing to do.
What are some of the things you believe that both weapons manufactures and game developers could do to stem the tide of what appears to be an upcoming moral battle on the subject?
iOS Camera app allows acct access
If you use the Facebook Camera app on your iOS device regularly, you may be putting your own security in jeopardy. You should protect yourself by making sure you have the latest updated version of the app. Versions below 1.1.2 can allow hackers to gain access to your account when you use a Wi-Fi network. Information such as your email address and password can be easily stolen.
The problem was first recognized by an Egypt based security expert, the same expert who pointed out security concerns for Apple, Etsy, and Google. Thankfully Facebook had taken immediate steps to address the issue by releasing the update 1.1.2. They also stated that they “applaud the security researcher who brought this bug to our attention for responsibly reporting the bug to our White Hat Program. We worked with the team to make sure we understood the full scope of the bug, which allowed us to fix it and upgrade the Camera application without any evidence that this bug was exploited in the wild. Users are only vulnerable if they are using an unsecured or untrusted public wireless network and an older version of the application.”
Guns don’t kill people, video games do?
Recently the National Rifle Association (NRA) created a bit of controversy when they held what they called a “press conference” following the mass murder of children at Sandy Hook Elementary School. As often happens when such a ugly and pointless tragedy hits our nation, the issue of gun control creeps into the national conversation. The NRA is one of the largest lobbyist groups in our country, giving millions upon millions of dollars to politicians in effort to have their way with our nations laws. Never before have they stood up and announced that they wanted to add something constructive to the nation’s discussion on gun control. If only they actually had.
Wayne Lapierre, the Chief Officer of the NRA, wouldn’t take questions from the press, despite having termed his national moment in the spot light a “news conference,” and in fact, blamed the press for ignoring the fact that video games, music videos, movies, and television are responsible for the uptick in the mass murders in our country, not the lack of responsible gun laws.
Lapierre named games such as Bulletstorm, Splatterhouse, and Mortal Kombat as the games most responsible for the deaths of the children at Sandy Hook. Honestly, you would think that this NRA big wig would at least have people doing some research for him. Not only are these rather old games, as games go, but neither Splatterhouse nor Mortal Kombat actually have much to do with guns. I’m not even sure there are guns featured in Splatterhouse.
So here we go again, gamers being demonized, and this time by the National Rifle Association of all people, because games can include violent content which includes the use of weapons. The American Psychological Association, among other highly regarded agencies, have studied violence on television and in video games until they are blue in the face. Study and study has shown that violence in pixel form (games and television) simply do not cause violent behavior as a result of watching or playing.
Frankly, I didn’t view the NRA’s “press conference” as anything but a long drawn out commercial for weapons manufactures and membership into the NRA. Despite the fact that they had earlier stated they wanted to contribute in a “meaningful way” to the national conversation on gun control, all they appear to have succeeded in doing was brushing their own responsibility under the rug.
Leland Yee, the California senator who had his violent game law struck down by the Supreme Court in 2011, spoke out against the NRA’s response. He recently stated “I find it mind-boggling that the NRA suddenly cares about the harmful effects of ultra-violent video games. When our law was before the Supreme Court–while several states, medical organizations, and child advocates submitted briefs in support of California’s efforts–the NRA was completely silent.”
Even Yee, who himself is against violent video games in the hands of children, believes that the NRA simply isn’t facing reality and is merely “passing the buck.” When Lapierre stated that the answer to our problem is to put armed guards and guns into every school in America, Yee responded by stating “More guns are not the answer to protecting our children, as evident by the fact that armed guards weren’t enough to stop the tragedy at Columbine High School. The NRA’s response is pathetic and completely unacceptable.” On this issue, Senator Yee, you and I completely agree.
The best of the Google Play store
As predicted, Google followed up with Apple’s recently released list of 2012′s top iOS apps. Google recently unveiled their top Android apps for the year, although I’m not too sure how familiar any of us are with these apps. Pinterest is an app that lets you share photos you find on the web with your friends. These are but a few of Google’s best. Visit Google Play store to find more.
It’s been confirmed, sort of
There is a strong possibility that Tomb Raider, releasing on March 5th, will include some kind of multiplayer component pitting Lara’s shipmates against Yamatai’s scavengers. While this remains unofficial (meaning neither Square Enix or Crystal Dynamics has made an official announcement), it isn’t the first we have heard of the possibility of some kind of multiplayer mode for the game.
Back in 2010 a job listing popped up for a Crystal Dynamics job which looked to hire a producer to “take on a major production role in the multi-player part of an upcoming action adventure title.” While the job could have been for a different game, the studio hasn’t really been working on much of anything other than Tomb Raider since 2006, as far as anyone is aware of at least.
I guess multiplayer fans will have to wait a bit until we get official word, but it is looking hopeful at least.
Release date & pre-order goodies confirmed
Namco Bandai recently announced that Star Trek, the co-op shooter representing Kirk and Spock’s fight against the gorn, is now available for pre-order. If you pre-order the game you will gain yourself the Elite Officer Pack that has several extra uniforms and weapons, including a few from the upcoming Star Trek Into Darkness film. Additionally, Star Trek will be available for download on the PSN the day of release. The game is reported to release April 23rd and the film will be opening on May 17th.
So say the rumors
You may recall that last week we told you about THQ’s bankruptcy and what that would mean for the company as it restructures. There are a few murmurings out there suggesting that Ubisoft may be giving THQ’s assets a serious look. Its been reported the industry magazine MCV that Ubisoft recently had a lengthy discussion with THQ and their investment firm Clearlake Capital group regarding the possibility of acquiring the company.
Yves Guilletmot, Ubisoft’s CEO, recently stated “What happened to [THQ] is something that happens regularly when we have transition. Some can make it, some decide to go in different direction. It happened with Atari and Midway and also Acclaim last generation. … It’s something that happens in this industry and that’s the way the industry consolidates.” Guilletmot admitted that they were interested because THQ is a good brand and has many good things going for it, however, he wouldn’t commit to further public discussion regarding acquisition of THQ.
The various licenses and development studios of THQ could prove to be benefit for Ubisoft as it continues to grow. At present, Jason Rubin, THQ’s president, has made it clear that the publisher and its studios will continue with business as usual. It could take some time before any kind of acquisition is made, if THQ’s restructuring plan goes badly, and they wait too long, they may end up having to piece-meal off their various assets in effort to improve their financial situation.
We will keep you updated on this situation as it continues to unfold.
New screenshots are holiday gift
Rockstar Games has given us all a Happy Holiday’s message and a little gift. The company recently posted some new Grand Theft Auto V screenshots on their blog.
The highly hyped open world action game is expected to release sometime in the spring of 2013 for the Xbox 360 and PS3. These first screenshots show a yellow submarine, a character floating in the ocean with a shark looming below, a fighter jet, a blimp, and a dog as the passenger next to Franklin, the game’s protagonist.
While the game is only expected out for the Xbox 360 and PS3, Dan Houser, Rockstar’s cofounder, had stated that they are considering a Wii U and PC version of the game.