Friday, July 31, 2009

Gioteck's Real Triggers Impress

I know it's been a while since I last updated but hey, give me a break, I just got married! Anyway, onto the topic of today's post.

I visited my local Best Buy and nearly missed picking up a gem of an add-on for my PS3 controllers. I had heard about the attachments a few months ago and wondered if they would ever see the light of the retail market. I can tell you without any hesitation, I'm glad they did.

I'm talking about Gioteck's Real Triggers for the PlayStation 3 controller. The concept is so simple, yet so needed, it really is a wonder no one has thought of this before. The Real Triggers are designed to easily snap over the L2 and R2 buttons on your PS3 controller and provide a much more stable and firm grip when holding the triggers down for a sustained amount of time. This comes in especially handy for your racing games (Motorstorm, Need for Speed) and first-person shooters (Killzone, Resistance 2).

I can't tell you how satisfied I am with this product and I can't recommend enough to anyone who is as tired as I was struggling to keep their index fingers from slipping off of the back triggers on the controller. And at only $4.99 per controller, it's a great product at a great price.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ballmer Apologizes

It was exactly as expected. In response to my post Friday about Steve Ballmer supposedly unveiling a new Xbox system for next year and setting the internet on fire, everyone learned today that it was a simple misinterpretation.

Ballmer sent a letter of apology to IGN stating that what was presented at E3 was fact as it pertains to a new console. Which means that Natal should be on store shelves sometime next year.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

New Xbox 360 Console in 2010?!

Steve Ballmer has a secret....

And he unleashed that secret to the masses of the Executive's Club of Chicago today during a speech on Recession. Ballmer commented that a new Xbox 360 system will be on store shelves in 2010. He says the new system will bring users closer to "actuality" sporting a built in camera with movement and voice recognition.

It's unclear, however if Ballmer is referring to the much anticipate Project Natal, or if he is indeed alluding to a completely new console. I'll be sure to post more on this story as information becomes available.

Source: [TG Daily]

Xbox 360 Arcade: Now With More Memory!

Now all the fancy new Xbox 360 Arcade machines out there will be able to handle just a little bit more of whatever you're willing to throw at it.

New machines are shipping with 512MB of on-board memory. Keep in mind that the system itself still uses some of this memory to power the machine and not all of it is available to you for storage. Nor does it do anything different as far as how the machine operates. Hopefully though, it cuts down on the likelihood of your receiving the dreaded RROD.

If It Ain't Broke....

So Tuesday's 24 Hour scheduled maintenance of Xbox Live seems to have caused more problems than it fixed. Nevermind the fact that even though you could still play your console, but any content that you had downloaded was inaccessible during this time - something that really needs to be addressed.

The two biggest victims of Live's service hiccups are Criterion and Harmonix. Criterion had scheduled to release possbility the biggest expansion in their ongoing series of content for Burnout Paradise: Big Surf Island. BSI is an entire area dedicated to giant jumps and massive playgrounds for your cars and looks to be the most exciting addition to the already massive game.

Harmonix has also been hit extremely hard. Not only did their latest Rock Band track content get nixed, but a humongous chunk of their pre-existing DLC seems to have vanished as well. Harmonix was supposed to release 3 new tracks by Evancescence and 4 tracks by Spinal Tap.

No news yet on when this issue will be repaired but one thing's for sure: the Xbox team needs to stop breaking Live when they're supposed to be fixing it.

Ghostbusters Video Game Feelin' Funky in First Week

So the Ghostbusters video game seems to be having some trouble in it's first week of bustin'. The game is getting pretty solid reviews and people I've talked to (who are immense fans of the films) are loving the experience. But other demons seem to be a-lurkin'.

There are reports that the PS3's visuals aren't quite up to par with the Xbox 360's despite the PlayStation 3 being a more powerful machine. Also, the PC version seems to have shipped without any multiplayer support. In regards to this issue, Activision said that they had to focus on the console versions of the game first and foremost in order to set the bar high for the game and "some things had to be sacrificed." There was no word given as to whether a multiplayer component would be added later via update.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

It's NEW-sday!

That's right! It's NEW-sday, which is my term for new release Tuesday. This is usually the day of the week when all the new games drop at your local retailer. Traditionally, the summer is a dry time in terms of good games to play and new releases are few and far between. 2009 is thankfully different. And each week I'll be showcasing the top games coming out on each platform right here. So let's get started.

Guitar Hero Smash Hits

Available on Xbox 360, Ps3, Wii and PS2

Rated T for Mild Lyrics

Available June 16th, 2009

MSRP: 59.99 (49.99 for Wii, PS2)

Guitar Hero Smash Hits is a compliation of music from the previous Guitar Hero games. Up until Guitar Hero World Tour's release, the game only allowed you to play the guitar and bass notes of the songs in the game. So essentially what they've done is taken all of the most popular tracks from Guitar Hero I, II, III and Rocks the 80's and given full band support to those songs. Now you can drum along to "Through the Fire and Flames" by Dragonforce or belt out the vocals to "I Wanna Rock" by Twisted Sister. This is a great collection for those of you who never got to experience some of the awesome songs that were only available on the Playstation 2 games, so definitely give the full track list a look.

Ghostbusters: The Video Game

Available on Xbox 360, Ps3, Wii, PS2, and PC

Rated T for Comic Mischief, Fantasy Violence, Mild Language

Available June 16th, 2009

MSRP: 59.99 (49.99 for Wii, PS2 and PC)

The Ghostbusters have been around for a long time. The movies themselves are instantly recognizeable by the characters, the one-liners and even the cast of ghosts themselves. Spawning comic books, video games and action figures alike, the Ghostbusters remains a classic series of films that anyone is sure to enjoy.

And now, the Ghostbusters are returning to video games with (nearly) the full cast in tow. Egon, Ray, Peter and Winston will be present in the game and voiced by their real life counterparts. The game itself recruits you as the newest member to the ghostbusting team. You'll find yourself battling through scenes from the original movies and even taking on some new ghosts as you train to become a full fledged ghostbuster. All the tools of the trade will be at your fingertrips: the protonpacks (don't cross the streams!) and PKE meters are all at your disposal. The game supports both a versus and co-op gameplay element to keep the action fast paced and long-lasting, too.


Available on Wii

Rated E

Available June 16th, 2009

MSRP: 19.99

Vertigo is simple. It's a futuristic racing game that can be played two ways. Either with the Wii Remote or while standing on the Wii Fit Balance Board. By either shifting your weight from side to side or tilting the Wii Remote, players control the direction of a racing orb as it speeds across tracks that bend and twist in a multitude of directions. As you race, you can pick up power-ups and even upgrade your orb as your progress through the game. At a budget price, Vertigo might just be the thing for those of you looking for something a little more exciting than the current selection of cart-based racing games on the Wii. Think racing in the way of classics like F-Zero or Extreme-G.

Other releases worth mentioning:

Flower, Sun, Rain (DS) - A mystery-action-thriller game for the handheld from the creators of No More Heroes.

Hurry Up Hedgehog! (DS) No, not THAT hedgehog. Hurry Up Hedgehog! is a puzzle/strategy game that allows for multiple ways to play. But the main concept is to lead your hedgehog through a garden while dodging obstacles and make it out before everyone else. Kind of a Pacman/Frogger hybrid if you ask me.

That's it for this week. Buyer's tip: Toys 'R' Us is offering giftcards with the purchase of Ghostbusters and Best Buy is giving out extra foot pedals to those who buy the new Guitar Hero. Only while supplies last, so hurry!