Sunday, December 18, 2011

IGN: Skyrim. What's Their Point at PlayStation's Expense? (Gaming)

Its not really of us to attack someone else for a stated opinion though, sometimes they need to be called out. The question is really, whom has the guts to do so? So, I guess we're going to be the ones to step in and say something about it.
"So... My friends, who are reporters, tell me that there's absolutely nothing in the word that makes their editors day like controversy and bad news. So, to all our esteemed members of the Press I say: "You're Welcome." -- Jack Tretton (CEO/ Sony Computer Entertainment America)
He goes on:
"To our third-party publishing partners, you guys have been with us for over fifteen years making tremendous games and I know the network outage was costly to you., and what's been incredibly inspiring is your support and your offers to get things back up to speed and we would be where we are today so I thank you very much. To our retail partners, you gave us shelf space when there was no PlayStation brand and you've given us more than our fair share since 1995 when we launched the original PlayStation.... Which brings me to the audience that I'm most interested in addressing and those are our consumers.
You are the lifeblood of the company. WITHOUT YOU, there is no PlayStation. And I want to apologize both personally and on behalf of the company for any anxiety that we may have caused you. I know we took we you away from what you enjoy most, connecting and gaming, with friends all over the world and enjoying the many options on PlayStation Network. And it is you that causes us to be both humbled and amazed at the amount of dedication and support you continue to give to the PlayStation brand."
Tretton goes on to talk about the position of the status at that time and states that he hopes Sony's E3 presentation will show those whom are wavering, that PlayStation is still the go-too console for exclusive titles and content and services.

Sony throughout the rest of the year, and from here on out, as Nintendo once learned with the Nintendo Gamecube and Nintendo 64, that when once you're king of the hill, if you're not careful, then you can easily wind-up at the bottom and have a rough and tough climb back to the top. I don't doubt that with all that Sony have gone through this generation, that they've been brought to their knees and have come to a realization that something needed to change and they're now working to head back up to the top.

Granted, Sony had a really rocky start at the launch of the PlayStation 3. Developers had a really rocky start and games had a real stutter about them. Its been clearly stated by countless media sites throughout the web and many whom aren't however, that the PlayStation 3 currently is the most powerful console of this generation. Its really all a matter of how developers harness the power of the PlayStation 3.

We recognize that Sony had their console priced at more than the Xbox 360 at the time with Sony's consoles priced at $499 and $599. $100 more than Microsoft's. However, I still contend, to this day that the PlayStation 3 was worth the price that was paid at that time. The fact that the PlayStation 3 was both a gaming console and a blu-ray player justified the consoles cost. It was also the BEST player at the time and likely still today. Then there was the Xbox 360 equivalent (which supported HD DVD) cost more to add on. One could claim it was merely Sony trying to force new technology on folks but, tech enthusiast's staked their claims that Blu-ray all along was the ultimate format. Technology is always going to further and advance, not remain idle.

However, this isn't really what we need to focus on, merely to say that Sony had a really rocky start. However, look where they're at today. Their console has seen multiple price-drops, blu-ray technology is booming and adoption of blu-ray is filling homes throughout the world. The PlayStation 3 is still a High-Definition gaming console. Its capable of playing games both online and offline with many that exist on the Xbox 360 and are now running comparable to those on the competition. Developers are catching on and figuring out the hardware, which is going to be a great thing in the long run considering the rumors that are about that Xbox 'Loop' will be integrating the Cell Processor into their mother-boards. Developers that use this technology now, will have a greater appreciation, assuming of course the rumors are correct.

We're clearly sounding like fanboy's here and really, many of us have a partiality to the PlayStation hardware and how Sony chooses to deal with their customers versus Microsoft. Nintendo, we feel is doing excellent though their fanbase are starving for new IP's and games geared more toward them as the casual gaming market have practically trampled them, but we feel that Sony has made even more great strides in their services and dealing with as many issues and accusations have plagued them over the years. This is why we've chosen the PlayStation 3 and Sony Computer Entertainment as our console of the year, regardless of how much money Microsoft raked in over Xbox and Kinect. Because bringing new fans into the fold and retaining them by treating them valuably, is more than picking their pockets. Companies thrive more on customer service than necessarily lower-prices. People and customers want to be treated well.

Our gripe here, is what exactly the 'Imagine Games Network' or best known as IGN are getting at exactly with their PlayStation 3 articles concerning 'Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim' and it seems that as of this week, such talk an controversy have lit up the comments sections in what appears to humor IGN, they've even admitted to, as a 'Fanboy arguement.' Their high of watching fans of both sides go at each others throats much like Cliff Bleszinski would describe as "I feed on the tears of fanboys."

Whatever the case may be concerning Skyrim for the PS3, what exactly is IGN getting at, or the point they're trying to make? Its clear that IGN are more partial to Xbox 360, which is the opposite of us, and like us, there are a Greg Miller and a Colin Moriarty, only for Microsoft, whom Greg and Colin we heckle from time-to-time though we still shout out to them a "BEYOND!" whom battle along-side Sony through it all and show us the great things Sony have to offer. Unfortunately, they're completely outnumbered by one Charles Onyett wages his war against the PS3. (I don't recall ever hearing anything positive from him concerning the PS3) None-the-less, IGN continues to take their stabs at Sony and the PlayStation 3 with what seems to be the biggest game of the year! Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

If you want to dismantle and destroy a companies reputation, its simply a matter of taking what's most popular about the competition, and pressing what they do best until the competition have been abandoned. This has been an ongoing process throughout the PlayStation's life-span while really, the only negativity amongst the biggest online media sites, lies mostly with IGN. We here at the XZONE can readily acknowledge that Sony aren't saints themselves and can be just as much of a scuzzy businessman as Nintendo or Microsoft but, what we do know is that those whom work at IGN that have a college degree studied Journalism, of some sort and write articles after playing games. None of them! just as none of us, have ever developed a game for a video game console. Thus, we and they have no idea how the process works or how the tools are implemented. We just know how to play a game, and report to you what we thought.

There are some at IGN that really enjoy their jobs and catch on to the process quickly. There are likely those whom work at IGN because its a job and its how they make money to pay the bills and can't wait to go home at night and perhaps; find their job difficult compared to those they work with and maybe ask themselves often: "Why can't I be like Greg Miller, or Colin or Charles or even Chris" for that matter and they tell others their job is difficult. There are many developers whom develop for the PlayStation 3 that feel similarly. Some just catch on and take right off and have no problem with it while others struggle to find that sweet spot. Some like a good challenge and love new hardware because they love to learn! Others get stuck and give up and quit. They're not dedicated or love what they do and expect life to be easy.

So--The question is, is what exactly is IGN trying to get at here? Because this has been going on for quite some time. Are they blaming Sony for the bugs and nature of Skyrim? Or are they blaming Bethesda? Skyrim just won the VGA's "Game of the Year" from G4 and Spike as a multi-platform work of art, while Uncharted 3 walked away Game of the Year for PlayStation and Skyrim did not for the either platform but Batman: Arkham City walked way as Best Xbox 360 Game.

According to developers whom helped work for Bethesda on Fallout 3, it was Bethesda and their engine and not Sony necessarily. Bethesda are clearly more of a PC developer sort which transitions easily to the Xbox 360 as the development architecture is so similar, which begs the question as to whether this is just too much for Bethesda and they wimp out from here on out and develop only for PC and Xbox 360, or learn from their mistakes and work more efficiently and accept the challenge on the PlayStation 3. Perhaps now the PS3 scares them.

But, what's erupting on the IGN Comments section, is how much of a failure the PlayStation 3 is because Skyrim can't function on the PlayStation 3. IGN's statement is apparently that important and has up and emphasized on their site exactly "how bad and broken" the PS3 version apparently is and that perhaps they didn't think of before they started typing. IGN are simply letting it go to humor themselves it seems. We find that absolutely despicable, one-sided and completely biased for whatever reasons it may be. (They're not bought off by Microsoft or Colin wouldn't be living under the same roof as Greg and his wiener dog.)

At the end of the day, developers have proven what the PlayStation 3 is capable of. Believe it or not, the PlayStation Move is still critically acclaimed as the best motion control device. It simply needs the right software to back up its claim whereas right now, its putting out the same sort of deal that Kinect and Wii already offer, we feel with the exception of 'Heavy Rain' in which we loved playing using Sony's motion controller. (By such a statement, we mean FPS games, dance titles, etc. Not controller free gaming as Sony clearly defends the use of buttons vs what they've already done on the PlayStation 2.)

The point is, if its Bethesda's fault, flat out come out and say: "Look Bethesda, you screwed up and its hurting Sony's reputation of a solid line-up of games and what Sony have done this year to try and make things right with their fanbase." What then happens is the mindset therefore changes. We've seen otherwise capable on the PlayStation 3 that having 256MB here and 256MB there can still prove to have an amazing and still competitive push against 512MB RAM overall dedicated to whatever the developer may see and Uncharted 3 still claims BEST GRAPHICS both by G4, Spike, Gametrailers and here at the XZONE.

The Xbox 360 has definitely found their success this year. We applaud and can acknowledge success where success is found, give them their dues and I claim that Gears of War 3 is the Xbox 360's best game this year and Epic should hold their heads high. I feel so badly they're resistant to the PlayStation 3 but, to each their own. Everyone finds a home somewhere. But Microsoft certainly aren't to blame for a games mistakes. Developers out to know better. The same we see for Nintendo. The Wii may be dated but, Nintendo have still proven time and time again that it sells and great things can be done by developers. We still feel Sony deserves equally as much respect. They've endured hard times this year. Microsoft's Xbox Live could have fallen just as easily to hackers if Anonymous had seen fit to do so. However, Sony had the reputation they did and George Hotz had the door wide open for them to get in. The hardware had been hacked and cracked. Microsoft no question had a huge sigh of relief and I bet went immediately to work to make sure firewalls were up and things were looking good while Sony was forced to humbly come out and explain their error and what they had planed to solve the problem. Microsoft's only response was nothing but respect saying:
"Of course it's regretful that Sony is encountering issues at such a busy time, and Microsoft takes no joy in the problems gamers are having playing their favourite games online."
Call it a plug for Microsoft to make concerning their online service, Microsoft certainly felt for Sony and are thankful it wasn't them.

All were saying IGN, is to play it fair and lay out your hand you're dealt. Get to the point and get across what you're saying. This isn't 'Facebook' where you post: "Had a bad day" and scream for attention like a woman and fish for responses from the community. If such is the case, you need to get your act together and devise a new play to gain reads because, the media are a powerful thing. Sony have worked to build a great relationship with you and the media, and it doesn't take much for the media to topple a gamers choice. Its either Bethesda's fault, or its your own. I don't know if you've ever thought of it as well but, just as Jack Tretton speaks of gamers and their fans being the lifeblood of the company, you're editors aren't the lifeblood of IGN. Your readers are, and its insulting to them and effects them as well simultaneously sparking a war of words with them. Neither Kmart nor Walmart or any other business works to strike hatred between their customers toward one another. Your readers are your lifeblood. Without them, you'd be having difficulties looking for work much like all the return solider's are so be thankful that you have them. They pay your bills. They bring advertising to your website and they support, uplift and uphold you. Things that other sites have to battle extremely hard for that kind of attention and you take it for granted.

We've seen that someone at IGN are viewing our posts as we see our own material show up in their posts. We know you're listening and that your crews scourer Google word-by-word to find any tidbit you can and have stumbled over our own work. Get with it guys and grow up! This isn't here to entertain you. You're here to inform and update. Therefore, do it accurately and set your own personal bias' and issues aside and tell it as it is. We can appreciate though that you post 'OPINION' now to separate your own thoughts. We respect that. Still, get with it!

For all things gaming and all things PlayStation, Xbox 360 and Wii, check back as you bring you all the latest and greatest keeping you inside the X-Gaming Zone every day online right here at the XZONE!

Monday, December 12, 2011

'The Last of Us.' Why This Excites Me (PS3)


Over the weekend, Naughty Dog have announced their newest game coming from a secret second team at their Santa Monica Studios. We've learned about the basic setting for the story, the globe-trotting nature as well as our protagonist. We've learned that famed BEST GRAPHICS developer Naughty Dog will be developing the game that will obviously be exclusive to the PlayStation 3. We've learned that Ellie will be voiced by Ashley Johnson of 'Growing Pains' so many years ago, man has she grown, and Joel will be voiced by Troy Baker of Two-Face fame from Batman: Arkham City. Both of which will be covering their own mo-cap as well. (Nothing however, has been said of Nolan North as to whether he will play a character in the game and stay on at Naughty Dog, whether he will become a Lead at Naughty Dog as a Mo-cap Coach to help other mo-cap actors or whether he has engagements elsewhere.)

An interview was done with Co-President's Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra by the PlayStation Blog following the Spike Video Game Awards and Evan Wells recommended to those wanting to know more about the game to keeping watching the trailer to find those hints as to what we can expect in 'The Last of Us.' So, I took his advice and watched it time and time again. While I'm not a pro at this sort of thing, I can only speculate and could very likely be totally wrong. And this excites me about the game.

While we're still likely waiting until Sony's Press Conference at E3 in 2012 to see more about the gameplay, I really suspect the reason that Mark Richard Davies whom was the Creative Director for Ninja Theory that was once a PS3 exclusive developer responsible for Heavenly Sword and continued on with Ninja Theory with Enslaved: Odyssey to the West and finally surely had something to do with the Devil May Cry reboot Ninja Theory contracted out from Capcom, I think Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is why he's there and the fact the two games share so many commonalities and the post apocalyptic vibe melds so well with 'The Last of Us.' We still don't know whose writing the thing but, Davies I think was brought on primarily with his experience with Enslaved as its primary inspiration was clearly Uncharted as is though Davies has worked on an Uncharted game before. But, I think the relationship that Trip had with Monkey, is something that carries over to the relationship between Ellie and Joel. Its not that sort of Nathan Drake/ Victor Sullivan sort of deal, as that would just be Uncharted all over again, but could be that sort of father/ daughter relationship.

But, as far as gameplay goes, as much as it may seem this game could play like Left 4 Dead, I don't really see it fitting in what Naughty Dog is going for this generation of consoles with their pulp-action adventure genre. With the talent working behind the title its likely to play similarly to Uncharted from a third-person perspective mixing in the sort of gameplay that Monkey and Trip had in Enslaved in which Joel may instruct Ellie through commands to solve puzzles that uses more interaction between two characters in puzzle solving.

What really catches my interest thus far, from what I know, is that we know this game is going be that sort of survival horror game. Lately, zombie games have been all about waiting for them to flood in through the door and tear them apart with gunfire. This is something that, for me as a big survival horror fan myself, has really lost its appeal to the genre and I don't play Resident Evil or Silent Hill anymore.

When I look back to playing Resident Evil on the Gamecube and Resident Evil 2 on the PSX, I often became frantic that I wasn't being frugal with my ammo at all. That I would just place shots to get the zombie out of the way. In Resident Evil on the Gamecube, you also had to burn the body of the zombie or it would come back and you'd have wasted your ammo already and were even more tight for ammo.

When I saw the trailer for 'The Last of Us,' I began to get really excited. This was going to be the survival horror game to get me back into the genre again. I couldn't help but notice that Ellie only had a switch-blade on her and became really excited to open the guys survival bag and find a few unspent shells. This exactly made me think back to those days playing Resident Evil when I was so ammo exhausted, that finding a pack of shells for my gun made me really excited. Ellie only finds a few shells on the body and she's equally as pumped. That was what survival horror was all about. It was an unbelievable force surrounding you that was the horror part, but it was all about making the best of the situation with what you had that made it the survival game. When games started to stray from that genre defining characteristic and became mindless gunfire up against a bunch of slow zombies or having all the ammo you needed at your disposal, it was just horror and no survival.

We can't wait to see what more Naughty Dog have to show us and you can bet that when we learn such, that it'll be right here online keeping you inside the X-Gaming Zone here at the XZONE!

Metal Gear Rising is About Revenge and Vengance (PS3, XBOX)


Even though the trailer had leaked before the VGA's took off, Hideo Kojima still took stage to announce that speculations and rumors would come to a halt concerning the direction that Metal Gear Rising would be taking in the future closing out the night with its trailer at the Spike VGA's last weekend and I think that viewer's were completely shocked by the announcement and since the trailer's release, the forum's and comment sections have been abuzz as to exactly what was shown.

Metal Gear Rising has been retitled: "Metal Gear Rising: Revengence" and has been given a sort of 'Megadeath' look to the games logo and the trailer's audio track sounded like something I would have heard when I was seven or eight watching a commercial for a cartoon when watching Saturday morning cartoons. Unless I'm mistaken as well, Vamp reared his ugly face in the trailer.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Trailer

Now, there have been speculations as to why we've not heard from Konami or Kojima Productions concerning Metal Gear Rising simply because Konami had chosen to can the project. What's interesting is that at E3 as many years ago when Hideo Kojima announced that just as Snake passed the torch to Raiden, he too would be passing the torch to his young producer. But, at the VGA's, it appears there may have been a different Producer standing by his side. We find as well, that Platinum Games of Bayonetta, Vanquish and MadWorld fame will be heading up development of the game which makes sense as when you view the trailer, it visually has a very Platinum Games look to it.

However, once fans got a look at the trailer, it was then weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Given that the game has not been released yet and we still have yet to get our hands on it, at first glance, any Metal Gear Solid fan knows this isn't typical Metal Gear. Stealth has been stripped away, it appears, and the game seems to have become a Ninja Gaiden sort of game hacking off limbs and watching blood fly everywhere. On the contrary, it was possible to play Metal Gear Solid 3 without killing a soul leaving your conscience unscathed. As well, Raiden almost appears to practically be a god in this game as he trailer shows him battling a Metal Gear and he picks it up in some sort of Flintstones Bam-Bam manner and hucks it across the screen as though it were filled with helium after jetting up onto it and running across it and de-wiring the unit.

The trailer, however clearly states that Metal Gear is apparently being rebooted, which when this is heard gives the same impression that Tomb Raider, Devil May Cry and so many other games getting the face lift have been giving. But, is a reboot really what Metal Gear really needs? It even shows that Solid was synonomous was Snake as the title no longer reads Metal Gear Solid Rising: Revengeance. No the series is definitely taking a turn and Raiden will be doing things a little bit differently.

Finally, we've learned that where Metal Gear Rising was to take place before Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, it now will take place following Metal Gear Solid 4. We look forward to seeing this game in the near future but expect it to be a very different sort of Metal Gear experience.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

How Will 'The Last of Us' Fare Against Uncharted?(PS3)


Well, it seems that those crazy dogs down in Santa Monica at Naughty Dog Inc. are at it again this time working on 'The Last of Us' that's obviously, exclusive to the PlayStation 3. It appears to run on the same Naughty Dog Engine that Uncharted ran on and by the looks of the trailer shown at the VGA's, tells of a girl named Ellie, who seriously looks like Ellen Page and may be voiced by her? Eh? No? Alright... and Joel, a guy that looks sort of like Dom Santiago from Gears of War 3 and is going to be a zombie survival game that we thought was rumored to be made my Epic Games as they may have hinted so long ago.

Naughty Dog is therefore apparently hard at work on a zombie sort of game, which we've seen a lot of in the past. Yet, it really begs the question as to how this sort of a game is going to fare when its pitted up against Naughty Dog's ultra critically acclaimed and Game of the Year franchise. Bruce Straley (Game Director) and Neil Druckman (Creative Director) of Naughty Dog will be helming this project and we're assuming that Neil Druckman has been penning the script as we await maybe to hear that Amy Hennig is penning the script. But, I think that this is a legitimate argument to make and am curious to see if any larger journalist skims over this and it catches on.

You see, for Naughty Dog this generation of consoles has been to lure the guys girlfriend or the kids mother or father in to check out the game thinking the thing is a movie. Did it succeed? Well, not at my place. I lock myself away from the world and get lost in a fictional world. But, that's how this has all gone. The Uncharted Series has always been that sort of PG-13 experience. What's interesting here is that 'The Last of Us' seems to be turning the tides and taking Naughty Dog's reputation into a more mature audience. (Are you following me so far?) This is an argument I made concerning Gears of War sales against Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception sales and it seems Naughty Dog may have won the fight. But, for Naughty Dog, this is big.

When you look back at Crash Bandicoot or Jak & Daxter, these are games that are designed for a really broad audience. These were EVERYONE rated games. Jak & Daxter followed right along until probably Jak 3 flipped the tables and totally went for a Teen audience that was still tolerable by most parents.

At the end of the day, I couldn't be more excited by this game and really looking forward to playing it. I've been getting tired of zombie games and have been ready for something new. The fact that this game could likely be taking place in New York is cliche for games but, I know Naughty Dog's reputation and they've NEVER let their gamers down. Neil Druckman did incredibly well with Uncharted 2 though, Eye of Indra was poorly written. I'm hoping as well that Naughty Dog really doesn't try to overdo it. If you've been paying close attention to the media and gaming in detail, Bulletstorm was brought up as well as its dialogue. I've got some fairly sensitive ears and I do come a religious background but, I hope that this is going to be a pretty tame game.

Really when all is said and done, its a given at the moment Joel blows the head off of the infected that Naughty Dog are headed into uncharted territory (no pun intended), but this is no question going to be a Mature rated game. The ESRB doesn't need to post up RP's for everything. But the question remains the same, can Naughty Dog really pull this off? Their fanbase is now centered in clearly child driven and family based content not over doing themselves. Its a really complicated thought, I suppose but, I'm really excited to see it when all is said and done.

We've also learned that Enslaved: Odyssey to the West Lead Designer Mark Richard Davies has been on board Naughty Dog working on 'The Last of Us' rather than Uncharted 3. At first glance it appears as though things have come full circle as Enslaved was patterned after Uncharted as though it were a setup and now the games Lead Designer goes to Naughty Dog to work with the original inspirer's bringing with him his post apocalyptic idea's to meld with Naughty Dog undeniable talent and constantly applauded Best Graphics and Game of the Year reputation. It will be interesting to see how Naughty Dog's new second team under the direction of Davies, Druckman and Straley do to live up to that reputation.

BioWare's Next Project Is For EA: Command & Conquer (PC, PS3, XBOX)



Who in the world would have ever expected BioWare to contract out a game for Electronic Arts to follow up their Mass Effect franchise? What does EA have BioWare up to? Well, BioWare will be learning how to use a new Engine altogether using EA's not Crytek Engine 3, but using and promoting Dice's Frostbite 2 which is really impressive. While nothing has been announced as far as platform goes, it looks like primarily PC for now but, that doesn't mean that PlayStation Move can't be integrated into the game as well as Kinect functionality. Heck, the game would even work well with Nintendo's Wii U controller selecting units and guiding them using A STYLUS! Sync the PlayStation Vita to the PS3 to work likewise. You don't always need a mouse for selection you know.

Anyway, we're bring more news as we learn more news. But, this baffles us that BioWare's next project is indeed Command & Conquer: Generals 2. Its so different! But, we're excited.

What Our Game of the Year Was and Why We Felt It Deserved 'Game of the Year!' (3DS, ANDROID, iOS, PC, PS3, VITA, WII, XBOX

By Neal "NeoMahi" Evans

"There are many that may come close to the crown and the glory thereof but, to come close is just never good enough. To be crowned King, to win the Gold Medal, you can never come close; because to come close is to hit the line or straddle that line and when you straddle that line, there's always that chance you can still falter. No, coming close is never good enough, you always need to be spot on. Those that are spot on, are ALWAYS the champions that never say 'DIE.' "

So its that time of the year and the XZONE has been really excited to go through the process of selecting our FIRST EVER 'Game of the Year.' But, before we go into all of that, its extremely important to us that we first thank all those who helped us along in the process. If it were solely up to me one, things would have gone a different direction and there's no possible way I could ever really get through and finely detail every game out there. I don't think any mortal man ever could have. So, its important to thank all of them as well as those who support us everyday including those who support our work. Its an honor to be part of the gaming community.

I can recall so many years ago how I would watch the Video Game Awards through various sites on the internet and recently on television but, its something else to actually be part of the process and its a lot of work. My only regret really, is the talent needed to properly convey your thoughts with limited technology at our disposal. Never-the-less, I look at it all at the end of the day and I'm happy with the decisions that we came too. Granted, the final outcome likely didn't please as many as would have liked to have seen things go a different way but, if it were left up to the fan base every year, 'Call of Duty' would always win. However, we don't want the fanbase to feel left out and when it really comes down to it and the fanbase, well then, it most certainly was your pick of the year:

2011 XZONE Gamers Choice of The Year!

So, the purpose of this post is basically to explain our choices and why we had chosen them. Now, we're not going to cover them all but, a select few but, without further delay, here we go:


We know without question that Mark Hamill plays an excellent Joker in Batman Arkham City as well as Ellen Mclain and Rosylind Ayres; and Nolan North. But, while the vocal's take a beating inside that ADR booth, what Naughty Dog had chosen to gather the best performance possible did in fact require a very physically demanding performance as well. The physical demand for Uncharted even with Richard McGonagle (Victor "Sully" Sullivan BEST ACTOR PERFORMANCE AWARD) really requires you to get in and get going. When pitted up against Nolan North, its definitely arguable but, which I would have taken, but taken into account all of those little subtleties of Richards, it all made sense. Everything that gut laugh to now "just wait a Goshdang minute just all makes sense." With Emily Rose (Elena Fisher BEST ACTRESS PERFORMANCE AWARD) its a lot of physical demand and even those who covered the last half of the game as Claudia Black as Chloe Frazer covered the first part, there was that relationship that could clearly be felt. On top of that, each member of the cast for Uncharted didn't cover the ADR recording and then split onto their next gig rather, Naughty Dog spoke countlessly of their involvement in the process and how much a part of the game development they were. Which is why we awarded Emily Rose and Richard McGonagle as your BEST ACTOR AND ACTRESS PERFORMANCE.


When it came down to BEST GRAPHICS, it was actually really tough. While Battlefield 3 looked great, we found ourselves shuffling the most between Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception and Rage. But, when it really came down to it, its what I initially looked at as just having the prettiest picture and I really wanted to pull in Gears of War 3 as well but, when it all came down to it, while Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception was visually stunning with an excellent color pallet, Rage did too but what really separated the too was Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception's lighting and physics. We knew that Richard Lemarchand of Naughty Dog always seemed to compliment the lighting and Naughty Dog was quick to emphasize it at E3, Uncharted 3 clearly has superior lighting while looking at the physics perspective shows how much Naughty Dog worked at all the finer details. We'd seen things crumble and collapse in Battlefield 3, which was impressive, but taking an entire ship and flipping it on its side with the technology Naughty Dog used with its wave system allowing everything to flow on its own with its own personality, its clear that the best idea's that come out of Naughty Dog is during their two or three months in between game development. Uncharted 3's texture detail as well as attention to detail coupled with its physics (which they used the Havoc Engine that shocked us), and its lighting earned Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception our BEST GRAPHICS AWARD and shows that the Naughty Dog Engine continues to the raise the bar.


When we'd chosen our pick for this category, we'd chosen our pick not based on the best motion-control device but how well the games this year utilized their respective motion-control device. If such were the case, Killzone 3 with its Sharpshooter would have likely taken it as though while the Kinect continues to outsell the PlayStation Move, PlayStation Move is still the critically acclaimed motion control device with its precision and ease of setup versus Kinect's command area of usage, in the end, we felt that Sony could have really improved their library of Move titles as it appears Sony has more emphasis on pushing 3D we would think as games like Medieval Move: Deadmund's Quest and PlayStation Move Heroes just leave us longing for 'Sorcery' already. No, at the end of the day, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword really showed off what the Wiimotion Plus was capable of doing. Being probably the now, least impressive device, it found whatever way possible there was to use motion control at its optimal. Each enemy you'd battle seemed to have its own strategy rather than the typical just flailing your arms about frantically. Its almost like taking 'Shadow of the Colossus' and giving it Move support. Because of that emphasis and polish, we're sorry Dance Central 2 and Child of Eden, Dance Central we've experienced before and its the next installment, we've got to give it to Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword as our BEST MOTION-CONTROLLED GAME. It was something that really got the hardcore gamer to get up and play a motion-controlled game and that's a feat in and of itself.


With our pick for this category, Forza 4 just had something special with it. While Microsoft never really seemed to standby their claim that Forza 4 was best experienced with Kinect, Microsoft realized that it couldn't deliver 100% on that claim. The controls didn't work as well as they could with Kinect in Forza 4, Microsoft shipped an actual racing wheel that physically put something in the gamers hand. Kinect isn't really even required for the racing wheel. However, the Kinect was merely a bonus and what edged out Forza 4 against the competition. Having the ability to physically explore the car as though you were at the Detroit Car Show was Microsoft and their development studio's big emphasis anyway. It was a racing game, but it was also a simulation game and visual feast. I personally believe Microsoft still has a ways to go to prove its the superior motion-control device and standby their claim its really a 'you're the controller' experience, but Forza 4 is a great start in that direction that allows the game to offer more than the competition and win Forza 4 our BEST RACING GAME AWARD.


This was a really difficult category as well. The question that pop's up is really, "What happened to Gears of War 3?" It wasn't even really included in the list of nominees. Well, the big emphasis on the beta was something that we'd heard before from Epic Games. We're putting more of an emphasis on multi-player and so we're going to work out all the kinks and deliver. It almost seemed to be more of a marketing strategy. Epic has been doing multi-player since day one and have a lot of experience in that area but honestly, as a HUGE Gears of War fan, I was pretty letdown in the end. While Horde 2.0 really changed things up, it wasn't enough to really hold my attention. The games found itself resting on my shelf.

It finally came down to Battlefield 3 and Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. With Uncharted 3, putting multi-player in the game was never a bad choice or bad decision. Its got to be one of the best decisions made by Naughty Dog and Sony to include it. It most certainly adds to the lifespan of the game and the kickback addition by the games Lead Multi-player designer was brilliant and their co-op is where they really shine. But, with all that said, I think I found Uncharted 2: Among Thieves to really grasp and hang onto my multi-player time the most. Uncharted 3 makes great and improving strides with weapon customization and all, but had it been my way, Uncharted 3 would have taken the award but, at the end of the day, we feel Battlefield 3 just seems to have a little bit more and thus edges out Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception placing Battlefield 3 as this years BEST MULTI-PLAYER.


When it really came down to it, it was the choice between Disney Epic Mickey and Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. When we heard there could have been the possibility of Epic Mickey coming to PlayStation 3, we started to get really excited that Warren Specter would polish out a lot of the bugs that Epic Mickey had to perfect his craft and we would have loved to see the game in HD. Disney Epic Mickey brought back nostalgia for me of my days playing Mickey Mania on the Sega Genesis. It had a really fun style of gameplay and in ways really shows what motion-control could do. However, the game suffered from a lot of bugs and a glitchy camera that could have been given more attention and made the experience better.

When it really came down to it, Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword did it in spades and truly exemplifies the Wii and very best of Zelda. It's clearly what Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess should have been on the Wii rather than as the Gamecube port. You really see the relationship between Zelda and Link in this game and it really overall tells a better story and as we mentioned before, and just really seems to use the Wiimotion Plus best. Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword easily is and gets our BEST WII GAME AWARD.


Sony has really worked hard to get out a lot of quality made exclusives and really surpass the competition in doing so and I believe Sony still does it the best. Sony to me, is much like Sega was back in there day before Sammy bought them out. Sega had a knack for seeking out the best and most talented creators. What frustrates the rest of the gaming universe both fanboy's console developers alike is Sony quiring those developers. Its really hard to know or see what happens behind those closed doors and how Sony goes about it but Sony really knows how to get the best of their crew.

It came down to InFamous 2, Batman: Arkham City and Uncharted 3. We can't not look at Batman: Arkham City and say that it isn't, because it is but, what we wanted out of this category was something that best exemplified the PlayStation 3 in all its aspects, not gaming as a whole across multiple-platforms. So, when it came down to the PS3 specifically, it had to be InFamous 2 or Uncharted 3. For Sucker Punch Studios and Naughty Dog, they really care about the PlayStation platform. Remember that during their development, Sucker Punch Studio's hadn't even been acquired by Sony Computer Entertainment yet. Its all about drawing the most out of the platform even to the extent of downloadable content and support the two studios give to their games.

When it game down to it though, it was a clear choice that Uncharted 3 best exemplified the PS3 really pushing the console to its limits. Extremely detailed environments and set pieces, well written story and colorful characters, its 3D is unlike any other game out there and easily the best looking 3D game. Naughty Dog are well known and synonymous with pushing the console to its limits and really raising the bar. Thus, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception is our BEST PS3 GAME.


The Xbox 360 has had fewer games that other platforms have this year, in terms of console exclusives. It really wasn't difficult to select the Xbox 360's Game of the Year. We knew from the get-go that Gears of War 3 was the clear winner. While there isn't much of a story for Gears of War 3, I personally have to say that Gears of War 3 is the best looking Xbox 360 game that I've seen. While others completely disagree with me saying that Battlefield 3 is, I can't seem to agree. The Unreal Engine is clearly best suited for the Xbox 360 and much like Naughty Dog for Sony Computer Entertainment knows the PlayStation 3, Epic Games knows the Xbox 360 well having practically developed exclusively for the Xbox 360. Still, Epic Games really did what they could to close out the series with a great ending. It was the brotherhood between the COG. I found it more gripping and heart-tugging than Gears of War 2 was, which I didn't really feel much for Dom. I just couldn't get it. These are rough and tough guys that are supposed to have a soft spot? Almost unbelievable. But, when you have four-player co-op to take through the campaign with your friends, I've not really seen that throughout the whole game's story campaign.

While Gears of War 3 didn't quite make it to Game of the Year caliber, there's no denying no other Xbox 360 game can do it better.


There's no question in my mind how controversial this claim is amongst the gaming community and that's alright. I mean, the Xbox 360 still outsold the PlayStation 3 this year in the end, and they got Call of Duty DLC first, and Kinect was a success right? Well, we'd agree when it comes to sales figures but, when all was said and done, we felt differently. When you look at where Sony has been and how things have changed made it clear. It wasn't about sales this year, it was setting right what once was wrong and taking care of your fanbase.

Sony Computer Entertainment, Sony Corporation and the PlayStation 3 have endured a lot this year. The PlayStation outage was what was believed to have really done the PlayStation 3 is. However, the fact of the matter was that Sony and the PlayStation 3 were the perfect target. The PS3 had just been hacked and Anonymous had everything at their disposal to move in and cause trouble.

I know for a fact, that Microsoft Executives sat back in their chairs having heard what they just did and breathed a HUGE sigh of relief while simultaneously really feeling for Sony. Microsoft not once took a stab at Sony for the events that just transpired. Sony was just selected to be made the example. Microsoft knew just as well that they could have been hacked just as easily as Sony and Xbox Live could have been effected dramatically had Anonymous gone after them. It was a wake-up call to everyone and Sony just so happened to have fallen victim to it. However, Sony dealt with the problem professionally as were acclaimed for their manner of doing so. Sony swept it up, Jack Tretton CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America addressed the issue at E3 this year and when all was said and done with as much as Sony had going at them this year, are only 2 million units behind the Xbox 360.

Sony have also been amazing and releasing exclusive after exclusive this year covering every area even going after the summer drought with InFamous 2 which was excellent! They delivered the PlayStation Vita excellently and they'd really gotten the gaming community excited.

Yes, with all that Sony have gone through this year and still fired back while Microsoft and Nintendo were permitted by luck, to sit back and relax and even learn through 'The Fall,' of the PS3, Sony still managed to maintain solid hardware and keep them coming back, pick up new fans etc, while Xbox 360's sales have not been new comers entirely to the Xbox family, but purchasing new consoles to replace the problem Microsoft has had for four years. Thus, PlayStation 3 and Sony are our console of the year.


That brings us to GAME OF THE YEAR. Each of the three games that came to the table were easily among the best games on all platforms this years. Had we gone five games nominated, which we probably should including Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and probably Portal 2, we felt that when all was said and done, it definitely came down to Skyrim, Batman and Uncharted 3.

Batman: Arkham City was a super-hero unlike any other. Who would have thought a Batman game could have been done so well, let alone any other super-hero game. InFamous 2 nearly took the place of Batman: Arkham City but, we couldn't deny Batman the nominee. A well casted set of characters set in the open world was exactly the idea we were looking for. While InFamous 2 was open world, the personality to games villains just didn't pull it off like Arkham City did. It felt like a Christopher Nolan-style game likely borrowing the personality from The Dark Knight even with its Han's Zimmer-esk sort of musical score. It was the complete package. Finally, the game really made you feel like a super hero and really told a great story. However, the open world nature of Batman: Arkham City was a nice touch and changed things up, but it just wasn't how an open world typically is exemplified. I found myself thinking "Wow, this is really cool!" at first, and then it just became a chore with buildings getting in the way when I needed to get somewhere quickly when I was already crunched for time. The combat system was really all about simplicity and for the most part it succeeded. However, there were frustrating moments where even the more casual gamer would have a difficult time and the battle system felt clunky. It was vastly an improvement over the previous Batman game and seemed to be more compatible over the multiple platforms it was on, rather than that separation.

When you think of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, it totally blows your mind. For me, Skyrim was my first ever Elder Scroll's game I've ever played and I certainly wasn't disappointed by any means. Skyrim seemed to the sort of game non-Elder Scrolls fans could help but check out, and when they were, they welcomed into this expansive universe with literally endless hours of gameplay. Its the game that you play and then walk into work and ask everyone where they were at, what they discovered, and how they were playing their scenario to gain tips from them on how to play better (if you're not an Elder Scrolls Vet). There are epic battles and I'd never found it so entertaining to pillage and gather everything you could to sell it off. Skyrim is what Fable maybe should have been and it reminds me of that experience that PS3 gamers can get in on finally. I love gathering those things and selling them, if it means slowing me down on the map to sell and get money, buy a house and even store things there. Custom armor, whatever. Its just an expansive game. However, it didn't quite make it as such a massive game was divided amongst as many platforms. When the game released, its been plagued with bugs that Bethesda is having difficulties fixing. Especially on the PlayStation 3. At the end of the day, the game definitely needed more polish.

When we thought of not only Game of the Year, Developer of the Year had to go hand in hand with perfection. When we awarded Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception and Naughty Dog Game of the Year and Developer of the Year Uncharted 3 to Game of the Year Uncharted 2: Among Thieves a few years back and added too it. It was all about set piece's and attention to detail when it came to graphics, it was about getting the best out of your actors and actress' for their performance and really focusing on that storyline. Even the combat system, that totally reminds me a 'Shenmue' back on the Dreamcast. The game was polished and perfected and I believe the only update required was minor tweaking of the aim, but with cinematic style and amazing graphics, set-pieces etc, Uncharted 3 easily claims that prize. Hand-in-hand with that game is its developer Naughty Dog. Naughty Dog have always had an excellent track record. They love getting out and talking with the fans of the game and really promoting their product. Their events they host with Sony Computer Entertainment to show their not afraid to throw it out there and they always back their games with a lot of support and DLC as well as events. Finally, Naughty Dog are very involved with the gaming industry as a whole. While many think they just sit behind closed doors and work under some Conan the Barbarian in sweat shop with a whip and a roll of duct-tape, Naughty Dog are out sharing their tech and idea's with the gaming community.

In The End

Its really all about the love of the game and playing pretty much anything you can get your hands on and really enjoying each aspect. Its a shame, at the moment that Nintendo's console has been so limiting but the developers continue to push past that and find ways to impress and while Legend of Zelda does that, its definitely time for Nintendo to bring something new and fresh. With games like Uncharted, we see how the cinema and gaming go hand-in-hand and beauty and that games don't have to be flooded with alianistic beings. Batman: Arkham City shows us that anyone can step into the shoes of a super-hero and take us on a wild ride taking down villain after villain. Portal 2 shows us that things don't always have to be serious, but can have an art and a humoristic style to them that we can laugh. The gaming industry lacks in that which I think Portal 2 and Ratchet & Clank can really only pull off. Skyrim we find there can endless hours of gameplay at our fingertips and that new territory can be explored and new area's explored.

2011 has been an excellent year for gaming and we've loved every moment of it. They're have been good, there have been bad and there have been dreadfully awful, but we love it, I still have a million games to play to catch up and I can't wait to see what gaming has in store for next year.

Epic Games Announces Fortnite


Cliff Bleszinski was at the VGA's tonight to announce their big announcement which we discovered is titled Fort Nite. While we don't know exactly who within Epic Games will be developing it or whether Epic Games themselves will be developing. It almost looks like it could be a downloadable game. While nothing was made mention as to which platform or whether it would intergrate motion control like Kinect, PlayStation Move or Wiimotion Plus or Wii U, we've yet to discover. Nether-the-less, is this the Zombie game rumored to come from Epic? It wasn't announced as a PS3 exclusive, again no platform was mentioned for the game so we'll have to find out in the coming weeks. But, here you go. Epic Games "Fortnite."

From Epic Games

Sony's Big PS3 Exclusive 'The Last of Us' Revealed! (PS3)


Sony Computer Entertainment have announced their new PlayStation 3 Exclusive "The Last of Us" coming from their beloved studio in Santa Monica, CA and the creators of the Uncharted franchise NAUGHTY DOG! It really a wonder this hasn't leaked out. Should have known considering it was practically in plain site in an Uncharted game. But, how have Naughty Dog managed to make time for this game? Apparently they've expanded to two teams according to the PlayStation Blog. So now what is team one working on?

Additionally, the trailer explains that this game was shown using PlayStation 3 hardware. So, this is something we can expect on the PS3 and not something for PlayStation 4. If Naughty Dog are given a two year development cycle just as with Uncharted, then we could not be seeing the PlayStation 4 or much of the PlayStation 4 for a while as Sony's big developer right now seems to be Naughty Dog. As well I thought, "Hey, that's Ellen Page, what's that all about?" Ah, two teams at Naughty Dog after moving to a new studio. Wow! Now we want to know what's going on with Epic Games. Anyway, enough jabbing, just watch the trailer.

'The Last of Us'
Developed By Naughty Dog
Published By Sony Computer Entertainment

Check out this link to see how we think The Last of Us Will fare against Uncharted On the Link Below:

Friday, December 9, 2011


HERE WE ARE! IT'S 09 DECEMBER 2011! and it's that time of the year again as the biggest games in the industry are recognized for all of their hard work and one, that's right JUST ONE will be crowned this years 2011 XZONE Game of the Year! Our Nominees for our first ever GAME OF THE YEAR are:

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PC, PS3, XBOX)
Batman: Arkham City (PC, PS3, XBOX)
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (PS3)

As well, the following have been nominee's for:

Batman: Arkham City
Gears of War 3
Forza 4

InFamous 2
Batman: Arkham City
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

Kirby's Return to Dream Land
Disney Epic Mickey
Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Enough of this stalling, lets get to them already shall we! Be sure to check back with us on Saturday as well as we discuss why we chose our 'Best Of' and 'Game of the Year' and why we may not have chosen your's. So, without further delay, dim lights and pull out the goodies.

What Could Sony's 2011 VGA PS3 Exclusive Announcement Be? (PS3)


More information seems to be continually mounting as to what exactly Sony Computer Entertainment have planned to reveal at the VGA's this weekend. GameTrailers and GTTV and Bonus Round Host Geoff Keighley seems to really be pumped and feels really confident concerning this announcement as he's described it as being something nobody would ever expect and coming from a really talented developer and will be exclusive to the PlayStation 3.

What's even more interesting, is Sony's release of a teaser trailer for a game entitled "The Last of Us" that appears to be a post apocalyptic zombie sort of game with screen shots that have been shown with amazing detail and quality. The games trailer is boasted to be all done with In-Game Engine, which we know how Naughty Dog loves to brag about how they do that. They've been extremely busy with Uncharted 3 though, so a Jak & Daxter is likely out of the question. Jak & Daxter with the undead. Right?

We're also led to believe that as of recently with Cliff Bleszinski making an appearance to announce something new and fresh from Epic Games that will be developed in the North Carolina Studios by Epic Games themselves, one wonders if this is likely to be the developer that Geoff Keighley is speaking of. Could Epic Games be helming the exclusive for the PlayStation 3?

On the flip side of the Epic Games coin, remember that Cliff Bleszinski isn't a big fan of the dualshock 3 and seems to always be prepared for Sony's big news announcements to interrupt the momentum Sony's working to gain as Bleszinski is known for having this infatuation with Microsoft evangelizing their tech, dumping on Sony's in the same breath (by which we mean stating how he loves Kinect and how Move is this awkward controller that just clutters up his coffee table with more plastic). Bleszinski almost has this delinquency with Sony. When Sony was set to release Killzone 3, Epic Games and Bleszinski's game Bulletstorm was right there to combat it. When Sony announced a trailer for Uncharted 3 to be shown at last year's VGA's, Bleszinski was on the horn to announce they'd be showing something big that was going to blow the worlds mind. Its a known and proven fact that he likes to step on Sony's toes and attempt to trip them up when he can.

We'd be equally as shocked if Epic Games and Cliff Bleszinski's came appear right next to the PS3 logo. I don't think we'd know what to do with ourselves but, all we can do is wait and wonder and find out in a few short days. Till then, we'll leave you to stew and speculate on your own. As well, could this PS3 exclusive use 'Transfarring' and will be launched simultaneously with the Vita version? Find out Saturday checking it out on SpikeTV or GameTrailers at 8pm ET/5pm PST.

Why Xbox 360 Kinect Is Flooding Homes Throughout the World (XBOX)


The busiest shopping day of the year is now behind us but the shopping season isn't and developers and gaming platform manufacturers still have a few weeks left to move some units before the year comes to a close and the wait then begins for Tax Return Season.

The question that's been on our minds lately is simply: "What happened with sales over the last few weeks?" When you look at the sales numbers, the PlayStation 3 for several months remained consistently ahead of well, everyone outselling the Xbox 360 in pretty much every territory save for the Xbox 360's home turf where the 360 have pretty much staked its claim. While the PlayStation 3 continues to outsell the Xbox 360 in other territories, it seems that Microsoft and their Xbox have dealt the most damage in their home country alone. Perhaps American's are the biggest gaming market in the world? Well, the numbers almost seem to show that.

What' happened, seems to have been that in the single week of Black Friday, Microsoft outsold the competition by a long shot and many of us are led to believe it was all do in part to Microsoft's Motion Control device, Xbox 360 Kinect. A hands free, you're the controller sort of experience that gets your fat butt off the couch and working off that quarter-pounder you'd just downed and the make you sweat out that 2-liter of soda you'd just guzzled. Or, is it not the hardcore gamer snapping up the hardware?

It seems that Microsoft have aggressively gone after the market that Nintendo has been hanging onto so dearly for the past two years. While Microsoft still remains quite a ways behind Nintendo, the many whom believed that Sony would surpass the Xbox 360 this year have been mistaken and will have to look forward to what Sony may have up their sleeve next year fanboy's in hopes that the PlayStation 3 can surpass the 360 finally in total sales worldwide as is predicted by many a gaming analyst.

Its really a mind baffling thought when you think about it. Sony completely laid its hand on the table this year and really dug in releasing powerful exclusives almost consecutively but, it didn't seem to carry enough units though surely the PlayStation 3 has seen this year as their best year ever with record breaking sales. When you look at it, Sony did everything right. Blu-ray's continue to fly out the door and sell. There have been several titles to support the PlayStation Move and their first-party line-up has been nothing short of stellar. How did Microsoft seal this deal and secure the year with only a few exclusives themselves?

Well, is it all credited to the Kinect's success? A powerful piece of tech finally in the home? Well, not exactly. See, the Kinect's home console fanbase, a large number of them have stuck their nose up at the Kinect and refuse to get up off the couch. The software isn't anything of what they're looking for and believe it or not, much of the media believe that the Kinect isn't exactly the superior in motion control devices rather, they would much rather have a Heavy Rain sort of experience with the PlayStation Move's pin point accuracy and have something physically in their hand. Something Wiimotion Plus and Kinect seem to lack.

Well, at the end of the day, what it really comes down to is the fact that the console has dropped in price to the cost of a Wii during Black Friday and so Microsoft have capitalized off their Red Ring of Death once again as their loyal fanbase have set out to restore what once was lost now at a less-expensive price. To top it off, many house moms have grown tired of the Wii experience as well as their sons. Its time to move on to HD. As well, Kinect has moved as many units and Microsoft dropped the price of the Kinect by $50 and those moms whom have had Xbox 360's in their homes that their sons have been playing, can now join the conversation at the local market with other woman whom are playing motion controlled games.

What it all comes down to really, is Microsoft's knack for MARKETING and what Sony FAIL's at achieving. Sony and the PlayStation 3 are synonymous with quality when pitted up against the competition. However, they are unable to properly convey that quality as well as talent for quality software as well. Let's face it, Sony's marketing is pathetic. Not only in marketing with their own products, but selling their products to third-party developers. What I mean by this is simply that Sony lacks the ability to find meaningful DLC that the can contribute. Microsoft spotted Call of Duty and went after it. While its only a month's wait for PS3 gamers, Call of Duty fans aren't exactly that patient. Sony in turn decided to follow Microsoft's example and talked with EA concerning Battlefield. Activision's rival. The thing is, that exclusive content, is only exclusive for a week. That's hardly breaking a sweat for 360 gamers that still majority of them are more partial to Call of Duty.

At the end of the day, look how many Kinect Ads their are out there or that happened during Black Friday. Its purely marketing on Microsoft's end, whether their hardware is quality material or not. They know how to polish it up and sucker the consumer, and they're darn well successful with it and thus, Kinect has completely outsold PlayStation Move.

While we agree the PlayStation Move to be the superior hardware, the software just isn't exactly there to back it up and thus we see that Kinect has claimed its name, and every house mom in the world that has an Xbox 360 in their home are getting in on the action. Literally while many more are purchasing the console just to have that experience or experience it in HD on their new HDTV. Microsoft, we congratulate you on doing the unthinkable and securing your lead for another year.

While we're still waiting to see what Sony has coming up, which they've been really quite about as to their strategy, we'll have to see. The Vita's Memory Stick prices don't seem to be helping the situation either.

Monday, December 5, 2011

2011 XZONE Video Game Awards Nominees Are Here! (3DS, ANDROID, iOS, PC, PS3, VITA, Wii, XBOX)



Its that time of year and for the first time EVER! XZONE will have our Game of the Year Awards right here on Friday December 9th that will post at 9:00 PST. We're excited to be able to post them as well as see how they fare when pitted up in comparison to other gaming sites throughout the Web. We're excited to share with you our favorites and crown this years GAME OF THE YEAR KING! You can check out all of our nominees below. See you Friday! As well, you can check out Saturday afternoon as we post why we chose our game of the year. Its no easy task with so many amazing games but, there can only be one!

To scroll though the list of Nominees, click on the first set of Nominees for GAME OF THE YEAR, and a scroll bar for images will appear below. Simply follow those along to view all the catagories.

Composed By Greg Edmonson
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
PlayStation 3/Naughty Dog/SCEA

Composed By Nick Arundral
Batman: Arkham City
PC, PS3, Xbox 360/ Rocksteady Games/ Warner Interactive

Composed By Mike Morosky
Portal 2
PC, PS3, XBOX/ Valve

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