Gaming in Windows 8 Part 2: Xbox Live Integration with Windows 8 RTM

So I got my RTM edition of Windows 8 downloaded and installed from TechNet this week. Everybody at work was excited, but I think I was the only one who stayed up late and installed it as soon as I could! And of course, now that it’s Friday, it’s time for a gaming post. Obligatory though it may be, I’m excited to bring some cool notes your way. That’s right this is Gaming in Windows 8 – Part 2. Continue reading “Gaming in Windows 8 Part 2: Xbox Live Integration with Windows 8 RTM”

10+ years of video games ripping us off!

Call it link bait, I call it a hint of sarcasm. To say that the games industry has been ripping us off for a long time is a bit of an exaggeration – we’ve been playing the “sales” game with them a long time. But people have been up in arms over the last few years about unlocking content already on the disc. Unfortunately for all of us, this isn’t a new concept and I’ve brought along a little proof that this has been happening for years Continue reading “10+ years of video games ripping us off!”

The summer slump is upon us, again

Video game sales have been in a slump. Although it really seems like the fall (building right up to the ‘holiday shopping season’) is “prime time” for video game releases, the summer usually sees a few blockbuster titles. Just like summer movies, action flicks, there are usually a few hits throughout the summer. The spring is always quiet, leading up to E3 and the rest of “convention season” but what gives with this summer’s dead silence from the games industry?

What have we had to look forward to? The 3DSXL? Not my cup of tea. The Amazing Spider-Man was released, but I haven’t tried it, yet (although Spider-Man games are a guilty pleasure of mine… seriously, check my Xbox Live history). A Lego Batman sequel, and the latest installment of NCAA Football have recently been made available at retail. Beyond that, July’s chart toppers are last year’s games, like BlackOps or the recently price-slashed Batman: Arkham City.

I have to admit, I’m contributing, but I just haven’t seen much out there that I have wanted to play, lately. Not even B-Games. I know the fall is going to pick up, but when the year after year numbers hit consecutive months of slump, it becomes hard for us “gamers” to prove that our industry is more than just a hobby. I suppose every market has its ups and downs, and after it all this is still a multi-billion-dollar-a-year sector. But I’m sure there are more than a few unhappy CEOs with some major companies recording losses last quarter. Still, all of that behind, the advent of Ouya, and the forth-coming Wii U, not to mention some exciting Microsoft Game Studios titles like this fall’s Halo 4 and next spring’s Gears of War: Judgment. Things will certainly pick back up, but it’s time’s like this I have a backlog to keep me busy!

The Backorder: several long games!

As I mentioned in last week’s gaming post, I have been trying to catch up on the Saint’s Row series. I’m only about a third of the way through the first game in the series and I’m thinking I may stop right there, at least for a while. Once I get back to it, I’ll then have to complete it’s sequel, and potentially the third entry in the trilogy. Speaking of trilogy, I need to start Assassin’s Creed: Revelations to continue my trip through Desmond’s lineage, as I’ve already enjoyed Assassin’s Creed, ACII, and AC: Brotherhood. Then some Batman: Arkham City, after I already had a late introduction to Arkham Asylum.

I find myself drawn more and more to those third person, open-world, “sandbox” games. A lot of fun can be had hopping from roof to roof, zip lining to a ledge, or just blowing up a car with a grenade and watching the people scatter in fear. These are video games. Senseless, fun, stress relieving forms of entertainment that allow you to live the fantasy life of a super hero. I never thought of myself of a fan of the Grand Theft Auto series, but GTAIV had so much buzz that I had to play it. When I was immersed in that giant map where you could do nearly anything you wanted, I was hooked.

Wash, rinse, repeat, and out came Red Dead Redemption – which I loved even more than Grand Theft Auto IV. I find myself anxious for GTAV, and for the next entry in the Red Dead saga, as well was excited to play the titles I’ve already mentioned from well established franchises. I’m usually late to the party, that’s the whole reason the backorder ever existed… but I’m looking forward to a few more sequels this year. Call the industry stagnant if you want, but I’m not necessarily looking for a new IP – each entry in the Grand Theft Auto Series is a unique story unto itself – each part of the Assassin’s Creed saga introduces you to a whole new cast of characters… you can call the industry stagnant, but I’m looking forward to this fall – and I need to catch up before it suddenly falls on me!