Monday, October 10, 2011

My thoughts on this domain

Alright, this has been bothering me for a while now, so I figure I might as well share my thoughts about this and see what everyone else thinks.

Basically, back in February 2006 (the day the Olympic flame was lit actually), I purchased the domain name (cause some asshole stole from under me, and has been trying to sell it back to me at a premium ever since). For the first few years after having created it was incredibly active and I used it almost every day and has definitely become a pretty large part of my life.

But recently, it has become painstakingly obvious that the domain has lost its appeal. It is rarely updated and usually remains dormant for months at a time. Right now, its only purpose is hosting podcast episodes, for a podcast I rarely ever have the time to record any more. So, what should I do?

Well, to be painfully obvious, I have been considering shutting it down. Because let’s face it. The layout is ugly and dated, no one who follows what I do actually goes there, and I never update it. Not to mention it costs me around $100 per year to host. So, here is what I propose.
In my opinion, the most reasonable course of action would be to do a total backup of everything hosted on the server, switch to GoDaddy’s free hosting plan, hold the domain and just have it redirect to my YouTube channel.

By holding the domain, I can revisit it once things finally settle down in my life and I have time to devote to it. By keeping the free hosting plan, I can still post small pages there and host some files, if need be. And it will only cost me around $10 per year to hold the domain.
Now, in all honesty, once things finally do “settle down” and I do have to devote to the site, it will, in all honesty probably serve an entirely different purpose. Now, as many of you know, I am a computer science major, hoping to become a game developer upon graduating. When the site returns, it will more than likely serve the purpose of promoting games that I am making, rather than reporting about games other companies in the industry are designing.

Sadly, this probably means an unfortunate end to the podcast. I really don’t want it to come to that, but let’s face it, people weren’t being very well informed based on our infrequent record and release schedule. Though it may return in some form in the future.

So, what do you all think? Trust me, this was by no means an impulsive proposal and probably should have come a lot sooner in retrospect. It’s also one of the hardest realities I’ve ever had to accept. GamersCast has been a part of my life for the past 7 years, and seeing this era come to a potential is probably much harder on me than it is for most of you. So, please comment and give me your thoughts on this proposal, thanks.

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Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Oblivion 5th Anniversary Edition Announced

For those of you who follow me on YouTube, you probably still hate me for this past year's Oblivion April Fools prank. Well, recently I said that next year I would be making a walkthrough for Oblivion (as well as every other Bethesda Game Studios game). Only problem was, I recorded that April Fools prank back in January, and sold my copy of Oblivion right afterwards, because it was Amazon's "Trade-in Deal of the Day."

Well, now it looks like I have a second chance. I'm going to be double-dipping in Oblivion later this year when Bethesda releases The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - 5 year anniversary edition.

This game will feature everything that came with the Game of the Year Edition of the Game (all the DLC) alongside some sweet new casing, a complete game map of Cyrodill and the Shivering Isles, a documentary on the making of Oblivion, and a $10 coupon off Skyrim.

You'll be getting all of this for an MSRP of $30. The game will be released on July 12th in North America. And will be available on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. I more than likely will be picking up a copy on the release date and will be posting an unboxing video on my YouTube Channel.

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My Initial E3 Press Conference Reactions

Despite having seen all of the press conferences, here I am only going to comment on the one's by the three console manufacturers. Anyways, as you all know Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo's plan for the next year is now out of the bag and we know what to expect. Well, what does this mean? Well, this Friday, I'm going to try to arrange everyone together for a podcast to decipher it all. But here were my initial reactions that immediately followed each company's press conference.

Microsoft's Conference

Sony's Conference

Nintendo's Conference

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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Adam Shear's E3 2011 Predictions Part 3: Nintendo

Well it comes to the final part of my E3 predictions, Nintendo. In my opinion Nintendo's story for this year is definitely the most interesting with the recent launch of Nintendo 3DS and a drought of first party software on all of its systems. Not only that but Nintendo will be unveiling their next home console at their E3 press conference. It looks to be exciting and all of the current information makes it easy to predict what will happen. Nintendo has been more open this year than in the past but they still somehow have so much to still unveil. Remember, what you are about to read are my predictions and opinions so take it all in with a grain of salt.

First, let's focus on Wii games. Nintendo has not released much for Wii for the first half of this year. Their holiday lineup for 2010 was spectacular with Donkey Kong, Kirby, and Metroid leading the pack. The biggest Wii title for the first half of 2011 is Wii Play Motion which is somewhat sad. Obviously Nintendo is going to reveal some new Wii games to come out this holiday season. The only holiday showstopper we know of is The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. There will no doubt be new information and I think Nintendo will also reveal a release date for Skyward Sword and will make it clear that this will be the year of Zelda. The 25th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda is also this year and Nintendo might tease their plans which they promise to be big. Another possible Wii game I think is Pokemon. Nintendo already confirmed that a new Pokemon game is in the works for Wii. It would make complete sense for it to be a sequel to the failed Pokemon Battle Revolution to feature the Black and White Pokemon. Again, this is just a guess but if it were true, it's gotta have some sort of single player mode that will keep fans coming back. There might also be more surprises for Wii like localizations of interesting games to recently hit Japan like Pandora's Tower and The Last Story.

For the Nintendo DS, there won't be much going on. I wouldn't be surprised if Nintendo did not talk about Nintendo DS at all. I would still predict that the newest DS games to hit Japan like the Pokemon typing game and the new Kirby game will come to America later this year.

Nintendo 3DS will have the most interesting showcase of games out of all of Nintendo's existing consoles. The launch of the eShop will take place just hours before Nintendo's E3 press conference begins and I'm sure Nintendo will comment on it. I'm also hoping that 3D trailers for most or all of the new 3DS games will be available to stream and/or download from the eShop. New eShop content will definitely be shown. More 3D classics and at least two 1st party 3DSWare titles. I also think Nintendo might show off new AR and Streetpass games to download via the eShop. It's a stretch but it's definitely possible.

There will be a decent amount of downloadable 3DS titles but the amount of retail 3DS games shown will be enormous. Super Mario will definitely lead the pack as the marquee 3DS title for 2011. Kid Icarus: Uprising will also be important and will most likely receive a release date at the press conference. I also believe Star Fox 64 3D will be given a US release date or at least a release window. It hits Japan next month so the wait can't be too long. There are rumors going around that Mario Kart 3DS scheduled for release later this year might have been delayed to 2012. No matter what happens to the release date of the game, E3 2011 will hold its big debut and I'm sure Nintendo will have new game modes and features to surprise all Mario Kart players. Other 3DS games coming in 2012 like Animal Crossing and Paper Mario might get new trailers and playable demos on the show floor but there probably won't be much new info on those. 3rd party 3DS titles will also be important with Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D leading the pack.

One thing many people forget about is that Nintendo aims to make Nintendo 3DS a 3D entertainment platform. I think Nintendo might talk about an update for 3DS that allows 3D video recording but I honestly think that feature will make its way instead to the first redesign of Nintendo 3DS which will probably have better cameras. They pretty much have to talk about 3D movies and I really hope they are available on game cards instead of being downloadable or streamable. I believe either Disney or Dreamworks will be the first major studio on board. They have a lot of great 3D content that appeals to all types of people. I also think they will give a release date for Netflix on 3DS but I don't expect it to support 3D movies until maybe 2012. I could be wrong but we'll see.

But of course there's only one thing most people are interested in seeing and that is Project Cafe, the supposed codename for Nintendo's next console. So far the only things that have been confirmed is that it will be playable at E3 and it has enough processing power to match the graphical quality of its HD competitors, and obviously it will also be in HD. There have also been rumors of a six inch touch screen on the controller. This is a possibility but its probably not as crazy as everyone thinks. Nintendo usually aims to make a profit while keeping cost low. I don't think they will announce a final name at the show but maybe the real codename. Keep in mind, Nintendo never confirmed their new console was codenamed Project Cafe. Some journalists just said that and it kind of caught on. I believe it will exceed the power of PS3 but for disc format use a proprietary disc that can hold a decent amount of data, anywhere from 15-30GB minimum. There will be something unique about it and it will shock everyone. Figuring out how to please the hardcore and casual markets is easier said than done but Nintendo has got it figured out.

As for games, there will be mostly tech demos utilizing new innovations in control and interface. While new games might not be announced, I can pretty much guarantee that you'll see Mario, Link, Samus, and more in beautiful HD. Nintendo will probably announce a new Smash Bros. game and leave it at that, its probably years away. As for third parties, Nintendo's main goal with this new console is to bring the third parties back to Nintendo. The biggest rumor is that Rockstar Games is planning to bring Grand Theft Auto V to the new Nintendo console. This is probably believable. Rockstar has definitely been at work on the next GTA game for the last three years so I would not be surprised to see the first trailer exclusively at Nintendo's press conference. I would also expect Activision to be on board with a Call of Duty game at launch and obviously EA will put Madden out on day one as they always do. In terms of a release date and price, I can guarantee we won't hear a price but in terms of a release date, they will definitely announce what season in 2012 its coming out whether that is Spring or Fall.

Nintendo's press conference has the most potential to be amazing and I believe Nintendo will deliver and excite gamers even more than they did last year. See if I'm right and watch Nintendo's press conference on June 7 at 12pm EST. Check it out streaming live at and keep an eye on this news for the updates.

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Adam Shear's E3 2011 Predictions Part 2: Sony

Now for part two of my E3 predictions, Sony. Sony is easily the most open out of the big three. They were not at all afraid to reveal the majority of their 2011 lineup by the end of 2010. Even with all we know, there still are surprises. Not only is Sony's press conference about PS3, it is also about NGP, Sony's next portable system which they unveiled earlier this year. Just remember that these are all predictions and everything I am writing is just my opinion based on fact, not actual fact.

On the PS3 side it is all about two things. The first is once again apologizing for the long PSN outage. By E3 the PlayStation Store pretty much has to be back online. The second thing is that it's all about the games. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One, Resistance 3, Twisted Metal, and more will all be shown via either new trailers, on stage demonstrations, or both. New details about all these games will definitely be revealed. I believe The Last Guardian will also make an appearance due to high demand. The Last Guardian is definitely a late 2012 or early 2013 title and I would not except Sony to talk much about it. Starhawk, another title not coming this year will also probably make an E3 appearance as well.

There's no doubt that there are also more games than what we know of. There definitely will be surprises coming this year. Sly 4 was teased in The Sly Collection but I don't think it will get an E3 reveal. Sucker Punch just wrapped up inFamous 2 and I'm sure that now they are deep into production of Sly if that is their next title. If so, I'd expect to be at next year's E3 rather than this year. I don't really know what other surprises there will be but there will be reveals for games coming this year.

PlayStation Move will also be a huge focus for Sony. Support for Move is currently lacking and Sony will now reveal some of the Move exclusive games they are working on including Sorcery which was shown at last year's E3. Sorcery will probably release either later this year or early next year. LittleBigPlanet 2 is receiving an update so PlayStation Move can now be used in levels. Sony might show that off at their press conference but I'm sure no matter what, there will be some sort of announcement about LittleBigPlanet 2's first major update. Third parties are also probably making a some content for Move and if so, some of it will be showcased at the press conference. It won't be much though. Kinect definitely has more third party companies involved.

The next major focus will be NGP. We will definitely get a final name and at least a release window for Japan and probably the US as well. Considering its a US show, I would expect the US launch window to be revealed. It might be too early for a price but if not, I think Sony will price NGP around $300-$350 for the Wi-Fi only model. The Wi-Fi + 3G model will probably be $400 minimum.

Games will be a primary focus obviously and in terms of first party games, there's no doubt Uncharted for NGP will be the killer app for the system. Others like Little Deviants which were previously shown will also be expanded upon at Sony's E3 press conference. Third parties will also be a focus and I'm 100% positive that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (or some other Call of Duty game) for NGP does exist and will make its debut at E3. Call of Duty was already confirmed for NGP but showing it will be unlike anything anyone has seen from handheld gaming and no doubt that and Uncharted will be exactly what NGP needs at launch. Many NGP games will debut at E3 and while I have no idea what many of them are, it certainly will be exciting.

To see if I'm right, tune into Sony's E3 press conference live on June 6 at 8pm EST. There are plenty of ways to check it out including the PlayStation Blog and even PlayStation Home.

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Friday, May 20, 2011

PlayStation Store to Return May 24th

At long last, the PlayStation Store will be making its triumphant return on May 24th after the month long outage that crippled PS3 and PSP owners worldwide. Alongside it's return is Sony's welcome package that will entitle PSN users to their choice of two games. PS3 owners can choose between free copies of:

  • Dead Nation

  • inFAMOUS

  • LittleBigPlanet

  • Super Stardust HD

  • Wipeout HD + Fury

  • And PSP owners can also choose between the following:

    • LittleBigPlanet (PSP)
    • ModNation Racers
    • Pursuit Force
    • Killzone Liberation

    As part of the welcome back, all premium services will have the appropriate allotted time added on to their services, and in addition to that, everyone will receive:

    • A selection of “On Us” rental movie titles will be available to PlayStation Network customers over one weekend, where Video Service is available. Those titles will be announced soon.
    • 30 days free PlayStation Plus membership for non PlayStation Plus subscribers.
    • Existing PlayStation Plus subscribers will receive an additional 60 days of free subscription.
    • Existing Music Unlimited Premium Trial subscription members will receive an additional 30 days of free premium subscription.
    • Additional 30 days + time lost for existing members of Music Unlimited Premium/Basic subscription free of charge for existing Premium/Basic members.
    • To welcome users Home, PlayStation Home will be offering 100 free virtual items. Additional free content will be released soon, including the next addition to the Home Mansion personal space, and Ooblag’s Alien Casino, an exclusive game.

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    Adam Shear's E3 2011 Predictions Part 1: Microsoft

    Well, it is that time of year again. The largest gaming expo in the world otherwise known as E3 is almost upon us and everyone is making bets as to what the hottest games of the show will be. This week I will be sharing what I think Microsoft has in store for this year's show. They certainly have kept quiet since the last E3 and have not revealed much of their 2011 lineup. Will Microsoft has something other than Gears of War 3 and Forza Motorsport 4 to keep hardcore gamers happy? Will Kinect have a software lineup worth drooling over? I think I've got this figured out.

    Microsoft in recent years has taken Nintendo's usual strategy and has kept quiet during most of the year while going all out with announcements at E3. Microsoft also usually focuses on what is coming during the holiday season leaving a couple of teases for 2012 games. I believe Microsoft will not have a weak lineup of games but I certainly do not think it will be as strong as Nintendo and Sony, especially considering Nintendo and Sony will be showing off new hardware. Microsoft will have to show off plenty of Kinect games and Xbox 360 games. I also think a small portion of their press conference will be devoted to games coming to Windows Phone 7, considering it is also a gaming platform from Microsoft.

    What games do I think will be at Microsoft's E3 press conference? I can say without a doubt that they will probably open the show with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. If not, they will definitely have a demo sometime during the show. Microsoft and Activision still have their exclusive Call of Duty DLC deal going on so Microsoft's press conference would be the one where Modern Warfare 3 makes it's debut. More details will also be shared on Gears of War 3 and Forza Motorsport 4. Microsoft will also most likely reveal 2-4 first party games they are developing with at least one coming this year, another also coming this year on Kinect, and at least one or two more for 2012.

    I think the biggest focus of Microsoft's E3 press conference will be Kinect. More Kinect games will probably be shown in the span of their E3 press conference than games currently out for Kinect. A good amount of them will be hardcore. The only one we know of that Microsoft is involved in is Star Wars Kinect which is being published by them and developed by LucasArts. That will be one of their big games. Another will be a more casual title that was recently leaked called My Amazing Story. This is not official yet but there have been several leaks saying that this is coming. It's supposedly an action adventure game with scary monsters and special costumes that give the player abilities. If this game is real, I would expect it to have a similar art style to Kinect Adventures. Another game I expect to see is Gears of War Kinect which will probably release shortly after E3. Supposedly the announcement of the game was scheduled for the Spike VGA's but shortly after was pulled out with Microsoft saying there was a better time and place for the announcement that was rumored to be Gears of War Kinect. E3 is obviously the best place they have to show it. This delay also might reveal that Microsoft's lineup is pretty weak and they need to hold back their stronger titles for the Holiday season as they did with Gears of War 3.

    Third party Kinect support will also be huge. I wouldn't be surprised if Dance Central 2 is announced. Dance Central is Harmonix's new money making machine and rushing a sequel out while its still cool would be a smart idea. A lot of new third party Kinect titles will be announced and I'm sure a good amount of them will be hardcore.

    Microsoft will also share details on the Fall dashboard update as they usually do. I'm sure more entertainment services will come to Xbox 360. YouTube is definitely building applications for game consoles so I would say YouTube is a likely bet as are other video streaming services like Vudu. I will also say there is a 100% chance that VideoKinect will be turned into Skype for Xbox 360 due to the recent acquisition of Skype by Microsoft. It would also be smart if they made the dashboard more Kinect friendly and adapted the Xbox Live Marketplace for the Kinect sensor. It's a possibility but I'm not counting on it.

    Microsoft's lineup is pretty secretive but I'm sure they have a lot up their sleeve. I am probably right with many of my predictions but also probably very wrong with others. Microsoft is really gonna be dependent on third parties to supply the big games for both Xbox 360 and Kinect. We will find out all the real details on June 6. Come back next week as I discuss my predictions for what Sony will be showing at E3.

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    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    Review: Spongebob Squigglepants for Nintendo 3DS

    Spongbob Squarepants is easily the most popular children’s cartoon around. Just about every kid and even many adults watch Spongbob’s antics on Nickelodeon multiple times per week. Spongebob Squarepants video games are very popular and the newest one, Spongebob Squigglepants for the uDraw tablet on Wii and Nintendo 3DS is very different from any other Spongebob game around. Although for the most part, the two versions of the game are the same, the Nintendo 3DS version which I got to review also has an exclusive level aside from the addition of stereoscopic 3D. Is Spongebob Squigglepants a game that will entertain more than just younger gamers? Find out in my review.

    Spongebob Squigglepants is basically WarioWare with Spongebob characters put into the mix. You go through microgames which are called nanogames and try your best to keep up as the nanogames as they become quicker and quicker. The nanogames take advantage of the Nintendo 3DS’s touch screen, accelerometer, and circle pad. Patchy the Pirate, the president of the Spongebob fan club acts as your guide as you unlock more microgames and extra minigames. Spongebob Squigglepants also has a drawing application built in which allows players to draw whatever they like and even save their creations to an SD card.

    The game’s graphics are pretty much the same as the Wii version. The art style is very unique and different from any Spongebob game out there. You will be able to see your favorite Spongebob characters in ways you have never seen them before. It is all 2D but looks more like sketched drawings rather than like the cartoon. It’s kind of hard to explain unless you see screenshots or play the game. The 3D effect on Nintendo 3DS is incredibly subtle and just adds a little bit of depth to many of the nanogames. I would have liked to see a lot more effort with making the game 3D but it is clear that WayForward, the dev team that made the game did what they can. The 2D art style is meant more to be two dimensional but the layered look of the 3D works nicely with the 2D drawings. The cutscenes featuring Patchy the Pirate are all live action and in 2D but can sometimes look a bit pixelated. This is probably due to compressing the video files to fit on the 3DS game card. Although it probably would have taken some extra time and effort, a 3D conversion of the 2D live action cutscenes and the main menu could have been good for Spongebob Squigglepants. The soundtrack is very much like Warioware with stable tunes that let you know when you win and lose at microgames.

    There are a lot of things I really like about Spongebob Squigglepants. I love that it is like Warioware and the game gets frantic and crazy. There are over 100 nanogames, each with their own themes and art style and each taking advantage of the 3DS’s touch screen, accelerometer, and circle pad. I love the 2D look of the game, simply because nobody has seen the Spongbob universe in the way it is portrayed in the game. The drawing studio is also great and kids will really have fun drawing with it since there really is not a way on the 3DS to draw pictures and save them to an SD card.

    Spongebob Squigglepants also has plenty of flaws. I really had two major problems when playing it. The first is that the ideas for most of the nanogames were literally taken from Warioware. I’m glad it is in of the same genre but the fact that many of the nanogames are literally microgames from past Warioware titles with Spongebob characters in them really gets me annoyed. Copying something that’s great is not as good as an doing an original take. This in a way should be considered plagiarism. Those who have played Warioware games in the past might get annoyed with this. The next problem is that the game is way too short for most people. I played through the main story mode in an hour. Then, the game forces you to go through all the nanogames again just to unlock some more cut scenes. What’s great is that you can always challenge yourself to beat your high score but most gamers might consider themselves done with the game in just a couple of hours. In no way is Spongebob Squigglepants worth the $40 it’s asking for. It’s worth $15-$20 tops.

    If you have not ever played a game like Spongebob Squigglepants and are someone who likes to compete for a high score, I would suggest looking into trying it out if you’re hungry for a new Nintendo 3DS game. I would not suggest picking it up at it’s current $39.99 price point. Finding it for cheap is great. Young kids will love the game. Adult gamers and Spongebob fans may find the game too short. If the game were worth a lot less, I would give it a higher score but I feel as if for being at times unoriginal and short, my final score is fair. This is by no means a bad game, it is just way too overpriced.

    Final Score: 6.0

    Special thanks to THQ for providing us with a copy of the game for review.

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    Monday, May 09, 2011

    Wii Price Drop and Nintendo Selects Announced

    In a move that is most likely preparing Nintendo for the end of it's current generation console, Nintendo dropped the price of the Nintendo Wii to $149.99. With this price drop, Nintendo is removing Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort from the console purchases and is now instead bundling all Wii Consoles with a copy of Mario Kart Wii and a Wii Wheel (which will match the color of the console purchased).

    Alongside this announcement, Nintendo also announced their "Nintendo Selects" line of games. These game are basically the "Player's Choice" equivalent of this generation. Games which are branded as "Nintendo Selects" receive the branding on the box, as well as a price drop to $19.99.

    The first games in the Nintendo Selects line include, Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Animal Crossing: City Folk, and Mario Super Sluggers. Nintendo is also releasing Wii Sports as standalone software for the system, in case you still want Wii Sports after getting the Mario Kart bundled system.

    The price drop, Mario Kart bundle, and Nintendo Selects line will begin to take effect starting on May 15th.

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    Saturday, April 30, 2011

    New Assassin's Creed Announced

    The newest installment to the Assassin's Creed series has finally been announced. Unfortunately, not much else goes with that announcement. The game will be entitled Assassin's Creed: Revelations and will have a full cover story in the issue of Game Informer and will be given a proper reveal at E3 this June. It can be safely assumed that the game will release for at least the Xbox 360 and PS3. Earlier rumors suggest the game will release around this holiday season.

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    Wednesday, April 27, 2011

    Live Fallout 3 Marathon - May 27th

    Hey everyone,

    Since 2005, we've been here providing you with latest in video game news. And now we want to help take that coverage to the next level. You see, the coverage we give can only be as good as your source, and when you're not actually there to experience announcements first hand, getting all the latest news can be a lot harder than it sounds. So, right now we are going to try and change that.

    In March, we raised nearly $1,000 in our live Ocarina of Time marathon in helping Japan recover from its horrible tsunami. Now, on May 27th we are going to do a live Marathon of Fallout 3, and we're doing this one to help us raise enough money to attend PAX Prime (otherwise known as PAX West) this Summer. PAX Prime takes place from August 26-28 in Seattle, but since we're on the East Coast, for at least Deo Gen Z and I to go is about $1,500 in expenses. So, that's our goal amount for this event.

    But why should you care?

    Well, not only would you get reliable first-hand news straight from PAX, but there are going to be prizes given away throughout the course of the event! Not to mention, since this is a live event, you guys will also play a hand in what choices and paths we take throughout our playthrough of Fallout 3. So, it's going to be a fun time for all!

    In the event that we do not reach our goal, the money we collect, will carry over and be combined with whatever is raised during our next marathon (probably during Thanksgiving Break) to help us attend CES, next January.

    Our live Fallout 3 marathon will take place on Friday, May 27th starting at 8PM (EDT), though our live chat room will open a little over an hour early from the point when we start playing. As with the Ocarina of Time event, the GamersCast Homepage will be replaced with our live stream. After the event, the entire live broadcast will be uploaded to my YouTube Channel.

    More details will be announced as approach the date, and we hope to see you all there!

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    Monday, April 25, 2011

    Editorial: The PlayStation Network Outage Survival Guide

    Hello friends, if you are reading this, you may have realized that there has been a PlayStation Network outage for an extended period of time. It's been five long days already with probably a few more on the horizon. Certainly by now there are riots in the streets, protests, Nintendo fans celebrating the fact that their method of online gaming is not the worst out there while this outage continues on, as well as grown men in fetal positions checking the status of the outage every minute. Certainly there are ways to lessen the pain of not being able to play online and I have those tips just for you with my own handy dandy PlayStation Network outage survival guide.

    1. Play games in single player mode: There are many people who only play multiplayer games like Call of Duty. Little do they realize that these games also have single player modes. Time for COD enthusiasts on PS3 to take a break from leveling up to try beating the campaign. There are plenty of people who have not touched this mode and it is a sad sight to see. If you are looking to buy a new single player game to keep your thumbs busy during the outage, check out masterpieces such as Heavy Rain, Mass Effect 2, any Ratchet and Clank Future game, God of War III, and many more. There are tons of amazing single player games out there. You might even be able to find some bargain bin titles that will keep you busy offline for hours.

    2. Play with friends in the same room: If you can't play against your friends online, invite them over to your house. Sure, you have to play split screen but that ain't stopping the fun. Just make sure it is people who actually want to play video games when they come over. If they at first refuse, tell them you've fallen and can't get up or that you're addicted to crystal meth and need an immediate intervention. And when they come over, make sure you have food ready for your guests. People like food, especially cheese doodles.

    3. Enjoy the outdoors: If you've been addicted to multiplayer modes of games like Killzone 3, Uncharted 2, LitleBigPlanet 2 or others, you may have forgotten what that yellow circle in the sky is, that's the sun. Going outside and walking is great exercise. Since you first grabbed that Sixaxis or Dualshock 3 controller, you may have noticed that your body might have gotten a little wider and puffier than you remember. Time to get rid of that weight and run some laps at a track, your local park, or even your neighborhood. If your body mass has stayed the same, do the same thing. Chase birds, feed ducks at a local pond, pick a person out of a crowd and chase him. Make a game out of whatever you do outside and it can be about half as fun as getting those sweet headshots. Going outside every once in a while is always good.

    4. Find other forms of amusement: There's lots to do other than playing video games but many other forms of amusement do not compare. You're gonna have to just suck it up and do it. That mexican game with the ball attached to the cup looks fun or just watch a bunch of movies... oh that's right, all video streaming services won't work on your nice TV while PSN is down. If you like sleeping, maybe knocking yourself into a coma until the outage is over is just your cup of tea. My point is there's lots of other things to do than play video games. Maybe finding a new hobby will change your life.

    5. Play online on another system: Whoa there partner, you would never consider this. After all those years of being completely loyal to the PlayStation brand? You're the type of person who would spit on an Xbox 360 controller and break someone's Wii before they got the chance to play with it. You'd be out of your mind to betray Sony after all those years. Certainly if you are not a loyalist, go right ahead and pick up on all the multiplayer fun on Xbox 360 or play some Super Smash Bros. Brawl on Wii if you don't mind the lag. There's lots of fun to be had on the two other systems on the market.

    So there you have it, my PlayStation Network outage survival guide. If you follow these tips, you'll be completely sane until PlayStation Network goes back online. When that is nobody knows for sure. Stay tuned to GamersCast Podcast for more information.

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    Nintendo Confirms Project Cafe

    So, I've been avoiding the majority of the project cafe things that have been flying all over the internet, mainly because I didn't trust it. No one cited any truly substantial evidence that it is actually happening, so, not wanting to lead you astray, I decided not post about the potential new console.

    Well, today some nice people who crawl the web for a living, found this PDF file lying around on the Nintendo of Japan website. The URL says it all, it's official. You can see this document here:

    The new console supposedly has a GPU that can outperform the PlayStation 3, and a triple-core PowerPC processor, similar to the Xbox 360 that will outperform Microsoft's current console as well. Most evidence points to the device costing around $300 and that it will launch either early next year or this November.

    Until official confirmation comes, we will be referring to this new console as Project Cafe.

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    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Rumor: Nintendo Ready to Reveal Its Next Console at E3

    The rumors are flying today and they say that Nintendo is ready to pull the curtain on its next console. Game Informer has reported that they have heard from multiple sources that the next Nintendo console is being shown to publishers now and will have its first public unveiling at E3 with a plan to release it in late 2012. If the rumors are true, the new console will have HD visuals comparable to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. This could mean it could have a little bit less power or it could be superior which will most likely be the case. One source has said "Nintendo is doing this one right. It's not a gimmick like th Wii." This could mean many things. Also, the rumored May 15 price drop bringing the Wii down to $149.99 could also be a sign that Nintendo wants to maximize the Wii audience before the new console arrives. You can check out the Game Informer article here

    I personally think that this report is legitimate. It is about time that Nintendo talks about their next console. The HD consoles may be on a 10 year timeline but the Wii is probably not capable of keeping up after 4.5 years on the market. The next console needs to be more than just an Nintendo HD system. Knowing Nintendo, I'm sure they are working to make this console different than anything anyone has seen before. The only hope is that third parties will support it, especially if Nintendo is coming to them this early. I believe Nintendo will talk about the new console at E3 but will not reveal much. They might talk about a philosophy behind the idea of the system as well as system specs but that will most likely be about it. Don't expect software announcements and even if any software is announced, take it with a grain of salt. Back at E3 2005 when Nintendo revealed the first information on Wii or Codename Revolution at the time, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata announced that a new Super Smash Bros. game will come out for the launch of Wii in 2006 but we didn't see Super Smash Bros. Brawl until 2008. If revealed at E3, we will not hear the first information on the control methods or specific features and software until most likely Fall 2011 around the time the Tokyo Game Show is happening at earliest.

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    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    Nintendo Announces New Games and Important Release Dates

    Today, Nintendo has announced the remainder of their lineup for the first half of 2011. Lots of great first and third party games. Release dates or release months have been announced for games like Dead or Alive: Dimensions which comes out in May, Cartoon Network Punch Time Explosion on May 24, Spongebob Squigglepants 3D on May 17, and Cave Story 3D on June 28. This list also pretty much confirms that we won't be seeing the release of Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D until July at earliest. But of course the one Nintendo 3DS release everyone is looking forward to also got a release date today. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D will be released on June 19 and will include Master Quest

    Also, Nintendo announced a couple of new Wii titles including Wii Play: Motion which is a new version of Wii Play utilizing Wii Motion Plus. The game which will release on June 13 will be bundled with a black Wii Remote Plus controller. A new Nintendo title Mystery Case Files: Dust to Dust has also been just announced and will release on June 27.

    Below are all the games releasing on Nintendo systems for the remainder of the first half of the year courtesy of


    The Conduit 2 - April 12
    Rio - April 12
    SpongeBob SquigglePants - April 12
    ExerBeat - April 26
    Reader Rabbit Preschool - April
    Reader Rabbit Kindergarten - April
    Reader Rabbit 1st Grade - April
    Reader Rabbit 2nd Grade - April
    Thor: God of Thunder - May 3
    Kung Fu Panda 2 - May 24
    LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game - May
    Get Fit with Mel B - Spring
    Karaoke Revolution Glee: Volume 2 - Spring
    Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters - June 7
    Wii Play: Motion - June 13
    Transformers: Dark of the Moon Stealth Force Edition - June 14
    Mystery Case Files: Dust to Dust - June 27
    Cars 2: The Video Game - Summer

    DS Family

    Rio - April 12
    Squinkies - April 12
    Paws & Claws Pampered Pets 2 - April 19
    Match 3 Madness - May 3
    Thor: God of Thunder - May 3
    Loving Life with Hello Kitty and Friends - May 10
    Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's World Championship 2011 - May 10
    Picture Puzzle Collection - May 17
    Kung Fu Panda 2 - May 24
    LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game - May
    Cake Mania Main Street - May
    LEGO Battles: Ninjago - Spring
    Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters - June 7
    Transformers: Dark of the Moon AUTOBOTS - June 14
    Transformers: Dark of the Moon DECEPTICONS - June 14
    Hollywood Files - June 14
    Cars 2: The Video Game - Summer
    Duke Nukem: Critical Mass - Q2


    Transformers: Dark of the Moon Stealth Force Edition 3D - June 14
    BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II - May 24
    Cartoon Network Punch Time Explosion - May 24
    Dream Trigger 3D - April
    LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game - May
    DualPenSports - May
    PAC-MAN & Galaga DIMENSIONS - June
    The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D - June 19
    Cave Story 3D - June 28
    DEAD OR ALIVE Dimensions - May
    SpongeBob SquigglePants - May 17
    Driver Renegade - Spring
    Rabbids Travel in Time - April 10
    Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3D - April 10
    James Noir's Hollywood Crimes - June 7
    Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters - June 7

    Source: Kotaku link

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    Wednesday, March 30, 2011

    Editorial: Nintendo Vs. Apple: The Great Debate

    Over the last couple of weeks I have heard so many debates and assumptions about the portable game market that drive me crazy. Some moron on CNN (no seriously, he is a moron. He said he is a hardcore gamer that grew up of Halo meanwhile he looks like he's at least 25) said that Nintendo 3DS does not stand a chance against Apple's iPhone. Many other people have come out and said similar things. Yes, the iPhone and other iOS devices like the iPod Touch and iPad all play games. The games on iOS devices are extremely cheap and attract a lot of consumers. Even the iPhone 4 is $50 cheaper than a Nintendo 3DS and the iPod Touch is also cheaper by $20. Being both an iPhone and Nintendo 3DS owner, I definitely see that both of these are winners but both Apple and Nintendo have succeeded and failed in certain areas.

    Let's start off with the iPhone. I love playing games on my iPhone every once in a while but it is not something I do regularly. The reasons I'm not playing Angry Birds or Infinity Blade every second I can is that I feel my iPhone 3GS is not a device meant for hardcore gaming. I am constantly getting interrupted while I play with emails, text messages, various push notifications, and of course phone calls. Another problem is the touch screen. It works great but some games like FPS games really do need actual analog sticks and buttons in order to be enjoyed to the fullest and unfortunately, iOS devices do not have that. My final problem with playing games on my iPhone is battery life. Games suck the battery dry very quickly and I need my iPhone to always have some juice in case of an emergency. I'll play for maybe ten or fifteen minutes at a time but when I see more than one tenth of my battery gone in that same amount of time, I immediately stop and instead do something less battery intensive like listening to music. The iPhone does have some great games but they only appeal to a one particular market. The games on iPhone should be something that does not have a lot of depth within the gameplay. A user should be able to play it for a small amount of time each day. Are hardcore games with a lot of depth possible on iPhone? Absolutely, the iPhone is pretty powerful. The problem is battery life and the constant obtrusive notifications and calls. The pricing of iPhone games is also somewhat off. A game like Angry Birds will give players at least $10-$20 of value for only $1. It is a smart idea but it is not healthy for those who really want to make a high quality, high budget iPhone game and charge $30 for it. It would probably sell like a led balloon. Simple ideas like Doodle Jump and Fruit Ninja are what sells. They are games that easy to pick up and hard to put down. These are the games that makes iPhone popular but they are not necessarily the types of games everyone desires.

    I personally like more "hardcore" games which contain a lot of depth and take a while to play through. Nintendo 3DS as well as other gaming devices like Nintendo DS, PSP, and NGP offer these types of games as well as the "casual" types of games iPhone is known for (for the record, I hate this whole hardcore and casual thing. It is such a dividing line and these phrases need to go away in order for the game industry to move forward to allow more types of video games to be more widely accepted). If you did not realize it, Nintendo 3DS like the iOS devices is also a multimedia device. It takes 3D pictures (albeit low resolution ones), plays .MP3 music files, plays 3D movies, and browses the web. The iPhone may do some of these things better in 2D but even still, 3DS owners are missing nothing. I have heard the 3DS battery life is low but I have experienced no problems as of yet. Sure, the iPhone is definitely capable of running games like Pilotwings Resort. Even Street Fighter IV has an iPhone version. What makes these games work better on a 3DS rather than a mobile phone is that the 3DS actually has buttons which is significantly better than virtual buttons on a touch screen. There are also no obtrusive notifications to worry about so I can continue playing without the worry of being interrupted. Also, the 3D visuals are amazing and 3D will probably stay exclusive to Nintendo for a long time as Apple will probably wait for this glasses free 3D technology to be more advanced and have a much wider viewing angle.

    Games with long single player modes and a lot of depth are much better off on a dedicated handheld gaming platform. Developers that want to go all out and create a very long, high quality gaming experience need to do so on a handheld gaming system like Nintendo 3DS and NGP. Games that are simple and do not have much content within them are better off on iOS devices. Both are great gaming devices but it is easy to see that both products will succeed. One will not take market share from the other. The difference in games and features like 3D will most likely force many consumers to get both.

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