Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New Steam Free to Play games.

Good news on Steam today. Check out the release Valve put out on their website.
Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Counter-Strike, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Portal, and Team Fortress) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today introduced support for Free to Play (F2P) Games on Steam with the launch of five F2P games.

Available immediately, the launch titles are Spiral Knights, Forsaken Worlds, Champions Online: Free for All, Global Agenda: Free Agent, and Alliance of Valliant Arms (AVA).

Beginning tomorrow (Weds) with Spiral Knights and concluding Sunday with AVA, each of the five launch titles will offer exclusive in-game content to those who try the "F2P game of the day" on Steam. In game transactions in all of the titles will be supported by Steam's micro-transaction backend system that is available to Steamworks partners and currently used in Valve's Team Fortress 2.

"The introduction of Free to Play games is another example of the constant evolution of Steam," said Jason Holtman, director of business development at Valve. "Free to Play games offer new game genres and game experiences for customers, while offering developers and publishers new revenue opportunities and the ability to reach customers in areas of the world where the traditional packaged goods model is less popular than F2P."

Specific details on the F2P games of the day and their exclusive in-game content will be made available in the coming days.

Steam is a leading platform for PC & Mac games and digital entertainment serving over 1,500 games to over 30 million active accounts worldwide. For more information, please visit www.steamgames.com.
 If you haven't installed Steam yet, here is a great reason to. I'm installing Champions Online and  Alliance of Valiant Arms to check out. AVA looks to be pretty good. Which ones do you plan on installing? Let me know if you have played any of the games.

Friday, June 10, 2011

In case you missed E3.

Wow, where to begin. I've been busy the past 2 weeks, so I haven't had time to put any new blogs up. My awesome girlfriend and I decided to get a place together. Between packing, moving, and unpacking again, I am just getting back to where I can put some attention into this. I'm just happy that whole moving thing is over with.

Well if you haven't noticed, the past few days there has been an information overload in gaming news. E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, is an annual trade show for the computer and video games industry. It gives companies the chance to showcase the newest upcoming games and hardware.

Over the past few years its turned out to be a competition between companies as they go one by one, and battle, collectively, for who has the best press conference, best booth, the hottest booth babe, best games, and swag to give away.

This years E3 has been the best one yet, hands down. Tons of kick ass stuff was showcased that made gamers mouth's drop, and drool.

Microsoft announced a slew of new Kinect compatible games. A few big names being Mass Effect 3, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, Fable: The Journey, Disney Adventures, Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster, Star Wars, and Sims all using the Kinect to interact in game.

They are also bringing a lot of new new features to the Xbox 360 Dashboard as well. The console is said to be getting Kinect voice support for music, games, movies, TV shows and sports. YouTube and Bing are finally making their way into the available apps in the dash soon as well.

Now, they just didn't show up with all junk. They did show off a few gems. Modern Warfare 3, Tomb Raider with a young Lara Croft in an "open world", Minecraft is coming exclusively to the Xbox with Kinect support, Gears of War 3, Kinect Star Wars with voice commaned, and of course an all new Halo Trilogy, labeled Halo 4, with 5 and 6 following.

Hopefully this new Halo Series can bring me back to the game that made me fall in love with multiplayer FPS. As the series went on the less and less interest I got with it. Hopefully they revamp the multiplayer, and get rid of the stupid ass power-ups they introduced. Fuck you and your Armor Lock.

Microsoft had the worst showing of everyone. The actors they used to showcase the games out right sucked. It made the whole Kinect thing seem too gimickey. I know its not the right conditions to play the game, but when its so obvious that everything is acted out, it makes you think the product doesn't work. Thats the main reason I'm not a fan of it.

Konami put out they were going to do a Silent Hill HD Collection along with a new Silent Hill, Metal Gear Solid 2/3/Peace Walker Remakes, and Zone of the Enders HD. Blah.

Ubisoft didn't disappoint though. Having been around 25 years now, they know what they are doing. Rayman: Origins, Driver: San Francisco, Brother in Arms: Furious 4, a new Trackmania, Ghost Recon: Future Soilder

I'm a fan of the Far Cry series, so the news that Far Cry 3 was on its way was a pleasant surprise. If you haven't seen the trailer, you need to watch it. It was really well done. I just hope they put a great game together. Far Cry was really good. Far Cry 2 was less of a story game, and the open world, mission scheme got too repetitive. Let hope the throw a mix of Far Cry 1 & 2 together and give us a good game.

Along with Far Cry 3, Assassins Creed: Revelations put out probably the best trailers I have ever seen for a game. Absolutely breath taking. AC: Revelations is going to be a must buy.

EA had an awesome show of games. Mass Effect 3 was back, with a live demo and game play trailer. The Sims always has something new. Need for Speed: The Run was showcased. Its going to have a Autolog system that lets you compare stats with friends. Its also based on the Frostbite 2 engine that Dice is using in Battlefield 3 that looks amazing. More on that later.

Madden 12 was there. A new SSX reboot. FIFA 12 was shown off. They had a commercial featuring Drake and Lil Wayne that won over a lot of people. I've been a fan of FIFA for a while. The FIFA team did such a good job with the animations of the characters, that Dice was interested in using it in them in the Frostbite 2 engine.

Sony was a big contender this year. They had a strong showing of games, and new hardware. With the production of the PSP over with, it was no surprise that they revealed their new hand held. The PS Vita. A serious contender to the Nintendo 3DS. The $250 model is wifi only, and for $300 you can walk away with the 3G version and play online on the go. It has a 4 core ARM A9 CPU, 5" OLED Multi touch screen, Rear capacitive multi touch pad, Front and Rear cameras, built-in speakers and microphone, six-axis motion sensing (three-axis gyro, three-axis accelerometer), Three-axis compass, GPS, Dual analog sticks, and  plethora of buttons.

I haven't been a fan of hand held much. I had a few, and usually found myself on my console more than anything. This thing seriously has me changing my mind. The graphics are somewhere between PS2 and PS3. The games look really good. There is going to be lots of games day 1. Modnation Racers will get all the tracks from PS3 on release day. Street Fighter vs. Tekken featuring Cole from Infamous will be available.

It has lots of features. I'm sure the modders will make it even better. If they can get homebrew running on it, this will make its way onto my Christmas or Birthday list. Wink Wink, Hint Hint.

Sony also showed off some sick games. Uncharted 3, God of War Collection in 3D, Infamous 2, Resistance 3 bundle with move for $150, Starhawk, Sly 4, Dust 514, Bioshock Infinite will get Bioshock 1 for free on PS3, Battlefield 3 comes with Battlefield 1943 on PS3, Need for Speed: The Run comes with 7 addition cars, SSX Mount Fuji exclusive level only on PS3, and a Star Trek co-op prequel game, along with a new Star Trek phaser move peripheral to name a few.

Sony had a good showing despite all the bad news they have had recently.

Nintendo, in my opinion, had the best showing of all the other companies there. I'm totally on board with their new console. The Wii U is finally worthy enough to sit next to my Xbox 360 and PS3. I didn't get a Wii, because it was a little too kiddish for my style. This new console has it all though. Great graphics. The controller is an awesome ideal. I'm glad that they are finally trying to take a stab at the hardcore gamer market. They already make games they everyone loves, but the Wii was lacking the power visually that it needed to compete with the same niche market that the PS3 and Xbox do.

1080p, 1080i, 720p, 720i, 480p, 480i compatible. It has a IBM Power-based mulit-core CPU, internal flash memory, along with the option to use SD memory card, or USB hard disk. It supports all the old controllers. 4 USB 2.0 ports, and the new console is backward compatible with Wii games and Wii accessories. No Blu-Ray, but that isn't a deal breaker. Did I mention that the Zelda game comes with each system? Wayne and Garth would say, " Schwwwing." to that.

This console has the balls to get things done. You can tell by the name of some of the games they plan on releasing. EA said they were going to develop with the Wii U in mind so expect their sports games with that. Some big name games also to be released like Battlefield, Arkham City, Assasssins Creed, Ghost Recon Online, DiRT, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Metro Last Night, Tekken, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razors Edge, Driver, and Rhythm Heaven.

Nintendo also had a healthy stable of games in its arsenal. Mario Kart 3D, Luigi's Mansion 2 for 3DS, Starfox 64 3D, Super Mario 3D, Kid Icarus: Uprising, Resident Evil: Revelations, Snake Eater 3D, Tekken 3D, and Mario + Sonic at the Olympic games lead the way. And not to mention Super Smash brothers for Wii U that will interact with the 3DS.

All in all, it was an spectacular showing of games and hardware the past couple days. I'm happy with what was shown, and feel like gaming is heading in the right direction. I didn't get to touch on a lot of things, but I wanted to be able to save some stuff for other posts. So if you don't see something here expect a write up in the next few days.

What did you think of E3? What was your favorite thing? Anything your not excited about?