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Games To Get Excited For: XCOM: Enemy Within

Title: Xcom: Enemy Within
Developer: Firaxis Games
Publisher: 2K
Release Date: November 12, 2013
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360 & PC
 
 
 

Games To Get Excited For: Forza 5 – Filmspeed

Title: Forza 5
Developer: Turn 10
Publisher: Microsoft
Release Date: November 2013
Platforms: Xbox One

First 10! Remember Me

The Overseas Connection gives a First 10 look and impressions for Remember Me.

  • Developer: DONTNOD
  • Publisher: Capcom
  • Release Date: June 4, 2013
  • Platform: Xbox 360, PS3 & PC
  • Rating: M

Remember Me is set in the year 2084, and you take the role of Nilin, a memory hunter in a futuristic version of Paris called Neo-Paris.  There is a definite “Blade Runner” vibe to the settings and promises something unique in the manipulation of memories to affect the world.

Game play for Remember Me is a “Batman” like combat system where you are stringing together combo’s as well as parry counters.  Unique to Remember Me is the ability to actually create your own combo’s via an upgrade system.  As you earn XP you will unlock new combo combo’s and abilities that you can use in creating different systems.  The combo system feels unique but ultimately doesn’t feel impactfull enough for you to really care about manipulating the system.  Sadly the combat will feel very “button mashy” and its a shame as this could have been a real bonus to the game.  Complicating things significantly is a camera system that will work against you more than work with you.

Graphically the game looks good, not great.  Character design can feel a bit sterotypical and aethetically lacking.  Voice acting is average to bad at times.  Some of the cutscenes will have you believing you are watching something from a daytime drama more than a scifi video game.   Beyond that music and sound effects are there, but sadly nothing memorable.

Ultimately this was a game with tons of potential that just didn’t live up to it.  It certainly isn’t worth the stick price and we are hard pressed to say how much cheaper makes it worth picking up.  Look for a deal for sure… or rent but nobody should be paying full price for this game.

First 10 Impression:  2 out of 5      

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First 10 Impression Legend:
5 out of 5 – We absolutely will pick this game up, Feels like it will be a huge hit and worth our dollars.
4 out of 5
 – Initial impressions left us thinking its a really good game, maybe even great.  Asking full price doesn’t feel like too much of a stretch. 
3 out of 5 – Feels like its a bit more niche, and may only appeal to fans of the genre or subject matter of the story.  Very much on the fence about paying full price for the game.  Drop the price and surely we would give it a go. 
2 out of 5 – Based on initial reaction this is definitely niche and will be no more than a rent for us, unless we are fans of the IP in which case we might just be crazy enough to buy it.  
1 out of 5 – So bad we can’t even say we want to give it a rent.  Stay clear, you have been warned. 

How Games Can Help

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 In light of the recent political controversy over gun control here in the United States, lobbyists and politicians are once again dragging our favorite hobby through the mud. Video games are being again being “thrown under the bus” as an activity that can cause people to act violent. Now I can go on a rant about how other forms of media are not coming under fire, or cite cases where no link between games and violent behavior was ever found, but I’m not going to do that. Instead I’m choosing to take the high road. I’m choosing

to explore the “good” that video games can do. I have done a little research into this topic and this writing forms a kind of synopsis of everything I have found. If any of the following topics interest you further, I will provide links at the bottom.

A little over a year ago, USA Today reported a story about Microsoft’s Kinect Sensor being used to help children with autism. Apparently it’s something that started with a group of software engineering students at University of Michigan hacking a Kinect and using it to develop ways of helping children with special needs. Some autism experts have installed Kinect devices in their offices and have reported having very positive results. One instance showed that a particular child with autism was able to simultaneously move both of his arms up and then back down when playing a Kinect game, something he had not been able to do before. This particular discovery is one that hits close to home for me, as my daughter has been recently diagnosed with autism.

MMO’s can help people to develop leadership skills and build a teamwork ethic. It’s common in most MMORPG’s that players will form groups, raids, and guilds. Raiding in an MMO requires teamwork from everyone in the party, and one person usually takes on the role of raid leader. Raiding guilds can also have detailed hierarchy, where guild leaders have meeting to discuss guild business and promote new raid leaders. If the people behind these avatars were to apply these same skills in the real world, it would make for a great team environment and increased productivity. More corporations are turning to people who play these games for those very skills.

A study done just last year by researchers at N.C. State saw positive results in test group of older people, ages 60 – 77, playing World of Warcraft. The tests showed that those playing the game had improved cognitive function. The results also show that playing MMO’s can help to stave off age-related dementia.

A study from Michigan University conducted tests on the level of creativity from children who play video games. Almost 500 children around the age of twelve were shown to have more creativity by playing more games. The study also showed that technology such as cell phones, computers with internet, and other forms had no effect on their creativity. Regardless of what type of video game was played, the children showcased increased story-telling, artwork, and other forms creativity.

As you can see, these are just a few stories on how games can help. While it holds true that everything should be done or taken in moderation, these signs do not point to video games leading anyone, including children, to violent behavior. History shows us that violence has been happening for far longer than video games have been around, and it should be obvious to anyone that video games are just the most recent “scapegoat” for society to blame its problems on. One can only wonder what the next big thing will be that is sure to turn us all into devils and mind-numbed zombies.

Sources:

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/video/xbox-kinect-helping-students-with-autism/1644688803001

http://www.cnn.com/2011/TECH/gaming.gadgets/01/31/video.games.smarter.steinberg/index.html

http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/02/27/1886491/science-briefs.html

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-11/msu-vgp110211.php

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