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Making Halo 4 Part 2: Return of the Forerunners September 12, 2012

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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The second part of the Halo 4 making-of series has been released, this time detailing the Forerunners.  The Forerunners were the integral backstory component of the Halo series.  They had built the Halo rings to destroy the Flood. a parasitic organism that thrived on organic life.  The only way to kill the Flood was to starve it to death, so that was what they chose to do.  They saved existence at the cost of their own lives.

We have never seen any living Forerunners in any of the previous Halo games, but we have seen them in some of the Halo Extended Universe.  Now, on this new unknown planet, the Master Chief has discovered more clues about them, and more things they may have left behind.

Halo 4 is coming November 6th, 2012 exclusive to the Xbox 360.

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Major Nintendo Wii U Announcement Tomorrow September 12, 2012

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Ladies and Gentelmen, Reggie Fils-Amie.

Tomorrow, Nintendo plans to make the announcements that everyone has been waiting for about the new Wii U, in particular it is expected that they plan to announce the release date and the final price for the new console.  Some launch titles may also be previewed.

You can follow the event at 10AM Eastern Time on Nintendo’s Wii U Page.  In there, you can also check out all the technical specs for the new console.  Looks like they’re finally bringing in surround sound!

iPhone 5 Announced September 12, 2012

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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It has finally been announced today that Apple will release their next iPhone, the iPhone 5.  Bringing with it all the capabilities of the previous iPhone models, it will have a slew of new features which will be exclusive to the new handheld.  The big announcement is that this device will support the LTE network, which is in many places superior in speed to home based networks.

The iPhone 5 will also make use of a larger 4″ retina screen.  This is the first time that the iPhone has come with a larger screen since it launched in 2007.  The screen is longer but not wider than previous devices.  This will not factor into its weight as the iPhone 5 is still lighter and slimmer than the iPhone 4s.  Its central processor is the A6 chip, an improvement over the 4s A5 chip.  It will also feature an improved FaceTime front camera, which will be able to take 720p video.

The iPhone 5 will also make use of a new charging port, called the lightning port.  This will likely break native compatibility with a lot of chargers and music devices that make use of the 30-pin port other iPods, iPhones and iPads have made use of for years now, or they’ll just simply have to get an adapter.

Three models will release, one with 16GB of storage, one with 32GB of storage and one with 64GB of storage.  Price will range from $199US-$399 US when bought with a wireless contract.  Verizon, Sprint and AT&T will all carry the device at launch.

The iPhone 5 launches September 21st, 2012 at 8am.  Preorders will start being taken September 14th on Apple’s iPhone site.

UPDATE:  iOS 6 will be released for users who already have compatible iPhones, iPads or iPod touch devices on September 19th.  iTunes 10.7 will support iOS6 devices.

The Top Five Kingdom Hearts Introduction Cinematics September 12, 2012

Posted by Maniac in Editorials.
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With the release of Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance for the Nintendo 3DS I realized that there are now a bunch of Kingdom Hearts games across multiple platforms.  In classic Square style, each game opens with its own introduction movie, using a song by UTADA, and serves to set the scene for the game. With all the games out now I wanted to do a list of what were the top introduction movies in the Kingdom Hearts series.

5. Kingdom Hearts: 365/2

As UTADA’s “Sanctuary” played, we were treated to a nostalgic trip of clips of the greatest moments from each member of the infamous Organization XIII from all of the previous Kingdom Hearts games.  I have to admit it was great seeing a role call for all of the members of Organization XIII, along with their profiles on the DS second screen.  By choosing to use clips of them from the cinematics they appeared in from previous games like Kingdom Hearts 2 or Chain of Memories, it played into our nostalgic memories from the previous games. The problem was it came off a bit as needed exposition, which is not usually what the introduction is used for.

4. Kingdom Hearts

As this is the first introduction from the very first game, this one should be considered the benchmark for all the others.  For many this was the first time they heard UTADA’s “Simple and Clean” before, and it would become a mainstay of the series.  They chose to use the techno remix for the opening here, but I think it was a great decision as it matched up great with the visuals.

3. Kingdom Hearts 2

This introduction did more than just set the scene for the game it also established the game’s past. As you hear UTADA’s single “Sanctuary”, a departure from the more often used “Simple and Clean” you’re treated to brief flashes of scenes that happened in the original Kingdom Hearts and Chain of Memories. If you had played these games you were treated to an amazing moment of nostalgia, if you hadn’t you could just sit back and absorb all the tidbits that made up the history of Kingdom Hearts as you spent the game discovering what you were seeing and what they meant to the game’s story.

2. Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep

This introduction just blew me away. They made the choice to use a techno remix version of “Simple and Clean” for this introduction and I think it worked really well. The song sounded great mixed with the stylistic visuals which fed us tidbits about just what we were in for in this game and that no amount of gameplay would be held back from us just because the game was on a handheld.

1. Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance

Ed: Apologies for the video quality on this one.

I don’t know if I should just come out and say that this made number one just because it used 3D or it’s use of the 3DS second screen to do the credits. I don’t know if it made number one because of the choice to use the orchestral version of “Simple and Clean” to set the scene for the game, but with all the flashes of what was to come with the game, the allusions to Fantasia this came off as the ultimate culmination of all the experience Square Enix had made with these introduction movies over the past ten years and that is why it’s number 1.