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Hartford Comic Con 2014 is Live May 31, 2014

Posted by Maniac in Game News, Site News.
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Just a friendly reminder for anyone interested in checking it out, Hartford Comic Con 2014 is going on right now at the XL Center in Hartford, CT. There are artist panels, cosplay competitions, a League of Legends Tournament, and much more happening all weekend long.

If you’re interested, come on down to the XL Center. We’ll be covering the event all weekend.

Seriously, they have the freaking Batmobile on display.

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Hey Rocksteady, can we use this in Batman: Arkham Knight too?

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Mario Kart 8 Unboxing May 30, 2014

Posted by Maniac in Site Videos.
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Maniac and Princess Angel unbox Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U.  After being the hit of Nintendo’s E3 showing last year, this game could be the killer app the Wii U so desperately needs this console cycle.  Let’s take a look at what’s inside.

Mario Kart 8 is out now exclusive to the Wii U.

Quantum Break Gameplay Video May 29, 2014

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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There is no game for the Xbox One that I’m anticipating more than Remedy’s Quantum Break. Developed by the creators of Alan Wake and Max Payne, it was the first game Microsoft announced for the console.

Today, Remedy has released this new teaser trailer for Quantum Break with the promise that more footage will get released this summer at GamesCom. If you had any reservations about the power of the Xbox One, give this a look.

Quantum Break is coming in 2015 exclusively to the Xbox One.

Watch Dogs Companion App Released, Uplay Down May 27, 2014

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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As promised, UbiSoft released the official smartphone companion app for their hit game Watch_Dogs on the day of the game’s official release.  The app, as originally detailed, allows you a deeper level of connectivity with the game, allowing you to manipulate the game in real time.  With the app, you can keep track of your friends from your mobile phone, unlock more abilities for yourself in-game, and do a whole lot more.

The Watch Dogs app can work from any internet connection, so you can play from either a cellular connection or through your home WiFi.  The app works by connecting you through your Ubisoft Uplay account.  Your game console or PC must be connected to the internet in order to use the app.

Sadly, when I attempted to use the app just before posting this news, I was unable to log in.  I believe that Ubisoft is having some issues with Uplay this morning, and without a stable Uplay connection, you won’t be able to use the app.  I will continue to monitor Uplay through the day and will keep you guys updated when the service is restored.

iPhone users can download the Compaion App right now through Apple’s App Store.  It weighs in at around 45 MB in size.  It should also be out for Android phones as well.  The download is completely free of charge.

Watch Dogs is out now for the PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.  A Wii U version will be coming later this year.

UPDATE: At around 5:45pm EST the Uplay login servers have started to allow connections. However, players are still being randomly disconnected from the service. Because of this there are still some players having issues playing the game on PC.

Watch Dogs Launches Tonight at Midnight May 26, 2014

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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When it was first announced at UbiSoft’s E3 Press Conference during E3 2012, Watch_Dogs was the biggest surprise of the show.

Tonight, GameStop has announced that many of their stores across the country will be opening tonight at midnight to sell the game to any players who have preordered the game at the store.

You can see which GameStop locations are participating in this promotion here.

If you’re still on the fence about picking the game up, check out the game’s official launch trailer.

Watch_Dogs is launching tonight at midnight for the PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The Wii U version is coming later this year. Sony has announced the Playstation versions of the game will have some exclusive content.

The Wolf Among Us Episode 4 Launch Trailer and Release Date May 22, 2014

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Telltale Games released the official launch trailer for the penultimate episode in their five part episodic adventure series, The Wolf Among Us.  If you haven’t played through episodes 1-3 yet, don’t watch this, there will be spoilers for some of the earlier episodes.  If you’re like me and have been playing the episodes as soon as they’ve been released, give it a watch!

The Wolf Among Us Episode 4 is coming May 27th, 2014 to the PC and PS3s in North America.  It is coming May 28th, 2014 to Xbox 360 Worldwide and May 29th, 2014 to iOS.

Who Made the Best Video Game Commercials? May 21, 2014

Posted by Maniac in Editorials.
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A big secret about the gaming industry is that game sales are primarily fueled by marketing.  While in the age of the internet, games can quickly gain a cult following by devoted fans who trade information on message boards across the world, for the people who don’t play games, their only exposure to new games will typically come from the commercials for them that get aired on television or posted on billboards.

The big three console makers have always known that it takes great games to convince people to buy their console, but they also need to find other ways to make their console more attractive for developers to make those amazing games, and that means that they need to create big advertising campaigns to sell their products.  Sometimes these huge campaigns pay off, other times they don’t.  We’re not really here to discuss that.  We’re here to talk about which of the big three console manufacturers made the best video game commercials.

We can’t start this discussion without talking about the company who has probably had some of the most successful video game advertising campaigns in history, Sony.  I already talked about this in my more-in depth article on Sony commercials, but really one doesn’t need to look much further than their Greatness Awaits campaign to see the latest spectacle of a great time on top.

Short, elegant, and to the point with just the right amount of spectacle.  For Sony, their commercials stress that they’re selling you an entire platform, not just a single game.  Now, this strategy hasn’t always worked for them.  I know a lot of people who hated their original PS2 advertisement campaign.

I liked this commercial.  I thought it was a good first step for a platform just coming out with very few games to show for it.  The PS2 would be sold out for at least five months after the console launched in my neck of the woods.  A platform launching that successfully without a killer app was nearly unheard of.

But if I’m going to talk Playstation, there is something that I cannot forget, or should I say, someone.  Sony’s “VP of Marketing”, Kevin Butler.

If you ask me, its a shame they discontinued working with him.

Microsoft has never really been successful the form of advertising.  They invested millions of dollars into the advertising campaign for the release of Windows 95, and more people had the original DOOM shareware installed on their PC.  Since then, Microsoft shyed away from mass marketing campaigns.  They were the market leader, and from what I’ve been told there is an unwritten rule that anyone who comfortably held the crown of market leader doesn’t need to advertise, as their product was already well known enough by people.  However, when Microsoft decided to enter the game console race, they needed the full weight of the company behind their new product’s advertising budge.  Microsoft’s marketing department, while they were able to produce some huge launch events, was never able to produce great commercials for their platform early on.

I still remember how the highest resolution version of that commercial Bungie released for download made my computer from 2003 slow down until I upgraded the GPU.

Even to this day, I never really thought much of the Xbox 360’s advertisements.  However, they always did a fantastic job with the 360’s Halo titles!  While I mentioned the “Starry Night” ad in the top video game commercials video, that came out only to promote the game’s beta test, not the game’s release.  When Halo 3 launched, Microsoft went all-out on a campaign simply titled “Believe” and while I think Starry Night was more revolutionary, the Believe series still gets me to choke up every time I watch it.

After Bungie finished the fight, their next two games had very similar ad campaigns.  It all started with a highly-successful commercial which saw some pretty critical acclaim.  It was so good, I had to put it on my list.

For Bungie’s last Halo game, they decided to keep with the style they explored in the previous commercial, and tell a prequel story to the beginning of Halo: Reach.  We all knew the character of Noble Six was a last-minute replacement, and now we knew what happened to the previous Noble Six.

How successful were these commercials?  After Bungie left the Halo franchise, this tradition continued with the first ever television commercial for Halo 4.

If you ask me, nobody did a better job than Nintendo.  Even though Nintendo became a cultural phenomenon when they released the NES in my neck of the woods, I can’t remember them ever having to market their products on television during those days.  However, when Nintendo decided to enter the handheld space, that all changed.  When the Nintendo Game Boy launched in North America, Nintendo promoted some of the system’s launch titles, including one of my favorite Mario games of all time, Super Mario Land.

During the era of the Nintendo 64.  Nintendo was sitting in second place against the incredible market domination of the original Playstation, but they did have some really creative exclusive titles available.   Only Nintendo could produce such unique commercials for games that were this unique.

Here’s one you’ll probably remember, this is the commercial for Super Smash Bros.  After watching this, you’ll never look at cute mascots the same way again.

Haven’t lost your faith in cute mascots yet?  Watch the commercial for Conker’s Bad Fur Day.

But the Nintendo 64 wasn’t the only system that Nintendo was promoting.  At the same time, they were holding nearly uncontested control in the handheld space thanks to the overwhelming success of Pokémon.  Want to catch everything in the game?  You’re going to need a Link Cable.

Sadly, since the late 90s, Nintendo lulled a bit in their ability to make memorable TV commercials.  I have to admit I was never a fan of their marketing campaign for the Nintendo Wii or Wii U, but I think that in the past year or two, Nintendo has gotten a little bit of their original magic back.  Here’s their commercial for Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon.

So after watching all that, I really can’t say who I thought did it best.  Each company was excellent in its own way, and to this day have produced commercials I’ll never forget.

I’ll leave that up to you!  Post a comment on who you thought did it better and what commercial you thought was the best!

First Gameplay Footage From Batman: Arkham Knight May 21, 2014

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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WB Games and Rocksteady have officially released the first official trailer for Batman: Arkham Knight made entirely from in-game footage.  You’re going to have to see it to believe it.

Batman: Arkham Knight is coming to the Xbox One and Playstation 4.  Exclusive content featuring a playable Harley Quinn will be available to anyone who preorders the game from participating retailers.

Playstation Now Beta Signups May 19, 2014

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Sony has announced that they plan to start the Beta Test for their Playstation Now service tomorrow.  The Playstation Now service, first announced alongside the Playstation 4 and detailed in depth at this year’s CES, allows gamers to play earlier generation Playstation games through an online streaming service without any need for a console.  It can be integrated into all currently operational Playstation platforms (including the Vita), tablets, smartphones, and the next generation Bravia HDTV.

If you are interested in participating in the beta, Sony is accepting beta signups here.

Hartford Comic Con 2014 Announcement May 16, 2014

Posted by Maniac in Site News.
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It’s official. GameXcess.net will be attending the Hartford Comic Con! The convention will take place at the XL Center in Hartford, CT May 31st-June 1st, 2014. It will be the first time the site has attended the event and we’re really looking forward to it!