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Gaming History You Should Know – The History of the CD-ROM Console November 30, 2014

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized.
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In the 90s, Nintendo ruled the gaming industry with an iron fist. After bringing video games back into the mainstream after nearly a decade of darkness, Nintendo proved that video games were once again a viable business model and a lot of competition wanted a piece of that market. Nintendo’s major rival at the time, SEGA, had just released a CD add on to their popular Genesis console, and several major companies stepped up, each with their own motivation, to help Nintendo produce a competing product for their just released Super Nintendo console. The end was a mess which killed Nintendo’s faith in the optical medium for another generation and set the stage for one of the greatest gaming consoles of all time to be released, the Sony Playstation.

The guys over at From Concept to Console have posted up a pretty in depth video detailing just how this ambitious product could derail so badly for everyone involved. If you grew up in the 90s like me and remember what it was like to have your friends pick a side in the the 16-Bit console war, you should really give this video a look.

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Halo: The Master Chief Collection Content Update 4 Patch Notes November 27, 2014

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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A promised update for Halo: The Master Chief Collection has just been released. The patch weighs in at only 500 MB or so and mostly addresses issues with multiplayer matchmaking, but other fixes were included as well.

Here are the complete patch notes:

Matchmaking

Made improvements to the way the matchmaking system handles player matching
Made improvements to the team selection process to improve team balancing
Made an update to the party system to improve searching with parties (2+ players)
Made further improvements to how matchmaking progress is communicated to the player
Made an update to ensure that players do not enter a non-joinable state after searching for a match
Made an update to ensure that the “Game Session” UI does not persist after leaving a matchmaking lobby
Resolved a variety of incorrectly displayed matchmaking prompts
Improved matchmaking roster presentation during team creation phase to remove roster flickering
Corrected a “connecting to host” message that incorrectly displayed during the matchmaking searching phase
Made an update to ensure that FFA players do not appear as if they are on the red team in the pre-game lobby

Party, Lobby, and Custom Games

Made an update to ensure that custom game settings persist between matches
Made an update to ensure that player’s player emblems load correctly when returning to lobby
Made an update to improve nameplate and emblem display
Improved the display of emblems in the “Games Session Details” screen
Made improvements to parties to ensure that parties are merged when the host joins another player and “brings party”
Made an update to improve party stability after completing a matchmaking game
Made an update to ensure that players are joinable after playing a matchmaking game

Stability

Made a variety of updates to improve UI stability
Resolved stability issues that occurred while viewing medals in “Player Details”
Made an update to prevent stability issues caused by controller disconnects
Made an update to improve post-game-carnage-report stability
Made an update to address in-game stability for Halo 2
Improved matchmaking stability while searching with parties (2+ players)
Addressed a crash that could occur after searching in the Halo 2: Anniversary Rumble playlist
Resolved a variety of miscellaneous stability issues to improve overall performance

Achievements

Made an update to ensure that the “Zealot” achievement is unlockable

343 Industries has promised more content updates are on the way if this isn’t able to fix all the game’s issues. Personally I haven’t been able to test it myself yet.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection is out now for the Xbox One.

National Nintendo StreetPass Weekend on Thanksgiving Weekend November 26, 2014

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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After the success of hosting StreetPass Weekend this past Halloween, Nintendo announced that they will be hosting another National StreetPass Weekend all Thanksgiving weekend! The best part is it starts today!

StreetPass Weekend allows Nintendo 3DS players to download and swap StreetPass tags with random 3DS players from all across the country at any Nintendo Zone location. The StreetPass tags you earn can then help you in StreetPass compatible 3DS titles like Find Mii and Monster Manor, and help you earn achievements!

You might have to download the latest firmware to your Nintendo handheld before you can join in the fun, but you can do that on site. Just make sure your device’s WiFi is enabled. Nintendo Zone locations can typically be found in Starbucks, McDonald’s, Best Buy and Barnes and Noble locations, on top of Nintendo World Headquarters in NYC.

National StreetPass Weekend will go from November 26th-November 30th.

Let’s Play the First Hour of inFAMOUS Second Son November 25, 2014

Posted by Maniac in Site Videos.
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Maniac plays through the first hour of the PS4 exclusive inFAMOUS Second Son with full video commentary.

Make sure to watch the video in 720p HD for best quality.

inFAMOUS Second Son is out now exclusively on Playstation 4.

Things to Know Before Holiday Shopping for Electronics and Video Games November 25, 2014

Posted by Maniac in Editorials.
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With Thanksgiving upon us, the Holiday shopping season is at hand.  Undoubtedly video games and other electronic items are going to be at the top of most people’s wish lists, as three new gaming consoles have been gaining a lot of ground and releasing some amazing new games over the past year.

If you plan to pick up any of these new gaming consoles there are a few things you might need to know before purchasing them.  At the simplest, this information will inform you in advance of some minor inconveniences you may have with your new equipment, but there are some major issues that can prevent you from using your new purchases if you’re not aware of them.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

  • You must own an HDMI equipped HDTV to use the PS4 or Xbox One.  Neither console will work on SDTVs or HDTVs without HDMI ports.
  • The Wii U will work on older SD and EDTVs, but you will need to use a custom cable that isn’t included with the Wii U to connect it to legacy TVs.  You can get analog cables from Nintendo’s Parts and Supplies website, or use your Wii’s video cables instead if you already own one.
  • You must have a home with high speed internet to activate the Xbox One and install the latest system software.  The Xbox One will not function unless activated.
  • The Xbox One and PS4 can only play any games designed specifically for them to play, and there are no plans to bring legacy support for retail titles to either console.
  • The Wii U can play Wii games, and if you already have a Wii, you can transfer all of the save files and downloaded content from your Nintendo Wii to a brand new Wii U.  However, you will need a home network with a high-speed internet connection and a digital camera’s SD card with at least 512MB of storage to do a transfer.
  • All the modern gaming consoles come with HDMI cables, you will not need to buy extra cables if you just plan to plug your HDTV.  In fact, I recommend using the included cables as they are guaranteed to work well with the console.  Some third party cables can bring audible pops or temporary blank screens during gameplay.
  • You must pay for a PlayStation Plus membership to play online PS4 multiplayer titles. The price is $50US for one year.
  • You must pay for an Xbox Live Gold membership to play online Xbox One and Xbox 360 multiplayer games. The price is $60US for one year.
  • Destiny requires an online connection to play.
  • If you want to buy a PlayStation TV and don’t have a PlayStation Vita, there are a lot of PlayStation Vita games, including several killer apps for the system, which are still incompatible with the PlayStation TV.  Do not pick up a PlayStation TV if you plan to play a game like Uncharted: Golden Abyss or Silent Hill: Book of Memories on it.  Right now only the PlayStation Vita handheld can play those games.  Here’s a link to the official list of compatible games.
  • If you plan to play Blu-Ray Discs or CDs on an Xbox One, you need to download the apps that allow you to do so from the Xbox Store.  Don’t worry, they don’t cost anything to download, but they will need to be downloaded.
  • You must update the PS4’s Firmware to play Blu-Ray Discs, but a high speed internet connection is not required.  You can download the firmware to a USB drive and update the PS4 that way.  You can download the latest firmware update here.
  • If you have an older legacy surround sound amplifier (like a 5.1 system that does not have HDMI inputs), you still can use the PS4, Apple TV, and Xbox One on it to get full surround sound, but you must buy an optical cable and use your amp’s optical port.
  • A lot of new consoles, in particular the Xbox One and Wii U will actually come bundled with full versions of new games.  However, in some cases, these free bundled games will need to be downloaded from the internet, which will require a high-speed internet connection to redeem your game.
  • If you plan to pick up a Wii U or any Nintendo product, check out Club Nintendo to earn awesome rewards for your purchases.
  • Wii U consoles typically do not come with Nintendo Wiimotes or Nunchucks unless otherwise marked that they do.  You will need those controllers if you plan to play legacy Wii titles on your Wii U.

Bonnie Ross Responds to Halo: The Master Chief Collection’s Issues November 25, 2014

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Since Halo: The Master Chief Collection launched, it has been plagued by several issues especially wait times during online matchmaking. While the recent content update and server side maintenance have improved the online issues since the game launched, players are still experiencing problems.

Bonnie Ross, one of the head honchos of the Microsoft Halo Team, has actually posted a comprehensive article detailing the current state of the game as well as their future plans to fix the games.

You can read the entire article here but there are two or three really important points. The first is that 343’s priority right now is to fix the game and that will require for them to continue to deliver content updates as well as server patches on their end. Another content update is in testing right now and Microsoft plans to release it later this week.

The other important thing that Bonnie Ross mentioned is compensation to players who have had to deal with the game’s issues since launch. Right now all priority on 343 has been to stabilize the game, she said that after the game is finished they will discuss how they will reward their customers for dealing with the game’s launch issues.

Me, I just want the achievements I earned on day one to finally unlock.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection is out now for the Xbox One.

Batman: Arkham Knight Ace Chemicals Trailer Part 1 November 24, 2014

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Game developer Rocksteady Studios have had a huge winning streak with the Batman: Arkham Asylum series. Considered to be some of the best superhero video games ever made when they were released, Batman: Arkham Asylum has seen one prequel and one sequel launch over the past few years. But Rocksteady’s story is not over and it has all been building up to this, Batman: Arkham Knight.

We haven’t seen very much from the game since E3 2014, but today the guys at Rocksteady released this gameplay trailer of a single game mission which they promise is just the first part of a longer video. Take a look at what Batman will be able to do when he is able to send in his car.

The next part will be released on December 1st.

Batman: Arkham Knight is coming June 2015 to the Xbox One and PS4.

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD Cinema Trailer November 23, 2014

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a game trailer previewed at my local cinema, but I can’t think of a game franchise more worthy of that honor than Final Fantasy.  The entire franchise has based itself on its cinematic presentation since the 32-bit era, and boasts some of the best music in the history of video games.  With the HD version of Final Fantasy Type-0 just a few months away from release, what better time to bring a trailer worthy of being displayed on the big screen?  Don’t worry, while it will be shown to a wide audience, Square Enix has stated that this trailer was made specifically for the fans.

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is coming March 2015 to the Xbox One and Playstation 4.

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic Podcast November 22, 2014

Posted by Maniac in Podcasts, Site Videos.
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The podcast returns!  This week, inspired by the amazing work of Bioware and Lucasarts, Maniac produced an unscripted podcast about the Knights of the Old Republic franchise.  This is a franchise many have considered an apology for the prequel trilogy, as the first game in the series alone has been considered by many gamers to be the best Star Wars video game of all time.

Like with most of our podcasts, we’re going to talk about the franchise’s history, our experiences with it, and where we think the franchise is headed next.  Enjoy!

If you’re interested in checking out Tony Goldmark’s work including his reviews of the Star Tours rides, you can check out his Blip.TV page here.

If you want to check out SF Debris and his ten part review of the first Knights of the Old Republic game, you can check out his Blip.TV page here.

Super Smash Bros for Wii U Unboxing November 21, 2014

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Since its release on the Nintendo 64, the Super Smash Bros franchise has always been a staple of Nintendo’s hardware alongside other franchises like Mario Kart and Mario Party. Now the game is out on the Wii U and it is poised to be the Wii U’s newest killer app.

On the morning of its release, Maniac takes a look at what is in the game’s box for all of you.

Super Smash Bros is out now for Wii U.