New Ghost Recon to Feature Kinect support

Saturday, May 28, 2011

That's right ladies and gents, Ubisoft has pushed Future Soldier back again. Developers now say we'll be waiting until the first quarter of 2012 Future Soldier will include Kinect support. What exactly Kinect users can expect from Ubi's long awaited shooter remains a mystery.

Judging by the box art they've released, we imagine it will have some use with squad commands and map/uav control. Personally, I hope it includes those ridiculous hand signals we're so used to seeing in every shooter since Rainbow Six. Just in case it does, here's a primer for all of you at home.

Credit to for the image!

A Toast to Video Game Modders Everywhere

Friday, May 20, 2011
Activision has become known for its hit and miss proclivities, and for the love-hate relationship it has with its consumers. In 2001, Activision commissioned Troika Games to bring to life White Wolf's pen and paper World of Darkness in video game form. Despite many challenges in the development, Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines was officially brought forth (though still with several problems) into the public world November 16, 2004. While plagued with several scripting errors which caused a horribly unstable program, Bloodlines, for its diversity in game-play strategy, in-depth story line, excellent soundtrack, and interesting characters was still playable and fun even if it was a near impossible task just to get the game to run for over an hour at a time before crashing.

Since Bloodlines still had several glitches, Troika Games was able to release 2 official patches at the behest of Activision prior to disbanding in 2005. While this fixed several issues, even more remained. Enter, the mysterious Wesp who stuck around and attempted to fix the base game through patches where Troika Games left off to patch 7.4a and solving several annoying problems before calling the modding game quits.

Others had the same dream of making this "flawed gem" of a game more fun and less tedious to play. On top of what Wesp left behind, more fixes and added mechanics (to bring Bloodlines closer to it's pen & paper feel) were added in a neat little bundle released in 2009 by a talented tinkerer Zer0Morph (Brad Bolenbaugh) titled Camarilla Edition 1.0. Until the end of 2009 Zer0Morph released several versions of Camarilla Edition (up to 1.2) and decided to take a break from modding Bloodlines. Having been alongside Zer0Morph since the beginning, Childe of Malkav took over the Camarilla Edition project.

A few months later in March 2010, Zer0Morph decided to return to the Camarilla Edition modding scene; however, he also came to the conclusion that he was tired of modding the base character models and types. Realizing this would be a large task and outside of a lone modder's ability, a super team of VTMB fans/modders was formed. Activate superhero team style introductions! Zer0Morph: team founder from America, Childe of Malkav: expert Python scripter from Germany, The Philosopher: .lip puppet master from Brazil, Scarecrow: voice actor from Bulgaria, and theRaven: touch ups from California. With their powers combined they formed Team Camarilla International!

Wanting a new game play experience, this Team began a year long project of creating new NPCs,
adding quests, changing item placements, making vendors sell you things you actually want to buy, skinning and retooling all playable characters, and improving the entire game play experience whether it be little changes for ambience, or major changes for effect. Vampire the Masquerade: The Final Nights was the end product of this undertaking. All the little changes in this new version have come together beautifully and have drastically redefined its Bloodlines roots.

In fact, playing through The Final Nights was so different from Bloodlines I hardly recognized it!
Bloodlines was an ugly duckling of sorts and has finally grown up into a beautiful, badass swan of a game like it was always intended to be. Thank you, Team Camarilla International, this is a masterpiece!

It takes a great commitment of time and patience to take a game with potential and to make that game fulfill its potential. People who possess this dedication to improvement are a rare commodity and extremely valuable to the gaming community. Without people like those at Team Camarilla International we would be stuck with games with infinite potential and no one to bring out what these games were meant to be. In a world where DLC and regular updates are becoming more and more common, it's important to remember the unaffiliated individuals who have been providing similar services to the gaming community for no better reason than the love of the game. It's people who connect to the medium and struggle to grow it solely for its own benefit who have created the community that we have today, who formed the atmosphere that allows us to see games realize their potential instead of dying stillborn on the shelf.

When child meets game...

Sunday, May 15, 2011
Games fill my house. They are very hard to avoid with two consoles, three computers, and so many board games that I have lost count of them all. Not to mention the various role playing books, dice, minis, and random accoutrements scattered through out the place.

Surrounded by all of this I don't know why I was surprised when my eldest daughter (5 years old) brought me a controller and asked me to teach her a game. She has played Rock Band with my husband and I before but she has never shown an interest in playing any of the other games in the house by herself. She knows that the 360 plays Dora and Sponge Bob whenever she likes, and I taught her how to use the Kinect voice commands (I caught her talking to the Kinect that day and I swear to God I heard her whisper "Xbox, I love you" at one point) but her interest seemed limited to those functions. Most games the hubby and I play are done 'after hours' when the kids are asleep so as to shield them from the blood and gore popular in most modern games.

Having just put the baby down for a nap I was caught a little off guard. I didn't know what to say, I tried to think of a child friendly game to set her up with. I settled on Flower and quickly set her up on the PS3. Of all the times I had thought about playing games with my children I had never thought about that first introductory moment and what I should give them to play. I will admit to a little bit of parental anxiety about letting my daughter play a game alone for the first time. This introduction opens up that wonderful parental hairy ol' can of worms that is virtual entertainment. I now have to work out how much to let her play and what games to let her play. I shouldn't worry too much. Being a gaming parent I think I have a good grasp of what is kid appropriate and I will certainly try my best to teach her proper game moderation, something I think a lot of parents unfamiliar with virtual entertainments know don't know how to do.

I am comforted by the knowledge that games are not new to her. We play together all the time and video games are just a new addition into her wide and varied collection of games, one of her current favorites being "Faye Wray and King Kong" inspired by her curiosity about the poster that hangs in our home. Children and adults alike are hard wired from the beginning to learn through games, play comes naturally to us all. Right now she is enjoying 'running' through the grass and 'catching' flowers. I think once she has a better handle on the controls I will set her up with What is Bothering Carl? a computer based story book that was part of the PAX 10 in 2009.

In the mean time I will do my best to not listen to the talking heads and their fanatical fear mongering bull that video games are corrupting our youth much in the same way they decried the use of pinball machines and comic books.

If you feel any trepidation yourself about introducing you children to video games think about the nay sayers while you watch this: