BroGamer’s Spike VGA 2011 Live Blog!
The time is upon us, the Spike Video Game Awards are about to begin and BroGamer Blog is live blogging all the reaction and opinion straight from the ceremonies. Tune in here for all the reaction to the results and announcements.
Please reblog to get the word out there and sit back and watch the show with some opinion and reaction from myself and Jacob. Enjoy!
This is something to watch in awe. To think this stop motion piece is made in Minecraft is incredible. The video depicts the first two minutes and twenty seconds of Super Mario Land. The production has taken 500 hours to make and millions of Minecraft blocks. Well done to James Wright, Joe Ciappa and Tempusmori.
Here’s the first look at Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer in a video interview with executive producer Casey Hudson. The video gives us a few details and insights into the newly announced mode for BioWare’s upcoming title. March 6th approaches with growing anticipation.
In the Halo: Reach title update, 343i are changing the “Armour Lock” armour ability to play more like “a block button, not a pause button.
Konami’s Snake Eater HD Walkthrough
Check out this walkthrough posted by Konami showing Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater in glorious HD. The video comes fresh out of gamescom and shows the game running at 60fps. The cutscenes Kojima is ever so famous for look particularly beautiful.
The game uses the free camera like in the Subsistence re-release, the original used the fixed camera as featured in Snake Eater. Enjoy! Its going to be along wait until November…
I don’t think it’s going to be something that people need to be hyper-excited about,
Has COD Become A Casual Franchise?
The Call of Duty (COD) franchise is no doubt extremely successful and popular, particularly since the release of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. The quick paced, plug in and play style multiplayer was a huge success for online first person shooters, most notably on consoles. This led to record breaking revenue and sales for the industry with Modern Warfare 2 (MW2) accumulating 4.7 million sales within the first 24 hours. This record was subsequently smashed by the following year’s entrance to the franchise, Call of Duty: Black Ops by obtaining 5.6 million sales in the UK/US markets within 24 hours.
The name is synonymous with FPS games and gaming as a whole, but is the time of duty over?
Despite the incredible sales, there is no denying that the franchise has lost support from some of it’s traditional hardcore gamer fanbase. Reviews for Black Ops were comparatively lower compared to MW2. Black Ops gained a score of 87% from Metacritic, whereas Modern Warfare 2 received a stronger, 94%.
Black Ops was a game plagued by bugs and glitches which led to anger across various forums after release. Also, who can forget the neglect felt by PC gamers prior to the release of MW2 after Activision’s exclusion of dedicated servers.
The lack of innovation seen from the COD franchise in recent years is no real surprise from a business perspective. Its following a "ain’t broke, don’t fix it" approach. No massive engine changes are apparent with the recent showings of Modern Warfare 3 (MW3), this can’t be said about the competition with Battlefield 3’s Frostbite 2.0 engine bringing something new to the table. However, it will be likely that COD will sell more than its competition.
The ‘casual’ gamer who doesn’t read blogs like this, doesn’t check reviews or doesn’t follow the gaming industry has no real problems with the lack of innovation or the frame rate drops. COD's USP is it's playability, not its graphical splendor or game changing mechanics. They would however, have a problem if COD's formula changed, and they're in luck, because it hasn't.
I’m not saying COD games are bad, I played the hell out of MW2. I’m merely picking up on the fact that the changes of games from year to year are minuscule, yet sales are still rising. This alone shows that the mass market is having a greater say than the hardcore gamers. The COD franchise has managed to capture the mass market quite cleverly, but in the process making the games casual. The games are casual with their core mechanics, but possess a hardcore skin.
Time will tell how the sales will be for MW3, expect them to potentially smash more records. Or maybe, we’ll be surprised to see the first sign of decay in this gaming gold mine.
Microsoft Kinect SDK Released
The much rumoured SDK for Microsoft’s Kinect camera peripheral has been released today. The SDK allows developers to create applications using different codes; C++, C# and Visual Basic which runs on Microsoft Visual Studio. The SDK is currently not designed to create commercial products, however there is expected to be a future commercial release soon. The SDK can be downloaded from here and is only a relatively small file of 20MB. This is arguably just the first step for user generated content for Kinect, much of which could be more inspiring to gamers than the casual Kinect titles being pushed currently on the Xbox-360.
The About section from the download site has this to say about the SDK’s offerings:
- Raw sensor streamsAccess to raw data streams from the depth sensor, color camera sensor, and four-element microphone array enables developers to build upon the low-level streams that are generated by the Kinect sensor.
- Skeletal trackingThe capability to track the skeleton image of one or two people moving within the Kinect field of view make it easy to create gesture-driven applications.
- Advanced audio capabilitiesAudio processing capabilities include sophisticated acoustic noise suppression and echo cancellation, beam formation to identify the current sound source, and integration with the Windows speech recognition API.
- Sample code and documentationThe SDK includes more than 100 pages of technical documentation. In addition to built-in help files, the documentation includes detailed walkthroughs for most samples provided with the SDK.
- Easy installationThe SDK installs quickly, requires no complex configuration, and the complete installer size is less than 100 MB. Developers can get up and running in just a few minutes with a standard standalone Kinect sensor unit (widely available at retail outlets).
For more information on the Kinect SDK, head over to the official Microsoft Research site.