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For the Love of Gaming Podcast Episode 164: Bro, You Shipped Aliens!

4LOG Logo 1024x600 For the Love of Gaming Podcast Episode 164: Bro, You Shipped Aliens!

E3 2014 has come and gone, and that means it’s time to reflect on all of the new games announced.

But first we have to talk about some of the big releases like Watch Dog and Mario Kart 8.

Plus some older games that Cory and Chris have either picked up or reviited like; Titanfall, Strider, Assassins Creed 4: Black Flag, Max and the Curse of Brotherhood, Halo Spartan Assault and Dark Souls.

Basher joins Chris and Cory to talk about some of the big titles shown off at E3 2014. Find out what the 4LOG crew thought about big games like; Sunset Overdrive, Forza Horizon 2, Bloodborne, Crackdown, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Batman Arkham Knight, Splatoon, Kirby and The Rainbow Curse, Yoshi’s Wooly World, and everything else you can think of at E3 2014.

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Mario Kart 8 Review, Balanced Chaos

 

Mario Kart 8 logo 1024x544 Mario Kart 8 Review, Balanced Chaos

Mario Kart 8 is the most beautiful and “balanced” edition yet, but if you love battle mode you will be very upset.

With every Nintendo console comes a new iteration of Mario Kart. Every major Nintendo console has seen an entry from this iconic franchise, and the Wii U is not an exception to that rule. The question is, can Mario Kart 8 evolve enough to stay relevant and fun in an era of gaming that seems to be all about progression and open worlds. With this being the 8th time Mario Kart has seen a release it is safe to assume you know the drill by now. There is a selection of courses for players to race on with their character of choice from the Mario universe.  Some of the newer features from more recent entries have returned as well, such as customizable karts and online play. There are 32 tracks this time around, 16 being brand new courses, and the other 16 being some older courses but remade in crispy HD goodness.

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Xbox One Games With Gold Titles Can be Played Offline

Xbox One Day One Shot Xbox One Games With Gold Titles Can be Played Offline

Contrary to some rumors, Xbox One Games with Gold titles can be played if you take your console offline.

There was a story earlier today that claimed that when Microsoft introduced Games with Gold for Xbox One, that titles that were downloaded would not be available to play once the console went off line. Well after Microsoft started the roll out of Halo: Spartan Assault and Max and The Curse of Brotherhood for Games with Gold on Xbox One, I downloaded the two titles, killed my Internet connection and fired up the game. No issues at all. I am not sure why or how that rumor got started, but I can confirm it is 100% false.

Keep in mind, this does not mean you can let your Xbox Gold Subscription expire and keep the games. You will still need a valid Xbox Gold membership to keep playing any game that is offered in the Games with Gold promotion on Xbox One. Xbox 360 Games with Gold will be keeping the old format which allows users to keep their downloaded games if their Xbox Gold Membership expires.

eSports Becoming Big Business

Esports eSports Becoming Big Business

The Google-owned Youtube’s billion dollar bid for streaming site Twitch.tv raised some eyebrows around the tech industry, with some skeptical that the site is worth the price tag. What Google is banking on, however, is that eSports will continue to expand into the mainstream, allowing them to possess an established entity in the genre as it grows.

There are many reasons for Google to feel confident in their plan, as eSports has increasingly broken through from a niche interest to a phenomenon that commands tens of millions of eyeballs for important streams. Underscoring the rise in the industry and it’s importance, a number of American universities like NYU are offering academic classes focusing on the business of eSports (and often on the game Starcraft in particular).

Starcraft was one of the first games to illustrate the potential for eSports as a legitimate business, particularly in South Korea, where top players become national celebrities. At it’s peak, major Starcraft tournaments in South Korea could be counted on to draw up to 100,000 live fans to enormous venues, with millions more watching online or on television (at one point two separate cable networks dedicated to broadcasting matches launched in the country).

 

The game is still immensely popular in that country, but the eSports industry was rocked by a major scandal in 2010 that saw it’s popularity plummet. Eight top professional players, including the sport’s Michael Jordan-esque figure Ma Jae-yoon, were found to have been involved in fixing matches in conjunction with gambling sites that accept bets on eSports. While online gambling is illegal in South Korea, Gambling.com‘s breakdown of legislation in the country points out that Koreans are still able to access overseas sites, which both lead to the scandal and vastly complicated the process of meting out punishment. Ultimately the players found guilty were banned for life from participating in Korea’s professional eSports league as well as having fines levied against them.

The scandal hurt the popularity and credibility of the sport in Korea, and is hard for many fans to put out of their minds when watching competitions now. There have been other small scale controversies around the globe, but nothing on the level of the Korean scandal.

Despite controversy, eSports are growing like never before. The game Dota 2 is one of the most popular in the world and the winners of last year’s world championship took home more than $1 million for their efforts. This year’s winner’s will be taking home over $3 million of a $6 million total prize pool, the largest in history for an eSports event. That first prize total is more money than the total prize pools for events like the Kentucky Derby and the Tour de France.

That kind of money combined with the potential revenue that comes with having tens of millions of viewers glued to a stream make eSports an intriguing business opportunity for tech giants, and-as Google’s overtures towards Twitch indicate-those giants are starting to pay attention to what could become a massive new industry.

Wolfenstein: The New Order Review, A Near Perfect Blend

 Wolfenstein The New Order logo Wolfenstein: The New Order Review, A Near Perfect Blend

Wolfenstein: The New Order is the perfect blend between old and new shooters, and has a surprisingly intriguing narrative that is fun and over the top.

There once was a time when shooters were more about senseless killing based in worlds that were created to be different form the world surrounding us.  As games have strived for a more realistic design in nature, that sense of just crazy and strange worlds seems to of disappeared from main stream FPS’. Enter Machine Games’ Wolfenstein: The New Order,  a modern take on the shooter genre that is a hybrid between new and old, but still manages to feel unique and different due to its smart story telling and world building.

William “B.J.” Blazkowicz has returned once again to kill some Nazis, but a few things have changed since we last saw B.J. in the 2009 “reboot” Wolfenstein.  Some time has passed since the we saw Deathshead doing his thing and to just murder people for no apparent reason, but now technology has been improved to the point where Deathshead has almost free reign to do whatever he desires to further his sick obsession. Some things have changed though. Time has passed and with new technology, Deathshead is armed with brand new ways to kill and torture people for his own research. With B.J. being in a coma like state for 14 years, it has Deathshead the ability to spread his dominance to levels never thought possible. Armed with Killer Robot Dogs, brain extracting machines, and new types of power armor, B.J. is going to have a tough time taking down Deathshead.

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For the Love of Gaming Podcast Episode 163: Titanfall 2 Soon

4LOG Logo 1024x600 For the Love of Gaming Podcast Episode 163: Titanfall 2 Soon

There is a lot of new stuff to play on consoles right now, and the 4LOG crew has been super busy playing all the new games. Cory played The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Wolfenstein: The New Order, and Mario Golf: World Tour. Chris and Basher picked up the Ubisoft Down loadable title Child of Light, and Basher played Transistor.

News Covered:

Halo 5 Guardians announced for Xbox One, coming in 2015.

Xbox One Controller support is coming very soon says Microsoft.

Xbox One without Kinect coming June 9th for $399.

External Hard drive support coming in June to Xbox One.

Games for Gold starting in June with Max and The Curse of the Brotherhood and Halo Spartan Assault.

The 4LOG crew talks about some of the E3 rumors and says if they think they are true or not. Such as, Halo: The Master Chief collection, Dishonored 2, Agent, and Mass Effect 4.

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