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Forza Motorsport 4 -- Paving the Way!

E3

Forza Motorsport 4, Release Date October 14, 2011

Source of News:  VideoGamer.Com, James Orry,  August 24, 2011

Author's title of article:  Forza 4 to Pave the Way for Better Looking Games

With Fortza Motorsport 4, it appears to be all about the graphics, specifically since  the company is using an impressive image-based lighting  (IBL) system.  So taken aback by the lighting in this game, there are plans for other video games to follow in Forza  Motorsport 4's foot steps.

Just what is IBL?  IBL is described as using Hollywood techniques to bring a strong sense of realism to the game.  For example, one of the race tracks used in this game eminated from a  trip to the Alps in Switzerland, where some of the most amazing scenes were shot and then transported to the video game world.  According to the author, magnificent views of  the race scenes were shown at the 2011 E3 convention in California.

Dan Greenawait compares the new lighting engine with previous ones.  He  explains  that before Fortza Motorsport 4, there were separate lighting engines for the car and for the environment.  In Fortza Motorsport 4, the lightings are all one, which makes for a more vivid, realistic  background scenery during game play.

This game has lots of realistic terrains,  which include snow, ice and architecture. Without the current technology, this could not be possible.

Here are pictures  of  Forza Motorsport 4  for the Xbox 360.

fortza_4_xbox_3560

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Ms H's take:  I am impressed that the  developers and programmers found ways  to enhance the video game playing experience  by showing  vivid,  realistic  backgrounds using IBL.   Enhancing the background graphics, including the actual design of the race track, can only add to and be a postive influence on the  overall game play. These changes have my vote!  I would like to challenge developers of other similar type games to try to surpass what was done here, with the Forza Motorsport 4 game.

I'm lookiing forward to playing this game!  I will give you a review of Forza Motorsport 4 when it comes out! 

That's it!  My minute is up!  Thanks for visiting my website and come back soon!  I want to  keep you up-to-date with video game news!

By the way, you may have noticed I made a minor change to the content of my article. I added the title of the news source article beneath the picture above.  Previously I  included  the  title of the  article in the body of the text.  By separating the title from the text, you may be  better able to easily find the title of the news article,   follow-up and read the complete article if you like.

And as always, you can post questions or comments here , on my website.

If you have any recommendations for moms-minute.com website, I would like to hear from you!  Please send me a message on Twitter, at my account MsHEqualswin, and don't forget to follow me!

Ive enjoyed sharing video game news with you!

Bye now,

Ms. H

"Ms. H = Win"

Last Updated on Monday, 21 November 2011 03:19

Hits: 684

Fruit Ninja - Kinect: A Video Game Review!

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Source of News:  Mom's  Minute, Ms. H!, August 20, 2011

I am happy to bring to you my video game review of Fruit Ninja that I played on the Xbox 360, using the Kinect platform!  Thanks to my son who set everything up, I played this enjoyable game. 

First,  just some background information.  Fruit Ninja  is a downloadable game and not a game you can buy from a store. You download the game online.  Regarding the physical playing area -- A large space in front of your TV, or console is required to play the game, since you will be moving in concert with the video game screen images.   As with most Kinect games, you will be standing up  and moving around, so it is a must that you have a wide enough space to move around at will. Remember, Safety First!

Sometimes Kinect games require calibration. To my surprise, the game did not have to be calibrated!  In other words, I did not have to make sure the Kinect was reading my movements correctly.  The calibration had already been done.

Now, on with my review!  I thoroughly enjoyed playing  Fruit Ninja!  There were lots of bright colors.  As you may know from my previous game reviews,  bright colors are a plus for me in video games. 

Based on other Kinect games I've played,  I thought initially that in order to start the game, all I had to do was  hold out my hand in front of me, and point  to the "Start Game" circle on the screen.  I did this and nothing happened!  My son then told me  to swipe my hand through the start circle, as if I was slicing something.  So I moved my hand  swiftly down, slicing through the circled start image, which in turn started the game! 

The game comes with various playing choices, which include the classic mode as well as the arcade option.  I chose the classic mode to start.  Once the game started,  colorful fruits rose and dropped,  first one at a time on the screen along with bombs.   The object of the game was to slice through the fruits before they dropped from the screen.  But I had to be careful not to slice through the bombs! 

The game started slow, with a green apple appearing.  I moved my right arm up and down in a sweeping motion and sliced through the apple.  A micro-second or so later, a pineapple appeared, so I sliced it with my left hand.

Next a bomb appeared and I inadvertently sliced through it, and a red  X appeared in the lower part of the screen -- One strike against me!  Next about three different fruits appeared, and I used both arms to slice through them since they were not clumped together, but were spread across the screen.  I recall I missed slicing through one (the banana),  and  another X appeared on the bottom of the screen.  At the same time, the score on the left side of the screen  was changing to match my fruit hits. Later I missed another fruit before it dropped off the screen -- three strikes and it was "Game Over" for me.  Of course I played the game again to get a higher score!

Here is a picture to give you an idea of what the screen looks like when the game play started.  As you can see, the game showed a  shadow of the player on the screen.   Looks like the player of this game was  using both arms at once to slice through the fruits.  The white swipes you see  in the picture mimic the movement of his arms.

 fruit2

I do not believe there was a replay part, that you could play back and see yourself moving around --  as with some of the other Kinect games I played.  In my opinion, having a replay mode would have been a nice addition for this game.

The game also gave bonus points if you swiped a bunch of fruits at once.  Here is a picture of that screen.

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I also played the "Zen" mode, and was not as impressed with it as I was  with the classic mode.  WIth the "Zen" option, there were no bombs, just fruits rising and falliing on the screen.  To me, there was no challenge, even though I think there was a 60 second time limit to the game.  WIthout the bombs falling, in my opinion, there was no challenge, unless how well you scored after 60 seconds can be considered a "self-challenge?"

There was no voice acting  or commentators in this game, so I cannot evaluate that for you.  I think there was up-beat type  music in the background.

Overall, I enjoyed playing this game in the classic mode and recommend it for everyone.  The price I would pay for this game?  I think I would pay about $2.99.  I would not pay higher because of the lack of a replay mode, and there were limited game choices.  After playing classic Fruit Ninja for a while, I think I would tire of the game. 

Also the movement of the slicing through the fruits and hearing a "swooshing" noise when doing so seemed to carry a negative message about fruits.  The last I checked, fruits are good for us!

A positive for the game is the exercise and movement needed for the game play.   In addition to moving my arms up and down, I also moved around from side to side as well as back and forth.  I moved in coordination with the dropping of the fruits in order to make a hit, and score points.

I'm still trying to decide on a game system.  If xBox 360  has more games like Fruit Ninja for the Kinect, I could be swayed to this system -- the key word here being "could." Right now I continue to be split between choosing the Xbox 360 or the PS 3.

My minute is up!  Thanks for visiting my website!  It was my pleasure to review this game for you.  I hope you are enjoying my video game news! 

Come back soon!

Bye now.  Until next time,

Ms. H

"Ms. H = Win!"

Last Updated on Monday, 21 November 2011 03:15

Hits: 956

A Different Kind of Video Game?

 deus_ex_human

Deus Ex Human Revolution

Source of News:  VentureBeat, Dean Takahashi, August 23, 2011

In the world of science fiction meets video games, publishers and developers constantly face the challenge of how to make their game stand out from the crowd.

According to the author of the article entitled, "Deus Ex Human Revolution Depicts an Original Sci-Fi World", publisher Square Enix has met the challenge --  Mostly due to the emphasis on illustrations and art design. 

So what's so different about this game?  For one thing, the developers had to come up with an original world, one that had not been seen before.  On top of that, they had to make the world appear real even though the scenes were drawn like paintings.   Even  random items in the background, for example, water bottles,  had to look real.

As quoted from Jonathan Jacques-Belletete, the art director, "It's all in the details."

The color scheme of the game has changed from the previous games in this series.  The new colors are gold and black -- gold to symbolize the renaissance, and black was for the future darkness of the dystopia world.

 Here is a cover picture of the game that  came out August 23, 2011 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.

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Ms. H's take:   I have not played this game, so I'm unable to let you know what I think about it. (According to the author, it ranks in the top 80s on Metacritic).  However, in my opinion,  in addition to having creative art work and design,  game play, especially when compared to other video games, is just as important as the graphics/art design,

My minute is up!  Thanks for visiting my website!  I have lots of other video game news to share with you, so come back soon and visit often!

Bye now and take care,

Ms. H

"Ms H = Win!" 

Last Updated on Monday, 21 November 2011 03:18

Hits: 668

Video Games - What Do You Think About DLC?

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Coming Sepember 20, 2011!

 Source of News:  Path.com, Jeff Lugar, August 16, 2011

 As you probably know,  DLC stands for Downloadable Content for video games.  The writer of this article entitled "Getting Nickeled and Dimed" is voicing his concern about the ever increasing need to buy additional, should I say, software? when purchasing games.

As a basis for this news article, I went to  Game Stop and inquired about games with online codes.  Apparently, I was not quite clear, because I was asked if I was referring to  Microsoft points?  I explained further, in more detail.  The sales person suggested the Gears of War game at a cost of  $29.99 with  lots of additional DLC already loaded.   Of course the catch for the $29.99 price was that the game was already out of date. The new game is expected out September 20, 2011.  Hence, my picture of the latest Gears of War 3 game for this article.

Now back to the news article.  The author seems to lament about the good old days when all you did was go to maybe an Electronic Boutique, and bought a video game, and that was it.  You took the game home, and maybe checked the forum to see if there were any bugs, problems, etc. with the game.

Current day, of course, just about everything has changed!  Now if there are problems with games, software patches or some other form of electronic notifications are sent to fix the problems. In fact, even if the game is only a few weeks old, you can sometimes expect a patch to come with or shortly follow the purchase of a game.

The DLC is viewed as both a positive and a negative.  Positive --  if the DLC is implemented smartly and makes the game play longer.  Negative -- if the DLC is seen as a "money grab", or a way to get your money, especially if the DLC is almost useless.  The example the author gave was the extra cost for horse armor for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion game, and the $15.00 map packs for Call of Duty:  Modern Warfare 2. Another negative example given was the DLC cases for the L.A. Noire game that did not quite fit the story lines, and gave the impression of being  makeshift.

According to the author, some other money grabs are the  online passes and the requirement for pass codes for online, competitive type games.  Buying these type games may present somewhat of a problem if the game is bought used -- without the pass code.

There may be some discontent regarding these codes, but at the end of the day, noone wants to be "left out in the cold" without the latest map packs for Black Ops, or some other DLC that other video game players have. 

Ms. H's take:  From a revenue generating standpoint, I can see why the DLC and online codes and other money making sources were added by the video game companies, albeit,  at an expense to  the video game player.  However, in my opinion, DLC, is most likely here to stay in one form or another,  and will become just another part of the video game purchasing experience.  Regarding the cost, is lowering the price of DLC an option for the gaming companies?

My minute is up!  Thanks for visiting my website.  I look forward to sharing more video gaming news with you!

Bye now,

Ms. H

"Ms. H=Win!"

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Last Updated on Monday, 21 November 2011 03:15

Hits: 730

Star Wars: The Old Republic - Sales Limited!

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Source:  PC Magazine.Com, David Murphy, August 22, 2011

Are you an avid fan of the Star Wars video games?  By avid, I mean do you go out on launch day and be the first in line, either virtual or physical, as soon as the game becomes available?  If you do, I have some news for you and this may be a first!

This just in!  Electronic Arts plans to limit the number of games sales  on launch day for Star Wars:  The Old Republic!  According to the author of the article entitled, " EA Slaps Hard Limit on Presales for Star Wars:  The Old Republic"  usually a publisher of a new video game will do just the opposite and push for more sales.

The reason behind the limit in the sales of this game? Here's the answer directly from an anonymous representative for both EA and Bioware:

"We are limiting launch quantities of Star Wars: The Old Republic to ensure players have a smooth and high quality game experience and service at launch."

So looks like the culprit is the fear EA has on the strain on the servers due to the large number of players expected online on launch day --  which would in turn have a negative impact on your game play.

The game is currently  available for order on a limited basis.  The representative states that once the games are gone, they are gone.

Well, not really gone .  Would that be any way to run a business?  Instead EA will work to expand its servers once the digital sales quota is met, and will eventually allow more sales of the game. There was no indication of how long it would take EA to ramp up the capacity of its servers. 

If you have already pre-ordered the game, you are in the clear! Meaning you will be able to get the game once it comes out.

Ms.H's take:  What better way to have video game players rush off to get the game because they think the number of games available will run out?  Could this be a marketing tactic for EA by doing just the opposite of what this news article is suggesting?  In other words, could EA be using the limited sales ploy as a way to ramp up sales on launch day? 

However, to be on the safe side,  if you are interested in this game, the recommendation is to go out or online and get  Star Wars - The Old Republic  on launch day, before the copies run out. 

By the way, I checked around and was unable to obtain for you an exact launch date, so as of right now, that date is unknown.

My minute is up!  Thanks for visiting my website!  I look forward to sharing more video gaming news with you!

Thanks to my Twitter followers!  It's nice to know you are there.

If  you have not already done so, I would be happy to have you  follow me on Twitter!

Ms. H is now on Twitter under "MsHequalswin!"

Bye now and take care,

Ms. H

"Ms. H = Win!"

Last Updated on Monday, 21 November 2011 03:17

Hits: 695

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