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Pixelbot E3 Coverage: Sony

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Hi there! Well, it’s Sony’s turn to end this year’s E3 press conference. What will they announce? What sorts of surprises do they have up their sleeves? Will they be able to throw down against Microsoft’s game-only press conference. Let’s find out, shall we?

Sony kicked off the press conference with a Destiny story trailer. We get a little bit more background of the plot for Destiny with a few glimpses of gameplay. As if it wasn’t exciting enough, Sony announced an exclusive white PS4 Destiny bundle.

Next, we got some more gameplay footage of The Order: 1886. This time, we get to see one of the creatures you’ll be facing. Up till now, gameplay footage has primarily featured human enemies, so it’s nice to actually see one of the creatures you’ll be up against. I’m glad they showed off the supernatural horror aspect of the game here!

Following The Order, we get a preview of an indie game called Entwined. It’s a love story between a polygonal stork and fish and has a very Child of Eden style of gameplay. The surprising part: it’s out right now.

Sucker Punch games revealed a brand new stand-alone DLC for Infamous: Second Son called Infamous: First Light that features the character, Fetch. They announce that you do NOT need Second Son to play the DLC.

After First Light comes one of the first blinding surprises (pun clearly intended) of Sony’s conference: Little Big Planet 3 for PS4. We’re introduced to three new characters: Oddsock (a four-legged character who can move quickly and wall jump), Toggle (the largest character of the bunch who can move heavy objects and also shrink himself) and Swoop (a bird character who can fly and pick up other characters as well).

After the happy, colorful world of Little Big Planet 3, we transition to, what has to be, my most anticipated title: Bloodborne. Developed by Fromsoftware, the guys behind Dark Souls, we get a Victorian horror-style cinematic trailer that ups the creepiness, violence and disparity up to 11. It’s crazy how this trailer shows RIGHT after Little Big Planet, like you went from eating gummy bears right to tearing the flesh off a rotting animal.

Speaking of animals, Ubisoft shows us what an angry elephant can do to a person in the gameplay footage for Far Cry 4. During the gameplay we get a taste of the airy, mountainous views of the Himalayas (that remind me of some of the areas of Tomb Raider), single player combat, a fortress takeover with the help of a second player as well as, you guessed it, a ticked off elephant. To add the proverbial cherry on top, Ubisoft announced that if your friends want to join you in co-op, they don’t need to own Far Cry 4. Guess it won’t be so lonely at the top.

Next up, we get a cinematic trailer reveal for Dead Island 2 that features what appears to be the stereotypical Venice beach, only to be populated with zombies.

While we’re on the subject of zombies, the Clickers from The Last of Us will be featured in the PS4 edition of Diablo III!

Afterwards, we get a preview of the chaotic gameplay from the new Battlefield: Hardline. It’s cops vs. robbers, with 100x more destruction. Don’t know how the city is going to pay for all the damages, but when you’re living in LA, high taxes don’t surprise you. Also, it’s revealed that the open beta is available to download for PS4 users.

We get a few brief announcements for Disney Infinity 2.0 as well as a new Magicka trailer that features an unemployed wizard and his humorous, job-less antics. It may or may not feature accidentally exploding a cat.

Just like the exploding cat, our minds exploded when Sony announced that Double Fine would be working on a remastered version of the much beloved adventure game Grim Fandango. I squealed in delight over this news, to

We changed gears into the indie gaming world with announcements from Devolver Digital such as Broforce, Not a Hero, Hotline Miami: Wrong Number and Titan Souls coming to Vita and PS4.

Suda51, the studio behind stylistic oddities such as Killer is Dead and Lollipop Chainsaw, reveal their newest title Let It Die. And yes, it’s pretty violent. Reminds me of Manhunt.

While we’re talking about game studios with numbers in their names, 505 Games along with Giant Squid announced a new game Abzu, a PS4 exclusive game. It’s from the makers of Journey and looks to be the inverse of Journey: instead of desert sand, we get tropical underwater exploration. And also, the fantastic Austin Wintory is back to compose the soundtrack.

Exploration is the keyword with the beautiful gameplay trailer for the much-anticipated, procedurally generated No Man’s Sky from Hello Games (makers of Joe Danger). We get a glimpse of unique wildlife, aerial combat and the sense of infinitely different worlds. No player starts on the same planet and exploring different worlds is just the beginning.

Following this lineup of amazing indie titles, we get to some updates on the consoles themselves. YouTube integration such as uploading video clips directly to your YouTube account were revealed. PS Now was revealed to begin open beta on July 31st and select Sony smart TVs will be able to use PS Now: all you need is a Dualshock 3 controller.

And speaking of TVs, Sony announced PS TV: a tiny little box that hooks up to your PS4 and lets you play your PS4 via Remote Play to a secondary TV in your home. You’ll be able to access streaming content as well.

We finally get a gameplay trailer for Mortal Kombat X! Sony shows off some next-gen bone-breaking, neck-snapping & body-dismembering: all the things Mortal Kombat lovers are bloodthirsty for.

Following MKX, Sony brings out comic-writing legend Brian Michael Bendis (who’s writing seemingly a million Marvel titles right now) to promote Powers, a superhero detective story based on the graphic novel written by him as well as a future adapted TV show and video game. The show will be streamed entirely for free for PS+ users also.

On the subject of adaptations, Sony revealed a sneak peek at the Ratchet & Clank movie! Insomniac Games is working closely with the movie to ensure it stays true to the much-beloved franchise.

Afterwards, we get a release date for The Last of Us Remastered: July 29! I’m tempted to pick it up even though I already own it for PS3.

Following The Last of Us Remastered, we get a chilling, music video trailer for the much anticipated Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain featuring the song “Nuclear” by Mike Oldfield.

GTA V for PS4 is confirmed for this fall!! And the best part: you can transfer your PS3 and 360 profiles to PS4. Sweetness.

We’ve all been hearing about Rocksteady’s new Batman: Arkham Knight and we finally get a glimpse of next-gen Bats flying around, knocking out baddies and now we get to see the Dark Knight ride around in his Batmobile! And did we mention that it TURNS INTO A FREAKING TANK? It looks extremely promising and that Scarecrow will be haunting my dreams tonight.

Saving the very best for the very last, Naughty Dog reveals a cinematic trailer for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. We get dialogue between Nate and Sully about doing one last job together after being out of the game for a while. 2015 can’t come soon enough.

Phew! What a recap! Sony has always known to rock the house at its E3 press conference and this year was no different. So many new titles in the pipeline for Sony and I’m extremely excited to play these games. Thanks for checking out this recap, let us know what game you’re most excited for from Sony! And be sure to subscribe to our podcasts and follow us on all the social media platforms. We’ll be covering more gaming news as the week progresses so stay tuned!

Pixelbot E3 Coverage: Ubisoft

So this will be my last post for today, as Jed will cover Sony’s presentation. Let’s get started.

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Pixelbot E3 Coverage: EA

This is Brent. We are back. This time covering EA’s press conference. What are you expecting this time?

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Pixelbot E3 Coverage: Microsoft

Good morning everyone. This is Brent and this is my first post on the blog. We begin this year’s edition of E3 with Microsoft’s Press Conference.

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Wrapping Up 2013

I think I can say with certainty that 2013 was one of the best years we’ve had in the world of video games. And my, did we play and discuss games! After writing down almost all the 2013 games we played, I can’t believe we actually played so many titles this year alone. Sure, over the course of 9 months of doing this podcast we branched out into other aspects of geek culture like comics and movies, but video games are at main the core of The Pixelbot. So, in alphabetical order, here’s the list of console/pc and mobile games we covered in 2013. What were your top games of this year? Let us know in the comments. Happy New Year, everyone!

Console & PC Games

  • Akaneiro
  • Animal Crossing: New Leaf
  • Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
  • Batman: Arkham Origins
  • Battlefield 4
  • Beyond: Two Souls
  • Bioshock Infinite
  • Castle of Illusion Remastered
  • Don’t Starve
  • Duck Tales Remastered
  • Final Fantasy XXIV: A Realm Reborn
  • God of War: Ascension
  • Grand Theft Auto 5
  • Guacamelee
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us
  • The Last of Us
  • Mighty Switch Force 2
  • Neverwinter
  • Papers Please
  • Pokemon X & Y
  • Poker Night 2
  • Remember Me
  • Resogun
  • Rogue Legacy
  • Saints Row IV
  • State of Decay
  • Surgeon Simulator 2013
  • The Swapper
  • Tomb Raider
  • The Wolf Among Us

 


Mobile Games

  • Angry Birds GO
  • Candy Box
  • Candy Box 2
  • Cookie Clicker
  • Dead Ahead
  • Fish Out of Water
  • Nimble Quest
  • Plants vs Zombies 2
  • Random Heroes 2
  • Ridiculous Fishing
  • Slayin
  • Super Stickman Golf 2
  • Tiny Death Star
  • Wrestle Jump

My Thoughts on Man of Steel

I will keep this article spoiler-free for those who have yet to see the film. Also, this isn’t necessarily a movie review. I guess you can say it’s more of my musings on one of the misconceptions many have had in regards to Man of Steel. I managed to take my dad last weekend to see the film (and lunch and froyo) as a father’s day gift, and he thoroughly enjoyed the movie. As this week went by I began to contemplate about the film and people’s mixed reactions to it.

Superman has always been portrayed as the “boy scout” superhero, the Captain America of sorts to DC Comics. Armed with a strong sense of justice, charisma, leadership and of course amazing superpowers, Clark Kent/Kal-El/Superman has been the quintessential superhero of not only the United States but of the western world. But how would a being like Clark Kent be treated in a more “realistic” setting? Zack Snyder, Christopher Nolan and David Goyer decided to tackle this question in Man of Steel.

I think that because the name “Christopher Nolan” was attached to the project, a majority of the people (myself included) were expecting a “Dark Knight” seriousness to Man of Steel. And indeed the movie was serious, but a different kind of serious. In what ways, you ask?

We have to consider a couple childhood differences between Bats and Supes. Let’s take a quick look at Batman:

  1. Batman is raised without parents for a majority of his life (though Alfred is seen as the ‘father figure’ in Bruce’s life).
  2. The murder of his parents leads him to swear revenge on crime and to rid Gotham City by striking fear into the hearts of criminals.

Now let’s examine Superman:

  1. Superman is raised by two adoptive parents in middle America.
  2. Because of their positive influence on him, Superman develops a solidified view of justice, sacrifice and right & wrong.

Though there are many more points that can be made (depending on which story arc you’re using as a point of reference), we can all come to a general consensus about the Dark Knight and Man of Steel: they’re different personalities. How Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent were raised as children molded them into two very distinct men. One mainly seeks to destroy evil through fear and intimidation to avenge the murder of his loved ones, the other to be a protector and uphold morality. One lives in the gray, the other in black and white. Both men seek to protect the innocent, but their methods of achieving their goals are on opposite ends of the spectrum.

mos-2So that brings me to my point in how Man of Steel is a different kind of “serious” than the Dark Knight films. I believe that the serious nature of the film revolves around this principle: to truly protect people you may have to make extremely tough decisions even if they aren’t the most popular ones. Though the Batman films addressed this same principle, what distinguished Man of Steel is that now you have a character with strong, moral, “black & white” principles who’s thrown into the gray area. How would the “boy scout in blue” act when he has to protect people who may not even appreciate him? To what extreme will he go to save lives? Are certain actions justifiable?

I understand that comic book fans were not too pleased with the controversial ending of the film, particularly Mark Waid who has been very vocal about Man of Steel (his review does contain spoilers). As a relatively new comic book fan, I haven’t been too deep into the Superman mythos but I at least know the basics of who he is, having grown up in the 90s and watched a little bit of Superman: The Animated Series. But for me, I’m more than willing to give new visions of comic book characters a try. Zack Snyder pushes the film into controversial territory but I feel like he does so to provoke those questions I mentioned in the previous paragraph. At the very least, it gets us talking about those important questions.

As a self-proclaimed geek, I get that our lot is very protective of the characters we’ve grown to love and cherish. They’re like friends that have been with us every step of our journey through life. When those characters are changed dramatically from what we have grown up with, we get outraged a majority of the time. I know I do sometimes. But over time, I’ve come to learn to try and see things from the other person’s point of view. Even I disagree with certain aspects, the fact that someone else had the courage to create a bold, personal interpretation of a beloved character is something I respect as an artist.

mos_kcsonAll this to say is that I did enjoy Zack Snyder’s take on Man of Steel. It was by no means a perfect movie for sure and it had its flaws. But regardless of what people think of Zack Snyder’s take on Superman, I feel as though people are glossing over the most important message of the entire film: being a good father to your child can make a world of a difference in his or her life. The life and example of a good dad makes a huge impact on how his children will grow up to be, and that’s a message that needs to be told to our generation more than ever.