Okay, So A Change of Plans…

Originally, I had planned on writing all my stuff here, as the Philly Games Guy. There’d be commentary, opinion, funny around the internet stuff, etc.

However, things change all the time, and because of a certain English podcast partner of mine, they’ve changed again.

From now on, if you want to see my writing, look no further than…here

Oh BioWare, How I Love Your Fan-Service

So I’m putzing around the Internet as I tend to do when I stumble upon this video. Not bad, I thought, but it seems like some fan-fiction going on here. Although, that voice is REALLY convincing…RESEARCH TIME!

Guess what?! Kimberly Brooks, the voice of Ashley, ACTUALLY recorded this. This is real. I couldn’t believe it. This is the type of fan-service I can get behind, building plot point months before your game even drops.

The source link is below…and for the lady Mass Effect fans, the source has another link for the letter Kaidan recorded.

http://fangeek.com/2011/12/14/surprise-for-mass-effect-fans-from-raphael-sbarge-and-kimberly-brooks/

My Gaming 2011, or The List That Will Make My Fiancee Cringe


So another year has come and gone, and now that it’s over we can all go back and see what we played and what we missed. In writing down my list, I realized one major thing: sweet Jesus Christ I played a lot of games this year. Granted, I didn’t finish them all, but I played enough of them to know what they had to offer. Some of these games I’m still playing, and I probably will be for all of 2012. I always thought I was behind the curve, but seeing my list in writing is…wow, it’s unreal. Without further adieu, here’s everything I’ve played this year, in release date order:

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective
LittleBigPlanet 2
Dead Space 2
Bulletstorm
You Don’t Know Jack
Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation
Marvel VS Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds
Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together PSP
Homefront
Pokemon Black and White
MLB 11: The Show
Dragon Age II
Crysis 2
Dissidia 012: Final Fantasy
Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition
Nintendogs and Cats: French Bulldog
WWE All-Stars
Final Fantasy IV: Complete Collection
Mortal Kombat
Portal 2
L.A. Noire
inFAMOUS 2
Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition
Child of Eden
Alice: Madness Returns
Duke Nukem Forever
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
NCAA Football 2012
Catherine
Bastion
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Dead Island
Warhammer 40K: Space Marine
Gears of War 3
FIFA Soccer 2012
Ico and Shadow of the Colossus HD
Dark Souls
Professor Layton and the Last Specter
Dead Rising 2: Off The Record
Batman: Arkham City
Battlefield 3
Disney Universe
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Metal Gear Solid HD Collection
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Super Mario 3D Land
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition
Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3
Rayman Origins
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy (3DS)
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
The King of Fighters XIII
WWE ’12
Mario Kart 7

Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhh, that’s a metric shit-ton of stuff. Hard to really wrap my head around it, to be honest. Although, to put things into perspective, here’s a brief list of what I’ve yet to play!

Killzone 3
Okamiden
The 3rd Birthday
Arcana Heart 3
SOCOM 4
Brink
Red Faction: Armageddon
Dungeon Siege III
FEAR 3
Shadows of the Damned
Earth Defense Force 2017: Insect Armageddon
From Dust
Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet
El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron
Madden NFL 2012
Disgaea 4
Driver: San Francisco
Resistance 3
NHL 2012
X-Men Destiny
Star Fox 64 3D
Rage
Spiderman: Edge of Time
Forza Motorsport 4
Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure
Kirby’s Return to Dreamland
Goldeneye: Reloaded
Lord of the Rings: War in the North
Sonic Generations
Need for Speed: The Run
Saints Row: The Third

A couple of those on the not played list really stick in my craw (Saints Row, Rage, Kirby, and Star Fox 3D, for starters) and I’d like to remedy that as soon as possible. However, I think I did pretty good with getting my 2011 gaming on.

Did I miss anything?

 

A New Year Brings New Beginnings…

Hey there, intrepid Philly Games Blog readers…all three of you…

When I decided to create my own blog, I had big things in mind. Giant, colossal things. Things that, unfortunately, it’s rather hard for one man to do. As such, I’ve decided to change the focus of this here writing stop. No longer will I call myself “Philly Games Blog,’ as that makes me sounds like I’m the one blog representing Philadelphia video games, and that’s a bit presumptuous. I’m one guy, who happens to live in the City of Brotherly Love, talking about the vidya gaimz from one perspective.

Hence, “Philly Games Guy.”

The new title basically says everything you need to know about me and what I’ll be doing here: Philly guy talking games. Of course, some may say “well now you make it sound like you’re the only guy in Philly who talks games” and those people are sarcastic asshole neckbeards that are trying to start trouble. Or my brother. Either way, that’s not what I’m trying to do. This is my personal soapbox, where I can rant and rave about games however I please.

Title of the blog aside, starting next Monday I’m going to go through my personal Best of 2011 series. 50 categories total will be presented, broken into 5 days: Original Categories on Monday, Sound on Tuesday, Technical on Wednesday, Genre on Thursday, and Console Awards and The Big Three (Dev, Publisher, Game of the Year) on Friday. It will be a great lead-in to what looks like a stellar year of gaming.

There will (hopefully) be other posts this week leading up to said awards, so keep an eye on the new Philly Games Guy blog!

P.S. Notice the URL changed too. If you have this favorited, EDIT IT NAO.

Webisodes Worth Watching: The Work of Maximilian

This is Maxmilian. If you’re a gamer and you don’t know who he is, you’re doing yourself a great disservice.

Granted, outside of the fighting game community, he’s not all that well known. Max (pictured here with his roommate Victor Von Doom) has a TON of game tutorial-based web series. He started almost four years ago by uploading videos of Street Fighter III: Third Strike casual matches (this one being the very first on his YouTube channel). He progressed into Super Street Fighter IV, where my favorite videos of his are titled “Rose and her ShamWow.” (Because let’s face it: Rose has a ShamWow.)

Max hit paydirt, however, with his series “The Online Warrior.” It’s literally just a series of captured online matches with his commentary, but the way he explains the choices he makes and the matches you’re watching are simply excellent. Watching one of his videos will make fighting game experts say “that makes sense” and new guys say “hm, I wonder if I could do that.” Of course, it helps that Max is REALLY FREAKIN’ GOOD at fighters…wouldn’t exactly serve him well to stink at the games he’s demoing, right?

Eventually, “Online Warrior” would spawn some evolutions, including what is my personal favorite series of his: Assist Me! Assist Me is a character-specific tutorial highlighting the ins and outs of particular fighters (the first being his roommate Victor Von Doom). Max really digs deep into the character, giving tips that normal players (AKA playing with non-pros) wouldn’t be able to pick up on. However, he explains these things in a way that ANYONE can understand. I’ve certainly felt a lot more confident in my playing after watching.

With the announcement of Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, you’d think Max would lay off the Marvel videos and focus on something else. Au contraire, mon ami, Max’s work is far from done. Capcom, being fans of his work, approached him about doing an exclusive, pre-release series titled Ultimate Assist Me, featuring two of the twelve new characters per episode. Max groups his tutorials with humorous scenes featuring one of the characters he’s detailing (the Strider one is particularly good for longtime Marvel vs Capcom fans).  He covers everything a player looking forward to Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 would need to know: mobility, specials, supers, and more. He even shows off a few combos just to drive his point home. Ten of the twelve new characters are featured, with the last episode hitting this week (covering the recently announced Frank West and Rocket Raccoon). Not only that, but he’s also been doing video change log tutorials detailing all of the changes to the original game’s cast (as of this writing, he’s completed the Marvel side of the cast in four episodes, with the Capcom side to come). The dude is ALL OVER Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, and you’re looking forward to it, you should be watching.

Now I know what you’re thinking, “Geez Jay, another freakin’ fighting game article. We know you’re obsessed with him, but for the love of Doom give us something else!” There is more to Max than just fighters, you know…

See, Max is also a huge Call of Duty fan. He’s made multiple videos detailing his Modern Warfare and Black Ops escapades (including one of if not THE first nuke in Modern Warfare 2). His commentary with CoD is just as good as his fighting game stuff, as he talks about matches he played and how he approached them. This is no one trick pony, not by a long shot. CoD fans (and I know you’re out there) could stand to watch his videos too. Now, is he more focused on the fighting games? Yes, but wouldn’t you be if the maker of the game came to you and asked to produce stuff for them? Can’t say I blame him.

Maximilian and his smorgsabord of gaming video are definitely another example of Webisodes Worth Watching. Make sure that you do.

Hot Off The Grill: November 8 and 11

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Like a freshly cooked cheesesteak, each week sees the release of a new batch of games that we can sink our teeth into. Some weeks taste better than others, but the fun lies in the discovery. Don’t know for sure if you like something until you try it, right?

First off, yes, I know i missed a week. Reviewing two games for GamerNode and playing a highly-anticipated game featuring some guy named Drake will do that to you.

Secondly, do I even need to tell you what comes out this week? Only the biggest, most advertised launch of the friggin’ year in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

As for the sorry saps that launch with it, we have the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection (which despite its launch day SHOULD NOT BE MISSED), Happy Feet Two, and The Black Eyed Peas Experience. Heh, not exactly a strong group of contenders, AMIRITE?!

HOWEVER, let’s not overlook Friday the 11th, when the GLORIOUS Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim descends from heaven to shower up with gaming goodness. Happy 7th anniversary baby and good luck to my sister in her starring role in Footloose at my alma mater. If you need me, I’ll be in Skyrim.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The blogger will NOT actually be passing up those two events for Skyrim. Lay down your arms, people!)

Without further ado, the list:

Xbox 360:
Big League Sports
Black Eyed Peas Experience, The
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion XL
Deepak Chopra’s Leela
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (11/11)
Happy Feet Two
Jonah Lomu Rugby Challenge
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (11/11)
Metal Gear Solid HD Collection
Nickelodeon Dance
Raving Rabbids: Alive & Kicking
Self-Defense Training Camp
Sledge Hammer
SpongeBob: Roadtrip
Winter Stars
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012

PlayStation 3:
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion XL
Chrono Cross (PSN)
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (11/11)
Happy Feet Two
Heavy Rain (Director’s Cut)
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (11/11)
Metal Gear Solid HD Collection

Wii:
Black Eyed Peas Experience, The
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion XL
Deepak Chopra’s Leela
Happy Feet Two
Jaws: Ultimate Predator
Kore Gang, The
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (11/11)
Nickelodeon Dance
Winter Stars

PC:
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (11/11)
L.A. Noire The Complete Edition
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (11/11)
Pro Evolution Soccer 2012

3DS:
Cave Story 3D
Face Racers: Photo Finish
Happy Feet Two
Hidden, The
Jaws: Ultimate Predator
Michael Jackson: The Experience
Outdoors Unleashed: Africa 3D
Outdoors Unleashed: Alaska 3D
Puppies 3D

DS:
Lalaloopsy
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
DaGeDar
Disney Princess: Enchanting Storybooks
Happy Feet Two
Kids Learn Spelling and Grammar: A+ Edition
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (11/11)
Max & the Magic Marker
Moshi Monsters: Moshling Zoo
Moshi Monsters: Moshling Zoo (Limited Edition)
SpongeBob Surf and Skate Roadtrip
Ultimate Card Games
Wappy Dog

PSP:
Cars 2
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (11/11)

So what are YOU playing?

NYCC 2011: Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 Hands-On Preview

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It’s no secret that I’m a Marvel vs Capcom fan. It’s easily one of my favorite franchises of all time, so much so that the main reason I’ve attended the last two Comic-Cons was to get hands-on time with MvC games before they launch (original MvC3 last year, Ultimate this year). This year my excitement was at a fever pitch with the reveal of Phoenix Wright as a playable character. How would he play? What would he feel like? No sooner did I walk into the convention did I find out, and guess what? He’s killer.

For those not familiar, Mr. Wright has three phases: Investigation, Courtroom, and Turnabout (just like the games!). He also has three folder symbols above his Super meter, and a fourth symbol (magnifying glass, attorney’s badge, hand with pointed finger) telling which phase he’s in.

In Investigation mode, Phoenix can pick up pieces of evidence on the ground, which will fill his folder meter. If the evidence is correct, the folder will light up, and if not it’ll stay dark. Evidence is gathered by pressing S (launcher) and any of the three attacks, each one corresponding to a folder in the meter (Light is left, medium is middle, heavy is right). Once all three are gathered, Down Down S will switch him to Courtroom mode, where his normals and specials will change and he can present the evidence for different effects. Finally, with three pieces of evidence in courtroom mode, if Phoenix hits the Objection move, it’s Turnabout time, and he becomes a BEAST.

Obviously that is a barebones summary, but suffice it to say that Phoenix represents his series well. His normal attacks include digging on the ground, throwing papers, and sneezing as a launcher. He’s fun to watch, and even more fun to play.

Of course, I didn’t travel all that way just to play Phoenix Wright. The rest of UMvC3 is shaping up quite nicely. It doesn’t play any differently than MvC3, but there are enough changes to the characters to keep players busy. Of the other new characters:

-Strider is just how fans of MvC2 will remember him. He’s fast and deadly, but he can’t take a hit worth a damn. He’s all about getting in the opponent’s grill and staying there from what I played of him.

-Ghost Rider has a lot of Dhalsim qualities with his whip’s long reach and fire-breathing specials. His Penance Stare is also one of the best-looking specials in the game in person. It’s always tough to hit command grabs, but Ghost Rider’s is totally worth it.

-Doctor Strange is going to take some work to learn. Seeing as how I only got one match with him, I couldn’t really get a handle on his many projectiles. I will say that his Spell of Vishanti super move might be one of the best in the game: an instantaneous 20-hit pillar of light wherever the opponent is standing. Watch out for Strange, he’ll be a terror in the right hands.

Those were the three new characters I got to try, but I also used my two MvC3 stalwarts, Zero and Super Skrull, and they were as powerful as ever.

Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 is shaping up to be one of the best entries in the series, and I can’t wait for it. November 15th is already bad on the wallets of gamers (Assassin’s Creed Revelations, Halo Anniversary, Saints Row The Third, Need for Speed: The Run, and more), and UMvC3’s excellent New York Comic Con showing is only making November 15th look that much better.