Wednesday, June 12, 2013

How can this be?

The war is on since XBox details started to surface and the doubts were shattered on this week's E3 conference. I never owned an XBox (the market here is quite small for that platform), but surely the whispers that sounded after the Playstation announcement of the PS4 seemed too bad to be true. The worst fears were indeed confirmed this week, making the XBox One the new item people love to hate.

Basically, do you have internet? Good for you! you can consider having an XBox One. You don't? Oh... sorry about that... This means many people will be left behind with this restrictive strategy. Sure, it depends on where you live, but it's plain wrong, in my opinion. 

The explanation by Microsoft: “Xbox One is designed to run in a low-powered, connected state. This means your system, games and apps are always current and ready to play—no more waiting for updates. While a persistent connection is not required, Xbox One is designed to verify if system, application or game updates are needed and to see if you have acquired new games, or resold, traded in, or given your game to a friend. Games that are designed to take advantage of the cloud may require a connection.”

“With Xbox One you can game offline for up to 24 hours on your primary console, or one hour if you are logged on to a separate console accessing your library. Offline gaming is not possible after these prescribed times until you re-establish a connection, but you can still watch live TV and enjoy Blu-ray and DVD movies."

Microsoft added "because every Xbox One owner has a broadband connection, developers can create massive, persistent worlds that evolve even when you’re not playing."

Apart from this, you can't give away a game to a friend. And gifting is restricted to some rules. You can only give your games once and only to a friend in your friends list for at least 30 days. Isn't that a little... stupid? Yes. Stupid. Call me old school, but what's the harm in borrowing games from friends? Why do I have to carry the console to a friends house if I want to play? What if my friend doesn't have internet at home? Oh, that's right... I can't do that. Borrowing games it's a no-no for now... But Microsoft is "exploring the possibilities" with their partners.

The point is, Microsoft may have shot their feet with these features and point blank ignored all the gamers opinions. We'll see how it goes from now...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

L.A. Noire

Since I started to earn my own money, one of my biggest "investments" was a PS3, and I'm kind of devoted to find the games that are acclaimed by the critics, innovative and that match my preferences. A friend of mine talked about L.A. Noire at the time the game was released. At the time, I didn't have my PS3, so I had to wait to play it for a long time. Everything in the game pointed out to a very good experience. But the graphics caught my eye... Carrying the Rockstar Games logo on the cover is a fairly good sign that the game will be good. At the time, I had already played GTA IV and Red Dead Redemption and, in their own ways, they were pretty amazing.

The game is set in the 1940's and it drinks it's inspiration in the noir films of the 40's and 50's. Like a masterpiece, every detail matters. From the music, the cars, the background, the story... It's kinda funny to see Los Angeles being built. Never been there, but still, it's a nice thing. The story follows Cole Phelps in his career in the Los Angeles Police Department. The point of the game is solving crimes, taking clues and leads and interrogating suspects. And here is the brilliance of this game... You have to guess if the suspect is telling the truth or lying. And you do that based on facial expressions and reactions of the suspect. It may not be a perfect system, but it's amazing how this was achieved...

The game uses Depth Analysis's MotionScan. The actors were filmed by 32 surrounding cameras to capture facial expressions from every angle, making the lying detection possible in the game. The technology made the next video possible too: a gag reel. Yes, that exactly...

Again we are watching real mistakes from the actors, a video released by Depth Analysis. This is the first motion captured blooper reel!

At the time I was playing, it felt like I was in a movie, directing it in a way. I was a part of the game by the way that I felt immersed in this world. For all that, and the brilliance of the technology used, this is an amazing title to play. Rumor has it that a sequel is on the works. Let's hope so. Bring it, bigger and better.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Transformers 4: some makeover you got there!

Transformers 4 won't be out until the 29th June 2014, but there's something to be happy about. This movie won't be a reboot, like Michael Bay previously said, but the bots will have a slight... makeover. The story will be set 4 years from Transformers: Dark of the Moon. The cast includes Mark Wahlberg, as previously stated, plus Jack Reynor and Li Bingbing.

This is the Hound, "one of the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles from Oshkosh Defense". In the animated series, Hound used his ability to capture and project holographic imagery on a series of dinosaur fossils, which led to the creation of Dinobots named Grimlock, Slag, and Sludge. A sign? Or nothing at all?

Awww! How I've missed Bumblebee! This is his new face! Let's hope the personality stays intact.

Optimus Prime is back too, and in style!

This Chevrolet Corvette Stingray could be anyone... But the plausible options would be Sideswipe or Slingshot. For now, we know the car is in the movie. For which bot, we'll have to wait.

This awesome Buggatti (worth $2.4 million...) is another one of the mystery bots... On Buzzfeed, they speculate it could be Drift or Hot Rod.

Yes, I'm excited. And anxious to see the VFX breakdown on this one...