Jul 152013
 

 

violent-video-gamesViolence in video games is one topic that comes up a lot when there’s been a mass shooting or an obscure crime. Video games have always had a lot of controversy surrounding them when it comes to touchy subjects like violence, but is it all so needed? And why is the media so quick to jump and blame video games for peoples actions?

There have been many cases where violent video games have been blamed for a criminal’s actions, but the most prominent example I’ve found is the case of Devin Moore.

vice_cityDevin Moore was convicted of murder after the 2003 shooting of two police officers and a dispatcher with a .44 caliber pistol before fleeing the police station in a police cruiser. This sparked off controversy around the recently released Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, as there’s a mission in the game that has you doing the exact thing that Devin did. Moore was sentenced to death by lethal injection, and the victim’s families went on to sue Sony, Take Two, Wal-Mart and GameStop. Devin Moore had allegedly played Vice City for days on end prior to his attack, and the media said that he was trained to kill.

Since then, there have been many more shootings and deaths that the media have tried relentlessly to pin on video games, such as many of the school shootings in the United States. We all know that games can be violent, but they don’t train people to kill others. Video game studios don’t put out messages and step-by-step instructions on how to get away with a crime or murder. Games aren’t real life, and that’s the bottom line.

Some of the criminals in these crimes are underage and can’t fully understand the consequences of their actions. This doesn’t excuse their actions, regardless of their age. Some of the people involved in the crimes, such as Devin Moore, are troubled teenagers with a bad background. Devin was abused by his father and used video games as an escape from his troubles, just like a lot of people do. He lost control of his own actions, unfortunately, and it had a tragic outcome.

manhunt-2009-10-17-01-37-43-601Another murder that video games were blamed for is the murder of Stefan Pakeerah. His friend, Warren Leblanc, after Warren had become obsessed with “Manhunt”, a game for the Playstation 2 and Xbox. Manhunt is described to be more of a psychological experience instead of a game. Because of the brutality of the murder, the media and police linked Manhunt to the murder of Stefan. Once again, I don’t feel like it was just the game that spurred the murder on.

There are plenty of people in the world who play violent video games such as Manhunt, Battlefield, Call of Duty, and many others. Grand Theft Auto is incredibly popular, too. The truth is, you don’t see every gamer who plays these incredibly popular games going out and performing the murders shown in the games that they play.

A majority of the people who enjoy sitting and playing video games use it as an escape from their real world troubles. They aren’t seen as a murder simulator or anything of that nature, but I can understand why the media is quick to jump and blame the violence on video games.

call-of-dutyThe violent content in video games get picked out because it’s the most spoken about thing. There are age restrictions for a reason. While working in a retail store through the Christmas parents, I had many parents come in and ask for advice on whether they should purchase the latest Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto game for their 10-14 year old child. My answer was always the same: No, due to the graphic content of this game, I wouldn’t allow a child to play this game. Did they listen? Nope! At the time of the Devin Moore case, he was 16. He was somehow able to get his hands on an M (Ages 17+) game. Parents should share a bit of the blame, as well as the retailer. The majority of the blame, though, should lie on the criminals and their actions, not on the industry as a whole.

In my opinion, violent content in video games isn’t a big deal in any way. It doesn’t train people to kill others, and it’s not a thing to feel threatened by. People can clearly see the line between violence in video games and violence in real life, and they know right from wrong. I see it as a problem the individual committing the crime has, rather than learnt behavior from virtual reality. I’d love to hear from some of you guys and what your opinions are on the matter. Let me know!

Apr 252012
 

This week, the Bargain Bin is going PlayStation 3 exclusive, bitches. That’s right, we are venturing into the alternative timeline universe, where the Russians fucked up, and all of Europe has been destroyed by the Chimera. Resistance: Fall of Man was developed by Insomniac Games, published by Sony Computer Entertainment and released in late 2006. It was the must own launch title back then and won numerous awards for PlayStation 3 Game of the Year. Sales were great, but many eventual purchasers of the PlayStation 3 may have missed out on a great title. In the following year, Resistance was near the top of the charts for game sales on the PlayStation 3 platform, and earned itself among the first batch of PS3 Greatest Hits titles. The game has aged, as all games do, yet the experience is great, the gameplay is excellent, and for the prices you can find this game for, it is simply a must buy for PS3 owners everywhere.

The Story

You begin the game in 1945, as an American Soldier named Nathan Hale. The soft voice of a woman tells you of the outbreak of the Chimera, an alien race that has quickly taken over most of Europe. After the Chimera spread across Russia and into western Europe, the dug through the channel, making their way to England. This is where the story of Resistance: Fall of Man takes place. American troops are sent into England to help with support. In exchange for our troops, weapons and tanks, the Brits promised to give us something that was beyond our creative abilities. Of course you won’t find out what the details of the exchange  until later. From there, you are taken on a ride throughout the English countryside, smashing Chimera and taking all their swag. The game plays solely in the first person perspective, except for the few times you operate vehicles such as tanks.

The Gameplay

The gameplay in Resistance: Fall of Man is some of the smoothest you will ever see. The aiming mechanic is spot on, and strafing through the world seems as crisp as possible. The game features the basic story mode, as well as both cooperative play and versus multiplayer. The online versus multiplayer obviously wont garner the same amount of fun as it once had, due to the lack of players available to play with. But if you can find those players out there, you can still create clans and custom games. As of December 2008, both of the downloadable map packs for Resistance: Fall of Man were offered for free as a holiday gift from Insomniac Games in anticipation for Resistance 2, so what little experience you can have with the versus multiplayer has now been expanded free of charge.

Audio/Visual

When comparing the game to recently released titles, you can clearly tell that Resistance: Fall of Man has aged. The graphics are good, no doubt, but they are nothing compared to the likes of Resistance 3. The audio in the game seems a tad bland. It doesn’t do a great job of trying to get you into the story or the battle. It just seems like randomly generated English phrases muttered by your fellow soldiers, or insults slurred in you direction from the attacking Chimera. This is all to be expected of course as Resistance was a launch title for the PlayStation 3 and is nearly six years old.

The Verdict

Although the game appears to have aged a bit, and does not offer trophy support, it is still a great buy. You can easily find the game in the used section of your local retailer, and if not, can find it very quickly online. You can still buy new copies of the game for pretty cheap, since it was released as a PS3 Greatest Hit, but for the prices you can find them at used, it is recommended that you take that route. All in all, Resistance: Fall of Man is a great game. It has smooth controls that any first person shooter (FPS) fan can appreciate and it has a variety of multiplayer modes. You can find Resistance: Fall of Man at the following locations, online prices do not include shipping and handling.

  • GameStop – Used in-store or online for $4.99. $4.50 if you are a Pro Member.
  • Best Buy - Used online for $9.99.
  • Wal-Mart - New for $25.55, available online only.
  • New Egg - New for $27.99.
  • Amazon.com - New starting at $16.91. Used starting at $2.75.

 

 

 

Apr 182012
 

This week, in the Bargain Bin, we are going to take a walk down Memory Lane, which just so happens to lead to the Willamette Mall, located in Willamette, Colorado.  What is the Willamette mall, and why is it important you ask? If you didn’t already know by the title of this article, you might need to do some self-reflecting, but anyways it’s the setting for Dead Rising sillies! Dead Rising was a surprising smash hit released by Capcom in August of 2006. The game stars freelance photojournalist Frank West, as he ventures to this fictional mall in rural Colorado in search of a ground breaking story.  Before we continue, you must know that although this is a game that features zombies and a mall, it is in no way a depiction of George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. I know this for a fact because it says so right on the box.

The Story

You begin your journey to Willamette Mall via a small helicopter flying over a rural city in Colorado. Frank and the pilot exchange a few sentences about why he is there, and you discover that Frank has been tipped off that something big is about to happen in Willamette. As you cruise above the small town, you will notice that the military has blocked off all access to Willamette. Frank then requests a closer look, and you are taken into the city. As you fly closer to the city, you begin taking aerial photographs of the happenings in town. You take notice of the violent nature of some of the people in town, and quickly realize that something has gone terribly wrong here. You are then taken to the roof of the local mall, where you will discover what has happened to the people of Willamette. You descend from the roof of the mall, into the main entrance lobby of the mall. You are greeted by a few characters that will soon meet an unfortunate fate. One of these characters is an hysterical elderly woman, who will stop at nothing to find her little lost poodle. Stop at nothing means, “I am going to open these barricaded doors that are holding off hoards of zombies, so that I can save my stupid dog, no matter the cost humanity will suffer because of it.” Yep, that is how zombies get into the mall, a dumb, old lady. The story here is nothing earth shattering, but the secrecy, strange people and government cover-ups should keep you interested between massive zombie killings.

The Gameplay

The staple of Dead Rising isn’t a great combat system, smooth controls or a great narrative. What makes Dead Rising rise above most zombie games, (see what I did there), is that you can use virtually anything in the mall as a weapon to kill zombies. That is right, almost anything. See that potted plant? Weapon. What about all those umbrellas that cascade over the tables in the food court? Weapons. Hey, are those a sack of precious jewels from the local jewelry store? Weapons. Yes, the amount of items used to kill zombies in Dead Rising is massive and creative, but it is not the only thing the game offers in terms of gameplay. As you make your way through the zombie infested mall, you will begin with one mode. This mode is called 72 Hour Mode, which is the main story mode that leaves you inside the mall for 72 hours, surprising, I know. During this 72 hour period, you can do whatever the hell you want. Save people, do the main missions, kill zombies or run around all willy nilly. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you make it back to the roof, 72 hours after you landed so that the helicopter that dropped you off can pick you back up again. This isn’t 72 hours in real time, but in simulated game time, so don’t worry about having to sink 72 hours to finish the game if you don’t want to.

While you can kill massive amounts of zombies in Dead Rising, you can also take interesting photographs (Frank is a photojournalist you know). These pictures, just like killing zombies, will net you PP, which are points needed to level up. You can gain PP by taking great pictures, killing zombies in interesting ways, completing missions, saving survivors or upping your total kill count. As you level up, you are treated to more health nodes, more inventory slots and even special moves Frank can execute in order to destroy more zombies. At first, the controls will seem a bit wonky, especially the aiming of the camera and guns, but they are very quick to adjust too. The mechanics of the combat leave something to be desired, but the auto lock on feature when you flick your stick towards the zombie you want to attack is usually spot on. The inventory is easy to access, just by pushing the left or right bumpers in the direction you want to sift through, you can highlight whatever weapon you want quickly and easily. The game is certainly not the sharpest controlled game, but it could very easily be a lot worse.

The Price

Here is the best part of the game, the cost. Right now, the cheapest place to buy the game is at GameStop, used. There is will cost you about $4.99, and if you are a pro member at GameStop, you will get ten percent off the purchase of a used game, making your grand total around $4.50. You can also find a used copy of the game at comparable prices over at Amazon.com. If used isn’t somewhere you want to go, amazon.com, as well as, newegg.com have new copies of the game for sale, both hovering around the $10.00 range. If you have never experienced Dead Rising and you own an Xbox 360, five dollars is more than worth the cost of this game.

  • GameStop: $4.99 Used Pro Member 10 percent off, $4.50
  • Amazon Between $3.50-$6.00 Used. Around $10.00 New
  • New Egg Around $10.00

The Verdict

Listen, this was a great game for $60.00 back in the day. With the massive increase in Xbox 360 hardware sales since 2006, there are many Xbox 360 owners who may have never played this game, especially since most console selling games had not been released yet (Gears of War, BioShock, Halo 3). So to be able to experience this game for a measly $5-$10 dollars is such a steal. The gameplay is fun and innovative, the story is decent and will hold your attention and it has fucking zombies in it, that is reason enough to buy the game. There will be times when you are surrounded by hordes of the dead, and you will begin to feel anxiety set in. These are moments that cannot be passed up, especially if they are as cheap as a used copy of DEad Rising. So, if you haven’t played this game, love zombies or are just looking for something new to play, Dead Rising is certainly worth your time and money.

 

Apr 152012
 

I would like to start with the immortal words of Semisonic.  “Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.” And so goes the gaming industry since its inception.  New Consoles come and old ones fade away into the abyss.  With new gaming hardware on the not too distant horizon, rumors of what these new wonder boxes will entail have been spilling out faster than stories of Lindsay Lohan’s arrest reports.  We know a fair amount about the Wii U, however Microsofts next console, codenamed “Durango”, and the Playstation “Orbis” have unconfirmed rumors coming out seemingly every day.  So with that said I felt it might be an appropriate time to reflect on some of these reports and examine the possibility, or lack there of, that any of these will come to fruition.

 

NO USED GAMES:

The first rumor that happens to pertain to both the Durango and the Orbis the idea that both consoles will in some way restrict used games. Now financially this seems to make sense for Microsoft and Sony who lose millions of dollars every year from used game sales.  Retailers like Gamestop buy back games from consumers for next to nothing in most cases, and then resell those used games for just a couple of dollars less than a new copy.  Instead of people buying the game new, they can opt for the $5 off used version.  This essentially cuts out the people who are actually responsible for creating this product from seeing the fruits of their labor.  If the companies that make these games are not making enough of a profit or selling enough copies then just like any company they may simply stop making games.

The used games debate is a much bigger issue than simply cutting off used games all together.  Do consumers own the right to resell their games?  Are they simply renting the rights to the game?  Us console gamers may find this to be a crazy idea but, this is something that PC gamers have been dealing with for years now with DRM and CD keys making sure that the do not have full rights to the game they have paid for.  However, PC gamers usually pay about $10 dollars less so the savings are passed on somewhat.

I for one do not want to be the one to tell this guy if this rumor comes true. It will break his little heart.

Then there is the question of how would this actually be implemented.  The first idea would be similar to that of the online pass which has become almost a staple of the industry these days.  Gamers could purchase their game as normal but be forced to input a one time use code in order to use the game much like the CD key that PC gamers use.  Then the game can still be resold as a used game, however in order to play the game on another console the user would have to then purchase another play pass or user key, whatever you want to call it, in order to unlock the full game.  An idea would be to allow the user play a demo of sorts with the used game, with the option to unlock the full experience by purchasing a full game pass.  This would allow the used game market to exist while guaranteeing developers and publishers are not completely losing out on potential profits.

Now do I think that Microsoft and Sony are ready to cut out used games completely? No I do not.  Do I think that profits lost from the used game market are something that Microsoft and Sony are very concerned about? Of course.  So with that said I do not think Microsoft or Sony are ready to mess with Gamestop and cut out used games completely.  Gamestop is a huge gaming retailer and they have a symbiotic relationship with each other that neither can afford to lose at this point.  I do think that the idea of the online pass could bleed over into some games however.  This may be something that is tested to see the response as has been done with different DRM features in the past with PC games.  If it has a strong enough public outcry they can always choose to patch it out of the game later.

INTERNET CONNECTION REQUIRED:

 

The Durango has been rumored to require a constant internet connection in order to play the games.  This would presumably go hand in hand with the used games being cut off as well as being a way to combat piracy.  Now this is something that at first glance most of us would say “so what? My console is always connected to the internet.”  My grandparents have wifi for god sakes therefore everyone should.  Well apparently this is still not a standard for everyone.  High speed internet has come a long way in the last 10 years but there are still plenty of places even within America where high speed internet does not exist.  Whatever the reason whether it not be cost effective to bring it to a certain area or they simply do not want to have it, high speed internet is simply not a universal given.

I do not have any children myself but am aware that there is a whole generation of new young gamers out there.  From my time spent playing multiplayer shooters and such online I am not sure I would allow my kid access to XBOX live until he was at least 15.  The amount of racial/ethnic/lifestyle choice/general profanity that occurs online is ridiculous.  If you can go online and not be called something ridiculous for no reason at all by some pre pubescent boy then you have lucked out.  So parents can choose to not give their child access to XBOX live or the PSN.  If the internet is require to play the games then these kids would not be able to play these games.

I can only imagine a 6 year old trying to convince his parents that it is okay if he goes online because he needs too.  They would probably just tell him “well i guess you aren’t playing that”.  Not everyone grew up playing games and have the respect and understanding that us gamers do.  I work with plenty of people in their 30s with kids that couldn’t care less about games or high speed internet.  A decision like this would cut out a large market and I believe it is something that neither company could afford to do.

 

NO DISC DRIVE:

 

With the increase in storage space increasing exponentially with every new iteration of a console and downloadable games becoming more and more popular, many would think that discs will eventually go the way of the dodo.  First off let me say that no disc drive goes hand in hand with my previous argument against a constant internet connection being required since that would presumably be the way to obtain these games so that is one strike against this idea off the bat.  Everywhere you look there is talk about physical media disappearing and that this will be the final generation with them.  The PSP Go tried this and failed, and PSN games are known to sell almost universally terribly.  So if history shows us anything we are just not ready to abandon discs.

People love collecting things.  Collector’s additions have become so prevalent that any game worth its weight in salt has one.  People want to hold that box.  They want to rip off that plastic.  I for one love opening things.  It just feels good to hold that new game box and place it in the disc tray knowing you are ready for a good time.  To me downloading diminishes the power of the game.  This is not just for games but movies too.  I am just more likely to watch a movie or play a game if I have the physical disc there with me.  It just makes me want to play.  Now I know this is probably a strange thing to most people but I know I can not be the only one who is a little weird.

So last gen

Storage space may have come a long way but internet speeds are only so fast.  Games are already pushing 3 discs on XBOX and coming close to filling up a blu-ray disc, so downloading these games would take some time.  Having to sit and wait for that game to download cuts out the excitement and instant satisfaction that you can get from putting the game in the disc tray.  Even if you have a small update it would take no where near as long as downloading a game.  Storage would also have to be pushed to almost a terabyte in order to store a handful of next generation games assuming that they continue to take up more and more space.

I think it is also important to look as who typically purchases many of these games.  As I said before there are new gamers being born every day.  If they are anything like I was as a young gamer then their parents and grandparents will be buying them games for holidays, birthdays and other occasions.  Try explaining how to buy Xbox live points to my grandparents and they would be so confused.  No grandma $10 is 800 Microsoft point don’t you get it.  Also Christmas is about opening gifts for most families.  You can’t open a digital game.  Using my parents and grandparents to buy me games for christmas was my number one way of obtaining games until I was older and could become self sufficient.

This seems to be an extremely unlikely scenario for the Durango and one that I would very much be against.

 

BLU RAY FOR DURANGO:

 

The HD video wars were a short lived event that we may remember from almost a decade ago now.  Both Blu-ray and HD-DVD offered similar storage capacity and HD video capability.  Although Microsoft bet on HD-DVD they were smart enough not to include in within the XBOX console itself instead opting for the ill-fated HD-DVD add on.  Sony went all out and included a Blu-ray disc within its PS3 which was I felt was an excellent idea because at the time of its release the PS3 was the cheapest Blu-ray player on the market.  So if you wanted a Blu-ray player why not just buy a PS3.  So that battle ended almost as soon as it started and the HD-DVD faded into history.

The XBOX has now been using DVDs for its games throughout its life cycle, which has been mostly fine, except for the fact of the much lower storage capacity compared to Blu-ray discs.  For this reason some XBOX games, such as FF XIII, Mass Effect 2/3, and L.A. Noir, have come on multiple discs for the XBOX, while they were able to fit on one Blu-ray disc for the PS3.  As games require more storage it only makes sense that Microsoft give in and adopt what has become the next generation storage disc for both games and movies.  Also with the cost of these Blu-ray drives coming down considerably, opting to place it within their next-gen console would seem to make a lot of sense.  Out of all of the rumors dealt with so far this is one I consider to be almost a given.

 

 

I have focused on just a small sample of the rumors that are out there right not for these consoles and probably just the beginning of whats to come as we inch closer to their inevitable reveal.  How do you feel about some of these rumors?  What would you like to see on the next generation of consoles?  Would the lack of used games keep you from buying a particular console?  Let me know in the comments below.

Apr 132012
 

Over at GamesIndustry International, former THQ executive Richard Browne has penned a piece castigating the practices of used video game retailers such as GameStop and indicting them for damaging the “the creativity and variety of games available to the consumer” and for “the death of single player gaming.”

Browne’s harangue comes a couple of weeks after Kotaku reported rumors that the PS4 will block owners from playing used games by locking titles to their PSN accounts. He condones such measures as a necessary “Nuclear Option” from Sony and Microsoft to combat the stagnation of new game sales and notes that several developments in modern gaming — including DLC and the ubiquity of multiplayer modes — are the direct result of publishers attempting to stop the “churn” created by used game sales.

“The real cost of used games has been the destruction of the mid-tier publisher and the elimination of many an independent development studio who in the past conducted work in that space. With next generation budgets leaping yet again only the ‘mini-publishers’ – such as Epic, Insomniac, Bungie – can possibly survive externally to an actual publisher. Beneficial to the customer? No,” he wrote.

Browne isn’t the only industry voice speaking out against used games – Frontier Developments founder David Braben was interviewed by Gamasutra last month and made similar comments, saying, “The real problem when you think about it brutally… [is] pre-owned has really killed core games…. I know publishers who have stopped games in development because most shops won’t reorder stock after initial release, because they rely on the churn from the resales.”

It’s worth noting, however, that digital distribution continues to grow in popularity, and many gamers opt for preloading games on Steam the night before a release instead of waiting in line at a retailer. It’s quickly becoming a matter of when, not if, future consoles lack media drives, and we could be only years away from used games being relics of the past.

Source: GamesIndustry International

Apr 022012
 

After a surprising first selection with Kinect Adventures, I decided to try my luck once again, this time with a more ‘grown-up’ game. So, I made my way back to GameStop, and started digging. It was Saturday, not just any Saturday, but the first Saturday The Hunger Games was available to view publicly. It just so happens that my local GameStop is located right beside a busy theater, so my shopping experience for this weeks article was rather sweaty and teeny.

The guy in front of me, waiting for serive at the only available terminal, had never been laid. He didn’t tell me that with his words so much as his actions. He was in his mid twenties, talked non stop about underrated Japanese RPGs that were available on the PS2, you know, virgin stuff. His friend spotted a specific title on the PS2 rack, and he frantically began darting his eyes back and forth from the location of the game, to me, the guy behind him in line. It was obvious to me that this guy thought I would step up if he jumped out of line, so he told his friend to hand him the copy, stretching out as far as he good, while making sure that one part of his virgin body stayed between me and the person in front of him.

The cashier working the terminal was not all too thrilled with the obscure JRPG questions that have not been asked in eight years, nor the overwhelming enthusiasm of the one asking them. I could see the pain in his eyes, and it made me smile a little inside. Little did I realize, I would be the one that would be suffering the most pain. Not virgin boy, he was happy. He found a game he loved, he was excited, who could be mad at that? Not the cashier, he only had to endure a few questions, then it is on to the next. But me, I was the one in real trouble here, and I was none the wiser.

As I stepped up to the counter, I placed the cheap ass game that would be featured in the article you are reading today, Alone in the Dark, *gasp! Some of you may have laughed at that, some might be wondering, ‘why is that funny’, this all depends on whether or not you played Alone in the Dark. Now, I cannot help but think, that while I was silently laughing to myself, about the annoying virgin boy, he was secretly laughing at me. Looking at me, judging, seeing that I had a used copy of Alone in the Dark in my hand, and smiling at the horrible time I was about to have. Funny how the world works, huh?

I would just let go now. It will be less painless that way.

Onward! I went home to play Alone in the Dark, still oblivious to what was about to happen, and still excited that the game only cost me $4.93. Before I completely flip my lid about this game, I will say that for $4.93, it’s not that bad at all. Hell, that’s a bargain, and a blessing. The real travesty is for anyone that paid full price for this game when it was released. For those of you, I am sorry. There are no words in the English language to describe what was done to you, and you should not rest until justice has been served! Now, if you can grab it for $4.93, and you don’t need to eat today, or get a gallon of gas, the game is fun, if not for the terrible gameplay that will make you laugh to the point that you will cry or for the easy Achievements.

So here is the deal with Alone in the Dark, game is bad. Simple as that. I like the concept in theory, I can even stomach the story, but the execution falls flat. The fighting mechanic seems sludgy and non responsive, and some of those camera angles should never be used, ever. Never in the history of vision, have I seen this bad of an angle on anything. I have seen better angles with my eyes closed, but I digress. The story was ok, and for me personally, I play games for the story. So I was trying to get into it, by enjoying the cut scenes, and forcing my way through the playable universe. But, I just couldn’t finish. There are lots of things I would rather do that play Alone in the Dark, such as:

  • Play in fire.
  • Fight possessed humanz….errr humans.
  • Sit in a room alone. In the dark.
  • Listen to festive Hispanic music.
  • Cut my eyes out.
  • Insult Chuck Norris to his face.

"Have you seen my shitty game mechanics? I think they fell out of my pocket in the yard here.What? No, I didn't leave them at Stevens house, I didn't even take them out there!"

Honestly though, don’t get this game, no matter what I told you before. It’s only good for Achievements and a laugh. If you want some humor, its cheaper than the gas it will cost you to go to the movies and watch 21 Jump Street, which is a pretty funny movie, you should definitely go see it. So this weeks Bargain Bin article is a Bargain of a different color. I am telling you not to buy Alone in the Dark, and you will listen to me. That is a hell of a bargain. It will save you endless tears, and sleepless nights. Unless you like games where it is hard to control where you are going, what you are looking at, or who you are attacking. In that case, it is a typical Bargain Bin article, where you can get this game that you love, for whatever reason, and it is just under five bucks. Yay for us, we all win!

Mar 252012
 

The purpose of this article is to take financial responsibility and make more savvy purchases on forgotten games. These are the games that you may, or may not, have noticed in the used bins at your local game retailer. Often, in times of massive, mega releases, some of the otherwise stellar titles get left by the wayside. Have you ever passed on a new game because of how much money you planned on spending in the foreseeable future, only to completely forget about said game? Well, that is where I come in. Each week, I will stop by a local retailer and dig through the bins to find a great title for a bargain of a price. We are talking about great games, that need to be noticed and for a minimal expense. Welcome to the Bargain Bin.

You can raft, and other fun crap like that.

This week, I dropped in at my local GameStop looking for a cheap and engaging title. After having the clerk ask me tons of questions about games and what I was looking for, I told him of my little venture. He then agreed to print out a list of every game they had available within the company for fewer than five dollars.

I perused throughout the used games bin, looking for something that would spark my interest. I picked up a little title you may have heard of called Kinect Adventures. Now, you might be thinking a couple of things at this point, such as; “What the f#*%”, “Is this guy serious?” and “Doesn’t that game come with the Kinect?” The answer to all of these is yes, even the “What the f#*%” question. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I obtained a Kinect without the included game Kinect Adventures, and since the sale price of the game was $1.79 with a GameStop membership, could I really pass it up?

Its even got some racket ball kinda shit, too!

So there I stood, in front of the counter, a used copy of Kinect Adventures in one hand, and a two dollar bill in the other (yeah, I spend ‘em, whatcha gonna do about it). The young lad that helped me before then asked, “You know you have to have a Kinect to play this game right?” “No, dumbass, I definitely did not see the sea of purple that is the cover of this f#*%ing game.” I didn’t really say that. The total with tax included was $1.93. I was then asked if I wanted to add the seven cents onto my Assassin’s Creed III preorder. Well f#*% it GameStop, the point of this article was to spend as little money as possible, but I guess you can weasel your way into my seven cent change and add it to something else I can buy from you. Greedy bastards. But what can you do with seven cents in change? Give it to a homeless guy? He will laugh at you for only having seven cents in change. Then you will go home and second guess every decision you have ever made in your life, wondering where it all went wrong. Then you end up getting plastered, and playing Kinect Adventures naked. Next thing you know, you are talking to the cops about how the neighbor’s kid saw you jumping around naked because your drunk ass didn’t close the blinds all the way. But I digress.

I took the game home, and fired up the ole 360, hoping no one would send me messages mocking my newest purchase, because let’s be honest, your recent games played list should not say; Mass Effect 3, Battlefield 3, Kinect Adventures. But after a few short hours of hoping, jumping plugging up leaks and flailing around like a crazy asshole, I realized, “For $1.79, this game is pretty bad ass.” Now as far as retail goes, I am sure it had the standard, watered down price of most Kinect titles at launch, roughly $40.00 or so. Not worth $40.00 or so. But a buck seventy-nine? Worth it.

Now, the basic principle of Kinect Adventures is to complete various “adventures” by obtaining the required amount of Adventure Pins in order to proceed to the next challenge. The game is fast paced, a great workout, and can be played with the whole family (or your friends, if they are drunk enough to agree. *Warning, playing this game drunk could result in dizziness, headaches, projectile vomiting, violent diarrhea, shame, loss of dignity, embarrassing pictures that will undoubtedly find their way to the internet). When you complete ‘adventures’, you are then rewarded with a “living statue” as a result of your accomplishment. This statue will prompt a voice and movement recorder which can be used to give the statue a personality of its own. This is the perfect time to yell obscenities at the screen, (acceptable phrases are as follows: “Suck it!”, “What now, Bitch!”, and the always popular “Who’s your daddy!”) whilst pointing at your crotch, in order to show the world how you just made that adventure your bitch. Other than that, the game is just a compilation of various tasks from the Adventure Challenges, only in different forms (like timed modes and shit).

Look at how much fun these assholes are having. For less than 2 bucks, you could be one of these assholes!

The game is fun for anyone with small children, and if you are at home by yourself, let’s be real. But a deal like that cannot be passed up. If for some reason you own a Kinect, and do not have this title, you must go to GameStop and purchased a used copy for yourself. The “hours of fun/per dollar” ratio is very favorable, and if you hate it, you can always just set it on fire, or wipe your ass with the manual, or whatever destructive thing it is that you wish to do. All in all, the game is a great buy used. Most won’t have this problem however, since most Kinect sensors come with the game included, but trust me, you can’t go wrong with a fun title that costs less than large soda at McDonalds, unless it is summer, because McDonalds usually sells sodas for like .59 cents or some shit.

Mar 132012
 

The demise of independent game stores in my local area came about relatively recently, 2003/4 to be exact and while it was stores such as GAME and gamestation that killed these small businesses, in recent years I have found myself more attached to these places rather than a supermarket or online retailer. Spending a load of time at these stores has lead me to build great relationships with the guys who work there, I never go to buy a game but more to socialise with the like minded people behind the counter. I feel it important to point out that I actually avoid GAME and shop at gamestation.

The Final Level? (GAME Over Is So Last Week)

Now, having decimated countless indie stores, the bell tolls for GAME and sadly they don’t seem to be going without taking gamestation with them. This leaves me with the choice of buying online or from a supermarket. A stark decision to make, so now it is time to catalogue the death throes of this once great high street brand one that I may not have liked, but one which kept gamestation open after Blockbuster went bust.
May 2007- the beginning of the end?
When Blockbuster began to sink, they realised there was one part of their business which was still turning a decent profit and therefore had some value, gamestation. The sale to GAME is believed to have been for £75 million ($150 million) cash, ultimately saving Blockbuster, but was it more than game could afford? The deal meant GAME had monopolised the video game retail sector, but taking on the future cost of running 217 more stores was going to cost a lot of money.
Christmas 2011 – poor sales put another nail in the coffin
Over the holiday period is the time when a lot of stores make a lot of money and gaming tends to be no exception, every year you have hundreds of thousands of kids after new consoles, games for said consoles as well as the general over spending which often comes with the time of year, not to mention some huge titles. It seems that more people where sucked in by the online stores and super stores as well, most of whom have the advantage of being open at midnight for every title.
January 12 2012 – the figures confirm the worst
Here we have the announcement of GAME groups Christmas and annual takings, it made for depressing reading. The two months over Christmas when compared with those from 2010 showed a decrease in sales ales of 14.7%, GAME originally estimated the figure would be 7% and later had revised this to 10%, it was far worse than anyone expected. Best estimates state that the company was due to make a full year loss of £30 million ($60 million).  GAME group believed they would not be found in breach of loan covenants until February 27th 2012.
February 23rd 2012 – bye Nintendo
As early February rolled around, GAME must have been fully aware that the situation had not improved and that loan covenants where due to be breached. By the 23rd customers were told that the company would no longer be stocking the Wii title The Last Story.
27th February 2012 – Given the companies situation and loss of The Last Story it has to be assumed that this was the day that GAME group had to confirm to lenders and stock holders that the company was intact going to be breaching loan covenants. However, it was widely reported in Uk news papers that there may be a reprise as the company had agreed new loan terms with banks.
29th February 2012 – No more EA titles
Only just over a week before the release of Mass Effect 3, GAME was forced to email customers static that they would not be stocking perhaps the biggest title of the year so far. The company blamed “supply issues” which is supposedly an inability to secure the games from wholesale at a low enough price, essentially they were now a game company who could not afford games.

Perhaps The Biggest Sign Something Was Wrong Was The Biggest Game Absent From The Shelves

March 5th 2012 – The finishing move?
By the beginning of last week, GAME confirmed that they had lost yet another big name and two more big types. Capcom were out and they took Asura’s Wrath and Street Fighter X Tekken with them.
March 8th 2012 – Spring cleaning
From late last week it was reported that many GAME and gamestation outlets had begun to discount stock in order to try and claw back some cash which is currently more important than ever as all of GAME groups over 1,100 stores quarterly rent bill is due within the next two weeks. If this cannot be paid then the company will be forced into administration.
March 11th 2012 – Send in the clowns
This really is looking like the end of the line, as of Sunday one of the biggest tabloids in the UK, The Sunday Times, reported that GAME was not only heading for administration but that Rothschild had been appointed to find a buyer for the company and that failing this Deloitte were line up to deal with any insolvency issues.

Hopefully gamestation Can Survive It's Parent Company Going Down For A Second Time

March 12th 2012 – Halfpenny
As you can probably guess, the header refers to the stock price for GAME as of today. Each share is now worth approximately half of one penny. You literally need two shares to have currency that actually exists in this country, in essence it’s literally worthless.
So there you have it this is the demise of a once great brand, with shares floating below the penny earlier today, it looks as though there is no longer even a slim chance that GAME could survive in any real form but there could be hope yet.
As it stands, GameStop have expressed interest, at least in the Spanish branch of GAME group so whether or not they would be interested in the UK and rest of the world remains to be seen. Hopefully us Brits aren’t going to be doomed to a life where we can only get our games either online or from the big supermarkets. Having had better experience with gamestation in the best and with there ability to remain profitable even during the collapse of Blockbuster then hopefully we can come out the other side with at least one dedicated high street name left for gaming.
Feb 212012
 

We all know that making the greatest games ever does not mean they will beome universal successes. We see that now with games such as Xenoblade (which you haven’t got, nyaah) and Soul Bubbles. Then we get angry when crap mini game collections sell well mainly because of mums.

But most mini game collections are actually failures. Many many collections simply flop because of a lack of publicity and quality. So it seems as if making a typical casual game isn’t the way to be a commercial hit, so how do you do it?

This man knows how!

Well firstly, you need to get your games in supermarkets. Yes, Wal-Mart is the key to success. Mums, who are they key to success nowadays, do not go into Gamestop or CEX. When they buy games, it will be while on the weekly shop. So the publisher needs to spend the money its on the shelf next to the cabbages.

It also needs to be original but familiar. Most mums will be on a tight budget, so if they buy something they are after something they are sure they’ll like, and remember they don’t and won’t do the research beforehand, so they have to judge on the back of the box. Will they buy anything unique? No, they’re not sure whether their kid, who they are buying the game for, will like it. But won’t they buy the same old thing though? Course not, have you ever bought a child under a ten a toy similar to something they already have? They will be mardy (Yorkshire slang translation: Upset) and act up. The mums won’t bother with that.

This child has already got Carnival Games, yet her mother has got her Game Party. She is underrreacting in my opinion.

Oh and remember that it has to be child friendly. Thanks to various awareness programs, parents are more aware of the age rating system. This will hopefully prevent parents from buying some uber violent game for their five year old, like what used to happen. Now, they will check it. Also, no way to realistic games, it has to be cartoony. Even semi cartoony things can sometimes make it in, but usually real life will not be bought.

The key thing however is price. As I’ve mentioned before mums are on a tight budget and will not want a game that will seriously bump up the bill at the tills. So that $60 blockbuster game? No way. But somehing half that, is much more appealing. This was the reason Just Dance was a success, it was cheap and looked good on the shelves.

It also sold because you can BOOGIE

But there has been many an original game that has been sold at a supermarket for a cheap price that is child friendly. I bought the excellent A Boy and his Blob for a bargain £8 from my local Morrisons. So is there anything extra? Well yes, something that publishers can’t control. Gossip.

While many will call me sexist for saying this, women enjoy to talk about stuff. They will give each other advice on make up, clothes and obviously relationships. Sometimes, and this will make some of you have a crisis I’m sure, they talk about video games. They will say its good and trust that opinion completely and buy it. And it goes on. Just Dance, Wii Fit and many others fed off this great marketing resource. Heck, Twitter and Facebook makes this even more prominent.

This bird is a wet dream for admen. Though they don't have a feather fetish unlike actors.

So you can have best publishing and developing team in the world making a game directly aimed at the whole family but if you don’t manage to get tongues wagging, the money men will be taking your stuff for repayment.

Dec 142011
 

Recently the Australian retailer site EB Games has posted an estimated price point for Nintendo’s next console: The Wii U.  The current price listed for this console is 598.00 dollars.  The website Computer and Videogames, also known as CVG, contacted EB Games’s Media manager regarding the price listing and were told that the Wii U’s price point was “an estimated price which [EB] provide for all products where price has not yet been confirmed by the vendor.”

The Australian dollar and the American dollar are virtually equal in trade with a slight variation of about 1 cent per every dollar.  However, it must be noted that the price for games, consoles and accessories are significantly higher in Australia than in the US.  In the United states, the price of a 160 GB Playstation 3 is 249.99 US dollars (per US Gamestop).  In Australia, the price of the same console and model is 348.00 Australian dollars (Per AU EB Games).

No word from Nintendo on the pricing of its upcoming console.

Nov 162011
 

Black Friday, the one day where normal, upstanding citizens turn into lunatic shoppers bound to score the best deal on various items and defeat anyone that gets in their way.  In 2010, no deaths were recorded, but of course, several shoppers were arrested.  With some of this year’s deals, I predict that shopper injuries will be at its highest so be prepared to fend off any shopper that gets in your way, young or old.  If you are one of the brave souls that risk their lives and safety to snag a nose hair trimmer at half price, here are some of the best video game Black Friday deals for 2011…

Target

Doors Open: Thursday 12:00 AM until Friday 10:00 PM

Likelihood to be Trampled: 4 (Out of 10)

Overview: Target has some good deals overall, but definitely not the best if you are looking to snag the BEST deals.  The chain has some solid deals on fairly recently released games like Battlefield 3, Gears of War 3, Need for Speed: The Run.  Those titles will cost gamers $37.00 when the store opens.  Accessory wise, stores will be carrying a 4GB Xbox 360 for $139.99, Kinect Sensor with Kinect Adventures and Wipeout 2 for $99.00, a 160 GB Playstation 3 bundle with two games and 30 day Playstation Platinum Plus Membership, and a Nintendo 3DS Bundle with Super Mario 3D Land Game for $179.99.  One upside to shopping at Target, you won’t have to deal with the barrage of shoppers as much as the other stores.

Xbox 360

  • Battlefield 3 (Xbox 360)    $37.00
  • Forza Motorsport 4 (Xbox 360)    $27.00
  • Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim for PC (w/ Free $10 Target Gift Card) (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)    $59.99
  • Forza Motorsport 4 (Xbox 360)    $27.00
  • Gears of War III (Xbox 360)    $37.00
  • Dance Central 2 (Xbox 360)    $49.99
  • Kinect Sports: Season 2 (Xbox 360)    $27.00
  • Rayman: Origins for Xbox360/PS3 (w/ Free $10 Target Gift Card)    $59.99
  • Shaun White Skateboarding (Nintendo Wii)    $5.00
  • Sonic and the Secret Rings (Nintendo Wii)    $10.00
  • Xbox 360 4GB Console (early bird)    $139.99
  • XBOX 360 Live 3 Month Gold Card (XBOX 360)    $10.00
  • Xbox 360 Wireless Contoller – Black    $39.00
  • Xbox Kinect Sensor w/ Kinect Adventures (Bonus Wipeout 2 Game)    $99.00

PC

  • Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim for PC (w/ Free $10 Target Gift Card) (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)    $59.99

Playstation 3

  • Madden NFL 12 (PlayStation 3)    $37.00
  • Need for Speed: The Run (PlayStation 3)    $37.00
  • Resistance 3 (PlayStation 3)    $37.00
  • Rayman: Origins for Xbox360/PS3 (w/ Free $10 Target Gift Card)    $59.99
  • PlayStation 3 DualShock 3 Controller – Black    $39.00
  • PS3 160GB Bundle w/ 2 Games & 30-Day Playstation Plus Membership    $199.00

Nintendo Wii/3DS

  • Cars 2 (Nintendo DS)    $15.00
  • Cars Race-O-Rama (Nintendo Wii)    $10.00
  • Disney Epic Mickey (Nintendo Wii)    $15.00
  • Disney Universe (Nintendo Wii)    $27.00
  • Just Dance 3 Target Exclusive for Nintendo Wii ( w/ Free $10 Target Gift Card)    $39.99
  • Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D for Nintendo 3DS (w/ Free $10 Target Gift Card)    $39.99
  • Rayman: Origins for Nintendo Wii (w/ Free $10 Target Gift Card)    $49.99
  • Shaun White Skateboarding (Nintendo Wii)    $5.00
  • Sonic and the Secret Rings (Nintendo Wii)    $10.00
  • Nintendo 3DS Bundle w/ Super Mario 3D Land Game    $179.99
  • Wii Play Motion with Wii Remote Plus Controller (Nintendo Wii)    $39.00

Toy’R’Us

Doors Open: Thursday 9:00 PM until Friday 10:00 PM

Likelihood to be Trampled: 7 (out of 10)

Overview: Toy’R’Us once again brings back their “Buy 1 Get 1 $5” deal that was popular in 2010.  The deal is especially good because it includes newly released titles that are sure to attract all type of gamers.  However, the best deals are for the various consoles and accessories.  Toy’R’Us has slashed prices on many third party controllers and accessories, some as much as 50% off.  Other highlights include a Xbox 360 4GB Kinect Bundle with a $10 gift card for $199 and Playstation 3 160 GB console with two games and a controller for $199.  Be wary though, this is still a toy store so expect unforgiving adults with young children to be in your way.

Buy 1 Get 1 $5

Xbox 360

  • Forza 4
  • Gears of War 3

Xbox 360 + PS3

  • Need For Speed The Run
  • Battlefield 3
  • Rage
  • Madden 12
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops

Playstation 3

  • Unchartered 3 (PS3)

Xbox 360 Accessories

  • Microsoft Xbox 360 4GB Gaming System with Kinect (w/ Free $10 Toys R Us Gift Card)    $199.99
  • Kinect Sensor with Kinect Adventures Game (Xbox 360)    $99.99
  • Xbox Live 3-Month Gold Membership Card    $12.99
  • Wireless Controller for Xbox 360 – Black    $29.99
  • Afterglow Controller for Xbox 360 – Purple    $17.99    (50% OFF)
  • 6 in 1 Expansion Kit for Xbox 360 $19.99    (50% OFF)
  • Ear Force X11 Amplified Headset for Xbox 360    $24.99    (50% OFF)
  • LevelUp Zig Zag Gaming Storage Tower for Xbox 360 – Black    $29.99

Playstation 3 Accessories

  • Sony PS3 160GB Game System Bundle (w/ 2 Bonus Games and PS3 Power A Wired Controller)    $199.99
  • Radium Wireless Controller for Sony PS3 – Black        $20.99
  • LevelUp Icon Gaming Storage Tower for Sony PS3    $29.99

Nintendo Wii/DS Accessories

  • LevelUp Aperture Gaming Storage Tower for Nintendo Wii – Black    $29.99
  • Comfort Grip for Nintendo 3DS – Black    $8.99    (50% OFF)
  • Explorer Starter Kit for Nintendo 3DS – Black    $14.99    (50% OFF)
  • Nintendo 3DS Super Mario Bundle (w/ Mario 3D Land and Free Super Mario Bobblehead Stylus)    $189.99
  • POWER A Pro Pack Mini Plus for Nintendo Wii – Black        $23.99
  • PowerCradle Charger for Nintendo Wii    $9.99    (50% OFF)

Gamestop

Doors Open: Midnight or 5 AM, check Gamestop.com for location details

Likelihood to be Trampled: 5 (out of 10)

Overview: Gamestop is your one stop shop for pretty much anything solely gaming related, so expected hardcore gamers to be camping out in front of the store.  This year, Gamestop has great deals all around with software being the core of the Black Friday deals.  Hundreds of titles have been slashed, both new and used, recently released and those from a while back.  Also listed are Buy One, Get One Free for PC games and Buy Two, Get One Free for Kinect titles.  On a side note, some deals are for Black Friday only, so keep that in mind when shopping (Gamestop’s Black Friday deals last all weekend).  Accessory wise, Gamestop has listed some impressive deals on various Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Wii bundles.

Video Games Deals

  • 3DS Mario Kit for Nintendo 3DS    $14.99
  • L.A. Noire (PS3/360)    $19.99
  • Battlefield 3 (PS3/360/PC)    $39.99
  • Battlefield Bad Company 2 for Xbox 360 (Black Friday Only)    $9.99
  • Borderlands Game Of The Year for Xbox 360 (Black Friday Only)    $19.99
  • BulletStorm (PS3) (Pre-Owned)    $17.99
  • BulletStorm (Xbox 360) (Pre-Owned)    $17.99
  • Cabela’s Big Game Hunter 2012 with Top Shot Elite (PS3)    $59.99
  • Call of Duty ELITE Premium Membership DLC (PS3) $49.99
  • Call of Duty ELITE Premium Membership DLC (Xbox 360)     $49.99
  • Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 (PS3)     $59.99
  • Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 (Xbox 360)     $59.99
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops (PS3)    $34.99
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops (PS3) (Pre-Owned)    $39.99
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops (Xbox 360)    $34.99
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops (Xbox 360) (Pre-Owned)    $39.99
  • Carnival Island for (PS3)     $39.99
  • Child of Eden (Xbox 360)     $39.99
  • Cooking Mama 4 (Nintendo 3DS)    $19.99
  • Crysis 2 (Xbox 360)    $29.99
  • Dance Central (Xbox 360)    $29.99
  • Dance Central 2 (Xbox 360)    $29.99
  • Dead Rising 2 (Xbox 360)    $19.99
  • Driver: San Francisco (Xbox 360)    $19.99
  • DUALSHOCK 3 Wireless Controller (PS3)    $34.99
  • Duke Nukem Forever (PS3/360)    $9.99
  • Dynasty Warriors 7 (PS3)    $29.99
  • EA Sports Season Ticket Access – 12 Months    $24.99
  • Everybody Dance (PS3)     $39.99
  • Fable III (Xbox 360) (Pre-Owned)    $19.99
  • Family Feud 2012 (Xbox 360)     $39.99
  • Family Game Night 4: The Game Show Edition (Wii)     $39.99
  • FIFA Soccer 12 (PS3/360)    $39.99
  • Forza 4 for Xbox 360 (Black Friday Only)    $39.99
  • Gears of War 3 for Xbox 360 (Black Friday Only)    $39.99
  • Go Vacation (Wii)    $19.99
  • God of War III (PS3)    $14.99
  • Grand Theft Auto IV (PS3/360)    $9.99
  • Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary (Xbox 360)     $39.99
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows for Xbox 360 (Game + DVD)    $54.99
  • Hasbro Family Game Night Fun Pack (Wii)     $49.99
  • Hasbro Family Game Night Fun Pack (Xbox 360)     $49.99
  • Heavy Rain Director’s Cut (PS3)        $14.99
  • History Great Battles Medieval (Xbox 360)    $19.99
  • Hole in the Wall (Xbox 360)         $39.99
  • Homefront (PS3) (Pre-Owned)        $12.99
  • Homefront (PS3) (Pre-Owned)        $19.99
  • Homefront (Xbox 360) (Pre-Owned)    $19.99
  • Hulk Hogan’s Main Event (Xbox 360)    $29.99
  • JASF: Janes Advanced Strike Fighter (PS3/360)    $29.99
  • Just Dance 3 (Xbox 360)     $39.99
  • Just Dance Kids 2 (Xbox 360)     $29.99
  • Kinect Disneyland Adventures (Xbox 360)     $49.99
  • Kinect for Xbox 360 (GameStop Refurbished)    $69.99
  • Kinect Sports (Xbox 360)    $29.99
  • Kinect Sports Season 2 (Xbox 360)    $29.99
  • Kinectimals: Now with Bears (Xbox 360)     $49.99
  • Kirby s Return to Dreamland (Wii)     $49.99
  • Madden NFL 12 (PS3/360)        $39.99
  • Madden NFL 12 Hall of Fame Edition (PS3)    $59.99
  • MAG (PS3)    $14.99
  • MAG (PS3) (Pre-Owned)    $9.99
  • Medal of Honor for Xbox 360 (Black Friday Only)    $9.99
  • Medieval Moves: Deadmund s Quest for PlayStation 3     $39.99
  • Michael Jackson: The Experience (Xbox 360)     $39.99
  • Midnight Club: Los Angeles Complete Edition (Xbox 360)    $9.99
  • Monopoly Collection (Wii)     $39.99
  • MotionSports: Adrenaline (Xbox 360)     $49.99
  • NCAA Football 11 (PS3) (Pre-Owned)    $12.99
  • NCAA Football 11 (Xbox 360) (Pre-Owned)    $12.99
  • NCAA Football 2012 (PS3/360)    $39.99
  • Need for Speed: The Run Limited Edition (PS3/360)    $39.99
  • Nintendo 3DS Aqua Blue     $169.99
  • Nintendo 3DS Cosmo Black     $169.99
  • Nintendo 3DS Flame Red     $169.99
  • Nintendo DS Lite (Pre-Owned)    $79.99
  • Nintendo DSi – Pre-Owned    $99.99
  • Nintendo Wii w/ Wii Remote (Pre-Owned)    $79.99
  • Okamiden (Nintendo DS)    $19.99
  • PC Games – Assorted    B1G1 Free
  • Pokemon Rumble Blast (Nintendo 3DS)     $34.99
  • Portal 2 (Xbox 360)     $29.99
  • PowerUP Heroes (Xbox 360)     $49.99
  • Price is Right: The Decades (Xbox 360)     $39.99
  • Quest for Zhu (Nintendo DS)        $9.99
  • Rage (Xbox 360 or PS3)    $29.99
  • Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time (PS3)    $14.99
  • Raving Rabbids: Alive & Kicking (Xbox 360)     $49.99
  • Rayman 3DS (Nintendo 3DS)    $14.99
  • Rayman Origins (Wii)    $29.99
  • Red Faction: Armageddon (PS3) (Pre-Owned)    $29.99
  • Red Faction: Armageddon (Xbox 360) (Pre-Owned)    $29.99
  • Resident Evil 5 (PS3)     $19.99
  • Rise of Nightmares (Xbox 360)     $29.99
  • Rocksmith (PS3)        $49.99
  • Select Kinect Games    B2G1 Free
  • Self Defense (Xbox 360)     $49.99
  • Sims 3 PC Games    B1G1 Free
  • Sonic Generations (Xbox 360)    $29.99
  • Split Second (Xbox 360)    $9.99
  • Squinkies (Nintendo DS)    $9.99
  • Star Fox 64 3D (Nintendo 3DS)     $39.99
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic (PC) $59.99
  • Street Fighter IV (PS3) (Pre-Owned)    $6.99
  • Street Fighter IV (Xbox 360) (Pre-Owned)    $6.99
  • Twister Mania (Xbox 360)    $39.99
  • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Game of the Year Edition (PS3)    $14.99
  • Universal DS Kit Disney Prince for Nintendo DS    $19.99
  • Universal DS Kit Nightmare Before Christmas for Nintendo DS    $19.99
  • Venetica (Xbox 360)    $9.99
  • Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? (Xbox 360)     $39.99
  • Wipeout the Game (Nintendo DS)    $14.99
  • World of Warcraft Battlechest (Mac/PC)    $9.99
  • World of WarCraft: Cataclysm (PC)    $19.99
  • Your Shape Fitness Evolved (Xbox 360)    $39.99
  • World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Expansion Pack (Mac/PC)    $19.99

Accessories

  • Xbox 250GB Console Holiday Bundle (w/ Halo Reach & Fable 3)    $299.99
  • Xbox 360 250GB Kinect Holiday Value Bundle    $399.99
  • Xbox 360 4GB Console    $149.99
  • Xbox 360 Afterglow Controller    $29.99
  • Xbox 360 Kinect Sensor Bundle (w/ Gunstringer and Fruit Ninja Kinect)    $109.99
  • Xbox 360 Live 3 Month Gold Card DLC        $12.99
  • Xbox 360 Live Marketplace Points 1600 DLC    $19.99
  • Xbox 360 Play & Charge Kit Black    $19.99
  • Turtle Beach PX3 Wireless Universal Headset    $129.99
  • Sony PlayStation 3 320GB Sports Champions Move Bundle     $349.99
  • PlayStation Move Navigation Controller for PlayStation 3     $29.99
  • PS3 Afterglow Controller     $29.99
  • Playstation 3 160GB System w/ Ratchet&Clank and LittleBigPlanet2 Games    $199.97
  • PlayStation 3 Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception Bundle     $299.99
  • PlayStation Move Motion Controller for PlayStation 3     $49.99
  • PS3 DualShock 3 New Owners Kit    $59.99
  • Wii Bundle with New Super Mario Bros. Wii and a Mario Music CD – Black        $149.99
  • Wii Racing Wheel (Pre-Owned)    $2.49
  • Wii Remote Controller (Pre-Owned)    $14.99
  • Wii USB Charge Station (Wii)    $9.99

 

Best Buy

Doors Open: Midnight till Friday 10 PM

Likelihood to get Trampled: 9 (out of 10)

Overview:  Best Buy has great deals with newly released titles.  Many AAA titles are listed around the $30 mark and even Assassin’s Creed Revelations’ price is slashed.  On top of that, the deals on consoles are some of the best for Black Friday, especially the Xbox 360 $199.99 and the Playstation 3 bundle.  Be warned however, like every year, Best Buy will be a madhouse with shoppers lining up hours before the doors open.  Be ready to cut time out of your Thanksgiving and equip yourself with some brass knuckles.  Blood will be shed for some of these video game deals.

Video Games

  • Assassin’s Creed Revelations (Xbox 360 or PS3)    $34.99
  • Batman: Arkham City (Xbox 360)    $29.99
  • Battlefield 3 (PS3)    $29.99
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops (PS3, Xbox 360)    $29.99
  • Call of Duty: World at War (Xbox 360)    $7.99
  • Call of Duty: World at War Greatest Hits (PS3)    $7.99
  • Deus Ex Human Revolution (PS3, Xbox 360)    $29.99
  • Uncharted 3 – Drake’s Deception – PS3    $29.99
  • Dirt 3 (PS3, Xbox 360)    $14.99
  • Fifa Soccer 12 (PS3, Xbox 360)    $34.99
  • Final Fantasy XIII (PS3, Xbox 360)    $14.99
  • Forza Motor Sport 4 (Xbox 360)    $34.99
  • Gears of War 3 (Xbox 360)    $29.99
  • Gears of War Triple Pack (Xbox 360)    $7.99
  • Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions (PS3, Xbox 360)    $14.99
  • Homefront (PS3, Xbox 360)        $14.99
  • Madden NFL 12 (Xbox 360)    $29.99
  • NBA 2K12 (PS3, Xbox 360)    $34.99
  • Need For Speed: The Run Limited Edition (PS3)    $29.99
  • Rage (Xbox 360)        $29.99
  • X-Men Destiny (PS3, Xbox 360)    $29.99
  • Wipeout: In the Zone (Xbox 360)    $24.99
  • Dance Central 2 (Xbox 360)    $24.99
  • Kinect Sports: Season Two (Xbox 360)    $24.99
  • Madden NFL Football (Nintendo 3DS)    $14.99
  • Survival Shadows of Katmai (Nintendo Wii)    $29.99
  • Tetris Party Deluxe (Wii)    $7.99
  • The Sims 3 (Nintendo 3DS)    $14.99
  • Toy Story 3 (Xbox 360 or PS3)    $7.99
  • Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure Mega Pack (Nintendo Wii/Xbox 360/PS3)    $79.99
  • UFC Personal Trainer    $24.99

Hardware and Accessories

  • Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect    $99.99
  • Microsoft Xbox 360 Wireless Controller    $36.99
  • Xbox 360 250GB Console Bundle with Fable III and Halo Reach    $199.99
  • Xbox Live 3 Month Gold Membership$7.99
  • PlayStation 3 160GB Console Bundle (w/ Little Big Planet 2, Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One and PlayStation Plus 30-day Membership)early bird        $199.99
  • Turtle Beach – Ear Force X12 Gaming Headset for Xbox 360    $39.99
  • Nintendo 3DS Cosmo Black Bundle with Zelda Game        $179.99
  • Nintendo 3DS Flame Red Bundle with Super Mario 3D Land        $179.99
  • Rocketfish – Ultimate Starter Kit for Nintendo 3DS    $9.99

WalMart

Doors Open: 10 PM Thursday

Likelihood to be Trampled: 10 (out of 10)

Overview: The almighty WalMart once again goes to show how in the midst of an economic depression, they can still manage to have Black Friday prices like these.  Not only are their video game software deals the best out of any retail chain, but their console bundles are unbelievable.  Basically every bundle has a $50 gift card thrown in, so while purchasing an inexpensive system, one could use the gift card to purchase a low prices newly released title.  Though some of the best deals are online exclusive only, that does save you a trip to WalMart as well as your life.  If you want to see the worst of American consumerism, stop by a WalMart right before it opens and watch the madness.

$28 Game Deals

  • Battlefield 3 (PS3, Xbox 360)
  • Gears of War 3 (Xbox 360)
  • FIFA Soccer 12 (PS3, Xbox 360)
  • Forza Motorsport 4 (Xbox 360)
  • Madden NFL 12 (PS3, Xbox 360)
  • Batman: Arkham City (PS3, Xbox 360)
  • Killzone 3 (PS3)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops (PS3, Xbox 360)
  • Cars 2 (Wii)
  • The Michael Jackson Experience (Wii)
  • NASCAR 2011 (PS3, Xbox 360)
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon (PS3, Xbox 360)
  • inFamous 2 (PS3)
  • Just Dance 3 (Wii)

$15 Game Deals

  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (PS3, Xbox 360)
  • God of War II (PS3)
  • Heavy Rain (PS3)
  • Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts (PS3)
  • Uncharted 2 (PS3)
  • Dance Central 2 (Xbox 360)
  • Epic Mickey (Wii)
  • LittleBigPlanet (PS3)
  • MX vs ATV (Xbox 360)
  • Kinect Sports: Season Two (Xbox 360)
  • LEGO Batman (Wii)
  • LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (Wii)
  • Wheel of Fortune (Wii)
  • Rio (Wii)
  • Toy Story 3 (PS3, Wii)

$10 Game Deals

  • UFC Undisputed 2012 (Xbox 360)
  • BioShock 2 (Xbox 360)
  • 007 Quantum of Solace (Xbox 360)
  • Kane & Laynch 2: Dog Days (PS3)
  • Bakugan (Wii)
  • Pure (PS3)
  • Yakuza 4 (PS3)
  • Game Party 2 (Wii)
  • Deal or No Deal (Wii)
  • How To Train Your Dragon (Wii)
  • Shrek Forever After (PS3)
  • Sing It (Xbox 360)
  • Shaun White Skateboarding (Wii)
  • Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz (Wii)

Hardware, Accessories and Other Game Deals

  • Xbox 360 4GB Console w/ Gears of War 3, Xbox Live 3-Month Card and $50 Walmart GC (ONLINE ONLY)    $199.00
  • Xbox 360 4GB Console w/ Kinect and $50 Walmart GC    $199.96
  • Xbox 360 Kinect Bundle    $99.96
  • Xbox 360 Wireless Controller     $44.96
  • Xbox Live 3-Month Subscription Card        $12.00
  • Playstation 3 160GB Console with Bonus    $199.96
  • Playstation 3 Translucent Blue Controller    $54.96
  • PSP Dual Pack    $14.96
  • PSP-3000 Core Pack System    $99.96
  • Wii Limited Edition Blue Console    $99.96
  • Wii Remote Plus    $39.96
  • Wii Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure Starter Pack    $49.96
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Limited Edition with Music CD & Gold Remote Plus    $59.96

Sam’s Club

Likelihood to be Trampled: 3 (Out of 10)

Doors Open: 5 AM

Overview: Though owned by the WalMart Corporation, Sam’s Club isn’t quite the store to be shopping around for good video game Black Friday deals.  Sure, there are some console deals, but overall nothing to notable.  According to ads for the stores, no video game deals are listed, just console ones.  One advantage for going to Sam’s Club on Black Friday, you’ll probably be the only one in line.

Consoles and Accessories

  • Nintendo Wii Blue Console   $99
  • Playstation 3 Entertainment Bundle with Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One, LittleBigPlanet 2, and extra controller   $239
  • Xbox 360 250 GB console with Fable 3, Halo: Reach, and three month Xbox Live Gold Membership  $199

Radio Shack

Likelihood to be Trampled: 1 (out of 10)

Doors Open: 5:30 AM Friday

Overview: If you shop at Radio Shack for video game Black Friday deals, you probably do not shop on Black Fridays very often.  The store chain, which specializes in electronics except video games, has console deals similar to that of Sam’s Club.  To be perfectly honest, if you show up in front of a Radio Shack when the doors open, you’ll probably get a prize from the store.

  • Xbox 360 4 GB console with Kinect  $199
  • Playstation 3 Holiday Bundle – $199.99

Fry’s Electronics

Likelihood to be Trampled: TBA

Doors Open: TBA

Overview:  Fry’s always waits till the very last minute to release information on their Black Friday bargains, so no updates yet.  However, Fry’s always has great deals in their stores the day after Thanksgiving.  Be sure to check your newspaper or online for any updates concerning the store chain.

Amazon

Likelihood to be Trampled: ½ (Out of Ten)

Doors Open: Internet Only

Overview:  Amazon continues to have great deals all day long on Black Friday.  Every year, the website has secret offerings so no updates on those.  Apparently however, the site will be offering a Buy One, Get On 50% deal with some of this season’s hottest games like Uncharted 3 and Skyrim.  In the mean time, you can head over to the site to check out some bundle deals the site is offering as well as sign up for Amazon’s daily e-mail updates for Black Friday.

KMart

Likelihood to be Trampled: 5 (Out of Ten)

Doors Open: 5 AM

Overview:  Similar to that of Target, some good deals here, but nothing that noteworthy.  Expect to snag one of the deals below with no problem.

  • $149.99 Xbox 360 4GB Console
  • $99.99 Xbox 360 Kinect Sensor Bundle
  • $199.99 Sony PlayStation 3 Holiday Bundle
  • $34.99 Sony PS3 DualShock3 Wireless Controller
  • $39.99 Microsoft Xbox 360 Wireless Controller
  • $169.99 Nintendo 3DS Flame Red Bundle w/ Super Mario 3D Land and $25 Gaming Coupon
  • $149.99 Nintendo DSi Handheld Game Console w/ $25 Member’s Only Gaming Coupon
  • Rage/ Call of Duty: Black Ops $29.99
  • $10-$15 off Playstation Greatest Hits Titles
  • Gears of War 3/Forza Motorsports 4 $39.99

 

 

Oct 052011
 

Despite due to hit shelves over in Japan just before the Holidays, no doubt we will see the same Wii hysteria from a couple of years ago, but up until now there has been no real mention of qa release date anywhere else.

Earlier today, GameStop began listing the PS Vita as available for release on March 31st. Nothing has been said direct from Sony, but it is sat on the retailers website for all to see. Still, this would mean a good four months wait after the Japanese date, so is it just a new holding date to replace January 1st? Or have GameStop let the cat out of the bag?

Have GameStop Confirmed Vita Release Date?

Oct 042011
 

Capcom have confirmed via press release that Resident Evil Reveations will hit North American shelves on February 7th 2012. Revelations is set to fill the gap between Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5, but is avaliable on the 3DS, which allows more complex and original puzzles by using the consoles touch screen and promises an authentic Resident Evil experience featuring new enemies and characters.

From today anyone who pre orders their copy from GameStop will also receive a 3DS case when the game is released, this case isn’t just a run of te mill incentive and is designed to react to sunlight causing the design to change, check out the image below.

Aug 102011
 

It's Baby Jesus himself!

You won’t find me waiting in line at the local Gamestop when the release of each major sports title comes out. Hell, if I wasn’t in the industry I wouldn’t even know they came out. I’m just not a huge fan of the sports game genre. Yeah, I suck horrible at some (Like MLB: The Show) and I am better at others (Madden, NCAA Football) but what really turns me away from these games is that I am a sports fan. I love the Tampa Bay Rays and the Minnesota Vikings, I own a Marty St. Louis sweater and University of Wisconsin jersey. My home and office is filled with video game and sports memorabilia but the two worlds rarely (if ever) mix. You aren’t here though to read about me, you are here for Madden.

I played through a few season of Madden a few years ago with an old friend, it was fun and we broke the game by getting an all star team. A lot has changed since then and so has the Madden franchise, EA every year seems to try harder and harder to push the envelope to the level of realism. This year I think they took another huge stride. From watching the videos with the demo, I was impressed to see how realistic Raymond James Stadium looks. It’s my local stadium and I have been there numerous times, it looks nearly realistic. I also noticed that they finally fire the cannons during the game. (For those of you that don’t know, the Bucs fire the cannons on touchdowns). Mascots and traditional entrances by players are plucked straight from reality itself. It is amazingly impressive to say the least. The fact that EA stayed true to the game and the players as well is something that already drew my interest and I haven’t even played the demo yet.

Pictured: Not our Hillis

After watching all the videos, I decided to take the game itself for a spin. Unfortunately I was forced to play with the Packers and Bears, I chose the Packers due to my strong dislike of Jay Cutler. I chose the new play calling system and began my game. Without the commentary, the game felt considerably hollow but that is only something I am sure we will see in the demo itself. I watched Urlacher come out with the Bears flag like he normally does and run down the field. Then after the pageantry ended the game itself started, I lobbed a 40 yd pass down the field that Donald Driver caught. After a few running plays that netted me a  20 more yds, I got a touchdown off of a beautifully executed screen pass. Truth be told, the experience was pretty damn close to watching the real thing on TV. The most amazing thing that I noticed was that players had tendencies, Clay Mathews looked like a berserking barbarian after sacking Jay Cutler who, in turn, was incredible easy to pressure and made poor decisions after getting knocked around. The game plan feature is great too, automatically making the most of the given players on the field while attacking your opponents defensive system as well.

I can say this, I know sports and I sure as hell know games. This is going to be a game that I most certainly look forward to playing when it launches

Aug 102011
 

Well I am sad, this just came in to my email. I hate my Blue 3DS… :(

 

Nintendo is making sure the holidays are hot this year with a new Flame Red version of its portable Nintendo 3DS system. The new color launches Sept. 9 alongside the new Star Fox 64 3D game, and comes on the heels of a new $169.99 suggested retail price, which goes into effect Aug. 12 in the United States. Flame Red joins Cosmo Black and Aqua Blue, so now shoppers have three distinct and fashionable colors to choose from.

“Nintendo 3DS is poised to be on fire for the holidays, with its new suggested retail price, great games and our new Flame Red color,” said Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. “With major upcoming releases in the Star Fox, Pokémon and Mario series, in addition to downloadable offerings from Nintendo eShop, Nintendo Video and Netflix, the system offers new and fun experiences to owners on a daily basis.”

On the software side, third-party developers have lined up to deliver great new experiences that make use of the unique features of Nintendo 3DS.

“Nintendo 3DS is an amazing piece of technology that offers players incredible 3D games without the need for special glasses. Beyond that, it’s an affordable dedicated gaming machine. Simply put, Nintendo 3DS is a fabulous device,” said Laurent Detoc, President, North America, Ubisoft. “Ubisoft has been a big supporter of Nintendo 3DS since the beginning with eight Nintendo 3DS games released to date and another eight games coming out before the end of calendar year 2011.”

Retailers are also anticipating a strong showing from Nintendo 3DS this holiday season.

“The new, lower Nintendo 3DS price combined with a hot new color and big-name games will entice even more Target guests to get their hands on this first-of-its-kind 3D gaming experience,” said Nik Nayar, vice president of Merchandising, Target.

“GameStop customers were excited about the Nintendo 3DS launch, and this lower price point should spark additional demand,” said GameStop President Tony Bartel. “With a solid back-half game lineup, the Nintendo 3DS price drop is well timed to drive consumer interest and purchases through the holiday season.”

Nintendo is planning the release of two upcoming games starring its famous hero, Mario, this holiday season. Super Mario 3D Land will launch in November, while Mario Kart 7 becomes available in December. Super Mario 3D Land is a new platforming game that takes full advantage of 3D graphics to deliver new puzzles, more precise jumping action and a remarkable new visual perspective on the Mushroom Kingdom. The game also marks the return of Mario’s fan-favorite Tanooki Suit, which allows him to strike enemies with his tail and slowly descend after jumping. Mario Kart 7 is a new racing game that includes multiple characters from the Mushroom Kingdom, Kart customization and intense multiplayer action. Players can now race on land, sea and air, sail through the sky with the new hang glider feature and drive underwater in some stages. Both games are completely new and are designed specifically for the Nintendo 3DS system.

Since Nintendo 3DS launched in the United States on March 27, more than 830,000 units have been sold in the U.S. alone. Nintendo 3DS owners represent some of Nintendo’s most loyal customers, and Nintendo is rewarding them for getting in on the action early with 20 free downloadable games from the Nintendo eShop.

These free games are available to anyone who owns a Nintendo 3DS system and uses a wireless broadband Internet signal to connect to the Nintendo eShop at least once or performs a system update before 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Aug. 11. These users will automatically be registered in the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador program. The program contains two elements:

  1. Starting Sept. 1, Nintendo 3DS Ambassadors will be able to download 10 NES Virtual Console games at no charge and before they are available in the Nintendo eShop to the general public. These games, including Super Mario Bros.Donkey Kong Jr.Balloon FightIce Climber and The Legend of Zelda, are slated to become paid downloadable games, but Ambassadors get them early for free. Once the paid versions of the games are posted to the Nintendo eShop later in the year, the updated versions will be available to Ambassadors for download at no cost.
  2. By the end of 2011, Nintendo will provide Ambassadors with 10 Game Boy Advance Virtual Console games. These include games like Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3Mario Kart: Super CircuitMetroid FusionWarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$ and Mario vs. Donkey Kong. These games will be available exclusively to Ambassadors, and Nintendo currently has no plans to make these 10 games available to the general public on the Nintendo 3DS in the future.

For more information about the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador program, visit http://support.nintendo.com/3dsambassador. More details about this program will be announced in the future.

Remember that Nintendo 3DS features parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about this and other features, visit http://www.nintendo.com/3ds.

*Online features require a broadband Internet connection. Netflix content is available to Netflix members who have an unlimited streaming plan.

Jul 162011
 

I’ve been playing video games ever since the days of the Atari and recently something struck me, major game releases are no longer true events. Now, I am not talking about the line outside of Gamestop to pick up the latest copy of the latest FPS. I’m talking about the type of game where you stop whatever you are doing to see what new info is announced whenever it is mentioned. I think back to titles like Mortal Kombat. I remember preordering the game at my mall’s Funcoland and then counting down the days until the game released. I picked up certain magazines to just see the ads. Years later, I remember waiting outside in a line of 200+ people to get my copy of Halo 3. That was the last time I have waited in a line for a game, in fact, it is one of the last times that I’ve seen a line to even purchase a AAA title.

Now this doesn’t mean this was the last time I purchased a midnight release but more so the last time there was a game that had been built up to such epic proportions that everyone knew what it was, even those who didn’t play video games. What has changed? Is it a sign of change from our less than reliable economy? Is it the specific exclusives that we now receive when we preorder titles now? Or simply, is it the fact that we can now receive constant exposure from the internet and media sources? Either way, there is a definite change that has effected launch day hype. Now this doesn’t mean that it has damaged the sales of new releases and preprders (Gears of War 3 is the most preordered title of all time) but it does impact the whole mystique of what was an amazing game experience.

Do the remaining AAA titles this year hold hope for the launch day event? Gears 3′s leak has answered some of the questions we have been asking and likely will reduce some of the curiosity and urgency about getting to the end of the game. Do you think there is a chance for the return of the major release event? What game?

Jul 032011
 

Tomorrow is Independence Day and you know what that means; grilling, swimming, fireworks and SALES! This week is no exception for gamers as there are great deals to be had all over the place. Take a look at some of the discounts on games and systems in this weeks Games on the Cheap.

Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart has the Sony PlayStation Move on sale for $92.96 and includes: PS3 Move controller, PS3 Eye Camera and a copy of Sports Champions.

Best Buy

Best Buy has a few games on sale this week.

Brink (Xbox 360, PS3) and Hunted: The Demon’s Forge (Xbox 360, PS3) are both available for $29.99 and F.3.A.R. (Xbox 360, PS3) is available for $49.99. Also, don’t forget that the Resistance: Dual Pack (PS3)drops on Tuesday, July 5th. It includes Resistance: Fall of Man and Resistance 2, as well as, $10 bucks worth of downloadable content and a Resistance 3 multiplayer skin.

Receive a $50 dollar Best Buy gift card when you purchase a 4GB Xbox 360 console with Kinect for $299.99.

Fallout: New Vegas (Xbox 360, PS3) is on sale for $9.99

Dead Rising 2 (Xbox 360, PS3) is available for $19.99 along with Epic Mickey(Wii) and Metroid: Other M (Wii)

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood (Xbox 360, PS3) and Castlevania: Lords of Shadows (Xbox 360, PS3) are both on sale for $29.99.

Homefront (Xbox 360, PS3) and Mortal Kombat (Xbox 360, PS3) are both selling for $39.99 each.

GameStop

Lots of deals at GameStop as usual. Games available on sale for $39.99 are:

  • Duke Nukem (Xbox 360, PS3)
  • F.3.A.R. (Xbox 360, PS3)
  • Alice: Madness Returns (Xbox 360, PS3)
  • Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii)
  • Fable III (Xbox 360)
  • Dead Space 2 (Xbox 360)
  • Bulletstorm (Xbox 360, PS3)
  • MLB 11: The Show (PS3)
  • Michael Jackson: The Experience (Wii)

These games are on sale for $29.99!

  • Grand Theft Auto IV Complete (Xbox 360, PS3)
  • Medal of Honor (Xbox 360, PS3)
  • Final Fantasy XIII (Xbox 360, PS3)
  • Kayne and Lynch 2: Dog Days (Xbox 360)
  • Mayhem 3D (Xbox 360, PS3)
  • Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood (Xbox 360, PS3)
  • Michael Jackson: The Experience (Xbox 360)
  • MotionSports (Xbox 360)
  • Child of Eden (Xbox 360)
  • Fighter’s Uncaged (Xbox 360)
  • Little Big Planet: GOTY Edition (PS3)
  • Dragon Age Origins: Ultimate Edition (PS3)
  • Time Crisis: Razing Storm (PS3)
  • MLB 2K11 (Wii)
  • NBA 2K11 (Wii)
  • Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters (Wii)
  • Just Dance (Wii)
  • Just Dance 2 (Wii)
  • Top Spin 4 (Wii)
  • Two Worlds II (Xbox 360)

Great deals on games for $19.99 and under!

  • Fallout New Vegas (Xbox 360, PS3)
  • Mass Effect 2 (Xbox 360)
  • Saints Row 2 (Xbox 360, PS3)
  • Lost Planet 2 (Xbox 360, PS3)
  • Alpha Protocol (Xbox 360, PS3)
  • God of War III (PS3) for $14.99!!!!!
  • Dragon Age Origins (PS3)
  • Dragon Age Origins: Awakening (PS3)
  • Assassin’s Creed II (PS3)
  • Just Dance 4 Kids (Wii)
  • Metroid: Other M (Wii)

Direct 2 Drive

Direct 2 Drive is has started its 31 Days of Deals sale and the discounts on high rated games are great. The deals change every day, and over 150 games will go on sale before the end of July, so make sure to check every day at direct2drive.com for more deals on games.

Today’s deals are:

  • Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare for $9.95
  • Company of Heroes Complete Bundle for $19.95
  • Thief: Deadly Shadows for $7.95
  • Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction for $9.95
  • Torchlight for $5.95

Steam

Much like Direct 2 Drive, Steam has a Summer Camp Sale that last from June 3oth – July 10th. Deals change everyday, so make sure to check out store.steampowered.com for new deals everyday.

Sunday’s deals are:

  • Dragon Age II for $35.99
  • Tropico 3 for $3.74
  • Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 for $19.99
  • Men of War Assault Squad for $8.74
  • Sniper Ghost Warrior for $4.99
  • Arma II for $19.99
  • Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood for $19.99
  • Transformers War for Cybertron for $7.49
  • Kayne & Lynch 2: Dog Days for $4.99
  • Two Worlds II for $17.00
  • Defense Grid: The Awakening for $2.49
  • Torchlight for $2.99

There are tons more deals over at Steam, so make sure to check them out daily for more deals on the game you love.

Well, there you have it. I, once again, have brought you some of the best game deals in all the land. Keep checking back every Sunday at gamingirresponsibly.com for more Games on the Cheap!!

Jun 292011
 

Would you consider purchasing used games a form of piracy?

Used games have been a hot topic for quite some time now, with developers and publishers trying to get a piece of the pre owned market. Companies have attempted to install multiple programs that force buyers of used games to pay subscription fees, online passes and offer special deals and in game items for those who buy new. With all the attempts at trying to corner the used video game market, it still continues to grow at an alarming rate. Big time retailers such as GameStop offer great deals on pre owned titles, sometimes even implementing “buy two get one free” deals. Combine that with 10% trade-in values and 10% pre owned purchase bonuses, and you are looking at quite a deal in terms of buying new. But has the trending used game market been good for the video game business, or is it just a way for retailers to rip off their customers?

GameStop alone reported last year that over 45% of it’s annual income were from used titles. That is more than they made from new games by about $70 million dollars. The problem with those figures are that none of the publishers or developers see any of that money, and have likened the market to piracy. EA has devised a way to combat pre owned purchases buy including an in game code for online play. Once the code is used, it is linked to the account of the person who entered it in. If they happen to trade that game in, the purchaser of the pre owned game must then pay $10 bucks to access online content. Mortal Kombat most recently added this feature with their online pass as well, more than likely ushering in a new era of “pay to play” features for those who don’t buy their games with shrink wrap on them.

GameStop reported making over $250 million dollars in pre owned sales.

Its not all doom and gloom though. Gamers around the world are choosing to purchase used titles in order to save money in a seemingly failing economy in order to save a few bucks, and why not? If you were going to buy a certain game that cost $60 dollars and it was available pre owned for $40 bucks, wouldn’t it make sense to buy the game used? No sweat off the customers back, it’s the publisher/developer that loses out on that deal.

This issue could be solved in such a way that gamers who buy used would not be forced to pay a fee to access online play: revenue sharing. Why can’t the retailers offer some form of compensation for titles they make money off of multiple times? They sell the game for $60 dollars, buy it back for $25 bucks, sell it again for $45 dollars, rinse and repeat. It doesn’t seem fair to the creators and producers of these games that GameStop and other companies are making money off of to benefit from their sales while those in charge of creating the game sit by short changed. From a developer/publisher’s point of view, it is nothing less than piracy.

I usually buy my games fresh off the truck, so the penalties for buying used games often don’t apply to me. But sometimes, I will pick up a used title that I didn’t buy brand new, in order to save a few extra dollars on my purchase (bought the first Assassin’s Creed for $4.88). But I am not in favor of charging people for online play because of the manner they bought their game. If their is someone out there who bought the game new and activated the online pass, they will play the game online. If they trade it in and no longer have the game, that online pass is worthless anyways, so why not let the new owner access online content? Of course there are those who will copy game discs, but others shouldn’t have to pay for people who deliberately steal video games.

All in all, I am in favor of the used game market, but I can see the issues that come along with it. Too many people are not getting what is rightfully theirs due to a flawed system. Retailers need to find a way to share the money they make from others games in order to keep a fair balance in the overall industry. No one should benefit more from game sales that those who pour their hearts and souls into the creation of these games, and with selling the same copy of a game 3 or 4 times, that is exactly what some retailers are doing.