Black Friday was a very successful shopping day for me this year.  I bought 10 brand new games for $120 bucks.  Needless to say, I've been playing through the stack the past few weeks, and I'm finally starting to finish up some of them.  Last night I finished playing through the single player campaign of Battlefield 3.  This is the first shooter I've played on "hard" difficulty in a long time, so it took me about a week to finally finish the campaign.  Look for that review sometime next week (hopefully before Christmas, if I'm not too busy).  The quick version is: it was fun.  I wouldn't rush out to buy it with all the other amazing games out right now, but if you've played everything else and are looking for a good shooter, this one is perfect.

Speaking of all the other good games that are out right now, I literally just finished playing through Batman: Arkham City about five minutes ago.  I got a little bored in the middle of the game (around the time I picked up Battlefield 3), but that boredom was short lived.  Once I turned my attention back to Batman, the game was amazing.  I absolutely love the story this time around, and the voice acting is phenomenal of course!  Look forward to the review for this one soon too!

The reason I'm not typing up the reviews right this second are because I'm not completely done with either game yet.  I still want to play some Battlefield 3 multiplayer, and I want to do some of the challenge maps in Batman and finish up some of the side quests.  I'm pretty busy getting ready for the holidays right now, but I should be able to finish up one of the two games enough to satisfactorily review for you before Christmas.  If you haven't already, go pick up Arkham City right now!  Now go play some games!
The 3DS is finally becoming the system we all hoped it would be at launch.  The eStore is going strong, the library of games finally includes some solid must-have titles, and system updates are frequent and actually include huge system upgrades.  Tonight the much awaited 'November' firmware update hit.  I say 'November' because that's when it was originally slated to be released, however it was delayed until today.  I managed to catch wind of this update via twitter, only minutes after it was released.  I finished the download a few minutes ago and explored the new features, and this is what I found:

The first thing I noticed upon resetting the system after the update, was a new app called "Nintendo Zone".  The app requires you to agree to a new TOS, and promptly lets you know there is no Nintendo Zone nearby.  It does promise that there are thousands of these so called Nintendo Zones scattered throughout the country, and they allow for a myriad of activities.  These include: "Watching 3D videos, exploring games, accessing special offers & promotions, downloading demos, and more".  I would venture to guess this feature will only work in specific places, such as retail stores.  Basically, it's a glorified way to advertise to us, the consumers.  I have to admit I'm a little curious to see how this all will work. I may try to hunt down one of these elusive Nintendo Zones and get back to you on what they actually do.

The second feature I went to check out was the 3D video recording feature.  It works exactly the same as taking photos, only you push a video button on the screen to switch between photo, video, and a new stop motion recording mode.  It's a neat idea, but the image quality still leaves much to be desired.

The final feature that was updated was the Street Pass functionality.  The biggest change was adding spot pass functionality to street pass, creating a simpler way to meet new Mii's.  This is especially nice if you live in a rural area and have no hope of ever running into someone else with a 3DS.  They've also added some new pieces to Puzzle Swap, and updated Find Mii.

This update is the biggest one since the E3 update that opened up the eShop and browser.  The new features are all fun and useful.  In addition to all of this, the eShop is currently down for maintenance.  Hopefully this means something for the Ambassador program, but we'll just have to wait and see.  If you have a 3DS, start the download now!  This update is huge and will take a while to complete.  Now go play some games!
Nintendo's unique handheld is facing a tough battlefield for best portable gaming experience.  Android and iOS devices are relatively easy to obtain through cellular contracts, and have a huge selection of casual games that grows every day.  Playstation is only a few months away from releasing their new handheld, the PS Vita, which they have stated will be insulated from other systems and dominate the market.  With all this upcoming competition, and a lackluster launch for the handheld, how will the 3DS hold up this holiday season.  I'd say a lot better than you might think.

When the 3DS launched back in February this year, there wasn't any real reason to go pick one up.  While the glasses free 3D tech is very cool, there just weren't any good games and features such as the browser and eShop weren't up and running yet.  Now jump ahead to the present.  It's now the middle of November.  The eShop is up and finally starting to churn out some good quality downloads.  Early adopters of the system were treated to 10 free NES virtual console games, and still have 10 free GBA virtual console games on the way.  For everyone else, the virtual console has released many awesome original GameBoy games including the original Kirby, Super Mario Land, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX, and many others.  There have also been five 3D classics released, the most recent was Kirby's Adventure from the NES.  These 3D classics and the Virtual Console games have been great since a lot of the younger generation have had no experience with these titles from early in Nintendo's history.

The drought for decent 3DS cartridge titles is also finally over.  The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and Star Fox 3D were good diversions while waiting, but we're finally starting to see some of the big Nintendo franchises finally releasing some of their new ideas.  The most recent of these was Super Mario 3D Land released just a few days ago.  This is the best use of the 3D capabilities I've seen in the system since release.  It is also one of the best 3D platforming games I've played since Super Mario Galaxy 2.  Another game featuring the Italian plumber is Mario Kart 7, out December 20th.  That's a boat load of both classic and new Mario all before the end of the year, which means inevitably this system will be at the top of a lot of kid's lists for the holidays.

A recent price drop for the system will also help boost sales this December. The whole reason for the Ambassador program was to sooth early adopters after Nintendo dropped the price down to $169.99 back in August.  That's $100 bucks less than the PS Vita is retailing for, and it'll be out this holiday season while the Vita isn't being released until February.  On top of that, there is a great lineup of games coming out in 2012, such as Resident Evil: Revelations, Luigi's Mansion 2, Paper Mario - 3DS, Kid Icarus: Uprising, and Metal Gear Solid 3D Snake Eater.  Now to be clear, I'm not saying the 3DS is going to destroy the Vita once it's released, I'm just saying that Nintendo's newest handheld is not going anywhere any time soon.  It's just taking a little time for the system to settle into place.  But that's just my guess, we'll have to wait to see what happens after the holidays.  Either way, right now is a good time to be a gamer!
Skyrim is probably one of the biggest games I've played yet.  The number of quests you can undertake is mind boggling (possibly because there are an infinite number of quests, as was released recently in a statement from Bethesda studios).  Since stepping into this epic world, I found myself yearning to simply run away and explore.  I dutifully completed the intro sequence as required, but as soon as the game let me outside to explore, I ran off to the far corners of the map.
Spoiler Warning! This contains minor spoilers for the College of Magic quests. If you haven't finished the College of Magic questline, do not continue to read!
My first item on the agenda was to find this College of Magic in Winterhold to see if I could rise through the ranks like in Oblivion.  The first thing I noticed, mages do not seem to be as organized as they were in Cyrodiil.  There aren't guilds in the cities, but rather just one central location at the College of Magic.  It makes sense though since Skyrim is a remote and far less civilized province than Cyrodiil.  The mages here are not any less dedicated to the study of magic however, as I soon found out after the first couple tasks they set me upon.  I eventually revealed the "main quest" for the college and set out to complete it.  This led me to discover some awesome ruins, a few new enemies, and some sweet loot.  Upon finally completing this task (about 8 hours later since I never use fast travel), I set off toward the city of Solitude to uncover a new mystery I discovered in an ancient stone city.

This is pretty much why I'm addicted to Skyrim.  You can set off and do whatever you feel like at your own pace.  I'll continue to post updates here on my time in Skyrim, so if you want more, check back in a few days!  I also recently created a Twitter account so go follow me @Eh_Rok if you want more updates!
What's up everyone??  My Uncharted 3 Review is on it's way tonight!! So be sure to check back for it later!  I also just picked up Skyrim on launch date, and can tell you from what I've played so far it's EPIC!  I'll try to keep updates on my playthrough as soon as possible.  I'm playing as a High Elf specializing in destruction magic and one handed weapons.  I'm also getting killed a lot because I keep looking at the beautiful landscapes when I should be fighting enemies.  I have a ton of quests in my log so I should get back 
I'm sorry I've been so bad at getting posts out more than once a month, but I promise it's been for a really good reason.  As I'm sure you're all aware, we're right in the middle of a large string of really good games being released every week.  I've been out gaming a lot recently, and working on several reviews that I should be able to start putting up later this week.  These include Uncharted 3, Catherine, Professor Layton and the Last Specter, and The Elder Scrolls V (after it comes this weekend).  So stay tuned for some great reviews.  Also, I'm changing up the format for these daily posts.  I've gotten pretty bored just writing the new releases and what I'm playing every week, so I think I'm going to start writing updates with whatever I feel is relevant to the current week.  This could be news updates, my musings over what I recently played, or just general rants (all about video games of course, this is a gaming blog after all!).  So stay tuned for some new content coming soon.  And while you're waiting, check out what Reaper's been working on under the new "Vita News" tab and under the "Playstation Vita" section in the "Game Reviews" tab.  That's all I have for the moment, now pick up your controller and play some games!
I'm apparently not back in the habit of creating regular posts, so this one may go a bit long to cover everything I missed last week.  We're right in the middle of a gaming flood (opposite of the drought we had this summer).  There are many good games being released every week.  So let's start by quickly covering the big releases I missed last week.  I'm sure all you soccer fans know FIFA 12 came out for Xbox 360 and PS3 last week.  This is a solid entry into the top soccer franchise, if you're a fan I definitely recommend it.  If you're a fan of Playstation 2 classics, the Ico and Shadow of the Colossus collection also came out last week.  These are two awesome games for one low price, I'll be playing these two as soon as I get a break from all these games I haven't played before.    Lastly, if you have a 3DS, the Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition came out for free on the Nintendo eShop.  This is a great remake of the classic Gameboy Advance game, with some great new levels and a brand new single player mode.  It's free, so go get it now!  Alright, now on to this week's new releases.

New Releases

There are some HUGE releases coming October 4th:
Dark Souls (PS3, Xbox 360):  This is the spiritual sequel to Demon Souls, the brutally punishing RPG by From Software.  If you were a fan of the previous game, this game looks even better.  It might be worth checking this out if you want a solid but very difficult RPG to play while waiting for Skyrim in November.
Dungeons and Dragons: Neverwinter (PC):  This looks very similar to the recent D&D release.  Graphics look solid, probably a good game to pass time with if you're waiting for Diablo 3 early next year.
NBA 2K12 (PS3, PC, Xbox 360):  Not much to say here, another entry into the NBA 2K series.  Solid Basketball game.  I just hope they switched up some of the between game commercials so I don't keep getting the same stuff I got in 2K11.
Rage (PS3, PC, Xbox 360):  This is a new post apocalyptic shooter by Id Software and Bethesda Softworks.  A lot of people are calling it a blend of Fallout and Borderlands, but I assure you this game is a full on shooter.  There are no RPG elements to be found so don't go expecting anything like those two games.  It should be a very good game though if you're a fan of shooters, I will be picking this up for sure.
Spider Man:Edge of Time (PS3, Xbox 360):  Not much has been said about this game yet.  It's a 3rd person adventure game, the screens look good.  Guess we'll just have to wait until release to see whether this one is a must have or not.

The only other release this week is Orcs Must Die! on October 5th.  This is an Xbox Live Arcade title, so probably not a must have when all these other blockbusters are coming out, but it does look like it could be a little fun at least.

What I've Been Playing

It's been a while since I've updated everyone on what I've been playing, so bear with me as this section might be a little lengthy.  We'll start with Deus Ex: Human Revolution.  This game is an awesome futuristic stealth/shooter game.  I say stealth/shooter instead of pure stealth shooter, because you can play it however you want.  I myself am playing it very stealthy, giving my character stat boosts in Hacking and Silent abilities.  It sort of reminds me of a blend of Mass Effect and Splinter Cell, but it's by no means a clone of either game.  It's very unique and definitely worth your time if you're a fan of futuristic shooter RPG's.

I also played some Dead Island.  I had high hopes for this game based on the amazing trailers that were released earlier this year.  The game is definitely a little different than what I expected.  It's not quite as story driven as I would have hoped.  You get some story in the beginning, then you pretty much just start doing missions for everyone around you.  If you like doing a ton of missions, and you like slaughtering zombies with all sorts of makeshift weapons, this is the game for you.  Only downside to it are the graphics.  While they definitely aren't as bad as some of Techland's games, they aren't the best.  Shadows are blocky and sometimes contain a gradient of colors.  However, the gameplay is a blast so I'll forgive the few graphical issues this time.

I downloaded the Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Aniversary Edition a few days ago and just sat down to spend some time with that.  And damn is this a fun free game!  I was slightly worried since Four Swords was originally a spin off multiplayer part of A Link To The Past on Gameboy Advance, but once I sat down and played the new single player part, I honestly couldn't put it down.  This game blends elements from all Zelda games together to create one big blast of fun.  Many levels are even designed like classic Zelda maps from previous games.  I'll definitely post more about this one as I keep playing it.

I'm still playing Catherine, slowly but steadily.  This game is still extremely fun, but it's starting to get very challenging around level five.  Some new block types have been introduced, such as ice blocks that cause you to just slide over the edge and die.  But I keep pushing forward to reveal more of this amazing story by Atlus games.  A full review of this game is soon to come, as soon as I finish it once.

Lastly, I played some Final Fantasy XIII.  I just realized that the sequel comes out in a few months, so I decided to re-play this game in order to stay current on the story so far.  The graphics in this game are still jaw-dropping, even a few years after it's release.  This is by far one of the best looking PS3 games in stores, and has an awesome story to boot!  The battle system is a little too close to turn based for my liking, but it's classic Final Fantasy style so I guess I can't really complain.  I still love this game to death!

Well, that's it for this week.  Stay tuned for updates as I get Rage later on this week.  I may post a brief mid-week update if I get some time away from work.  Until then, get out there and play some games!!
Hey everyone, it's been quite a while since my last post, but I have a pretty good excuse.  I just got back from getting married in Hawaii, so I really didn't have much time for gaming since I was outside enjoying the pristine beaches of Oahu.  Alas I have returned however, so now it's time to get back to work and the usual routine of Thursday updates for my blog.  Let's get started!

New Releases

We're right in the middle of release mania.  We've seen several good games come out every week, so here's what came out this week, the week of 9-22-11.  I'll organize these by dates released.
Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 (DS)- Dragon quest, in case you haven't heard is a popular rpg out of Japan.  It recently became popular here in the states due to a few commercials with some high profile actors (Seth Green).  This is a weird sort of spin off, so I don't really recommend it (unless you're absolutely obsessed with everything Dragon Quest.  If that's the case, there's nothing I can say to stop you).  I'm not saying it's a bad game, just now worth the amount of money.  Get one of the main releases if you want a good game.
Kirby Mass Attack (DS):  While this is a Kirby game, do not fall simply for the name.  The game looks nothing like the Kirby we know and love (even the one from epic yarn).  You play as a mass of Kirby's, collecting up to 10 Kirby's as you go.  You don't suck up enemies and copy their abilities, you just collect Kirby's.  Not my thing.

F1-2011 (XBOX 360, Playstation 3):  Not much to say here.  It's a Formula 1 game, the graphics are gorgeous, physics are on par.  Same as usual.
Fallout New Vegas- Lonesome Road (Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC):  This is the new DLC for Fallout: New Vegas.  If you are considering this, you hopefully have New Vegas already and know what it's about.  This new DLC is a sort of prequel to the main story, back when Courier 6 refuses to deliver the platinum chip.  Good expansion of the story, get it if you have New Vegas!
Gears of War 3 (Xbox 360):  It's the new Gears game!!!! Nuff said there.  The visuals are still gorgeous, the controls are still a little sluggish, the Locust are still destroying the world. Epic series. If you like action games, then this is going to be your favorite game released so far.
Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns (DS): Wait, they're still making Harvest Moon games?  I'm sorry, I keeed, but still, what haven't they done already.  Get some of the more classic versions of Harvest Moon if you want to experience this series.
Resident Evil 4 HD (Xbox 360):  Woot! Another Resident Evil 4 Remake.  What is this, the 4th time they remade this game now?  Still, it's a great game, and it'll be nice to replay the Wii version with HD graphics.
Rusty Hearts (PC):  This is a new MMO that looks oddly like a long lost PS2 version of Kingdom Hearts, just without the Disney or Final Fantasy characters.  Could be interesting, although I couldn't find much on it other than a few screen shots and a brief description of the game.  1 user has reviewed it on and they gave it an 8.0, so it'll be a while before I know if this one is worth checking out.
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 2- Innocent Sin (PSP):  Finally!!!!!  I absolutely love the Shin Megami Tensei series, and this is the only game to not be released in the United States, until now.  I have played Persona 1 on the PSP, and Persona 3 on PS2 and PSP.  Both are amazing games to experience if you're into the JRPG genre.  They are some of the strangest games I've ever played, but it's a good kind of strange.  Go check this one out for sure!!

What I'm Playing

I'm going to keep this short, since I really haven't played too much in the past month.  I did manage to pick up Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Dead Island.  I'm having a lot of fun with both and I'll put up a more detailed review on both sometime in the next few days.  Until then, go play some games!
What up everyone?  So, if you've been following my blog, you know I got Lord of the Rings Online last week.  Well, I have to say this game is AWESOME!!!  I really see no reason why anyone shouldn't try this game out.  It's completely free to download, just Google Lord of the Rings Online and you should find the site.  But here's the kicker, there's no monthly fee to play this glorious MMORPG!  Anyway, I'll talk about that in a bit, after we get through the incredibly small list of this weeks new releases.

New Releases

Since there weren't any HUGE releases this week, I'm just going to list off what did come out by system:
PC: Trauma, Edge, and two scenario packs for Sid Meier's Civilization V: Korea, and Wonders of       the Ancient World.
IPHONE: Mega Mall Story
X360:  Fruit Ninja Kinect, Avatar Farm, and Andromium
WII: Kyotokei
DS: My Asian Farm
If I had to pick something to play on this list, Edge looks like a fairly entertaining puzzle game for PC.  Although it sort of reminds me of Catherine.  Fruit Ninja Kinect could also be entertaining, although I find it funny that a cell phone game was ported over to a console.

What I'm Playing

Now on to the good part.  As I mentioned, I'm playing Lord of the Rings Online.  This is an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) based off of the world and lore of Tolkein's Middle Earth.  I'd have to say, Turbine did an amazing job of translating Middle Earth into a video game.  The gameplay is very similar to World of Warcraft, in that you simply point and click on an enemy to attack, followed by selecting which more powerful skills you want to use.  It's an MMO, so if you have friends who play it, you can form a fellowship with them and do quests together.  Reaper also just started playing it so we've done a few quests together, which has been a blast.  The story itself runs parallel to the events happening in the Lord of the Rings Books and Movies, to give you an idea of when this is taking place.  The story is fantastic, and indeed seems to accurately follow historical events in the history of Middle Earth accurately (I own and have read the Silmarillion, and Volumes 1-12 of the History of Middle Earth so I have a fairly good idea of what's accurate or not).  So if you're a fan of Lord of the Rings, or MMO's, or RPG's in general, I strongly suggest you go download this game RIGHT NOW.  That will give you something to do while you're reading this blog.

I also started playing Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood this week.  I had played through the first two in the series which I thoroughly enjoyed, so I decided to pick up Brotherhood on Amazon before Revelations comes out.  I stuck the game in my PS3, booted it up, and then thought "why do I already have a save file for this?" Turns out I borrowed it from a co-worker when it first came out about a year ago and played it for three hours before deciding I'd want to buy it eventually.  Anyway, I replayed the first three hours, which is one of the most exciting intros yet for the series.  It mixes up the gameplay a bit from what you're used to if you played the first two games.  I'm really enjoying the story so far, and I look forward to completing the game so I can write a review up for it before the new game comes out.

That's it for this week.  Make sure you go check out LOTRO (FREE, so no excuses).  If you want to play with me or Reaper, hit me up with a message on the Contact us page with your character name and we'll add you to our friends list

I'm going to start this out by apologizing for the fact that I'm a day late on this post.  I know, you're all hugely disappointed (not that we actually have fans who read this yet) but the blog must go on.  I was busy writing my review for Infamous 2 this week, not quite done yet but it's getting there.  Now that I've finished it I have the urge to go pick up the Sly collection (also by Sucker Punch Productions) but I'm playing way too many games at the moment, so that probably won't happen any time soon.  In fact, as I'm writing this I'm downloading Lord of the Rings Online, the hit MMORPG of 2010.  It's now both free to play and free to download, so I thought, "what the hell, might as well give it a shot".

What's New

There wasn't really anything big that grabbed my eye this week as far as releases go.  Limbo, the hit game on Xbox 360 from last year was released on PC.  Galaga Legions DX came out on PS3.  I'm guessing only fans of the original Galaga will get this as it's pretty much a reboot of the classic Arcade game.  Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension came out for PS3 and Wii.  Phineas is one of Disney's newest enterprises and it's surprisingly a hit with kids despite  how it was expected to do poorly.  Pirates of Black Cove came out on PC.  I played the demo of this one and it reminds me of Age of Empires.  You basically start out as a small time pirate and rise the ranks to becoming the baddest mo*&#$@ f%^&@# around.  I'm not much for real time strategy but it looks like it could still be pretty fun.

Bleach: Soul Resurreccion (yeah, they mispelled resurrection aparantly on purpose. Must be a Japanese thing) came out on PS3.  This is more of an action Beat 'em up style game based on the hit anime series by the same name.  I'm sure fans of the series will get this, but the non-anime fans will probably pass.  Brink finally got some DLC called Agents of Change on Xbox 360.  And Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet came out on Xbox Live Arcade.  The visual style in this side scrolling shooter looks cool, it might be worth taking a look at.  And last, but not least, Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions came out on IOS.  It's nice to see this amazing Strategy RPG from the PSP get a port over to Iphone/Ipod touch/Ipad/Iwhateverthehell.  The story and cutscenes on the PSP version were what drew me in to this game, and it seems like IOS will be a perfect fit.  Makes me want to pick up an Ipod touch so I can play this again.

What I'm Playing\

I really didn't play too much this week.  Been pretty busty getting ready for my wedding in 2 weeks, but I did get some gaming in.  Yesterday I played some Knights of the Old Republic.  Yeah, I know it's an older game, but I never really played more than an hour of it when it came out before I got distracted by other big releases.  Boy did I miss out on some good sweet Star Wars RPG gameplay.  KOTOR has excellent voice acting, awesome graphics (for a game that's about 10 years old), and some pretty good gameplay mechanics.  I keep finding myself just walking around looking at the landscapes in awe of the universe BioWare created.  I'm also consistantly reminded of the Mass Effect series (also by BioWare).  I wish they would reboot this game more in the FPS/RPG style that Mass Effect was, but they probably won't so I'll have to make do.  I look forward to getting some more time with this one though in the future.

Since I really didn't play much of anything else (except about an hour of Catherine) I'll talk about some TV series I'm watching on Netflix right now.  I just finished season 1 of Sherlock on the BBC, and HOLY CRAP this show is good.  It reminds me a lot of Robert Downey Jr.'s version of Sherlock (new movie coming out soon by the way!!)  but it takes place in modern times.  If you love Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock, and wonder what he would be like in the age of technology, go get this now, or at least stream it on Netflix.

I also just finished Season 2 of Merlin another hit show on the BBC.  Merlin was on ABC in the United States for season 1, but got dropped and picked back up by SyFy for season 2.  I really don't know what's wrong with Americans for not liking this show.  It combines humor, action, and fantasy in a perfect entertaining mix.  It's nowhere near as good as Legend of the Seeker was, but it's still definitely worth checking out if you like a good fantasy style show.

Yesterday I watched a very... interesting movie.  It was a sci-fi version of Beowulf.  The acting was TERRIBLE and Beowulf looked almost exactly like Glenn Beck (so that's what he's doing since he quit radio and tv) but I still watched it all the way through for some reason.  The movie still focuses on Beowulf killing Grendel, just like in the classic book, but with a sci-fi twist.  This takes place in a weird sort of medieval/industrial time period.  They ride horses, but use a sort of buzz-saw on a stick for weapons.  When it was over, I was so confused as to what I just saw I almost watched it again.  I really don't recommend this since it was so bad, however it's a good way to waste a few hours of your life if you're really bored and curious.

That's all I have for now.  Check back soon for my Infamous 2 review, it'll be in the Playstation 3 section under Game Reviews and under the what's new area on the homepage.  Have a great week!  Now get out there and play some games!