Tag Archive: video games


National Video Games Day

So with it being National Video Games Day and all just a few thoughts (and yes I know much more serious than the holiday is probably intended to be).

Games hold a special place in my life. It’s transported me to fantastic worlds and allowed me to have action packed adventures. As a child who liked to act out stories set in space, on a pirate ship and everything in between in my backyard, games allowed me to realize these stories in a whole new way. It was a way to connect with people. The rise of Pokémon gave us a common thread – something to overcome the awkward social encounters we had growing up in schools.

There was the immense pride I felt when I bought my Xbox, the first home console my family had. At the age of 13, I spent hours babysitting, doing yard work and selling snacks a local park to scrape every last penny. Unboxing that console was one of the coolest moments I can ever remember.

Games provided memories that will last a lifetime. Whether it was a team bonding night playing Halo or an epic night of Super Smash and Mario Kart with some of my best friends, games gave us laughter, bragging rights and nights that will always rank among my favorite from high school.

As games have matured as an art form, stories have become more emotional. Experiencing a game like “The Last of Us” was every bit as thrilling and emotional as any film I’ve seen or book I’ve read. Games can scare us, keep us at the edge of our seat, make us laugh and cry.

Lately, games have allowed me to stay connected to family, even when we’re in different parts of the world. A game like “Overwatch” has allowed me to play online and talk with my brother – who lives in Korea. It gives us common ground and something we can look forward to and to stay in touch much more than we ever would have without it.

I almost feel honored to see games grow and evolve as I have as a person. So yes, I know National Video Games Day is another one of the endless holidays that exist these days.

But it’s one that I’m glad is marked because without it, my world would be a lot less fun. Sometimes, a little fun is just what we all need.

Hot on the heels of “Ratchet & Clank”, news comes that a “Heavenly Sword” movie is on its way. Here’s the voice talent attached to the planned animated film (from IGN):

“Fringe’s Anna Torv will voice Nariko with Alfred Molina as King Bohan, and–Punisher himself–Thomas Jane as Loki. Todd Farmer, writer of Jason X, My Bloody Valentine and Drive Angry, is handling script duties, with Brad Foxhoven and David Wohl producing for Blockade.”

Obviously, having Farmer’s involvement is very worrisome. But maybe he’ll surprise me.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

So, yes “Castle Wolfenstein” is still moving forward as a movie. And now, Roger Avary, who won an Oscar with Quentin Tarantino for “Pulp Fiction” for their screenplay, will write and direct the film. According to comingsoon.net, the movie will follow  “a young US Army Captain and a British Special Agent on a top secret mission to Castle Wolfenstein, where Hitler will be for the unveiling of a new secret weapon. After reaching the Castle, our heroes are confronted with Himmler’s SS Paranormal Division and must fight, not only for their survival, but for a mission that could alter the course of the War.”

No cast has been announced, though getting award-winning screenwriter to help is certainly a good start. And, hopefully he can get some brutal violence in this film, as I take it would fit the overall tone of the video game. Maybe this can be the one to help video game movies break out. It can’t be as bad as “Silent Hill: Revelations” right?

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

First, Taylor Kitsch’s name was attached. Then, they said they were going with an unknown director. Now, the “Need for Speed” film, an adaptation of the popular video game franchise, has chosen its lead, and he’s not all that unknown. Aaron Paul, best known for his work on “Breaking Bad” will play the lead in the Scott Waugh (“Act of Valor”) directed film.

I like Paul as an actor, but somehow I’m guessing “Need for Speed” won’t be the “Spider-Man” or  the “Avengers” of video game films.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Just over two months away, Nintendo announced the launch date and price of the Wii U in the U.S. and internationally. Nov. 18 is the date and will come in two sets: A $299 bundle which comes with the console, one GamePad, HDMI cable, sensor bar and an AC adapter. The $349 bundle comes with all that plus GamePad charging stand, stands for the GamePads and console and a copy of NintendoLand. Neither comes with a numchuk controller, even though it will be utilized.

Here are the launch window games for the system:

505 Games

Funky Barn

2K Sports

NBA 2K13

Activision Publishing, Inc. 

007 Legends

Call of Duty: Black Ops II

Transformers Prime

Wipeout 3

Skylanders Giants

Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2013

Rapala Pro Bass Fishing

 Capcom

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

D3Publisher

Rise of the Guardians: The Video Game

Ben 10: Omniverse

Family Party: 30 Great Games Obstacle Arcade

Disney Interactive 

Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two

Electronic Arts

Mass Effect 3

Madden NFL 13

FIFA Soccer 13

Frozenbyte

Trine 2: Director’s Cut

Gaijin Games

Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien

Majesco Entertainment

Zumba® Fitness Core

Maximum Games

Jett Tailfin™

NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc.

TEKKEN TAG TOURNAMENT™ 2 Wii U Edition

TANK! TANK! TANK!™

Nintendo

Nintendo Land™

New Super Mario Bros.™ U

NINJA GAIDEN™ 3: Razor’s Edge

SiNG PARTY™

LEGO® City: Undercover

Wii Fit™ U

Game & Wario™

Pikmin™ 3

The Wonderful 101™

SEGA

Aliens: Colonial Marines™

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed

Shin’en

Nano Assault Neo

Tecmo Koei America Corporation

WARRIORS OROCHI® 3 Hyper

THQ

Darksiders® II

Wheel of Fortune®

JEOPARDY! ®

Two Tribes

Toki Tori 2

Ubisoft

Assassin’s Creed® III

Just Dance® 4

Marvel Avengers™: Battle for Earth

Rabbids® Land

Sports Connection™

Your Shape®: Fitness Evolved 2013

ZombiU™

Rayman Legends®

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Scribblenauts™ Unlimited

Game Party Champions

Batman: Arkham City™ Armored Edition

Now, I’ve had the Nintendo die hards tell me that everything Nintendo does is revolutionary and that this will be a massive success. Look, I’m pretty balanced when it comes to consoles.  I loved the PlayStation one, owned an Xbox and then bought a Wii, so I don’t have a particular allegiance or bias against any of the three big console makers. This just sounds…frankly like nothing new. The GamePads, by the way, cost the equivalent of about $170 in Japan. You willing to spend more than $100 on a freaking controller? Don’t worry though, Nintendo said it’s building games that doesn’t require everyone to have a GamePad. So…WHY EVEN MAKE IT AT ALL?

The Wii was refreshing for casual gamers like me. Now, this just seems unnecessary. And, I can tell you that if I’m going to spend more than $300 on something, it’s not going to be on a system that has barely better graphics, if it does at all, with stupidly expensive controllers and utilizes technology that we already have. Ohh. Touch screen? What you are saying is I can essentially buy a much cheaper and not as useful version of a tablet on my TV screen. Wow. That’s amazing.

Oh, and the price is way to high. Remember, the Wii was so successful in part because of ONE price point, $250, and it was the cheapest console on the market. Not the case anymore. And, frankly, the 360 and PS3 can do more in terms of being an entertainment center, so an argument can be made both are better for families than the Wii U. And, there’s not a single game there that says I have to play that on the Wii U to me. Even the Nintendo titles are pretty much stuff we’ve seen before.

Maybe I’ll come around and maybe Nintendo will wow me. But, definitely not going out on its launch night. Yawn.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Not to be outdone by recent news about Michael Fassbender joining “Assassin’s Creed” and “Deus Ex” heading to the big screen, DreamWorks announced its adaptation of “Need for Speed” is coming to theaters Feb. 7, 2014. Based on the popular EA street racing franchise, Scott Waugh will direct. Supposedly it will be a “fast-paced, high-octane film rooted in the tradition of the great car culture films of the 70s while being extremely faithful to the spirit of the video game franchise.”

Not sure why all of a sudden video games are having a resurgence, but, in the list of video games I want to see be made into movies…”Need for Speed” isn’t on the list…period.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Some big news for video game movie fans. Michael Fassbender (“X-Men: First Class”, “Prometheus”) has signed on to play the lead role in “Assassin’s Creed”. No word on the story line or which character from the series he will play, but one would assume it would be Altair or Desmond if the movie is going to follow the chronology of the video games.

‘Fassbender is very talented and it looks like Ubisoft is getting off to a good start with this film. Hopefully this is the one that breaks through and shows video games can make good material for movies.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

From “Resident Evil” to even “Super Mario Brothers” video games have been used by Hollywood to make movies with varying degrees of success. However, it’s a wide belief that video game movies have been sub par. Films like “Dead or Alive”, “Mortal Kombat” and “Doom” certainly didn’t help the genre. Big busts like “Prince of Persia” made studios a little wary. When “Silent Hill” is considered a top example, you’ve got issues.

But, for a while “Halo” was going to be the next big movie. Yet, to this day we have yet to see it and we probably won’t for a long time. Here’s a link to a story about the downfall of the adaptation.  Basically, a lot of misunderstanding and greed. It’s a good read and it’s a shame. Microsoft wanted Peter Jackson, the studios Neil Blomkamp. At one point, people thought “Deja Vu” was essentially Denzel Washington’s tryout for Master Chief.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

I understand why people are excited about “Mass Effect 3”. I’ve never beaten either, but they are, without a doubt, great games. Let’s not forget it’s one of the few that, up until three, was driven by only storytelling. No multi player to sell people on.

And I know companies are looking for ways to advertise their big games. But, come on guys.

As everyone probably knows, EA sent copies of the game into space. Those who found them got the game a week early.

This is ridiculous EA. I mean, do you see Blizzard hiring people to dress up as protoss or zerg units faking an invasion and handing out copies of the game? Do you make people play a game of real football for the chance of an early copy of the new Madden every year? This advertising is getting so out of hand. Next thing you’ll see is World of Warcraft placing a special copy of an expansion pack on top of a live volcano so people can go “questing” to find them.

It’s almost like if the NFL had players go out and sing a song to fans to show their gratitude. Oh wait…

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.