Tag Archives: Andrea Rene

Cheaper Xbox One Coming 2014?

There have been numerous leaks coming from Microsoft about what is happening with Xbox in 2014 and beyond.


For starters, there was talk of a 1TB White model of Xbox One. The sleek white version was only previously available to Xbox staff members. Another report comes from VG247, who claims a “well-respected source” told them Microsoft has been briefing publishers about a new, cheaper model of Xbox One that is going to be coming out later this year.

Other rumors say this model will not have a disc drive, that it will feature bluetooth technology, and that it is coming in October at price point that will be competitive with the PS4.

There are also rumors from earlier this week that say Halo 2: Anniversary Edition is coming to Xbox One and buying it will give you access to the Halo 5 beta. There is also talk Crackdown 3series is coming in 2016.

 

 

I went to CES 2014!

The 2014 International Consumer Electronic Show took place in Las Vegas once again this year and featured the hottest tech gadgets and inventions on the planet. The focus this year? Robotics, 4K TVs, and wearable technology.

I covered some interesting topics from Steam Machines to Virtual Reality. Check out my videos below!

Me in Gunnar Optiks glasses!

Omni Virtual Reality Gaming

 

MadCatz M.O.J.O. Android Microconsole

 

Tegra K1, Roku TV, and Xbox One Sales

 

Nvidia Shield Overview

 

Gaming Accessories of CES 2014

 

Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to The Escapist on YouTube for more videos!

New Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor Gameplay!

shadowormordor

Warner Bros released a new video showcasing gameplay for their upcoming project being developed by Monolith called Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor.

The game features a protagonist named Talion, a Ranger and guardian of the Black Gates, who is out to take down Sauron and avenge his slaughtered family. The game takes place in between the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings and is an original storyline set in the universe of Middle-Earth. My thoughts on that aside, the gameplay looks pretty awesome.

The walkthrough in the video focuses on the Nemesis System, a gameplay mechanic where enemies remember your previous encounters with them, which is unique to each player. The orc shown in the video is called Ratbag, and is a coward that has faced Talion before, and after being defeated will come under Talion’s power.

He can control other characters like Ratbag by using the mysterious powers he gains from a Wraith. There aren’t details on who the Wraith is and how Talion receives these powers, but they look powerful. Activating the Wraith powers allows him to pursue enemies into Mordor, along with moving between the physical world and the Wraith world. Talion can also spread terror with Wraith powers, controlling characters to scout other enemies that are connected to that particular character.

Players can use information learned to make choices about how they want to carry about specific missions. You can use stealth to sneak into heavily guarded areas, you can run in sword flying, or you can use Wraith powers to take over other characters and make them your minions.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The Escapist on YouTube for more videos!

Xbox One: Thoughts about the Reveal

Unless you are living under a rock you heard about the reveal of Microsoft’s new console, the Xbox One. I am hesitant to call it a gaming console because during their reveal event, Microsoft focused on home entertainment as opposed to video games. This has quite a few fans up in arms over what we will truly be able to expect from the device. I spoke at length, on several different shows about my feelings about the new Xbox.

To say I don’t have an opinion, is pretty far off base. But if you are looking for me to drag Microsoft through the mud, best find yourself another blog to read or watch.

First, some details on the device:

GameTrailer’s Bonus Round:

The Bonus Round guests Andrea Rene, Garnett Lee, and Alex Abrecht along with host Geoff Keighley highlight the memorable moments and missteps of the Microsoft Press Conference.

 

Smosh Games Gamer Nation:

I join Lasercorn, The Jovenshire, and Sohinki talking about Microsoft’s Xbox One reveal:

Weekend Confirmed:

Jeff Cannata is a man on an island (a Hawaiian one, that is), which leaves host Garnett Lee to captain the S.S. Weekend Confirmed alone. He’s joined this week by his hardened crew of “Indie” Jeff Mattas, the Escapist’s Andrea Rene, and Double Jump’s Christian Spicer. Their destination: The fabled isle of Xbox One. The team discusses Tuesday’s reveal event, what we know about the new console, and dive into the pile of unknowns and what-if’s. After discussing the hardware, features, and rumors, everyone discusses reader reaction and how the Xbox One will fare against stiff competition from Sony and Nintendo. The show ends with some non-Xbox related Finishing Moves.

 

The bottom line: We won’t know the full picture on Xbox One or PS4 until after E3.

Be sure to subscribe to my new show on The Escapist for all my E3 coverage and for your chance to win a $100 GameStop gift card!

My New Job With Alloy Digital

Hello everyone!

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook then you probably have already heard that I have joined the team at Alloy Digital. You can learn all about them here by checking out their website http://www.alloydigital.com or by reading this great article: http://betabeat.com/2013/03/alloy-digital-smosh-youtube-ian-anthony-clevver-alloy-entertainment-pretty-little-liars/

Many of you have asked when I’m going to have my own show again and I’m proud to say that time is rapidly approaching! Starting in early April I will be taking over “Escapist News Now” on the The Escapist Magazine YouTube channel. I will also be making appearances on my former channel Clevver Games, as well making an occasional appearance on breakaway success Smosh Games.

Please subscribe to all 3 if you haven’t already!!

cg_icon escapist_icon smoshgames

I will be doing all kinds of content on video games and I want to hear what you guys want to see! This is important because I will also be starting a new channel just for me! You’ll be able to find vlogs, let’s plays, and commentary videos there. So Tweet at me @andrearene, post on my Facebook fanpage, or comment on this post to let me know your thoughts.

Thanks for all your support and I look forward to making lots more posts in 2013!

Playstation 4 Announced For Holiday 2013!

We all knew next-generation video game consoles were right around the corner, and first out of the gate is Sony with the announcement of PlayStation 4 this week. At an event held in New York City on February 20th, Sony told the world their new console will be coming Holiday 2013.

sony-ps4-logo

Here are the technical specs they announced:

  • Supercharged PC Arichetecture
  • X86 CPU
  • 8 CPU Cores
  • Enhanced PC GPU
  • 8 GB Unified Memory
  • Local HDD Storage

Lead Hardware Architect, Mark Cerny said this system is, “By game creators, for game creators.”

Though they didn’t show the unit, they did show the newly redesigned DualShock controller complete with Touchpad, Share Button, Headphone Jack, and an accompanying Light Bar to identify players.

Sony’s recent purchase of Gaikai, a cloud-based streaming service, will be put to use in the PS4. There will be many features including:

  • Social integration with Facebook, Ustream where you can broadcast gameplay live
  • Screen sharing where you can take over someone else’s game to help them with difficult sections
  • Remote play of the PS4 with Vita, something introduced for PS3 but taken to the next level for PS4, possibly even working with smartphones and tablets.
  • Goal is to make every PS4 title available on the PS Vita so you can game on the go
  • Goal is to play any PS console game on the PS4 through the cloud, since they have announced there will be no backwards compatibility through discs

Sony said there will be a secondary processing chip to allow for processes to happen in the background while users are playing games. This means faster downloads, faster loading, and virtually no wait time at startup.

There will also be a completely redesigned User Interface that allow for more social integration and easier purchasing of digital items. Personally, I don’t need that much sharing while I’m gaming, but it is a great feature for those that do.

sony-playstation-4-ps4-social-ui-002

There was also a slew of software announcements including:

  • Knack from Mark Cerny
  • The Witness from Jonathan Blow (creator of Braid)
  • Diablo III from Blizzard (on PS3 and PS4)

But those were just the appetizer, there were some big 1st party reveals that look very promising.

Killzone Shadow Fall

Driveclub

inFAMOUS: Second Son

Plus, there was a new gameplay walkthrough of Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs, one of the hottest titles to come out of E3 2012.

It was also revealed that Bungie’s new game Destiny will appear on the PS4. This ViDoc has new details about the story of the game, plus some really cool visuals:

Capcom’s Yoshinori Ono took the stage to show his newest engine, Panta Rhei, in action on a game with the working title “Deep Down.”

Square Enix also showed a tech demo, but this was previously shown the year before (a few times) so not much to report there except they will be unveiling the latest game in the Final Fantasy franchise at E3 this year.

Now that you have all the information, here are my thoughts:

  1. I was disappointed we didn’t get to even see a photo of the console.
  2. Killzone Shadow Fall was the best game Sony showed at this event, but I don’t think it is big enough to sell consoles for them. I hope they announced Uncharted 4 at E3!
  3. Though the tech demo they showed with the PlayStation Move controllers was neat, Move is still a novelty item much like Microsoft’s Kinect.
  4. The new DualShock controller has a tiny touchscreen on the front, and at that size why even bother? Most smartphones have bigger screens and Nintendo’s Gamepad blows it out of the water. It seems to me they want to incorporate some of the tech they created for the Vita, but this doesn’t seem like the right way.
  5. The new UI looks like a vast improvement over the current one of PS3, but I really need a chance to play around with it before seeing all of its bells and whistles.
  6. They didn’t announced how big the drive space would be, which I’m guessing will come with the price announcement. But with all the hype around Cloud services perhaps the days of having a 500 GB hard drive are over.
  7. It is an interesting idea to make every game on PS4 available on Vita, but my first thought was, why bother? The Vita had less-than-impressive sales numbers and this just seems like a shoe-horned idea to sell more units. The Vita really needs more software that is tailored to the device, not more ports.
  8. There was no mention of PlayStation Plus service, but I’m guessing we’ll hear about that at E3. Currently Sony offers great bonuses for being a Plus member, such as free game downloads, so I am interested to see what PS4 Plus offerings are.
  9. Having Mark Cerny overseeing hardware design is a great thing for developers. With a long history in the gaming industry, Cerny knows what developers look for in hardware design and hopefully more 3rd party game publishers will give better offerings on PS4 than the PS3 had.
  10. Lastly, while this was an interesting announcement, I am still not convinced that PS4 will best the next-gen Xbox. Even if only some of the rumors are true about “Xbox 720,” I don’t see where Sony’s advantage comes except from 1st party software offerings, which aren’t much right now. That said, this is only the tip of the iceberg and there is a lot more reveals to come.

It is going to be an exciting year to be a gamer! I am really looking forward to E3 this year and I’ll be sure to put as much coverage as I can on my blog.

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day Gifts for the Gamer Girl

So you are lucky enough to be dating an awesome lady who likes to play video games with you? Nicely done! Now be careful of falling into the the Vday trap.

Every year in February the ads incessantly try to sell you flowers, candy, and stuffed animals. But let’s face it, the flowers wither, the candy gives you a short sugar rush and guilt about the gym, and the stuffed animals inevitably end up in a closet somewhere.

There are lots of great options that show you care and are actually something she’ll love to use! I don’t want this to be misconstrued as a “one size fits all” gift guide, because there are many types of ladies out there. That said, here are some items that I know I’d like to get this Valentine’s Day.

1. Evil Controllers – $$$
These controllers come in awesome styles and have modded features. They can be a bit pricy but they have a long life and Evil Controllers’ customer service is great with repairs. If you are feeling ambitious, you can even create your own look!

ps3-pink-zebra_1pink_controller
Pro Tip: Make sure you know what console she prefers to play on!

2. Gamer Tees – $
Normally I would say stay far away from trying to buy your lady clothes, but these are generally no brainers. They are cute, witty, and comfortable! There are all kinds of stores that sell these tees but here are some of my favs:

jinx_tee ebbc_wonder_woman_retro_scoop_neck_babydoll insertcoin_shirt
Pro Tip: When she’s not looking sneak a peek at the tag of one the tees she already owns, that way you get the size right.

3. Jewelry – $-$$$
What woman doesn’t love jewelry? No seriously, does she exist?

heart_necklacePortal_earrings_SY300_zelda_necklace_SY300_
Pro Tip: Take notice of what she already wears and try to match that style, don’t want your gift collecting dust.

4. Art – $-$$$
Buying art is something we rarely do for ourselves, and there are some great places to get really awesome video game art. Plus, whenever she looks at it on her wall she’ll think of you!

VS_AK-mzpac-main_1_1024x1024 linked-jolby_main_1024x1024 loveforhandhelds_main_1024x1024

Pro Tip: Make sure to buy a frame to go with it so it is ready to hang! If the store you buy it from doesn’t have that option, hit up your local Michael’s or Target for affordable frame options.

5. Virtual Points – $
When in doubt or if you waited till the last minute, any girl who plays online could always use more points! Xbox Live Microsoft Points, PlayStation Network card, or even an iTunes card for iOS games. You can pick cards up at almost any grocery, drug, or electronics store these days.

20psn-card microsoft_pointsApple-Gift-Cards
Pro Tip: Make sure you get at least $20 worth so she can purchase a few different mobile games or 1 sweet DLC pack.

Hope this helps in your quest! Valentine’s Day is right around the corner but it isn’t too late to buy online! Many stores offer expedited shipping, or if you are saavy and have a Amazon Prime account, that is a great way to go as well. Happy shopping and have a fantastic Valentine’s Day!

*Click on any of the photos to go right to the website to purchase (except the virtual points, you can get those anywhere!)

Pricing Guide:

$ = $25.00 or less
$$ = $50.00 or less
$$$ = $100.00 or less

Weekend Confirmed 136 – Medal of Honor: Warfighter, Forza Horizon

See original post on Shacknews here.

Host Garnett Lee is back this week, with some disappointing revelations about Forza Horizon. But before that, Jeff Cannata “turns a corner” on the Wii U, talking up the possibilities of Nintendo TVii. Andrew Yoon rants about Medal of Honor: Warfighter, while special guest Andrea Rene gets passionate in this week’s Tailgate.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 136: 10/26/2012

  •  Here’s a handy pop-up player so you can listen from right here on the page. Let us know how it works for you.

Weekend Confirmed comes in four segments to make it easy to listen to in segments or all at once. Here’s the timing for this week’s episode:

Show Breakdown:

Round 1, Part 1 – 00:00:27 – 00:15:44

Round 1, Part 2 – 00:16:12 – 00:29:53

Whatcha Been Playin Part 1 – 00:30:42 – 01:01:41

Whatcha Been Playin Part 2 – 01:02:47 – 01:31:45

Listener Feedback/Front Page News – 01:32:15 – 02:03:55

Tailgate – 02:04:31 – 02:14:24

Assassin’s Creed III Preview

If you follow me on Twitter you probably noticed my tweets from Boston last week while I was attending the Assassin’s Creed III Preview Event. I was lucky enough to have extensive hands on time with the single-player campaign, as well as new multiplayer modes WolfPack and Domination. Plus they even had ACIII: Liberation on the Vita!

Taken from my post on the Inside Gaming Daily blog:

In a franchise that deploys yearly installments such as Assassin’s Creed, it’s important for new players to know the level of accessibility for the story. Regardless if you know of Desmond Mile’s history or not, I was assured that new players will have no problem getting to know the new protagonist.

“Conner’s story is completely self-contained with a beginning, middle, and end.”

After combing the comments on previous Machinima videos for ACIII, I noticed a theme: What is going on with Desmond? Assassin’s Creed: Revelations Creative Director Alex Amancio told us in a previous interview that ACIII would be the end of Desmond’s story line, as was set up by previous installments in the franchise. December 2012 is rapidly approaching, so I had to inquire, what is going on with Desmond and the people of the First Civilization?

“There is payoff…There are answers to be had, whether or not people will be happy with them…but there are answers.”

Well, I guess you can’t accuse of us of giving spoilers!

First debuted at San Diego Comic-Con earlier this year, ACIII multiplayer has lots of new features to offer including new modes Wolfpack and Domination. The Domination mode is exactly what you think it is, capture and defend strategic points A, B, and C. The teams are 4 versus 4 and all characters on each team are identical.

Even more interesting is Wolfpack, a new cooperative mode that has players working together against enemy AI. Your team acquires more points by striking targets simultaneously and by doing it as stealthily as possible. There are a total of 25 sequences to master, and each successful kill earns your team more time to reach the next sequence.

What I really found interesting is the new depth of customization offered, including new ranged weapons like the poison darts. You can also change the face of your character along with more options for costume upgrades. Plus you can even change your taunt and ground kill moves.

Ubisoft also increased the social interaction in multiplayer by adding a new Dare System to use with your friends. Each time you play a new mode, you’ll have a challenge to beat a friends score in a specific aspect of play. There is also the new Abstergo Ladder.

“The Abstergo Ladder is a ranking system based on your skills, this is worldwide…it is based on skills not time of play.”

Damien told us that they wanted to reward people for their skill with stealth kills and not just who has played the longest. He told me there will also be a Season Pass for DLC content but would not provide any specific details on the cost or content of the pass.

Widely considered to be one of the most exciting titles for Sony’s PlayStation Vita, ACIII: Liberation features a female protagonist named Aveline de Grandpre. I dive into her history in the interview, but I was curious on the crossover between the two titles.

“Depending on whether you have your PlayStation connected to your Vita you may have a chance to take on some his [Conner’s] weapons or play in Conner’s skin.”

This certainly is exciting news to anyone lucky enough to own both a PS3 and a PSVita. There has been a lot of chatter about the connectivity between the two devices but few games have really shown true crossover content. Perhaps ACIII will really show us what can be achieved.

“It’s much bigger than anyone is anticipating…it is the Assassin’s Creed you know and love but scaled to a portable device.”