Tag Archives: Andrea Rene

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.”

Weekend Confirmed #130

Another month another episode of “Weekend Confirmed!”

LISTEN HERE!

On the docket this week are a number of topics surrounding the recent Wii U launch announcements, including some debate about pricing, the strength of its launch title lineup, and who Nintendo is courting as the console’s core audience. Developer Klei’s Mark of the Ninja gets some universal admiration from the crew, as well. We pull everything together with some early impressions of Borderlands 2 and, of course, Finishing Moves.

I want to add that my early impressions of Borderlands 2 are just that, early impressions. After playing more and reflecting, there is MUCH more for me to say about the game and I intend to do so including boss fights, inventory management, and difficulty scaling…but that is for another time.

Catch the “Behind the Scenes” video here:

http://www.shacknews.com/article/75768/weekend-confirmed-130-wii-u-mark-of-the-ninja-borderlands

Post PAX Prime 2012

The weather may still be hot but summer is almost officially over for me here in Southern California. After a busy season of traveling, I thought I would get some time to rest, but it is only momentary as the busy holiday game release season is about to begin!

I’ll be posting my Q4 preview soon, but before I get to that I want to talk about PAX Prime! Yes, it is my favorite convention of the year. Why, you ask? Well because not only is it in the lovely city of Seattle, but it is a great time for me to meet fellow game enthusiasts and viewers or listeners of my work.

This was my first year going to PAX Prime as part of Machinima, and I worked the Mcom booth for most of the convention. We have a funny photo booth going and also had free play of the upcoming mech shooter Hawken, along with table-top gaming and a MW3 tourney.

I felt so honored to meet so many Weekend Confirmed fans! Crazy to think I’ve been on the show for over 1 1/2 years now. Going to admit, I was disappointed that the annual WC panel was cancelled, but it was great just to be at PAX.

So what did I do at PAX you ask? Well, I unfortunately didn’t make it to any panels, tragic, I know, but I did get to see the new demo for Dead Island Riptide where they showcased a “horde style” segment within the campaign. The game is co-op, like the original, so you and your buddies need to build defenses to protect survivors against waves of zombies. It screamed Call of Duty Zombies to me, but it was set in a jungle, so I guess that is different? …oh wait…Shangri-La… They do have the signature homemade weapons that appeared in the first game, which does add a bit of flare.

I also got to play Halo 4 multiplayer for the first time. It has been available at a few other conventions, but I was excited to finally go hands-on. We played a round of Regicide, a new mode for Halo. It is a free-for-all deathmatch where one player is the King and all other players are trying to become the king. Killing players gets you rewards points, but if you kill the King, you get more. The longer someone remains King, the higher their bounty becomes with each successful kill, until they are taken out. Considering I haven’t picked up Halo for over 6 months, my round wasn’t so hot to say the least. But I really love the new loadout system and am looking forward to jumping back in the world of Master Chief. See more details in the video below:

One of the best parts of PAX Prime is the PAX 10. This year I got to play a lot of really fun titles including Cannon Brawl.  The description of the game alone is enough to make your head spin! It mixes tower defense elements with RTS and 2D PvP action. I mean damn, there is A LOT going on all over your screen. It seems more complicated than it is at first, but once you have a good strategy, I can see the game being SUPER addictive.

“2D artillery game and an RTS had a beautiful baby!”

There was also indie darling Johann Sebastian Joust which has been making the rounds at conventions and festivals for a few years now, when can I buy this game already?!! …and where do I get PS Move controllers in bulk?

I also checked out iOS game Catch-22 which is almost guaranteed to make your throw your phone across the room in frustration. You control two orbs that circle a planet. The goal is to collect all the coins and once you do, the direction switches and you have to not only keep collecting, but avoid your ghost trail to prevention exploding.

You can check out all of the PAX 10 by clicking here.

There were also a handful of other announcements and gameplay demos including Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes from Hideo Kojima, a look a the Rise of the Triad reboot, the new contracts mode for Hitman: Absolution, and some awesome hands-on time with Dishonored. I’ll expand on my thoughts on my upcoming episode of Weekend Confirmed which I’ll post here on my blog.

All-in-all a great show! It certainly made me more excited for upcoming fall releases like Borderlands 2, Assassin’s Creed III, and more. I’ll be posting much more throughout the fall so keep checking back!

 

 

 

Assassin’s Creed panel at San Diego Comic-Con

In case you missed my constant tweets about this news, yesterday I hosted my first panel at San Diego Comic-Con! I’ve hosted panels and moderated before, but nothing can prepare you for the excitement that is working on a huge SDCC panel.

I was incredibly honored to be invited by Ubisoft to moderate their Assassin’s Creed III panel with Creative Director Alex Hutchinson. He, along with Gabriel Parent, demoed the “Boston” scene, previously shown behind-closed-doors at E3, for the first time to the public.

He spoke extensively about the development process for the game, what it means to have the time period set during the American Revolution, and what gameplay elements we can expect to see. He took questions from the audience, and spoke briefly about the upcoming PlayStation Vita game Assassin’s Creed Liberation. We also gave away 5 extremely limited edition ACIII posters signed by famed artists Alex Ross! Working with the Ubisoft team was fantastic and I hope to work with them again in the future!

Weekend Confirmed #120: Skyrim Dawnguard, Day-Z, Diablo III, and more!

Despite the summer’s dearth of new releases, the Weekend Confirmed crew get into some spirited discussions about Diablo 3’s questionable end-game, and what it’s like to be a vampire in Skyrim‘s new expansion, Dawnguard. Garnett, Jeff Cannata and Jeff Mattas,and regular guest Andrea Rene also delve into some talk about the Day-Z beta mod that brings hardcore zombie survival to ArmA 2, and opine a bit about ZombiU and Sim City Social as well. The eclectic mix of topics all wraps up with another batch of Finishing Moves.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 120: 07/06/2012

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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.

If you’re viewing this in the GameFly application, you can play Weekend Confirmed Episode 120 directly.

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 00:00:30 – 00:28:15

Whatcha Been Playing Part 1 00:28:49 – 00:58:47

Whatcha Been Playing Part 2 00:59:43 – 01:29:24

Listener Feedback/Front Page News 01:30:16 – 02:04:42

—-

Original music in the show by Del Rio. Get his latest Album, The Wait is Over on iTunes. Check out more, including the Super Mega Worm mix and other mash-ups on his ReverbNation page orFacebook page, and follow him on twitter @delriomusic.

Del Rio’s next album, Club Tipsy, is also just a few days away from its July 10 release. Check out his official web page for more information.