Blog Archives

Five Lessons to Take Away from E3 2013

E3-20131

1) Do Things Differently…

Nintendo has a great habit of subverting everyones’ expectations. They know what’s expected of them, and they seem to gleefully enjoy doing something entirely different. Instead of getting beat up between the two big kids duking it out, Nintendo decided to duck the playground entirely. They skipped the traditional large-scale, celebrity-and-announcement-napalmed press conference, and opted to zap their announcements and videos directly to gamers through Nintendo Direct.

Plus Mega Man!

Plus Mega Man!

It was a ballsy move, but it seems to have paid off. E3 visitors seemed happy with the games they had on display, and  gamers at home got the same news they would have from a flashy conference. Nintendo knows the Wii U, like the Wii before it, can’t stand toe-to-toe technically with Microsoft and Sony’s beastly boxes, so they’re smart to posit it as a unique alternative.

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What Should Sony’s Twisted Metal Movie Feature?

Remember a few months ago Deadline reported that Sony was working on bringing Twisted Metal to the big screen?  Can you imagine? High-octane vehicular carnage, an insane cast of characters, and the signature dark humor of Twisted Metal are to be brought to life.

Let’s start with what’s known right now:

Reports have mentioned both Avi and Ari Arad (Producers of the Spider-Man trilogy) have signed a deal with Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance director Brian Taylor to write and direct the film based on Sony’s iconic car combat game. It seems that the film will keep as close as it can to the game’s plot, characters, and unique sense of humor/horror.

The film will be about an underground car combat tournament run by mega-mogul Calypso who promises fame, fortune, and wishes-come-true to those who survive the deadly game. Think Death Race, but with a serial killer clown, a doll-faced woman, death himself, and perhaps the other crazed drivers from the world of Twisted Metal.

But then we have to wonder, which main character will the film focus on? Which actors will the studio choose to play the Twisted Metal characters? As well, what would we as viewers and TM fans want to see in a TM film? Read the rest of this entry

A Short Chat With 343 Industries’ Kevin Franklin On HALO 4

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Since its release late last year, HALO 4 sold millions of copies worldwide and was critically acclaimed by all of gaming and mainstream media. The stellar singleplayer campaign focused on a deeper Master Chief and his relationship with Cortana along with the introduction of a new threat, while multiplayer brought back many familiar modes that HALO fans loved in War Games and introduced new modes like the episodic Spartan Ops.

I recently had a short chat with 343 industries’ Kevin Franklin, the lead designer for HALO 4 about its impact in the industry, Master Chief’s background, and the HALO Community. Check out the full interview after the break. Read the rest of this entry

Sleeping Dogs Coming to PlayStation Plus This Month

Great news fight fans, Sleeping Dogs, one of our favourite games of 2012 is finally coming as a free download to PlayStation Plus subscribers this month. Usually Sleeping Dogs costs about $59.99 at retail and on digital download on PSN but if you’re one of the increasing number of PS Plus subscribers, you’ll be able to download the game (along with 11+ titles) free of charge.

Developed at Vancouver’s United Front Games, Sleeping Dogs casts you as as Wei Shen, a badass undercover cop straddling the line between loyalty to his criminal family and to the badge. You’ll be traversing a fully-realized and open city of Hong Kong, playing through a mature, well-written storyline, and fight using brutal hand-to-hand techniques.

More on Sleeping Dogs after the break. Read the rest of this entry

The 2013 Canadian Videogame Awards Red Carpet Gallery

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Michael Mando (Vaas in Far Cry 3) at the CVA Red Carpet.

As you might have read in one of our earlier posts, April 20th was the night of the fourth annual Canadian Videogame Awards. And like many award shows, there’s a customary red carpet gala for the presenters, nominees, and special guests. Fellow JTM editor Lee Guille and I were there to cover not only the event itself but the red carpet as well.

The event saw the CVA’s host and Deus Ex: Human Revolution voice actor Elias Toufexis, Mass Effect 3′s Jennifer Hale and Mark Meer, Far Cry 3′s Michael Mando (voice of the crazy Vaas), Electric Playground’s Victor Lucas, and many more. One thing was for sure, the Canada’s game community, developers, publishers and fans all came to support the Canadian video game industry’s night of celebration.

Check out the CVA 2013 red carpet gallery after the break.

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Electric Playground’s Victor Lucas Talks CVA, Elias Toufexis, and Indie Games

victor lucas interview

The fourth annual Canadian Videogame Awards (CVA) took place on Saturday April 20th and showcased the great Canadian talent behind some of the biggest games of 2012. From Ubisoft’s Far Cry 3 to Klei Entertainment’s Mark of the Ninja, Canadians were able to meet and celebrate the people that collaborate to make these great games.

We recently had a chance to talk to Canadian Videogame Awards Co-founder and Electric Playground host Victor Lucas just before the awards ceremony where he discussed the CVA, choosing Elias Toufexis as the host, and the rise of Indie Games. Check out the full interview with Victor after the break. Read the rest of this entry

Thoughts On Gaming – And The Game Industry – in Canada

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Image Credit: Business Review Canada (www.businessreviewcanada.ca)

Want to know something that might surprise you about gaming in Canada?

Did you know that 58% of Canadians are gamers? And that a growing number of those gamers are Canadian women? Not only is the Canadian game industry maturing with titles being recognized as art, Canadians are now more educated about the industry and the act of gaming as not just child’s play; it’s a profitable industry that brings in billions of dollars into the country.

But what makes the Canadian game industry so special? Also, what pressing issue is the country’s entertainment industry facing? Read the rest of this entry

Uncasual: Cloudstone and The Grinns Tale

cloudstone logo

Well dear reader, I must apologize for the delay. March brought me a bout of sickness, and concentrating on writing was the last thing on my mind. I am back, however, and have faced the wilds of the Facebook App Store once again to bring you the tale of two games. This week we’ll be looking at Action/RPG titles Cloudstone and The Grinns Tale.

Find out if they’re worth your time after the break. Read the rest of this entry

Papo & Yo Creator Interview – Part One: Vision, Funding, and Puzzles

papo and yo vander caballero

One of the PS3′s most groundbreaking independent titles of 2012, Papo & Yo is a semi-biographical story of Creative Director Vander Caballero’s past as he dealt with issues such as his father’s alcoholism and abuse. As the title alludes to, Papo & Yo deals with a not-so-good father and son relationship that’s set in a metaphorical world with characters that reflected Vander and his family.

I recently had a chance to talk to Vander, the Creative Director at Montreal-based Minority Media and creator of Papo & Yo at a recent gaming event. In part one of the interivew, Vander discusses his original vision, acquiring funding, and balancing the game’s puzzle elements. Check out part one of my interview with Vander Caballero after the break. Read the rest of this entry

The Demented, Frustrating World of Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller — Episode 2

cognition episode 2 logo

Well you gotta give it Phoenix Online Studios: they sure know how to open a story. The first episode of Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller began in medias res with Erica Reed and her partner bursting into a cemetery in order to take down a notorious serial killer who had kidnapped Erica’s younger brother. It does not end happily. Episode 2 begins with a seemingly innocuous conversation between Erica and her sorta-boyfriend/friendzoned-guy-with-benefits Sully. This innocent interaction takes a dark turn quickly, and Erica is on the trail of yet another brutal serial murderer.

I could pretty much copy-and-paste my Episode 1 review. On the positive side, the story is very engaging; the visuals are top notch for a downloadable title; and the voice acting is consistently great. On the negative, the point-and-click gameplay is very limiting and often frustrating, and the mechanics introduced in Episode 1 — Erica’s psychic powers — are improved here, but remain mostly undeveloped. There are a few addendums to the previous review, however. Most them, unfortunately, negative. Read the rest of this entry

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