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uncharted

One of the best PlayStation 3 trilogies has finally come to the PS4 in Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection. The 3 games have been re-mastered and retooled to give PS4 owners a taste ahead of next years Uncharted 4. The first instalment released way back in 2007 was probably the first title that gave the PS3 the chance to show off the true graphic capability of the machine. The bright and vivid color scheme of tropical islands was really brought to life, a trend that continued in Uncharted 2 with the snowy mountains of Nepal and then again in Uncharted 3 with the deserts of the Sahara. Each game has always improved on the graphics and the action set pieces.

Now given that these games looked amazing on the PS3, they look even more amazing when matched with the PS4’s graphic capability. The smooth transition of game’s control system makes it a game that is easy to pick up and play if you haven’t played the games before. The makers Naughty Dog have always been by their own admission a 30 frames per second studio and given that they have doubled that for this re-mastered collection really shows as the game feels faster and a quicker pace to the action really shows.

The one thing that has always made the Uncharted trilogy stand out in my opinion is their attention to detail when it comes to their characters. The voiceover and motion capture work of Nolan North (Drake), Emily Rose (Elena), Richard McGonagale (Sully), and later on Claudia Black (Chloe) is top notch, they really bring the characters to life with performances that make you feel like you are watching a movie. I cannot recommend this trilogy enough for PS4 owners to pick up if they haven’t already yet.

Logo - 5Ws & How

We are very excited to launch our all new Indie Film column, The 5Ws & How, aimed at increasing awareness of completed independent films and how you can see them by getting the most basic info that journalists look for (hence our movie journalists and reporters on the column’s banner).

First up we talked to Evan Bass, who wrote, produced, and acted in the independent thriller, The Eve.

TheEve-Still-Beach

Who?
The Eve stars Al Thompson (Scott), Miranda Noelle Wilson (Lacey), Maria DiDomenico (Jenn), Rick Estabrook (Joey), and is written by and also stars Evan Bass (Harry). It is deftly directed by Ritchie Steven Filippi in his directing feature film debut and released by Indie Rights.

TheEve_Harry

What?
The Eve is the story of a group of late-20-something friends who used to be close in college but have grown apart over the years since. They decide to reconnect by spending New Year’s Eve on Martha’s Vineyard at one of the group’s family’s house. Unfortunately, it is not as blissful a reunion as they would have liked and tensions take a turn and an unwanted presence turns celebrating the New Year into surviving the night. It is a mix of classic thriller with homages to past movies and small humorous nods to the genre throughout.

TheEve-Docks2

Where?
The film takes place on Martha’s Vineyard, of course, down a secluded dirt road at a house by the water. The Eve was shot on location in Martha’s Vineyard, and one subtle horror nod within the film is a scene filmed in Menemsha on the same dock that one of the original Jaws scenes was filmed.

TheEve-ModernHorrors1

When?
Like all indie filmmaking, The Eve took a while to go from initial filming to completion and distribution. Principal photography for the film was shot in January of 2011, with additional photography in April of that same year. The film was released on VOD in April of 2015.

TheEve-ModernHorrors3

Why?
With indie filmmaking there is always a many-fold reason for a project. For The Eve, we wanted to make a film that was different than the normal gore porn and late teens/early 20s frolicking on the beach type films, and make one with a little more character development. With that, we tried to focus on grounding the film in a reality that the viewer could believe is credible and would allow an audience member to be with the characters every step of the action. We also just wanted to make a film and do it justice. A lot of the crew and behind-the-scenes members working on this project stepped up a level to work on this production. For many, this was either a larger role in a feature or a challenge they were taking on — and we did film an entire feature in the middle of winter on an island whose weather changed by the hour.

TheEve-Joey

How?
The Eve can be seen on iTunes, Vudu, xBox Live, Playstation Networks, Amazon, Google Play, and YouTube Rentals. The movie will be further shopped around for distribution at this year’s AFM and more in-depth information can always be found at TheEveMovie.com.

Check out these links to purchase The Eve:


Independent horror movie The Eve has released an all new scene online. A shower scene featuring Maria DiDomenico that pays homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. The movie pays homage to a number of classic horror movies, including Jaws and Friday the 13th. The Eve is currently available on VOD though iTunes, VUDU, Playstation, and Xbox. The independent horror movie was produced by eBass Entertainment and distributed by Indie Rights Movies and Cinedigm.

Description: Friends head off to the remote island of Martha’s Vineyard to celebrate New Year’s Eve and reconnect. As tensions rise, an unforeseen presence halts celebrations and instead turns their holiday into a fight to live through to the new year. The movie stars Al Thompson (The Cleveland Show, A Walk to Remember), Evan Bass (We Need Girlfriends), María DiDomenico (Game Time), and Miranda Wilson (As the World Turns).

Will you be checking out The Eve? What is your favorite classic horror movie?

atari-xboxone

When confronted with fantastic technology, the first impulse a person has is usually to figure out a way to waste hours of their time doing something nonproductive with it. The very first video game was the Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device developed in 1947, though most people consider the 1972 game, Pong, to be the first traditional video game. The public has had a long and checkered past with video games, sometimes treating them as toys for children, and other times welcoming them as a hobby for adults. According to the Entertainment Software Rating Board, the average age of a gamer is currently 34 years old, and the average gamer has spent 12 years gaming.

The 1970s: Motown, Bell Bottoms and the Atari
Video gaming emerged as a true industry in the 1970s. Although arcades were extremely popular throughout this decade, home video game consoles were also introduced. There were a multitude of different consoles, but only one would end up standing head and shoulders above the rest: Atari. The Atari Video Computer System retailed at $199 and according to Video Game Console Library, there were a total of 418 games released for the platform. At this time, video games were mostly the domain of children and teenagers.

The 1980s: Big Hair, Legwarmers and Mario
Arcades grew tremendously in popularity throughout the 1980s–often known as the Golden Age for Arcade Games. At the same time, IBM PC compatible computer games were being developed, and home computers were starting to become more accessible. The Nintendo Entertainment System was also released in 1983, and quickly became the most popular console on the market. According to Examiner, the popularity of the NES system skyrocketed due to a single Italian plumber named Mario.

The 1990s: Dot-com, Beanie Babies and Shareware
The decade of the 1990s was marked by a release of many portable gaming systems, as well as an increase in the overall home computer market for video games. Shareware played a huge part in this, because it enabled home computer users to download, play, and release video games into the community. Sega managed to break into the console industry with Sonic the Hedgehog, though Nintendo still captured a large amount of market share. Meanwhile, iD’s 1996 FPS Quake completely revolutionized the video game industry and ushered in a new model of Internet-based gaming.

The 2000s: High School Musical, Freedom Fries and Counter Strike
The 2000s saw console and online gaming becoming rapidly more popular among adults. As laptops for the classroom, office and even home use became more popular, a shift towards casual games that required less powerful systems also developed. A simple casual game called The Sims dominated market share and opened the door for more female gamers. CNN reported that The Sims was the best-selling PC game from 2000 to 2003, and has now sold more than 125 million copies. At the same time, the market stabilized to show a total of three major video game systems: the Sony PlayStation, the Microsoft Xbox and the Nintendo Wii.

The 2010s: Zumba, Dog Shaming and the Next Generation
The next generation of video game consoles are being eagerly awaited, including the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. Video games are pushing forward with motion-based and voice-based technology, which is leading to far more inventive methods of playing. Independent developers are also attempting to break into the game business, such as the Ouya, which is an Android-based video game console. The games on the Ouya are intended to be completely free, as noted on the Ouya website. The market has shifted towards more casual and accessible games, especially among the female demographic.

This guest post was written by Jessica Lyman, a freelance reporter who covers the gaming industry.
Posted on September 19th, 2013 by MHD | Leave a Comment (1)
Filed Under Entertainment

Thanks to E3 we have a few more details about the upcoming Tomb Raider game prequel that brings us on Lara Croft’s first adventure. In the game, Croft is a recent college graduate whose boat capsizes do to an unexpected storm and she ends up on a mysterious island. She has to use her brains and survival skills to get off the island and find out what secrets it holds.

The game has been designed with an open environment, which allows players to explore the island and different goals/problems have multiple solutions. As the story progresses, you’ll be able to explore new ares of the island and face new challenges. I love the original game, but have skipped most of the sequels. Yet this really has my interest. I can’t wait to see what else is revealed when the game is showcased at E3 this week.

It will of course be released for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC  and hits stores in the fall of next year, 2012.

Posted on June 6th, 2011 by ThePit | Comments Off on Tomb Raider Prequel Game Details
Filed Under Entertainment

Games, like anything, rarely ever remain the same over long stretches of time. Sometimes this can be a very good thing. Others, this makes for a very poor transition period. To give a clear example of some good and bad cases, I’m going to begin with the good, continue with the average, and then pit stop at the bad. Let’s get this show on the road.

GOOD EXAMPLE

Games Through the Generations Metal Gear Solid

Metal Gear Solid (Playstation)
The first game set the pace for its entire generation. True, it was first a 2D stealth scrolling adventure on a console that existed before my birth, but its debut on Playstation was definitely it’s most monumental release. Creator Hideo Kojima even added the “Solid” to the Metal Gear name. You know it’s gonna rock when they do that.

Featuring a progressive and engaging storyline that was nearly unheard of for games at the time, you ventured through a plethora of engaging and trying maze like environments. It was the first non-linear game I’d ever encountered. You had a set number of objectives and completing them would get you closer to your goal, versus the go from point A to point B to save the princess. It was a whole new way of playing, and thinking how games could evolve.

Metal Gear Solid 4 (Playstation 3)
The fourth sequel to the game released last year. I had not followed the series outside of a short stint with MGS2 and the history lesson made interactive that was Snake Eater. However, something just clicked in the same way the first did with me. The levels weren’t quite as expansive feeling to me as in the first, although there were a few more story triggers in this release than the first. However, it managed to grow in ways that allowed it to keep up with the games that had released post launch.

Weapons had a more dynamic feel with aiming and firing more like a shooter, utilizing more buttons and increased control. We were also allowed to have free control over the camera which had JUST been added to the re-release of MGS3. The story was more fan service to end the series than a coherent thriller, but it still managed to be highly entertaining nonetheless.

Absent from the first game were huge set piece battles, one of which was probably my favorite boss fight ever, allowing you to control the iconic Metal Gear weapon itself. Not only had the series evolved graphically, but it had made key changes to its play style that would allow even new gamers to enjoy the franchise.

AVERAGE EXAMPLE

Games Through the Generations Halo

Halo (Xbox)
It’s ironic that the first time I played this console first person shooter was after it had been released on the PC. I had owned an Xbox for who knows how long, but never had Halo. I had seen it around on store shelves, never bothered picking it up even to look at the back of the packaging. This was the time when about the only research on video games I did was a $10 subscription to GamePro, so naturally I was going to miss something.

It easily became one of my favorite games of all time, so when I say that its series progression is only average, you might be a bit put off. I love it as much as anyone, but there are some things that need to be addressed. There’s nothing wrong with it by any means.

The first game had a distinctly scifi explorative feel which was unique for a game about an intergalactic religious war. We had no real involvement with anything related to its backstory, undertones, subplots, or – well what am I doing? I’m going all about the story in a GAME. Maybe that’s just it. It had a really well defined execution for a straight shooter. Brilliantly efficient shooting mechanics aside, its thrill ride was what reeled you in, and its story was at the time what hooked you.

Halo 3 (Xbox 360)
The third game was as big as everyone had thought it’d be. For those who don’t know, Halo is the fastest selling franchise in the globe. It’s sequel Halo 2 generated $125mil in sales in just one day. All eyes were on the third game in the series, as it was supposed to end the trilogy.

Gameplay wise the series had managed add in more variety with new vehicles and some new gear, but in the 3rd all it really did was seem to add on to a well established house. Halo 2 had made strives for online gaming on consoles, and can be single-handedly attributed to Xbox Live’s success. However, the ride stopped there.

With Halo 3, set pieces aside, it really seemed to be aiming towards more of the same. Each game had an almost cookie cutter storyline after the first, aimed to directly emulate the style of the first. Which was very odd given the wealth of outside story details presented to us in a variety of mediums during the games 3 year release windows. Add to that the fact that the maps launching with the game I thought were the weakest in franchise history, it didn’t really manage to keep me as well as the 2nd did multiplayer wise, or singleplayer as well as the first.

Still, that said, it did provide some key changes that the series needed. Co-op online with four players was enough to get you and your friends involved in skirmishes for days on end. Player customization was expanded in ways not seen in the previous games, and the all around bigger release and hype surrounding the new console made gamers effortless to find made sure you had plenty to fight with. Not a bad sequel by any stretch, but with a bit more work I’m sure they could’ve made it the game that every fan had dreamed of.

BAD EXAMPLE

Okay. You’ve wondered what could possibly be used as an example for a bad sequel or poor series progression. Well, this one hurts, but it’s gotta be done. Hindsight is a b!@#%.

Games Through the Generations Resident Evil

Resident Evil 4 (Gamecube)
To be fair: I didn’t finish this game. *gets hit by a random bottle* BUT! I liked it a lot. I bought a Gamecube for it after all. This game wasn’t the same as the other Resident Evil titles, but I think that was a great thing. More action and more control over your character. Sure realism was destroyed by not being able to move in a way that made sense to survival, but a good game suspends belief and offers enjoyment. No one ever asks Mario why he can only walk in two dimensions. Well…until Super Paper Mario that is…

But I digress, this game made welcome changes to the franchise by keeping a more forgiving expansion system, awesome weapons cache, and a storyline that didn’t take itself seriously enough to stop being cool. So why is this game on the list if I thought it was amazing? Maybe because its little brother was so awesome it was retarded.

Resident Evil 5 (Xbox360/Playstation 3)
Let me say this. I did finish this game. It’s hard not to. It’s not too long, it’s got co-op, and its fun as hell. One of my favorite games of the generation. But it’s by no means the sequel it should’ve been. Resident Evil was about puzzle solving, exploration, and zombie fighting. The last game moved away from the traditional brain dead zombie hordes in favor of pack mentality savages. Nothing wrong, and the direction they took makes for a lot of high octane sequences. But this was basically a cheap, though fun, third person shooter with the Resident Evil name.

It’s barely survival horror. It’s not frightening or suspenseful. The only tension is the way the controls manage to get in your way from fleeing for your life. The over the top boss fights and enemies are a huge plus. Having some of the best visuals in a video game also help, but this isn’t Resident Evil by a long shot. It’s a good game, not a good Resident Evil game though.

IN CONCLUSION

By now you all have read this and can go tell your friends a little something about what it means to be a true gaming “connoisseur.” Or you can write me an email telling me how dumb I am. Both are acceptable. Just as long as you keeping gaming ;).


Phaethon is an avid gamer and writes a gaming blog called Couch Campus.