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    NBA Live 15 Hands-On Impressions – Night and Day

    September 19th, 2014

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    For the past several years if anyone mentioned playing an NBA game, chances are they were referring to 2K. Neck and neck in 2010, EA Sports released NBA Live 10 while 2K Sports dropped NBA 2K10. But it was the next move that pulled NBA Live out of the limelight; cancelling NBA Elite 11.

    NBA 2K rapidly became “the” household name for basketball fans while others tried holding on to an ounce of hope that Live would make its triumph comeback; EA fans, that year has come. Now I know that may seem rather hard to believe, but the product will definitely speak for itself in less than a month.

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    I had the opportunity to play NBA Live 15 and it truly screams for well-deserved recognition. The very first thing that pushes NBA Live 15 to the next level is graphics. NBA Live 14 and 15 in comparison embodies the phrase night and day. Playing as the Cavilers taking on the L.A. Lakers, Lebron was Lebron! The facial details were genuine; tattoos were spot on with much better lighting (similar to Madden NFL 15) and the shoe game is on point, increasing its overall realism and authenticity.

    It’s all well spotted as new camera angles bring the player closer to the court. And with over 1000’s of new animations, including post-play celebrations, prepare to indulge and embrace NBA Live 15.

    The in-game experience has also been revamped. Dribble animations are much smoother in NBA Live 15 giving you better control and responsiveness. In addition, you can sense weight detection as you utilize certain players. Don’t be surprised if it one up 2K15 this year.

    A gift and a curse in NBA Live 15 to some may be shooting free throws. While there are new indicators to help you fine tune each player shot during gameplay, NBA 2K gamers will have a challenge transitioning at the line. In NBA 2K free throws are timed based on when the player begins to release the ball, feeling quite natural. In Live 15 however, the release is based on when your player bends his elbows right before shooting. Just remember, practice makes perfect!

     

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    Also, at least in the build I played, commentary has been improved; but just not as fluid as NBA 2K’s. Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy is a great duo, but at moments the awkward silence began to creep in. And to those that may have been looking forward to Game Face 2.0 and playing as you, I’m sorry to say this year is a no go. We will at least get much more customization options than Live 14.

    I had the opportunity to talk to NBA Live Producer, Greg Rinaldi. A lot of questions may be answered here, so read in close!

    NBA Live 15 did recently decide to change the release date from October 7th to October 28th. Believe me as I’ve had time to play Live 15, it’s just about ready to hit stores. But with the sole live3purpose of wanting to deliver the best experience this year and earning the loyalty of NBA fans and gamers all over, the Live team wishes to polish a few areas and release right in time for the NBA Season.

    If you’re looking to get your hands on NBA Live 15 mark your calendars for October 23rd; you will be able to fully experience NBA Live 15 five days prior to release via EA Access, exclusively on Xbox One.

    If you’ve seen the trailer for NBA Live 15, know that gameplay is physically just as genuine. I am thoroughly excited to pick up NBA Live 15 this year, a decision that I probably wouldn’t have been as easy a few ago. Rinaldi mentioned NBA Live 15 is “the game that’s meant to be.” I’d second that. NBA Live is Back!

    Let us know what YOU think below.

     

     

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    WWE 2K15 Detailed Hands-On Impression: I’m A Bo-Liever

    September 16th, 2014

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    Let me go there now and confirm that Visual Concepts tapping into the WWE 2K video game is what was extremely “Best for Business.” When I picked up the PlayStation 4 controller and experienced WWE 2K15, I didn’t just play the game, I embraced it.

    wwe 22215 goldBefore I talk about WWE 2K15 please not that you are reading an impression from an enthusiast that have played WWE dating back to WrestleMania on the original Nintendo Entertainment System. I’ve played WrestleMania 2000, No Mercy, Royal Rumble, Smackdown, Raw; you name it I’ve played it. So as you read “this” preview it shall be no holds barred.

    I like to take a look under the hood, not just the body and cosmetics. So before I focused in-depth on the match itself, I decided to look around and view the game from the audience perspective. So as I look at the arena I noticed the seating which looked quite realistic in comparison to a live event, specifically reminding me of the Houston Toyota Center.

    In every seat were unique character models; Men, Women and children with their own clothing showing off their favorite wrestler’s clothing. An even greater mention was the crowd reaction. In previous versions of WWE games the audio would feel simply dubbed or random chants would fill the atmosphere. However in WWE 2K15, I noticed a few fans physically cheer on or boo wrestlers and yell out one-two counts shown by both face expressions and hand gestures.  You read that right as the crowd looks as genuine as the competitors themselves.

     

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    Now, let’s step into the ring. We’ve already had the opportunity to look at gameplay, but nothing official to render the true quality of WWE 2K15. And because of it I questioned 2K15, but after playing it just a few times I was hooked!

    The new mini-game requiring you to find your sweet spot on the initial grapple honestly felt a bit too much. Keep in mind it’s also a mode that can be switched off at any time. But when playing online there’s two choices, adapt or perish. But it’s okay, because on November 18th you can not only adapt but even be a winner. All you got to do is Bo-Lieve.

    The fighting mechanics are worth all the marbles. I played using Randy Orton, John Cena and Goldust. I love how authentic the experience has become. As wrestlers become fatigue wwe_2k15 orton 2they no longer bounce back to their feet as fast as they did in WWE 2K14. Instead you see the wear and tear on the superstars through facial expressions and as they slow pace to stand or reach for the ropes. Everything you see in the ring and on TV, you see in 2K15.

    Signatures and Finishers are also revamped allowing you to store them for use at your choice of execution. As the WWE superstars begin to lose their health which is summed as three bars, you can find the best times to perform charged finishers and power pins, screaming on the inside “the champ is here.”

    There were two changes that I found myself needing to adjust to, reversals and kicking out pins. After knowing exactly when to tap that reversal button, timing has now changed based on the situation. Both reversals and kick outs felt to have a bit of a lag to it. Imagine playing a multiplayer match with someone with a horrible connection; that was my “initial” impression. But once I took time to adjust, it was like I never missed a beat.

     

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    We were given a glimpse of the commentary as new lines were heard from Cole and the King. With it being an early build I can only hope that the old Smackdown commentary will finally be deleted. Respectively I can’t tell you how much I’m tired of hearing Jerry said, “Look at the Gold,” “

    Now there are still so much to know about WWE 2K15 that we can hope will soon be answered. I for one am excited about the new WWE Career mode that will take your personal superstar from the performance center with coaches and mentors to house shows to NXT to Live Shows, ultimately on your way to being crowned WWE Champion.

    WWE-2K15_Cole-and-King-Commentary-630x354And let’s not forget the WWE 2K Showcase that will feature 33 matches highlighting Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H 2002-2004 rivalry and C.M. Punk vs. John Cena from 2011-2013. In addition, Mark Little has confirmed additional rivalries to come as future DLC. In my opinion, a season pass worth investing in.

    I however have my wish list. Will we get to fight in the crowd again as we once have in Smackdown vs. Raw? Will “Fall Count Anywhere” truly mean anywhere? Can we take the fight from backstage to the front arena and vice versa? Can PPV matches once again start with their epic intros? Will Universe 3.0 properly follow with storylines?

    WWE WrestleMania 2000 on Nintendo 64 used to excite me as PPV matches showed the build up to the event. So as an example we could see the past several weeks of WWE Raw highlighting Cena vs Lesnar prior to the main event. Will it ever make its return?

    Believe me when I say that WWE 2K15 will deliver what the WWE Universe have waited years for. To quote Triple H, it’s time to play the game! Innovative is an understatement when explaining 2K15. Thanks to Visual Concepts WWE 2K15 just may be the best wrestling experience ever. WWE 2K15 will release on November 18th, 2014 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

     

     

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    Death Comes Much Sooner For Dying Light Fans

    September 12th, 2014

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    Not quite sure how if this is a good or bad predicament, but expect to risk death sooner than you expected. The Evil Within will be release one month earlier, on January 27th, 2015. I would consider it to be a bit a good news to know that there’s still time to pre-order and receive the exclusive “Be the Zombie” mode.

    “In this competitive asymmetric multiplayer mode, you invade other players’ games as the Night Hunter – an ultimate zombie with a unique set of deadly skills. By playing as the Night Hunter, you turn into a fast, agile and dangerous predator, whose objective is to hunt down human survivors.”

    Techland will present Dying Light on January 27th for PC, Xbox 360 Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 console. In case you missed the first episode, enjoy the new Dev Diary “Natural Movement”

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    The Crew Releases a New Social Trailer

    September 12th, 2014

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    As you explore the streets from coast to coast remember it isn’t meant for you to do alone.  The crew is all about building your team, exploring with your team; never drive alone. Check out the all new “social” trailer.

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    Adventure Time is Back, and Nameless

    September 11th, 2014

    New screenshots are now available showcasing Little Orbit’s newest Adventure Time, The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom. On Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Steam players take on the persona of Finn (the human) with help from his best bro Jake (a shape-shifting dog) as they embark on an original heroic adventure through a mysterious unexplored kingdom in the Land of Ooo.

    Play as Finn in a brand new, top-down action adventure game!

    • Vanquish new and familiar foes as you battle your way through unique temples! 
    • Solve puzzles and overcome challenges in each of the temples to rescue the princesses of the Nameless kingdom!
    • Help out new and fan-favorite Adventure Time characters with their mini quests!
    • Upgrade your weapons and acquire new abilities while avoiding curses throughout the Land of Ooo!
    • Help out fan-favorite characters with their mini adventures including Ice King, Lumpy Space Princess, Tree Trunks, Magic Man and many more!
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    Is This Really NBA Live 15? I Must Be Dreaming

    September 3rd, 2014

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    What in the heck? Okay, so I was looking forward to talking about NBA Live 15 upping the ante, but this is just ridiculous. Is it possible that NBA Live 15 will be the big comeback they’ve hoped for? We are literally just a month away from the release of both NBA 2K15 and Live 15 and I have to say it looks like the “Team is on Fire!”

    Check out the new visuals presented in NBA Live 15.

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    NBA 2K15 – YAKKEM

    August 30th, 2014

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    Is it possible to sum NBA 2K15 in one word? I guess so! That word may not make sense now, but YAKKEM. 2K Sports has revealed their all new trailer announcing the new installment of the 2K series. Expect not only greatness, but also a Shaq attack!

    A little lost? that’s quite alright! check out the trailer below. NBA 2K15 will release on October 7th for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.

     

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    WWE 2K15 – It’s Almost Here

    August 25th, 2014

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    WWE 2K15 is looking to possibly be THE wrestling experience we as gamers have waited years for. Two months away from the true Next-Gen experience, 2K Sports is finally shedding light on what is just a small glimpse of the best there is, the best was and the best ever will be.

    Gamescom was officially the first time gamers were able to get hands-on with the new-gen version of WWE 2K15 playing with a small hand of characters. Character models were unbelievably realistic! You could immediately tell that 2K was holding back on the crowd audio, commentary and much more while delivering a teaser worth a full discussion.

    Watching wrestlers make their way to the ring was like watching WWE Raw on a Monday night. The crowd looked more realistic than ever including children in the seats, something I can’t recall ever seeing in WWE games.

    paul-heyman-wwe2k15-capture-suitAs John Cena walked from behind the titantron, just as he motions in real life, Cena looked at the camera saying a few choice words; words we will have to wait until launch to find out. It was awesome and questionable at the same time.  In WWE 2K14, Sheamus screams “Fella,” Titus O’Neal does his chant in the ring, but it has always felt a bit lazy. It was like anticipating your favorite WWE moment and being sold short, very short. We can only hope that Visual Concepts have enough input to implement what’s best for business.

    Once the match begins there is a mini-game (which has been confirmed as optional) that takes place as you perform your first grapple. It starts off as a gamble similar to paper, rock scissors fighting for the upper hand initially. You then search for the sweet spot, similar to EA Sports UFC when applying a submission move. It honestly feels like an upcoming hit or miss with fans.

    The fighting system seems to be more so the same as we experienced from Yukes/THQ. Immediate differences that I noticed were the animations as you’d walk around the ring with your player or perform certain moves. I also like how in game you have the option of switching between stored finishers and signatures. This was something I personally wondered about as wrestlers tend to use at times two signatures prior to performing their finisher like CM Punk’s running knee/bulldog and the flying elbow drop or Roman Reigns boot to the head from the outside and his infamous superman punch. Though wake up taunts are in place, it just never felt like enough.

     

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    Sad to mention, but must be said, in a Randy Orton vs Cesaro video, I couldn’t believe my eyes as a chair began to levitate in the corner of the ring. With at least two more months to polish up one can only hoe that time isn’t taken lightly.

    Time will tell us much more than we can famine. October 28th is right around the corner as WWE 2K15 will launch on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3, delivering two different experiences between each gen. Don’t stop Bo-Lieving!

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    Madden NFL 15 Review – Best Madden Thus Far

    August 25th, 2014

    Game Reviewed: Madden NFL 15madden cover

    Release Date: August 26th, 2014

    Publisher: EA Sports

    Developer: Tiburon

    Platform: [Reviewed: Xbox One], PlayStation 4

    Genre: Sports

    Rated: E For Everyone

     

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    Its Madden season ladies and gentlemen. It’s that time of the year where fans fill up the stadium and gamers shove that second controller in their opponent’s hand. Ready or not, you must claim dominance and be the final man running into the end zone for the win. Do you have what it takes?

    It all begins at the 2015 NFC Championship Game as the Seattle Seahawks takes on the Carolina Panthers. Playing as the Panthers you have a chance to reign victorious against the Seahawks, earning your ticket to the Super Bowl. We’ll let you finish this story and keep it spoiler free. From there, Madden navigates you on to the Skills Trainer tutorial, covering your “how-to” when playing offense and defense.

    madden-nfl-15-screen-3png-2ea0d3So on to what really matters in Madden NFL’s new installment, presentation.  Madden NFL 15 is leaps and bounds better than what we’ve seen in the Next-Gen version of Madden NFL 25. In fact, so many important factors like the crowd audio, new animations and commentary pushes the threshold to a more realistic NFL atmosphere.

    Madden NFL 15 looks extremely beautiful! It’s eye-candy for any NFL fan. Looking at the turf and the players as well as their reactions, one word comes to mind, authenticity. Before each play begins, the crowd is pumped and the energy is there to where I felt like the team with everything to gain and nothing to lose. After each play, the new animations stood out as both defense and offense celebrated the play action.

    If that wasn’t enough to make you smile on the inside, mentally imagining that televised presentation, as players get injured or timeouts are called in Madden NFL 15, the commentators push the game to a commercial break. In doing so, the game shows the sideline and slowly fades to black. To some this may not sound like much, but I believe this is a genuine as you can get.

     

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    Defense this year was the key objective for the developers creating Madden NFL 15; and they’ve nail it. The all-new defensive player lock allows you to the chance to knock down the offensive lineman, zero in on the QB or player with the ball and introduce their face to the turf. On defense you feel like you finally have a more legitimate chance of not only taking down your opponent, but visually identifying the best method.

    The community plays a big role in Madden NFL 15 as plays are recommended based on user choices on conversions, providing you the best play options.

    There are still a few hiccups however that stick out like a sore thumb. When watching halftime or certain cut scenes, videos are completely impassable. Coaches were holding playbooksMaddenNFL15_WhatsNew_PlayerSense that glitches through their body, players were being tackled to the ground and gliding from left to right or having players walk right through them.

    You’ll also notice players on the sideline are again dumbed down in quality when running plays. Now this was something that I understood playing on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 generally because it seemed sacrificial to enhance the gameplay experience. However seeing this as well as the repeat crowd in every other seat was small tweaks I didn’t expect from new-gen.

    Ultimate Team and Connected Careers returns again allowing players to create fantasy teams or create a career as a football player, coach or an owner.  And while it’s fine and dandy creating your own player it’s once again compromised by excluding EA’s Game Face. There are 81 faces to choose from, just not yours. Again, I couldn’t understand why a new-gen version seen setback as such, especially noting it was utilized in EA Sports UFC.

    The setbacks aren’t major in comparison to the overall experience. This is by far, hands down the very best Madden NFL game I’ve ever played. It’s been a progressive climb these past few years, but now it’s just ownership. Madden NFL 15 “is” a must have this year.

    The Scores

    Gameplay: 4.75/5

    Visuals: 4.5/5

    Audio: 4.5/5

    Controls: 4.25/5

    Value: 4.5/5

    Overall Rating: 4.5

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    HyperX Cloud Headset Review

    August 25th, 2014

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    There’s a new gaming headset that’s officially hit the market by Kingston. When you first think of Kingston products such as flash drives and hard drives immediately comes to mind. But officially launched at Gamescom in Germany, Kingston has released a new color of the HyperX Cloud series.

    It’s a new, vibrant eye candy that proves to be more than looks. It’s a high-quality gaming, PC and mobile headset with a braided cable and beautiful black and white stitching, including a stitched logo at the top. Ear cushions are replaceable with leather and velour cups, along with a detachable microphone, catering to your need for gaming or simply listening to audio. But looks aren’t what sell products; it’s what they can do. So exactly what is the HyperX Cloud capable of?

    MOBILE

    HyperX-Cloud-_white-croppedI immediately decided to take the time and review the HyperX Cloud on mobile devices, as well as tablets. Nowadays gamers like to not only play with the best of the best gaming headsets, they like to sport them outside. Beats by Dre aren’t the only answer to high-quality audio; in fact, Kingston’s HyperX Cloud speaks for itself.

    As eager as I was to hold a phone conversation and test the feedback, I decided to first listen to the quality when listening to music and playing a few android based games. To say in the least, I was floored with how the HyperX Cloud performed.

    After getting over the hurdle that “yes” the headset is wired, connected to a split line that divides the headset audio and the microphone, the experience is amazing! Clear audio, clear bass, no distortions. I felt as if I we’re using my Turtle Beach PX4’s, which initially peaked my expectations for mobile quality.

    Even when talking on the phone I felt like I received a bonus in reception. Not only could I hear the person on the other end, I could pick up their background just as clear.

    AND WHAT ABOUT ON PC?

    When it comes to PC gaming, I am used to switching between Turtle Beach and Logitech. But in interest, I decided to play a few games on the PC with the HyperX Cloud. To say in the least, the quality was as Kingston promises, superior.

    The gaming aspect will be explained in further detail a bit later as we jump over to the PlayStation 4 experience. However, I utilized various computer applications: Adobe Audition and Cyberlink Producer to name a few, as well as the infamous YouTube.

     

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    Quality is truly everything when blending and mastering audio; the HyperX Cloud provides. It doesn’t fully do the job required unfortunately as it’s not a “Dolby Digital” feedback, creating that hi-end finish.  But general audio feedback remains over the top.

    NOW ATTENTION GAMERS!!

    The HyperX Cloud highlights going the extra mile for gamers. There are two things that truly define “the best” gaming headset: quality and comfort, which are completely different than use from mobile and PC as additional hours upon hours takes places in one moment.

    While testing gaming audio on PlayStation 4 I played The Last of Us, NBA 2K14 and Call of Duty: Ghosts. To explain my choices for reviewing purposes The Last of Us requires great HyperX-Cloud-_white_HyperX_Cloud_white_mic_03_07_2014-10_45-650x450cinematic scenes and gameplay that equally provides the best audio quality on new-gen. NBA 2K14 being a sports title have so much to balance between gameplay, commentators, crowds and more. And then there’s Call of Duty; simply because it’s the number one played game in the history of gaming.

    It’s not 7.1 surround sound, but it gets the job done of providing gamers with the best experience possible for its price point. Noise canceling as you place them on and turn up the volume is impeccable.  There were a few odd moments with NBA 2K14 to where I had to make a few audio adjustments, but outside of that, it was simply awesome.

    My only setback to the HyperX Cloud is as a gamer, as well as when using headsets on the go, I like to rest them around my neck rather than always taking them off. Highly recommend not trying this with the HyperX Cloud as it is the most uncomfortable feeling. It would’ve been nicer to have a bit more length as it feels like a choke chain two sizes too small.

    In all, the HyperX Cloud headset is worth every penny if not more. It’s a high value product for a low price; compatible to PC, Mac, and PlayStation 4. We recommend you giving the Kingston HyperX Cloud a chance as you won’t be disappointed!

     

    Overall Score: 4.75 / 5

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