Otakon 2011 is going on this weekend from July 28-30th, in Baltimore at the Baltimore Convention Center. While Otakon is normally anime and manga only, there is some crossover in the gaming culture. So if you’re free this weekend check it out. For only $75 you get full access all weekend.
This includes free gaming and tournaments in the game room, including access to vendors selling games, manga, anime, clothes and more. Also they have tons of free panels on Japanese culture, in addition to free screenings of anime shows and movies.
Lately I’ve been watching a Japanese series Kotaku has been translating, called “Retro Game Master,” or “Game Center CX” in it’s native country of Japan. In it, a comedian named Shinya Arino plays classic video games. Many of these games are difficult games that he has never even seen before, let alone played. Each episode runs about 40-60 minutes long. Each Thursday at 8 p.m. EST Kotaku posts a new episode. Each episode has English subtitles and an English narrator.
While the English narrator can be a little over the top, the rest of the show is solid. The most entertaining part is of course seeing someone’s reaction to playing a classic game for the first time.
If you’re into retro gaming at all, check out a link below to the full series.
Not to be outdone by the recent Spider-man: Edge of Time trailer, a new Batman Arkham City trailer has been released by Rocksteady, showcasing the Penguin.
The Penguin looks genuinely frightening, and his voice acting is well done. Gameplay wise it looks similar to Arkham Asylum, but if you liked the first one odds are you will like the game mechanics of this one as well. The Penguin shows off some interesting umbrella guns, and a special villain even makes an appearance near the end.
Due out October 21st, Arkham City is also writter by a veteran-Paul Dini, a regular D.C. writer. Arkham City will be available for the 360, PS3, and Windows PC.
At San Diego Comic Con, a new trailer for the Beenox (a company owned by Activision) game, Spider-man: Edge of Time. Judging from the trailer, Spider-man will fight through time, possibly in an alternate future. We see both a futuristic looking Black Cat villainess and the Spider-man 2099 incarnation Miguel O’Hara. Gameplay and graphics wise it looks fantastic.
Edge of Time will be penned by veteran writer Peter David, and is set for release on October 4th for the 360, PS3, DS, 3DS, Wii, and Windows PC.
Starting Wednesday, July 20th, a new game will be released each week for five weeks. These games will range from 800-1200 Microsoft Points.
Buy all 5 releases and you will get a free download of Crimson Alliance, a 1200 point value for free when it is released September 7th. Crimson Alliance seems like an interesting Diablo or Gauntlet type game, with 1-4 players available for online or local co-op.
Check out the list below for a quick reference:
2. From Dust
3. Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet
4. Fruit Ninja Kinect
5. Toy Soldiers: Cold War
The most anticipated of these is also the only sequel-Toy Soldiers: Cold War. It looks to be parodying 80′s action movies as well, while still delivering the same tower defense and first-person gameplay of the original. Check out the trailer for it below.
Finally take a look at Crimson Alliance. If you plan on getting the other games then this looks like a good bonus.
Mario Marathon 4 concluded last weekend, and the final numbers are staggering: Over $110,000 raised in 110 hours. The official website lists the final total as $112,442.12. Starting on Friday, June 24th at 11 a.m. EST and going well in Tuesday, the Mario Marathon crew raised money for Child’s Play, a charity for sick kids in hospitals.
I was able to catch as much of it as possible, and it was an awesome effort on their part. The humor was clean but hilarious, as they danced, sang, talked with the chat room members, and played tons of Mario consoles games. In addition, they held lots of contests where people could win homemade Mario crafts, t-shirts, and in the final hours even a 3DS.
Congrats to Mario Marathon for raising over $100,000 for Child’s Play. I expect next year to be just as fun.
The people at Mario Marathon are currently hosting Mario Marathon 4 on their website www.mariomarathon.com. All donations benefit Child’s Play, a charity that works with 70 hospitals worldwide to donate toys, games, books and more to sick kids in children’s hospitals.
The MM team will be playing through as many levels as possible of the main console Mario games. The number of levels played depends entirely on how many donations they get. So far they’ve been playing since 11 a.m. EST Friday. So if you want to support the MM crew, see them play some cool games and be entertained by random music, skits, and sound effects, visit their website, donate, and spread the word.
Now that E3 2011 is finally over, let’s take a look at some of the biggest announcements from Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft.
The Wii U, the successor to the Wii console is due out sometime in 2012. This new console will be HD capable. The controller will include a 6.2 inch touchscreen, accelerometer, gyroscope, rumble feature, and 2 analog circle pads. During certain multiplayer or even single player games different information may be displayed on the controller screen, separate from whatever is happening on the t.v. It will be backwards compatible with the Wii and it’s controllers, but not the Gamecube
No price for the Wii U has been announced yet
The June 6th 3DS update allows the eShop to be open, with select 3d games, Gameboy and Gameboy colors games for download
Big games announced were Luigi’s Mansion 2, Super Mario 3D, Starfox 3D, and Super Smash Bros. 3DS
The NGP (next gen portable) has been re-named the Vita. It has a 5 inch multi-touch screen. Wifi price is $249, or $299 for the 3G version (AT&T will be the sole U.S. provider for 3G). It will have internal memory for downloadable games and will run games on flash based memory (not UMD discs). No word yet on whether programs and apps such as Skype, Youtube, and .pdf files will be supported yet. The Vita was easily Sony’s biggest announcement.
The Vita’s release date is not set in stone yet, but may be as ealry as late 2011 or early 2012
Big games mentioned for the Vita include Uncharted: Golden Abyss, wipEout 2048, Little Big Planet and ModNation Racers
Bing, Microsoft’s search engine will be coming to the 360, and will take advantage of Kintect’s voice recognition for searches
Youtube will also be coming to the 360 during the Fall 2011 update
Halo 4 has been announced, and will be the “dawn of a new trilogy”
Live television streaming will be coming to the U.S. This includes streaming UFC fights as well.
360 dashboard updates and hit sequels were what the Microsoft conference emphasized
Big games mentioned for the 360 include Modern Warfare 3, Forza 4, Minecraft, Fable: The Journey, Gears of War, Halo 4, Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary, Kinect Star Wars, Mass Effect 3,
Needless to say it was a pretty big E3, with plenty of announcements for late this year and 2012.