Month: June 2011

Violent video game law fails

Score one for little gamers and Xbox Live parties everywhere.  Kids you can still play your violent video games.  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the video games industry in a case that called for the ban of violent games to children in the state of California.  Their ruling states that video games fall under First Amendment protection.

“Like protected books, plays, and movies, video games communicate ideas through familiar literary devices and features distinctive to the medium. And ‘the basic principles of freedom of speech . . . do not vary’ with a new and different communication medium,” said the court.

“This is a historic and complete win for the First Amendment and the creative freedom of artists and storytellers everywhere. Today, the Supreme Court affirmed what we have always known – that free speech protections apply every bit as much to video games as they do to other forms of creative expression like books, movies and music,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of the ESA, which represents the U.S. computer and video game industry.

What say you?

Gears of War 3 unlocking goodies for previous players

I recall telling you guys about this on the daily show last week didn’t I?  It shouldn’t be any surprise that if you’ve done certain things in Gears of War 2, Epic Games will reward you with some goodies in Gears of War 3.  If you’ve reached level 100 and receiving your wings (which I have), you’ll unlock something.

There’s also a few other unknowns for getting the Veteran Achievement and other things.  If you haven’t done this, you still have time to do it and Epic has even stated that it doesn’t matter when you do it so you can accomplish these things after the game ships as well.

“If you did something in Gears PC you get a chrome skin, if you did something in Gears 2 you get a chrome skin. The chrome set is sort of our thank you to people who played our games in the past.” said Epic Games’ Fergusson.

The Daily Show Weekly Recap

Hello Dudes and Dudettes!

A few weeks ago the daily show came out of gate and off the saddle with guns blazing!  Due to popular demand, we are accompanying it with a weekly recap.  At the end of every week (hopefully) you will be able to get quick highlights and links from the shows that week.  It is that simple.

Remember that the chat is open during the show and feel free to call in.  The number is (724) 444-7444 and the call ID is 52438.  Do not act shy because I do not bite…usually.  Without further delay, check out what you missed.  And for your listening pleasure, we have also included the show from Friday.

Recap Links and Highlights

Monday June 20

Red Box service now gives access to video games

Kinect + Halo= huh?

Tuesday June 21

Sidekicks ftw!

Do you buy used or new games? Why? Shoot us an email

Wednesday June 22

Interactive Ads

Gears3 Horde mode 2.0 Cash system? Fun features like Boss battles? Sounds like a blast!

Power in the pocket. How much does your money matter?

Thursday June 23

Microsoft Store Grand Opening

Games Hub improvement for Windows Phone 7

Jamie Kennedy has got issues

The worst XBOX game ever?

Friday June 24

New intro music from Dee Jay T-MO …TGIF

Call of Duty Elite

Has Kinect extended the Life of YOUR xbox?

That is the recap boys and girls.  Now you can listen in to what we did on the show yesterday.  It was full of awesome sauce so make sure you are hungry.

Show files:
mp3 – Download the show mp3

iTunes – Subscribe in iTunes
Podcast Only Feed – Subscribe to Podcasts Only here
U360 General Feed – Subscribe to all U360 news here

Microsoft Store Houston Grand Opening

The Grand opening at the Houston Microsoft Store went off without a hitch.

There are a total of 11 public Microsoft Stores in the United States and I am elated to have one near me.
Some may question “Why would I want to go to the Microsoft Store?

Here are just a few reasons:
– Customer Service: The Microsoft Store employees are enthusiastically ready to assist customers. If you are looking for something specific or just browsing the store, MS team members are there to help. They are energetic, knowledgeable and very courteous.

– Community: The stores are equipped with a theater where community organizations can hold meetings.

– Classes & Events: There is a calendar of events for each store in which consumers are able to learn more about products and have their questions fielded by a knowledgeable associate.

– Repairs: Most products can be taken in for repairs.

– Demos: Knowing about a product and actually having the product in hand to utilize it, are two different things. Demos of products are available. The MS Store is an interactive shopping experience.

With all those things in store for eager consumers, no wonder there was so much jubilation!  Take a look at the fun:


Fun video interview with some Kelly Clarkson fans who raked in the swag.

Duke Nukem Forever Review

Developer: Gearbox Software (and others)
Publisher: 2K Games
Rating Guide: How I Review Games


It takes one to know one doesn’t it?  So you would assume that it would take a fan of Duke Nukem 3D to really appreciate what Duke Nukem Forever is all about right?  You’d have to be big on nostalgia to really “get it” wouldn’t you?  Okay, throw all of that shit out of the door as Duke would say.  There’s no escaping the fact that this game should’ve released over a decade ago and saved itself (and gamers) the need to complete it now.

Duke, oh Duke…how far we’ve tried to travel yet how little progress we’ve gained.

Graphics, Gameplay and Sound

Duke Nukem Forever is the highly anticipated follow up to 1996’s Duke Nukem 3D.  Fifteen years is a long time.  Anything can happen during that time and most importantly, people can grow up during that time.  What was once cool in 1996 is no longer relevant in 2011 and that’s where we’re left with Duke Nukem Forever.

The first sequence of the game hints at a pretty bland experience and as you progress through the game, that never changes.  The entire experience just feels dated.  I didn’t enjoy seeing Duke get a blow job by twins and I didn’t enjoy the humor.  It’s a typical first person shooter but the delivery of it was far less than that.  You have big guns of which many are actually quite cool.  I enjoyed the Shrink Ray and the Shotgun for its power but only for about 10 minutes before I realized I was still stuck in this experience that just felt dated.

Playing Duke Nukem Forever is all about being macho and being the baddest S.O.B. on the planet.  Duke likes to admire himself and his big ass guns.  That admiration is key part of the game with Duke’s EGO or rather health bar.  You have to boost your EGO in order to withstand the pounding he’ll eventually get from the aliens.  You can only carry two guns at a time to help you battle the evil forces.  There are also driving elements in the game that often have you speeding across a valley running over aliens along the way.  If you want puzzles, DNF has those too albeit not very involved ones.  It won’t take any amount of thought to complete them but then that’s what Duke is all about.  It’s supposed to be mindless fun like ya know Duke Nukem 3D.

I’d like to go into more detail about the game but that’s really all there is to it.  You’re Duke and everyone loves you as they all did once before so they’ve called upon you to do it again.  You fight aliens, solve puzzles, take on a vehicle mission or two and admire yourself in the process.  The bad thing though is that it’s not that much fun doing any of it.

The textures, character models, framerate issues, long loading times, the environment and even Duke himself all suffered from a development cycle that should’ve been completed in 1998.  In fact, I think Duke himself may have been the most disappointing thing about the game.  His one liners and humor just aren’t funny like they once were.  I don’t want to be too critical of this game because it deserves an A for effort.  The fact that Gearbox finished this ridiculously hyped title should be commended.

What I feel though is that 2K Games and Gearbox Software did this simply to please the fans who kept begging for “the Duke”.  I wanted to enjoy this game but there are just so many other titles out there that offer a better experience it’s hard to justify playing it beyond one completion.

Will most of the hardcore Duke fans love this game?  Of course they will despite any glaring issues with it.  I get the fact that this game is meant to be SO over-the-top that it’s brilliant but what it actually is isn’t close to that.

Xbox LIVE Extras

You can take Duke Nukem Forever online in Deathmatch, TDM or Capture The Flag err Babe.  There’s not much to say about its online component except that it works.  If you want a frantic online experience with other Duke fans, then this will be your heaven.


It isn’t fair to lay this game and its shortcomings completely on the lap of Gearbox Software.  They probably chewed the least amount of bubble gum during the whole bubble gum chewing development.  They simply had the biggest balls to complete the game.  They’ll be blamed for how Duke Nukem Forever turned out but not by me.  The list of developers you see at the beginning of the game should all stand in line and own up to how the game ended up.

I was hoping for the best after such a long history of turmoil in getting this game done.  However, Duke Nukem Forever feels and looks very much like a game that should’ve released on the original Xbox.  The humor doesn’t fit anymore, the nostalgia doesn’t fit anymore …. the Duke doesn’t fit anymore.


Backbreaker Vengeance on XBLA, where it should be

Remember this game?  It was supposed to be a revolutionary football game but ended up being a big mess.  For all the natural motion and talk it had, the game just didn’t do well.  505 Games is back with another dose of it though but this time it’s on Xbox Live Arcade where I think it should’ve been to begin with.

“Backbreaker Vengeance is the perfect summer game and a great addition to the wildly successful Backbreaker franchise,” said Ian Howe, President, 505 Games North America. “Building on the instantly gratifying fun of Tackle Alley with new modes and moves, and with hundreds of intense levels, Backbreaker Vengeance is the total package for anyone who wants to jump into a game for a few minutes or a few hours.”

Read more …