Review: Wii Play Motion

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Reviewed by Gina Dvorak

Nintendo’s Wii Play Motion is a compilation of a dozen mini games designed for the Wii’s upgraded Wii Remote plus controller and letting players use their “Mii” avatars. Let’s face it: If you’ve liked the Mii games and have been pondering a Wiimote upgrade, this bundle sells itself.

That’s the good news. The better news is that quite a
few of those Mii games are pretty fun, especially if you can get the
family together.

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Review: Steel Diver

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“Steel Diver” is a decent little game. The only problem, however, is that it’s not quite $39.99 worth of decent.

The game, which places players in the role of a submarine captain navigating hostile waters, is a launch title for Nintendo’s new 3DS portable but its campaign feels like a throwback to the 8-bit era. Although the game’s designers did find clever ways to make use of the 3DS’ capabilities, most of the gameplay takes place in two dimensions.

I had fun playing Steel Diver, but at a time when developers can offer iOS and Android games for 99 cents, consumers need more from a full-priced game.

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Paradox releases Pride of Nations

Here’s one for old school PC strategy gamers. Paradox Interactive, perhaps best known for the Hearts of Iron strategy series set during the World War II era, has a new title out called Pride of Nations.

Paradox released the game Tuesday.

Pride of Nations is turn-based strategy game set during the 19 Century, allowing players to lead a number of European colonial powers as well as the United States or Japan. In other words, it sounds like an ideal game for anyone who idolizes Otto Von Bismarck but a bad choice for Franz Fanon readers.

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Pilotwings Resort reviewed

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Pilotwings Resort is a simple game, but it accomplished something many titles have not.

It made me smile.

The game, 3D visuals and all, is simple without being simplistic. Players get to fly around Nintendo’s fictional Wuhu Island and complete a series of “missions” that basically involve performing a series of increasingly difficult tasks while aboard a variety of missions. This is a video game in its most essential form. There’s no attempt to mimic cinema, Pilotwings Resort is a game that people can play for 20 minutes or so to have a little fun.

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Release dates! EA marks calendar for Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3

EA Games delivered some pre-E3 news today by revealing the release dates for Battlefield 3 and Mass Effect 3.

Battlefield 3 is EA’s latest salvo against competitor Activision’s “Call of Duty” franchise. The title is now set for an October 25 release date.

Mass Effect 3, the conclusion to BioWare’s space saga (almost typed “space Sega,” hah hah) is set for a March 6, 2012 release date.

Tech-Out (finally) reviews the Nintendo 3DS

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Nintendo’s new 3DS portable is brimming with potential, but much of that potential has yet to be realized.

Given its capabilities and popularity of its predecessors in Nintendo’s DS family of portables, the 3DS is likely a product that many gamers would enjoy, but its high price ($249.99 MSRP) means it may not be an essential purchase for anyone who is not rolling in money right now.*

The 3DS’ glasses-free 3D screen is the portable’s most hyped feature, and deservedly so. The portable’s ability to create the appearance of depth and images that seem to float behind the screen’s glass is nothing short of impressive. The technology does not yet seem to be something that will revolutionize the way people play games, although that revolution may come with future releases.

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Sony claims Anonymous attack in letter to U.S. Representatives

The attack on PlayStation Network was a “very carefully planned, very
professional, highly sophisticated criminal cyber-attack designed to
steal personal and credit card information for illegal purposes
,” Sony Computer Entertainment asserted in a letter to members of Congress.

From the Associated Press:


Sony first disclosed the
attack last week and said it may have compromised credit card data,
email addresses and other personal information from 77 million user
accounts. On Monday, Sony said data from an additional 24.6 million
online gaming accounts also may have been stolen.

The company
has shut down the affected systems while it investigates the attacks
and beefs up security. (Sony Computer Entertainment Chairman Kazuo) Hirai said Sony is working “around the clock to
get the systems back up and to make sure all our customers are informed
of the data breach and our responses to it.”

Hirai also asserted in the letter that his company’s investigation found “the intruders had planted a file on one of those servers named ‘Anonymous’ with the words  ‘We Are Legion.’”

Anonymous known for its hacking or “hacktivist” attacks on whomever its members (?) don’t like, threatened Sony in an April 3 posting on the AnonOps Communications blog after Sony pursued legal action against George Hotz, AKA Geohot, the hacker who figured out and told the world how to jailbreak the PlayStation 3.

Sony and Geohot settled out of court, but not until after Sony won a federal magistrate’s approval to subpoena Geohot’s Internet provider to learn who visited his site.

Nonetheless, an April 24 posting headlined “For Once We Didn’t Do It” on AnonOps denies any official Anonymous attack on PlayStation Network. Whoever wrote the post, however, acknowledged that wildcat “Anons” may have acted on their own volition.

I honestly have no idea how Anonymous functions and if it can even be described accurately as an “organization.” What I do know, however, is that Sony has already confirmed that whoever is responsible for the data breach would have been able to access users’ identifying information, which is never a pleasant thought for anyone whose data could be compromised.

The oft-irreverent Gawker reports Anonymous fears a “nerd backlash” following allegations that their members (again, ?) are responsible for keeping gamers away from online play.

Anonymous has come to realize that attacking Sony’s PlayStation
Network alienates a powerful group of potential supporters: nerds. The
point was proved after Anonymous launched an unrelated attack on Sony in early April that briefly took down the PlayStation Network, in retaliation for Sony suing
a kid who bypassed the Playstation 3′s security systems. The attack
sparked a nerd backlash which crippled Anonymous chat servers with
retaliatory strikes and was generally a PR disaster.

“All the Sony kids were flooding the [Anonymous chat servers] and
whining and complaining,” said Gregg Housh an activist associated with
Anonymous. An attack on Sony’s PlayStation Network “pisses off a lot of
people they want as fans not enemies.” A similar concern was voiced last
December when Anonymous contemplated attacking Amazon in revenge for it
banning Wikileaks: One reason for not attacking was concern that the attack might anger people who were trying to do holiday shopping.

(Hotlinks in original.)

Sony has not reported the confirmed compromising of credit card data and asserts major credit card companies have not notified Sony of any fraudulent activity likely to be rooted in the April data breach.

SHOCKING! Dinosaur Invades School!

What was the neatest thing you had ever seen in grade school? For the kids at Bondi Public School in Australia, this will probably be something they’ll tell their own kids about someday.

A baby T-rex visited as part of a publicity tour for “Walking With Dinosaurs”, growling and racing with a few kids before letting them pet it on its tooth filled snout. Fortunately for everyone there, it’s only a robot with a very human person inside doing all of the driving!

The show, which features 20 different robotic dinos as part of an educational tour through history, is a huge international hit which actually started out in the Land Down Under. As it winds back home, the show is setting up special visits – like the one in the video below – to help promote it.

Review: “Killzone 3″

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After living out several cinematic action fantasies in the past year with “Red Dead Redemption,” “Call of Duty Black Ops,” and “Halo Reach,” newcomer “Killzone 3″ ranks among the

very best of shooter games.

Imagine you’re in a viscerally brutal James Cameron battle sequence, unleashing bone-jarring devastation with some pretty memorable weaponry.
It’s a deeply immersive thrill ride you’ll have a hard time getting off.

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