Tag Archives: video games

The Unreleased Justice League Brawler Game

Footage from the unreleased Xbox 360 video game Green Lantern: A Justice League Game by Double Helix has hit the web. The game was sandwiched between two other brawler games featuring DC Comic characters, Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe and Injustice: Gods Among Us, which might be why it never saw release.

Check out below for what could have been!

State of the Union a Mixed Bag for Gamers

President Obama and Spider-ManThe President’s State of the Union address was a dangerously mixed-bag for gamers Tuesday night. The plethora of recent high-profile data breaches and hacks, such as the Sony hack, has given the President the political cover to push a stringent agenda that offers more potential negatives for gamers than positives. Interestingly, even though the President talked about Internet issues extensively in three speeches leading up to the State of the Union, he spent relatively little time on the subject Tuesday night. Indeed, the word “Internet” only appears three times in his hour-long speech and is only used in broad ideas, not connected to specific policies. However, by looking at those earlier speeches and their associated legislative proposals, gamers can understand the President’s Internet priorities.

On the bright side of things, President Obama’s call to increase broadband Internet service through municipal networks could be good news for thousands of underserved gamers. Currently, nineteen states have laws in place that make it illegal for counties or cities to build and offer their own Internet service to residents. The President and the FCC argue the FCC has the authority to change that through rule-making. The FCC chairperson has been warning of this action since the summer and last week, the President gave a preview of the issue. Many Republicans believe that the FCC does not have the regulatory authority and that this issue is a legislative one.

Municipal broadband, when it works, generally offers great rates for very fast Internet connections. Chattanooga, Tennessee, for example, has a system that offers 100 Mbps connections for $58 and 1 Gbps for $70 per month. However, in order for municipal broadband to be effective, you generally need relatively high density and/or centralized population to make the investment make sense. It is a plan that does not generally work in rural communities, meaning that the least served in America will remain so.

Also good news for gamers, one of the three mentions of the Internet in the State of the Union was his pledge “to protect a free and open Internet”. This is a clear signal that the President intends to continue his push for Net Neutrality. Net Neutrality is the idea that all traffic and devices on the Internet should be treated the same by carriers- ISPs cannot discriminate based on where this data originates or is headed. For gamers, Net Neutrality would ensure we do not have to pay more for our connections to Steam, Xbox Live, PSN, or any other gaming service nor would it cost us more to keep our speeds high.

More troubling for gamers is the President’s “tough” stance on cybersecurity issues. His proposals could lead to a murkier legal landscape when it comes to many of the activities in which gamers like to partake. There is a new data and intelligence sharing bill very similar to previous bills that the Internet rose up against with such responses as the Internet blackout of 2012. The new incarnation is CISPA and it has many of the same concerns as the earlier versions, but this time, apparently, it also has the President’s support.

For gamers, the language is especially troubling because it gives companies immunity for data breaches. PSN had a data breach in 2011 that led to the compromise of millions of users’ information. Sony settled a resultant class-action suit for $15 million dollars. That would not be an issue for them under the new law. Additionally, the law asks that information about “cyber-threats” be shared with the US government without adequately defining what that means. Theoretically, the government could know what you are doing on-line without a warrant because private companies are freely telling them in the name of information sharing.

The other very troubling change for gamers is a tightening of language and increase in punishments under the Computer Abuse and Fraud Act. The changes would further criminalize violations of terms of service. Do you let a friend share your gaming service log-in? Currently, that is a violation of the Terms of Service and can get your account suspended. If these proposed changes go into law, that act could be a felony. One would hope that federal prosecutors would have something better to do with their time, but as the Aaron Swartz case suggests this is sadly not always true.

So what can you, as a gamer, do to ensure your rights online stay strong? Contact your representatives and let them know your opinion. Let them know this is a priority issue for you, and let your voice be heard.

Wizards of the Coast Announces the New Dungeons & Dragons storyline, Elemental Evil

Elemental Evil Logo  (2)Wizards of the Coast announced today that the next storyline for their revamped Dungeons & Dragons is called Elemental Evil. The story will thread through lots of different products including things for both digital and tabletop players. Elemental Evil will begin this March and run through mid-summer during which heroes are needed in the Forgotten Realms to discover and defeat secret cults that threaten to annihilate the Sword Coast by harnessing the powers of the elements of fire, water, air, and earth.

The product line-up includes the release of a new downloadable module—Neverwinter: Elemental Evilfor the highly acclaimed free-to-play Dungeons & Dragons MMORPG from Cryptic Studios and Perfect World Entertainment. Serving as an additional way for fans to experience the storyline, Neverwinter: Elemental Evil brings a new playable class—the Paladin—and increases the game’s level cap to 70. Neverwinter is set in the Forgotten Realms, and the new expansion launches in early 2015. Cryptic also recently announced Neverwinter on Xbox One will be available in early 2015 as well.

Characters in the D&D tabletop roleplaying game can help prevent devastation to the lands and people of the Forgotten Realms in the Princes of the Apocalypse adventure by Wizards of the Coast and Sasquatch Game Studio. Princes of the Apocalypse is available on April 7, 2015 and includes an epic adventure for characters levels 1 – 15 as well as new elemental spells and the element-touched genasi as a new playable race. In addition, a free download will be available in mid-March that includes more new races plus the player content available in Princes of the Apocalypse, just in time for the start of the Elemental Evil season of the D&D Adventurers League.

Other products tied into the Elemental Evil storyline include the Temple of Elemental Evil Adventure System Board Game and pre-painted collectible miniatures, both from WizKids Games. WizKids has also partnered with Perfect World Entertainment to bundle in-game items for Neverwinter with the Temple of Elemental Evil Adventure System Board Game and miniatures boosters. Rounding out the tabletop RPG game products is Gale Force Nine’s new Dungeon Master’s screen featuring Elemental Evil art, as well as unpainted, resin miniatures that tie into the adventure, all slated to release beginning in March.

D&D Elemental Evil (3)

Around the Tubes

The long weekend is almost here! Hope everyone has a good one.

Around the Tubes

Kotaku – ‘Swatter’ Gets Five Years Jailtime – Good.

The Beat – Marvel: Heed the cry—we need a new swimsuit special – Who wants to see this happen?

Kotaku – Manga Offers Smart Commentary on Modern Video Games – Might need to check this out.

The Outhousers – Not Satire: Jason Aaron to Write Comic Starring Thor’s Hammer – Well ok then.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

CBR – Astro City #19

Comic Vine – Captain Marvel #11

Comics Alliance – Conan/Red Sonja #1

The Beat – Fables: The Wolf Among Us #1

CBR – Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen

Talking Comics – Star Wars #1

Infinite Crisis Champion Profile: fight crime as Hawkgirl!

Get an early look at Hawkgirl, the winged defender and latest champion from Infinite Crisis – the free-to-play MOBA from Turbine based in the DC Universe! On Wednesday, January 21, players can soar into battle when Hawkgirl goes live in the game!

While growing up, Kendra Saunders’ father was murdered by a corrupt police officer.  She became a police officer herself in an attempt to help people from inside the system but soon felt that she was being held back by the rules and regulations of the job.

While on yet another disciplinary suspension for breaking the rules, she encountered Hawkman. The hero told her that she was a reincarnated Egyptian princess and that the two had been both heroes and lovers in their previous lives. She thought him insane and asked to be left alone. Surprised that she did not remember him, he agreed to leave, but insisted she accept a mace and flight harness, artifacts of her past life. She took the items just to be rid of him.

However, as time passed, she came to the realization that a hero could do things a police officer never could. They could work beyond the rules and do more to help people. She decided to put the equipment Hawkman had left to good use and became the heroine known as “Hawkgirl.”

Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham DLC Arrow Pack Released Today

Right on point (Ha, get it? Point.), Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham released its Arrow Pack DLC today. This pack includes an entire mission segment, as well as an entire host of new character mini-figures for your game play roster.

Set on the abandoned island of Lian Yu, Arrow and his friends must solve puzzles to escape.

Playable characters include:

  • Oliver Queen/ “Arrow”
  • Slade Wilson
  • Roy Harper
  • Helena Bertinelli/ “Huntress”
  • Diggle
  • Felicity Smoak
  • Sarah Lance/ “Black Canary”
  • Malcolm Merlyn

I, for one, am excited most for the voice acting, as Stephen Amell is voicing his own Arrow mini-figure.

This comes along with 5 other DLC packs included with the Lego Batman 3 Season Pass, but can be picked up individually for $2.99 on their respective consoles.

Playstation 3 and Playstation 4 released today, and XBox 360, XBox One, and PC will be released tomorrow. DLC not available for the Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, or Playstation Vita.

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Watch the release trailer below:

Transformers: Age of Extinction Unleashes The Silver Knight Event Today

iOS_icon_TF4_1024Silver plated, supercharged and ready to unleash his force in the latest in-game event, The Silver Knight Optimus Prime comes to Transformers: Age of Extinction – The Official Mobile Game. Beginning today and running through January 14, players will be able to participate in The Silver Knight event for the chance to win the coveted Silver Knight Optimus Prime Vector Shield. Transformers: Age of Extinction – The Official Mobile Game, the thrilling 3D combat action runner mobile game based on the top grossing 2014 box office hit movie, is available for free on the App Store for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, and on Google Play for Android devices.

About The Silver Knight

Silver Knight Optimus Prime is unlike any Autobot and is equipped with a powerful sword and special shield. Players can raise this unique shield to protect themselves while absorbing powers from enemy attacks. Once the shield’s energy meter is full, a great beam of light will deliver extreme damage to opponents. Players will wield unique powers by absorbing enemy attacks to conquer their foes!

Winners from the in-game event will be awarded with the Silver Knight Optimus Prime Vector Shield once the event ends. The Silver Knight is available now for purchase.

Transformers: Age of Extinction is available to download for free at:

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Second Closed Beta and Officer System Revealed for Star Trek: Alien Domain

GameSamba has announced the upcoming second closed beta test of the new free-to-play online strategy game, Star Trek: Alien Domain, and has also revealed details regarding the in-game Officer System.

Set many years after the events of Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Alien Domain allows players to take on the role of a new Federation or Klingon captain as they become trapped in the unexplored realm of fluidic space. Following the game’s first closed beta test, which ran from December 1-12, Closed Beta 2 will begin later this month on January 15 at 6:00p.m. PST.

The Officer System is one of several features improved in response to feedback received during the first closed beta test. After reaching a designated point in the game’s quest line, players will have the opportunity to recruit officers from their respective factions who have also been stranded in fluidic space. These recruitable officers are non-playable characters whose roles span the full variety of crew positions that Star Trek fans will be familiar with, including captains, engineers, scientists, security officers, and more.

Each NPC has his or her own unique set of skills that will help players in exploration or battle, and by leveling these officers, their bonus effects can be improved. In addition, the official Star Trek: Alien Domain website will feature short biographical information on each of the NPC officers. GameSamba is currently hosting a community event on the official ST:AD forum where fans of the game can compete for their chance to name and create a personal backstory for some of these characters.

The Internet Archive also brings us Superman, TMNT, Spider-Man, Rocketeer, Fantastic Four, and X-Men Games to Play

X-Men 2 - The Fall of the MutantsThe Internet Archive is becoming an amazing arcade, especially with its release of 2,400 MS-DOS games on top of the hundreds of Atari and arcade games it already hosted. Add on top of that a new browser-based emulator that’s still in beta, and you can experience some classic games that are still as fun to play today as they were twenty something years ago.

I went through the archive and pulled out the comic related video games from the 2,400. This is on top of the couple I reported about earlier today.

The Amazing Spider-Man – published in 1990 by Paragon Software Corporation for the Amiga, Atari ST, and Commodore 64, this game has Spider-Man rescuing Mary Jane who was kidnapped by Mysterio. Primarily a platformer the game also includes puzzles, mostly to deactivate Mysterio’s tricks.

Fantastic Four – published in 1986, this text adventure takes you through Latveria to battle Doctor Doom.

The Rocketeer – published in 1991 by Walt Disney Computer Software and developed by NovaLogic Inc., this game has you participate in several action sequences that mimic the same sequences in the Rocketeer movie, like racing a plane, a shootout in a warehouse, and hand-to-hand combat on top of a flying blimp. It’s based on the Dave Stevens’ original comic book series and the movie made by the Walt Disney Company.

Superman – The Man of Steel - published in 1989 by First Star Software and developed by Tynesoft Computer Software, you play as Superman on a mission to save a kidnapped Lois Lane from Darkseid and Lex Luthor. The gameplay consists of different action-oriented sections including 3D flying, overhead vertical scrolling and side scrolling. Sections are linked by comic book graphics which tell the story…. so that’s kind of cool.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Manhattan Missions - published by Konami and developed by Distinctive Software in 1991 this is a side-scroller where you battle Shredder. Players have 48 hours to complete the game, I mean really 48 hours… and you need to rest your characters to gain health! Luckily you can save the game to reload it later, so you don’t have to play for 48 hours straight.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II – The Arcade Game - also released in 1991, published by Image Works, and developed by Konami, the game is a 3rd-person perspective side scroller. Here, April is kidnapped by Bebop and Rocksteady and you must save her by facing familiar foes. I lost a lot of time and quarters playing this one.

X-Men 2 – The Fall of the Mutants - released in 1991 by Paragon Software, players must assemble a team of five X-Men from a selection of fifteen, and eliminate the evil mutants while playing in a top-down RPG-style environment. When battles commence the player has two choices for how the combat takes place: either side-scrolling action, or turn-based RPG-style combat. In the side-scrolling action fights, the player can use each of the team members’ powers to kill the foes.

So, any favorites or fond memories of these?

You Can Play X-Men, Batman Returns, and more video games for free! Thanks Internet Archive!

X-Men_-_Madness_in_Murderworld_CoverartThanks to the Internet Archive you can now play X-Men: Madness in Murderworld, the Batman Arcade Game, and Batman Returns right in your browser whenever you’d like…. for free!

Founded in 1996, the Internet Archive is dedicated to open access of information including websites, books, movies, music and more! The non-profit is supported by many, including the Library of Congress

They’ve made news lately as people have discovered the vast amount of DOS games now available. Two comic related are X-Men: Madness in Murderworld and Batman Returns.

BATMANCreated by Paragon Software Corporation X-Men: Madness in Murderworld features the X-Men and their mission in the Murderworld amusement arcade. Magneto and Arcade have kidnapped Professor X, and the loyal X-Men must rescue him. If the X-Men are to save the day, the player must combine action and adventuring skills.

Created by Sega, the Genesis title based on Batman Returns is a platform game in which the Dark Knight must traverse five action-filled levels on his way to confront the Penguin. Areas include the msdos_Batman_Returns_1993rooftops of Gotham City, Max Shreck’s department store, the Red Triangle Circus and the sewers. Besides run-and-jump action, there’s also a lot of combat in the game, as many of the Penguin’s henchmen stand in Batman’s way. He can knock them out with punches and kicks and a number of extra weapons stored in his utility belt. These include batarangs, which come in standard and self-seeking varieties, and smoke bombs that stun enemies for a while. In addition, Batman can shoot from his grappling gun and unleash a deadly swarm of bats towards enemies. All of these weapons have limited ammo, however, that must be collected. Other special tools Batman can use include the grappling hook to reach high places or swing across chasms, and his cape, which can be used to slow falls. Each of the five levels features several boss battles against Catwoman, the Penguin and others.

There’s 1000s of games available to play for free. And, when you’ve got through them all, the site also has classic comics and graphic novels for you to read too.

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