Video games

Video games

Injustice 2 Fighter Pack 2 to include Hellboy, Raiden and Black Manta

Hellboy Injustice 2 Fighter Pack 2

New characters revealed for superhero fighting game

Confession time – we recently downloaded the Starfire character for Injustice 2, but we haven’t gotten around to actually playing the character yet – we’ve been too busy blowing stuff up in Just Cause 3 (the free game for August for PS Plus members).

Now comes today’s news from the makers of the game that Fighter Pack 2 is coming soon, featuring three additional characters. Watch the video to see how Hellboy, Raiden and Black Manta will look in the game.


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23 Aug 2017

Should you let your kids play Pokemon Go?

Wow, we go away for a few days (vacation!) and the whole world goes crazy over a mobile app.

Yep, we’re talking about Pokemon Go, which Nintendo released for iOS and Google mobile devices over the weekend, and apparently has taken the world by storm.

We’ve seen a lot of crazes come and go, and for a mobile app to become this popular this quickly either says something about Nintendo, the Pokemon game or the fact that we’re all so connected now that news like this amplifies and spreads so much quicker. But that’s a post for another time, perhaps.

What you really want to know is, “Should I let my kids download/play this app?”
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11 Jul 2016

E3 trailer for LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens shows us more Rey, Kylo and Chewie

Call us insane, but we can’t get enough of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, so we were very happy to see the latest E3 trailer from the makers of the upcoming LEGO Star Wars version of Episode VII.

This trailer gives us some more Rey moments (hooray!), as well as scenes with the pouty Kylo Ren (how will LEGO address his tantrums?) and a cool sequence featuring our favorite Resistance pilot, Poe Dameron.

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14 Jun 2016

LEGO Dimensions expansion trailer hits the web ahead of E3

OK, finally we get some good news in the toys-to-life video game market. The team that makes the LEGO Dimensions video game (Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games and The LEGO Group) announced new expansion packs that bring in even more pop-culture entertainment brands to the mix.

Beginning on Sept. 27, 2016, you’ll be able to get the Ghostbusters Story Pack (the one with characters from the upcoming movie), Adventure Time and Mission:Impossible Level Packs, Harry Potter and Adventure Time Team Packs, and The A-Team Fun Pack (LEGO Mr. T!). The level of expansion is mind-boggling – we’ll also see packs featuring characters from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The LEGO Batman Movie, The Goonies, Sonic The Hedgehog, Teen Titans Go!, LEGO City Undercover, Knight Rider, The Powerpuff Girls, Gremlins, Beetlejuice and even E.T. (not Entertainment Tonight – although a John Tesh and Mary Hart LEGO figure would be interesting).

Another new feature will be the Battle Arenas, which will provide split-screen local gameplay for up to four players. The minifigures included in the wave 6 through 9 expansion packs will also include “golden Toy Tags that unlock a Battle Arena within the Free Play Adventure World of the corresponding entertainment brand.” Don’t worry, we’ll figure it all out.

Here’s the trailer for the expansion. Feel free to squee with delight:

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09 Jun 2016

The 6 best geeky mobile games to play with your kids

6 Mobile Games to play with your kids

When PCs were hot in the 1980s and 1990s, my father used to be horrified whenever I wanted to play games on the machine — “Computers are not for games!”, he’d say, but I knew better.

Fast-forward to the smartphone and tablet era. Unlike my Dad, I’m totally aware that these mobile devices are made for games (and other things, like email, Facebook, Twitter, oh, and making phone calls). I don’t admonish my children with the phrase, “Smartphones aren’t for games”,  but rather, “Stop playing that and clean your room!” (some things never change).

With thousands of games available, though, you want to make sure that your kids are playing the right kind of mobile game — one that has a geeky element to it. Otherwise, they may end up playing one of those Candy Crush games or asking you to help them on their farm * shudder*.

Here’s our list of the top mobile games we’ve been enjoying with our kids:

Note: We’re not going to take a stand on games with in-game transactions; your decision about whether to spend money on mobile games is up to you. However, we would suggest that you don’t give your young children the ability to pay for premium items until they understand the consequences.

Simpsons Tapped Out

The Simpsons: Tapped Out
Hopefully you’ve raised your kids correctly, and they know all about The Simpsons. This mobile game has a lot of the same humor, voice acting, and storylines seen in the TV show, and it’s pretty fun to play. Also, it’s quite addicting.

The plot of the game — Homer has blown up the town of Springfield, and it’s your job to help rebuild the town and bring back all of the show’s characters. You do this by completing quests, leveling up, unlocking other characters and, if you’re in a rush, spending real money to buy “donuts,” which is the in-game premium currency. Fortunately, you can earn donuts by leveling up and doing other daily missions, but this does take longer than simply buying them.

The game also has seasonal events, limited-time missions that unlock additional buildings, and “outfits” for existing characters. This helps keep the game interesting beyond the initial parts of the game (the game even jokes about how long most players are playing the game).

For kids, playing this gives them a chance to develop their “city-building” game skills, learning that open space often costs a lot of money, so better to put roads in grid-based form to conserve space.
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28 May 2016

We love Buckner & Garcia

Yesterday in 1980, Namco released Pac-Man, which popularized arcade gaming for the masses and gave Buckner & Garcia their 15 minutes. Which makes it a fine time to look back at one of our (many) favorite ’80s one-hit wonders.

Good news: You’ve got a hit single and you’re going on national TV. Bad news: It’s Solid Gold and “Pac-Man Fever”. (Although, to be honest, the latter two were very big deals at the time.)

 

B&G’s Wikipedia entry has some interesting info:

 

…in 1980, they wrote a novelty Christmas song titled “Merry Christmas in the NFL”, imagining Howard Cosell as Santa Claus. Performed under the pseudonym Willis the Guard & Vigorish, the song reached No. 82 on the Billboard charts despite limited airplay after Cosell found the song offensive….The duo also wrote the lyrics for extra verses of an extended version of the WKRP in Cincinnati theme song in 1982.

However, the duo is best known for the song “Pac-Man Fever“, which became a large novelty hit in 1982, peaking at No. 9 in the United States. It earned a million-selling Gold-certified 45. Later the same year, after the song became a hit, the duo signed a record deal with Columbia/CBS Records. According to interviews, the duo never wanted to become a novelty act known for songs based on video games, but when it signed with the label, the company insisted on a full album of video-game songs, although the duo had intended to write a more varied collection of pop music.

Just when I thought I couldn’t love them more, I learn about the Cosell and WKRP work.

 

While Garcia is currently dropping quarters at The Big Arcade in the Sky, in 2011 Buckner went on to write the “Pac-Man Fever” homage, “Wreck-It, Wreck-It Ralph!” for the 2012 Disney film. A brilliant addition to the movie, the song was credited to Bucker & Garcia (as no one would have known who Buckner & Houston were).

 

22 May 2016

Sneak Peek: Poe Dameron in LEGO Force Awakens clip

As part of the promotion for the new LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens video game (coming out on June 28), we were given a sneak peek of the new “character vignettes” videos. In this first one, which launched today, we get to see everyone’s favorite Resistance pilot, Poe Dameron, take on the First Order:

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19 May 2016

Star Wars Battlefront DLC free to play this weekend

Star Wars Battlefront Outer Rim

CREDIT: Electronic Arts

If you haven’t yet downloaded the Outer Rim DLC for “Star Wars Battlefront”, don’t make any plans this weekend.

The Star Wars Battlefront team announced that from May 13-15, “all players will have the chance to go hands-on with the maps, modes and heroes” from the Outer Rim content.

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12 May 2016

First trailer for Assassin’s Creed movie hits the web

Assassins Creed movie

CREDIT: 20th Century Fox

Movies based on video games have traditionally not done well, but happily Hollywood keeps making them in the hopes that one will become a blockbuster or a franchise “tent pole” series.

The latest through the gate is “Assassin’s Creed”, starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard – one Acadamy Award nominee (Fassbender) and one winner (Cotillard). The first trailer dropped last night, and it hits all the right notes in showing things that made the video game series fun to play.

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12 May 2016

Farewell, Disney Infinity

Disney Infinity

Well, that was some surprising news today.

After three versions and a whole lot of action figures, Disney Infinity is kaput. In a blog post on the Disney Interactive website, John Blackburn (SVP & GM of Disney Infinity) announced the news.

Our goal for Disney Infinity was to bring the best of Disney storytelling to life in homes around the world, and with your support we accomplished that. We hope you had as much fun playing the game as we had making it.

Here at M&DAG headquarters, we’ve spent A LOT of money on the games and figures, but for the most part we’ve enjoyed the experience. It’s allowed all of our kids to get interested in video games (not just the boy), and it fostered interest in other world-building games, such as Minecraft.

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10 May 2016