AureliaDiesel

Fashion / Beauty / Music / Art / Culture and Lifestyle blog by Aurelia. Located in and between D.C. & NYC.

Archive for the tag “video games”

How to Celebrate ‘Star Wars Day’ at the Last-minute!

It’s getting closer to the end of the week (thank goodness) and for Star Wars fans everywhere this is a very exciting time. This Friday, May 4, is what many have deemed international ‘Star Wars Day!’ Why May 4? Because what better way to pay homage to George Lucas’ continuously growing franchise than to say ‘May the fourth be with you!’

If you’re like me, than Star Wars Day is a date that just happens to creep up on you every year. With April finally coming to a close, and the spring weather rearing its head, it’s not always easy to remember May 4. Lucky for you, I have put together some tips, tricks and ideas on how to celebrate Star Wars Day, no matter if you remember on May 3, or the day of! Read more…

How One Man Could (Though Unlikely) Stop the Release of ‘Assassin’s Creed III’

Ezio is not pleased.

John Beiswenger, a man from Pennsylvania has decided to take on the French video game development company, Ubisoft and its Assassin’s Creed series in the form of a lawsuit. Beiswenger claims that Ubisoft has committed copyright infringement with the Assassin’s Creed games, and that the plot of the game series is significantly similar to his book Link, which was published in 2003. The Link author is asking for up to $5.25 million in damages. And the big news? Beiswenger is also requesting that a federal court prevent the release of Assassin’s Creed III, which is supposed to be sold in stores this coming October. Read more…

The Assassin’s Creed III ‘Announcement’ Trailer from Ubisoft

My previous article on Assassin’s Creed III featured the first official photos and screenshots leaked about the upcoming video game.

Now, we also have the first official Assassin’s Creed III trailer from Ubisoft. You can watch it below.

 

If just that trailer wasn’t enough to get you excited, you can watch this ‘Assassin’s Creed III Trailer Breakdown’ from Gamespot.com (@gamespot) where they analyze the trailer frame-by-frame.

Tell us what you think about the trailer in the comments!

Music Monday: ‘Mass Effect’ Soundtrack Review

Happy Music Monday!

Last week’s Music Monday introduced a new feature to AureliaDiesel: polls! You can now visit our polls page to vote on any polls we post in articles, etc.

And the winner of the Music Monday poll is – video game music!

Per the poll results, this week’s Music Monday will be celebrating one of my favorite video game soundtracks – Mass Effect by Sam Hulick, David Kates, Jack Wall and Richard Jaques. Read more…

GeniusMods: A Company Specializing in Modded Xbox 360 & PlayStation 3 Controllers

This morning, I was sent an article from BusinessWeek about the custom gaming technology company, GeniusMods. I suggest checking out their website here, because from what I can tell, the modded controllers are gorgeous. Featuring ‘rapid fire’, LED, and graphic controllers, I can tell you that I definitely plan on ordering from GeniusMods. I’ve already fallen in love with the ‘Clear Pink XCM LED Xbox 360 Modded Controller’ featured on the front page, and since I am a Gears of War (and shooter) fan, the ‘rapid fire’ controllers look excellent as well. One of the best parts about GeniusMods is the ability to custom design your own controller!

So, if you’re a gamer looking to express yourself with some custom, modded controllers (or you just want to impress your friends), be sure to check out GeniusMods and have a look at their selection!

My Xbox Withdrawal: How I coped with the loss of my Xbox (and how you can too!)

Original CC Image courtesy of Mylk Roventine on Flickr

4 months ago, (…for undisclosed reasons…) my Xbox was put in temporary storage. I now have my beloved console back, but those 4 months were some of the hardest times in my life. It was as if I had to re-learn how to go about my life. I couldn’t even read one of my favorite magazines, GameInformer, because just the mere mention of video games drove me into a state of (unproductive) mourning.

Now that my withdrawal has come to an end, I would like to impart knowledge to my fellow gamers. I actually learned a lot during those 4 months. But above all…I learned how to LIVE again! Nah, just kidding, a gamer’s life is nothing without their console. So, if you are an ‘addict’ gamer who is ever put in a similar situation as I was, I would like to give you some tips for coping with your loss.

1. Mobile Gaming. If you absolutely MUST play something, then mobile gaming (iPhone, iPad, Android, etc.) may be your saving grace. Don’t diss the power of Fruit Ninja. You’ll be surprised how desperate you become without a console. I was playing endless rounds of Temple Run on my iPhone, not because it was entertaining, but because it was mind numbing. I didn’t want to think about how I still needed to finish Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (after getting the Xbox back I finally finished the storyline) or that I was in the middle of Gears of War 2 and I couldn’t finish it in time for Gears of War 3 (this is still true, I haven’t finished GoW 2). I just wanted to play something so stupid, it would get my mind off of things. However, there are a few exceptional ‘mobile games’ out there that may curb your hunger for console gaming. For the RPG fan, Infinity Blade by Epic Games (the same people responsible for the Gears of War series) is the way to go. If you have an iPad 2 (I don’t…I’m waiting on the 3) you can play Infinity Blade 2 and continue the storyline. If you’re a shooter fan, the classics Doom and Castle Wolfenstein have both been converted to the iPad. It may not be Gears of War (or Halo), but they’re still fun.

2. Computer gaming. Since this article is purely about dealing with the loss of you’re console, I’m going to assume that you have other outlets to game with. If you’re dealing with total ‘gaming’ withdrawal (a HIGHLY unlikely scenario in the world today…at least where I live!) then the tips after this will apply to you. Now, I really didn’t use computer gaming much in my withdrawal. Why? Because I have a Mac. If you’re a Mac user, you know that Apple chooses to neglect it’s gaming community, and that the evil PCs have all the fun. I did try to find decent flash games on the internet, but nothing did it for me. However, if you have a PC, then you can pretty much forget about this article and just go have fun playing Mass Effect on your computer, while the rest of us Mac owners have to play it on our Xbox console.

(If you aren’t satisfied with mobile and computer gaming, but you have access to transportation, then continue to tip #3. If you are without transportation services and are bored with your life, continue to tip #4.)

3. Gaming Elsewhere. Yes, this means giving up the privacy that comes with gaming in your own home, and sharing your ‘mad’ skills in public. This means socializing, being around people, and gaming at the same time. If you’re a gaming social butterfly (like me!) than going to an arcade will definitely help you cope. I visited my local Dave & Busters 5 (…or 10) times during my withdrawal. No, they’re not as HUGE as I would like them to be, but there’s still something for everyone. Personally, I got addicted to the coin games. And through this experience, I was introduced to a whole new type of gaming: Casinos! No, I didn’t like the fact that the machine kept eating my hard earned coins, but it was SO addicting. I also won a huge Dave & Busters punching bag from the ‘Big Claw’ machine – on my first try. I got ‘mad’ claw machine skills, yo! Other than going to an arcade, I also went out for Laser Tag. What’s one thing that is just as awesome (or better) than playing a console game? Running around like you’re IN the game! What’s more fun than getting to run around and shoot lasers at complete strangers?

4. Board Games. Hopefully, you have some old-school board games laying around your house like Monopoly or Risk. You can even go out and buy the Gears of War Board Game or Halo Risk if you’re that much of an addict. If you’re a loner when it comes to your gaming, you might want to start actually playing with other people. If you’re a fan of multiplayer gaming on Xbox Live, all you have to do is play you’re old-fart board game with friends. And get this – you don’t need headphones to talk to your buddies during the game. You don’t even need a keyboard. All you have to do is open your mouth, and they’ll hear you. Magical, huh?

5. Reading. This may not work for everybody, but if you’re desperate it may not hurt to spend you’re time catching up on some books you never finished. You may be thinking that ‘reading’ should be your absolute last resort in life. However, the good news about books, is that just like how there are lots of video games to choose from, you’re selection of books is pretty infinite. And just like video games, new books are coming out all the time. Each book has a new storyline to explore, just like video games. Books have characters, just like video games. Books have conflict, just like video games. Hey, you could even say that video games came from books! Reading comics and graphic novels could help you as well, especially if they are based on you’re favorite video game. I also took the time to catch up on my Manga (Japanese comic books).

6. Explore your local ‘Geek’ Scene. Okay, so this another one where you need transportation. But I really don’t want to bore you with the average ‘books, music, movies’ approach that many people try to take. If you’re an isolated gamer, take this time without your console to get involved in your community – and I mean that in a non-cheesy, ‘hold hands around the campfire’ way. If you’re like me, than you see being without your Xbox or gaming console as a weakness. You may be surprised though, how this can actually earn you sympathy from fellow gamers. Think about it, it’s a great conversation starter!

“So, man, I was shooting up so many Locust and it was awesome but I don’t have my Xbox right now.”

“Aw, I feel your pain man. You should come over to my place and game with me and my buddies.”

See!? Conversation starter! There were also a few conventions happening in my area during my withdrawal (See my blog post on Katsucon 18) so if you have any events or conventions around you, this may be a good way to make friends and to have fun! If you have access to a computer (I’m trying to be politically correct, okay? It doesn’t hurt to ask!) than check out the website Meetup, where you can RSVP for get-togethers happening in you’re area!

7. Be an Active Internet Partcipant. Tweet about how much your life sucks at the moment. Blog about the horror you’re experiencing. Tweet @XboxSupport with random/obnoxious questions that you don’t actually need help with. Start an ‘Xbox Addicts’ forum thread. Vlog and get famous on YouTube. Tell you’re Facebook friends how they will never be as awesome as you’re fellow Xbox LIVE gamers. Relieve your stress on Pinterest. Imagine, you’ll gain a sympathetic internet following, (possible) internet fame, and stress relief worth more than your counselor. See what a great tool the internet is?

Assassin’s Creed III official photos/screenshots leaked: My First Impression

Image courtesy of GameInformer

Both yesterday and today, multiple images and information has been leaked about the upcoming Assassin’s Creed III game from Ubisoft. Set to be the next installment in the Assassin’s Creed series after the first 4 games, from the images leaked of the yet-to-be-released game, it is clear that it is set during the American Revolutionary War. After games taking place during both the Crusades and Renaissance Italy, I think this move to America is a very interesting one. A game taking place during Colonial America is fresh and creative, and I can’t wait to see how Ubisoft will choose to insert the Assassin ‘Brotherhood’ into the Revolutionary War. My one concern, however, is since this game’s historical theme will hit so close to home, Ubisoft really needs to get their facts right. I really hope that I won’t be playing the game thinking that Sarah Palin wrote it. That means, Paul Revere better not be going off to warn the British that an assassin is coming to kill them all.

Image courtesy of GamesRadar

One of the best aspects of the Assassins Creed games has been the inclusion of real historical figures. I just hope that Ubisoft will be able to continue this sense of ‘realism’ in their games, and that I do feel like I’m experiencing the American Revolution, not an ‘American’ interpretation of the Revolution. I know that their has already been some people expressing their concerns as to whether or not Ubisoft will portray a bias towards America in the game – making Assassin’s Creed III some type of patriotic, rah-rah fest. As the conflict in the game series focuses on the war between the Assassins and the Templars, I doubt this will happen. However, since the Assassin’s Creed images feature the (currently unnamed) main character in front of the American Flag, complete with images of George Washington, it’s safe to assume that you will be playing for the American side of the revolution.

Now, in terms of what the main character is like, you can read this article from GamesRadar here, where they list every inference they have made about the character from all that has been revealed. Currently, it is assumed that the character is Native American. This is what I find to be the most exciting, because having a Native American protagonist could lead to so many cool storylines in the game. I think one of the reasons the Assassin’s Creed games are so good, is because their main protagonists (and characters in general) are diverse. Though I would love to see female protagonists more often, Ubisoft has done a great job creating interesting and unique male protagonists.

Image courtesy of GamesRadar

Some Assassin’s Creed III screenshots have also been leaked, and the big news is – the weather changes. This may seem like a small detail, but it has big implications. Realistic weather can take a game from good, to great. And if the environments change with the weather, than this game could very well be amazing.

In conclusion, even though I have yet to play Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, and I am still looking forward to this game. I do wish Ubisoft would leave just a little bit more room between their games, because the quality is always in question. I really hope Ubisoft put they’re best effort into this game. Rushed games are rarely ever good, and the last thing I want to play is a game that botches American history, all because the game developers wouldn’t take a little more time to polish their final product.

Assassin’s Creed III is planned to be released for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on October 30, 2012.

Here are some articles you can look at for more information on Assassins Creed III:

via @GamesRadar

Assassin’s Creed III box art released, confirms new character and setting –> http://bit.ly/z8BHuh

Assassin’s Creed III’s main character – everything we know so far –> http://bit.ly/wN95h4

Assassin’s Creed III screens leak –> http://bit.ly/z7ru2J

via @GameInformer

April Cover Revealed: Assassin’s Creed III –> http://bit.ly/xPc4AO

via @t3dotcom

Assassin’s Creed 3: Release Date, Trailer and Rumors –> http://bit.ly/yY2rI6

The Weekly GMS: WHAT DO YOU MEAN THAT’S A SPOILER?

CC Image (used in the picture) courtesy of Jeremy Bronson on Flickr.

GMS stands for “Geek Menstrual Syndrome”. It is the feeling that one is having PMS, onset by experiencing the stupidities of society. While the symptoms of “PMS” can include feelings of tiredness, pain, and weight gain, GMS symptoms are typically less physical than the symptoms of PMS. Possible GMS symptoms include: feelings of confusion, frustration, anger, anxiety and a need to rant/voice your opinions strongly.

This week’s GMS is onset by – spoilers on the internet.

Spoilers seem to be magnetically drawn to me. I don’t know where they come from, I don’t know how I found them, yet they always manage to find me at the worst possible time. Why is this? IT’S ALL BECAUSE OF THE INTERNET. When I was in 4th grade, basically the entire 6th Harry Potter book (the Half-Blood Prince) was spoiled for me. The first thing that I learned after this episode is that you can’t trust a 9 year old to be mature about, well, anything! — and that they rarely understand the importance of surprise plot twists (and keeping them secret).

Since I was young, I’ve always been respectful when it came to spoiling things for other people. You know the phrase, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”? Well if you don’t want something spoiled for you, don’t spoil it for me! I still remember being dumbstruck (in 4th grade!) when kids would do their book reports live in front of the class, and include CHARACTER DEATHS in their report. Again, what is this lack of respect for plot lines and story telling?

Now, you’re probably thinking, “Aurelia, you’re basing your opinion on 9 year olds! That’s ridicuous!”. *Sigh*…if only that where true.

As my peers matured and the people around me became less interested in blurting out major spoilers, I thought I had reached a point where I could finally read in peace. Well, that didn’t last long.

Thanks to things like fanfiction, wikipedia and forums, I discovered a whole new ‘spoiler paradise’ – INTERNET SPOILERS.

Books, video games, movies, television – You name it, the internet spoiled it for me. Now, that’s not to say that the spoilers I came across spoiled entire plot lines for me. I’ve still managed to enjoy many of the books, video games and media I’ve experienced. But still, THIS NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED.

With that being said, I am not anti-spoiler. Back when I went through a soap opera phase (ahem…General Hospital) I did read the online spoiler sites and bought the ‘spoiler’ magazines. The only difference is, not only are spoilers part of the soap opera experience, but I was actually LOOKING for the spoilers. What I can’t stand, is harmlessly indulging in some internet trash about you’re favorite new video game or manga, and then suddenly someone decides to just write a major spoiler, WITHOUT A SPOILER WARNING. Even when I write reviews, I try to put spoiler warnings where necessary, or I don’t even include spoilers. Can these ‘spoiler’ people on the internet just show consideration for the many other people surfing the web, and put a WARNING. And when I mean warning, I mean an actual WARNING. Sometimes…ok, rarely…people on forums where put (excuse my french) half-ass spoiler warnings before their post. These lousy spoiler ‘tags’ are normally lowercase, and no effort is put in to make sure there is a gap between the spoilers and the spoiler warning. The best spoiler warnings I’ve seen? When someone types spoilers in all uppercase letters, and then the spoiler is hidden so that you have to highlight the text in order to see the spoiler. You want to see my example? Let me show you the proper format when dealing with spoilers -

*AURELIADIESEL SPOILER*

I really love it when people comment.

*AURELIADIESEL SPOILER ENDS*

Alright, maybe that was a bad example, but will someone please tell me how I can change the background color of the text in WordPress? I would really like to properly demonstrate this!

Anyways, I think you get the picture. I am proposing a proper STANDARD for spoilers across the internet. This is no different than something like MLA Format, because there is a need for this! I suggest this format be used for ANY type of spoiler ANYWHERE – articles (because yes, even article writers will occasionally spoil their readers!!), forums, blogs, YOUTUBE COMMENTS (yes, I’m looking at YOU, youtube) and more.

Great Magazine Finds in Books-A-Million: NEO + OtakuUSA

Since the devastating close of Borders, I have had one less resource for books and media. So, as you can imagine I’ve been on the hunt for new bookstores to visit. Recently, I found myself in a very impressive Books-A-Million in Baltimore. Not only was the store full of books (E-readers were not the main focus of the store) but they had a great Manga and graphic novel section. In this section I managed to stumble upon two Anime/Manga/Cosplay/etc. magazines – NEO, a magazine from the UK, and OtakuUSA. Both are well-written and cover topics ranging from anime, to video games, to asian movies and culture.

The large-print manga is easier on the eyes than the smaller, paperback manga printed in America.

OtakuUSA (April 2012 issue) features “32 pages of free manga” and has a beautiful Full-Metal Alchemist themed cover. I particularly love the amount of anime, manga, and video game reviews they have in the issue. The free manga is also very nice, as the layout of the illustrations is as large as the magazine. Since I am used to read to reading manga in smaller, paperback volumes, this large-format manga is lots of fun to read.

NEO (Issue 93) is a magazine from the UK. This New Year’s issue comes with a 2012 NEO Cosplay Idol Calendar, and features articles on what’s coming in 2012 in terms of anime, manga, music, and movies. You can tell that the writers of NEO really put a lot of effort into making a great magazine and considering the amount of sub-standard content in magazines and print today, NEO is chock-full of tight, well-written articles.

The 2012 NEO Cosplay Idol Calendar is great for cosplayers who want year-round inspiration!

The 2012 NEO Cosplay Calendar is really nice. Not only does every month have if it’s own cosplay picture, but dates of anime and video game releases are inserted into the calendar.

After buying these magazines, I can definitely say that I plan to subscribe to both of these.

Hidden Gems

- On the back of the 2012 NEO Cosplay Calendar an advertisement for SoulCalibur V (coming out on Febrary 3rd January 31st in the U.S.) caught my eye. I didn’t know that Ezio Auditore from the Assassins Creed series will be the “guest character” for the game!

- For K-Pop Fans NEO Issue 93 has plenty of “K-Pop goodieness” in it, mentioning bands like KARA, 2NE1, BigBang, and even a quote from SHINee’s leader Onew! In the “Next Issue” section of the magazine, it mentions that a SHINee interview will be featured in the next issue of NEO, which was recently released on January 26.

- For iPhone users, OtakuUSA has an article on an iPhone app called “Cosplay Showcase”. The app features 222 characters, 1,776 pictures of japanese cosplayers, and the ability to view the costumes in 360°. You can also layer multiple cosplay pictures in the app, and create collages of your favorite costumes! The app is $3.99 in the App store.

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