‘Guitar Hero Live’ Preview Event and First Impressions

Guitar Hero Live

Last week, I got to check out a special invite-only event put on by Activision at the YouTube Space LA to preview Guitar Hero Live. While I had seen it in action at E3, this was the first time I really got to spend time with the game, as you’ll see from my less than stellar performance in the video after the jump.

When it comes to the presentation, Guitar Hero Live has absolutely stepped it up. In GH TV, you’re able to play over some of your favorite music videos for songs you already love and there is a massive library of music to select from. At the event, I was the only one to play Green Day ‘Oh Love’ but was thrilled to have the chance to. On the other side is the concert experience with GH Live where the player sees the perspective from being on stage as a member of the band and looking out at a real crowd, not just some polygonal fans.

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‘Grand Theft Auto Online’ Leaves Me Without Comment

Grand Theft Auto Online

Originally the plan was going to be to come home from the office a little earlier than usual, hop on GTA Online and then when I finally had enough, watch Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. while passing out for the night. Luckily, work got in the way and I wasn’t able to leave early as I saw Twitter exploding with #GTAOnline and #GTAProblems along with not very positive feedback. There was no way it could be that bad, right?

I hop on, choose four random grandparents that result in a character that actually look somewhat like me (and according to this equation, I am 1/4 black which is unexpected) and sign into the game server. Well, I attempted to sign on to the game server. It ended up taking three tries before I finally got in. Once finally in the game, I got the intro cut scene with tutorial messages as a familiar face drove me to the first mission. As I stepped into the first mission, the game got stuck on a “Searching for player” screen that I couldn’t exit. Start, Back, B. All of the go to buttons did nothing. So I hit the home button and went back out to the dashboard and restarted the whole game.

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First Impressions: Nintendo’s Wii U

Because of the time it takes to really get to know a system and being limited by only those few games at launch, it wouldn’t be fair to give a full and formal review of the Wii U console just yet. Instead, I’m just going to give my first impressions of it with a full review possibly coming later.

When getting the Wii U, the first thing I noticed and was unfortunately disappointed by is its setup time. If you plan on using the Wii U to its fullest potential, you are going to need to do an update to the system right off the bat. While this is automatic when doing your network setup, it is required to use the Wii U’s full functionality including things like the YouTube app. Nintendo has never been known for their online features and like Sony doesn’t have fast download speeds for consoles.

As a result, it took almost an hour of setup and download time before my Wii U was ready to go. Tip for parents, if you are giving your kid a Wii U for Christmas, open up the box and do this before you give it as a gift. Nothing is going to disappoint little Jimmy Xmas morning than having to wait an hour before he can actually start playing his Wii U.

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‘Blacklight: Retribution’ Headed for Steam

When most gamers here the phrase “Free-to-play,” heads are usually shaken and faces are definitely palmed. Once in a great while, however, there comes a free-to-play game that is that actually is free to play. Blacklight: Retribution is one of the few games that not only costs you nothing to enjoy, but is also damn fun to play in the process – and now, it’s as easy as downloading it from the Steam store (for FREE).

From Andy Kipling, Executive Producer at Zombie Studios:

“We couldn’t be more excited with the upcoming release of Blacklight: Retribution on Steam. With millions of active users daily, Steam has become the premiere digital distribution service around the world. As the Free-to-Play market grows, we continue to explore new methods for our fans to play our games, and bringing Blacklight: Retribution to Steam was a no brainer. Working with Valve to bring Blacklight: Retribution to Steam was extremely easy. We added support for Steam Achievement and Stats to Blacklight: Retribution, and a number of in-game items especially for Steam users.”

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Playstation Vita Hands-On First Impressions

Sony’s newest handheld, the Playstation Vita, doesn’t launch officially in the US until February 22nd, but if you’re one of the antsy few like myself who just needed to get your hands on  just a bit earlier than its official US Launch date, the “First Edition” bundle was available for sale yesterday if you preordered. Before I write up my full review on the Vita, I wanted to share my initial reactions to the system, especially for those of you who are still on the fence about picking it up next week.

First things first- the Vita is beautiful, both asthetically and physically. I love the way this device looks, and I LOVE the way it feels in my hands. The 5 Inch OLED screen obviously makes the Vita easy on the eyes, and games look great. I’ve never found myself questioning how much better this looks than the PSP- it’s astounding how much power they’ve packed into this thing, without making it very heavy or cumbersome.

If you’re a veteran of the PSP, or any Sony system really, the Vita is easy enough to pick up and play. They’vre rearranged some buttons, which I really appreciate, as the volume and start buttons on the PSP were too low for me to reach comfortably before. The biggest change has been the addition of a second analog stick. I cannot stress how much better these analog sticks are than the PSP’s, which I had break on me multiple times on multiple PSPs.

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