Rise of the Dark Spark: What Does the Amalgamation Mean?


Rise of the Dark Spark: What Does the Amalgamation Mean?

It was announced recently that the next Transformers game would be a cross-gen title that will accompany the film and shall be released in time for the movie’s release in June.

The press article alone would have us believe this is a direct tie-in to the movie and most likely a low quality movie tie-in game, rather than any sort of sequel to High Moon’s fantastic Fall of Cybertron, sequel to middling War for Cybertron.

The trailer would reveal that it’s neither one of those things, but both at the same time, sort of.

In turns out that Rise of the Dark spark is indeed the third game in the “Cybertron” series AND the tie-in game to the upcoming fourth film in the franchise.

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‘Splosions!

It should be noted that isn’t the first time this has occurred in the franchise…sorta: The tie-in console game for Dark of the Moon used the “Cybertron” engine, was developed by High Moon and was okay if not rushed for a movie game.

So now we come to the fusion, since the inception of the “Bayformers” universe in 2007, games have alternated between original works, movie games, web and Facebook games and more recently games based on the “Prime” series on television.

Rise of the Dark Spark represents an interesting tack but not necessarily a good one.  Fall of Cybertron was easily the best Transformers game to date. Featuring a quality campaign with an engaging story, tons of fans service that stretched even beyond G1 and a solid multiplayer mode. Fall of Cybertron finally proved that Transformers was not just Bayformers or the many forgettable TV shows geared toward the younger audience since Beast Wars, the story could be told in an engaging fashion.

RDS as I shall refer to it is a bizarre beast, though details are slim, it looks to either crossover the universes in an attempt to attract fans of the “Cybertron” games and fans of the film franchise into buying the one product or establish that the “Cybertron” series is the history of the Bayformers (though I’m sure that would clash with the little known movie verse comics, the scale of the comics audience is comparatively tiny).

Another concern is the change in developer, High Moon has moved on to Deadpool and other projects. Edge of Reality, who has a history of providing quality ports of fairly big games, is now helming the task.

Brief Resume includes 64 versions of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, PS3 Mass Effect, Sims 3 on consoles and Dragon Age: Origins for consoles.

 It’s solid resume for a developer that has very little original works, though their new game “Loadout” is an enjoyable free-to-play romp on steam so they’re not bereft of talent.

Whichever way it goes, two things are likely to happen:

  1. A game that hasn’t seen enough improvements since Fall will emerge, simultaneously hurting the film games’ credibility and souring the “Cybertron” series fantastic history.  Think Arkham Origins, AC: Revelations, Resident Evil 5 and Crackdown 2.
  2. We find ourselves with an enjoyable third Cybertron game that manages to provide a decent campaign that elevates the Age of Extinction element above crappy tie-in status.

It is very unlikely we’ll see something better Fall of Cybertron, especially considering it’s being done by a port company using old High Moon assets (the trailer shows the “Cybertron” series assets looking unchanged but with slightly higher polygon counts) and it has to carry the AoE storyline to a conclusion that completes both stories without feeling like the whole idea was a tacky business decision.

Though it’s good to know that it will indeed feature “Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark Escalation; the online multiplayer mode where four players fend off waves of increasingly tough enemies returns with upgradable defences being added. The mode will feature over forty playable characters. In addition, experience points collected by players, in single-player mode and multiplayer mode, will be shared” in the way of improvements.

Otherwise we have the portable version to look forward to, which is said to be a strategy RPG, hopefully providing some sort of TF RPG fun time on the go.

Either way, I know where I’ll be come middle of the year, spending an inane amount of legal tender getting my “next-gen” Transformers up and running.

See you then for the review.

©2014 York Robilliard

Australian Retailer Clears Out Nintendo Stock, Including Wii U


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Australian Retailer Clears Out Nintendo Stock, Including Wii U

With PS4 and Xbox One on the horizon, are retailers abandoning Nintendo?

by David Hilton

© 2013 David Hilton

Dick-Smith_109Today I got a strange email that initially I thought was a mistake.

It was from Australian retailer Dick Smith and after some ‘online exclusive’ deals it practically shouted that all Nintendo products, including consoles, were 50% off, “reduced to clear”.

And clear they have.  If you look here, the online white basic Wii U console pack sold for AUD$174 (was AUD$348) and the black premium console pack sold for AUD$214 (was AUD$428 at EB Games).

There are none left.  But this was surely some limited online deal right?

Wrong.  And it likely spells a more than symbolic turn in the Ninendo’s Wii U fortunes in Australia.

Nintendo struggling?

Call of Duty vs. Battlefield: How Gamers Ruin Both… and Gaming


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Call of Duty vs. Battlefield: How Gamers Ruin Both… and Gaming

When competition ruins appreciation

by Michael Gilbert

© 2013 Michael Gilbert

BAttlefield-4-oxcgnAs gamers, we often come to establish what we think of a game based on our previous experiences.

This shooter is realistic because head shots kill people in one shot, this racer is awesome because my Camaro sounds really loud (just like Dad’s—for those of us with dads that have Camaros), this Mario game is fun because it makes funny sounds and I laughed my ass off (LMFAO for you more apt readers).

We also make comparisons based on games we did or didn’t like before.

Halo is better than Quake because the graphics are better, or, for a more ignorant comparison, World of Warcraft is the worst game ever “’cuz only nerds play that game. YOLO. Swagg.”

But what we fail to do is recognize the smaller accomplishments that actually construct a game’s ‘personality’, as I like to call it.

Something that comparing a game to another simply just can’t do.

Is competition ruining modern gaming?

OXCGN Announces Takeover of IGN


april_foolsOXCGN Announces Takeover of IGN

The “GN.com” Battle Is Over!

by Alex Baldwin 

 © April 1, 2013 Alex Baldwin

APRIL FOOLS 2UPDATE: We’ve just learned that the court has reversed its decision, and OXCGN will not, in fact, be taking over IGN on account of this being an April Fools joke.

ORIGINAL STORY: After a tumultuous year in which IGN shut down both its pro-gaming league and subsidiary 1-UP, many have wondered exactly how IGN has managed to stay afloat in these uncertain financial times.

Well, after a year of negotiations culminating in a high-profile court case regarding IGN’s unlicensed usage of the “GN.com”, obviously owned by oxcGN.com, OXCGN is pleased to announce a successful ruling in our favour.

As part of their court-ruled reparations, IGN will henceforth be owned and managed by OXCGN.com as of April 1.

“We are very pleased the court has sided with justice on such a significant annual date, and consumers will no longer mistakenly arrive at the deceptively-similar ign.com domain when attempting to reach oxcgn.com” said OXCGN editor in chief and co-owner David Hilton.

“However, this is only the beginning of our campaign to regain the ownership of our trademark. We are currently seeking legal advice regarding Gamespot’s illicit usage of letters in orange circles as used in OXCGN’s logo.”

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Breaking news – April 1, 2013
 © 2013 Alex Baldwin

WIN! Black Ops II: Ear Force Kilo headset


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WIN! Black Ops II: Ear Force Kilo headset

 ‘Sound’ good to you?

by Arthur Kotsopoulos

©2013 Arthur Kotsopoulos

TURTLE 2I’ve had a few days to test out Turtle Beach’s PX5 and the Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound they provide is nothing short of amazing. I’ve been replaying Dead Space 2 leading up to the release of Dead Space 3 and whilst I appreciated the audio fidelity the game had to offer, the PX5 takes the audio to a whole new level.

Whilst our review of the PX5 is still a few weeks away, to entice you to stick around till then, read below on details of how you could win with our giveaway.

Here’s how you can win:

TURTLEOXCGN, courtesy of QV Software and Turtle Beach, have a single Black Ops II: Ear Force Kilo headset for our loyal readers to win.

Please note that the game is NOT included with these headsets, but being one of the biggest blockbuster titles of last year I’m sure you’ve already got your copy.

There are 3 ways that you can enter to win the headset for a total of 3 chances to win. To keep things fair each method will use the same entry conditions:

Win here

Stephen Colbert Defends Violent Video Games


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Stephen Colbert Defends Violent Video Games

Because facts aren’t true enough

by Nicholas Laborde

©2013 Nicholas Laborde

stephen colbert oxcgnStephen Colbert is what I imagine as the definitive American.

For those who don’t really know who Colbert is, he’s an American political satirist and host of The Colbert Report, Comedy Central’s premiere “fake” (see: satirical) news program.

He invented a word (“truthiness”), has written multiple books, and has his own wax sculpture, among many other things.

In my opinion, he’s the funniest man on television. [Ed.: Nick may or may not have a crush on Stephen.]

Last night, while making fun of NRA (the National Rifle Association) head Wayne LaPierre‘s message before Congress several weeks ago about having armed guards in schools, Stephen spoke his mind on the matter… and it’s perfectly up to his standards.

Find out what Colbert said…

Gamers! Can you help with PhD Research?


Gamers!  Can you help with PhD Research?

Multiplayer Video Game Survey- win $100 Jb Hi Fi voucher

by Alex Baldwin

©2012 Alex Baldwin

Reposted: If you have already completed this last year, please do not complete again.

My name is Alex Baldwin and I’ve been a writer for OXCGN for over 3 years. In addition to contributing to OXCGN, I’m a PhD candidate in the computer science discipline at Queensland University of Technology, performing research looking into improving the player experience of multiplayer video games.

In order to do this, I’m looking to hear what you, multiplayer game players of ALL experience and skill levels, have to say regarding some specific multiplayer features.

This involves a 10-20 minute online questionnaire (responses are anonymous).

Please find details of survey here

OXCGN’s Game of the Year Awards for 2012


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OXCGN’s Game of the Year Awards for 2012

The world did not end this year 

by David Hilton

©2012 David Hilton

game of the year award smlWith all the attention on the impending Mayan apocalypse it would have been fitting to look at the state of gaming at the end of 2011 and wonder if the gaming world might also end.

While there was initially some optimism that new major next gen consoles would be announced at this year’s E3, only the Wii U actually was a next gen certainty and the limits of current gen consoles had seemingly been reached.

On top of that, gaming sequels continued to dominate game releases.

It looked like the end could be nigh for big release gaming of the AAA variety in the near future.

However the quality of this year’s titles shows that gaming is very much alive and though many studios and franchises faltered this year, more succeeded with some of the best games this gaming generation.

With a huge renaissance gaming year promised for 2013 in the form of new generation consoles, let’s look at 2012 as the last big battle of this current console generation for top gaming honours.

We gave our readers a chance in a poll to decide their 2012 Game of the Year, and the results came in with the beautiful and clever Playstation exclusive downloadable title, Journey. Now it’s our turn.

OXCGN GOTY here