OXCGN’s PlayStation Vita Mini-Review Game Roundup


FEATURE_Vita mini reviews

PlayStation Vita Mini-Review

Game roundup

by Alex Baldwin

©2012 Alex Baldwin

With the holiday season upon us, there’s sure to be a lot of PlayStation Vitas exchanging hands.

We’re big fans of Sony’s latest here at OXCGN, and it’s only right that we assist in avoiding the crushing disappointment that comes with receiving a shiny new console, but a horrible game to play on it.

Don’t have time to hunt down reviews for all the major Vita games? No worries, we’ve got you covered!

The list below is a handy summary of each game with pros, cons, and overall ratings of most major Vita game releases (in alphabetical order) since launch, with all being owned and played by yours truly over the course of the past eight months since launch.

Note that the rating assigned to each game may not match that which was given in an earlier review of the game by a different reviewer.

Find out which Vita games to pick up this holiday season

OXCGN’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Review (Single Player)


OXCGN’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Review (Single Player)

Is the story sacrificed on the multiplayer altar? 

by Kent Sobey

© 2012 Kent Sobey

Love it or hate it, the fact is that there’s never been a more successful franchise in the history of gaming. Some people might disagree, but Call of Duty has gone from strength to strength – especially when you look at the number of copies sold and the size of the multiplayer community.

Like it or not, Call of Duty is probably going to be around for a while yet.

Fortunately for me, I love it, and have done since the first release of Call of Duty so I expect a lot more from each new release to keep me hooked.

Black Ops 2 may be the sequel to 2010’s Black Ops, but release-wise, it is following Modern Warfare 3.

Since this is a single player review only, I will say that following Modern Warfare 3 will not be easy because it was fantastic.

Black Ops 2 review here

Call of Duty Black Ops 2 Xbox 360 Bundle Announced


Call of Duty Black Ops 2 Xbox 360 Bundle Announced

Halo bundle vs. COD bundle; either way Microsoft wins

by David Hilton

© 2012 David Hilton

Today Microsoft announced that one of the year’s most hotly anticipated games, Call of Duty Black Ops 2, will be bundled with an Xbox 360 console.

Available from November 13th 2012, the Call of Duty Black Ops II bundle includes a 250GB console, controller, headset and the game  for AU $499.00.

Call of Duty games have always attracted a big following and now those who have waited until late in the console cycle to jump in can join their mates who already play previous titles on the 360.

Black Ops 2 Console Bundle

Gear up, EB Expo is set to rock Sydney come October


Gear up, EB Expo is set to rock Sydney come October

The sequel is ready to set the bar higher

by : Arthur Kotsopoulos

©2012 Arthur Kotsopoulos

It’s been almost a year since the the first EB Expo was held on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, and after the reveal that Sydney was to be the next city to host Australia’s biggest gaming event, the countdown to the start of the Expo on October  5th – 7th is quickly ticking down.

If you’re a casual or hardcore gamer anywhere in Australia, the EB Expo is something you won’t want to miss.

EB Expo 2012 games here

Call of Duty: The Inevitable Consequence of ‘Progress’


Call of Duty: The Inevitable Consequence of ‘Progress’

How multiplayer purity was lost…and can be found

by David Hilton

© 2012 David Hilton

Poor Call of Duty.

I really do feel sorry for the franchise sometimes.  It is held up as the example for everything that is wrong in gaming right now.

While laziness of design leading to more of a ‘interactive blockbuster movie’ experience and a multiplayer that is accused of rinsing and repeating may be valid criticisms, it cannot be denied that the game has become a juggernaut in gaming, with so many gamers who wouldn’t normally play games joining in the fun, particularly the multiplayer.

It is a victim of success and massive sales.  Who would seriously be silly enough to change too much of a thing that is working?  Where is the incentive?  Build it and people will buy.

In multiplayer the Call of Duty franchise found the key to gamers’ wallets: from its great beginnings it progressed, was imitated to death, and then slowed innovation, because the consequence of progress and success was a lack of need to progress and change.

But innocence of another age was lost.  Something pure has gone missing, replaced by a cleverly addictive system of perks and customisation.

It may, however, not be lost forever, and it would be easy to restore the old while keeping the new.

What was lost from Call of Duty here

Crying Doom for Call of Duty


Crying Doom for Call of Duty

Activision’s Flagship Franchise is not Long for this World

by Nicholas Capozzoli

©2012 Nicholas Capozzoli

In the fall of 2007 I was just beginning my first semester of grad school. Following a new friend’s suggestion one night, we ventured over to a nearby dive bar for a few pitchers, and to play a video game that the place was featuring as part of their nightly special.

The game was Guitar Hero.

My friend, as it turned out, was well versed with plastic instruments, blasting through Blue Oyster Cult‘s Godzilla as I plinked and plunked my way through alongside him. But as each new track went by I found myself rapidly improving, upping the difficulty and powering through tough solos with aplomb.

A passion was born that night, one that followed through to the release of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. I beat Metallica’s One to the cheers of classmates in studio. I remember the desperate relief and aching fingers that came from surviving Slayer’s Raining Blood.

But in the span of just a couple years my plastic guitars collect dust under my TV. Literally, they’re dust magnets. The most activity that they see is when they occasionally fall over and scare my dog.

The problem is self-evident: the instrument rhythm genre suffered from profuse over-saturation.

A staggering twelve games were released under the Guitar Hero name for consoles between 2005 and 2010, and that doesn’t include portable titles or mobile apps. There was far more than even the most devoted gamer could possibly want, and when the players found themselves sated, the bubble burst hard.

Two years out from the rhythm game implosion, and the genre is a radioactive wasteland.

Mutants like Rocksmith and BandFuse sift through the rubble, looking for scraps. Harmonix, maker of the original Guitar Hero and the Rock Band series, was sold for $50, and that’s not even a joke.

Is the end nigh? See for yourself…

OXCGN’s E3 2012 Snapshot: Day 3: New Games Previewed


OXCGN’s E3 2012 Snapshot: Day 3: New Games Previewed

Even more bite-sized previews

by David Hilton

©2012 David Hilton

Games!

Games are ultimately what draws the press from around the world to Los Angeles for E3.  The chance to see, play, and preview the newest announced or displayed games from around the globe.

But that’s just for the press.

We don’t want you to completely miss out though, or wait for long detailed descriptions on the games you want to know about now.

So we are running around like chickens with our heads chomped off (by ZombiU zombies?) to give you mini-previews of as many games as possible.

Each day we’re going to list a short snippet regarding each game, listing what we “got” – whether that is hands-on time, a trailer, et cetera – our impressions based upon that, and then our thoughts.

Click Here for Day 1

Click Here for Day 2

Impressions are judged with a badge based upon the impression itself.

Green: game looks fantastic, polished and basically a guaranteed winner

Yellow: game looks great, but there’s a bit of uncertainty or something that didn’t quite work right

Orange: game is shaping up, but needs some work.

And now, let’s get down to business!   Day 3!


E3 Day 3 2012 Game previews, click here

E3 2012: Timed Exclusives: Outdated strategy?


E3 2012: Timed Exclusives: Outdated strategy?

Does being first really matter?

by Arthur Kotsopoulos

©2012 Arthur Kotsopoulos

Microsoft announced during its media briefing that Black Ops 2, Resident Evil 6, and Tomb Raider would see its DLC on the XBOX 360 in a timed exclusive deal that follows suit the same way that Modern Warfare 3 and GTA IV before them did.

It begs the question: does having timed exclusive DLC really sways the consumer into purchasing the product that has the DLC first?

Does this business strategy really push sales of said game on the platform, or the platform itself?

Timed Exclusives, as waste? Go here