10 reasons you need to play Diablo III

Diablo III LogoWith the official Diablo 3 release date May 15 fast approaching, is Blizzard’s life drain spell still active after all these years? Here’s 10 reasons for when Diablo III finally sees the light of day, you probably won’t.

1. It’s the same Diablo you know and love (or hate to love)

You will quickly find that Diablo 3 gameplay is a lot like like Diablo 2, except on steroids. Everything from the quests, to NPCs, to art style is familiar, only better. If you can last through the 20-minute video (after the break) you’ll see for yourself just how much has improved, yet stayed the same. And who wouldn’t want to play as a female barbarian?
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Zynga buys top Facebook spot, acquires Draw Something’s OMGPOP

Zynga OMGPOP Draw Something

While FarmVille and Mob Wars may no longer be the bee’s knees of Facebook social gaming, Zynga proved they’re still top dog for casual gamers by purchasing OMGPOP, the creator of Draw Something for $180 million, plus $30 million in employee retention payouts. Not a bad payday for OMGPOP employees (39 of them, according to LinkedIn), who just launched the game 6 weeks ago. The massively successful turn-based pictionary-style game took the crown away from Zynga’s own “Words With Friends”, racking up a total of 30 million downloads and over 1 billion drawings since its release. By comparison, all 4 years prior to Draw Something earned them a total of 20 million users.

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Mass Effect 3 Review

(If you’re new to Mass Effect, you may want to first read 10 reasons to play Mass Effect 3. Any minor spoilers in this review are mostly covered by playing the ME3 demo.)

Mass Effect 3 Review

Commander Shepard never wanted to be in this position. He’s a soldier, not a politician. Yet the Reaper’s invasion of Earth has made things desperate, and he’s their best hope of survival. Tension between these two races have never been higher, and you’re right in the middle of it. Everyone is waiting on you to make your choice. You need to round up more fleets to help fend off the Reapers, who won’t stop until all organic life is wiped from the face of the galaxy. But both sides won’t budge.

Looking on is a teammate that you saved in the first Mass Effect. Also present is one you met in the second game; you recall you didn’t exactly treat them so well. They deserved better, you think. You make the call, taking your side – Shepard begins to do it. But it’s a big decision – he pauses. Do you really want to do that? Yes, you confirm your choice – you owe them that much. Over the next few minutes, the results play out and are nothing short of spectacular. Jaw drops, a tear wells up in your eye. Did I just do that??

These are the kind of choices that you can expect to come across in Mass Effect 3, the final installment in a trilogy by Edmonton’s BioWare Studios, for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. Continue reading

How Video Games are Changing Education [Infographic]

Educational GamesHere’s a cool infographic from a while back that highlights the connection between video games and real life skills. It connects a host of games to skills in Literacy, Logic, Communication, History, Mathematics and more. Examples include educational classics such as Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, Oregon Trail and Sim City, to modern titles like LittleBigPlanet, Angry Birds, and Brain Age. And of course you can’t forget Minesweeper. Some benefits are well known, such as improving hand-eye coordination, but other are a bit more surprising, such as: Continue reading

Are casual gamers done with social gaming giant Zynga?

Farmville Social GamingYou come home from work, hang up your jacket, sit at the computer and immediately load up FarmVille or Mob Wars. If this sounds like more like a blast from the past than your current routine, then you’re not alone. New research from IHS shows that the present state of Facebook social gaming is not all that rosy. For example, 2009 saw huge gains and by the end of 2010, about 50 percent of all active Facebook users played casual games. However, the absolute number of gamers stagnated as Facebook signups increased; and by the end of 2011, the proportion playing social games was dramatically cut in half, to 25 percent, while Zynga users dropped from 275 to 225 million over the same period. Zynga also had their recent $100M bid turned away by Game Closure, who have an advanced SDK allowing cross-platform, multiplayer HTML5 gaming.

So what caused the decline in popularity? Did we just get all farmed out, or move onto other sources of entertainment? Continue reading

Joustin’ Beaver Review

Joustin' BeaverJoustin’ Beaver for Android and iOS looks to cash in on Bieber Fever, giving Bieber fans a buck-toothed version of the Canadian sensation.

Joustin Beaver Review
Platform: Android / iOS (Android reviewed)

Developer: RC3
Genre: Arcade & Action
Version: 1.2
Price: $0.99
Released: February 3, 2012
Size: 10 MB

Despite being served a cease and desist order from the real Biebs, RC3 looks to serve up their own Android and iPhone action (and hopefully some Beaver Fever) with the lush-haired, lance-toting rodent Joustin’ Beaver. But will Bieber Beaver sink or swim? I played the game to see what his lawyers are so worked up about:

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Mass Effect 3 release date to be early…and from space

BioWare has decided to give a few lucky fans copies of Mass Effect 3 a week before the official release date and, much like the coming of the Reapers in the game, they will arrive from space. The demo is already out for Xbox Live and PSN, with the full game due in stores March 6 for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. If you’re new to the series, here’s 10 reasons why you should play the game. Mass Effect 3 will also feature a 4-player co-op mode over Xbox Live and PSN, a first for the series, Continue reading

10 reasons you need to play Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3

After playing the Mass Effect 3 demo, I can tell you that it will be one hell of a ride. Ever since playing the first Mass Effect on Xbox 360 and finding out that, what seemed to be a minor choice at the time, actually resulted in the permanent death of a team member (yes, this person is still dead in Mass Effect 2 and 3), I’ve been hooked. Not only the persistence in story, but a beautiful, futuristic world that Edmonton-based BioWare Studio has created makes me eager to come back and finish what I started. Here are 10 reasons why Mass Effect 3 is the must-play game of 2012: Continue reading