8th April 2011

The Conspiracies Are True

Reminder: You have two days left to apply to be one of 20 media professionals at Anita Ondine’s groundbreaking Transmedia Lab on April 28-29, presented by Merging Media Productions and CMPA-BC.
Deadline: MiGS 2011 Speaker Deadline is Monday. Get your proposals in now.
Register: Toronto Startup Weekend is June 3 – 5th.
Launch: Firefox 4 and Mozilla’s Vancouver Office Launch Party is on April 15th

Funcom and EA have released a new Secret World video – and apparently all of those conspiracy theories are … true …

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

Also new today from EA Sports is the SSX franchise re-launch video for the upcoming Deadly Descents.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

Ludia and Disney-ABC Domestic Television today announced the availability of the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire game on Facebook platform, giving a true-to-TV experience with thousands of Ludiaquestions and hundreds of categories from the “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” TV show, complete with authentic theme music. Based on the exciting and unpredictable “shuffle” format of randomized questions seen on the hit TV game show, players can now enjoy a multiplayer experience with friends and other Millionaire fans across North America on Facebook.

Contestants simultaneously compete to correctly answer ten multiple choice trivia questions from various categories, with the ability to use the “Jump The Question” lifeline for a stumper question as well as use their Facebook friends as lifelines to earn bonus points and increase their chances of winning. The champion of the multiplayer “Round 1” goes on to play a “Classic Millionaire” round of four questions, each with a progressively higher dollar value that leads to the simulated $1,000,000 grand prize.Assassin's Creed Brotherhood

Congratulations to Ubisoft, who came out as big winners at last night’s MI6 Game Marketing Awards, hosted by California-based PromaxBDA, an international association for entertainment marketing professionals. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood picked up the following medals:

Gold Medal Best GamePlay Footage Trailer for “Enter Rome” Single-Player Gameplay Trailer
Gold Medal Best Product Packaging
Gold Medal Best Limited Edition or Collector’s Edition
Gold Medal Best Swag for the “Doctor Jack-in-the-Box” Collectible
Silver Medal Outstanding Promotional Trailer for its E3 trailer
Bronze Medal Best Co-Branding & Video Asset by Gamestop TV, Harlequin Doodle Dandy and Ubisoft

Ubisoft’s Splinter Cell franchise also won two Bronze Medals, the first for Best Use Of Online Media or Use Of Online Social Media Marketing for Splinter Cell: The Search for Sam Fisher (by Liquid Marketing), and the second for Splinter Cell Conviction “Set in Stone” Buzz Tactic in the Most Effective Buzz Creation category.

Not to be left out, Ubisoft’s Your Shape Fitness Evolved: Boot Camp Pre-Launch Campaign picked up a Bronze NBA Jam for the WiiMedal for Most Effective Viral Marketing/Promotion and a Gold Medal for YourShape Fitness Evolved: Outtakes (Pereira & O’Dell) in the Best Work Never Seen category.

EA Sports NBA Jam picked up a Bronze Medal for NBA Jam in the Standout Print Advertisement category while Bioware’s Mass Effect 2 won a Silver Medal in the Best Online Take-over/Road Block/Rich Media Unit for Mass Effect 2 – Diorama produced by draftfcb San Francisco & Wieden+Kennedy

Speaking of awards shows, the voice over community is banding together in an effort for their industry to be recognized at the Oscars, which currently recognizes just four acting awards for live action. Animated films are eligible for the Best Picture and Animated Feature Film categories but there is no category to honour the voice actors in these films.

Canadian company Voices.com initiated the idea for a change to the Oscars program on their Facebook Group. When the company asked if talent were willing to not only talk the talk but also walk the walk and sign a petition lobbying for a voice over performance category, the fan-base gave them a resounding thumbs-up.

“Our initial research shows that many people are in support of the Academy Awards introducing a category for voice over performance,” says Stephanie Ciccarelli, Voices.com Chief Marketing Officer. “We were amazed by the outpouring of support in our endeavor to get the ball rolling in this regard. Recognition in the form of an Oscar for voice actors not only acknowledges their work at this level but also esteems voice acting and its significant contribution to film.”

The purpose of the petition is to achieve recognition for actors who perform behind the scenes. Outstanding voice over performances breathe life into animated films thereby creating iconic characters that are memorable, lovable and real. Recognizing the art of voice acting by designating a voice over performance category for voice actors in the Oscars could result in the fulfillment of many collective dreams.

ubisoftUbisoft and Gatorade have announced a new partnership to deliver a workout series designed specifically for fitness athletes for Ubisoft’s popular video game Your Shape: Fitness Evolved. Gatorade enlisted the talents of celebrity-trainer Gunnar Peterson to develop a workout series created around the G Series™ FIT, their new line of innovative products for fitness athletes. The Gatorade-inspired workouts are available to download now for free on the Xbox LIVE marketplace.

The ‘G Series FIT Workout with Gunnar Peterson’ offers personalized training sessions with one of the country’s top celebrity and athlete trainers and the workout plan is designed to inspire and fuel the inner athlete in everyone. The downloadable workout plan includes a 30-minute full-body toning program, and introduces new exercises including jumping jacks, squat raises, lunges, and other new moves that integrate free weights and dumbbells.

Your Shape: Fitness Evolved is available exclusively on Kinect™ for Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system. G Series FIT was developed specifically for fitness athletes to provide fuel, fluid and nutrients before, during and after a workout. The products, each inspired by fitness athletes and designed by Gatorade, are currently available nationwide.

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8th April 2011

Swarm Review – Momma knows best

Hothead GamesLet the heavens rejoice after 5 years in development  Hothead Games has released Swarm. Swarm is a amazing downloadable action platformer game for  XBLA and PSN.

It’s about a gigantic blue worm that lands on a nasty planet and it’s up to you to control a team of 50 little “Swarmites” at once through 11 levels, collecting points and DNA to help grow “Momma”, get her a new hat and leave the planet. There is one catch though; this path is full of things that burn, trap, electrify and decapitate your swarmiteswarm at every point and you get glorious points added to your score for it. All you have to do is make it through the level with at least one Swarmite in order  to return to Momma. Momma has lots of  Swarmites spawn points throughout the levels so if they die, Momma spawns more. This can be helpful because there are points in the game that require you to have a certain number in order for the higher point value orbs to appear.

You are rewarded in this game for the collection of things that look like nucleus and DNA. The more you collect in swarma row helps fill a multiplier which can greatly add to your score, but in a cruel twist, deaths of your Swarmites also add to it. So if your multiplier looks like it’s running out you can just kill off some of your swarm to keep it up. This is the game’s primary mechanic, as you find that most obstacles you encounter or crates to open just happen to kill off some of your happy blue buddies. At the end of the level your amount of Swarmite deaths are calculated up and put towards progressive death medals and the worldwide death total. Deaths in the level also have death medals but are only rewarded when the last 10 of your Swarm encounter the same deadly fate.

The game gets progressively harder and (easier if you replay earlier levels) as you get better at controlling your swarm and there are even two boss battles that are unlocked by collecting enough DNA.

Some of the awesome things you can get your swarm to do include moves such as jump, dash, huddle together and stack on each other as well as pick up and throw explosives. Sometimes your Swarmites will pick each other up when picking up explosives, leading to some hilarious deaths.Swarm Level

The game’s length is 6-8 hours but with the leaderboards, achievements and the constant questioning of Momma asking “Why can’t you be more like (Insert friend’s gamer tag here)”  the replay value is high. Here’s hoping there is more Swarm content coming.

Hothead Games has taken an old convention that games punish you if you die, turning it around so that death is rewarding. Congratulations to Hothead for taking an original idea and making it shine. If you’re looking for a fun, original type of game don’t let this one pass you by cause you wouldn’t want to disappoint Momma – plus it would make a great gift for any video game loving mom (Mother’s Day is coming up) and you know that would score some serious points.

Swarm is on  XBLA (Xbox Live Arcade) for 1200 MS Points and PSN (Playstation Network store) for $14.99 Released on March 22nd 2011 by Hothead Games, Swarm is rated T for Teen by the ESRB.

Review by: Twisted Majic

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posted in Action Adventure, Casual, Game Reviews, National News, New Releases, Platform, Puzzle, Teen By: | Print This Post Print This Post

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