• Your one stop for college news and resources!

Katy Hollingsworth

Katy is a 23 year old graduate of Texas State University, with a bachelor’s in Mass Communications. She specializes in writing and editing in video games journalism and is an avid PC gamer. Currently located in Seattle, WA, Katy lives with her boyfriend and cat and enjoys everything in the horror genre.

Is This The Last Generation of Consoles?

Is this the last generation of consoles? Some analysts believe that consoles are a dying breed.

Two years ago, many industry analysts were of the opinion that the console was a dying breed, and Sony was a dinosaur for putting out another. With the current gen only eight months old, are there really gamers calling for new systems already? More importantly, are the PS4 and Xbox One the last of their kind, putting an end to the multiple generations of consoles?

According to IGN, PS4’s Mark Cerny expressed his concerns that many people are beginning to wonder if this is the beginning of the end. He doesn’t agree, and thinks its “ludicrous” how many people are discussing the end of a console generation that has just begun.

However, Gamer Headlines notes that many have a point in hoping that the console generations are coming to an end. On their Facebook, someone commented: “I hope it is. Both consoles are the same. It’s just marketing that has made people believe one is better than the other. We have one with games and less hype, and one with all the hype and nothing to play. You’ve probably seen it before. Greatness awaits….and waits… and waits.”

While both consoles may have striking similarities that make it hard to decide which to buy, the range of games on both and the method in which those games are introduced are remarkably different. Sony launched right away with a pretty decent array of titles, whereas most of our hype for Xbox didn’t really get rolling until E3 earlier this year.

What do you think? Are you hoping for another console generation, or are you hoping that this is the last generation? What would you like to see in the next round of systems?

GameStop Incentivises Pre-Orders With Exclusive Content

GameStop is planning to get up close and personal with developers in order to incentivise pre-orders at their stores.

GameStop doesn’t have the best reputation for prices in the gaming industry. Moreover, with online distributors like Amazon, Green Man Gaming, and Steam, brick and mortar stores are having an even more difficult time getting gamers in the door. Likewise, digital downloads have become increasingly popular as gamers enjoy the luxury of having their purchase immediately available.

While GameStop may not be ready to challenge digital purchases, they are looking to get their fair share of the pre-order pool by adding their own exclusive content to purchases. Alien: Isolation is a perfect example in that you can only receive the Last Survivor content through GameStop pre-orders.

In a note to investors originally caught by The Verge, GameStop is “…getting involved at the time of game development where there could be some content exclusive to [the retailer] included in the game.”

GameStop is seeking exclusive content for both digital and physical purchases of games; let’s hope that we aren’t moving into a future where a digital copy has one exclusive bonus and a physical copy has a completely different exclusive bonus.

What do you think? How do you feel about GameStop sticking its fingers in game development? Will you starting checking out exclusive GameStop content before making a pre-order commitment?

Deliver Us From Evil Review: Wait for Netflix

I don’t even know if it’s heading to Netflix, but you’d be better off waiting for it than seeing it in theaters.

Deliver Us From Evil was a movie I was dying to see after catching a glimpse of the trailers online. It looked scary in the most gritty, horrifying sort of way. The preview featured a variation of The Grudge girl’s noise (that I still cannot bear to hear) and has scary demon-possessed people. Plus, Eric Bana. What’s not to like?

Unfortunately, a lot.

This was easily the biggest bummer I’ve experienced this year. Even Oculus had more going for it in terms of retaining interest during the film. Though Bana did bring a lot to the table with this role and his work was pretty decent, there were a lot of elements that left me wondering what the hell this movie was trying to be.

I went in expecting a horror film. I won’t lie, I was ready to be scared out of my mind and to have trouble sleeping that night. Unfortunately I was graced with neither of these things; instead, I was fuming by the time we were done.
Eric Bana plays the role of an NYPD officer named Sarchie who experiences hunches about bad things happening as he’s doing rounds with his partner. After a creepy experience in a zoo after hours, Bana is taken on a rollercoaster ride of trying to find some guy possessed by a demon after his tour in Iraq.

The movie spends so much time trying to build relationships between Bana and his partner or the priest that the entire reason I went to see the movie (to be scared) was drowned out by long, boring conversations about past events that had no effect on the film after their initial mention.

Bana apparently has anger issues, but they don’t really translate into past or previous events outside of the story he tells about his anger issues. It’s very confusing and leaves me wondering what exactly we were trying to accomplish; Bana isn’t more relatable because of this and his inner burdens don’t really provide any insight to the viewers as we watch the film.

Moreover, the reasons behind most of the demon’s actions are left completely untouched (the film even mentions that we won’t know the true reason behind primary evil), but it felt like a cheap scapegoat that the filmmakers used so they didn’t have to explain certain events. They were apparently too busy trying to get us to like Bana and feel his feels. I get that the uncertainty of why is supposed to be creepy and unsettling, but I was so distracted by everything else they tried to stuff into this film that it didn’t creep me out or unsettle me at all; it left me frustrated.

Without any spoilers, the movie attempts to make clumsy genre shifts that don’t lend any meaning or depth. We start out in the horror branch, which is great—exactly what I expected and desired. There was some… decent humor. It wasn’t as well done as the intermittent snarks in, say, The Avengers, but it did add some flavor to some otherwise boring moments.  But then we move into an action sort of sequence, then some self-reflective motivational crap with an ex-cokehead priest and a demonized painter. After the first hour, I was pretty done with the entire thing.

I wouldn’t recommend seeing it in theaters. I’d probably wait for Hulu or Netflix.

New Study Shows 'Avid Omni Gamers' on the Rise

A new study shows that the “avid omni gamer” is the only segment in gaming to grow since 2013.

According to a recent NPD Group study, the “avid omni gamer”–a gamer who plays multiple games on multiple platforms–was the only gaming segment to see growth since 2013. The segment saw a 16% increase, replacing casual gamers as the second largest segment from last year.

Though a majority of the growth could be attributed to mobile game sales and the rising popularity of mobile gaming, I have to wonder how much of the drive comes from exclusives on competing consoles. For example, the PS4 and Xbox One each have their respective exclusives at and after launch. How many gamers are buying and playing on both platforms in order to have access to all exclusives?

Since the Xbox One and PS4 both launched in 2013, the increase in multi-platform gamers makes sense. However, 71% are reporting using their phones to play video games.

Are you on avid omni gamer? What devices do you play your games on? Have you ever bought a console just for the exclusives?

Nostromo Edition Announced for Alien: Isolation, Starring Original Alien Cast

Sigourney Weaver and the original Alien crew will be included in the bonus content for Alien: Isolation pre-orders.

Excited for Alien: Isolation? You should be. It’s hyped to be one of the hottest survival horror games of the year, and with the recent announcement of additional bonus content, the hype may not be too far off.

SEGA announced that the original actors from Alien will be featured in the bonus content for pre-orders, called Crew Expendable. Voice-acted by the original cast, Crew Expendable allows you to play as Ripley, Dallas, or Parker. You’ll work with Lambert and Ash to try and escape the nightmare of the Nostromo and trap the alien in the airlock.

If you pre-order from Gamestop, you’ll receive Last Survivor, which takes you through the ending of Alien as Ripley tries to escape on the Narcissus by activating the self-destruct system of the Nostromo. Unfortunately, pre-orders from other retailers and outlets such as Steam only contain the Crew Expendable content. You have to pre-order from GameStop for Last Survivor.

If you haven’t watched Alien or Aliens yet, you definitely should before October 7th. The game will release for Xbox One, PS4,  Windows, Xbox 360 and the PS3. Pre-orders are available now.

Should Nintendo Allow Real Communication in Mario Kart? Probably Not

For anyone who’s played Mario Kart 8, you’re well aware that the game won’t allow you to speak in public multiplayer lounges. You can as long as it’s a lounge created by you for playing with people on your friends list, but if you’re just looking for some anonymous multiplayer fun, well, you’re given Nintendo’s preset messages to use in between games.

But why?

Penny Arcade’s most recent comic about Mario Kart 8 sums it up pretty well. I play with my boyfriend from time to time, and we absolutely rage at the amount of red shells and blue shells that the AI get. That’s just in our living room, yelling at each other (why does second place get a red shell right before the finish line, anyway?). Could you imagine having the freedom to yell at total strangers, some under 15? Tears would be had. Many tears.

But that’s just in the lounge. Anyone who has played also knows that there’s no talking, even to friends, in the actual match. All conversation has to happen in the lounge beforehand. I think most players understand why this is the system and why Nintendo probably isn’t going to change it any time soon.

Nintendo’s lack of trust is probably justified

Let’s admit it. When someone hits you with a red shell and you’re in first place two seconds before the finish line, then passes you to take the win, you’re going to have some choice words for them. But even in the middle of the race and you blue spark off Special Cup’s Rainbow Road for the millionth time, choice words are to be had.

Gamers all over are downloading Skype and Google Hangouts to their phones and tablets just to talk to each other during the match. Conotrolled communication was a good call on Nintendo’s part, for sure. They’re a company that prides themselves on being completely family friendly and appropriate for all ages.

It is unfortunate, however, that the behavior of gamers online is taking us down the path of hand-holding and kindergarten playground monitoring to make sure we aren’t shoving each other off the swing set.  Most 3DS owners are aware of the cases where people would send lewd and sexual pictures through the 3DS message system—even though a good chunk of 3DS owners are kids. Think Nintendo is going to allow that on their Wii U? I’m pretty sure no one does; not with how hard Nintendo is working to see the Wii U actually turn a profit.

What do you think? Is Nintendo’s system one that should be implemented in other areas of online gaming, or is it just a little too heavy-handed? Should there be an opt-in feature for voice chat in Mario Kart 8? 

PAX South Tickets On Sale Now

Though 3-day badges are sold out, individual days are still available

Penny Arcade Expo (better known as PAX) will be headed to Texas come January 2015 for their PAX South weekend. 

Tickets are currently on sale at $30 a pop, and though 3-day badges are sold out, individual days are still available. Tickets tend to sell out very quickly, so if you’re interested in going this year, you should register immediately at on the PAX website.

To prevent scalpers from reselling tickets for 10x the face value, PAX-goers can register up to four tickets per transaction. So if you want to attend with friends, they should register on their own with their own credit card to prevent your transactions from being flagged. Suspicious transactions will most likely be canceled.

PC Developers May Find This Interesting: Microsoft Releases a Bare Kinect for Windows

Microsoft is releasing a bare Kinect for PC at $199.

PC developers (and gamers who develop) may be interested in Microsoft’s latest Kinect offering.

The Kinect v2 is a bare Kinect for PC that recognizes voice, movement, and gestures just like it does on the Xbox. However, this Kinect does not ship with any software, meaning developers can create unique interface apps in languages such as C++, C#, VB.Net, Cx, and Javascript. The Kinect v2 will ship July 15th.

The pricetag of $199 may be a point of contention for some consumers however, given that it’s double the difference between the Kinect-less Xbox One and the Xbox One/Kinect bundle.

Select Xbox Users Can Upgrade to Xbox One and Get $75 Digital Credit

Microsoft tempts select 360 owners to upgrade their consoles with $75 digital credit

Xbox 360 owners looking for a reason to upgrade to current-gen may have one. Microsoft is offering current 360 owners an upgrade to the One with a $75 voucher with the purchase of an Xbox One or Xbox One Bundle.

Spotted by a NeoGAF user after powering up their 360, the voucher is valid between July 7th and July 31st. Microsoft may be sending this voucher to select users only, though the criteria for selection is currently unknown.

After Microsoft’s impressive show at E3 earlier this year (90 straight minutes of games), this offering comes as a bold move to get 360 users on the current-gen for the third and fourth quarter. With the upcoming Halo Master Chief Collection on the horizon, Xbox users are having a hard time finding reasons not to upgrade.