Tag Archives: Microsoft

Lets Play | Halo Wars: Definitive Edition | 3v3 Skirmish


GSN – Episode 19 (The Soapbox)


Big Boss is back in the studio with Factor, Blue, and Merc, and we look into the project scorpio revealed specs, The Mass Effect patch and LGBT issue, and did you know that you do not technically own games when you buy them? Neither did we!

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Halo Wars 2 Review

128094bIn 2559, after the end of the Human-Covenant War, Captain James Cutter, Professor Anders, and the crew aboard the Spirit of Fire wake from cryosleep above the Ark, where the Halo rings were manufactured. Unaware of the past 28 years, they receive a signal from the Ark. There, a Spartan team encounter an alien group known as the Banished, led by Atriox, a Brute sent on suicide missions for the Covenant and excommunicated for his growing hatred of them. An artificial intelligence, Isabel, is recovered from a destroyed UNSC research base on the Ark. However, during the ex-filtration, Alice-130 is left behind and Douglas-042 is injured.

Back on the Spirit of Fire, Isabel reveals to the crew that the portal to Earth from the Ark had closed five months ago, with Atriox invading four months later, and denounces the hopelessness of their situation and the futility of fighting such a ferocious enemy when the ship is so woefully outmatched. Emboldened by Captain Cutter, the crew declare war upon the Banished. A strike team, including Spartans, ODSTs and soldiers, manage to set up a forward base and defeat Decimus, a chief lieutenant who is salvaging the Ark’s resources. Decimus escapes and orders a bombardment upon his own base. Upon investigating the wreckage, Isabel discovers information about the Cartographer, a map of key systems and weapons upon the Ark. The team secures a Forerunner elevator and ascend to the Cartographer.

Meanwhile, Alice-130 contacts the Spirit of Fire and escapes the Ark with numerous recovered UNSC prisoners. The team, including Professor Anders, reach the Cartographer’s Map Room despite attacking Sentinels. There, she discovers that Atriox has hijacked the Ark’s portal network, allowing him to transport troops across the whole structure. While trying to shut down the portal network, the team face Decimus again and defeat him for the second and final time. Meanwhile, the Spirit of Fire comes under attack from a Banished carrier, the Enduring Conviction. Professor Anders suggests that they create a Halo using the Ark’s protocols to transport the crew away from the Ark and back into UNSC controlled space. The attacking carrier is destroyed when Isabel and Jerome-092 hijack its weapon systems to prompt the Sentinels stationed on the Ark to shatter it in two.

The Spirit of Fire releases the new Halo ring, but face immediate resistance upon it from the Brutes. Back on the Ark, Alice and Douglas capture a Scarab to destroy Brute barricades and prevent reinforcements, including Atriox, from reaching the Halo; they then use the portal network to reach the Halo themselves. There, Professor Anders is escorted to the ring’s control room, where the firing system of the structure is deactivated and a signal beacon is set. Meanwhile, the team are locked in a struggle with the remnants of the Banished’s forces, including numerous Scarabs. While within the Halo structure, Anders finds the gravity controls for the Halo. Using this, she separates the land that the remaining Banished are standing on and tosses it into space where it disintegrates. The ground forces return to the Spirit of Fire, but Anders and the Halo enter slipspace. Meanwhile, back on the Ark, Atriox and a legion of Banished still live, preparing for the next fight against the UNSC.

The Fan Review Score is: FANTASTIC (44% of Fan Vote)

Excellent: 44% | Good: 22% | Average: 17% | Poor: 17%

E3 2016: Gears of War 4 Co-Op Gameplay, Elite Controller and Cross Platform Play

The Coalition took the stage first at the Microsoft E3 Press Conference and showed off a number of things, including a new trailer with Marcus! They also announced that Gears of War 4 will be cross platform with Windows 10! They also showed the Gears of War 4 Elite Wireless Controller which will be released in October. We are still waiting on pricing for the new controller!

Gears of War 4 Official Release Date

Microsoft and The Coalition Game Studios have announced that the latest game in the franchise will be releasing worldwide on Xbox One on October 11th 2016. The Beta will start on April the 18th for everyone, and on April the 15th for Gears of War Ultimate Edition owners.

Gears of War 4 marks the beginning of an epic new saga for one of gaming’s most celebrated franchises, as a new band of heroes rises to confront a fearsome new threat. Harkening back to the dark and intense roots of the original classic, fans can expect a familiar, yet distinct evolution of gameplay, including brutal and intimate action, a heart-pounding campaign, genre-defining multiplayer and stunning visuals powered by Unreal Engine 4.


Minecraft: Education Edition Announced

If you thought that playing to much Minecraft was problematic for your child, you may want to re-think it. Microsoft has announced that they have purchased MinecraftEDU and will release a new version of Minecraft, “Dedicated to learning”. MinecraftEDU was a program created by teachergaming used in 40 different countries to help children learn and be creative using the tools and world of Minecraft. Those who purchased MinecraftEDU will get the first year of Minecraft: Education Edition for free.

“Of course, every Minecraft player learns essential life-skills like tree-punching and good Creeper-defense but, when used in the right way, Minecraft can help people around the world to learn lots more,” Mojang’s Owen Hill said in a new release

Minecraft: Education Edition can be purchased by schools, libraries, museums, and those in nationally recognized home-school programs. Further eligibility details are available here.

A Free trial for the game will be available this summer. The games vast landscape of MODS will not be available for the Education Edition.

“It’s going to be a collaborative thing,” Mojang said. “Development of Minecraft: Education Edition will be shaped by a community of educators thanks to education.minecraft.net. The site will host lesson plans and give Minecraft: Education Edition users somewhere to discuss ideas and provide feedback. We know teachers can be a rowdy bunch, so we’re looking into the best ways to moderate the forums as I type. Wish us luck.”

Gears of War 4 Release Date Moved Up!

Those of you, like me, that are BIG Gears of War fans will be very happy to hear that during a live stream, a Microsoft representative announced that Gears of War 4 will move from a “Holiday 2016” title to a “Fall 2016” title. This means it would move out of the holiday window of October, November, and December and possibly into a late August or September time frame. Either way I am excited as this is my most anticipated game of the new year!

Throw Back Thursday – Mega Man 2


For this weeks Throw Back Thursday were going with a Plat-former/Shooter and one of the more challenging game franchises of the 8-32 bit era. The “Mega Man” franchise (Rock Man as it’s called in Japan) was one of Capcom’s first games release straight to console for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The series is known for its challenging game-play and memorable music. The series has always provided great action and excitement for players and high replay-ability in the form on speed runs, no-hit play through’s, and no-power-up use. The Japanese names for the main characters are all musical references, for example Rock Man and is sister Roll, his “older brother” Proto Man is called Blues, and rivals Bass and Treble being called Forte and Gospel. While sale numbers of the first game weren’t that impressive, Capcom was convinced enough by them and their developers to press on with Mega Man 2 and from there it was a massive success. Having spawned over 50+ games in a franchise (that’s including spin off’s, portables and remastered versions) that include The Mega Man X, Mega Man Legends, Mega Man Battle Network, and the Mega Man Zero series just to name the more popular ones and a history that’s been going for more than 25 years.



INTERESTING FACT #1 – Mega Man’s nickname as “The Blue Bomber” comes from his blue colored body as you probably figured on your own. What you probably don’t know is that the only reason he was colored blue is because the NES had a slightly larger color pallet of blue compared to all the other colors and the developers wanted him to be very distinguishable from the other Robot Masters


The story of any one game if this franchise isn’t so important in the immediate sense. This franchise is all about the action and challenge of the game-play A quick overly is that in the first Mega Man your creator Dr. Light and his partner Dr. Wily create the the first sentient robot (Proto Man) and become world famous. After this they make 2 more as helpers (Rock as a aid and his sister Roll for cleaning) in the lab and make 6 for doing dangerous activity for humanity. Dr. Wily get jealous and tired of living in Dr. Lights shadow and reprograms and steals the 6 Robot Masters and tries to take over the world with them. Rock volunteers to stop them and is modified into the super fighting robot Mega Man. In the starting of the 2nd game, a quick intro before starting the game states states “After being defeated, Dr. Wily builds 8 more, newer and more powerful Robot Masters to defeat Mega Man and get his revenge”. That’s it, nothing more to it, at least not in this specific game. The story builds with each additional title in the franchise. After defeating his 8 Robot Masters, you take on Dr. Wily’s fortress and battle him himself, were after defeat he surrenders, you are then treated to the ending, games credits, and get a “THANK YOU FOR PLAYING” message before being taken back to the mail title for another go at it.
INTERESTING FACT #2 – Mega Man 1 is the only game in the franchise to have a Scoring System. Later titles have Grading System, that didn’t appear till 9 and 10 on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.


The basic controls are simple, The D-Pad controls your movement, one button jumps and another shoots. When you defeat a Robot Master you get its power as a new weapon. Use of it is limited but it can be refilled with large or small blue tanks dropped by defeated enemies. Sometimes these powers will open up different paths along a level or can simple make it easier to get past a difficult area. You can also collect “E Tanks” throughout different levels. These are usable at any time and will refill your health completely, but are gone when used but be warned: there’s only a few spread throughout the entire game. The franchise has a interesting “Paper, Rocks, Scissors” aspect to it. When you defeat a Robot Master, you get its power, which can defeat another one with ease. The problem is that there is nothing to help you chose where to start other than their names or to help you figure out their weakness. Some of them are obvious, like Bubble Man’s beats Heat Man, others will make you wounder why that actually works at all. Yes you can use the internet nowadays, but I suggest giving it a try on your own first as that’s part of the main fun of the game and also that there isn’t any one order to tackle the Robot Master in for any of the games. The levels vary greatly in design, sound, and can be challenging on there own. When starting a new stage, your powers are refilled fully, except when you start Dr. Wily’s fortress, from there its consider as one constant play action so you’ll have to remember to refill your powers regularly with the blue tanks. The game lacks a saving feature, but has a password recovery system that’s quick and easy to use.
INTERESTING FACT #3 – Most of Mega Man’s Robot Masters weren’t created by the developers, but a lot of them were made by Mega Man’s own fans. Capcom held contest where fans would submit their creations by mail and a few lucky were selected and had them Robot Masters put into the games with their personal names in the credits of the title. This was started with Mega Man 3 and has happened with at least 9 games that I’m positive of.


The Mega Man franchise’s long-term effects are massive. Mega man 2 pushed the NES hardware to limits that no one had previously before when it was released. it spawned a few knockoffs games in its time but they never stole any of the franchises thunder. The franchise was one of the few that managed to grow with the constantly changing market and industry of the 90’s, with Capcom releasing the Mega Man X series on the SNES, with Mega Man X 4 – 6 being some of the best selling games on the PlayStation, which was quite a feat then for any 2D title to outselling any 3D title of that time. And with 2D games seemingly having vanished from home consoles when the millennium started, Mega Man games moved to the portable market and dominated the GameBoy Advance with the releases of the Mega Man Battle Network and Mega Man Zero series. With modern Indie game makers releasing 2D games that are every bit as good as many of gaming past titles and Capcom’s recent release of Mega Man Legacy Collection, plus with Keiji Inafune’s Mighty No.9 (considered Mega Man’s creator as he did the art work for Mega Man and most of the franchise’s main characters) release only a few months away, its easy to see that the Blue Bombers effects on gaming have been large and will continue for years to come.

INTERESTING FACT #4 – The musical themed names continued, inadvertently, with the localization of Mega Man X5 in North America. Alyson Court (known for her voice work as character Clair Redfield in the “Resident Evil” games), who worked on the project, admitted on her twitter in late April of 2011 that she changed the names of the Mavericks to references members of the rock band Guns N’ Roses because her husband at that time was a big fan of the group.
Mega Man 2 is one of the best 8-bit games and probably the best place for newer players of the franchise to start as the very first title is extremely difficult and akin to a NES “Dark Souls” by comparison. I personally love Mega Man 2 and 3 the most and have them on my 3DS and Wii U for fast and quick game fixes that I still love as much today as I did growing up. So hop on your system of choice and download this game to your library and enjoy this killer title. It’ll be a great warm-up for Mighty No.9 and will probably lead you to the other great games of the franchise, all staring the Blue Bomber himself.