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NBA 2k16 was free to play during the weekend

So I decided to give it a go, for I remembered that it had a story mode that was written and directed by legendary film maker Spike Lee. But as you would have guessed, the whole thing ended up falling short and becoming kind of a really really underwhelming experience. It felt around the lines of having some random person putting random footage from a random film in between basketball matches. Yeah it was pretty cringe worthy to see how little effort they put into making it all feel as one, but then again, this is an actual basketball simulator, so can you really blame them. Though the mode didn’t live up anywhere close to it’s expectations it opened up a whole new world of what ifs, that I doubt 2K Games will ever explore. A new game that most AAA companies do not dare too attempt to create, My Story has the opportunity to be greater, to be it’s own game and do for this generation what Tony Hawk Underground did for its own.

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Though there was so much promise of what it could of been

My Story left me and many a like disappointed on how the whole thing ended up playing out, because the majority of the scenes ended up being of the characters just sitting down and talking there way through the whole experience, right after  random basketball matches as mentioned above, but I will say, the scripts dialogue was on point. The high school and college years where too short for there own good and the story was missing so much, that basically they ended up just writing it into the dialogue. You never get to see what events occur, you only get to here the actors in the cut scenes explain them to you, but it would of been nice to live them out. The whole experience was lacking, I can’t mention it enough. But oh how it was a little taste of something that could be so delicious, something that can be it’s own thing, something I need. Something we need, something gaming needs, something fresh.

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We need a game like this, GTA meets Tony Hawks Underground

No violence just an open world with a brilliant story such as the one Spike Lee had written that we can roam and explore.  Because sometimes a free world can make a game with so little feel so massive, Red Dead Redemption for example, It had a story, but the world didn’t have much in it or to it, it had the same side missions and was pretty repetitive even though people would dare to admit it, but it was so satisfying some how. And that’s what we need from NBA 2k My story. Make the setting around the main protagonists neighborhood, have it all play out at the local high school and the community college, A story about a boy and his struggle, things go wrong and he ends up having to play his dreams out in community college, but somehow, even though his dreams where destroyed after a tragic accident, he ends up making the best of it and coming on top and into the NBA. Have a pick up and play experience around the high school and local parks basketball courts, have hang out spot for him and his friends that are a part of the story as well. There is so much 2K games can do with this new property, but will they do it? Only time will tell. But to avoid having the whole thing being crammed into one game, make it where the character transfers to the NBA 2KA game so you could play with them on there, maybe even make a short story that coincides with the previous non simulator My Story game, that will take advantage of your characters data and customization.

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In the end as much as I was looking forward to NBA 2K16’s My Story

It was ruined by its over hype and name dropping. Because in the end you can not drop such a massive name as Spike Lee and not give him the necessary tools to blow the top off our heads off and prevent him from giving us a world shattering experience. But not all was bad, as much as the mode was out of placed I really felt like the characters and especially the parents shined, my favorite part of the experience was hearing the dialogue and seeing the characters interact with each other in the lengthy conversations we got to see them have, it was brilliant how well they played there parts. I also have to give My Story a ton of credit from straying itself from the stereotypical mess NBA Ballers was when it launched about a decade ago.And give them mad props for making it about a family, making it personal about life, I wish I could recommend people to go out of there way to play 2BA 2K16 for its My Story mode alone, but sadly that I can not do, It’s something that I know 2K games will probably drop from its future games, which makes me sad, but I am glad I got to play it, because it allowed my mind to wonder and imagine a world of a game that could one day be, no matter if 2K Games are the ones to makes it or not. All in all, Spike Lee held his end of the work and brought us a brilliant cast and story, but it wasn’t enough to carry 2K games lack of passion to make it something more then what it was and ended up being.

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Link to the vod, From you main man and FOF, Infinity Beast(Me). Parts are muted or frozen, but mostly due to pressing tab and chatting with others and copyrighted music.

http://www.twitch.tv/yoinfinitybeast/v/44936533

Tom Clancy's The Division Beta2016-1-30-9-47-4

During the Division Beta, there where many complaints

One of them being The Rogue Status. And after playing the game for nearly 20 hours, here on Epicpowergaming, a few of us found the lack of love for the Rogue status, disturbing. I remember seeing over a handful of the beta testers peeved about there in-ability to set themselves up in the world of the criminally minded in this Black Friday chaos ridden swarming wasteland. Their arguments ranging from, The difficulty and how rewards didn’t come with the risks or at least where not at all worth it. Everyone gangs up on the rogue, that’s a fact, but honestly, that is as real as it gets.

Tom Clancy's The Division Beta2016-1-29-8-34-15

In real life the bad guy never wins

The bad guy gets ganged up on, the bad guy gets caught and sent to jail or killed. You want more time, but yet you have plenty, how is it every ones fault you went all in and started guns blazing when you could of picked off people one by one, while letting your time run out and reset, basically clearing you of the rogue status. I even seen the really smart and amazing rogues try to get me to become rogue so they can pick me off for themselves and get everyone to hunt me down as they reap the rewards, strategy, your mind, USE IT.

Tom Clancy's The Division Beta2016-1-29-15-30-16

Shoot someone hide for a few seconds

go un-rogue pop up on that persons radar, they become rogue if they hit you after shooting back, kill them and bling bling. Don’t be the stereotypical whiny criminal, be intelligent sli, BE ROGUE. You may call it dirty game play, but remember! You are not playing as an agent, you are playing as a criminal and unless you are equipped for the fight and heavily crewed up, then you got to keep moving, hiding, staying 100% paranoid, because everyone wants what you have. You want things easy? like when you where camping at the extraction point? Put in some work scrub, you don’t deserve everything handed to you, but at the same time I understand the frustration.

Tom Clancy's The Division Beta2016-1-29-18-38-59

But Hopefully that frustration is set by the beta

and it’s lack of features and environment. There are a lot of things that need fixing and that can be added that would give the rogue class some much needed help, because I didn’t mean to make it sound like the rogue status is perfect during these last few paragraphs, but yeah, it’s far from that. Some real problems come around the time of when you are escaping and running from mobs. How so you may ask? well, it’s hard to run from a group of 8, that have sniper rifles and heavy artillery while running down these long one way streets that where shoved throughout the beta. I understand that this is the beta and that Hazmat areas may be the spots that will make this fair, but still, out running bullets in this game when being hunted down, is waaaay more difficult then it really needs to be.

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Yes, I agree

we keep it difficult, so people have to work to take the objects you grinded so hard on attaining, but at the same time, lets not make it impossible, because the last thing we want is a world without rogues. Having a bunch of agent buddies is all fun and stuff, but when it comes down to it, the rogues bring the excitement, the excitement we need, the excitement we love. Because nothing is better than being at the extraction with over a dozen people pointing guns at each other and rushing in when the copter arrives hoping that nothing sets off. It’s like a bar filled with anti heroes in a western, pointing guns at each other in a 12 way Mexican stand off. Well today be the day? BANG BANG!

Tom Clancy's The Division Beta2016-1-30-16-37-13

All in all

The Rogue Status and the Darkzone are some of the most satisfying and refreshing features I have had the pleasure of experiencing in a Single/Multiplayer game. It just felt so perfect for The Division, Like something that I needed, that I have been missing out on all this time. The rogue status, is what it is, a difficulty setting basically, you want to casually play be agent, you feel like playing on hard for a few minutes, go rogue, though we could use some help in making it more of a pleasing experience, so why not add mounts. Mounts ranging from dirt bikes, mountain bikes and bicycles, I even thought skateboards would be cool, but it would look pretty ridiculous when riding over snow. Help the rogue actually have a chance at escaping, over that 97% faith of death and failure, because in the end, the rewards are satisfying, you level up faster and you get a lot more swag because you are killing others who will drop there personals and or random items. The rogue status is near perfect, you want to make it an upsetting and horrible experience then that’s on you. So just go out there and have fun, enjoy yourself, it’s a apocalyptic world where everyone is out for themselves, while being burned alive by anti virus maniacs, so there will be annoyances and frustrations.

But I understand if you disagree and if so, let me know how you would go on improving the Rogue status in our comment section below, See you in the battlefield AGENT…….

Soul Saga

Soul Saga, a game that I have been very much anticipating since it’s Kickstarter launch, is finally coming to our choice of console in the near future.

How soon you ask? mid year soon, as in June 2016. Yes, we are finally going to get our hands on the very first game of the saga, all thanks to the magician, the main man himself Disaster Cake Mikey, who has put in well over 1000 hours a week. While having to deal with artist hoping from one project to the other, sometimes leaving him with more work on his plate then necessary, but even though the struggle might of made things a bit overwhelming at times, it wasn’t enough to keep him from releasing and continuing his dream of becoming a video game developer.

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The news and release date was announced in the recent Soul Saga Kickstarter Update, which announced that Soul Saga will be coming out on June 2016 for PC, Linux and Mac, with the console versions coming out soon after. The update also announced a beta update, which would allow the user to experience the airship mechanics of Soul Saga. The Soul Saga air mechanics consist of Boosting, which is basically a NOS like feature that the player can use to help them Mine and break through floating rocks in the sky, also, YES SKY MINING! wait what is that you say? That’s unbelievable? Well, wait until you hear this, you can fish with your air ship as well! AND FIGHT!

And with an airship feature, it’s a no brainer that we would be in need of an AIRSHIP SHOP!

that would allow the user to customize the airship with speed boost, weapons, health increases etc. etc. basically everything one can desire. The airship shops will be located at every air shop dock in the world.

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The best thing about Soul Saga has been the ride, especially the forums where everyone has been lovely, it’s also the place where we had the vote in the way we would love to see specific parts or physics of the game be utilized. Such as the airship fighting system, that was voted by the backers to be in real time, yes real time air ship battles. And the best part yet is that it’s still a on going part of the development, because as of right now you can help decide a race name for the goblin like creatures inside the Soul Saga universe. I came up with Squabbles for the dodo like birds 🙂 during a Twitch stream with Cakeians a few years back.

 

New features are coming to Xbox One in February

Major Nelson detailed the Xbox One enhancements that are coming to the general public in February. Xbox preview members can download these new features now, but the rest of us need to wait a month. In addition to some new features, there are some tweaks that fans have been asking to fix since the last update. Here’s what changes you can expect next month for your Xbox One

New Features
Xbox News: Now you’ll be able to see the latest information about hardware, console updates, game releases, tournaments, breaking news and more.
Compact Mode for Xbox App: The Xbox App on your PC is getting a compact mode allowing you to do other things on your PC while still having access to the top features like friends, parties, messages and notifications. You’ll be able to view a real-time friends list so there’s no need to hit refresh to see updates. When your friends share a game clip or start following a game, the interface will highlight these activities for you.
Updating Activity Feed in Xbox One: Your news feed now updates automatically allowing you to stay on top of your feed where you’ll see a run-down of the newest posts.
Sports on OneGuide: There will now be a dedicated sports area on OneGuide. From the sports section, you’ll be able to dive into live sports events from both apps and cable provider in the Watch Now and Trending on Live TV sections. You can also view the latest sports clips and highlights from Xbox One’s partners through App Channels.
Avatar Store: You can now equip your avatar with the latest avatar items in the newly-integrated Avatar Store. On the Xbox One, the store is built into the Xbox Avatars section and on Windows 10 PCs and Phones, the store is available through the Xbox Avatars app. In addition to paid items, there will be free items as well. Best of all, you’ll be able to preview the items on your avatar before you buy.

Xbox One Gamerscore Leaderboard

The Xbox One Leaderboard will be sure to show how much ass you’re kicking

Feedback Features

In addition the new features to the Xbox One dashboard, there have been tweaks influenced by user demand. It’s good to see that Microsoft is listening and implementing features that users actually want to see.

See who’s in the Party:You can already see who’s in your party in the Xbox One App, but now you’ll be able to see them on the Xbox One as well before joining the party. Pressing the “Join Party” button which appears immediately below will allow you to decide to join the party if you like who’s in it.
Gamerscore Leaderboard: Under the Achievements section under your Xbox One profile, you can now see where you stand with your friends because the Gamerscore Leaderboard is back by popular demand. Bragging rights have never been so important. You can even see your biggest gains over a rolling 30 days.
Joinable Twitch Broadcasts: In the Preview Game Hubs, alongside the spotlight tile showing whether your friends are playing a game multiplayer, you’ll see a tile enabiling you to easily launch their Twitch.TV broadcast if they’re broadcasting.
Re-Arrange Pins on Home and Access them offline: One of the features I’m personally excited about – over 3000 users have requested that Pins on the Xbox One Home would make it easier to organize. You can rearrange individual pins. Pins will also be accessible for launching from offline as long as you’re signed in.
Hide Games from “Ready to Install” list: 1000 fans asked to re-enable the ability to hide content like betas, trials, games and apps that they no longer wish to install. This feature will be added to the February update.

Preview members are already using these features and providing feedback. It’s only a matter of time before the general Xbox One user base gets access to these features. For a full detail of all features included in the February update can be viewed on Major Nelson’s site.

Looking for some video game related gifts this holiday? We here at Epicpower Gaming have compiled a list to fit any budget. While some lists will only put video games on it, we have found different gaming merchandise that will be sure to brighten up the day of the gamer in your life.
We’ve put together some pretty rad video game related gifts. We tried really hard to include everything but also wanted to keep the list limited to physical items only. I’m still on the fence about receiving digital codes as gifts. Of course there’s no rules stating that you can’t

Each of our items fall under three categories:
Budget: Under 30 dollars: perfect for stocking stuffers or secret Santa
Power: 31-80 dollars: higher quality than Budget and probably better suited for people with multiple people on their list and deeper pockets
Epicpower: 81 – ∞ dollars: You’re looking for something that’ll WOW your gamer this year and money is no object. Or you’re the step-dad looking to win over the kids this year.

Budget Items
View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Kit $24.97

Rare Replay (XBOX One) $19.99

Shovel Knight Physical Copy (3DS, PS4, Wii U) $27.00

Donkey Kong Barrel Game Card Storage$9.99

Carcassonne $22.76

Pandemic $25.00

Exploding Kittens $20.00

Forbidden Island $15.79

Witcher 3 (PS4/Xbox One) $29.99

Rocket League(PS4/PC digital code) $19.99

Power Items
Just Cause 3 (PC download) $59.99

Super Mario Maker (Wii U) $49.99

Halo 5: Guardians (Xbox One) $59.99

Xenoblade Chronicles X (Wii U) $59.96

Fallout Anthology (PC) $39.99

Steam Controller (PC) $49.99

Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword Link Figma Action Figure $36.47

Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection (PS4) $49.00

The Last of Us Remastered (PS4)$39.99

Epic Power Items
Samsung Gear VR Virtual Reality Headset (Galaxy Note5, S6 Edge+, S6 Edge, S6) $99.99

Sphero BB-8 App enabled Droid $149.99

Xbox One Pro Controller $149.99

EVGA GeForce GTX 970 Graphics card $329.00

Fallout 4 Pip Boy Edition (PC/Xbox One/PS4) $177

Thrustmaster VG TX Racing Wheel Leather Edition (Xbox One and PC) $469.97

Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 450 7.1 DTS Wireless Headphones (PC) $129.95

Fallout 4 is the game of the year! Or is it? In my opinion it really isn’t. It’s one of the top 5 that’s for sure, but given my preference, Fallout 4 isn’t my favorite. Maybe it’s because I haven’t played a Fallout game before (gasp!) or maybe it’s because I don’t really have the time to dedicate to an RPG that promises hundreds of hours of content. If you want a fanboy review of this game, there are plenty of other sites that have already given this game 10/10, 5 stars, their first born and will be happy for you to read them. If you want a first timer’s, honest and objective review of Fallout 4, please read on.

Fallout 4 really doesn’t need an introduction. It’s a game that’s set in a retro-futuristic world based off of the spotless charm of the 1950s. Imagine steampunk but instead of the Victorian era, you have the Eisenhower era instead. It’s a really neat perspective that adds some old timey fun without having to stretch so much when it comes to weaponry. There are still pistols and shotguns, but then you get ray guns and other fun weapons that turn your enemies into goo. Of course you can get this in steampunk, but the 1950s “let’s power everything with nukes” mantra makes it all the more fun. This time in Fallout 4 you play the concerned parent who wakes up after 200 years to find their partner killed and their son missing. It’s up to you to find him.

Before the War

Before the War

Before Fallout 4 came out, I bought Fallout 3 on Steam for a ridiculously low price to get my feet wet. I had already committed the 120 dollars for the Pip Boy edition, but I wanted to know for sure if I should open the game and give it a go. I’ll touch on the Pip Boy Edition later. When I played Fallout 3, I didn’t really like how the game moved slow. I was raised from a baby to a teenager all the while staying in the safety of the vault. I would have progressed farther, but Fallout 3 doesn’t play nice with Windows 8, so when I would go and punch a bully in the face, the game would crash. Game crashing bugs aren’t really my style so I assumed that I wouldn’t have any issues with the console version of Fallout 4. After all, it’s been seven years since the release of Fallout 3, so one would hope Bethesda got their stuff together and there would be minimal issues. I was wrong.

Number one rule of RPG - save early and save often. Luckily I only lost 4 minutes of play.

Number one rule of RPG – save early and save often. Luckily I only lost 4 minutes of play.

Fallout 4 is buggy. At least for the Xbox One it is.  You can tell me I deserved it for not choosing the PC Master race, but that’s really not the point. A game should work across all platforms and since the console version is the true version (the PC version is a PORT btw) it should work as intended. And let’s be clear here: I’m not talking about bugs where I get hit and I go flying off of the screen because of some silly calculation. I’m talking about game crashing, save corrupting games that seriously hinder my ability to play a game that I paid $60 hard earned dollars on.

I’m currently level 10 and have logged about 10 hours playing which way way less than my friends here at Epicpower gaming. You might notice a lack of content on the site and I can assure you, the writers are hard at work building settlements and fighting raiders in Fallout 4. In those 10 hours I have encountered 5 crashes and 1 corrupt save. Truly unacceptable for a triple A title that has been in the works for close to a decade. The bugs aren’t even caused by something I’m not supposed to be doing. The last bug was me following Dogmeat and going up some stairs. I could forgive Fallout 4 for bugging out if I tried to strafe through the map to get to an area I wasn’t supposed to be in, but for walking up the stairs?

All bugs considered, the game’s story is mysterious and non-linear. Like with Elder Scrolls, the game gives the player a ton of freedom to just roam around. You don’t have Dogmeat whispering to you every 15 minutes saying you really should be heading off to the castle to join the Minute Men. Sometimes I want to take a break from the quests of the game and just build up settlements which becomes a game unto itself.

Settlements

Settlements in Fallout 4 have the ability to bring out the creative types. If you like Minecraft, then settlements in Fallout 4 will give you something to do if you’re bored. The good news is that if you don’t like building things, Settlements aren’t 100% necessary in the game. You need to complete one quest for settlements and they can be satisfied simply by putting random objects on the ground. My garden is right next to my turrets and generators. But of course if you really want to build, the tools that are provided are really easy and translate well to the controller. Simply pick what you want to build and place it in a spot that the game will allow. Need to rotate? No problem, just pull the right or left trigger and you’re good to go. Don’t like there those melon plants are? Again, not a problem, just store the item and move it to the other side of the settlement if you want to.

you can assign settlers to garden and build

you can assign settlers to garden and build

Traveling

This game is expansive. There’s a ton to do and since I work full time, I’m lucky to get in an hour a day to play Fallout 4. I would absolutely hate this game if I couldn’t fast travel between cities that I have already been to. Fast travel is a godsend in a game like this. The wasteland is boring and dangerous. A lot of people will argue that Fast Travel ruins the immersion of the game, but when your main goal is to quest and not explore, the Fast Travel option gives you the perfect balance of speed and exploration.

Music

The music in Fallout 4 is eh. The game is made to feel desolate and lonely. The lack of music in the game plays well to the theme and the ominous score when someone is about to kick your ass makes tense moments even more so.  If you really want to listen to music, you can pick up stations with your Pip Boy and choose to blast some tunes while you battle and explore. The one thing that did bug me is that when you do have a radio station playing, you can’t hear what people are saying. This is really frustrating when you come across someone and they decide to tell you an integral part of your story. You would think your character would have the common decency to turn the music down while you talk to someone. Talk about rude.

Dialog

The Dialog in this Fallout 4 is robust and you can interact with almost everyone in the game. The only issue is that a handful of people actually give you quests. This can be frustrating as sometimes a person who you recently spoke to will just walk by as you say high and then at a later time tell you their sob story about how they need you to take out a hornet nest on the other side of the map. Talking to people in the game is fun, but only if they have something worthwhile to say. In other RPGs such as Alundra or Final Fantasy, the NPCs all at least have something worth saying even if it is just the same thing as the other guard said.

Graphics

Sweet 30fps

Sweet 30fps

The graphics in the game are on par with what Bethesda has been capable of in the past. The textures are wonderful and the scenery is photographic. The characters that you interact with have maybe 4 different gestures that gets really boring when you trigger a “cinematic” event where the character talks for the next five minutes. But if you’re buying a Bethesda game for the ultra realistic graphics, then you’re buying a Bethesda game for the wrong reasons. Many will complain that it looks like an upgraded Skyrim (because it uses the same engine) but they don’t take into account that you can pick up almost anything in the game and place it anywhere else on the map. There aren’t many graphically intensive video games that can do that.

Pip Boy Edition

Fallout 4 pip boy edition

Everything fits in a nice little package

Yes, I bought the premium Pip Boy Edition even though I’m not a diehard fan of the Fallout series. I am however a fan of video game collectables so when I saw the Pip Boy edition, I knew I had to have it even if the game turned out to be a dud.

                The Case

The case that the Pip Boy and the game come in is made of sturdy plastic. It measures about a foot wide and a foot tall and a foot deep. To open the case, there are two prongs that release the lid and opens up to your new Pip Boy. The case is lined with thick foam which is important since there is nothing protecting the game from the elements. If this were to sit on the shelf, you wouldn’t know it’s for Fallout 4. The level of detail that went into this case is amazing. Even on the bottom it says “2077 – Vault-Tec Corporation” How cool is that? This thing really looks like something that you would find in the game and Bethesda really goes all out to ensure that their collector’s editions are worth collecting.

                The Pip Boy

The Pip Boy itself is another game accurate prop. It’s made out of rigid thick plastic and for the most part is a scale replica of your Pip Boy in the game. The only complaint that I have is that it looks too new and I would have much rather had an imitation steel paint job like the Mini Nuke Fallout Anthology version does. But it is a “new” Pip Boy so I see where they were going with it. I really thought the user manual was a nice touch although I’m a bit disappointed that they have to specify what pages are satire and which are actually to operate your Pip Boy.

The Pip Boy comes with a stand for display when the Pip Boy is not in use. The cool thing about this prop is that it’s useful with the Fallout companion app. The Pip Boy fits most modern Android and iOS phones up to 5 inches. All of you with Notes and iPhone 6 Plus are out of luck. The Pip Boy fits comfortably around my wrist and provides a fun way to use the companion app, but I found it cumbersome after a while and now it’s prominently displayed on my shelf next to my Power Glove.

 

 

Overview

Fallout 4 is a pretty cool game that even a casual RPG player can jump into. I wouldn’t call myself a super hard core Fallout fan now that I have played it, but I see why people enjoy the game. It has a deep sandbox for players to pump out endless hours of content and that’s before the modifications. I’ll be interested to see what type of mods are available to Xbox One users. I doubt it’ll be as fun as the PC players, but I’m sure we’ll get something.

If you haven’t played a Fallout game before in your life, Fallout 4 is a great start. The good thing about the Bethesda games is that it’s not necessary to play the whole series before jumping in on the sequels. Even the Elder Scrolls games are welcoming to new players. I would however hold off on Fallout 4 until the first patch comes out so that Bethesda has a chance to fix any bugs that might be plaguing the game. I for one am looking forward to it.

 

I have had the Xbox One for two years. I bought it over the PlayStation 4 because I’m a sucker for special edition consoles and the Xbox One had the “Day One” Edition that came in a black box with a controller that said “Day One 2013” on it and a special achievement stating I had the Xbox One day one. I also paid five hundred dollars for it because it came with the next generation Kinect. I was excited for the Kinect because it could determine facial expressions, individual digits on your hands, and also sign you in just by sitting on the couch. The Xbox One had more features than the PlayStation 4 and it was worth the extra hundred dollars.

Two years later I have six physical games; Titanfall, Watchdogs, Kinect Sports Rivals, Grand Theft Auto V, Rare Replay, and Fallout 4. I also have a lot more digital games that I got for free each month with my Xbox Live Gold membership. Out of the 500gb hard drive space that came with the Xbox One, I have used all but 2gb of it. It’s safe to say that I get a lot of use out of my Xbox One, but it’s not really by playing games. The wife and I use it as a media machine to watch shows on Hulu, Netflix and HBO Go.

 

Up until a couple months ago, I wouldn’t recommend buying an Xbox One if you wanted to play games. The Xbox One is an amazing media center, but it didn’t have games that one would consider purchasing a console for. The titles that I own with the exception of Titanfall and Rare Replay are available on PlayStation 4 and PC. In most cases, the PlayStation 4 performs better. The majority of my friends have PlayStation 4 and they totally enjoy playing Rocket League which hasn’t made it to the Xbox One yet and by the time it does, everyone will have moved on to the next best hit.

So what games does the Xbox One have that the PlayStation 4 doesn’t? Halo 5 and Forza 6. Both heavy hitting titles hit the shelves this year and, along with the hundred dollar price cut, have helped the Xbox One stay competitive with the PlayStation 4. The PlayStation still has sold more consoles since 2013, but that gap seems to be closing. While that might be a good thing, it’s done so at the cost of some of the features that made the Xbox One appealing in the first place.

The Xbox One is no longer a media first console; it’s a gaming console. In 2013 the Xbox One was named so because it was meant to be the One media device in your living room. Did you know that the Xbox One has an extra HDMI slot that allows you to connect your cable box to it and use a guide that gives you up to the minute channel guides and you can switch to those cannels on the fly without switching inputs? In 2013 they touted that as a feature and now it’s kinda a cool thing that it can do that the PlayStation 4 cannot. I’ll be honest, I don’t have cable so I use it to plug in my Xbox 360 because my TV only has 2 HDMI slots and one of those is reserved for my Wii U.

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Another thing that Microsoft did to cut costs was to get rid of the Kinect. When the Xbox One first came out you HAD to buy it with the Kinect. Since the Xbox One was designed with the Kinect in mind, you could control the entire thing with your voice or hand gestures. All the programs built for the Xbox One had Kinect gestures built in because every Xbox One owner had a Kinect. This changed when Microsoft needed to boost sales and dropped the Kinect. The poor peripheral never stood a chance. People were too worried about privacy and there weren’t any real games for it. Kinect Sports Rivals is actually really fun, but it’s a bunch of mini games. When people are staying away from your console because of a mandatory peripheral, it’s a matter of time before you decide to give in to those customers.

When the Kinect wasn’t mandatory, developers dropped it like a bad habit. Netflix and Hulu plus don’t play as nice with the Kinect as they used to. When Netflix asks me if I’m still watching a show, I can’t say “Xbox, Play” to continue. I know have to say “Xbox, Select, Continue Watching” which is tedious. It’s also a shame that I can’t say “Xbox, Pause” I have to say “Xbox, Select, Pause” instead. While I get why Netflix and other companies did this; it’s a waste of resources to code for something on the off chance that someone will use it. And that’s why Microsoft sold the Kinect with the Xbox One – if you want people to write software for your product, it’s imperative that consumers actually own your product.

Given the quality of what the Kinect can see, it's no surprise that it made people uneasy.

Given the quality of what the Kinect can see, it’s no surprise that it made people uneasy.

Now that the Kinect is an optional peripheral for an extra hundred dollars, it just isn’t in anybody’s best interest to own one. I love the Kinect because I can sign in with my face and talk to it to get the Xbox One to do what I want. I’m a one of the select few who actually enjoys this futuristic device. There are no new games out that the Kinect is required to have in order to play. And for that, I feel like a silly early adopter who took a gamble on the future and lost. The only consolation prize is that the Xbox One is now compatible with about 100 Xbox 360 games. More games will be announced in the future.

 

Now with the Kinect out of the picture, Microsoft had to redesign the interface to be more controller friendly. They made the menu a bit similar to Windows 10 which makes sense in the grand scheme of things because you want all of your software to look similar across Mobile, PC, and Gaming. But with that menu change, they made it much harder to navigate around. The new Xbox One experience promises to focus more on social gaming than media, but this means that now I have to add in two extra clicks to get to where I want to go instead of just one. Sure, I have 4 previously used programs underneath the primary program, but what good is that if I can’t change what’s down there. I can’t change anything about the Xbox One menu system for that matter. Well I can change the background and the tile colors. It would be more acceptable to me if I could change the tiles around like I can in Windows 10 or Windows Phone. But now I’m stuck with what Microsoft thinks is best for me. At least I know that I’m not really alone with the changes.

Xbox-One-Dashboard-1-1280x720

The old Xbox One dashboard looked a lot similar to Windows 8

The new Xbox One Experience is cleaner, but requires more movement to get to basic items.

The new Xbox One Experience is cleaner, but requires more movement to get to basic items.

I have had the Xbox One for the past two years and I have used it almost every day since I got it. I primarily use it as a media player, but I have been playing Fallout 4 on it and it’s been really nice to play on the big screen and the controller makes it really comfortable for extended periods of time. Overall I think that this generation of systems has been lackluster so far. That has been changing with the release of big next gen titles like Fallout 4 and Halo 5, but the general public is still looking for a reason to bite the bullet and jump into the next generation. Maybe the third year will finally bring people around.

Black Friday used to be the best time to buy the newest video games. The deals used to be unbeatable and totally worth waiting overnight in the cold for the best justifiable moment to trample some poor old lady to get a $50 TV.

Times have changed since then. The deals aren’t super friggen awesome anymore. There’s still deals to be had if you’re in the market for a new console, but video games themselves are only deals because they have been out for months. If you’re looking on deal for Fallout 4, you should be going to Target right now and taking advantage of their Buy 2 Get 1 Free deal which has proven to be the best deal for new video games.

I have put together some decent deals if you’re looking for a new PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. They aren’t stellar. If you’re looking for a good deal on PC parts, you’ll want to wait until Cyber Monday which usually gives good deals on RAM, Hard Drives, and Monitors.

 

Microsoft Xbox One

Xbox One Gears of War Ultimate Edition Bundle With $60 gift card – $299.99 (save $110) Target only – Also available without gift card at Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Amazon, and Gamestop

Xbox One Lego Movie Bundle – $299 (Save $50)

Xbox One controller – $39.99 (save $20) – Best Buy, Wal-Mart

 

Sony PlayStation 4

PlayStation 4 500gb Uncharted Collection Bundle $299.99 (Save $50) – Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Target, Kohls, Gamestop, and Amazon

PlayStation 4 Controller $39.99(save $20) – Best Buy

 

Nintendo 3DS

Red or Black New 3DS Xl – $179.99 (Save $20) – Best Buy

Red or Blue 3DS XL with Super Mario 3D Land – $129 (save $57) – Wal-Mart

 

Nintendo Wii U

Wii U Console with Super Smash Brothers and Splatoon $249 (Save $50 on the bundle, $150 if bought separately) – Wal-Mart. Gamestop also has it available now for $279

Wii U console with Super Mario 3D world and Nintendo Land $249 (Save $50) – Target

Wii U console with Mario Kart 8 – $279 (Save $20)

Games

While not too many deals are out there, there are a couple of good games on sale worth getting

Witcher 3 (PS4/Xbox) – $29.99 (Save $20) – Gamestop

FarCry 4 (PS4/Xbox) – $29.99 (Save $20) – Gamestop

Target offers a 15 dollar gift card with the purchase of regular priced games like Halo 5, Splatoon, and Super Mario Maker.

Target is also offering the best deal of the year – Buy 2 get 1 free of ANY game on Target’s shelves right now.

 

Amiibo                                                         

30th Anniversary Modern Mario Amiibo – $12.96 (no savings, first time available in the US) – Wal-Mart only

 

Star Wars Battlefront is finally in open beta.

Currently the map selection and other features are limited but it is getting a lot of attention from Twitch streamers.

You need to create an EA Origin account to get the beta and it is a fairly hefty download.

On PC Star Wars Battlefront takes up 10.8 gigabytes of space. I assume it is that large on both the PS4 and xbox one.

We will have a review of the beta as soon as we get some time with the game.

Grab Star Wars Battlefront for PC, xbox one, and ps4 here!

My name is JaredEpicpower on Orgin, so if you see me feel free to join!

Right now you can grab a 500 gb used xbox one for $199 from Cowboom! SALE

To pull off this feat you need to do nothing more than pick out a used xbox one and use a promo code to get $50 off.

The promo code is: xONE10115

There are units that come with a controller. In order to easily find the xbox one units with a controller do the following steps:

  • Search on the Cowboom mobile site on my desktop browser (m.cowboom.com)
  • Then find on the page “Not included: wireless controller.”
  • My browser shows every time there is a hit for that search term in the scroll bar, so I just looked for the tiny gaps in the almost steady stream of hits (because by far most of the units don’t have controller).
  • There were about 3 or 4 when I got mine. Without the controller, this deal is only lukewarm, so good luck!