BuzzFocus: Best of Video Games 2011 Nominations

Best Action/Adventure
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (Ubisoft)
Batman: Arkham City (Warner Bros)
Dead Space 2 (EA)
L.A. Noire (Rockstar Games)
Saints Row: The Third (THQ)
[poll=148]

Best Return of a Pop-Culture Iconic Character from Cartoons
Batman: Arkham City (Warner Bros)
Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Nintendo)
Sonic Generations (Sega)
Super Mario 3D Land (Nintendo)

Best Fighting Game
Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (Capcom)
Mortal Kombat (Warner Bros)
WWE 12 (THQ)
WWE All-Stars(THQ)

Best Console Download Game (XBLA/PSN)
Bastion (Warner Bros)
Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet (Fuelcell Games)
Renegade Ops (Sega)
Rochard (Recoil Games)
Street Fighter III: Third Strike — Online Edition (Capcom)

Best Mind Bending, Puzzle Game
Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective (Capcom)
ilomilo (Microsoft Game Studios)
Portal 2 (Valve)
Professor Layton and the Last Specter (Nintendo)
Stacking (THQ)

Most Entertaining Platformer
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (Ubisoft)
LittleBigPlanet 2 (SCEA)
Portal 2 (Valve)
Super Mario 3D Land (Nintendo)
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (SCEA)

Best Sequel
Portal 2 (Valve)
Batman: Arkham City (Warner Bros)
Dead Space 2 (EA)
Gears of War 3 (Microsoft)
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Activision)

Best Shooter
Battlefield 3 (EA)
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Activision)
Gears of War 3 (Microsoft)
Killzone 3 (SCEA)
Rage (Bethesda Softworks)

Best Game for Children
Kirby Mass Attack (Nintendo)
Kirby’s Return to Dreamland (Nintendo)
Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension (Disney)
Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure (Activision)
Super Mario 3D Land (Nintendo)

Best Sports
Fifa 12 (EA Sports)
Fight Night Champion (EA Sports)
NHL Hockey 12 (EA Sports)
NBA 2K12 (2K Sports)
Madden NFL 12 (EA Sports)

Best Racer
Dirt 3 (Codemasters)
F1 2011 (Codemasters)
Forza Motorsport 4 (Microsoft)
NASCAR 2011 (Activision)
Shift 2 Unleashed (EA)

Best Throwback
Cave Story 3D (3DS, NIS)
God of War: Origins Collection (PS3, SCEA)
GoldenEye 007: Reloaded (Xbox 360/PS3, Activision)
The ICO & Shadow of the Colossus Collection (PS3, SCEA)
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (3DS, Nintendo)

Best RPG
Dark Souls (Namco)
Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Square-Enix)
Dragon Age II (EA)
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Softworks)

Best Motion Game
Child of Eden (Ubisoft)
Dance Central 2 (Microsoft)
Just Dance 3 (Ubisoft)
Kinect Sports Season Two (Microsoft)
Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Nintendo)

Best Handheld (DS/PSP/3DS)
Aliens: Infestation (DS, Sega)
Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy (PSP, Square-Enix)
Kirby Mass Attack (DS, Nintendo)
Pokémon Black and White (DS, Nintendo)
Super Mario 3D Land (3DS, Nintendo)
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars (3DS, Ubisoft)

Best Wii
Conduit 2 (Sega)
Kirby’s Return to Dreamland Nintendo)
Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Nintendo)
Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure (Activision)

Best Game on PS3
Killzone 3 (SCEA)
LittleBigPlanet 2 (SCEA)
Resistance 3 (SCEA)
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (SCEA/Naughty Dog)
[poll=151]

Best Game on Xbox 360
Dark Souls (Namco)
Dead Space 2 (EA)
Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Square-Enix)
Forza Motorsport 4 (Microsoft)
Gears of War 3 (Microsoft)
[poll=150]

Best Overall Game
Batman: Arkham City (WB Interactive/Rocksteady)
Dark Souls (Namco)
Dead Space 2 (EA)
Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Square-Enix)
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Softworks)
Portal 2 (Valve)
[poll=149]

See the Winners

BuzzFocus: Best of TV 2011 Nominations

* All BuzzFocus Winners will be Announced on Jan 1, 2012. Readers’ Choice Award Winners will be announced at the same time.

*Please feel free to submit write-ins for Reader’s Choice in the comments below.

New Video Game Releases: Week of Nov 1, 2011

While Battlefield 3 bullets are whizzing by overhead in online multiplayer, Nov 1 brings a fresh set of new titles home to the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS, 3DS and PSP. We’ve selected 10 that you should check out.

This week, all eyes are on Drake with the PS3 exclusive release of Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. If you don’t have a PS3, have no fear, Sonic is here. Sonic Generations rips through into gaming shelves on all platforms (3DS later this month) this week. This title is moderately priced at $49.99 and will delight long time fans of the franchise.

RPG gamers can prepare for cooperative battle in The Lord of the Rings: War in the North. Whether you’re an elf lover, a dwarf fan or a Dúnadan, you’ll want to gear up for this untold story of the War of the Ring. It follows adventurers, similar to those in the fellowship, in the northern war that was going on while Frodo and his team were moving towards Mordor. Also, Harvest Moon: Tale of Two Towns hits both the 3DS and DS with Life Sim RPG gaming.

GoldenEye 007 hits HD consoles with GoldenEye 007: Reloaded.

New DLC hits Batman: Arkham City with the Nightwing Bundle Pack.

Check out the full lineup of titles below. What games are you checking out?

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
PS3

Uncharted

The Lord of the Rings: War in the North
PS3/Xbox360

The

GoldenEye 007: Reloaded
PS3/Xbox 360

GoldenEye

Sonic Generations
PS3/Xbox 360

Sonic

Cabela’s Survival: Shadows of Katmai
Xbox 360/PS3/Wii

Cabela's

Batman: Arkham City – Nightwing Bundle Pack
Xbox 360/PS3/PC

Batman: Arkham City - Nightwing Bundle

NASCAR Unleashed
Xbox 360/PS3

NASCAR

Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns
3DS/DS

Harvest

MotionSports Adrenaline
PS3/Xbox 360

MotionSports

Fate/Extra
PSP

Fate/Extra""

Rockstar Playing Blame Game on PS3 Firmware For Overheating, Meanwhile PSN Fix Compromised

Just when the Sony Playstation 3 started to turn things around from Hacker Gate 2011, another problem has arose and gaming developer Rockstar is blaming the latest PS3 3.61 Firmware as the root of an overheating problem. Users of the older, “fatter” PS3 units have been contacting Rockstar, because while playing L.A. Noire, their PS3s have been overheating or involuntary shutting down.

Older 60GB and 80GB fat units have either overheated or beep three times before powering down on its own, attributing the phenomenon of PS3s “Red Lighting”only after the firmware was installed. Overheated PS3 models have been known to shut down from 30 minutes to two hours before starting up again. Rockstar insists that this is a Sony issue and any complaints should be directed at them. Rockstar said in a statement on their Rockstar Social Club (registration needed) continuing to test its theory on all firmware versions and PS3 models to make sure that it is indeed Sony’s problem to fix.

There are reports by gamers around the country that this is happening in both Rockstar and non-Rockstar, which if its true, then Sony has another debacle on its hands. The 3.61 firmware update was the newest update to fix and beef up Sony’s security to prevent another hack attack. Sony has not made a public statement in response to Rockstar’s finger pointing.

Meanwhile Sony has been struggling with PSN password change fix relaunch. It appears that it was being exploited because all that was needed was the email address and date of birth which was already stolen last month.

Playstation Blog issues this statement: “We temporarily took down the PSN and Qriocity password reset page. Contrary to some reports, there was no hack involved. In the process of resetting of passwords there was a URL exploit that we have subsequently fixed.”

If there is a God, he must own a XBOX 360 and probably a Wii.

Sony PSN Dead in the Water Until June

If you pre-ordered L.A. Noire for PS3 or just want to get on Mortal Kombat online but can’t because of the PSN outtage, you may want to consider changing your pre-order and defecting to the Xbox 360 – if only for a few more weeks.

In the past two weeks, Sony has been waffling more than John Kerry in the 2004 Presidential campaign in regards to the return of Sony’s PSN service. In a report to Bloomberg, Sony spokesperson Shigenori Yoshida stated that the network should go back online by May 31. Later, it was corrected to report Sony hoped to get back online before the end of the month with no exact date specified.

However, based on recent promises given and taken since the network downfall, most gamers are doubtful that the network will return anytime soon. Online by the end of may could just as easily turn to online by early June. While Nintendo totes the flag of Project Cafe at E3, Sony will be delivering a hefty apology before announcing more news on the NGP.

So while gamers can look forward to two free PSP and PS3 games, they still have no idea when they’ll come. As a side note, there’s still no word on what those games will be. So, if you’re expecting something “amazing” don’t hold your breath. Then again, Sony may just offer up Socom 4. The game barely had a chance to make a dent in retail sales when the PSN went down indefinitely do to hacker activity.

Sony has also promised 12 months of identity protection to North American and European users who were affected as well as 30-day free use of Playstation plus.

Needless to say, Xbox 360 fanboys are still gloating.

Sony to Compensate PSN Gamers with Free PS3 & PSP Games

It’s been nearly a month since Sony’s Playstation Network (PSN) was taken offline, forcing PS3 and PSP gamers to miss out on precious hours of multiplayer enjoyment and developers to lose out on scheduled DLC releases.

Now, Sony is offering PSN users the opportunity to download two free PS3 games from a list of five titles and two free PSP games from a list of four titles. The news came from Nick Caplin, Sony’s Head of Communications. Caplin stated that the titles would be “available very soon”, but did not offer any clues as to which titles gamers would be able to select from.

Caplin added, “Please be assured that we are continuing to work around the clock to have some PlayStation Network and Qriocity services restored and will provide you with specific details shortly.”

A week has passed since Sony originally promised to bring the PSN back online at a press conference in Japan. At which point, they also offered gamers a 30-day subscription to the PS3′s premium online service Playstation Plus. However, shortly afterward Sony’s Patrick Seybold said that their would be an additional delay further test network integrity.

So this latest freebie has been announced as compensation for reneging on that promise.

Gamers have not been able to play Portal 2 or Mortal Kombat multiplayer online, two of April’s hot titles that came out just before the PSN snafu.

Game Review: Dissidia 012: Duodecim Final Fantasy (PSP)

Square Enix has released their second installment in the Dissidia line of Final Fantasy handhelds. Dissidia 012: Duodecim Final Fantasy has some subtle changes and system tweaks over the first game and is Square Enix’s second round at this twist on the typical Final Fantasy type of RPG.

The two entities Cosmos (Goddess of Harmony) and Chaos (God of Discord) are interlocked in the never ending struggle of good vs. evil. Cosmos has recruited many of the heroes from the Final Fantasy universes while Chaos has done the same for the villains. This crossover within a franchise promises some interesting matchups and interesting plot twists. Now let’s get this clear from the start, this is an RPG that presents itself as a fighting game. As much as you may think it’s simply a button mashing PSP title, understand that this is a Final Fantasy RPG through and through. Keeping this in mind, the game looks like what we are used to seeing from Square Enix’s Final Fantasy series. The characters are very beautiful and are animated lavishly. The cut scenes are also very nicely done and look really clean on the PSP. The game sports a robust roster with characters from almost all of the Final Fantasy sagas.

dissidia 012 duodecim

Aside from having the chance to use all your favorite characters in this title, you’re also given a lot of familiar BGM from the original game. You can battle to “Binded By Light” from Final Fantasy XIII or even “J-E-N-O-V-A” from Final Fantasy VII. The gameplay itself is actually pretty fun and has quite a bit of depth. Now as I said, this is an RPG, not a hack-and-slash button-masher. While you can fight using an Action-Style (you control movement and attacks manually) or an RPG-Style (classically choosing your character’s actions on a menu), you will have to use strategy and play to each character’s strengths (e.g. mid-long range fighters, magic users, brawlers etc.). The fighters themselves aren’t the only aspects that need mastery; it’s also your equipment, abilities and accessories. In true Final Fantasy fashion, the way you build your character prior to an actual encounter will drastically sway the outcome. The learning curve for equipping the best items is a bit steep but the game does have in-game help manuals that shed some light on all aspects of the game.

Admittedly, the game did begin to grow on me but that didn’t erase some of the less than desirable points. In the tradition of FF games, this game can not only be very wordy, it can also have additions that are just downright confusing. The menus are easily navigated but there are some options that don’t really add to the game. Aside from possible nostalgia, these additions are just easily overlooked or completely forgotten. The Mognet mail is one such point. I randomly get mail from “Moogles” that are nothing more than casual conversations. Yes, you get some items through it but it enhances the game in no way whatsoever. The game also suffers from some pretty harsh load times. Luckily if you have a memory card with enough free space, you can do a data install (which can take an hour for the biggest install) that will drop them drastically. It doesn’t eliminate them but this is a necessary evil with PSP games. Honestly, what makes this issue more prominent is all the cut scenes. While they are visually good looking, they take time to load before and after. Aside from loading the large amount of cut scenes, there are a lot of extra reading pieces called Reports that have cut scenes and links to other Reports. So you’ll spend a lot more time reading useless mail, reports (give the game some added depth) and help manuals rather than actually playing the game.

While the fight system and in game action did start to grow on me, there were one too many unnecessary distractions from what personally made this game fun. The time spent in customization gets lighter once you get more comfortable with how the game works and it can actually add to the fun. After all, it still is an RPG. The robust roster of nostalgic characters makes this game a fun play on a franchise much like Smash Bros. To be able to pit Laguna Loire against Sephiroth or Lightning vs. Ultimecia can lead to some intense battles and heavy debates. After conquering the learning curve and overlooking the shortcomings of the extra content, this game can get pretty addictive. With the lack of really gripping PSP games, I see Dissidia putting some much needed mileage on my PSP.

Dissidia 012: Duodecim Final Fantasy [PSP]
Dissidia 012: Duodecim Final Fantasy

Genre: RPG 3D Fighting
Platform: PSP
Publisher: Square-Enix
Developer: Square-Enix
Release Date: March 22, 2011
Rating: 8.7 / 10

PSP2 Gets 3G Support, Touch OLED Screen

The battle for mobile gaming consumer is alive and well!

Sony looks to be the latest to woo potential mobile gamers as it beefs up its upcoming Playstation Portable 2 device (PSP2). According to Japanese newspaper Nikkei, the upcoming PSP2 will not only have a touch OLED screen, but it will also have support for 3G networks, allowing gamers to battle online with friends and download content. That content could probably be anything from games, software patches, DLC and movies.

The paper mentions that the 3G connection will be provided by DoCoMo, the country’s largest cell phone carrier. While there’s no mention of the availability of a 3G PSP2 in the United States, it’s presumable that the device will use the mobile broadband technology.

Given the likely demanding bandwidth requirements for playing games and downloading movies from the device, it’s safe to assume that the 3G connection will not be provided for free. Depending on the pricing, it may be difficult for gamers to stomach another monthly bill.

Look out for Sony’s official announcement of the PSP2 on the 27th.

Game Previews: Naruto Shippuden: Kizuna Drive Announced for PSP

Namco Bandai has just announced a new Naruto Shippuden title for the PSP. Naruto Shippuden: Kizuna Drive is slated for release Spring 2011. This story pits Naruto and friends against an unseen foe responsible for the disappearance of ninja from Hidden Leaf Village. There will be new game-exclusive characters adding to the story’s plot.

naruto-kd-logo

About Naruto Shippuden: Kizuna Drive
In Naruto Shippuden: Kizuna Drive, two modes of play will be available to challenge everyone’s ninja prowess. In Story Mode, journey with a band of NPCs (non-playable characters) through more than a dozen missions that await to be conquered. In Free Mission Mode, build a ninja dream team to overcome daunting combat situations where up to four friends can fight together and perform special combo moves via ad hoc. Featuring a new Kizuna Drive Combat System, players can chain devastating attacks onto enemies as each teammate inflicts crippling damage one after another. Time attacks precisely to apply even more intense blows, but miss the mark and the damage will be reciprocated.

Staying faithful to the franchise, Naruto Shippuden: Kizuna Drive embraces the ninja universe while adding new dimensions to it. Not only will players participate in spectacular boss battles, they’ll be treated to an exclusive opening movie created by Studio Pierrot and music sung by Japanese Naruto voice actor, Junko Takeuchi. As if four-player co-op and a totally original storyline weren’t enough, the game features bonus content where fans can access tons of side quests to keep the action rolling. Furthermore by collecting scrolls and special items, they can power up their characters or give them special abilities.

Game Preview: Dissidia 012 [duodecim] Final Fantasy (PSP) – New Screens

Square-Enix has released new screens for Dissidia 012 [duodecim] Final Fantasy for the PSP. This is the follow up to Dissidia Final Fantasy. Dissidia 012 is scheduled for release on March 11, 2011.

About Dissidia 012 [duodecim] Final Fantasy
The divine conflict between harmony and discord rages on, the fate of the world its promised prize. Fighting to secure it are brave souls summoned for that solitary purpose. These warriors, relying on what fragments of their shattered memories remain, fight to end the conflict – and for a chance to return home, to the worlds they each once knew.

laguna

Key Features:
– The battle between good and evil continues: The action-packed world of Dissidia Final Fantasy is back in full-force, now with new game modes, story missions, items, alternate costumes and combat features

– Soar through expansive environments and participate in gripping combat, all while enjoying RPG-based character development that adds a rich layer of depth to the story behind the clashing forces

– New characters revealed: Kain (Final Fantasy IV), Tifa (Final Fantasy VII) and Lightning (Final Fantasy XIII) are revealed as playable characters – the first of many new faces to step up in this ultimate battle between good and evil

– New features and scenarios: New to Dissidia 012[duodecim] Final Fantasy are an Assist feature that enables players to enlist characters as back-up in combat, as well as a playable Chaos storyline that further enhances the robust gameplay experience

laguna

laguna

laguna

laguna

Video Games: The BuzzFocus Top 5 Hot Picks for the Week of November 2, 2010

The week of the Kinect is here! Halloween over and the start of the Holiday season is just over the horizon. November jumps off with the release of the Xbox 360 Kinect from Microsoft. While, there are a handful of launch titles, we’re earmarking Sonic Free Riders as the number one option to check out for Kinect buyers.

Over at Activision, an old classic makes its way back to Nintendo. James Bond: Goldeneye 007 gets a reboot from its glory days on the N64 with a brand new Wii release. The 90s college dorm splash will be an instant win with fans.

The BuzzFocus Must Play Title of the week goes to God of War: Ghost of Sparta. This is the second installment to the God of War franchise on the PSP. If you’re a fan of the series, you’ll definitely want to own this one. If you’re not, what the frak are you waiting for?

The BuzzFocus Top 5 Hot Picks for the Week of Nov 2, 2010:

God of War: Ghost of Sparta

God of War: Ghost of Sparta [PSP]
Release Date: Nov 2, 2010

God of War: Ghost of Sparta is a single player action-adventure game for PlayStation Portable (PSP). The second game in the series to be developed specifically for play on the PSP, Ghost of Sparta is set after the events of the original PlayStation 2 game, revealing the previously unknown struggles and history of Kratos as he challenges the deities of Olympus, eventually taking the status and title of god for himself. The game features bigger bosses and more enemies than the previous PSP release, as well as new combat and weapons systems.

On PSP:
James Bond: Goldeneye 007

James Bond: Goldeneye 007 [Wii]
Release Date: Nov 2, 2010

The GoldenEye story comes to life once again with an updated single player storyline featuring Daniel Craig as Bond and written by Bruce Feirstein, the screenwriter for the original movie. Surprise enemies covertly or engage in a full on firefight and use Bond’s latest gadget to uncover intel in augmented reality as you relive all the classic GoldenEye movie moments. Infiltrate the dam and destroy the facility; chase Ourumov in the tank through the streets of St. Petersburgh; and investigate the secret jungle base.

On Wii:
YS: The Oath In Felghana

YS: The Oath In Felghana [PSP]
Release Date: Nov 2, 2010

When the adventuresome duo of Adol and Dogi make an unannounced visit to Dogi’s hometown of Redmont in the land of Felghana, it quickly becomes apparent that things have changed dramatically since Dogi departed to travel the world in search of adventure eight years earlier. Hordes of violent monsters roam the outskirts of town, there are unsettling rumors of long- dormant volcanoes suddenly becoming active again, and the newly-appointed lord of the land has been taxing the citizens heavily, while also depriving them of their right to mine for precious ores – a staple of the economy for generations.

On PSP:
Xbox 360 Kinect

Kinect Sensor [Xbox 360]
Release Date: Nov 4, 2010

Kinect brings games and entertainment to life in extraordinary newways – no controller required. Easy to use and instantly fun, Kinect gets everyone off the couch moving, laughing and cheering. See a ball? Kickit. Control an HD movie with a wave of the hand. Want to join a friend in the fun? Simply jump in. With Kinect technology evaporates, letting the natural magic in all of us shine.

Kinect Sensor with Kinect Adventures! for Xbox 360:

Xbox 360 250GB Console with Kinect:
Sonic Free Riders

Sonic Free Riders [Xbox 360]
Release Date: Nov 4, 2010

Sonic is speeding onto Kinect for Xbox 360 in an action-packed experience unlike any other! Become your favorite character as you jump on your board and get ready to compete in exhilarating, adrenaline-fueled races against tough competition. For the fi rst time, use full-motion body control to twist and turn your way through a range of visually stunning courses.

On Xbox 360: