Tag Archives: gaming

IMPORTANT EGU July 2012 schedule/Update

June is winding down and the dust is settling here at EGU. We have had a busy couple of months here at our headquarters in Victoria BC.
For the past few months I have been heavily promoting the new Resident evil game from Capcom ( Operation Raccoon City) and preparing for the arrival of Ghost Recon Future Soldier which we have put a big focus on here at EGU.

Not only that but we have been continually supporting the communities of existing games( THQ’s Space Marine has been a big part of our time)  through competitive play while looking to the horizon for the slew of new games coming down the pipe.

Our over-arching goal at EGU is to become a destination HUB for competitive gamers ONLINE. My goal was never to overtake “MLG “or” Gamebattles” or even “Fragged nation” but serve as an alternate outlet for players who do not want to engage in a competitive ” Ladder based system”. EGU is all about hosted events by our staff and epic level tournament play. We have branched out and developed league play but it’s inheritantly not a league system due to the fact that the ‘ regular season play’ is not reflected in a leaderboard anywhere and is used to determine your tournament seeding at the conclusion.

EVO Gaming UNLIMITED is all about community and the I belive it is the people who power the games not the other way around.

I have seen amazingly commercially successful games go on  to have the worst community of gamers attached to them which in the end makes the game undesirable by the actual gamers themselves. Essentially the game erodes from the inside.EGU has picked games that are both valid competitive games and one’s that have a strong community of players to support it.

With that said here is what we have happening in the month of July at EVO Gaming UNLIMITED.

July 13-14th: Star Hawk


This is our first foray into the game Star Hawk. We are essentially diving into unchartered waters with this endeavor. We have a community liaison in place to spearhead the launch of this tournament and if all goes well we may see Star Hawk become a familiar face at EGU. The tournament page is set up at our official Site HERE  and registration is being handled through our official Forums under the appropriate section.

July 14th-15: Space Marine
Space Marine has been a labour of love for us. We started off supporting the XBOX community in a big launch tournament and quickly lost sight of them. As they disappeared to play elsewhere we found some new friends over on the PS3 side of the fence and have been supporting them ever since.

The Battle For Cadia Prime is an exciting FREE to play event that pits 8 man teams against each other in exclusively DLC maps and modes!

July 14th: Homefront
This game is a tricky one. Its community is for all intents and purposes dead to the world. There are pockets of players scattered around the internet playing it on various platforms but finding them and bringing them together has been near impossible. I have scheduled a tentative event for July 14th that may be rescheduled if we cannot assemble the community in time. I am putting my personal touch on this and I am determined to pull this community out. In my mind they deserve it as Homefront was an amazing game that got blasted in the press and overshadowed by more popular games.

 

Mortal Kombat
While I have no firm date for this event yet I am however actively courting the community to see if we can host a competitive event. EGU needs to branch out into other Non shooter areas and a fighting game of this caliber is the best way to kick it off. If MK doesn’t happen I am still determined to pull this community towards us with future fighting game events.

In the planning stages but it will be our first foray into Fighting games at EGU!

Ghost Recon Future Soldier
GRFS is a darling child to us here at EGU. We monitored the game during BETA and planned our launch prior to its release. We knew we would love it and wanted to give it a firm competitive home with us. We are among the few companies to even host an organized competitive event since launch and with our upcoming GR:League we want the community to know we OWN the competitive play with this game. Our league is set to launch in July when we have enough teams signed up and will run for 4 weeks culminating in an epic tournament in August.

An epic 4 week long League.Regular season play culminating in a Double elimination Tournament in August

I will be going on Holidays in July so I don’t want our community to get alarmed when they don’t see me posting or writing articles on the blog like normal.

All our events will be handled by our staff and the machine will still be in motion. I can’t wait for August and hopefully we will have more events and our staffing line up will free me up to create some truly awesome events.

As always , message me directly or post on our forums to contact me. Get ready for a great summer everyone!

 

Official Site:www.evogamingunlimited.com 

– You can access our Forums and Blog all from this central HUB as well as info on all of our events.

 

Dwayne ‘”EVO Knight”  Morash

Are you ready for the FUTURE of the shooting game?

Well it finally happened…we tapped the well drive in just about 10 years and we are now digging a new one.

I am of course referring to the current state of the FPS genre in video game land.

For the past 10 years the FPS genre has thrown us into the shoes of  soldiers fighting across war-torn virtual battlefields; whether it be the fighting men of World War 2 era grunts or highly trained Spec Op agents in Present day conflicts. No matter where it was we have fought across every contemporary setting in some form or another.

That is all changing starting with this year.

The future is coming…are you ready for it?

As gamers our imaginations are always moving faster than most of the game developers out there and with the large amount of science fiction movies surrounding us in movie theatres it was only a matter of time before we started seeing that influence in our beloved hobby as well.

To be clear here. I am well aware that there are already FPS games within the category of ” sci-fi” but I’m not talking about fighting aliens or giant robots or flying around in space ships blasting through asteroids. I’m talking about a future that is in the ” not  to distant” and still has us on the ground blasting other humans and enemies…albeit with much more advanced tech.

2012 will see 2 major franchises make the leap into that ” not to distant future” and give us a glimpse into what future warfare will look like.

Ghost Recon Future Soldier arrives first and gives us quite possible the most grounded version of that future yet. The game is vague in its approach to when it takes place but shows us that it is still very much grounded in the world we currently know.

GRFS takes place in the “Not to distant Future”

You play 1 of 4 “GHOST” team members sent around the world on various missions to stop a mad man from detonating a piece of destructive technology. Its standard FPS story but wrapped in a nice hi tech shell.
You will have all sorts of gear at your command and according to the developers all of this tech is stuff that the military is currently working on for our soldiers now. Future Soldier keeps it close to chest and doesn’t stray to far into the lands of imagination.

When your playing the game you still feel like its modern but the ability at your disposal clearly paint a different picture. My hunch is that GRFS will be the benchmark for ‘”Near Future” shooters to come. It’s a tough balancing act to pull off and a slip in either direction could lose an audience that is known for being fickle.

Next up is the newly announced Black Ops 2. At first glance you would just assume this is another COD installment( judging by the “Michael Bayish trailer”) and granted you should expect it to use recycled graphical assets and of course the same engine powering it ; the setting and timeline will act as a caution not to pre judge it .

“The future is BLACK”

Set in the year 2025 Black Ops 2 paints a future that is somewhat familiar ( if you have seen any of the Terminator movies) and all together scary. The basic plot is that the US has lost control of all of its state of the art miliary hardware to a foreign power. The trailer depicts a war-torn los angelas with resistance fighters battling against un manned jets, drones and all sorts of  nasty weapons of war that would make Arnold himself run for the hills

The big difference here compared to Ghost Recon is that this is clearly not our world anymore! While it retains a contemporary setting ( earth) the rules in which we have grown accustomed to have been re written. The setting is a story that needs to be told and fleshed out. Black ops 2 is not just side stepping into Future Warfare its taking an olympic long jump!

So the real question here is whether or not we as gamers want to see some of our most beloved franchises take this step closer to the home turf of games like HALO, Crysis, Gears of War and Killzone?
To be certain, other franchises will be following suit next year . Rainbow six patriots has been shown to be using some cool new tech, Battlefield 2143 ( sequel to 2142) is rumoured to be in the works, Crysis 3 and even the fate of the Modern Warfare series is rumoured to be undergoing a name change ( Future Warfare anyone?)

Terminator?…..no its Black Ops 2 silly!

The story possibilities themselves are endless and will allow writers to finally take some creative liberties without having to maintain an authentic perspective on the conflict. If the conflict hasn’t happened yet there is no need to maintain accuracy.

By moving into this genre game developers will start to see the art form much in the way James Cameron has with his Avatar movie; writing the rules to fit his vision.

Some may argue that we are leaving our established roots pre maturely and while there may still be many stories to tell   I myself having played over a dozen contemporary military shooters in the past 2 years alone am excited about what the future holds.

Dwayne”EVO Knight” Morash

I am Alive – Demo hands on preview

WOW! That about sums up my brief time with the game ” I am Alive”. I have had a distant and vague ye on this title since I first heard about it awhile ago. I knew it was going to be an adventure game in a post apocalyptic setting but beyond that I had no clue what the game would be about.Imagine my surprise when I also recently found out this game was going to be an XBOX live Arcade title for only 1200 points and not a full retail release! Now I was curious.

After playing the DEMO i was feeling emotions of fear, sadness and anticipation; all the emotions someone would get after watching a block buster thriller on the big screen.

 

The game revolves around a man who has survived some cataclysmic events that took place on good old earth. Our planet has been wracked by earthquakes that have stopped short of swallowing entire cities whole.Cities are torn asunder and dirt and dust swirl about the air making everything that is more than a few yards in front of you seem like a washed out painting. Your character survived quite possibly due to the fact that he was on an airplane at the time all of this was happening and although the demo didn’t provide a detailed explanation of the events prior to the opening scene of the demo we can assume that there is a story to be told about the events leading up top the game. It has been a year since that day and you have been slowly making your way back to your home in the city to hopefully find your wife and daughter waiting for you. This is where the story of ” I am Alive”  begins

Right off the bat the game makes you aware that you are not some sort of action hero or larger than life character. The opening cinematic paints a picture of a man who has endured hardships in his travels and the UNREAL graphics engine does a good job of painting that picture with its gritty textures and lack of bold colors.

The games choice of color palette is either a clever way of conveying the mood of the game or the conscious choice to minimize certain aspects of development to cut costs… or both; either way it works and doesn’t detract from the experience I had playing the game.

when you start the demo you will be equipped with only three things.Some food, a water bottle and a gun with no bullets. If ever there was a way to put the word ” survival” back into the Survival Horror genre this would be it( Are you paying attention Capcom?)


although I would not call this game a Survival Horror game based on my time with the demo I would say that it does have strong elements of games in the genre. Limited supplies and tense situations that force you to adopt a flight or flee mentality every time definitely lends itself less to an action adventure game and more to the aforementioned genre. If I had to compare this game to another I would say it felt a lot like  the Unchartered series combined with early resident evil games. You will be facing real humans in your quest to find your family. While Zombies and mutants are typically the norm for games like this the fact that you are facing off against other survivors with their own concept on what it means to survive makes the encounters all that more intense. In one encounter I was shot dead by an old lady wielding a pistol only because I drew my bullet-less gun on her and she felt the need to defend herself. In another situation I initiated a combat because I felt it was the best way to defend myself against a gang of knife wielding thugs . The lines of good versus bad are as grey as the color pallet that paints the world in this game.

Exploration and discovery looks to be the main gameplay elements that make up the bulk of the game with some combat sprinkled in for good measure. The DEMO was very brief and focused on story and narrative while introducing the basic gameplay rules versus what kind of action the game would contain.

The gameplay innovations hit me square in the face within the first few minutes. Rather than allowing your beleaguered character the now standard ” walk/run” options via a button press; I am Alive introduces a new mechanic called ” Stamina” this is introduced via a meter at the top of your screen. Any kind of activity beyond just walking will drain that meter and in the case of situations where you are climbing this means you will fall to your death.

I hope he has enough stamina left to climb up!

The simple act of climbing up a ladder or shimmeing across a ledge all of a sudden took on a seriousness that needed to be evaluated unlike when Nathan Drake or Lara Croft bust out similar moves in their game.

There are ways to push yours stamina with some consequences as well as ways to recover ie. Food and medicine etc. but the sheer fact that Ubi Soft decided to implement a resource management system with your stamina makes this game stand out from others and it doesn’t detract from the fun or exploring or fighting through the game space.

Worth mentioning is the gun you start the game off with. It has no bullets! Thats right this is the first game that just gives you a gun…with nothing  to shoot it with! What is really neat is how they have created a system of intimidation that is part of your survival arsenal. You can literally pull out your empty gun and aim it at someone ( the game shift from 3rd person to first person when you do this) and they will react as though a loaded gun is being pointed at them. The reactions are what you would expect anyone to do and this opens up for more of that ” fight or flight” elements I talked about earlier.


Combat is a mix between up close and personal and ranged . The DEMO didn’t contain enough situation of violence to get a real good sense of how combat handled in a variety of situations but from what I played it seemed polished and tight. Considering I only found one bullet the entire demo and shot it in my second encounter I would say that gunplay wont be as common place as other games.

The DEMO itself is short and serves mainly to introduce you to the game and entice you into purchasing the full version but what I did play couldn’t stop me from thinking what this game would have looked like with bigger production values and the full resources of a retail release budget. While the presentation was very nice for a ARCADE title I don’t understand why this game wasnt developed as a full release? The premise is fresh and well executed. It harkens back to a day when games challenged the player and provided us a path into new stories and experiences. Maybe that’s why they didn’t want to gamble on it, I mean who could blame them when the industry is all about  games that make billions of dollars offering up the same experience over and over again to an audience who shuns new ideas in favor of established formulas while new concepts and brands simply fade away and most of the time they die before anyone experiences them.

If they had decided to market this game as a full retail release it might not have the title it does today. ” I am Alive” is available now for download on XBOX Live marketplace for 1200 ms points.

 

Dwayne” EVO Knight” Morash

Are you ready to get competitive?


To many the word “competitive” and ” Video Games” shouldnt go together. Video games have long marketed themselves as a younger persons hobby and something the whole family can partake in when we are all gathered around the TV set with nothing to do on a friday night. While a large segment of the gamers in the world are content with this state of gaming there was a growing segment who yearned for more.

Even Video Games in an arcade environment going back as far as the late 70’s and early 80’s attempted to pull a competitive nerve out of players by showing players scores on the screens in between plays. In fact I can remember many times when I would venture to the local arcade in an attempt  to wipe out that guy who had gotten the high score on Double Dragon and replace it with my own 3 letter abbreviation ( Arcade cabinets typically only allowed for 3 letter high score names).

It all began here…

Competitive gaming has always been a part of video games in one form or another whether that be in the form of a leaderboard or a direct head to head confrontation in a two player game.

My first major introduction to competitive gaming came around 1991 when I started playing Street Fighter 2. This is the game that I think for many other gamers really took a competitive stance and brought it right to the fore front of video gaming. It gave the players a set of tools in the form of various characters to control and unleashed a beautifully tight control scheme and a bare bones way to establish who was better ( Best out 3 matches). When you walked up to a Streetfighter cabinet in the early 90’s you where stepping into the ring with whomever was there first. Your quarters plunking in fact stopped his match in progress and forced him to play against you… one of you was walking away from that cabinet when the match was done. I can’t count the amount of times that I debated even playing when someone else occupied a cabinet because I didn’t want to waste my money if I was defeated. Streetfighter2 ushered in a new way to look at playing video games for me and I havent looked back.

2 men entered and 1 man left…and was a few quarters poorer.

Welcome to 2012. Arcades are dead and the home console rules the home of video gamers . You no longer have to leave your house to enjoy playing video games with presentation values of the arcades ( history lesson: did you know that Home consoles graphical prowess was one of the factors that contributed to the death of arcades around the world?). Further to that the ability to play online against anyone in the world now has given us a new way to compete with gamers and not have to worry about recourse or loss of money ( I wasted a lot of quarters getting good at Street Fighter 2).
Game developers have now put a focus on building games that allow for direct competition of players and teams of players in a virtual world. The gaming landscape has changed and so does the gamer who expects to step into the world of competitive gaming.

Just like any sport; the world of competitive gaming also comes with a short list of equipment requirements that need to be met in order to achieve some level of success. similar to how a pro hockey player outfits himself with the latest equipment when he hits the rink so to must an up and coming “E sport player” ( that is a cooler  way of telling people who you play video games on a competitive level ) equip him/herself with the latest gaming gear.

What follows is a list of items you will want to source out as you start to walk in the world of competitive gaming.

1: Gaming screen: I personally prefer to play on a small 24″ widescreen monitor. My chosen display is a 1080p HDMI High definition monitor that has 2msresponse time. You will be the ultimate factor in determining what size of screen you like to play on and no matter what people tell you about what is the ” standard” your eyes don’t lie. If you play better on a smaller screen then buy one; if you like the bigger size then go that route.

I would recommend against a screen this big

My only recommendations would be that you avoid 46″ or bigger displays as it has been proven that they do not translate fast paced images as well and ultimately that could affect your ability to compete. The other factor you need to consider is that if you want  to devote some time and effort into this path; its important that you have your own screen. family screens are great for the casual gamer but if you want to log practice time you don’t want to have to work around everyone’s elses schedule. Think of it like having your own private ice rink to skate on when you want.

2: Controller: You are probably thinking ” I already have one why do I need a dedicated controller for competitive gaming” Simple…you just do.  The last think you want is to have a controller that everyone in your family has been using and potentially dropping or getting food grease all over. Go buy yourself a brand new controller to start your career.

OEM brands like this Microsoft one pictured here are a safe bet.

Make sure you find one that is comfortable for you and don’t be lured away from getting a standard manufacture controller by all the 3rd party ones on the market. Sometimes the OEM brands are the best choice just not as flashy as other brands out there. Do some research and gather feedback from review sites and friends. This is your hockey stick so make sure its a good choice otherwise you’ll be running back to  the bench mid game for a replacement and that could cost you a win.

3: Gaming Headset: Depending on your set up this will either take the form of a simple communication peice or a full-fledged gaming headset. I recommend using the latter as it will deliver the full spectrum of sound that normal TV speakers cannot and in some cases allow you to play better than players who choose  to use the TV sound and a simple ear peice.The other benefit is that the fidelity of a gaming headset  allows it  to filter the game sounds more effectively and you will find that enemy footsteps and tell-tale signs of opponents running up behind you trying to take you out.

I use a pair of these babies to make sure no one gets the drop on me!

Do your homework here as well because these headsets are not cheap and its important that you find a pair that fit all your needs including stylistically ( hey no one said a Competitive gamer couldn’t look cool ) and performance.

4: Misc assecories: This basically fills in your gear with items that will make your life easier while you start to play more and practice more.some things that you can consider are

” Gunners” make you look cool and they apparentyly are good for your eyes as well!
  • Steel Series Gunner glasses
  • ” Play and Charge” cables for your controller
  • comfortable gaming chair
  • ” Kontrol Freaks” thumb stick add ons
Finding a venue to flex your virtual muscles should always be at the top of your agenda. Wherever you live always be on the look out for local venues that host tournaments and face to face competitive events. Source out ONLINE tournaments that you feel comfortable partaking in. You can only skate around your rink shooting pucks at an empty net for so long before you’ll have to step up and play against some real players. Many argue that playing matchmaking or random games ONLINE constitute competitive gaming but those of us who have competed in actual organized events will tell you that it’s an entirely different experience.
Become the Gretzky of E sports !

The path of a competitive gamer is a long road and it really only ends when you feel that you have hit the point that you no longer wish to travel past. Invest your time wisely and make sure you have fun while doing it. Take pride in your skills as they develop and be sure to keep your EGO in check. The world of competitive gaming needs all the ambassadors it can get and it starts with the players themselves.

 

Dwayne” EVO Knight” Morash