Friday, December 19, 2014

TvR Tag Tournament, Round 1 - Are Season Passes Worth the Price?

https://www.shadowofmordor.com/announcing-middle-earth-shadow-of-mordor-season-pass/
Welcome to the first edition of TvR Tag Tournament! Tiger and Rabbit welcome a special guest as they challenge The Partner to pick a side. With season passes becoming the norm in the video game industry, this team of fluffy friends tries to answer the question, are season passes worth the price?

**<>^^

Rabbit: Mic oh test… mic oh test… one, two, three-

Tiger: What are you doing?

Rabbit: I’m making sure everything sounds good, this is the first time we’ve had a guest come on and I want to make sure things go well. Plus, this is the first time we’ve done this with Skype since we usually just sit in the same room and start talking.

Tiger: *sighs* Another Microsoft product.

Rabbit: Hey, it was either that or… is AOL even still around?

Tiger: Oh great, *throws up hands* way to date us, Rabbit.

Rabbit: Sorry, I’m just rambling, I’m nervous. This is so exciting, I can’t wait. What do you think he’ll be like? I mean I know we know him and all, but oh my gosh-

Tiger: *pulls Rabbit’s ears* Oooookay… enough of that. Calm down. Geez. He’s not even online yet and you’re freaking out. We’ve known The Partner for a long time now; he’s a cool bird so this will be fun.

Rabbit: But you know… ^in a whisper^ he’s so mysterious. I mean we had to contact him via a dead drop and no phone calls. He’s always so careful so he won’t be traced or have his identity revealed.

Tiger: Yeah, he does have this kind of mafia-ish vibe to him. Maybe you should ask him?

Rabbit: ^eyes go wide^ He’d probably strangle me with my ears if I did.

Tiger: *laughs* I don’t think he’d go that far… probably.

Rabbit: Probably?!

Eagle: Am I coming in okay?

Rabbit: Oh, there he is!

Tiger: Let’s get this show on the road and introduce our guest. Coming all the way from who knows where, please give a warm welcome to Eagle, The Partner!

Rabbit: ^cheers^

Tiger: *claps*

Eagle: Season's greetings to you two.

Rabbit: Oh my gosh, don't you just love the holidays? It's so festive and cozy, I love it.

Eagle: You seem more… peppy than usual, Rabbit.

Rabbit: It's all the hot coco!

Tiger: That's spiked with a mountain of marshmallows.

Rabbit: I like marshmallows.

Eagle: Seems they make you the opposite of mallow.

Tiger: They turn her into a crazy-eyed sugar monster, that's what they do.

Rabbit: Hey! ^crosses arms^ Anyway, you should be peppy for the holidays!

Tiger: I wish people weren't so festive and I wish they'd stop ringing those damned bells all the time.

Eagle: They can be festive all they want, so long as it's not at my front door.

Tiger: Yes, I find carolers very creepy and stalker-ish, and mostly tone-deaf.

Rabbit: You two aren't being very festive at all. Where's your holiday cheer?

Tiger: I'm saving mine for a real holiday like "sleep in until noon" day.

Eagle: <looks side to side> I'd tell you, but… you know…

Rabbit: ^gasps^

Tiger: He's joking Rabbit, at least I think he is…

Eagle: <small laugh> Don't worry. We've been acquainted long enough. You're safe, <pauses> for now…

Rabbit: ^sniffles^

Tiger: *pats Rabbit on head* Our fine feathered friend wouldn't be that cruel.

Eagle: Not during the holidays.

Rabbit: Yes, everyone has holiday spirit even our mysterious guest! Except for Tiger, ^whispers to Eagle^ she's been grumpy lately.

Tiger: I heard that.

Rabbit: Well it's true.

Tiger: It's because I've had to pay a ton of extra money for all these games that have been coming out!

Rabbit: Why?

Tiger: These stupid season passes, that’s why! Freaking season passes.

Eagle: The joys of gaming advancements.

Tiger: Yeah, we didn't have this problem in the days of the PlayStation 2.

Rabbit: Is it really a problem? As I understand it, season passes are just DLC bundles that have discounted prices compared to buying each piece of DLC separately?

Eagle: That's true. But more games are getting them and they are being announced before the games even come out.

Tiger: The price has started to go up too. Most passes were around $19.99 but I've seen a few $29.99 passes come out lately. And what about the content, is that content really worth it?

Rabbit: Well I remember buying the season passes for the Telltale games, which bundled all the episodes at a discounted price. That wasn't too bad but I could see it becoming an issue for games that have their passes announced before the game's released. Makes you wonder if they couldn't have just included it in the main game instead of selling it piece by piece.

Tiger: Sono toori!

Eagle: Those are a little different. Those season passes are the complete game when it comes to Telltale Games' games.

Rabbit: Very true but the games don't force you to buy the season passes, all that content is in addition to the main game. So if you really like the game, you can get more content or skip it if the main game wasn't that great.

http://blog.ubi.com/far-cry-4-season-pass-details/
Tiger: Look at Far Cry 4; it’s requiring the season pass for a specific multiplayer mode. I hate when they do that. If they have this mode then why don't they just put it in the game for everyone to play? By keeping this one mode behind a paywall, that mode won't ever get played.

Eagle: Sorry Rabbit, but I've got to agree with Tiger on this one.

Tiger: If they don't hold back different modes, they tend to sell a season pass and leave out a bunch of DLC content like The Last of Us. I bought that season pass assuming I'd get all of their multiplayer item offerings only to find that I still had to pay upwards of $8.99 per DLC bundle because the items weren't included in the season pass.

Eagle: Look at Borderlands 2, they had a season pass and still had several other DLC additions not included in it.

Tiger: Yes, it's frustrating when they leave content out because you feel like you've purchased a season pass for nothing. Like the Killzone: Shadow Fall pass, I'm still not sure what I got in the pass and what they just gave out free to everyone.

Rabbit: There are some cool things publishers have done with season passes like the Assassin's Creed: Unity one where they offered that 2D side-scrolling game with the Asian chick in it.

Tiger: That was cool but I'd rather have that left out of the pass and pay $19.99 instead of $29.99 and getting a game I won't ever play.

Eagle: I've never fancied Assassin's Creed myself. That download game however caught my eye.

Rabbit: I thought it was interesting to include that in the season pass. There are a few games I actually wish had the season pass just due to the discounts I would have got from buying them bundled versus separately. Like Ridge Racer.

Tiger: Rock Band.

Rabbit: Don't even start in on Rock Band; you wasted so much money on DLC for that game.

Tiger: *shrugs* It was fun at the time.

Eagle: <laughs> Glad I never got caught in that sinkhole.

Tiger: If you want to talk sinkholes, ask Rabbit what she's spent on Skylanders.

Rabbit: Hey! That's off topic.

Eagle: I've some idea. <whispers to Tiger> I even smuggled some over to her.

Tiger: Such an enabler you are, Eagle.

Rabbit: Now if Skylanders had a season pass, I would totally get that but for the most part I don't buy the passes. I think the last season pass I picked up was for Darksiders II and I never did get around to playing that game.

Tiger: I have purchased quite a few from the really terrible like the Killzone one to ones that offered a lot of value, like the one for Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Overall though, I feel that they are just trying to make more money where they can. I mean most of this content should be in the game already, especially when they announce the passes before launch date. Adding another $30 to a $60 game purchase is just an insane amount of money to ask for when a lot of that extra content aren't even expansions. Look at Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor's leaderboard challenge mode for example, which totally should have been built into the game.

Eagle: The only season pass I can remember buying was the Killzone season pass.

Tiger: That is a terrible season pass. So many skins and spotlight moves aren't even included in that!

http://www.killzone.com/en_US/order.html
Rabbit: Okay, so I think it's time for us to get down to business and answer the question, are season passes worth the price? Why don't you go first, Tiger?

Tiger: Okay, I'll fire away on this one. I definitely say that they aren't worth the price, not anymore at least. With the rising prices of the passes and the decreasing amount of content, especially quality content, that they aren't worth getting anymore. Heck, like I said before, most of this content should be included in the game already. A season pass no longer feels like a discounted bundle but a rip off of "hey, we made all this stuff for the game that you just bought, but we're going to charge you another $30 for it!" What say you, Rabbit?

Rabbit: I think season passes are worth it if you're a good gamer, do your research, and not just buy them blindly like someone I know. ^points at Tiger^ They are not something that has to be purchased and most of the time, you know that the content isn't going to be anything meaningful or affect the main game. The only exception was the DLC for The Last of Us and that wasn't limited to the season pass so anyone could have easily picked it up outside of the pass. I think if you really love a game and want all the content you can get, the amount you save with the season pass is worth it. If you weren’t fond of the game, no harm done because you don’t have to spend the extra money to get content that’s not meaningful to the game. Plus, so many of the passes nowadays announce what’s inside so you know what you’re buying into. Don’t like what you see, you can save your money and buy something else instead, like a pet dinosaur! Okay Eagle, you have the last word on the matter.

Eagle: Most of the times I find the value offered by season passes to be lacking. You know, the old man in me has been against DLC from the start. Mostly for the reason Tiger said previously, these season passes feel like they are taking content from the games for extra money. However, The Evil Within is a game with a season pass offering that might just be calling me name. With that, the content is completely separate from the main game, letting you play as different characters for a spell.

Rabbit: Hopefully that season pass will sell well and encourage other developers and publishers to put quality content into their passes over fluff.

Tiger: Thanks everyone for reading our first entry of TvR Tag Tournament and a special thanks to Eagle for taking the time out of his busy schedule to join us.

Eagle: Never too busy for you two, some of my favorite furry friends.

Rabbit: Aww! You’re our favorite feathered friend!

Tiger: That's it for us; see you all in two weeks-

Rabbit: Hold it right there! ^throws up hands^ You're forgetting something.

Tiger: And what's that?

Rabbit: This!

Are Season Passes Worth the Price?

Tiger      vs      Eagle      vs      Rabbit

Random Happy Time, 8 O'Clock! - Smuggling New Year's Resolutions!

https://otakumode.com/shop/label/Amuse?utm_source=ad&utm_medium=adwords&utm_campaign=ad_gaw201406amuse
Rabbit introduces Eagle to the ways of Random Happy Time while discussing the gang’s resolutions for 2015. Tiger also discusses smuggling with Eagle in this edition of Random Happy Time!

^^<>**

Tiger: ( ̄へ ̄) Oh geez. *rubs forhead*

Rabbit: My favorite part of the blog! (๑>ᴗ<๑)

Tiger: Do we all have to stick around for this? I mean, Eagle hasn't done one of these yet, so I could leave it up to you two to finish this-

Rabbit: Nope! You both have to participate, it's in the contract!

Eagle: There was a contract? 【・ヘ・?】

Rabbit: Yup, bundled together with your unmarked bills and copies of various import video games.

Tiger: I don't think you were supposed to mention that…

Eagle: Seems you got one past me. Not many who can do that… <glares>

Rabbit: ^snickers^ Anyway, I want to talk about our New Year's resolutions since it's almost 2015! What's your resolution for next year, Eagle?

Eagle: I'd like to try to finish at least two more games next year than I did this year, even with my hectic schedule.

Rabbit: That's a great resolution! ヽ(;^o^ヽ) Mine is to eat more toast, try to beat at least six, no let's say give games, and buy myself a cute stuffed llama! What's yours, Tiger?

Tiger: Well, nothing remotely close to either of you. Actually, I don't believe in doing resolutions. If you want to change something, why wait until a new year to do it? Just suck it up and change right then and there.

Rabbit: Again, you aren't being festive. See mon! You gotta join in the fun.

Tiger: Well, maybe not so much a resolution but... *looks at Eagle* why have you smuggled things for Rabbit but not for me? I totally think you should smuggle something for me next year and I already know what. It's not like it's that illegal, I just can't really get it up here in this state per say…

Eagle: (・⊝・∞) You’ve never asked before.

Tiger: Well, I'm asking now. I'm cashing in my chips, I'm serious. February, I will have items for you to procure for me.

Rabbit: This is suddenly going from random happy to random scary. Stop it you too, it's terrible!

Eagle: Don't worry, Rabbit. You will not be harmed by this. At least… I don't think you will. Then again, it would depend on Tiger's demands. (`Θ´)

Tiger: *laughs maniacally*

Rabbit: ^whimpers^ 〈(゜。゜) Okay everybunny, I think that's enough of this! Thanks all you Qgers, Qbbits, and now Qgles out there for reading and we all wish you merry holidays and a happy New Year!

Eagle: Thanks for having me. It was interesting.

Tiger: Freedom!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Q Attack, Round 5 - Should There be More Holiday Themed Video Games?

http://www.doublefine.com/
The holidays are upon us and TvR is joining in the festivities with this holiday themed Q Attack. Tiger and Rabbit talk holiday themed video games and recall their fond holiday gaming moments.

^^**^^

Rabbit: I love the holidays, don’t you?

Tiger: No, because they’re just marketing ploys to get you to spend money on garbage you don’t need.

Rabbit: But they’re fun and festive. Gift giving is great too! I always try to get zany gifts so people know right away it’s from me.

Tiger: Like that one year you gave someone ten boxes of paperclips.

Rabbit: You’re one to talk. You gave a friend a gasmask and a stuffed horse that had a noose around its neck.

Tiger: Don’t forget I cut off one leg and removed an eye too.

Rabbit: ^shocked face^ Moving on. We celebrated Thanksgiving with turkey and Godzilla. Then after Thanksgiving starts the marathon of Christmas movies!

Tiger: You watch those things, I don’t.

Rabbit: On Christmas Eve we make sugar cookies with lots of sprinkles.

Tiger: I always put a ton of those cinnamon dot thingies on the cookies to make it hard for Santa to eat them.

Rabbit: That’s why you’re on the naughty list. ^shakes head^ I’m always so excited when we wake up on Christmas afternoon to open presents! We get to eat turkey again too.

Tiger: That’s not a typo people. She really does sleep in on Christmas, even when she was little.

Rabbit: It’s too cold to get up early. Anyway, we celebrate New Year’s with a Japanese meal. Yakitori! Yakisoba! Miso soup!

Tiger: Our readers are going to think we only celebrate holidays with food.

Rabbit: We play a lot of games too. I still remember getting Spyro the Dragon for Christmas and playing that non-stop during the holiday break.

Tiger: Ridge Racer and Tekken games have become a holiday tradition too, when we have family visiting.

Rabbit: Remember that one Thanksgiving we put the PS3 camera up and had that weird tech demo-ish non-game game playing.

Tiger: Oh, the one where you could kind of paint different things and make strange designs. What was that called... *thinks to self* Oh! Mesmerize.

Rabbit: That’s it! It wasn’t really a game but it was a fun little interactive piece that used the Eye. We always turned that on in the living room for family to mess with during the holidays. I think of Ratchet & Clank as a holiday series even though there’s not a single holiday mentioned in that game. I used to try and beat every game in the series during Christmas break; it was like my very own Lombax speed run.

Tiger: Assassin’s Creed has the habit of feeling like a holiday game just because it always gets released in November. Is it strange that I get a “Christmas Eve” vibe from Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward?

Rabbit: Yes, that game has nothing to do with Christmas.

Tiger: I know, I just can’t help feeling like that could happen on Christmas Eve.

Rabbit: ^raises eyebrow^

Tiger: There are actually a few holiday themed games we play too. Or at least games that are set around the holidays. A big tradition is playing Costume Quest during October.

Rabbit: I love Costume Quest! It’s such an awesome game and the Halloween theme is so fun. I’m glad they made a sequel.

Tiger: I think that is Double Fine’s first sequel too. Their games are always catchy but I have to admit, Costume Quest is my favorite out of all of them.

Rabbit: I love the unicorn costume.

Tiger: Of course you do. They even had that Christmasy DLC as well, Grubbins on Ice. I know Saint’s Row IV and Borderlands 2 also had some Christmas themed DLC.

Rabbit: I remember in Bully, part of the game was set during the holidays.

Tiger: Yakuza.

Rabbit: What?

Tiger: The Yakuza series is always set around Christmas time. That to me is the most holiday-centric game I have ever played. I usually try to play those near Christmas. The lights from the Red Light District are so festive.

Rabbit: Saint’s Row? Borderlands? Yakuza? I don’t think those are what I would consider “festive” games. Santa needs to permanently ban you from the Nice List.

Tiger: Do you remember all the time we spent in PlayStation Home over the holidays to get the various holiday themed pets and what not?

Rabbit: ^eyes go wide^ OMG! I totally forgot about that. We used to do that every year. That and go for the E3 festivities. Home was pretty fun, especially when you played with friends. I bought so many apartments and furniture sets in there. I think that was my favorite thing to do. I like having those opportunities. So many of our friends we only know online so we can’t celebrate holidays together.

Tiger: You just want one of those Christmas parties ala Lucky Star or Persona 4: The Animation.

Rabbit: Or go to a theme park for Christmas like on Cardcaptor Sakura. Ah, Yukito. I just think the holidays are a time to spend with friends and family so it’d be neat to have a multiplayer game we could do that with. Maybe Destiny will have Christmas themed aliens we can kill.

http://yakuza.wikia.com/wiki/Yakuza_Wiki
Tiger: So I take it you want more holiday themed games?

Rabbit: Yes, I do enjoy them! I wish we had more of them! I love having a game like Costume Quest that I can play every year to help me celebrate Halloween. There’s nothing like eating turkey and then playing a video game to help you celebrate! I’d love for there to be more holiday themed games out there. It’d be fun to get everyone online and celebrate virtually together. What about you?

Tiger: I’ll pass. As much as I love Costume Quest, it’s bad enough that the holidays invade every other part of our lives; I don’t want to see video games do the same thing. There’s holiday junk in all the stores, you hear the Christmas music from dawn until dusk in December, and even TV shows get into the festivities. No, thank you. Costume Quest was an anomaly for me. It’s a solid game that just happens to have a holiday theme, that’s how I see it. Nope, you can keep all the jolly holiday spirit to yourself. I’m going to stick to my humbug ways.

Rabbit: I hope Santa gives you coal for Christmas. Anyway, that’s it from us! I hope all you Qgers and Qbbits have a great holiday season! Even if you’re a bah-humbug like Tiger, I hope you get to play a ton of games!

Should There be More Holiday Themed Video Games?

Tiger     vs     Rabbit

Random Happy Time, 7 O'Clock! - Holiday Traditions!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow
Rabbit gets sentimental in this edition of Random Happy Time! as she and Tiger discuss a few holiday traditions. From past traditions to current favorites, Rabbit walks down memory lane, dragging Tiger in tow.

**^^**

Rabbit: Howdy Qgers and Qbbits! We’re here today to talk about holiday traditions!

Tiger: Didn’t we already discuss some of these already.

Rabbit: I want to chat more about them. Like why we always watch Godzilla on Thanksgiving!

Tiger: (-‸ლ) It’s the terrible Mathew Broderick one too.

Rabbit: We also watch the original one sometimes. Anyway, it always seemed to rain on Thanksgiving where we used to live.

Tiger: There’s a lot of rain in Godzilla too.

Rabbit: Exacto! ヽ(´ー`)ノ That’s why it became a Thanksgiving tradition to watch that movie after dinner. There are a few traditions we don’t do anymore. Do you know which one I miss the most?

Tiger: Which one is that?

Rabbit: We used to open a few presents on Christmas Eve. It wasn’t so much getting to open the presents that I miss, but the reason why we did that.

Tiger: Ah yeah, I remember. We used to open our grandparents gifts on Christmas Eve. Oftentimes they even came over for dinner and everything. Both sets of grandparents have been deceased for a while now so…

Rabbit: We could always tell what we were getting from Nana. She usually gave us one surprise gift but one present was always her handmade slippers.

Tiger: I have so many pairs of those things.

Rabbit: You never wore them. I wore mine all the time that I needed a new pair by the time the next Christmas rolled around.

Tiger: That’s exactly why I didn’t wear mine; I knew one day there wouldn’t be a next pair. So I just save them.

Rabbit: Now I’m all sad. ^sniffles^

Tiger: We do have a new Christmas tradition; do you know what it is?

Rabbit: What?

Tiger: Snow!

Rabbit: Yay! Wait… I don’t like snow. (⁎˃ᆺ˂)

Tiger: Neither do I, it’s just wrong. I do remember the first time we saw snow, we were still pretty little.

Rabbit: I thought the world was ending. I thought snow was what happened when the clouds died and that we’d all die from lack of water. (x_x;)

Tiger: That’s actually kind of coming true down there now.

Rabbit: It’s true that we seem to get snow every Christmas up here. Man, I miss the days when Christmas meant a nice sunny day.

Tiger: Okay, so what did you ask Santa for this year?

Rabbit: I asked for a giant stuffed toast! ヽ(=^・ω・^=)丿 What about you?

Tiger: I asked for a new controller, the camo Dualshock 4! (^~^)

Rabbit: Well I hope we get what we asked for. If you asked Santa for more TvR, you’re going to get your wish! Until next time!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Legendaries Mode, Round 1 - Rima Brek, Head of Technology for Ubisoft Toronto

http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/rima-brek/0/14/5ab
In this first entry of Legendaries Mode, Tiger and Rabbit take the time to highlight a person who they believe positively impacted the video game community, Rima Brek of Ubisoft Toronto.

^^**^^

Rabbit: I think we make a really good team.

Tiger: *nods* Yes… and where is this going?

Rabbit: I think we should combine our love of video games and spotlight people in the industry who were influential to us.

Tiger: We have influences?

Rabbit: You know what I mean! There have been a lot of people around the industry from developers to writers and even some professional gamers that have really inspired us directly or created games that inspired us. I thought it would be nice to have a segment where we aren’t pitted against each other and can really discuss a topic we both agree on.

Tiger: That’s a really great idea, good thinking.

Rabbit: Well, I didn’t come up with it on my own but I do think it’s a good idea. So I’d love to focus on one person, talk a little about his or her background, and why that person inspires us.

Tiger: I’m with you but first… *hands papers to Rabbit* you need to read these.

Rabbit: ^reads papers^ Okay… ^continues reading^ This is an APA manual! You want me to follow this?!

Tiger: If we’re going to be using source material, we should credit them properly. APA is the best way to document citations in a paper.

Rabbit: This isn’t a college course! How about we just link our audience to the article we use and state were we got it from? Is that good enough for you?

Tiger: *crosses arms* Fine but if we get a bad grade for this or hit with plagiarism charges, I’m totally blaming you.

Rabbit: ^pssht^ No sweat, I’ve got this covered. I did have a tough time picking our first “Legendary” to talk about-

Tiger: It’s totally Amy Hennig. Without a doubt.

Rabbit: While I do love her I actually chose someone else.

Tiger: *shocked face* What? No way, no way!

Rabbit: Yes way. I figured our audience would already know who Amy Hennig and what she’s done for the video game industry so I wanted to pick someone who might not have the same kind of coverage. I picked Rima Brek, Head of Technology at Ubisoft Toronto.

Tiger: Wow, that’s a great first pick. If I recall, I first saw her name come up on Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow as Lead Programmer. Rima Brek was also included in Edge’s “Game Industry’s 100 Most Influential Women” list from 2006. Edge touted her as “one of the very few female AI programmers in the industry” and credited her with the creation of a game engine that was used in the development of numerous Ubisoft titles. Edge also referred to her as a key member of the Rainbow Six Franchise, one of my favorite series to date!

Rabbit: Brek has also worked on a lot of other games over her 16+ year career with Ubisoft. She graduated from McGill University with a B.Eng in Electrical Engineering in 1997. After some time at another company, Brek joined Ubisoft in 1998 as a Software Developer and stayed in that position until 2004. During that time she is credited with working on Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield among other games.

Tiger: From there, Rima Brek was promoted to Software Project Lead at Ubisoft Montreal in 2004 and remained in that position until 2007. This is where she became the Lead Programmer for Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow and Open Season.

Rabbit: After her time at Ubisoft Montreal, she became the Development Director of Programming for roughly a year and then moved on to being the Software Lead of Middleware for the Technology Group from 2008 to 2010. Brek is credited as the Middleware Engineering Lead on games such as Assassin’s Creed II, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game, and Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands.

http://www.toronto.ubisoft.com/en/studio
Tiger: In 2010, she became one of the founding members of Ubisoft Toronto and the Head of Technology. Brek was the Engine & Features Producer for Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist, the studio’s first title. At Ubisoft Toronto, Brek leads all the technology development and manages the software, middleware, engine, AI, and programming teams.

Rabbit: Since the release of Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Ubisoft Toronto has been working with Ubisoft Montreal on Assassin’s Creed: Unity and Far Cry 4. Jade Raymond, the studio’s director, told GameSpot in March of 2014 that they were also working on two new IPs which I’m sure Rima Brek is involved with.

Tiger: One of the things that really stands out to me about her career is that she has spent all this time with one company. I think it’s great that she’s been able to stay with Ubisoft, doing what she loves. Starting out as a junior programmer and moving all the way up to the head of technology is a great feat.

Rabbit: Well it also helps that she’s doing it with someone she loves, since she’s married to another big name at Ubisoft.

Tiger: That is true. *laughs*

Rabbit: I think it’s amazing that she also works in a field that is usually dominated by men. A lot of the women on Edge’s list were from the marketing or public relations side of the video game industry but Brek is actually making the tools that’s necessary to create video games.

Tiger: There’s a great quote from Brek in the Edge article that I’d like to put here. She says that, “after over eight years in the game industry, including long stretches of overtime, achieving a healthy balance between work and life has become very important to me. As a Software Project Lead, I consider it my responsibility to take the proper measures and make the appropriate decisions to minimize the need for crunch time while still delivering a high quality game.”

Rabbit: Thank you for reading our latest installment for TvR! I hope you enjoyed Legendaries Mode and will look forward to the other video game industry greats that we plan on covering-

Tiger: Like Amy Hennig!

Random Happy Time, 6 O'Clock! - Breach and Clear!

http://www.ubi.com/US/Games/Info.aspx?pId=4843
After talking about Ubisoft games, Tiger and Rabbit discuss some of their fondest Tom Clancy game memories. Everything from Rainbow Six to EndWar is covered in this edition of Random Happy Time!

**^^**

Rabbit: Howdy everybunny! How are you all today? Me and Tiger have spent some time talking about an employee from Ubisoft which has made me all nostalgic. We have played almost all the Tom Clancy games out there and most of them we’ve played together.

Tiger: Like Rainbow Six Vegas, co-op Splinter Cell, and Ghost Recon.

Rabbit: We even played EndWar together.

Tiger: We did not. I was playing EndWar, you were sitting next to me yelling commands into my mic and messing with my game.

Rabbit: We did play a lot of Rainbow Six Vegas 2 together. Breach and clear!

Tiger: We played that game like crazy. I do have quite a few stories about our co-op experiences. Like the time I was in cover behind a van, trying to lay down suppressing fire so you could take out a sniper above us and instead, you just threw a grenade and killed me.

Rabbit: (ーー;)

Tiger: Then there was that time that I was sniping from an upstairs window and you were below me, covering the stairs. I ended up getting shot from behind because you accidentally C4ed yourself instead of blowing up the guy coming up the stairs.

Rabbit: (;¬_¬)

Tiger: Then there was that time in the Presidio where I told you to cover a particular door while I ran around the building and flanked the enemy. We were able to clear the room with ease but then you forgot I was on the opposite side of the room and you shot me dead.

Rabbit: (×__×;)

Tiger: Then there was this time-

Rabbit: Alright Qgers and Qbbits! That’s all the time we have for today! Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Q Attack, Round 4 - Is a New Sequel Every Year too Much?

http://assassinscreed.ubi.com/en-US/games/assassins-creed-unity.aspx
In this publication of Q Attack, Tiger and Rabbit discuss the plethora of video game series that release a new sequel every year. They discuss IP fatigue, the insatiable appetites of gamers, and how much this all really costs. From Assassin’s Creed to Skylanders, is a new sequel every year too much?

^^**^^

Tiger: Here we are in November, the month I dislike the most. We have the holidays coming up with gifts to buy and we’re smack dab in the middle of the Holiday Rush. That’s what Rabbit and myself call the video game season that starts in late August and continues until the New Year.

Rabbit: Then it’s Spring Fever from January until May. Hmm, our video game season kind of follows the hockey season.

Tiger: Anyway, I have also coined November as Assasinber because there is always, always an Assassin’s Creed game that comes out. But this year, this year there’s two! Two I tell you! When is enough, enough?

Rabbit: Is that why you repeated so many words there? Since there are two Assassin’s games, you wanted to say everything twice?

Tiger: *glares*

Rabbit: I do understand your frustration. It seems crazy to me that some games come out every year. In sports games, I can’t imagine anything really changing to merit buying the new edition unless someone has to have the new rosters.

Tiger: And video games take so stinkin’ long to make, we hear about them years in advance. So you know that they’re making these games concurrently with others that are scheduled to release next year or the year after. How can they improve the game, fix bugs, and make it a better experience when they don’t take into consideration any of the feedback from the game they currently have out?

Rabbit: I’m sure some of the issues they might be able to fix with updates but you’re right, it seems like they’d be too far into production to make any major changes to a game when they schedule them to come out every year. I will say with the Skylanders series, they’ve done a very good job at fixing issues and improving the game every year. I know the jump between the first game, Spyro’s Adventure, and Giants was huge. There were a lot of noticeable differences from Giants to Swap Force as well.

Tiger: They used different studios each time for those, right?

Rabbit: They did, similar to how Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed are both handled.

Tiger: Speaking of Call of Duty, I’ve never been a fan of the game but I’m curious to see what will happen now that Infinity Ward is back at the helm. That’s the other issue I have with games that come out every year. You know they rotate studios just so they can get these things out. Oftentimes I find that I prefer one studio over another, so it makes me want to skip certain titles just because of the developer.

Rabbit: ^giggles^ Sofia?

Tiger: Ah, don’t remind me. How do you handle this, Rabbit? It’s bad enough I pick up the Assassin’s Creed games but at least they don’t come with a thousand plastic figures you need to buy.

Rabbit: Skylanders doesn’t have that many figures; it’s only about 60+ a game.

Tiger: Oh, is that all? *rolls eyes*

Rabbit: See’mon Tiger! Don’t you ever get that feeling like you just need more of a game? That once you’ve beaten it, you either want to play it again or wished that there was a sequel? I know you felt that way with the Yakuza series.

Tiger: May you one day reach our shores again. But yes, to answer your question, I have felt that way.

Rabbit: Could you imagine if you got a new The Elder Scrolls game every year?

Tiger: No, I wouldn’t want that. As much as I love those games, they take way too long to beat. I can see loving a game and wanting to play even more of it but I think you have to be wary about gamer fatigue. One of the things that really make me love the Fallout or TES series is that I don’t get them every year, or every two years for that matter. I will often go back and play those games multiple times because I enjoy them so much, but I like having that itch of “hey, when’s Fallout 4 coming?” Similar to the Persona series, I know we just got into that, but I like that there’s a waiting period between games. Okay, almost skipping the entire PS3 generation was a little too long, but it makes those games all the more worthwhile when they do finally release. Plus, I want the best experience possible which means I want the devs to have the time to refine their game.

Rabbit: Yeah, I understand your point but I also think that if you’re gone from the gamer’s mind too long, that they might not care when you come back. There are so many IPs out there, that if you have something good, shouldn’t you strike while the iron’s hot?

Tiger: But every year? I don’t even get why people buy sports games every year but something like Assassin’s Creed or Call of Duty? The time you invest in a game that has multiplayer, just to have a new one come out 12 months later, I don’t know if that’s worth it.

Rabbit: It’s worth it if you’re having fun.

Tiger: And the cost, how much have you spent on Skylanders?

Rabbit: Okay, that question isn’t fair because I didn’t have to buy those figures. The games are completely beatable without any of the addition Skylanders. It does get expensive but we both plan out which games we want to get during the Holiday Rush. Did you have to buy both Assassin’s Creed games on day one?

Tiger: No but I still wanted them so I figured I'd just get them. I just hate that they don’t give me a chance to detox from all this killing. I wish they'd give me a breather for a year. I’m just saying that maybe these publishers should consider trying to spread some of this around and not bombard us with the same thing every year. Or bombard us with all these figures that take up so much space.

Rabbit: You? Tired of killing?! ^crosses arms^ Ha, that’s news to me! As for the figures, I like them and I’m going to keep on buying them, so if you’ve got a problem with that, why don’t you find somewhere else to live!

Tiger: Geez, don’t get your ears all tied in a knot. I was just trying to express that sometimes I feel like they take advantage of gamers and just expect us to keep buying the same processed games over and over. Anyway, I think it’s time that we finish this business. Is a new sequel every year too much?

http://www.skylanders.com/
Rabbit: I vote no because for some people, you want another chapter in your favorite series and you want it sooner rather than later. I don’t think it hurts the industry at all releasing another entry for an IP every year; in fact the opposite might be true, being able to release a game a year shows just how strong your brand is. If there’s demand for your game, then I say keep making it until no one buys it. After all, if it bothers you so much that a series releases a new title every year, just stop buying it.

Tiger: I say that it is too much. We’re oversaturated enough as it is with sequels, releasing titles every year just makes it worse. Why not take those resources and apply them to making new games set in new worlds we have never seen before. I know launching new IPs can be very difficult and expensive but I’d rather take my chance on a game I’ve never played before than just get a 1.5 upgrade to an existing franchise. If you think about it, most of these so called sequels aren’t even true sequels, oftentimes they feel like expansions or DLC-esque content that they just repackaged to get you to buy it. I say enough is enough.

Rabbit: Maybe you should stop buying them then.

Tiger: *crosses arms* What? I still like the series and want to play it but I’m just tired that they’re not only releasing one game but now two games every year.

Rabbit: So don’t support them; it’s as simple as that.

Tiger: It’s not that easy. Am I supposed to just give up playing their games?

Rabbit: Maybe you should learn some self-control.

Tiger: Don’t you dare give me this self-control nonsense! Look who’s talking? You giant eared-

Rabbit: ^throws arms up^ I’m not taking this anymore! We’re done, goodbye!

Is a New Sequel Every Year too Much?

Tiger     vs     Rabbit

Random Happy Time, 5 O'Clock! - See’mon People!

http://shining.wikia.com/wiki/Laser_Eye
In the previous Q Attack, sparks flew as Tiger and Rabbit met their first truly heated debate. Words were said and Tiger takes the time to apologize to Rabbit in this entry of Random Happy Time! The two make amends and also discuss the history of a mispronounced phrase.

**^^**

Tiger: So the last Q Attack we had got kind of heated.

Rabbit: You called me mean names. 。・゚゚・(>д<)・゚゚・。

Tiger: (シ_ _)シ I’m sorry, okay. I didn’t mean it.

Rabbit: I don’t have giant ears. (´°̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥ω°̥̥̥̥̥̥̥̥`)

Tiger: Well, they are bigger than mine are.

Rabbit: (ノД`)・゜・。 Hidoi yo!

Tiger: I’m just teasing you, I’m sorry. I’m supposed to pick on you because you’re the baby but I went too far. Will you forgive me?

Rabbit: Only if you bring me cake next time.

Tiger: Strawberry with white frosting and sprinkles?

Rabbit: Yes! (´ ▽`).。o♡

Tiger: Okay, deal. Now didn’t you have something you wanted to explain to our fans-

Rabbit: ^glares at Tiger^

Tiger: *clears throat* I mean Qgers and Qbbits?

Rabbit: ( ̄(エ) ̄)ゞ I forget.

Tiger: "See’mon", that strange word you keep using that no one understands.

Rabbit: Oh, I gotcha. Well it’s just a phase I like to use, it’s catchy.

Tiger: It’s supposed to be “C’mon” not “See’mon.”

Rabbit: Well it all started when I was really little and I played Shining Force back on the Sega Genesis. Some of the characters used “C’mon” in their dialogue and I had no idea how to read that. I thought it was supposed to be pronounced as “See’mon” and it just kind of stuck.

Tiger: Wow, Shining Force brings back memories. That was the first RPG we ever played. I remember getting stuck in this one area for so long because we didn’t know that the door was inside some mask on the wall of the castle. Do you remember that?

Rabbit: We kept restarting the game, trying to see if we missed a key or something to open it. This was kind of before the whole “wiki” thing started up too or we just didn’t know where to look for help. Remember the bridge battle later in the game, the one with the eyeball laser beam that shoots across the bridge and kills everyone?

Tiger: Yes, that was such a tough battle; we never could beat it when we were little. We ended up getting a copy of Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection on PS3 just so we could play Shining Force again. With years of gaming experience under our belts, we had a breeze with the game.

Rabbit: Yes, no enemy could stop us… until we reached that bridge level and kept dying. We never did beat the game, did we?

Tiger: (ーー;) All those years of experience and we still got owned on the same exact level as when we were little…

Rabbit: Well, that does it for this edition of Random Happy Time! We aren’t terrible gamers, I swear! (@´_`@) Please visit us again soon. See’mon Tiger, let’s go!

Tiger: It’s “C’mon,” Rabbit. C’mon and use it!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Versus Mode, Round 1 - The Legend of Dragoon vs Legend of Legaia, Ready? Fight!

http://legendofdragoon.wikia.com/wiki/The_Legend_of_Dragoon_Wiki
Warning: The following presentation contains major spoilers, reader discretion is advised.

In the first edition of Versus Mode, Tiger and Rabbit will go head-to-head in an all out grudge match. Only one can survive, which game will prevail? Originally released on PlayStation in 2000, The Legend of Dragoon has become a cult classic with numerous requests for a sequel. Legend of Legaia got its sequel but the original released for PlayStation in 1999 remains a fan favorite.


^^**^^

Rabbit: I feel we need a “suit up” montage like Sailor Moon or Ronin Warriors. Where the video shows us each donning the armor of our prospective game choices. You could wear Rose’s armor and I could wear Terra because we all know she’s the coolest Ra-Seru.

Tiger: And have one of those Drakengard 3 battle theme songs playing in the background.

Rabbit: Hai-yah! Karate chop-u-head-off!

Tiger: Welcome everyone to our first Versus Mode segment. The rules are a little different than with Q Attack. First off, instead of a yes/no question, we pose an either/or scenario. We pick sides right off the bat and duke it out-

Rabbit: In no holds barred battle to the death!

Tiger: Now who’s the violent one? I would totally whip you in a real fight.

Rabbit: Why do you think that?

Tiger: I have claws, you have… fuzzy ears.

Rabbit: My secret ultra special move is the Super Fuzzy Earhilator Power Punch that can be combined with my Ultimate Form Spinning Cotton Tail Tornado of Doom!

Tiger: *rolls eyes* Getting back to Versus Mode, we each pick a side and then battle it out to see who can reign supreme. So our first Versus Mode has us choosing between two PlayStation era JRPGs, The Legend of Dragoon and Legend of Legaia.

Rabbit: ^raises hands^ Oh! Oh! Legend of Legaia is the best!

Tiger: No way! It’s too cartoonish. The Legend of Dragoon is the better game; those CGI cut scenes, man!

Rabbit: Looks aren’t everything and Legaia has the better gameplay with the Tactical Arts combat. You basically accrue Art Points (AP) by dealing physical damage or taking damage, when you’ve saved up enough points you can unleash your Arts moves. You don’t just select the fight button like some other game I know but you actually input your moves using the d-pad to make combos. It’s like a turn-based fighting game. It’s definitely not a static experience like Dragoon.

http://legaia.wikia.com/wiki/Legend_of_Legaia
Tiger: Hold your horses. While Dragoon is a turn-based JRPG too, it also doesn’t have you sit there and watch the action unfold on screen. In The Legend of Dragoon, your characters eventually obtain Dragoon Spirits which allows them to transform into their armor forms. In this form, they can use Spirit Points (SP) to unleash powerful attacks. Using these attacks bring up the Additions combat system which is kind of a like a quick-time event. It actually gets pretty hard to pull off the more powerful combos so practice is needed.

Rabbit: Well Legaia also has magical attacks and a “gotta catch ‘em all” gameplay mechanic. Once your three party members obtain their Ra-Seru partner, that is the cool little alien like spirit monster thingy, you can then cast magical spells. But these aren’t just your standard hocus pocus spells, with every Seru you fight in battle and defeat, you have a chance of absorbing their powers and acquiring a new spell. So you aren’t just limited to having a healer or a spell caster, all three party members can acquire the same spells, so you can balance out the healing load.

Tiger: That is another reason why Dragoon is better than Legaia.

Rabbit: What is?

Tiger: Legaia only allows you to use the same three characters throughout the entire game. In The Legend of Dragoon, you can choose your party members from a group of nine. Some of the best characters show up later in the game and sometimes you just want to have different spells or attacks on your team. Why would you want to be stuck with the same three characters the entire game?

Rabbit: Because they’re awesome! Vahn, the main protagonist, is so cool and calm under pressure. Noa, who is my favorite, is cute and spunky! Then there’s Gala who is a fighting monk, who doesn’t love that?

Tiger: With Dragoon you get to choose your characters though! You always have Dart, the protagonist, in your party as well as Shana and Lavitz Slambert early on. Shana isn’t that great so I always swap her out for Rose, who is absolutely amazing. Lavitz is the best until he dies. *sniffles* Then you get stupid Albert who sucks. But having a choice in which characters you use is the best.

Rabbit: The story is cooler in Legaia. The world gets covered by this mysterious Mist that turns the Seru into human leaching bad guys. As Vahn, your village is attacked and you get your Ra-Seru that allows you to use magic. You eventually met up with Noa and Gala who also have Ra-Seru. Then you band together to revive Genesis Trees, which nullifies the Mist, and destroy the Mist Generators across the land.

Tiger: Lame! As Dart, your village is not only attacked but destroyed by the Black Monster. There’s also a huge civil war going on and plots galore! I don’t want to go into too much detail but Dart obtains a Dragoon Spirit which allows him to transform into an awesome winged-armor wearing Dragoon. The music in The Legend of Dragoon is so much better too.

Rabbit: But can you fish?! Huh?! Huh?! Fishing is amazing in Legend of Legaia! That right there makes it the number one game!

Tiger: *laughs* Alright, I give up. We’ll let the readers decide which game they think is better.

Rabbit: See’mon Qbbits! Help me beat Tiger and her crazy band of Qgers!

Tiger: Before we wrap this up, we have a Bonus Round! Get ready!

Rabbit: Oh I'm ready, bring it!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlayStation_%28console%29
Versus Mode Bonus Round – Rose vs Noa, Ready? Fight!

Tiger: This hand of mine glows with an awesome power; its burning grip tells me to defeat you!

Rabbit: The School of the Undefeated of the East!

Tiger: The winds of Kings!

Rabbit: Zenshin!

Tiger: Keiretsu!

Rabbit: Tempa Kyouran!

Tiger & Rabbit: Look! The East is burning red!

Tiger: Oh my gosh! I can totally picture you as Master Asia riding Fuunsaiki.

Rabbit: I could so rock that horse.

Tiger: For those of you that have no idea what just happened here, that was from Mobile Fighter G Gundam and I apologize for starting that whole thing. I wanted to do a quick bonus round about our favorite characters from this Versus Mode. Mine is Rose from The Legend of Dragoon. I can’t go into too much detail about why she is so awesome because it would spoil a major portion of the game, but she is so cool. Always serious and a bit cold, Rose is an absolute badass when she first joins your party. She is a rapier master, which makes her one of the stronger and faster characters in the game. She can also use vampiric magic and the only in-game character that has stronger abilities is the protagonist. Astral Drain baby!

Rabbit: My favorite character from Legend of Legaia is Noa! She’s an orphan who is raised by an awesome wolf named Terra. She’s a goofy and fun-loving person who fights with claws. I’d have to spoil the story to talk more about her but I love the way she looks. Her dark pink hair is awesome and she really becomes a great ally to the other party members. My favorite move of hers is her Super Arts called Triple Lizard, so awesome! She’s just a super fun character and really brings some laughs to the team.

Tiger: Alright, that’s it for our first edition of Versus Mode! I hope you enjoyed it and that you’ll continue to read TvR!

Tiger & Rabbit: These hands of ours are burning red! Their loud cries tell us to grasp happiness! Erupting burning finger! Seki! Ha! Love-love ten! Kyou! Kennnn!!!!!!!!

Random Happy Time, 4 O'Clock! - The Origins of Tiger and Rabbit!

http://kekkaishi.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page
Rabbit takes the time to chat about the origins of TvR and how their character designs came to be in this issue of Random Happy Time! Tiger and Rabbit also discuss the anime, Kekkaishi.

**^^**

Rabbit: Welcome back TvR faithful! Today’s topic is about the origins of cute ‘iddle Tiger and happy baby Rabbit where we will discuss the backstory of how we came to be. So Tiger, why don’t you start by telling us how you got your name.

Tiger: I got the nickname of Tiger from a couple of fellow Tae Kwon Do students back in the day.

Rabbit: You really are dangerous. U。・.・。U

Tiger: It was a play on my name, if you must know. (=TェT=) It didn’t have anything to do with my so-called violent nature.

Rabbit: I actually gave myself my name. I was tired of being mistaken for you all the time and wanted a name that stood out. So I used my Chinese zodiac symbol as my name!

Tiger: We are kind of identical.

Rabbit: Nope. I’m so much cooler than you are. ^sticks out tongue^

Tiger: Hardy har har.

Rabbit: Do you know why we chose the colors we did?

Tiger: I do, it’s from the sealing beads of Madarao and Hakubi from the Anime, Kekkaishi.

Rabbit: Yes, Madarao has purple beads and Hakubi wears green beads. Doesn’t this seem a little backwards to you though?

Tiger: How so?

Rabbit: Well I picture you to be a lot like Madarao, he’s the older of the two and he’s more sarcastic. Whereas Hakubi is the younger and more energetic one yet you’re the color of Hakubi and I’m the color of Madarao.

Tiger: Well we chose the colors of our favorite character and Habuki is mine. He also fights alongside the Yukimura family, which consists of my favorite human character in Kekkaishi, Yukimura Tokine. Plus, he says “honey” a lot which is so cute!

Rabbit: That’s funny. I like how cool Madarao is, especially when he transforms back to his true form. My favorite human is Sumimura Yoshimori, he’s funny.

Tiger: And you are a lot like him too.

Rabbit: You think? (´・_・`)

Tiger: Well you both sleep a lot, you're kind of naive, and you both tend to just jump right in without thinking anything through.

Rabbit: (,,#゚Д゚) Hey! That’s not true. Anyway, as for our looks, I know we worked with Dan the Artist quite a bit on our designs.

Tiger: He nailed my character the first time, with only a minor expression change. Yours was harder though. You went through a few iterations before he got how you wanted to look down on paper.

Rabbit: What can I say? He wanted perfection with me, you were just an afterthought. (⌒▽⌒)

Tiger: (;¬_¬) You definitely are a piece of something. Before we go, don’t you have a teaser?

Rabbit: Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Listen up Qgers and Qbbits! Tiger vs Rabbit has a special guest coming later this year who will sit down with us and talk video games. For now, we will just refer to him as “The Partner.” (◉Θ◉) If you have any questions, send us an email or message us on Twitter and we’ll pick one for our TvR Tag Tournament topic! Look forward to it!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Q Attack, Round 3 - Will the San Jose Sharks Make the Stanley Cup playoffs?

http://sharks.nhl.com/
In this entry of Q Attack, Tiger and Rabbit veer off course for a little hockey talk. After a stellar regular season that ended in one of the worst playoff exits in hockey history, the San Jose Sharks have a lot to prove in this upcoming season. Will the San Jose Sharks make the Stanley Cup playoffs? Tiger and Rabbit both have their own opinions on the matter.

^^**^^

Tiger: So I was contemplating whether or not we should do a non-video game centered Q Attack this early. With us being in October and with the new hockey season about to begin, I figured it was now or never to discuss the future of our beloved hockey team.

Rabbit: Yes, I think this is great timing to talk hockey. We might want to give a little backstory for our Qgers and Qbbits that don’t know anything about hockey. You should probably discuss last season especially, that is, if you can handle it.

Tiger: Effing LA.

Rabbit: You’re not supposed to swear on the blog!

Tiger: I’ll edit it all out when I type it up. Stupid purple sucking-

Rabbit: Okay, as you can see, Tiger and I are both hockey fans. Tiger’s the bigger hockey fan, ^whispers^ she takes it a lot more seriously than I do.

Tiger: You’re a pretty big fan yourself; we did watch all the games of the 2013-2014 season together.

Rabbit: That is a fact! Another fact, our favorite team is the San Jose Sharks! Chomp!

Tiger: Located in lovely San Jose, CA; the Sharks are usually a very dominate regular season hockey team and then they turn into a minor league team in the playoffs. They have an inability to win when it actually matters and they implode on themselves like a bunch of-

Rabbit: Souffle! Cause if you bake it wrong, it will collapse.

Tiger: Last season was no different with the Sharks looking like a team that could win the Stanley Cup in the regular season only to fall to the LA Kings in the first round. They were up three games to zero-

Rabbit: A Stanley Cup playoff series is a best of seven, so the team that wins four games, wins the round and can move on to the next series.

Tiger: San Jose made history by letting the freaking Kings win the last four games and take the series.

Rabbit: Tiger cried when it happened.

Tiger: That’s a lie!

Rabbit: Oh no, you cried, I totally saw you.

Tiger: *glares*

Rabbit: We got to spend the rest of the playoff hockey season watching the LA Kings go all the way to win the Stan-

Tiger: Please don’t finish that sentence or I really will cry. *sniffles*

Rabbit: Aww, poor Tiger. ^pats Tiger's head^ There’s always next year. I know this summer was a tough one. Other teams around the league were getting new players and making additions to help them succeed all the while, the Sharks just sat there doing nothing.

Tiger: They did get John Scott who is probably the worst player in the history of forever. That’s a bonus, right? They also stripped our captain of his letter. Oh, and then there’s the Ice Girls, adding sexy cheerleaders to the games because that will make a huge difference.

Rabbit: But it’s a new season! New possibilities! New opportunities!

Tiger: For them to fail.

Rabbit: This was really rough on you, wasn’t it?

Tiger: Why did it have to be against LA?! *raises arms* Out of all the teams, why?! I could’ve handled the Nucks, Chicago, heck even Anaheim would have been better.

Rabbit: We’re also flying down in February to see the Sharks host the Kings at Levi’s Stadium. This will be the first outdoor game the Sharks have ever played in.

Tiger: Ugh, I can’t even think about that, I don’t even think I can handle watching the first game of the season either.

Rabbit: The NHL was especially cruel this year. When the Stanley Cup winner opens at home for the first time in the new season, they have a banner raising ceremony and pass out the Stanley Cup Champion rings to all the players. In this case, LA’s first home game just happens to be the Sharks first game of the entire season…

Tiger: … I can’t… I can’t handle this. *cries*

Rabbit: We have so much to look forward to this season! They have a new direction with a new leader and a new purpose. We’re also going to see our first professional hockey game in ages and an outdoor game to boot!

http://sharks.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=717370
Tiger: Please just put me out of my misery. Do you think the San Jose Sharks will make the Stanley Cup playoffs?

Rabbit: I say yes because I believe in them but mostly because they didn’t make that many changes this summer. Yes, they did lose a few players and are moving who I consider to be a key forward back to defense in Burns, but I still think they have the drive and talent to make it into the top eight teams from the Western Conference. The young players on the team have the heart to help them overcome the challenges that this season will bring. I also think that they can really use last season’s defeat as fuel for this upcoming season. Light that fire and show them what you’re made of, San Jose Sharks!

Tiger: Oh how I hope you are right but I truly think there’s just too much drama surrounding this team right now. The summer of uncertainty, the fact they keep throwing around the word “rebuild” when they talked about the team, and then they didn’t make any changes at all! Plus, they want to change the culture in the locker room yet they maintain the same people and expect the Sharks mentality to somehow evolve? A part of me is excited for the season. I love watching the game of hockey. It’s fast, it’s fun, and it’s easy to follow once you know a few basic rules. I just feel like the Sharks, no matter how good they start, will have the stigma of blowing a three game lead in the playoffs hanging over their heads for the entire season. I don’t know if they can ignore that much pressure. Why did we even pick the Sharks as our team?

Rabbit: Um, because they were the only team we could watch on TV after ESPN stopped showing hockey?

Tiger: *hangs head*

Rabbit: Alright Qgers and Qbbits! You’ve got your answer, thanks for reading this slightly depressing entry of Q Attack! We’ll get back to video games next time, until then!

Will the San Jose Sharks Make the Stanley Cup playoffs?

Tiger     vs     Rabbit

Random Happy Time, 3 O'Clock! - Twitter and Toast!

http://kekkaishi.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page
Rabbit is back in control with this edition of Random Happy Time! She takes this opportunity to shamelessly plug TvR’s social media accounts and to discuss a very important topic with Tiger.

**^^**

Rabbit: /(=⌒x⌒=)\ Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening Qgers and Qbbits! Welcome to another edition of-

Tiger: Wait. Just stop. Σ(-᷅_-᷄๑) I've been meaning to ask, what is with the Qgers and Qbbits?

Rabbit: I thought we needed to come up with a catchy name for our fans. Since our main theme here is answering questions, ala Q Attack, I came up with those two names. Tiger’s fans are Qgers and my fans are Qbbits. Clever, right? It’s like they’re our own version of the QForce!

Tiger: Not really and you’re assuming they want these cutesy names.

Rabbit: They are awesome names, I’m sticking with them. (ノ´ヮ´)ノ*:・゚✧

Tiger: I thought you were going to quit using the emoticons too.

Rabbit: ^pauses^ ☆*・゜゚・*\(^O^)/*・゜゚・*☆

Tiger: (ノ`Д)ノ:・’∵:.┻┻

Rabbit: |ω・)و ̑̑༉ You missed me! So as I was saying Qgers and Qbbits! TvR is now on Twitter! We’ll be posting updates on our account but the main reason why we created one is so that we can have a new segment called Quick Q Attack! You can ask us a yes/no or either/or question via Twitter and we’ll give you an answer in 140 characters or less! Amazing, right?

Tiger: When did we decide to do this?! *shakes fist at Rabbit* You can’t just come up with these things without telling me first!

Rabbit: ^whimpers^ You told me I could run the Twitter account. I thought it’d be fun to do.

Tiger: *sighs* Fine, you can do your little segment. Just don’t go all emoticon crazy again, okay?

Rabbit: Yahoo! Thank you! 〜(^∇^〜) 〜(^∇^)〜 (〜^∇^)〜

Tiger: (-‸ლ) You’re welcome, honey.

Rabbit: We also have a an email address now where you can send us your own Q Attack questions or Versus Mode scenarios and we’ll answer them in future blog posts. You can find us on Twitter @TigervsRabbit and email us at TigervsRabbit@outlook.com!

Tiger: Seriously? You used a Microsoft email address for our almost entirely PlayStation focused blog?

Rabbit: ^pouts^ It was already taken on Gmail. Anyway, I’ve got an important topic to discuss in this Random Happy Time!

Tiger: Okay, shoot me with it.

Rabbit: ~(^◇^)/ Toast.

Tiger: Oh no, not this.

Rabbit: Yes, this. I want to talk about our love for toast. I love toast so much that I use a ton of blankets on my bed.

Tiger: What does that have to do with toast?

Rabbit: Because I want to be toasty all the time. I want to be one with the toast.

Tiger: *hangs head* I shouldn’t have asked.

Rabbit: I love toast so much that if he asked me to marry him today, I would do it in a flash.

Tiger: Oh my. *shakes head* It is true that toast is pretty awesome. It’s easy to make, you can put almost anything on it, and it goes with everything.

Rabbit: I’m in love with Mr. White Bread who likes to wear Nutella and strawberries.

Tiger: Wow, that sounds super sweet. I’m on a plain old sourdough toast with a little butter kick right now.

Rabbit: Such a simple choice. You just don’t have the refined palette like I have.

Tiger: You better wrap this entry up before I bop you on the head.

Rabbit: 。・゚゚・(>д<)・゚゚・。 Wai! You’re so violent!

Tiger: *shakes fist*

Rabbit: Thanks Qgers and Qbbits! Make sure to send us your questions via @TigervsRabbit on Twitter or email us at TigervsRabbit@outlook.com! I hope to see you again soon! That is, if I survive Tiger's fury! /(=xェx=)\

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Q Attack, Round 2 - Should Gamers Attend PAX Prime?

http://prime.paxsite.com/
Tiger vs Rabbit is back with an all new entry. Our resident mammals have just returned from their trip to PAX Prime 2014. In this entry, Tiger and Rabbit will be discussing the sights, sounds, and games of PAX before answering the question – Should gamers attend PAX Prime?

^^**^^

Rabbit: Hello everybunny! How are you doing? This is Rabbit and I am super hyped! Tiger and I just got back from PAX Prime 2014 in Seattle. We got the chance to play a few upcoming games, see demos, go to concerts, and immerse ourselves in all things gamer-geek-chic! I have to admit, I absolutely loved our time at PAX! What about you, Tiger?

Tiger: *groans* How can you be so energetic, Rabbit? I’m so wiped from this trip. Yeah, it was a lot of fun but man, I am tired. And every time I stop moving, I feel like I’m on an escalator. This trip really took it out of me.

Rabbit: ^pokes Tiger^ See’mon Tiger! You need to be excited; we got a rare opportunity to check out the latest in gaming!

Tiger: Oh, I’ll be excited once I catch up on all the sleep I lost. Also, Rabbit... it’s “C’mon.”

Rabbit: That’s what I said.

Tiger: Right. I’m just going to type it up exactly how you say it.

Rabbit: That is how you say it. Anyway, back to PAX! Why don’t we start off with what we did over the three days we were there? Then we can discuss the games we got to play a little bit before we finally answer the big Q of the day. Kick it off, Tiger!

Tiger: Alright, here’s a shotgun blast of info. PAX Prime officially opened on Friday, August 29th but Rabbit and I actually arrived in Seattle, WA on Thursday. Kind of nice getting there early, we got checked into the hotel and met a few people like-

Rabbit: Greg Miller of IGN fame!

Tiger: Yes, him too but I was thinking more like the guys from Radio PlayStation.

Rabbit: And a few of the PlayStation MVPs.

Tiger: They were all super cool. We woke up bright and early on Friday and headed straight to the Washington State Convention Center. Now, for those of you who don’t know, PAX Prime is actually spread out amongst the WSCC, two theaters, and three hotels. There is so much going on, it’s insane. We were able to get into the main expo hall an hour before the doors actually opened which was amazing.

Rabbit: It was super awesome. We got to play so many games that way. We also met the cool dudes over at Vivid Gamer, please check them out!

Tiger: I really don’t think we would have played anything if we hadn’t had the opportunity to head in early. So what was the first game we ran over to play?

Rabbit: The Order: 1886! That game has a definite atmosphere about it.

Tiger: *laughs* I would have described it differently but we’ll hold off on that for later.

Rabbit: Do you ever like anything? ^shakes head^ What about Bloodborne?

Tiger: We headed over to play Bloodborne after finishing The Order, and yes, I did enjoy that one.

Rabbit: It was super hard; I died so fast in that game. It made me feel like a total n00b.

Tiger: I heard that the developers actually made the PAX demo a lot easier too.

Rabbit: ^gasps^ I don’t think I’m going to get that one. Up next was DriveClub and it wasn’t that fun.

Tiger: Driving games do have a bit of a learning curve so it's hard to say if it was good or not. One thing I disliked most about the demo was the “collision penalty” you get when you hit the side of the track or another car.

Rabbit: I felt like I was being punished because I suck at driving games. After that, I went over to the “Devotion” station which had a bunch of different indie games playing. Yay for indie games! I checked out Nidhogg, a crazy sidescrolling fencing game. It was pretty fun but I wish it had a colorblind mode since I had a hard time telling which side of the screen I was on.

Tiger: And while you were playing that, I was at the Oculus Rift demo station and had a chance to strap that baby on. I played a game that had you walking down a hallway while trying to dodge bullets. The tech was awesome, the game was so-so. I couldn’t tell when the bullets were about to hit me because they were red and the background was all white.

Rabbit: Boo for games not made with colorblind people in mind!

Tiger: After that, the expo hall was opened to everyone so it became a massive pit of humanity.

Rabbit: So many people! You could hardly move anywhere. What did we do the rest of Friday?

Tiger: There was the “Games User Research: Studying Games for Science!” panel with researchers from Bungie, Microsoft, NBC Universal, and Electronic Arts.

Rabbit: Oh yeah! We actually went to a lot of Microsoft panels at this PAX.

Tiger: Which is pretty ironic considering we have never owned a Microsoft console.

Rabbit: PlayStation pride! But I don’t think we’re fangirls at all.

Tiger: It really just comes down to money, there’s no way we could afford them all. So that was it for Friday. Lots of demos, lots of walking about the expo hall, and lots of information on GUR. Then that night was the first round of concerts. The evening opened with Triforce Quartet-

Rabbit: And a marriage proposal!

Tiger: Up next were The Doubleclicks and finally Paul and Storm. Definitely check out their music, really enjoyed the concert, so much energy. A special shout out to Bit Brigade! While we missed them at the Sunday concert, we picked up a few of their CDs and they are great! Check out some of their videos, you've never seen anything quite like them.

Rabbit: Saturday we got a great behind the scenes look at Tearaway from Media Molecule at the “How Media Molecule Made the Fourth-Wall-Breaking Papery World of Tearaway” panel. James Spafford, Community Manager at Media Molecule, did a great job leading that panel.

Tiger: You know I was really shocked by how different that game was in the early stages.

Rabbit: Yes, it was originally designed with the idea of using your finger as the main character. Then it morphed into a strange travelling GPS game, where you actually needed to travel in the real world to unlock new in-game worlds. It was really neat to see how that game evolved. Speaking of evolution, we also saw a panel on Fantasia: Music Evolved called “Music Evolved – From 8 Bit Soundtrack to Gameplay”.

Tiger: Another game we will never play.

Rabbit: It is an Xbox One exclusive so it will be difficult to play that one.

Tiger: Why did we go to that panel again?

Rabbit: Emily Reese! Inon Zur!

Tiger: Oh right, right. Yes, Emily Reese of Top Score Podcast has to be one of the best interviewers ever. She does an amazing job and if you’ve never heard Inon Zur before, he is such a character. I love his scores from Dragon Age and Fallout. He especially did a great job on The Lord of the Rings: War in the North soundtrack too. Also with them was legendary recording producer and engineer, Eddie Kramer. Gwen Riley and Christopher Nicholls from Disney Interactive rounded out the rest of the panel.

Rabbit: After that we went back to the expo hall and watched live tournaments of The Elder Scrolls Online, Evolve, Dreadnought, and Battlecry. I really couldn’t tell what was going on in those games.

Tiger: It was hard to follow along with some of them but Evolve looks really interesting. I like the concept of one person playing the monster and the rest having to team up to take them down.

Rabbit: It’s definitely a cool mash up; too bad the game got delayed. Next up was the “Maestros of Video Games” panel with Emily Reese as the moderator again. Jesper Kyd (Borderlands), Boris Salchow (Resistance), Martin O’Donnell (Destiny), Darren Korb (Transistor), Sascha Dikiciyan (Mass Effect 3), and Olsksa Lozowchuk (Dead Rising 3) were there talking about their music, what inspires them, and some cool insights into how video game music gets composed.

Tiger: The last panel of the night was a Whose Line is it Anyway style “The Improv Initiative: The Re-Improvining” panel with people from Loading Ready Run and Synaptic Chaos Theatre. They were really great and I had a blast at that panel. Next up on Sunday, what did we do on Sunday? By this time I felt like I was hung over even though I didn’t drink at all at PAX.

Rabbit: Well we started with room service because our feet hurt too much to walk down to the restaurant. Then we went to the expo hall one last time and replayed The Order: 1886-

Tiger: Which was a little better the second time around.

Rabbit: We also played Galak-Z and checked out a bunch of games in the Indie Megabooth, most of which were a blur.

Tiger: I did see a game called Wander that had this crazy tree-person who could morph into a griffin. I'm not sure of the game's purpose but it looked like you wandered around this jungle-esque world. It's an MMO and I don't think it had any combat. All I know is that it's listed for PS4.

Rabbit: ^gasps^

Tiger: What?

Rabbit: You actually admitted to liking an indie game and a non-violent one to boot.

Tiger: Okay first off, I said it looked interesting. Secondly, I didn’t get a chance to play it and I didn’t say I would ever play it.

Rabbit: I think I’m converting you-

Tiger: Dream on! Next, we went to see a panel by Bungie called “So Our Game is Called Destiny. Now What?”

Rabbit: Which was so electric that they blew a fuse and we lost power for a few minutes. After that we saw a great panel from Nippon Ichi Software America called “Bridge to Japan: The Process of Localizing Japanese Media.” They had a great group from NISA that included the localization director, the translator for Danganronpa 2, the editor for the Disgaea series, and the marketing coordinator. They discussed their localization process, how they pick their titles, and what it really takes to bring these Japanese games to the West.

Tiger: After the Tearaway panel, that was my next favorite panel. I loved some of the stories they told about the localization process. Like how one of the logos had a rainbow going left-to-right and the Japanese company told them that was completely wrong. The rainbow could only go right-to-left so they spent all this extra time changing that logo.

Rabbit: We also got a great story about the character of Ben from the first season of The Walking Dead by Telltale games. That was at the “Episodic Games: Divine Dream or Neverending Nightmare?” panel with Swery, Kevin Bruner and Kendall Davis from TellTale Games, Ryan Payton, and Matt Gilgenbach. Those funny backstories were probably my favorite thing about PAX. I like getting to hear all those stories and it's not something that happens every day in video game media. We ended the night with the “Late Night Dub Fight” panel which consisted of the same group from the Improv panel.

Tiger: So that’s our summary of PAX Prime 2014. There were so many things going on at PAX. You had Pinny Arcade, the real life PAX Pokemon League, Assassin’s Creed: Grand Hunt-

Rabbit: Don’t forget the Cookie Brigade, Buttoneering, all the board games being played everywhere, and tournaments!

Tiger: So much PAX, so little time.

http://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/bloodborne-ps4
Rabbit: Real quick, what were some first impressions of the games you played? For me, I really enjoyed the atmosphere of The Order: 1886 and I’m super excited to see how the story unfolds.

Tiger: *raises eyebrow* It’s an on-rails shooter.

Rabbit: It wasn’t that bad.

Tiger: The first time I played it, it was. Man, there was so much lag that it felt like I was playing a Resident Evil game.

Rabbit: Actually, it felt a lot like a Resident Evil game.

Tiger: It looks gorgeous and I’m definitely interested in the setting, but as for the gameplay, man. It’s just a little bit more entailed than an on-rails shooter but it sure is a very, very, very linear game. It has some issues, that demo really just turned me off from the game. You know what other demo turned me off? DriveClub, I was not impressed. Actually, it wasn’t fun at all, unlike The Crew which is fun to play, I felt like it was a really dry experience.

Rabbit: Ouch, harsh words but I have to agree with you on DriveClub. As for Bloodborne, it was a very solid demo, at least the five minutes I got to play because I died so quickly.

Tiger: And I crashed the demo station I was on. *laughs* Bloodborne was tight, I am not a huge Demon’s Souls/Dark Souls fan but I want to get Bloodborne. The weapon combos were fun and the whole premise of the game sounds cool.  I have to talk just a bit about Oculus Rift too. That tech is solid, I was super impressed. The room I was “standing” in felt natural including the distance between myself and the floor or walls. Man, I’m really impressed. If Morpheus is anything like Oculus, I’m getting it. Heck, I’d get Oculus if it had PS4 support planned. I’m not a fan of motion control or these gimmicky type peripherals but I think Oculus Rift could be something.

Rabbit: OMG! ^puts hands up to face^ There’s just too much to talk about and we haven’t even answered our question for this entry!

Tiger: Yes, so if you want to hear more about PAX Prime 2014 and our adventures there, shoot us a question in the comments section and we’ll be happy to answer them.

http://www.nidhogggame.com/
Rabbit: Getting back to the task at hand, so Tiger, do you think gamers should attend PAX Prime?

Tiger: I’m going to be the total pessimist here and say that no, PAX Prime isn’t worth attending for gamers. Why? Because you don’t actually get to play that many games. We were super lucky that we got to play what we did. PAX Prime is a great experience and I really love going but I’m going to bring up something Shidoshi mentioned to Anthony on A Generic Video Game Podcast. PAX Prime is supposed to be for the gamers, he said it should be a floor filled with demo stations but it’s not. So much of it has turned into one crazy marketing circus. This was our second year at PAX and I could see that there was a lot more marketing going on than in 2012. Ubisoft’s booth alone was nuts. Most of it was set up for a weird cage match that you had to wait hours in line to participate in. Yes, there are some amazingly cool things to do and see at PAX Prime but it’s not for gamers who want to play upcoming games. I say if you get a chance to go, definitely do so but don’t go with the mentality that you’ll be able to play a lot of video games.

Rabbit: Wow, you’re such a party pooper.

Tiger: Hey, someone had to pick the negative answer and I knew it wasn’t going to be you. I do stand by what I said; it’s not the gaming-centric event that I was expecting it to be. It was more games marketing-centric this year. I’ll still try to go when I can but I’m tapering my expectations that it’s becoming more and more like E3. So what say you, Rabbit?

Rabbit: Well of course I’m going to say yes! PAX Prime is awesome! AWESOME! The sights, the sounds, maybe not so much the smells, but the whole experience is amazebunnies! If you ever get a chance to go, do it dude! While even though this was only our second time, it’s true what Tiger says, it did feel like it was becoming a mini E3. Considering it’s the only large scale gaming convention that we’re able to attend, I still say it’s worth swimming through all the PR stunts to experience PAX Prime. As long as you are patient, you do get the opportunity to play games before they’ve hit store shelves. Even if you never get to try the big name IPs, there are still a ton of indie games and games from smaller studios that have shorter lines. And if you don’t play a video game, there are a ton of other things going on at PAX Prime. Panels! Board games! Tournaments! Cookies! There are lots of things that make going to PAX Prime worth the price!

Tiger: Before we wrap this up, I do want to give a shoutout to the PAX Prime Enforcers! They are the amazing volunteers behind every PAX. They keep everything running smoothly. Out of all the conventions we have gone to, PAX is by far the smoothest, well organized event we’ve attended. I don’t think it would be the same experience if it wasn’t for the hard work and dedication of the Enforcers, so thank you!

Rabbit: Yes, thank you Enforcers! You were a delight and a huge help during the entire event. I can’t believe that even working those long shifts, we never met a grumpy Enforcer. That’s more than I can say for you, Tiger. You got a case of the grumps towards the end of it.

Tiger: *crosses arms* Hey, it was a long weekend, I was tired. Anyway, that does it for us, thanks for reading this extra-long, link filled Q Attack everyone!

Should Gamers Attend PAX Prime?

Tiger     vs     Rabbit