What to Play: February 22-28, 2009

27 02 2009

Welcome to a new weekly feature called “What to Play” where we will post the weeks releases of playable content, including all the retail games. This list will not only highlight the U.S. releases but will encompass all of the regions for our friends all over the world. I found it hard enough to keep up with the constant releases and PSN updates myself, therefore figured a handy one stop shop would be a perfect fit.  So without further a do… Enjoy!

PS3 Logo

Killzone 2 USA/PAL $59.99/£49.99
Shellshock 2: Blood Trails USA $39.99
50 Cent Blood on The Sand USA $59.99
Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock PAL £49.99
Silent Hill: Homecoming PAL £49.99
80 GB PS3 Console w/Killzone 2 PAL £299.99
Playstation Network Games (PSN)
Demos (via PSN)
Killzone 2 USA Free
Major League Baseball 2K9 USA Free
Tom Clancy’s HAWX USA/PAL Free
Downloadable Content (DLC)
Buzz! “Quiz of the Year” USA/PAL $5.99/£3.99
Call of Duty: World at War – Makin Day Map USA/PAL Free
Disgaea 3 DLC USA $1.99/$3.99
Guitar Hero World Tour: Bob Seger Track Pack USA/PAL Varies
Lord of the Rings Conquest “All New Content!” USA/PAL $9.99/£6.29
Rock Band USA/PAL Varies
Skate 2 “San Van Classic Pack” USA/PAL $4.99/£3.19
Street Fighter IV “Femme Fatale” USA $3.99
High Velocity Bowling PAL Varies
Street Fighter IV ” Brawler Pack” PAL £3.19

If there is anything else you would like to see included or have any feedback regarding this feature please feel free to leave us a comment below. We look forward to hear what you have to say.

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Relationships & Gaming

25 02 2009


Playing video games is a hobby in which I enjoy but at times can take up a huge chunk of my time, while some have that time to waste others like myself have a wife and a family making it difficult to strike that perfect balance. How can we as gamers find that time to enjoy our hobby but also not let any of our relationships suffer because of it? Is it possible for both of these to successfully co-exist and if so, how can that be done? I by no means have all the answers but will attempt to answer those questions.

As if relationships weren’t hard enough already combine the fact that most gamers are automatically flagged as irresponsible and lazy therefore the uninformed will automatically believe this. However gaming like most hobbies is something you enjoy doing on your free time and if taken too far can obviously be harmful to not only your health but the health of your relationships. Therefore the first tip is moderation, you must be careful that the time you do spend gaming is actually “free” time, nothing will upset a spouse more that neglecting a priority in order to play games. It is sometimes difficult for me to understand how my wife could possibly enjoy scrapbooking but have come to terms that is something she enjoys spending her time doing and understand and support her hobby. Which is our next tip, be understanding, most gamers aren’t lucky enough to also have a spouse who understands our hobby or even one who games themselves. But in order for your spouse to put up with your hobby you also need to be supportive and understand their hobby, whatever that may be. Heck, you can even have hobby time where you get the time to game and she has the time to do what she enjoys. At times there is nothing I want to do more than to get some gaming in but instead that time would be better spent with my wife and family enjoying both of their company. So the last tip is to make time for others whether or not that includes your personal family or just friends. It is very rewarding and in the end may allow you more gaming time. Whether I always show it or not my wife and child both need to know that they will ALWAYS come before my hobby and nothing shows that more than deciding to spend some time with them instead of gaming.

So, how can you accomplish both being in a successful relationship, being a father and having time to game? Which I admit I am not perfect at and sometimes cross the line but it ultimately boils down to prioritizing your responsibilities, using moderation, being understanding and making time for family. If you have any tips to share or feedback regarding the article let us know below in the comments. Also feel free to check out any of our other articles or make a suggestion on what you would like us to cover; we would love to hear from you.

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What’s The Future of System Exclusives?

19 02 2009

This year Sony expects to reap the rewards of many exclusive titles set to release on the PlayStation 3, such as Killzone 2, Uncharted 2, Heavy Rain and InFamous just to name a few. But in the future can we expect these titles to stay exclusive or even expect exclusive titles at all? It is of my opinion that the days of system exclusives is coming to an end and a different model will be born.

First off its not financially sound for game companies to not include a potential market by omitting a console, especially in our current economic market. Games are taking more and more time to develop as a result the resources in which it takes to produce is also increasing putting a bigger burden on the sales of the finished product. Therefore if a certain title under-performs the company is in a bigger financial hole than previous years. A prime example of this is the long PlayStation exclusive Final Fantasy series that upon its next release will be available on BOTH major consoles.

So, how does this affect us as gamers? Despite the constant battle between fanboys on which console is better which ultimately boils down to PS3 exclusives vs. 360 exclusives I think this will benefit gamers. For instance, I only own a PlayStation 3 and would love to play such franchises as Gears of War or Halo as I am sure Xbox owners would enjoy playing the Metal Gear Solid series or God of War series. Conversely I can also see this as being portrayed as a negative with some saying that if both major consoles have the same releases then what is the need for two different consoles. This would eliminate the competition which directly motivates each company to improve and provide more for their consumers, gamers. To counter that argument I believe that can be alleviated by such things as exclusive content, DLC, or timed exclusives releases.

This brings me to what I believe the gaming stratosphere will begin to look like. It is of my opinion that these exclusive titles will soon become obsolete instead the tides will shift into something like exclusive content like GTA 4 or timed exclusive releases like that of Bioshock. This in my eyes will benefit both the game companies by allowing them to tap into a different market as well as allowing us gamers the opportunity to try different games.

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What do you think? Whether you agree or disagree let your voice be heard by leaving a comment below. Also feel free to check out some of our other articles as well.

Interview with Bill Seaver from MicroExplosion Media

14 02 2009


This is the second entry in what I hope to be a continued monthly feature where I get the opportunity to interview someone in the gaming/blogging culture. If you would like to check out any of the previous interviews they will all be archived here as will all the future interviews.  So check back often to ensure you don’t miss out on any of them.

However, this month I was lucky enough to speak with blogging coach and social media marketer Bill Seaver from MicroExplosion Media. During this chat we discussed, among other things, the many issues that arise when starting a blog and how to be more efficient. You can listen to the entire 42 minute exchange by either the embedded audio player below or by downloading the mp3. Enjoy!

Download Link (Right Click, save link as)

Again I would like to continue to make this a monthly contribution so if you liked this particular interview then drop us a comment below, or better yet a suggestion on who you would like to see us interview. In the meantime feel free to take a virtual tour and check out all of the other articles.

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Fireproof Your Life

4 02 2009

Although this blog generally covers video games and the video game industry I choose the name Beyond The D-pad to give me the freedom to also talk and express things that effect me, a gamer and much more, while I go through this journey that is my life. While I usually would not share such abstract feelings or opinions; this particular event was such a positive experience that I felt complelled to share.

Last night I was asked to watch a movie with my wife that she had picked out for us. Like most husbands my first response was, “great another chick flick” however decided to give her the benefit of the doubt and watch the movie. To my surprise the movie was life inspiring and a complete joy to watch and gave me a renewed energy for not only my marriage but my entire life in general. What was the movie you ask? Fireproof! While it does have a religious tone, I still would recommend this movie for anybody not just the believers or those who are married. Go check it out and let me know what you think, I would like to hear what you thought of the movie and if it has inspired you like it as for me.

Anyways enough of that, now back to our regularly scheduled program….

PS3: Games That Will Shine in 2009

2 02 2009

With such exclusives releases as Little Big Planet, Metal Gear Solid 4 and Resistance 2 many people claimed 2008 to be the year of the PlayStation 3. Now I won’t refute or echo that statement however if that was the case then 2009 seems ready to build on that momentum. Those signs are evident with the growing popularity of the recently released PlayStation Home, the new trophy system and another year of triple A exclusives.

Here are some of the exclusive titles that are sure to shine in 2009:

  • God of War 3

Anyone that has any relation to the PlayStation brand is aware of the series and its success. For just that fact alone this will be a huge sequel, however is not the only reason it’s a top this list. God of War 2 was arguably the best game of the PS2 genre and given the vast amount of games released that is no small feat. The sequel appears to be no different when released on the PlayStation 2’s big brother. Although this game probably won’t be released until 2010, we can hope can’t we?

  • Killzone 2

The game was originally hyped back in 2005 when a trailer displayed bold predictions; fast forward three years and most of those predictions have come to fruition. With huge upgrades over the last installment and stunning graphics to boot there finally appears to be some competition in the market. As the hype increases the closer we get to its release we can only hope that it won’t disappoint.

  • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

One of the pleasant surprises for the PlayStation 3 was Uncharted which had eye-catching visuals, an interesting storing and proficient gameplay which Naughty Dog will hope to expand on. Although just recently announced, Uncharted 2 appears to be a step in the right direction after watching their teaser trailer. After trudging through the jungle, I am looking forward to the places Drakes adventures will take us next.

  • Gran Turismo 5

One of the most successful racing games on any console is getting a fifth installment. However unlike its predecessors this installment will feature an online mode and a library of over 9000 vehicles such as first time participants like the Ferrari. The series has always been known for its realism along with its ability to push each system to heights previously unknown. Therefore this installment should be no different.

  • Heavy Rain

While not on most gamer’s radar, which is a mistake, I believe this game will be a silent killer. Most of its hype again came from a tech demo that was shown at E3 in 2006. Visually it looked amazing but there was more than meets the eye. The storyline is ambitious and involves new ideas which are admirable. If this game wasn’t on your radar before this article at least make it a point to learn more about it now.

While these were the only games we choose to spotlight here are some other notable releases to watch out for: InFamous, MAG, White Knight Chronicles, and Ratchet and Clank. With all of these games hopefully set to release this year could 2009 be the year of the PlayStation 3? I won’t claim that yet… but the future does look bright

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Did we miss a game that you think should be on the list, or do you completely disagree? Let your voice be heard and leave a comment below.