Within the last 24 hours, Ubisoft has released a 20 minute video showcasing the sequel for Watch Dogs. Watch Dogs 2 seeks to be more hacker-friendly, giving the player access to more objects and people within the environment. Being at the forefront of technology and innovation, San Francisco seems like a fitting location for this sequel. The new protagonist, Marcus Halloway, will breathe new life into this IP bringing a sense of style and flair that Aiden Pearce may have lacked. Watch below and judge for yourself.
Final Fantasy XII is one of our favorite in the storied Square Enix franchise. Sprawling landscapes, unique enemies, and a fluid battle system culminate in a mesmerizing gameplay experience. However, it's the accompanying soundtrack that puts this RPG over the top. Key moments and the nuance of battle are enhanced by enchanting orchestral melodies, Whether it be exploring a new area or discovering a hidden secret, Final Fantasy XII serenades your journey with thematic masterpieces. Here are some of our favorites.
Old Archades/Ridorana Cataract
The Phon Coast
Competition is the life-blood of much of the entertainment we consume. In particular, professional sports allows the everyday man and woman to live vicariously through amazingly talented athletes. Whether it's Steph Curry draining a 35-footer or Chris G soul fisting his way to victory, we viewers feel an element of victory or defeat through their performances. Commentary can often amplify these exciting moments. Many of the greatest plays in sports and eSports history are accompanied by unforgettable commentary. With that said, here are some the best commentators in their respective domains.
Name: Ray Hudson
Sport: Football (Soccer)
Name: Mark Jackson
Name: Brandon "HomeMadeWaffles" Collier
Sport: Super Smash Bros. Melee
Name: Michael "Yipes" Mendoza
Sport: Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
It's no secret that rappers are avid gamers. From Mario or Metal Gear, rappers are just as fresh on the sticks as they are on the mic. However, the seemingly niche anime culture also pervades hip hop culture on several levels. Wu-Tang's style and flavor is heavily influenced by Japanese culture. Kanye West himself is a fan of Akira. This is apparent in his video for his hit single "Stronger" off of Graduation. Here are other instances within rhyme where rappers have proudly waved their geek flag.
Artist: Lupe Fiasco
Line(s): "Sound village, Leaf village, wolf spirit, magic spells
Dodging rain and catching hail"
Anime Reference: Naruto
Artists: Joey Bada$$
Song: Christ Conscious
Line(s): "Got dragon balls like my name was Vegeta"
Anime Reference: Dragon Ball Z
Artists: Lupe Fiasco
Song: Touch the Sky
Line(s): "Guess who's on third?
Lupe steal like Lupin the 3rd"
Anime Reference: Lupin III
Artists: Joey Badas$$
Song: Paper Trail$
Line(s): "Enter the chamber get hyperbolic"
Anime Reference: Dragon Ball Z
Artists: Lupe Fiasco
Line(s): (Song Title)
Anime Reference: Mazinger Z
Artists: Capital STEEZ
Song: Survival Tactics
Line(s): "And Pokémon wasn't gettin' recognized at Comic-Con"
Anime Reference: Pokémon
RIP Capital STEEZ
Rappers are some of the biggest fans of video games in the field of entertainment. Aside from rapping, many of these talented lyricists have a history of gaming as a hobby. Most recently, Chicago native Lupe Fiasco defeated the legendary Street Fighter player Daigo Umehara in a first to five set to promote the launch of Street Fighter V. So it is no wonder that references from gaming make it into many of his songs. Here are some those instances.
Song: Dumb it Down
Line(s): "Writer of the white powder, picker of the fire flowers"
Game Reference: In Super Mario Bros., Mario gains the ability to throw fire balls when he picks up the fire flower power-up.
Line(s): "Hideo should go and make a game for it"
Game Reference: Hideo Kojima is a Japanese video game developer most famous for creating and directing the Metal Gear series.
Line(s): "Incinerator chutes and the manual for Contra
Assorted memories from my childhood
Absorbing energy from the wild woods
Electronic combat Konami sign contract"
Game Reference: Contra is a popular arcade-shooter video game released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987,
Song: Gold Watch
Line(s): "Monocle magazine and Japanese manga
Futura, noz furatus and HTM trainers
I love Street Fighter 2 I just really hate Zangeif
Only Ken and Ryu I find it hard to beat Blanka"
Game Reference: Ken, Ryu, Zangeif, and Blanka were all available fighters on the Street Fighter 2 roster,
Song: Go Go Gadget Flow
Line(s): "No ghost no 16 bit like Sega genesis"
Game Reference: The Sega Genesis is a 16 bit video game system released in 1988 and Sega's third console, Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 were blockbuster games for this system.
ESPN now has an official page dedicated to eSports. This is a huge step forward for eSports and is a great indication of its growing popularity. ESPN is a massive platform to showcase what the culture has to offer. eSports is the most accessible form of competition to date due to its low barrier of entry. If you are too short, you can game. If you're not athletic, you can game. If you are wheelchair-bound, you can game. This is an exciting sign of things to come.
Link to ESPN Esports Page: http://espn.go.com/esports/
The Lion King universe made its first appearance in Kingdom Hearts series in the second console installment. Sora took the form of a lion, wielding his Keyblade in his fangs as he battled heartless in the savannah alongside Goofy, Donald, and Simba. Although this world has already been featured in this series, I would like to see an expanded, denser version of one of Disney’s most beloved franchises. A return to Pride Rock would be a welcome inclusion in Kingdom Hearts 3.
Atlantis is an alluring world to consider for the third console installment of the Kingdom Hearts series. The lost underground continent presents an excellent setting for exploration, especially given its distinct uniqueness from the other worlds that will be featured. Integrating the Atlanteans’ crystal into the gameplay could add an interesting dynamic exclusive to events and plot points within Atlantis.
Often overlooked, Treasure Planet is one of the best animated Disney films. If there is any character that matches Sora’s enthusiasm for adventure and contagious energy, it's Jim Hawkins. Incorporating the story of an intergalactic search for legendary root into the Kingdom Hearts universe sounds like a no-brainer. Given the potential for planet-hopping shenanigans and solar sailing endeavors, this addition could add to the numerous memorable moments in this storied franchise.
I cannot think of a better way to introduce Kingdom Hearts to the new generation. Sora, Donald, and Goofy would fight alongside the Jedi to bring down waves of Heartless-Sith hybrids. The setting poses the most questions. Given the incredible depth of Star Wars'’ lore, there are many planets, locations and timelines to consider. Kingdom Hearts has a unique opportunity to take advantage of Star Wars’ two trilogy structure. The crew’s first visit could take place during the events of episodes I-III. Story elements would require a second visit to the Star Wars universe where once former ally, Anakin, is now the primary antagonist, Darth Vader. Whether it be Tatooine’s harsh wastelands or Naboo’s lush landscape, traversing this vast universe would be a truly unforgettable experience.
#5 Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
The Uncharted 4 presentation started off with a few hitches but eventually showcased why the anticipation for Naughty Dog’s blockbuster franchise is so high. Unlike the previous gameplay trailer that showcased Nathan Drake traversing a heavily forested landscape, the E3 presentation set the protagonist grappling and opening fire in a sprawling market. This PS4 exclusive is sure to deliver engaging gameplay within a cinematic experience.
#4 Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain
If not for the fact that this game did not debut at E3 this year, it would be #1 on the list. Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain will be the Game of the Year of 2015 and Hideo Kojima’s finest work. Everything I have seen has reinforced my hype for the fifth installment of this legendary franchise. Exquisite graphics. Meaningful gameplay mechanics. Complex characters. Compelling story. I can’t wait.
#3 Dark Souls III
After the high praise Bloodborne received, it's hard to not heavily anticipate the third installment of the Dark Souls franchise. Much of the appeal of these games is the unforgiving “hard but fair” difficulty. Although Lordran is an impressive setting, Bloodborne exhibited a cohesive interconnected world with a palpable morbid ambiance. Dark Souls III looks to build on the evolution of its predecessors.
#2 Kingdom Hearts 3
I admit that I’m a little biased when it comes to Kingdom Hearts. After all, it is my favorite franchise of all time. However, the hype and promise for the third console installment is undeniable. Having skipped the previous generation, Kingdom Hearts 3 looks to make a big splash upon release. The gameplay shown at this year’s E3 featured vibrant graphics, a plethora of new abilities for Sora, and an expansive world. Many unanswered questions remain but the spirit of Kingdom Hearts burns bright.
#1 Horizon: Zero Dawn
Of all the new IPs, Horizon: Zero Dawn was by far the most impressive. The concept of human survival in a post-apocalyptic world so distant in the future that mechazoid animals are viewed as living beings is enthralling. The gameplay trailer showed the protagonist systematically take down a mechanical T-Rex with a variety of weapons including electric arrows, harnesses, and explosive armaments. It’s not often a new IP exhibits such potential upon its initial reveal. The hype is real.
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CREATE LIKE A GOD, COMMAND LIKE A KING, WORK LIKE A SLAVE.