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Five Best Videogames of Comic-Con 2011

As the movie, videogame and comic book industries invaded the San Diego Convention Center last week, Comic-Con 2011 dominated media coverage. Fans mobbed the Convention Center, too, looking for the  latest in cutting-edge entertainment. This year’s show is now history and for our gamers out there, we’ve rounded up for you the best five videogames of the show:

MASS EFFECT 3 (BioWare/Electronic Arts)
Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Release Date: March 6, 2012


BioWare’s Mass Effect 3 is easily one of the most anticipated games of 2012.

The long-awaited sequel to the make-your-own adventure, Mass Effect 3 was playable for gamers at Comic-Con. We saw this game at E3 but Comic-Con gave us a chance to spend more time with it. What did we like best about it? BioWare enhanced the third-person shooter aspect and RPG elements of the game and gave gamers the option to play as a female Shepard.

For the uninitiated, Mass Effect mixes sci-fi themes with elements of action RPG gaming. As the new game begins, Commander Shepard is being put on trial for what happened in ME 2. However during the trial, Earth is besieged by Reapers. Shepard uses the opportunity to make a quick exit and goes off to summon help from other alien civilizations. While Shepard is recruiting help, he encounters resistance from former allies, the Cerberus, and the space opera plays out from there. For players that worked hard on those previous game saves, you’ll be happy to know your progress will pick up where you left off with ME 3.

Expect multiple versions of ME 3 to be available — such as a collector’s edition and a digital deluxe edition. And get this: The special editions are set to include exclusive weapons found in the N7 Arsenal Pack. We’re totally buying that.

SPIDER-MAN: EDGE OF TIME (Beenox/Activision)
Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Nintendo Wii, DS & 3DS
Release Date: October 4, 2011


“Excuse me, do you have the time?”  Spider-Man: Edge of Time floats between two time zones — the year 2099 and 2011. 

Spider-Man is everywhere these days — including a new movie and even a Broadway musical. Not to be left out, he makes his latest videogame appearance in Spider-Man: Edge of Time. In a videogame that can be best described as Spider-Man meets Inception, there are actually two Spider-Men – one from the present (whose alter ego is Peter Parker) and one from the future (alias Miguel O’Hara) who rose to fame in the comic series Spider-Man 2099. Gamers play in either time period, but the game’s “Quantum Causality” feature, causes the actions you make in one era to have an effect in the other (like the cause-and-effect logic in Inception). If that isn’t enough to make your head spin, toss in the villainous antics of The Black Cat and Anti-Venom – and it’s really “game on.”

The present and the future link up in Edge of Time, with the 2099 version of Spider-Man working overtime to protect the original web-slinger from harm…and save the future from being devoured by an ultra-greedy corporation called Alchemax.

STREET FIGHTER x TEKKEN (Capcom/Capcom)
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation Vita
Release Date: March 2, 2012


Two of the greatest fighting games franchises in videogame history come together for the ultimate smack-down in Street Fighter x Tekken.

In a grudge match that could only be described as videogame nirvana, Namco and Capcom are pitting their toughest fighters against each other for the first time in the HD era. Fighters from the Tekken and Street Fighter series  face off together for what gamers are hoping will be the fighting game to end all fighting games. Street Fighter x Tekken (which Capcom translates as “Street Fighter cross Tekken”) pulls in all your favorite characters from Street Fighter (Ryu, Guile, Abel, Chun-Li, Poison, Dhalsim and more) and throws them in Tekken greats (such as Kazuya Mishima, King, Steve Fox and Yoshimitsu). And although this isn’t exactly the first time these two powerhouse rival companies have united to do battle (that honor goes to 2005’s Namco vs. Capcom), it’s the first time that gamers outside of Japan will be able to enjoy the mayhem.

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: SKYWARD SWORD (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo)
Platforms: Nintendo Wii
Release Date: Fall 2011


Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is actually a prequel to Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

In the latest installment of Nintendo’s legendary Legend of Zelda action/adventure series, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, the game FINALLY gets the high-definition treatment and a pick-me-up from the addition of Wii Motion Control Plus technology – which gives Link’s movements (such as shooting an arrow) new precision and power. Swordplay, in particular, is also given special attention, with this game paying attention to details such as how Link’s sword is angled before it cuts something (or somebody).

Nintendo gave additional depth to the environments between dungeons, too. And while the locations may be familiar, Nintendo has slipped in new gameplay surprises. Plus, as we mentioned, this will be the first time Link will be in HD glory.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: SUPER SOLDIER (Next Level Games/Sega)
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS
Release Date: July 19, 2011

Cap’s come a long way — originally debuting in Timely Comics (which evolved into Marvel Comics); Captain America is now starring in his own hit movie.

Captain America is an original superhero; he first appeared in comic books in 1941. But don’t count him out because of his age; his recent live-action feature (Captain America: The First Avenger) had enough muscle to knock the latest “Harry Potter” flick out of the top slot at the Box Office.

Captain America: Super Soldier is almost a companion piece to the movie, and follows the film’s general plot and action. As the Star-Spangled Avenger, Captain America sets out to explore a huge castle that’s been turned into a rogue military installation. Aside from using his own spectacular acrobatics and trusty fists to make his way through this third-person action game, Cap is equipped with his trusty shield, which he can hurl at enemies, protect himself from gunfire, and even scale walls when the need arises. It’s an action game through and through but captures the feeling of the film pretty well.

Get Into Games
Are video games your favorite form of entertainment? Have you ever imagined making your own game? Make your own game ideas come to life by learning video game design or 3D animation. Or explore your passion creating comics. Who knows? In a few years, they could be showcasing your creations at Comic-Con 2020!

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posted by Phill Powell in News Blog,Video Game Design and have No Comments

E3 2011: Day 1, The Latest Battle in the Console Wars

Tuesday marked the first day of E3 2011 in Los Angeles, one of the largest consumer electronics shows around and an annual showcase for new and impressive digital technology.

Nintendo Takes a Big Tablet
In terms of publicity impact, yesterday belonged to Nintendo, which unveiled its new Wii U controller Monday night. The controller is a fairly hefty accessory, which makes sense, because the middle of the device contains a 6.2-inch-diagonal touch-screen display.


Nintendo was a bit light on certain specifics (such as price and release date), but its new Wii U controller – with a 6.2-inch touch-screen controller screen integrated into its controller – wowed the crowds and silenced critics.

The Wii U controller is also tricked-out with a front-facing camera, microphone, gyroscope and accelerometer. While gaming, the player can play a game either through the handheld device or play the game on the TV that’s hooked up to the console. In terms of size, the Wii U controller resembles a tablet PC, but doesn’t offer (yet) the same type of options as an iPad or other tablets.

Sony: Picking Up the Paces


Sony is still reeling from recent attacks by hackers that took down the PlayStation Network for a month. One of the more impressive announcements the company made: how two PlayStation Vita players could use 3D technology to play games on a single screen, with each seeing a different image.

Sony continues to battle through an extremely difficult year – a year that has included natural, nuclear and economic disasters in its home country of Japan. Nonetheless, Sony always comes ready to play, and this year’s E3 was no exception. During a 5-hour press event, the electronics giant showcased its new PlayStation Vita. During the five-hour pre-show event on Monday, Sony showed off the new handheld – which follows the original PlayStation Portable (PSP) video game system. As with the Wii U controller, the PlayStation Vita has a large-screen (5”) display in the center of the unit, with control buttons on both sides of the screen. The Vita also features an interface similar to the iPhone. No surprise then that the Vita system is also 3G supported and will have service provided by AT&T.

Microsoft Wants You to Kinect


Microsoft is hoping gamers will want to “kinect” with its new interactive system, which adds motion to the mix.

Microsoft’s Kinect system has been doing gangbuster business in retail stores for a while now, yet Microsoft brought it to the front and center of the Xbox gaming experience. The Kinect system projects an infrared pattern around your game room and uses that information to give the CPU a spatial reference for gamers position and movements. Your real-life body and voice are tracked and used to control games. Microsoft’s message? Get “kinected” as they forced everything from a Kinect soccer game to a Kinect game called “Kinect Disneyland Adventures” down gamers’ throats. (We prefer the old-school method of playing games from the comfort of our couches, and we think most hardcore gamers do, too.) The strategy comes from Microsoft’s urge to copy Wii’s success, but only time will tell if that strategy works.

Apple’s Head in the Clouds


Apple doesn’t even have to be in attendance at E3 to make news, as gamers and industry insiders alike were still buzzing from Apple’s announcement about iCloud.

You know Apple has some serious industry clout when it doesn’t even bother to show up at the world’s greatest electronic entertainment show. Opposite of the announcements that came out of Los Angeles on Monday, Apple’s Steve Jobs introduced iCloud in San Francisco. Apple’s latest venture, iCloud is a storage service, much like Amazon’s Cloud drive or Dropbox. How does it work? For a $25 annual subscription fee, you can copy any music from a computer-held music collection and store that music in the iCloud. Once your media is on the cloud, you can access it from any number of iDevices. The whole thing, according to Apple is quick and relatively painless to use, and much easier to navigate than services offered by Google’s Music Beta and Amazon’s Cloud. With those services, users have to slowly load their songs from their computers to cloud servers.

At the end of the day, E3 belonged to Nintendo, who won hands-down…or was it Apple, since it’s interesting to note the Wii U controller was strikingly similar to an Apple device called the iPad. Sony’s Vita wants so bad to be an iPhone, and many attendees snickered at Sony’s attempt to catch up with Apple.

Catching Up with Technological Trends
Keeping up with today’s top technological trends and tomorrow’s game industry reality is just one of the many ways that Digital Media Academy computer & digital arts summer camps is able to offer the ultimate summer camp experience. Our instructors are industry innovators who have worked for some of the biggest players in the game industry, and they are often tuned to coming trends that our students have yet to even imagine.

This summer, DMA will offer a range of courses related to 3D Game Design for various popular game platforms. From an Introduction to 3D Art, Modeling and Animation for Game Design…to 3D Game Development classes (for developing games for Google Android devices, for the Internet and for iPhones)…to 3D Game Creation classes in Level Design and Character Design. No matter where your video-game interests lay, DMA has a computer summer camp for you. To learn from the industry’s best, this summer turn to DMA.

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posted by Phill Powell in News Blog and have No Comments