Skyrim For The Noob

The world of Skyrim is vast. In the sense that China is merely a continent. No, Skyrim is a universe unto itself. Ok, well not that big, but the picture you should get is that it’s huge. Except if you are a noob to Elder Scrolls then yes the universe analogy fits.  What Bethesda did was pack some good meat on the bones of a game that clearly need to trim, and keep the best parts. For what Skyrim does it is magnificent. So let’s assume you are like me, a noob to the world how do we get into the game to get the most out of the experience. You can’t go wrong with that. Focusing on what makes the game worth playing is how much can you get into it.  Since there is much to do in Skyrim we created 5 tips that will help keep you alive, and grow to your best potential in the game.

1. Side Quests- Always look for small jobs to do from NPC that help you boost your stats. They are a quick way to also get a lay of the land, and the creatures dwelling there.  Another great thing is the quick cash, and notoriety.  This is also a great way to understand the world, and what is going on in it. You are close to the ground hearing all the tales & stories.


2. Hours of exploration- Put time into some research with the mindset that exploration is the best way to discover what the world has to offer. By putting in 2 hours you get a full idea of the land near you. It’s something that lends perspetive, and a time frame to assess, plan, and then act. That’s really the way it is supposed to be. Living with that knowledge makes a difference. One that counts, and has on the best course of action.

3. Network-The single most important aspect of Skyrim is to interact with your network of friends who have the game. Discuss what they have seen, and experienced. What you will discover is that not everyone plays the same, but they have styles of game concentration that have helped them progress. So your goal is to study them, play, and learn while  in your game. That will make your adventure more complete, getting you near to an ideal end than having you feel as if you are still in the beginning. How do you get mad at that? Many of your friends have gone through the motions of having a life. Leaving a lie, but behind the truth. How right is that?


4. Decide on your limits-What I mean by ‘deciding your limits’ simply comes down to how much do want you want to explore, quest, engage, and finish the game? What type of abilities, and traits do you want in your character? Deciding after say several days of playing, and feeling your way is the best way to get lost. Which is fine, but then pull back for a day. Organize your thoughts on how you have been progressing, or digressing. This evaluation will help you with time/game management so that you are able to get the most out of playing Skyrim. At the same time giving you set goals that give you a breather. You can jump back into the game with more focus, and clarity. This attitude, and discipline will go a long way to you finish the game in a manner that makes you feel satisfied from the experience. Which at the end of the day is why you plucked down the duckets for the game in the first place.

5. Learn Your Map- Bar none the best thing for a noob to do in any rpg game no matter the type. You should learn, or create a map. Many times in RPG games you will have to backtrack, and traverse areas you may have been to, or will have to go to. Further more it also let’s you bookmark important areas that will allow you to finish quests that can’t be done until you have acquire better weapons, abilities, or items. Your map is everything. In fact it’s such an important tool that the folks over @ have created a map that tabs the Province of Skyrim and its locations.


You’ll be better at rpg gaming following these steps. They are again meant to make sure you don’t get overwhelmed. It’s also a great way for you to not have to purchase those tip books that frankly, ruin the game experience. You should get the most of your games, and guide are cool, but they give too much away. Not many games can have guides created. Which for gamer’s that need them, forces many miss out on great games because they have to have a guide. We want confident gamer’s, a better rpg players. WoW is great, but’s Skyrim should let you know it’s not the only one in town.

Special Edition of Joe Danger

When I first saw Joe Danger I was instantaneously a fan. There was a bright, airy, and fun character that came from the game’s media. The more that was shown of the game, and it’s development history revealed itself. The more I rooted for the game. So it’s pretty cool to see the game not change. It was created from an independent stand point, and that freshness remains till now. Offering up ten unlockable characters, new multiplayer levels, updated level editor, and awards for your avatar. It’s safe to say Hello Games is making up Joe Dangers absence from the Xbox 360 platform in a big way.

Joe Danger becoming a PSN exclusive was questionable for some, but for me it was a good way to guage how the audience would receive the game. It did pretty well on Sony’s PS3 monster, but now Hello Games has the game set to premier on XBLA. One thing we know about how Microsofts Xbox 360 team when it comes to multi-platform titles is they look for is a way to differentiate.  Joe Danger Special Edition does exactly that.  The bonuses content, new features, tighter control for the bikes themselves, along with significant efficient load times. It will undoubtedly be a better game, accentuating the finer points of Hello Games first title. A year later it’ll be fresh biscuits, organic juice, and a nice snack for gamer’s to have fun again.  The Lab is a mode where the levels challenges make for fun experience. Actually, in fact this was a test mode for development purposes. Hello Games was smart to give you objectives, and provide rewards to give you validation for playing. Really smart.  You get through on a single run, you get badges of stunt man heroics to say you not only survived, but conquered. Nice…

Operation Raccoon City: Capcom Issues PC Release Date

The Windows version of upcoming shooter, “Operation Raccoon City” based off the Resident Evil franchise will debut two months after Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 versions. The game will support Nvidia 3D Vision, so PC gamer’s should be happy to learn that features in the console versions will show on their platform. This is includes eight-player online, and four-player campaign play. The premise of the title is based on several special commandos who have been employed by the Umbrella Corporation. This is the same corporation responsible for what the viruses, contaminations, and conspiraces within the Resident Evil universe. In fact your part as a commando is to continue Umbrellas dirty work by covering up their mess, and killing any survivors in Raccoon city. Mean…The PC version hits shelves May 18, 2012.


Halo 4: New Master Chief Images

@Halowaypoint is all things Halo on Twitter. 343 Industries saw fit to reveal new images of Halo 4 today. Not much can be taken out of the images as they do not reveal any in-game info, or exactly what the scale of the environments they take place in. What can be said is that Master Chief never looked better, and if they are an indication of the direction the rest of the game of Halo 4 is taking. Then 343 may just pull off the unthinkable after the departure of Bungie. We must add for those who have been living under a rock,  343 industries has had alumni from Bungie Studios as part of their internal make-up so there will be consistency from what we have known of Halo’s franchise. 



What Does Phil Harrison Joining Microsoft Games Studios Mean?

This is Orca big. Phil Harrison career in gaming has been one of excellence, perseverance, and progressive. At each stage of his professional life in gaming since starting with Sony Computer Entertainment his reponsibilty and respect were reflected in the success of the Playstation consoles, and brand. He left Sony in the middle of the PS3 early years. What many in gaming felt was a changing of the guard in terms of philosophy about where, and what direction Sony’s focus of their console platform should be.  In some respects one would say publisher burnout as well, but that would not be entirely true. Mr. Harrison went onto do stints at both Atari and London Venture Partners, and now as head of Microsoft Game Studios in Europe. In each role his responsibility was more of guidance, and analyzing where the gaming market was going from an executive level. These experiences have honed him to be sharper, more diligent, and offer a broader understanding of what the gaming industry is today. Looking into the future Phil Harrison is in a great position that honestly couldn’t be given to a more competent executive in the industry. It’s without a doubt he is highly respected by his peers.

What does this mean for Microsoft on all levels is stability, and growth for the current Xbox platform in Europe, but more importantly directly impacting the eco-system across regions. Do not for one second think that Phil Harrison will be some cubicle executive with a glory title. Nope, that is not what Microsoft has brought him aboard to do. He’s taking over Peter Moleyneux spot, and those are not small shoes to fill. What he does impacts gaming on the next platform from Microsoft in a huge way. Right now Microsoft is losing ground where they have been strong this generation, that is with core gaming,  first party gaming, and working with developers. Many developers have been speaking out on what Microsoft is missing, the fact that besides 343 Microsoft has to rely soley on 3rd party support, there is no clear direction with respect to their indie games platform. All areas that Phil Harrison given true control will be to impact positively. Not to mention broadening the scope of what Microsoft can do with Kinect, and their progression into our living room, as well as the future products, and services on the Platform. Let’s keep in mind that although Home never really became as big as Sony would have wanted. Phil was able to give it a structure that could be built upon. He’ll bring that same vision over to Microsoft’s Games Studios.

 Microsoft has the success, but more is needed from critical observation by the industry.  ”I am excited to be joining the senior team at Microsoft at a pivotal time for our industry,” said Harrison. In his statement upon announcement Phil says; “I am really impressed with the company’s long-term vision for growing the market for interactive entertainment globally and also with the incredible wealth of talent, technology and resources the company has available to succeed.”You best believe everything on Phil’s plate is getting a look over of epic proportions. This is his chance to put a stamp on not just the platform, but the changing industry. Remember Microsoft is not just battling against Sony, but a strong Nintendo, and a very formidable advesary in Apple. Whatever the technological forms/features the next Microsoft platform has. Someone is going to have be part of the group to get developers making their best. That starts at home. So by Phil Harrison getting Microsoft’s shaky first party house in order with their internal studios in Europe. That impact will be felt day one. Microsoft knows this; ”We are honored to have Phil join a team that boasts a wealth of talent from across the industry,” said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president at Microsoft Studios. “Phil is one of video gaming’s true visionaries, and his experience overseeing global studios and deep industry relationships make him the ideal person to lead our European efforts. Under his leadership, we look forward to continuing cultivating the best talent and growing our business in the region.” They continue on by stating; ”Phil has played an instrumental role in shaping modern console history through his keen insights into both hardware and software strategy,” said Don Mattrick, president, Interactive Entertainment Business. “His addition to our leadership team will impact our global business in innumerable ways, as he aligns our studio development and growing portfolio of entertainment experiences in Europe to drive our continued growth worldwide.”

In a broader perspective Phils appointment says to investors, and those looking at Microsoft from a pure business standpoint. Is that Microsoft get’s it, they are serious about their mometum of success of the Xbox 360 platform, and they are clearly prepared to move forward to a new generation. This type of confidence bodes well across the board. It can not be understated what Phil Harrison’s impact means on the gaming industry. This type of stability is great. We have to also keep in mind that Sony themselves will be healthier as result also. They have had to respect Microsoft’s position this generation. Adding Mr. Harrison, they know his pedigree, so they are going to take their business with the PS4 very seriously. If they are not doing so already. Which from their releases, and progress over the past two-three years is looking up overall. So having healthy publishers bodes well as the games industry continues it’s billions of dollar progression. With Phil Harrison aboard Microsoft it means everyone is affected. In an ironic prognostication, wrote an entire piece back in 2010 exclaiming, and making a case for Phil Harrison to become the President of Microsoft Entertainment. He’s in the door, but not quite there yet. Close is close though. Good luck Phillip.

Max Payne 3 Contest: Win A Trip To Brazil

Max Payne 3 on May 15,  and Rockstar Games are giving fans a reason to want this mercenary bodyguard shoot fest.  Gamer’s will have a reason to get giddy as they can play the game before it release in may, and a chance to  fly down to Brazil for the Sonar São Paulo music festival.  You can join Rockstar Social Club or the game’s official Facebook page. Contest entry is open until April 9, and you must be 18 or older to participate. Guess what? The contest is on and popping now! The winner will first fly to New York City, where he or she will play a “pre-release” version of Max Payne 3.  You will wrap up the trip flying back to the states, getting Xbox 360 console, a one-year Xbox Live Gold subscription and 1,600 MS Points. In addition, 10 runners-up will nab themselves a Max Payne 3 prize pack, one year of XBL Gold and 1,600 MS Points. This serves a slow motion diddy bop.

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier's Pax East Play Through Experience

The more we get to see Ghost Recon: Future Soldier from Ubisoft. The better understanding of what the title is trying to achieve becomes apparant. Ubisoft has taken a good amount of development years to figure out new ways to bring innovation to the squad-based series. The previous incarnations gave you a minutia of things to focus on, with the idea of enhancing teamwork. For “Future Soldier” they are introducing new mechanics such as Gunsmith mode. What it does is help players go into battle with the right weapons for the situation they will encounter at hand. The new trailer reveals how the mode will give you millions of weapon configurations. The idea is to find a style that best suits you, and the completion of your objective. As demonstrated by Mack Machowicz what, and how you choose matters to your survival in the game.

Pax East is offering up lots of goodies for attendees, by offering up game-play of titles. There is a Horde mode similar to what we saw with Gears of War 3. You’ll be hit with wave upon wave, upon wave of enemies. Apparently according to Ubisoft this particular mode will have player’s engaged for five + hours. There’s meat on this game’s bones. From the grape vine gamers are going to have to work in tandem to make sure that they can get through areas. According to one play through by Gameinformer’s Dan Ryckert, there was nothing quite wrong with the game mode, but he felt uninspired. Here’s an excerpt of his experience:

I found that whenever I pointed out an enemy location, it was a matter of seconds before someone on my team took him down with a few assault rifle rounds. Considering how quickly you can be taken down yourself, it’s to everyone’s benefit if you call out for a revive as soon as you’re injured.

The four waves I played tasked us with protecting a glowing blue HQ, which we defended from cover. On the rare occasion a member of my team did a roadie run through open air, it wasn’t long before he was bleeding out on the ground. Players will have to defend this static primary objective for ten waves at a time before the location moves.

Wave streaks are available as you progress, and the Ubisoft representative hesitantly told me they were similar to Call of Duty’s killstreak rewards. I only saw two during my time with the game, and they were a UAV and optic camouflage. There were still three slots for additional streak rewards, but they weren’t on display at this event.

While nothing about the mode seemed broken, I walked away feeling that Guerrilla seemed very uninspired. It may have only been four waves out of fifty, but nothing felt particularly original or entertaining. It’s just one mode in a bigger game, but it left me hoping for more innovation in the overall package of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier.

breakdown is Dan’s observation of his play through along with others I’ve spoken with has been interesting. The question emerges is Ubisoft trying to do too much? Are they too ambitious. Hopefully Pax East is serving up as a good feedback wheel for Ubisoft.

Halo 4 Will Be Out November 6 2012

Well folks Halo 4 will be released “worldwide” on November 6, Microsoft confirmed today.  Nielsen has labeled it to be gamers’ most anticipated title of 2012. After it’s reveal at Microsoft’s 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo briefing. The machine that is Microsoft has been building up it’s marketing buzz, and to be quite honest with the information that is being released. This is is going to be something we all won’t want to miss as gamer’s.

Sony, Microsoft E3 2012 press conference times disclosed

Let’s face it. The biggest news this gaming year won’t be the games. It’ll be what Microsoft, and Sony will reveal for the next generation. The Xbox 360, and PS3 are doing exceedingly well, but technology and gaming must move forward. As such the next generation is going to be a battle front unlike any other in gaming history. Not because of the success of the Xbox 360, and the PS3 doing decent. It’s the coming storm of our multimedia world built on mobile devices, cloud computing, and the expansion of the web. What we are expecting is to be blown away. Not because we want the publishers to, but rather they have no choice. If the consoles are to last for a long time, then the jump, and make of these consoles must truly be next generation.  Except I’m jumping the gun. Why? Neither publisher plans to reveal anything next generation related.

It makes sense for both companies not to talk about next generation consoles at E3. I’m of the belief that they should do so at self created events, and in association with other events around gaming. Both the PS3, and Xbox 360 are doing well. Publisher’s are moving units, gamer’s have more games to play than hands, and to be quite honest. The consoles are really kicking ass in their prime. Here’s the skinny though; Microsoft’s press conference will take place on June 4 at 10 a.m. PST/1 p.m. EST. Sony’s press conference will follow at 6 p.m. PST/9 p.m. EST. The publishers are preparing to make impacting announcements on hardware and software, that they have coming down the line. Unfortunately they are staying mum on new-generation consoles at this year’s E3. Do we expect something will be talked about at E3 2012 regarding next generation consoles? Yes, and it may for the first time be developer lead. E3 2012 will take place June 5-7 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Skyrim & Kinect Voice Command Will Bring The Masses

There is no doubt that Skyrim is a hit title by Bethesda. There is no doubt that Kinect is a beast. Here’s the rub for both. Skyrim is so hardcore of an RPG that you need an install base of active gamer’s to get it. Kinect is so casual that Microsoft is losing the faith of their hardcore game base to care. Bethesda was smart enough to realize they need each other. Microsoft needs to now care that voice command will legitimize the Kinect before it’s too late. Skyrim x Kinect will bring the masses in a new way. 

Tomorrow’s Skyrim Kinect voice command update is significant. The game could skate alone by just adding the voice component alone. The element honestly is naturally in how it brings a new dynamic to an RPG game. This may sound crazy, but Skyrim is now a better game. One of the reasons I say this is because without changing the game fundamentally, Skyrim is now the casual game that Microsoft has wanted to make for it’s Kinect audience. Where it differs from all the other Kinect titles is that it’s depth is actually engrossing enough to the point that gamer’s who have a Kinect will play the game longer. Listen if like me you know people who have a Kinect. They will tell you how much they love it, but don’t play it often. That juxtaposition, and in some respects oxymoron does not help Kinect be a difference maker for a casual audience that Microsoft is mining. In fact the success of the Xbox 360 may perhaps be blinding Microsoft to how serious they need to take Kinect has a momentum push into the next generation. Now that most PS3 players don’t take the Move serious. Microsoft with Kinect can show us why they will be more than formiddable next generation. The fact that most gamer’s are not that eager for it to get here. Skyrim gives you reason to get really excited about owning both an Xbox 360 and Kinect if you are a gamer who’s been sitting on the fence. Look Star Wars as a franchise had no benefit from having a Kinect game using it’s license. Most gamer’s only asked why and wtf?

Skyrim is already an amazing game. Bethesda does not benefit from having to add anything extra. Yet, the publisher values their product, and you can see their are determined to make it better. By offering a way to get more gamer’s involved they push the RPG genre forward, and legitimize the future of the genre with Kinect. I would not be surprised that the word of mouth alone will be something phenomenal. At the same time for gamer’s who have already been fans this is a new experience in a way that will be refreshing. Voice command is giving players a much more diverse interaction which is utterly cool. Bethesda is also teasing us with more info tomorrow. In the mean time inbetween time here is where you can download the PDF Voice commands for Skyrim.