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Weekly wrap-up 1/20/2013

DmC Devil May Cry on  Image / Screenshot

DmC Devil May Cry Image

As the beginning of 2013 continues to chug along, we’re getting more and more content to check out. Whether it’s a new movie, an upcoming video game, or the week’s hottest release, you’ll find coverage of the biggest posts of the last seven days. Check out our impressions of Disney Infinity, our look at Guillermo Del Toro’s Mama, and our review of DmC: Devil May Cry right here in our weekly wrap-up.

Reviews

Movie Review: A Haunted House is 2013's first scary movie

The only thing scary about this parody is how plain stupid and lame it is.

Review: Power Rangers Super Samurai strikes a low, cheap blow to the Kinect

Kinect-owning Power Rangers fans, stay away from this game.

Movie Review: Zero Dark Thirty is so much more than a "true" story

This flick isn’t impressive due to its source material; it’s impressive because it’s just a damn fine, well-made movie.

Review: DmC Devil May Cry's stylish action and stunning visuals make for the perfect reboot

This Devil May Cry revival delivers a great-looking, great-playing experience that hits all the right notes.

Review: The Roccat Apuri will make your desk look good, but for a price

If you’re willing to spend a bit of cash for this USB hub, you should totally go for it.

Movie Review: The Last Stand – He's back, I guess

Arnold Schwarzenegger returns to the big screen in a largely unimpressive action film.

Movie Review: Broken City is modern noir in NYC

A good plot and some cool noir themes make this movie worth watching.

Movie Review: Mama – fairy tale horror, presented by Guillermo Del Toro

It’s not Guillermo Del Toro’s strongest film, and the special effects are kind of bad, but Mama is still a pretty decent movie.

Previews

Dead Space 3 weapon crafting impressions

GameZone weighs in on the weapon creation in the upcoming Dead Space 3.

Dead Space 3 demo impressions

What’s the verdict on the Dead Space 3 demo?

Preview: Tomb Raider mixes puzzle, platforming and survival into one, gorgeous experience

We check out Lara Croft’s latest adventure, and we like what we’re seeing (and playing).

Hands-On: Getting our hands dirty with Tomb Raider's Multiplayer

GameZone gives you the skinny on the multiplayer component in Tomb Raider.

Impressions: Disney Infinity looks like a toy-collecting, world-creating good time

Disney Interactive’s next initiative has a lot of potential and may just offer practically limitless possibilities.

Preview: Aliens: Colonial Marines will finally give us the sequel we always wanted

So, like, this game just went gold, and we’re totally stoked to play it.

GZ Originals

Who cares if Master Chief shows his face in the next Halo?

Do people really care what Master Chief looks like? And if they do, does it really matter when his mug gets revealed?

Interview: Chatting Edge of Space with lead designer Jacob Crane

GameZone chats it up with developer Handyman Studios about the upcoming exploration-heavy 2D action-adventure game Edge of Space.

Would DmC Devil May Cry have been better off with a different name?

Because ya know, Dante’s face looks different and all.

Five reasons why Disney Infinity will be better than you might expect

Disney Infinity has all the potential in the world to go far, and it may do exactly that.

Week in Mobile: Temple Run 2, TREa HD, and the hidden expense of Final Fantasy

Temple Run 2 and Final Fantasy: All the Bravest are just two of the latest mobile titles that you should check out.

How do we fix the disconnect between video game journalists and gamers?

The relationship between writer and reader is kind of ugly across plenty of outlets. Is there any way to address that?

Want to talk about indie games, Kirby, or cheap pizza? Follow me on Twitter @dr_davidsanchez.

Tags: Reviews, Previews, Movies, DmC Devil May Cry, Disney Infinity

By David Sanchez

Microsoft’s Phil Harrison warns Steam Box creator Valve about console business

Gear & Gadgets on  Image / Screenshot

Gear & Gadgets Image

Apparently, the console business is not an easy one. Of course, that may be a bit deceiving judging by the recent influx of console announcements we've received the past few months. Dating back a few months we've heard of the Ouya, the GameStick, and perhaps the most intriguing of them all, Valve's mysterious Steam Box.

Valve has been long-rumored to be working on some sort of home console based on the company's PC game service, but we haven't yet seen anything official. At CES, we got a look at something many thought was the Steam Box (or at least very close to it) in XI3's Piston, but Valve's Gabe Newell reaffirmed the company is still working on its own console — putting to rest those speculations.

We don't know when or what Valve's plans are for the Steam Box, but Microsoft Studios executive Phil Harrison has issued a word of warning to Valve and other companies looking to delve into the console market: "Entering the hardware business a really tough business."

Speaking to Eurogamer, the ex-Sony PlayStation development boss and console business veteran explained, "You have to have great fortitude to be in the hardware business and you have to have deep pockets and a very strong balance sheet. It's not possible for every new hardware entrant to get to scale."

"They can be successful at small scale. But it's very rare for a new hardware entrant to get to scale, and I mean tens or hundreds of millions of units. There are a very small number of companies that can make that happen." Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft, of course, are the three successful ones that come to mind.

"And it's not just having a great brand or a great software experience. It's about having a supply chain and a distribution model and a manufacturing capacity and all the things that go with it. It's a non-trivial problem to solve and it takes thousands of people to make reality," he said.

Harrison went on to say that while he "admires" Valve as a company and what they've achieved with Steam, he wouldn't consider it to be the "benchmark of success."

"We would always seek to innovate and push beyond," he said of Microsoft's ability to grow its own cloud gaming service. "Xbox Live as a foundation, the reach we have and the experience we deliver is a great place to build on."

As it stands right now, Xbox LIVE currently has 40 million users from over 70 million Xbox 360 units sold; Steam boasts an even more impressive 50 million active users. Who knows, maybe Valve can pull off its own console — I'm sure there are plenty of gamers that want to see them succeed. Even Harrison welcomes the Steam Box.

"Any new entrant, without being specific to any company or brand or product, to the games industry is ultimately a good thing, because it helps validate, grow and enhance consumer excitement and consumer interest in our category," Harrison concluded. "So, ultimately, it's a win for everybody."

Keep in mind, Harrison's comments come at a time when speculation of a new Xbox console from Microsoft is at an all time high. Many expect a new Xbox system will be revealed sometime this year.

Tags: Microsoft, Steam Box, Valve

By Matt Liebl

Temple Run 2 now available on iOS App Store

Article_post_width_temple-run-2

Temple Run 2, the sequel to Imangi Studios 2011 hit mobile gameTemple Run, was released on the App Store. It is now available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch for free.

Building on the success of its predecessor — which has been downloaded over 170 million times –Temple Run 2 features the same fast and addictive gameplay, but with high-res graphics, new obstacles, abilties, player powers, and achievements.Temple Run 2 also takes place in an enitrely new and challenging world — a temple in the sky filled withcurvy roads, hills and valleys, where you must fly down zip lines and speed along in mine carts to get away from the temple dwellers and retain control of the idol.

“We are so grateful to our millions of fans who turnedTemple Run,a small fun game we made in our apartment, into a worldwide pop culture phenomenon,” said Keith Shepherd, co-founder of Imangi. “WithTemple Run 2, we hope to provide our loyal players with a challenging follow-up that builds on and surpasses the endless fun of the original.”

Temple Run 2 can now be downloaded from the App Store. It will be coming soon to Google Play and the Amazon Marketplace.

Tags: Temple Run 2, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

By Matt Liebl

GameStick stretch goals add new colors and additional memory

Article_post_width_gamestick_controllers

With the GameStick having already surpassed its funding goal,PlayJam has revealed its list of stretch goals for the portable Android-based console.

The first goal, if the funding reaches $320,000, will be the addition of a second color. You'll be able to choose between white or black. The next milestone, at $450,000, adds two additional colors: red and whatever fans vote for the fourth color to be.

“People have asked about ways we can further personalize GameStick and giving people a choice of color is a great way of achieving this," said PlayJam CMO Anthony Johnson.

Finally, the last stretch goal mentioned is additional memory options. While the GameStick provides free cloud storage for game, the Kickstarter community has been requesting additional memory options so that more can be carried on the go. So if fans can raise $560,000, PlayJam will incorporate a MicroSD slot in the GameStick.

“We have been inundated with messages of support and suggestions on how to improve GameStick from both the gamers & developers worldwide who backed our project. Being at the pre-production phase, we have been able to incorporate a lot of these ideas into our roadmap. We were not prepared for that level of input but it has been fantastic.” Johnson added.

PlayJam has added a new $89 tier to allow existing backers to increase their pledge and for new backers to have a wider range of options. This new tier includes the GameStick bundle and a carry case for easy transportation.

“Kickstarter is proving to be a wild ride for the team behind GameStick. Hitting our original target so early goes to show appetite out there for continued innovation around affordable gaming on the big screen. We want to see how far we can go with this and hope that all those who have pledged will help spread the word to see just how far we can go!” concluded Johnson.

To support the GameStick, check out PlayJam's Kickstarter page.

Tags: GameStick, Kickstarter

By Matt Liebl

Gree and Square Enix to release Circle of Mana

Article_post_width_circle_of_mana

From theManaseries spread across Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, SNES and PlayStation 2, Square Enix has owned the trademarkforCircle of Mana. Nothing has been said about it since September when Square Enix filed for the Japanese tradmark for it. Now, Square Enix has revealed a website forCircle of Mana, and it is exclusive to Gree — the Japanese social network and gaming platform. It will be on iPhone and Android.

Pre-registration for the game is open on Gree. Unfortunately, there's little known about the game, other than that it appears to be a card-battling multiplayer title where characters become cards with characters from theManaseries.

You can follow Senior Editor Lance Liebl on Twitter@Lance_GZ.He likes talking sports, video games, movies, and the stupidity of celebrities. Email atLLiebl@GameZone.com

[Source: NeoGAF]

Tags: GREE, Square Enix, Circle of Mana

By Lance Liebl

How the f**k did Windows 8 sell 60 million copies in 10 weeks?

Gear & Gadgets on  Image / Screenshot

Windows 8

Defying all logic, Microsoft has moved 60 million copies of its Windows 8 operating system in only 10 weeks. Microsoft made the announcement at the Computer Entertainment Show in Las Vegas this week, saying the 60 million figure shows "a similar sales trajectory that we saw with Windows 7." I'm flabbergasted; most people I know that have used Windows 8 say that it's awful for PC and should only be a tablet operating system.

The Windows 8 sales total at the end of November was 40 million, and the 60 million total is the cumulative sales of Windows 8 including both upgrades and sales to original equipment manufacturers for new devices. Partially explaining the total is the undisclosed number of licenses that have just been bought by the US Department of Defense.GamesIndustry reported that the deal has 75 percent of all Defense personnel using Windows 8 machines. Apparently, the ability to playAngry Birds Star Warsand watching people do a dance sequence to dubstep is vital to national security.

Windows 8 has faced a mixed reception, with many in the video game industry flat-out hating it. Probably the biggest opponent to the new Microsoft operating system has been Gabe Newell, who continually stated that Linux is better than Windows 8, and that PC game developers should be moving towards that. Just this week he said that the system "was like this giant sadness… It just hurts everybody in the PC business." So that Steam box console to play your Steam games on… that won't be running Windows 8.

You can follow Senior Editor Lance Liebl on Twitter@Lance_GZ.He likes talking sports, video games, movies, and the stupidity of celebrities. Email atLLiebl@GameZone.com

[Eurogamer]

Tags: Windows 8

By Lance Liebl

The iPhone 5 will be in China December 14th, happy holidays

Laws & Rulings on  Image / Screenshot

Laws & Rulings Image

Following up with yesterday’s story, no longer is the date for the iPhone 5 in China a mystery. You Apple lovers over there in China can get your phones on December 14th. On top of that, China will also be selling the iPads on December 17th. Yay, you go gurl!

From the official press release:

CUPERTINO, California―November 30, 2012―Apple®today announced the Wi-Fi versions of iPad® mini and fourth generation iPad with Retina™ display will be available in China on Friday, December 7, and iPhone® 5 will be available on Friday, December 14. iPad mini and the new fourth generation iPad with Retina display are currently available in 42 countries, and iPhone 5 is available in 47 countries, including the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the UK.

Historian, teacher, writer, gamer, cheat master, and tech guru: follow on Twitter @AndrewC_GZ

Tags: China, Apple. iPhone 5, iPhone, laws

By Andrew Clouther

Minecraft sees incredible sales success in 2012

Minecraft on PC Image / Screenshot

Minecraft Image

Minecraft, in all forms, was a huge success in 2012. Once exclusively available for the PC, Mojang's hit sandbox adventure title has seen incredible growth, culminating in staggering sales numbers to close out the 2012 year.Mojang has posted a brief sales breakdown of Minecraftonall of its main platforms: PC, Xbox 360, and mobile devices.

Starting off with its original platform,Mineraft on PC (Mac included) sold a total of 4,177,843 copies throughout 2012. On December 25th alone, 70,808 copies were purchases/redeemed, and 241,845 during the week of the 24th-30th.

Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition, developed by 4J Studios also saw huge numbers, selling a total of 5,002,370 copies in 2012. A little over 100,000 copies were sold on Christmas with 325,591 copies sold during the week.

Lastly,Minecraft: Pocket Edition for both iOS and Android devices sold 5,899,727 copies throughout the year. 283,939 were bought on December 25th, and 706,419 were downloaded throughout the week.

It'll be interesting to see how theMinecraft phenomenon plays out in 2013. WillMinecraft continue to see the same kind of success it saw in 2012?

Tags: Minecraft, Xbox 360, Minecraft: Pocket Edition

By Matt Liebl

Microsoft’s Phil Harrison warns Steam Box creator Valve about console business

Gear & Gadgets on  Image / Screenshot

Gear & Gadgets Image

Apparently, the console business is not an easy one. Of course, that may be a bit deceiving judging by the recent influx of console announcements we've received the past few months. Dating back a few months we've heard of the Ouya, the GameStick, and perhaps the most intriguing of them all, Valve's mysterious Steam Box.

Valve has been long-rumored to be working on some sort of home console based on the company's PC game service, but we haven't yet seen anything official. At CES, we got a look at something many thought was the Steam Box (or at least very close to it) in XI3's Piston, but Valve's Gabe Newell reaffirmed the company is still working on its own console — putting to rest those speculations.

We don't know when or what Valve's plans are for the Steam Box, but Microsoft Studios executive Phil Harrison has issued a word of warning to Valve and other companies looking to delve into the console market: "Entering the hardware business a really tough business."

Speaking to Eurogamer, the ex-Sony PlayStation development boss and console business veteran explained, "You have to have great fortitude to be in the hardware business and you have to have deep pockets and a very strong balance sheet. It's not possible for every new hardware entrant to get to scale."

"They can be successful at small scale. But it's very rare for a new hardware entrant to get to scale, and I mean tens or hundreds of millions of units. There are a very small number of companies that can make that happen." Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft, of course, are the three successful ones that come to mind.

"And it's not just having a great brand or a great software experience. It's about having a supply chain and a distribution model and a manufacturing capacity and all the things that go with it. It's a non-trivial problem to solve and it takes thousands of people to make reality," he said.

Harrison went on to say that while he "admires" Valve as a company and what they've achieved with Steam, he wouldn't consider it to be the "benchmark of success."

"We would always seek to innovate and push beyond," he said of Microsoft's ability to grow its own cloud gaming service. "Xbox Live as a foundation, the reach we have and the experience we deliver is a great place to build on."

As it stands right now, Xbox LIVE currently has 40 million users from over 70 million Xbox 360 units sold; Steam boasts an even more impressive 50 million active users. Who knows, maybe Valve can pull off its own console — I'm sure there are plenty of gamers that want to see them succeed. Even Harrison welcomes the Steam Box.

"Any new entrant, without being specific to any company or brand or product, to the games industry is ultimately a good thing, because it helps validate, grow and enhance consumer excitement and consumer interest in our category," Harrison concluded. "So, ultimately, it's a win for everybody."

Keep in mind, Harrison's comments come at a time when speculation of a new Xbox console from Microsoft is at an all time high. Many expect a new Xbox system will be revealed sometime this year.

Tags: Microsoft, Steam Box, Valve

By Matt Liebl