Harmonix Music VR Visualizer Is A Big Reason To Consider Gear VR

about X hours ago from
Harmonix Music VR Visualizer Is A Big Reason To Consider Gear VR

When I was in college, my roommates and I swapped WinAmp skins and visualizers (those pulsating graphics that move to the music). As time wore on, my relationship with WinAmp faded. Now, Harmonix is working hard to rekindle that same connection.

Harmonix Music VR advances the core concepts of a music visualizer by placing you in a scene with interactive objects. The demo on the Gear VR units at Oculus Connect was a stylized beach at night, with a boat, lanterns, and plants.

Focusing on one of the slightly glowing objects triggers a related visualizer effect. You can choose to stay focused on one or exit and find another simply by turning your head away for a few seconds.

Virtual Reality’s Next Challenge: The Perfect Controller

about X hours ago from

As Oculus gets closer to its first consumer Rift model, the pieces are starting to fall into place. With the visual aspects approaching targets thanks to the new Crescent Bay prototype and audio well underway, we wanted to know what the company was planning for an input device.

Back at GDC, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey told us that input isn’t enough for virtual reality. "You don't want just an input device," he says. "Something like a Kinect or a mouse, they are very much input devices. You are making something happen in the virtual world, but nothing is coming back out. What you really want is something like the headset that allows you to manipulate the virtual world and feel sensations from and have good haptic sensations from the world."

Spoilers For Stupid People: 2014 Edition

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Spoilers For Stupid People: 2014 Edition

Nowadays, you have to be proactive if you want to avoid spoilers for an anticipated movie, television episode, or video game. However, there is such a thing as being too proactive, which can easily spill over into full-blown spoiler paranoia. If you're the kind of person who covers their ears and runs screaming from the room at the mere mention of a game or show you're interested in, please join us as we mock your hypersensitivity in another edition of Spoilers for Stupid People.

Dissecting The Horror Of The Evil Within's New Gameplay

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As part of our October cover story on the past and future of horror games, Game Informer executive editor Andrew Reiner played through and wrote extensively about the first five chapters of The Evil Within. You can learn more about the game from its creator Shinji Mikami of Resident Evil fame, or you can watch Reiner's video discussion about the game with horror-fan Tim Turi. They talk about the game's variety of horror influences, how they all tie together into one world, and why it has more in common with Eternal Darkness than you'd expect. 

Watch the video below to see new gameplay from The Evil Within and learn about how the game compares to classics like Resident Evil 4.

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Walking (Yes, Walking) Through Oculus' Outstanding Crescent Bay Prototype Demo

about X hours ago from
Walking (Yes, Walking) Through Oculus' Outstanding Crescent Bay Prototype Demo

Oculus has been consistent on a number of key points: The company won't release a virtual reality product until it's good enough. There's a sense of openness about the VR race that encourages competition. Oculus Rift is a seated experience.

This last point is one I've mentioned a number of times in previous VR writeups, because there are others who are trying to create holodeck experiences or simply encourage stationary standing. Not Oculus. Everytime we've spoken with the team, there's been a reinforcement that the Rift is meant for couch (or swivel chair) usage.

The newly announced Crescent Bay feature prototype revealed at Oculus Connect offers a number of improvements. It includes positional audio (though not 360-degree yet), improved persistence, and tracking LEDs on the back of the unit. And while it's not designed as a standing experience, according to CEO Brendan Iribe, that is how Oculus chose to show it to attendees at Oculus Connect.

Destiny: I’m Level 20, Now What?

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The road to 20 in Destiny can be a quick one, with story mission experience bonuses and bounties coming together to achieve the so-called “soft-cap” quickly. But what can you do once you’ve reached the “endgame”? Scoring some legendary or exotic gear pieces and ramping up your light level will get you to where you need to be to attempt Nightfall or Raid encounters, but it’s not explicitly explained how you should be spending your time. Here are some activities you can start doing at 20 to begin moving on up. Note that you should be incorporating appropriate bounties (new bounties are available daily) into all these activities!

By Yourself

The Strike Playlist

Opinion – Offering A Final Fantasy XV Demo Is A Step In The Right Direction For Square Enix

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The road to Final Fantasy XV has been long and winding. The game that started off as Final Fantasy Versus XIII was announced at E3 2006 and very little information surfaced about the title up until it transformed into Final Fantasy XV last year. In a way, it was gutsy move to make it a mainline title. After all, it was always depicted as more of an action game, something the numbered entries haven’t touched. Not to mention, a lengthy development timeline already raises some doubts and concerns. Is this a game we’ll even experience? Is it a quality title? Why has there been such a delay in any information?

Fans have tried to patient, but knowing about the game for eight years and seeing few details isn’t an easy pill to swallow. Back in April, I wrote an editorial expressing my concern over Square Enix’s decisions with the JRPG market. I wrote that the company has a lot to prove to RPG fans, and that it must ensure games like Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III are worth the wait. More importantly, Square Enix can’t afford to make both games’ development cycles extend too much longer. 

Tracking Pac-Man's Pre-Smash Bros. Cameo Appearances

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Pac-Man is a hugely important character to the world of video games, but he generally keeps to himself and his own games. Let's take a look at his small collection of cameo appearances.

Super Smash Bros.With Super Smash Bros. right around the corner (for 3DS, at least) this is the cameo appearance that immediately comes to mind. His inclusion isn't too surprising, considering Bandai Namco helped develop the game, but he's a welcome inclusion. My time with him has proven him to be a fun fighter, and he seems like he will fit right in with the rest of the cast.

KickKick is a Midway developed arcade title from 1981 where players play as a clown riding a unicycle collecting falling balloons. For some reason, it takes place in the middle of the night in the middle of a city street. They can't all be classics. In the game, Pac-Man and his ghosts friends appear alongside the balloons. It would be years before Pac-Man felt comfortable making another cameo.

TGS Sidequest: Dining At The Dragon Quest Restaurant

about X hours ago from
TGS Sidequest: Dining At The Dragon Quest Restaurant

On my trip to Japan, one of my most anticipated stops was to Luida's Bar, a restaurant devoted to all things Dragon Quest, located in Roppongi. Luida's Bar is a small, quaint place where the spirit and essence of Dragon Quest is alive and kicking. It's like being in a tavern from the games. But before I get ahead of myself, I should warn those who want to visit: You should try to get a reservation ahead of time. It only seats about 20 people. The restaurant is tight on space, but it provides an intimate experience, like being able to watch the staff make the food devoted to popular monsters in the universe.

As you can see above, the restaurant isn't huge, but once we arrived, I couldn't wait to open the door and take in the atmosphere.

The bar is lit up with plenty of Dragon Quest-related drinks to buy.

TGS Sidequest: Final Fantasy XIV's Eorzea Cafe

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As a fan of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, I was delighted to learn about a restaurant themed after the game in Tokyo. When we were in town covering TGS, I made sure that the Eorzea Cafe was one of our stops, but you don't need to be intimately familiar with the game to enjoy the atmosphere.  

This is the sign you see as you enter. The cafe isn't a standalone restaurant; it's more of a room in a larger complex of themed restaurants in Akihabara.

Of course, since it's based on a game, the restaurant has a gaming kiosk set up in case anyone gets the urge to log in to Final Fantasy XIV.