Oct 30, 2008

Festival Arcadia to Host Fashion Show Featuring Lara Croft

When it comes to original, awesome video game events, Canada is a global leader. Don't believe me? Perhaps this will convince you:

I received a note from Festival Arcadia today announcing that at the premiere gaming event they will be hosting a Virtually Fashionable runway show featuring the star of the upcoming Eidos Tomb Raider: Underworld game - Lara Croft.

According to the press release, the fashion show will feature "ten of Quebec’s best-known fashion designers are creating costumes for famed videogame icon Lara Croft. Two of these outfits will be incorporated into Lara’s official wardrobe as downloadable content for Tomb Raider: Underworld post launch."

The release continues:

"Attendees of Virtually Fashionable will get to see the designs on real life and virtual models as they strut down the catwalk to music mixed by event sound designer Frigid. After the show, a jury that includes Cynthia Cooper, Curator of the McCord Museum, Herby Moreau, host and journalist, Stephane Le Duc, Editor of Dress to Kill Magazine, and Sandrine Belleteste, fashion consultant, will decide on one outfit that will be incorporated into Lara’s official wardrobe, with the designer taking home a $3,000 purse. A second outfit will be chosen by the public and both will be made available for download via Xbox LIVE so gamers will have the chance to play through the entire Tomb Raider: Underworld experience in a new award-winning outfit."

See, where else but Canada would have such a kick ass home-grown gaming event? No matter how you mix Lara Croft, fashion consultants, and a catwalk you always equal 100% awesome. Trust me, I've calculated all possible permutations.

If you're interested in what else Festival Arcadia will be offering, check out the program here.

Future Shop Announces World of Warcraft: WotLK Midnight Launch Parties

I have some awesome news for all you World of Warcraft fans out there. I've just received word that Future Shop have announced they will be hosting midnight openings and costume contests across Canada for the grand release of the newest WoW expansion pack - The Wrath of the Lich King.

Future Shop have also informed NextGen Player that enthusiastic gamers lining up will be one of the first to get a copy of the game. So what exactly constitutes being an enthusiastic gamer? Well, for one, dressing up like your favourite race from WoW. Gamers who dress up will not only be moved to the first spot in line to purchase the game, but will also have a chance to win a $100 Future Shop gift card. Free giveaways, including Warcraft hats will also be given out to the first 75 customers in line at every location.

Here's the press release:


(Burnaby, BC) October 30, 2008 – Legions of fans will march into Future Shop, Canada’s leading consumer electronics retailer and e-tailer, at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, November 12 to purchase World of Warcraft: The Wrath of the Lich King. Media and customers are invited to this midnight opening for the much anticipated expansion to the PC and MAC game World of Warcraft series which is expected to be a bigger hit than its previous successor on its first day at Future Shop stores across Canada.

Limited Collector’s Edition
Gamers attending the midnight launch at Future Shop will have the chance to line up to purchase a copy of the very limited Collector’s Edition of World of Warcraft which features: a 208-page book with never-before-seen images of the game; an exclusive in-game pet; a behind-the-scenes DVD; the official CD soundtrack, and more, while quantities last.

Free Gift with Purchase – Limited Quantities
Customers that purchase either the Collector’s Edition of World of Warcraft or the regular edition at Future Shop will receive a free gift with purchase, while quantities last. The free gift is an exclusive limited edition World of Warcraft hat.

Costume Contest
All Future Shop stores opening at midnight have a costume contest to give fans an opportunity to get together in a party-like atmosphere before the sale of the game at midnight. Judging of the costume winners will be held between 11:30 p.m. and midnight (to be determined by each store).

Future Shop stores in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario (except for Sudbury) and Maritimes are open at 11:59 p.m., Wednesday, November 12 for one hour. Future Shop stores in Quebec and Sudbury, Ontario are open 8 a.m., November 13.

For store locations and directions, go here.

NextGen Player Video Interview: Amp Energy Pro Team

Last weekend (October 26th) Paul and I got a chance to interview the newly formed Amp Energy Pro Team (North of 49). The team is currently training hard and looking forward to their PGL debut at the Arcadia Gaming Festival, happening November 7, 8 & 9 in Montreal.

We have some more footage of the team training in action to be posted later, so keep an eye out.

North of 49 -
Nelson Triana (gamer tag: G-SpOt)
Leo Vitelli (gamer tag: Alpha XFactor)
Matthew Warkentin (gamer tag: FURIEN)
Aleksandar Djukanovic (gamer tag: Importedd)
Interview Team:
Paul Hunter
Matt Vernhout
Tasha Vernhout (on camera).
YouTube video link

And the Newest Member is...

Calgary resident, Aleksandar Djukanovic, wins spot on team after summer-long search

Mississauga, ON – October 29, 2008 – After a nationwide search for Canada’s best gamer, the Amp Energy Pro Team, North of 49, is pleased to announce that they have chosen Calgary’s Aleksandar Djukanovic (gamer tag: Importedd) to join the team as its fourth member. The announcement follows the completion of the team’s auditions held this summer during the Amp Your Game competition.

Amp Your Game, Canada’s biggest gaming tour, served as a unique platform for Canada’s first-ever sponsored pro team to audition gaming hopefuls in nine major cities and online this summer. It provided a rare and coveted opportunity for one lucky gamer to win a spot on the team and become a professional.

“When we met Aleksandar at the Calgary auditions we were immediately impressed with his unique strategies and skill on Halo 3,” said Nelson Triana, team captain. “With him on board, the Amp Energy team will be a real gaming force to be reckoned with.”

A resident of Calgary, Aleksandar, has quickly established himself as a talented gamer with several impressive gaming credits. Most notably, he was voted Player of the Year in Canada’s premier Pro Gaming League (PGL) and finished in the Top 16 at a Major League Gaming (MLG) Pro Circuit event in July 2008. Born in Belgrade, Serbia in 1989, Aleksandar moved to Canada in 2000.

Amp Energy provided the pro team with a platform that brought an enthusiastic community of gamers together through the tour’s Search for the Pro competitions. We were blown away by the response and the quality of talent,” said Dale Hooper, Vice-President of Marketing, Pepsi-QTG Canada. “Amp Your Game proved to be a groundbreaking gaming tour that resulted in the discovery of one of the best gamers in Canada.”

With the winner now selected, the Amp Energy Pro Team, North of 49, is: Nelson Triana (gamer tag: G-SpOt); Leo Vitelli (gamer tag: Alpha XFactor); Matthew Warkentin (gamer tag: FURIEN) and Aleksandar Djukanovic (gamer tag: Importedd). The team plans to prove that it is one of the best in North America when it makes its debut at Festival Arcadia in Montreal, November 7-9, 2008. The now-complete team is undergoing a two-week training boot camp in Toronto to prepare for its first professional competition as the Amp Energy Pro Team.

About Amp Your Game
At 3,500 square feet, Amp Your Game was the biggest national gaming tour Canada had ever seen. Beginning in Halifax on June 12, 2008, Amp Your Game stopped in nine major cities from coast-to-coast and auditioned over 1,300 gamers for their chance to be named the fourth member of the Amp Energy Pro Team and receive an endorsement from Amp Energy. Amp Your Game was also an entertainment mecca featuring 80 gaming stations with the most popular games for all skill levels; a live DJ; celebrity appearances; and organized tournaments.

About Pepsi-QTG Canada
Pepsi-QTG Canada, a division of PepsiCo Canada ULC, is a leader in the Canadian beverages industry, and markets a variety of beverages under the following trademarks: PEPSI®, DIET PEPSI®, DIET PEPSI MAX™, 7UP®, MOUNTAIN DEW®, MUG®, AQUAFINA®, SOBE®, LIPTON®, and LIPTON® BRISK® ICED TEAS, STARBUCKS FRAPPUCINO®, GATORADE®, DOLE® AND TROPICANA®.

Oct 28, 2008

Last Chance to Win a Zombie

A zombie DVD to be exact. Or more specifically, a free copy of Day of the Dead the 2008 remake of George A. Romero's classic film.

We're giving away 5 free copies of the movie to our most devoted and loyal fans. All the entry details can be found here.

Entries will be accepted until midnight (Eastern Time) on October 31.

(Please note this contest is only open to Canadian residents.)

Ghoul luck to all. ;)

[Photo courtesy of the coolest zombie I know - Mr. LHM]

Sackboy Hijacks Playstation.ca

Something strange is happening over at PlayStation.ca.  Sackboy, has taken control of the website!

Want to see what kind of trouble Sackboy is  getting into? Then head over to www.playstation.ca today to see.

Remember LBP is now available at EB Games and other retailers across canada

Oct 27, 2008

I Bought the Gears of War 2 Lancer

You guessed it. As the title reads, I just pre-ordered the Gears of War Lancer bundle from Amazon.ca. If you'll recall, Drew (NextGen Player Senior Writer) posted a few months back about Amazon's US website offering this bundle.

life size Lancer
Well I'm not usually one for these type of gimmicky special game bundles (i.e. Halo 3 Legendary Edition with the replica Mark VI Helmet), but I gotta admit the more I pondered over the life size Lancer replica...I just couldn't resist myself.

For the "measly" price of $149.99 (I paid $1o extra for the Special Edition version of the game) I am very much looking forward to receiving my Gears of War 2 game AND life size Lancer. Once I receive them, I will be sure to follow up with a review of the game and my new toy.

Until then, happy gaming folks.

Gears of War 2 Midnight Launch at Future Shop

Gears of War 2A few days ago, I reported that Best Buy Canada was opening all of its stores (Quebec region excluded) at midnight for the launch of Gears of War 2.

Future Shop is also planning a midnight launch of its own. On November 6th at 11:59pm, all Future Shop stores (except for Sudbury, Ontario and Quebec stores) will be open for one hour for the sale of Gears of War 2. If you purchase Gears of War 2 at Future Shop, you have the opportunity to receive a free "Headshot" Locust Drone figure.

As for the Sudbury, Ontario and Quebec stores - they will be open on November 7th at 8am.

For all the details visit the Gears of War 2 launch page on Future Shop`s website.

Click here for the English page.

Click here for the French page.

Resistance 2 Beta Key Giveaway

[UPDATE #1: I've contacted the winner but haven't received a reply yet. If I don't hear a response by midnight tonight I'm going to award the beta key to the 51st emailer. Thanks everyone for all the email entries!

Update #2: I've finally given out the Resistance 2 beta key. Congratulations goes to Steven from Belgium!]

All right, here's the deal. I was given a Resistance 2 beta key a few weeks back and through a stroke of luck have gotten a hold of a second, spare beta key. I've decided to give it away to one of our diehard NextGen Player fans (that could mean YOU!).

I'll make it easy for everyone, the 50th person to send me an email with the subject line "I can't resist Resistance 2!" will win the beta key. That's it. Send the email to paulATnextgenplayerDOTcom.

(Note #1: you must be 18 years or older to win)

(Note #2: I will let everyone know when the beta key has been given away)

Good luck all!

Oct 25, 2008

LittleBigPlanet Releases In Canada

Numerous sources have informed NextGen Player that copies of LittleBigPlanet have been spotted at EB Games stores in Canada. We are still waiting to hear if other retailers have also started to put copies of the game on their shelves.

I was initially skeptical but I have called several local EB Games and all have confirmed to me that the game is indeed for sale.

If you've been holding out to get the game - now's your chance!

Happy creating. :)

LittleBigPlanet 'Sticker Wall' Photo Gallery Appears on Playstation.ca

Sometimes it's fun to pretend you're a kid again. You know, being carefree, full of wonder, amused by the simple things in life. Take stickers for example - they're simple, colourful and very sticky. The perfect gift to bring out the kid in me.

But when you place hundreds of stickers together, on a wall, something magical happens. People are drawn to the creation, as I was this past Sunday when I visited the LittleBigPlanet tent at the Best Buy 'Gaming Invasion '08' event. And it seems like I wasn't the only one inspired. There were hundreds like me who couldn't resist the chance to design our own stickers and then pose for a personalized 'Sticker Wall' photo.

Although you can't see it, in the top right-hand corner (just outside the white circle) is a cute SackBoy sticker that reads: "Paul Hunter - NextGen Player". Yeah, I was that creative. For those wondering, the person beside me is my lovely significant other Rachel.

Playstation Canada has the full collection of sticker wall pictures up on a LittleBigPlanet microsite. You can check out the full album here:

LittleBigPlanet Pictures [Playstation.ca]

Oct 24, 2008

Future Shop "Unfortunately" Fumbles The Puck on NHL 2K9 Tournament

Earlier this month I wrote about an NHL 2K9 Tournament taking place at Future Shop stores across Canada. A tipster informed me today that on the registration page a new message has appeared indicating that Future Shop has "unfortunately" had some technical difficulties capturing entries submitted between the dates of Oct. 3rd - Oct. 6th.

It looks like Future Shop will be still accepting entries for people who may be affected by the technical difficulties. People who filled out the entry form between these dates are asked to resubmit their information using the online form.

It looks like myself and fellow NextGen Player staffer Andrew Green were unaffected by this disruption as we fortunately signed up on the day after, on October 7th.

Source: NHL 2K9 Wii In-Store Tournament [Future Shop]

Best Buy to Open at Midnight for Gears of War 2 Launch

Gears of War 2I was on the Best Buy Canada website today and came across their Gears of War 2 page that is advertising all Best Buy stores across Canada (Quebec excluded) will be open at midnight for the launch of the game.

If you are one of the dedicated gamers to wait in line for the midnight openings, you will have the opportunity to get some free swag and win prizes.

At the Edmonton South and Toronto's Bay and Dundas locations one lucky winner will have the chance to win a life-size model Lancer.

For more details, visit the Best Buy Canada Gears of War 2 page.

Family Fears Boy Lured By Gamers

On October 22, the Toronto Star ran this story "Family fears boy lured by gamers", it was also carried on Canada.com (and likely many other local papers).

It a sad story of a boy so angry that his parent took away his Xbox and the video game Call of Duty 4 that he ran away from home.

Everyone keep your eyes open for Brandon and report anything you might hear or see to the Barrie police or Crime stoppers (222-tips) - Gamers need to stick together and look out for one another regardless of age.

Here at NextGen Player, we hope for his safe and quick return home.

Image thanks to Canada.com

10/27/2008: PS3 Trophies for GTA IV

RockStar accouncement for GTA IV on the PS3:

This coming Monday, October 27th, there will be an update made available on the PlayStation Network to unlock the entire Trophy system for Grand Theft Auto IV on Playstation 3. Make sure to download and install the update before playing in order to start obtaining Trophies.

There will be 51 total trophies, broken down by four different levels: bronze, silver, gold and platinum - all contributing to your overall experience level on your PlayStation Network profile.

Among the 51 trophies to be released Monday, look for (see image).

Look for detailed information on all 51 trophies to be revealed at www.rockstargames.com/IV this Monday when the Playstation Network update goes live.

Oct 22, 2008

Arcadia Gaming Festival 2008 - Montreal

Are you in the Montreal area? If so watch out for the Arcadia Gaming Festival 2008 happening November 7, 8 & 9 at the Pepsi Forum.

NextGen Player wants to hear what YOU have to say about the event! If you plan on attending and are interested in doing a write-up - send us an email. We'll send the person with the best write-up a free gaming T-Shirt from our Xbox X'08 grab bag.

Here are the details for the event:

AMP Energy AMP YOUR GAME Penthouse and the PGL Arcadia Pro Open:

Check out 5,200 square feet of the ULTIMATE gaming experience! Over 50 gaming stations, the hottest games, a chilled out lounge and the coolest prizes! Plus tons of AMP Energy drink to AMP YOUR GAME at Festival Arcadia 2008!

Festival Arcadia also marks the first Quebec-appearance of the AMP Energy Pro Gaming Team ... see who made the cut from the AMP YOUR GAME cross-Canada Search for the Pro!

AMP ENERGY is also pumped to host the first 2008/09 event for the Pro Gaming League (PGL).

PGL Arcadia Pro Open offers teams and individuals the opportunity to compete at Halo 3 (4 v 4 & 2 v 2), Super Smash Brothers Brawl, Guitar Hero 4 and Madden 09 for a chance to WIN part of $10,000 in prizing. For more info, go to: http://www.progamingleague.ca

Arcadia Gaming Festival details can be found at: http://www.festivalarcadia.com

Hungry For Free DVDs? We'll Satisfy Your Urge

Hey everyone, just a quick reminder that there is still nine days left for our 'The Need To Feed' Contest. The response so far has been great so keep those entries rolling in.

For those just joining us, we're giving away five free copies of Day of the Dead (the 2008 remake). To enter the contest all you have to do is send us an email at contest@nextgenplayer.com with the subject line "I Have The Need To Feed!".

See, we made this contest simple to enter because we're totally on your side. In all seriousness, everyone needs to be educated about zombies. Just make sure you give us credit when the zombie apocalypse occurs and you're over prepared.

(Note: This contest is restricted to Canadian visitors only.)

Oct 21, 2008

Best Buy 'Gaming Invasion 08' Impressions, Pictures

NextGen Player was on hand this past weekend to check out the massive Best Buy Canada 'Gaming Invasion 08' party that happened downtown Toronto at the Yonge-Dundas Square. It was an amazing event with dozens of gaming stations set-up playing the hottest games available this holiday. There were even a number of games playable that have not hit retail shelves including LittleBigPlanet, Gears of War 2, Guitar Hero World Tour, MotorStorm Pacific Rift and Resistance 2.

What I found most impressive about the event was the huge, dedicated tent erected solely to promote Sony's LittleBigPlanet. Immediately inside the tent you were greeted with wall-to-wall images of Sackboy, in-game scenery and characters, as well as text reinforcing the game's motto of play, create, share. I even got my picture taken in front of a huge Sackboy sticker wall that Sony is supposed to be posting on their website sometime this week. Once I get my hands on the photo I'll be sure to share on NextGen Player.

For those interested, here are some photos that Matt Vernhout and I took this week at Gaming Invasion '08. Enjoy!

Best Buy Gaming Invasion 08 Mini Best Buy Gaming Invasion 08 - Gears of War 2 Best Buy Gaming Invasion 08 Best Buy Gaming Invasion 08 Best Buy Gaming Invasion 08 Best Buy Gaming Invasion 08 Best Buy Gaming Invasion 08 Best Buy Gaming Invasion 08 Best Buy Gaming Invasion 08 Best Buy Gaming Invasion 08 Best Buy Gaming Invasion 08 Best Buy Gaming Invasion 08 Best Buy Gaming Invasion 08 Best Buy Gaming Invasion 08 Best Buy Gaming Invasion 08 Best Buy Gaming Invasion 08 Best Buy Gaming Invasion 08

Another Awesome Nintendo Shrunken Head, With Added Googly

Remember that totally awesome Nintendo of Canada shrunken head poster I wrote about last month? Well, for your awesome viewing pleasure here's another advertisement from the Nintendo of Canada 'Build Your Brain' campaign.

It's seems someone else who rides on the Toronto transit system also thought the advertisements were totally awesome, and also thought that sticking googly eyes on the couples' faces would make the advertisement even more awesomely awesome. And quite frankly, I absolutely could not agree more.

If anyone out there in Toronto-land has snapped a picture of any of the remaining campaign posters let me know. I really want to get my hands on a picture of that awesome eiffel tower couple picture. Shrunken heads rule.

Oct 19, 2008

Playstation Canada Teases Launch of 'Gamer's Voice Online'

Last year Playstation Canada ran a promotion with Future Shop called Gamer's Voice that let real gamers (for example, you or me) record game reviews and opinions. The recording stations were set-up at 6 stores in Quebec and Ontario and the clips aired on TSN, MuchMusic & Sportsnet.

This year it looks like Sony is about to open the promotion to gamers across the nation with the launch of an online version of Gamer's Speak. On the Playstation Canada website a new ad has appeared encouraging Sony gamers "start recording your reviews today". The ad also says that gamers who submit reviews/opinions will have a chance to *something*.

Nice, so not only do you have a chance to let your voice be heard from coast-to-coast, but you could also win yourself a *something* just for doing so. Sounds easy enough. I'll let you know when I find out what that *something* is.

Get your web cams recording!

Source: Promotions & Events [Playstation Canada]

Oct 17, 2008

NextGen Player Review: Bully Scholarship Edition

September may have come and gone, but the reality of another school year barely begun is front and center on the mind of this busy NGP writer and one must assume, many other gaming students out there. In the spirit of continued education, might I humbly suggest Bully: Scholarship Edition for Xbox 360 as a game you probably overlooked the first (or even second) time? Originally a 2006 PS2 release, Bully didn't show up on my radar until the 360 vesrsion was released this past March. The original launch was overshadowed by negative press generated by parental groups concerned that the game was essentially Bully Simulator 2000. Once again proving that most backlashes are based more on reactionary sentiment rather than fact, anyone who actually played the game for 10 minutes would see the it actually carries a strong anti-bullying message.

That's really neither here nor there though. What matters is the product that Rockstar delivered is at least as good as their more established franchise, Grand Theft Auto. Gamers who have spent time in Liberty City or San Andreas will find Bully familiar territory. You're basically looking at a series of missions interspersed with humourous cutscenes and free-roaming gameplay. It's a formula that has been in place since GTA3, but it works. Bully isn't set apart by reinventing gameplay types, it's rather the underlying social commentary that makes this game stand out. The GTA series has tried to do this in nearly every iteration, but in my mind the attempts at satire have always been a little too overt.

The kid who is going to hopefully be proving all these claims to you is 15 year old Jimmy Hopkins. Jimmy's your typical young adolescent male, but he's also remarkably perceptive for his age. When the intro movie rolls and we see young James being dropped off at Bullworth Academy for the first time, we quickly see that this kid isn't a comic exaggeration of an old character archetype. He's not war-weary Niko Bellic or a big time mobster Tommy Vercetti. Jimmy is the kid you probably went to school with who didn't want to be there and wasn't shy about making that fact known. He's tough, but not so much that he won't let a "wheeee!" loose when you go flying off a ramp with your BMX. Maybe you were Jimmy yourself in school, and the only thing that got you through those years was your own mental or physical toughness. Either way, Jimmy is very relatable, and that is only going to make him a more sympathetic character to the player. You really start to feel like the system has failed Jimmy and countless others like him, which is really the criticism put forth in this game. The rich and strong kids thrive at Bullworth, while the intellectuals live in fear of beatings and embarrassment. Jimmy quickly sees this and sets about trying to right the perceived injustices of the school. It's a theme that has been done before, but is the game simply about a kid trying to make things better at his school, or is it a larger commentary on the American educational system as a whole? Bullworth is a school with a staff full of corruption, alcoholics and biology teachers who seem to enjoy dissections a little too much, and yet Jimmy is quickly targeted as a sort of cancer by the administration.

This is where I feel Rockstar really nailed the frustrations of youth. Jimmy may not be an angel, but his motives are ultimately good. Given his age and position in life, the odds of him succeeding are poor, and those who are supposed to be helping him towards becoming a productive member of society are so incredibly flawed that he can't help but question the institution he's a part of. The game isn't perfect by a long shot though. Jimmy's romantic interactions with the ladies (or gents if you choose the rainbow path) seem to be more monetary transaction than affectionate responses to one another. My girlfriend happened to see one of the smooches Jimmy planted on one of his many lady friends and remarked that the kissing was "really unrealistic". Oddly enough, she didn't question Jimmy's ability to obtain said smooches simply by presenting handful after handful of freshly stolen flowers from the local girls dorm.

Do games often make you think of a greater issue outside of them? Should they even try to do so? Maybe they should just be inclusive experiences where we shut our brains off for an hour or two and forget our troubles. But if games stay that basic, if we don't allow them to evolve into something beyond simple entertainment, then our medium will stagnate. Many people mark their lives with songs or movies that had a profound effect on their way of thinking, why not games? Bully got swept up in controversy that it didn't seek, and the gem of a story got lost in the storm. Is it one of my favourite games of all time? Not a chance, but I'm hugely encouraged by what Rockstar tried here. I can only hope that they continue to think outside their GTA universe and refine their satirical storytelling that I've come to expect from them.

NextGen Player Review: Tank Universal

Looking back we talked about the upcoming release of Tank Universal, a Tron like video game set in a Virtual Reality world, we also got our hand on a copy of the full release on the Steam Gaming Network.

At first glance the retro feel of the game and the mouse/keyboard combination was a challenging for me (generally a console gamer) but I quickly warmed up the controls. Easy to configure for your preferred short cut keys and an intuitive interface made the experience enjoyable and rewarding.

I spent a number of hours playing along the story line finding the sequences occasionally on the long side, but not completely dissatisfying as they provide the needed back story to the player. The resistance is fighting back against the oppressive overlords and you their newest recruit. Starting with a daring escape and a couple training exercises and your on your way to liberation... I won't spoil the story any more then that - needless to say if you enjoy these types of stories your going to enjoy this game.

I also spent considerable time in the tank battle arena, this was much more to my liking then liberation.  I enjoyed the feel of a timed survival scenario with increasing difficulty as you managed to kill off more and more of the enemy tanks, followed by the addition of enemy air support and more powerful armour units in the field.  

To combat these advantages players collect power ups for their own tank, such as; Sprint - used to quickly close the gap or flee, rockets and gun turrets also help along the way with defeating your enemies and securing victory. 

Enjoyable and potentially highly addictive.

Oct 16, 2008

NextGen Player Invades Future Shop's NHL 2K9 Tournament

NGP faithfuls might remember that last week I mentioned Future Shop's awesome upcoming Wii NHL 2K9 tournament.

Just today two NGP staffers (myself and Andrew Green) have received invitations to the tournament via email. If you applied make sure to check your inbox. And if you haven't applied and are interested, you'd better hurry up. Spaces were to be allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis.

If you made into the tournament let us know in the comment section!

Good luck to all!!

NextGen Player's 'The Need To Feed' Contest

Hungry for another contest? So are we!

We're so hungry for your love and affection that we've decided that this month we're going to give away some more free DVD's to you, our diehard NGP fans.

Being that October is All Hallows Eve month, we thought it would only be appropriate to carry this festive (spooky) spirit into our gift-giving, and have decided to give away 5 free copies of the Day of the Dead 2008 zombie remake flick.

To enter, all you have to do is email us with the subject line "I Have The Need To Feed!". You don't even have to write anything in the body of the email - yes, we're making it that easy to win!

Make sure you send us that exact subject line because if you submit a clever gaming variation (e.g. I Have The Need For Speed!) then your entry will not be valid. And we wouldn't want that to happen now would we? Especially when zombies are on the line.

Send the email to our contest mailbox at contest@nextgenplayer.com. The deadline for submission is midnight on October 31, 2008.

Grand Prize (5 winners)
- Day of the Dead (2008 Remake) DVD

This contest is restricted to our Canadian visitors only. Remember the deadline for submission is October 31, 2008. Winners will be chosen at random on November 1, 2008.

For NextGen Player's standard contest rules and all that legal mumbo jumbo, check out our contest page.

Oct 13, 2008

Trade-in Game Program Details Emerge on Futureshop.ca

Trade in games at Futureshop
This past June, NextGen Player reported that Futureshop would be testing the game trading market. Well now Futureshop has officially announced their trade-in program on their website.

40 of their 134 stores across Canada will be participating in the trade in program.

To see the list of the 40 stores as well as for more detailed information on the program, visit the Futureshop website.

Click here for the English page.

Click here for the French page.

Oct 11, 2008

Keep The Kids Quiet This Thanksgiving

Thesource.ca is offering the movie trivia game Scene It? at the very reasonable price of $34.99, just in time to pick up before the coming holiday. If you need something to steer the dinner conversation away from more sensitive subjects *coughelectioncough* this Thanksgiving, I would strongly suggest this game.

Let's face it, our society knows more about movies than politics anyway, why not put it to some use? You can find Scene It, bundled with 4 big button controllers and batteries at The Source in store, or online here.

Oct 10, 2008

Best Buy Gaming Invasion 08 - Toronto, Ontario

Best Buy Gaming Invasion 08
The Best Buy Canada Gaming Invasion event is taking place for a 3rd straight year at the Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto from Friday, October 17th to Sunday, October 19th.

Some of the games to be featured at this event include Gears of War 2, Guitar Hero World Tour and LittleBigPlanet. This means you can experience these gems before they even hit the streets.

Gaming tournaments are planned and people can compete for some great prizes.

Canadian rock band Mobile will also be performing live on Friday, October 17th at 6:30pm.

Event dates and times breakdown as such:

Friday, October 17th - 2pm to 9pm
Saturday, October 18th - noon to 9pm
Sunday, October 19th - noon to 7pm

For more details visit the Best Buy Canada Gaming Invasion 08 page.

NextGen Player Review: Too Human

Too Human, you either love it or you hate it... Looking at the other reviews of this game most sites seem disappointed by the latest from Silicon Knights.

I however fall into the group of people that liked the game. A hard core dungeon crawler with lots of baddies to kill, constant action and so many choices for weapons, armour and appearance you are never stuck in the same location for long. The satisfaction of item drops and item creation, frequent upgrades and a system to harvest old items in order to build new ones is actually quite rewarding.

The switching back and forth between the two realities was also something that offered a slight variation to the normal gaming experience. Complete an action in Virtual Reality to accomplish something in the real world. Open gates, trigger switches and collect special VR powers to advance your character's level.

I think many people are just too used to the standard "Button Mashing" required in games like Too Human, in this case you are mashing the right Analog stick. I could see why some game sites would review that as a negative - it's not automatically intuitive to most gamers and actually takes about an hour to get fully accustomed to.

The robotic enemies you face will adapt as Baldur (the main character) evolves and with the increasing difficulties and increasing number of enemies thus draw to the forefront the major flaw that drove me crazy as a player... you die and you die and you die... and each time you die a Valkyrie cut scene (that you can't skip!) takes place where she descends from the sky to take your body away. Then you are back in the fray fighting the same enemy that just killed you and this is where things can get repetitive. Fight, die, cut scene, fight, die, cut scene.

Also, being a trilogy this game feels short. My first play through the game lasted about 20 hours. Oblivion took 140 hours to fully complete (including the Shivering Isles) with a rather abrupt ending I was left wanting to know more, wanting to fight more creatures, and wanting to continue the story line but only credits were there to greet me.

All in all I really liked this game but I didn't "Love" it. Because of the vast difference of opinions on this game you may want to rent this and only buy it if you liked it - I'm glad I got my copy.

In the end I'd wrap up by saying all the haters of this game go back and play it again and give the controls a real run for their money. Once you get used to them you are going to like this game.

Now to get in on the multiplayer.

Oct 9, 2008

PS3 Pre-Order Sale on Amazon.ca

Amazon.ca has a Playstation 3 promotion on now that let's you save a few bucks if you pre-order some of the hottest upcoming holiday titles.

Games on sale include:

- LittleBigPlanet
- Rock Band 2
- Fallout 3
- Socom US Navy Seals: Confrontation with Headset
- Resistance 2
- Bioshock
- Valkyria Chronicles
- Dead Space

There are actually quite few more PS3 games (and a handful of Xbox 360 and PC games) on sale over at Amazon.ca, so make sure to check out their pre-order page.

Oct 8, 2008

Punch Out is Coming Back

For those of you who spent hours upon hours playing Punch Out for the NES back in the day...well rejoice because it has been announced that a new Punch Out will be coming for the Wii. Make sure to visit NextGen Player regularly as we will provide more details on this story is it comes.

For now, have a look at Punch Out trailer below courtesy of our friends at X-Play.

Sony "still working on" Bringing PSN Video Store to Canada

Playstation NetworkRemember E3? That's the event where Sony announced the launch of the PSN Video Store. And that was back in July.

If you're Canadian like me, then you have probably looked high and low in the PSN marketplace but haven't had any luck locating the video store. The sad truth of it is that unfortunately for us Canucks, the video store is region locked, and according to this Ars Technica article, it looks like we have some more waiting to do.

A Sony spokesperson said to Ars:

"The legal stuff is a little tricky, and there's a lot of work behind the scenes that has to go on. But the infrastructure is there. It's just a matter of continuing to work with content providers."

Well that certainly sounds like 2009 to me. Just when I was starting to get excited about digital downloads, it looks like I'll have to wait even more months get my hands on a digital copy of Made of Honor. *le sigh*

Source: Sony "still working on" PS3 video store for Canada, Europe [Ars Technica]

Oct 7, 2008

Video Games Live Adds Regina Tour Date

Video Games LiveBack in June we posted a list of the Video Games Live Canadian tour dates. After checking out the website tonight it looks like a Regina, Saskatchewan performance has been added to their 2008 / 2009 World Tour. The performance will be at the Conexus Centre of the Arts on May 11, 2009.

If you've never been to a live show I thoroughly recommend you give it a try. The Toronto Massey Hall show I went to back in February was outstanding. Two joysticks up.

Source: Tour Dates [Video Games Live]