Dec 22, 2011

New Year, New Toshiba 3D Laptop Contest!

To celebrate the coming new year we have received a brand new Toshiba P755 3D laptop (model# PSAY3C-0CP010) valued at $1,149 and we're running a contest to give it away to a lucky reader!

Nov 21, 2011

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Launch Video!

By Paul Hunter

As we all know, this weekend saw the much anticipated launch of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword for Nintendo's Wii. I was down at the launch event, which took place at in the Sears Court of the Toronto Eaton Centre, with the phenomenally talented Paulo Rubio from RubioFilms (http://rubiofilms.com) and we captured all the excitement and fanfare surrounding this historic launch. Check out our video coverage, including an interview with Future Shop's very own Laurent Tremblay, Entertainment Coordinator for the Future Shop downtown Toronto location!

Zelda: Skyward Sword Launch Video from Rubio Films on Vimeo.

Nov 6, 2011

Giving Away "Immortals" Advance Screening Tickets for Winnipeg

By Paul Hunter

If you've been following our Twitter account (@NextGenPlayer) you'll know that I've been giving away free advance screening tickets to see Immortal on November 10 at 7:00pm. This is a quick announcement that I still have two double passes to give away for Winnipeg. If you're interested, emailed me at contestATnextgenplayerDOTcom.

Oct 25, 2011

Finalists Announced for the First Ever Canadian Game Development Talent Awards

By Paul Hunter

The Alliance numérique, in collaboration with the Canadian Interactive Alliance, have announced the finalists for the first-ever Canadian Game Development Talent Awards, which will be taking place in Montreal on November 2, 2011.

Oct 23, 2011

Review: Gears of War 3

By Paul Hunter

Seems rather fitting that the developer behind the genre-defining Gears of War 3 is called Epic Games because if there ever was a video game describable as poetry in motion this would be it. Albeit a gritty, gruesome poem filled with despair, destitution and desperation. Don't tell me you were expecting rainbows and lollipops?

Gears of War 3 Launch Event Coverage

By Paul Hunter

To celebrate the launch of the third and final installment in the epic story arc starring COG veteran Marcus Fenix and his longtime comrade, Dominic Santiago, Microsoft Canada held a spectacular launch party featuring COG Ink tattoos, locust meat, a lancer carving expert, and so much more. Here's how it all went down:

Review: Hobo With a Shotgun

By Paul Hunter

Look out Hope Town, there's a new Hobo on the streets and he's out to seek justice one shell at a time. To call Hobo With a Shotgun a gorefest would be like calling Evil Dead a Sunday picnic. Yet beneath the gratuitous violence there's a moving story about corruption and exploitation that makes this film much more than just another blood-soaked grindhouse flick.

Review: Red Riding Hood

By Paul Hunter

The tale of Red Riding Hood has endured for centuries thanks to its compelling story filled with rich imagery, supernatural lore, and its underlying themes that strikes a resonating chord with the coming-of-age crowd and adults alike. Numerous college lectures, thesis papers and books have attempted to analyze the so-called subliminal theme of sexual awakening buried within the subtext of the fairy tale, and it's this very theme that director Catherine Hardwicke seems to have latched onto when creating her modern day adaptation of the classic tale.

Oct 17, 2011

Future Shop Hosting Midnight Openings For Batman Arkham City

By Paul Hunter

To celebrate tonight's launch of Batman: Arkham City for Xbox 360 and PS3, Future Shop is hosting midnight openings at select locations across the country.

Aug 15, 2011

Review: Captain America: Super Soldier


By Andrew Shin

This summer has been a blockbuster for Marvel, having released two enormous theatrical releases in Thor and Captain America. All this in anticipation for the expected 2012 release of The Avengers – which in my opinion will be the mother of all superhero movies. But while that's still a bit of time away, much of the hype this year was absolutely for the Captain America movie. Undoubtedly this is due to the fact that the good ol' Cap is one of Marvel's biggest franchise characters. And just like any other live action superhero movie that came before it, a movie based video game was made to support the launch of the film. Now, anyone familiar with the movie tie-in video game genre can attest to how horrible these games typically are. That being said, Captain America: Super Soldier is one of the few exceptions as it delivers a gaming experience that is fairly entertaining.

Aug 1, 2011

Review: Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D

By Paul Hunter

While FIFA seems to be grabbing the spotlight these days, let's not forget that Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer has been quietly progressing on the sidelines into a solid soccer franchise. As the only soccer title available on Nintendo's new hardware there's no FIFA to compare it to, but based on its own merits PES 2011 3D has enough fancy footwork to kick this one straight between the goalposts.

Back To School Guide: Video Game Hardware

By Paul Hunter

We all know that Back-to-School time can be a daunting and stressful time, especially when deciding what technology and gadgets to get that school-aged someone in your life. We've covered a lot of popular Back-to-School topics here already on the Tech Blog, ranging from picking the right smartphone to what specs you'd want in a laptop, but of course we can't forget what's going to be on every teenager and young kid's mind -- new video game hardware.

Jul 5, 2011

Review: Nintendogs + Cats

By Paul Hunter

As the best-selling first-party franchise on the Nintendo DS, Nintendogs was a shoe-in to get a sequel and Nintendo was smart to bring it out on their brand new Nintendo 3DS platform. As if owning and raising a virtual puppy wasn't already cute enough in 2D, the introduction of the third dimension adds even more charm to this franchise, and it's really the closest you'll ever get to owning a dog without, well, actually owning a dog.

Jul 2, 2011

Review: LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean 3DS

By Paul Hunter

There's no denying the popularity of the LEGO video game franchise. They're cute, witty and with pick-up-and-play controls they perfect games for the whole family. If you have any young buccaneers in your home you might want to consider picking up the Nintendo 3DS version, which packs all the fun of its console counterpart, but also adds some pretty neat 3DS exclusive features. Let's take a look at what this game has to offer.

Sony Names The New PSP Remaster Engine

By Paul Hunter

Have you heard? PSP games are being remastered for the PlayStation 3, and now the middleware technology that bridges the two platforms has a name: the PSP Engine. The first PSP game to be ported to the PS3 is going to be Monster Hunter Portable 3rd HD, at least in Japan, and when it comes out expect plenty of graphical enhancements.

Jul 1, 2011

Top Video Game Picks For July 1-15, 2011

By Paul Hunter

The summer is heating up and so are the games.  Here's a run-down of the titles I'm looking forward to getting some hands-on time during the first half of July:

Sony Offering Limited Time Bonus Months For PlayStation Plus Subscribers

By Paul Hunter

Happy Birthday Canada -- and PlayStation Plus too apparently. Sony announced this week that their premium gaming service that offers PlayStation consumers access to early demo, free and discounted games, full game trails and more, has just turned one year old. To celebrate the occasion, Sony has decided to give new subscribers, and those wishing to renew their membership, additional bonus months for a limited time.

Jun 26, 2011

Review: Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition Packs a Dragon Punch

By Paul Hunter

Street Fighter is known in the gaming community for possessing two qualities: deep, balanced gameplay and incredibly competitive, online player-vs-player matches. It's also known for having umpteen ports that land on just about every gaming platform known to humankind. So here we are again with another port of a Street Fighter game, and one that fans are probably already familiar with. While you may be wondering how playable Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition is considering the button layout and small screen found on the Nintendo 3DS, you can rest assured that Capcom has somehow managed to pack the console experience into a tiny 3DS cartridge.

Review: Green Lantern Emerald Knights Teaches Us Some Valuable Lessons

By Paul Hunter

While the world's eyes are focused on the Green Lantern live action film starring Ryan Reynolds, Warner Home Video rather quietly released a second movie featuring Hal Jordan and his band of intergalactic super protectors that serves as a great complementary piece, and may even be the better Green Lantern primer.

Jun 23, 2011

Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker HD Demo Footage Is All Looks, No Brains

By Paul Hunter

During Konami's pre-E3 show the company announced an HD home console version of Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker will be hitting shelves this November, and this week they're ready to show the game in action. Even at this early stage the game is looking incredible, much improved over the PSP version which already looked great on Sony's portable device. You have to wonder though, why did Konami let such an incompetent player demo this game for us for the very first time?

Jun 21, 2011

Review: Steel Diver Has More Beneath The Surface

By Paul Hunter

When Nintendo unveiled the Nintendo 3DS at last year's E3 a game like Steel Diver is probably the last type of game you'd think would be a first-party launch title. It's a game that is part submarine simulation, part action-puzzler, part first-person shooter and part multiplayer strategy. Wow that's a mouthful. The obvious question is whether or not Steel Diver is a good game, and the answer is yes it is, but you need to understand what you're getting into first. That's why I'm here to help.

Review: Super Monkey Ball 3D Rolls More Than It Rocks

By Paul Hunter

Ten years ago the Super Monkey Ball franchise rolled its way onto the Nintendo GameCube and kick-started a craze that has spawned about fifteen sequels/spin-offs, and at least as many monkey mini-games. In Super Monkey Ball 3D our furry cast of primates are back, and for the first time ever in rich 3D that takes full advantage the capabilities of the Nintendo 3DS. You might think this would be a great idea, and it is, but there's a catch.

Review: IMAX Hubble Is Astronomically Gorgeous

By Paul Hunter

The Hubble Space Telescope has been capturing the breathtaking cosmos for over 20 years now, delivering back the richest and most stunning photographs of our vast universe. Back in May 2009, the crew of the Space Shuttle Atlantis launched into orbit to perform essential repairs and upgrades on the Hubble, and onboard was an IMAX 3D camera to capture this incredible space voyage.

IMAX Hubble is a captivating new space documentary that takes viewers 350 miles above the Earth to visit the Hubble Space Telescope in all its grandeur, straight from the eyes of the astronauts onboard the Atlantis. Using IMAX 3D technology, and in cooperation with NASA, the space team of the STS-125 Mission were trained how to use the high-definition cameras to film their space repair mission. The result is a mesmerizing journey to space and back that is occasionally gripping, and often times exhilarating.

Jun 18, 2011

There Are A Lot of Pre-order Bonuses At Future Shop These Days

By Paul Hunter

So you like pre-order bonuses, eh? I mean really, who doesn't. With this spirit in mind Future Shop has announced that they will be giving away free bonuses for those who pre-order select soon-to-release games. Looks like there's something for everybody, check out the list they provided:

Zelda Concert Tour May Come To Canada

By Paul Hunter

At E3 we heard that Nintendo is planning a worldwide Legend of Zelda concert tour, and in a recent interview with Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime he told Kotaku that the tour could come to a country we love so dearly. I bet you can't guess which one?

Review: Asphalt 3D Drives Me Around The Bend

By Paul Hunter

Timed with the release of the Nintendo 3DS, Asphalt 3D is one of those games that feels like an early launch title. The game marks the second time that French developer Gameloft released an Asphalt title to coincide with a new Nintendo handheld device, as they did in 2004 with Asphalt Urban GT on the Nintendo DS, and frankly, the series hasn't improved much over the years.

Review: Pilotwings Resort Is a Pleasant Ride

By Paul Hunter

You have to hand it to Nintendo, they sure know how to create a series designed specifically to show off the 3D capabilities of their new hardware platforms. Pilotwings is that flagship series which gave us our first taste of Mode 7 scaling in Pilotwings for SNES, then gave us a taste of polygon processing power in Pilotwings 64, and now the series has been brought to life in full stereoscopic 3D with Pilotwings Resort on the Nintendo 3DS. Over and above being a glorified tech demo, the Pilotwings franchise has been really solid, with great gameplay and visuals to keep gamers coming back for more, and this latest entry is no exception.

Jun 17, 2011

Hobo With a Shotgun: Interview with Director Jason Eisener

By Paul Hunter

For film director Jason Eisener, $150 and a case of beer was all it took to mark the beginning of career that is nothing short of living the dream. What started as a fake trailer submitted in a contest for the double feature film Grindhouse wound up taking Eisener all the way to Austin, Texas, where he met filmmaker Robert Rodriguez who selected his trailer -- Hobo With a Shotgun -- as the best entry. That fake trailer proved to be so popular it eventually got feature film funding, an international theatrical release, and the attention of the legendary Rutger Hauer who signed on to become the Hobo. Eisener's story is as inspiring as it is spectacular and that's why I got really excited when I was offered a chance to sit down with him to discuss how this all happened, and what Hobo With a Shotgun has meant for his career.

E3 2011: Nintendo Celebrates The Legend of Zelda's 25th Anniversary With Live Concerts And Games

By Paul Hunter

Last year Super Mario Bros. celebrated its 25th Anniversary and this year The Legend of Zelda has reached the same milestone. You'd never know by looking at the elvish features of series protagonist Link however, who looks like he hasn't aged a day since his early NES days. At E3 this year Nintendo announced big plans to celebrate Zelda's 25th birthday, including a worldwide symphony tour, a new video game on each of Nintendo's platforms, and even a couple of music CDs thrown in the mix.

Jun 13, 2011

E3 2011: Nintendo eShop Launch Is Sure To Excite

By Paul Hunter

Among all the excitement of Nintendo's new hardware announcement during the company's E3 press conference it might be easy to gloss over the news that the Nintendo eShop was official launched -- but there are many reasons why you should be paying attention. Top of the list is news that Nintendo is giving away a free copy of the NES classic title Excitebike to everyone who downloads the first system update for the Nintendo 3DS, which includes the Nintendo eShop, among other updates.

Jun 12, 2011

E3 2011: Xbox 360 Wheel Controller Coming Soon, Gears of War 3 Controller Coming Sooner

By Paul Hunter

Microsoft took the opportunity to unveil two new Xbox 360 controllers during the excitement of E3 this past week. The products are timed to come out with two of Microsoft's most anticipated games of the year, the first being Forza Motorsport 4 and the second being...

Jun 11, 2011

Ubisoft's E3 Line-up Is (Pretty) Diverse

By Paul Hunter

Looking at all the games that Ubisoft showed off during E3 two thoughts come to mind: whoa pretty graphics, and whoa such diversity. Seems like Ubisoft has a little something for everyone planned in the next year, so let your eyes, ears and hands feast on this impressive line-up:

Hot: Duke Nukem Forever Gets Special Pre-order Price @ Future Shop

By Paul Hunter

There are so many reasons why Duke Nukem is so great, but here's another one to add to the list: Future Shop is now offering a special pre-order price of Duke Nukem Forever for PS3 and Xbox 360.

'Made In Canada' Games At E3 Showcase Our Talent and Innovation, Says ESAC

By Paul Hunter

Canada's presence at E3, the world's largest gaming expo, was strong once again this year says the Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC). Over 10 major titles shown at the expo are being made in development studios across Canada, including Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Mass Effect 3, and Prototype 2.

Jun 10, 2011

E3 2011: ESA Release Their Annual 'Essential Facts' Study On Gamers

By Paul Hunter

The Entertainment Software Association continued their E3 tradition of releasing a new “Essential Facts” gamer demographic study highlighting key trends within the industry. An important takeaway from this year’s study is the increasingly diverse consumer base that is consuming video game content across a wide range of platforms.

Red Riding Hood: Interview With Adrian Holmes

By Paul Hunter

I had the rare opportunity of meeting up and coming actor Adrian Holmes recently, who's been on a roll as of late starring in Frankie & Alice opposite Academy Award winner Halle Berry and in Red Riding Hood as Gary Oldman's right-hand man. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke (of Twilight fame), Red Riding Hood is a movie based loosely on the folk tale we all remember (or perhaps feared) as kids. Here's what Adrian had to say about the movie, his career, and what's next for him...

Jun 9, 2011

Sony's E3 Line-up For PS3 Comes Out Swinging

By Paul Hunter

Sony showed off an impressive line-up of PlayStation 3 games this week at their E3 press conference, setting the tone for another year of exciting new experiences found exclusively on their flagship console.

Konami's E3 Line-up: What's Old Is New Again

By Paul Hunter

Konami was the first game developer to unleash their E3 line-up and the theme seems to be what's old is new again. Taking a cue from Sony's HD remakes of God of War and Ico/Shadow of the Colossus, Konami announced they are revisiting many of their top franchises with HD remastered collections.

Jun 7, 2011

E3 2011: Kinect Fun Labs Goes Live

By Paul Hunter

Microsoft's E3 keynote speech was heavy on the Kinect announcements with new games, new apps and new features to enhance the revolutionary motion control experience.

Jun 5, 2011

Duke Nukem Forever Demo Goes Live For First Access Club Members

By Paul Hunter

After 14 years of development the game Duke Nukem fans have been waiting for is finally playable...well for some people at least.

THQ's uDraw GameTablet Expands to Xbox 360 & PS3 This November

By Paul Hunter

THQ announced on Friday that they are bringing their immensely popular uDraw GameTablet to HD game consoles this November.

Jun 4, 2011

inFAMOUS 2 Has an Electrifying Future Shop Pre-order Bonus

By Paul Hunter

The electrifying Cole MacGrath saga continues with inFAMOUS 2, the sequel to 2009's blockbuster PS3-exclusive open world adventure developed by Sucker Punch. To supercharge the experience, Future Shop is giving away an exclusive Downloadable Content bonus for those who pre-order the game in-store. The bonus DLC unlocks Cole's Light Grenade attack which can be used throughout the gameplay experience.

Rayman 3D Review: All You Need Is Lum

By Paul Hunter

Let's travel back in time for a moment to 1999 when Ubisoft released Rayman 2: The Great Escape for the Sega Dreamcast. Now add some minor graphical updates and stereoscopic 3D gameplay and you have Rayman 3D, our loveable hero's first adventure for the Nintendo 3DS.

Jun 1, 2011

Canada's 16,000 Video Game Employees Generate $1.7B In Economic Activity

By Paul Hunter

I was walking downtown Toronto the other day when I saw an advertisment for Rockstar Games' L.A. Noire on the side of a bus and I didn't think much of it, at first. Then I started thinking about the days when gaming was mostly a basement hobby and there were no bus advertisements, in fact the only real game advertisements were in the pages of niche gaming magazines tucked behind the sports magazines on newsstands. Those days are long past us now, and gaming is now a $1.7 billion dollar industry in Canada according to a new report from Secor Consulting released today by the Entertainment Software Association of Canada, the trade association for Canada's computer and video game industry. That's huge.

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D As Depicted By 'Chalkmaster' Dave

By Paul Hunter

To celebrate the June 19 launch of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D for the Nintendo 3DS, veteran artist 'Chalkmaster' Dave took over the busiest intersection in Toronto to work on his latest masterpiece. His extraordinary chalk artwork was in production all day long as passersby looked on in amazement. The creation, commissioned by Nintendo of Canada, depicts Link's first confrontation with the Great King of Evil, Ganondorf, atop his mighty steed from Ocarina of Time.

May 30, 2011

Dear Gabby: Mad Scientist Hoping To Find His GLaDOS

By Paul Hunter

DEAR GABBY: I'm an Aperture scientist in my late 30's and have spent the last decade locked up in our Enrichment Center researching ways to give Companion Cubes some personality. After an experiment gone wrong I seem to have created some weird Cube/sheep hybrid that just won't stand still. They prance about in the most unintelligent of ways and it's impossible to get them to stand still and cooperate during testing! It was deemed a failure by the artificial life that oversees our operations, GLaDOS, and one of her Morality Cores escorted me off the premises immediately. The thing is, I had never laid eyes on GLaDOS until that day, and now I can't get her demure image out of my head. To be honest, I had never encountered a woman with such snarky one-liners before, and it kind of excited me when she talked about "testing me" for the rest of my life. She kept on referencing cake too, but I assumed that was part of the fun.

Eight Friends Are Invited To The Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D Character Trailer

By Paul Hunter

Well okay, not every character in Capcom's upcoming Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D are friends per se, but it is nice to see them all working together to rid the land of those nasty bio-organic weapons (B.O.W.). The game marks the debut of the Resident Evil series on Nintendo's new 3DS console, and is a console exclusive. The Mercenaries 3D has an expected release date of June 28, 2011.

May 29, 2011

Cars 2: The Video Game Preview

By Paul Hunter

It was inevitable that the 2006 animated film Cars would receive a video game tie-in and just like its predecessor the upcoming sequel will also be seeing a game based the Cars universe. Amidst all the pre-E3 games I've been playing recently Cars 2: The Video Game stood out for its pick up and play gameplay and charming cast of characters taken directly from the upcoming Pixar computer animated 3D film.

PlayStation Network Restoration Begins in Japan and Asia Countries

By Paul Hunter

In what can be described as massive step forward for Sony's PlayStation Network restoration plans, the company has announced plans to relaunch the online service in Japan and Asian countries and regions including Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand on May 28.

PS3 Limited Edition Call of Duty: Black Ops Bundle Available End of May

By Paul Hunter

April showers bring May...limited edition PS3 Call of Duty: Black Ops bundles. Well, I don't remember the saying going quite like that, but since we're used to seeking shelter during these past weeks of inclement weather perhaps it's time to consider extending our indoor living just a wee bit longer with this upcoming exclusive new PS3 hardware bundle.

Feb 13, 2011

Interviewed on CTV National News About the Demise of Guitar Hero

By Paul Hunter

So, Guitar Hero is dead, or at least put down for a little while so its publisher Activision can figure out how to revitalize the beleaguered franchise.

CTV National News ran a clip on the history of the franchise, with some commentary from me as to why Activision made such a big decision. Click the link below to see the video:

Genre-defining 'Guitar Hero' video game gets axed [CTV National News]