Monday
May192014

Twitch Being Bought By Google/YouTube (Rumor)

Variety reported yesterday about a possible purchase of the videogame streaming company Twitch for the cost of $1 Billion dollars in order to merge it with YouTube.  This came to be by "sources familiar with the pact" according to the Variety article.  

Twitch on its own has become an integral part of all three of the current generation of consoles with the Wii U lacking it being built in while the Xbox One and Playstation 4 now have them as live options for gamers to share what they are playing with the world.  It has become one of the ways many people will either come together to enjoy a particular title or series, get an inside look at a game to help them decide if it is worth their money, or to just enjoy seeing others play and discovering titles.  

But it is not happening just yet, as this kind of merger will likely come under the scrutiny of the Justice Department to find out if the grab for Twitch would make YouTube (and thus Google) a possible anticompetitive fource in the online streaming world.

So if this goes through, what do you think will happen to Twitch and the more than 45 million viewers and over 1 million video content creators?  Will there be great new features now that Twitch may have access to the Google wallet, or will we see the slow tumble of the service like we have with YouTube where Google+ becomes required, real names are forced, accounts split, and copyright claims could be slapped onto a streamer in real time?  I know I sound negative about this, but I can see many more things going wrong with this than right sadly.  But who knows...this hasn't even been confirmed yet. 

Source Link: Variety

Tuesday
May132014

Xbox One...Now $100 Less

You read right, starting June 9th Microsoft will finally drop the price on their flagship console in order for it to be competitive with the Playstation 4. The catch? Kinect 2.0 isn't bundled with it. Yeah...I didn't care either.

They will also be releasing how to purchase a stand-alone Kinect will be put out at a later time. For more details, visit the source link below.

http://majornelson.com/2014/05/13/delivering-more-choices-for-fans/

Tuesday
May062014

The New Retro

With all the newness, graphics, and 1080p's of these recently released consoles...there's one that many are completely overlooking. This one doesn't particularly do anything new per-say, but it does one thing that no one else does which that it's capable of playing the majority of your childhood all in one system. With the ability to play physical copies of Famicom, Nintendo, Super Famicom, Super Nintendo, Sega Master System, Sega Mega Drive, Sega Genesis, Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance - count'em, 10 consoles! With a crystal clear picture hdmi output upscaling to accommodate your HDTV of choice, set your own visual filters (scanlines, AA, etc), save states, and ports that let you hook up your original NES, Genesis, and SNES controllers as long as you still have them around. With a very reasonable price of only $99. That's almost a steal for what this thing can do.
 
It's been delayed a few times with the original release being holiday season last year, but I understand that they could have released a broken product and instead decided to take the time to make it amazing from the get go. I respect them for that, and I kinda wished more companies would follow suit...
 
Can't wait to breakout my copy of Super Metroid again. Consider this part of my collection!
 
Monday
May052014

"Underpowered Consoles"

Going off of the Resolutiongate article, I also don't understand why people are so upset over the new consoles saying that they are somehow underpowered. The argument is that, compared to a PC, these are basically mid-range pc specs. Now what they fail to understand is how completely different computer and console work when it comes to videogame rendering magic. Consoles have a lot more power than people give them credit for. Look at what the Xbox 360 and PS3 is able to achieve even in today's standards with Gears of War: Judgment, Halo 4, God of War: Ascension, The Last of Us - just to name a few. They look amazing, and that's all off of video cards that are going on just about 10 years old now and with not even 1GB worth of RAM!

Dedicated hardware allows development teams to work wonders because it's a consistent piece of technology, something that is completely different on the PC side. Devs on PC have to develop the game to be utilized on multitudes of different operating systems, video cards, ram, etc. Two completely different archetypes. Look at the games that were introduced at launch, and look at what we have now. I have a feeling we'll be getting the same kind of power out of these new machines, in fact, I count on it. Game engines get more powerful and better optimized, and dev teams get better acquainted with these engines and hardware = fanfreakintastic looking games.

This also means that the Wii U isn't dead in the water either. Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8, Smash Bros all look really great, and I'm sure they haven't even scratched the surface with what it's capable of and they have the hardware that is basically carrying the visuals from where the Xbox 360 and PS3 are leaving off at the minimum.

Here's crossing my fingers hoping for Legend of Zelda, Star Fox and Metroid at E3! Either way, this is a great year to be a gamer.

Monday
May052014

Resolutiongate

Why is this a thing? Why do we have a considerable amount of people throwing their hands up in the air with disgust over non-native 1080p resolution (60 fps ಠ_ಠ) games? I don't quite get it myself. More and more do I see this stuff happen especially more so now that the Xbox One and PS4 have been released. Resolutiongate is what it's being referred to as, which apparently is today's "Doritosgate." The latter being a bit more controversial at least in my opinion, but that's another story for another day.

People laughing at supposed inferior hardware saying that no one will purchase said game. Is this what the console wars have drawn out to now? I understand how people try and justify their purchases when they more likely than not can only afford one versus the other, but this is still a pretty pathetic argument honestly if that really is the case. I could show you a game set on a 720p resolution and chances are that you wouldn't even be able to tell the difference. It looks just fine. Games are meant to be about how the game PLAYS. It's always been that way. Anything else is irrelevant.

Friday
Apr112014

Y2K - A Look at Ackk Studios New Upcoming Game

Welcome back to a first look at the new game coming soon from the wonderful team over at Ackk Studios, previous makers of Two Brothers, titled "Y2K".  I got the chance to chat with one of the founders of Ackk Studios Brian Allanson again, this time via email, to find out some information about the upcoming title along with some new, never before seen, screen shots and the information included in their press kit as well.  This game is looking fantastic and I can't wait to get my hands on it, so lets take a look!

Click to read more ...

Monday
Mar312014

Zenspath Podcast Episode 021 - We Stumble Back From the Dead..Again

Welcome back everyone to the long overdue return of the Zenspath Podcast!  We had to take a hiatus for a bit from recording and the site itself because of personal issues that became the focus for a bit, but now that we are through most of them, we can return our wandering gaze back to the site and the listeners of the show.  That being said, here is what we have in store for you on this episode.  

Episode Music: "The Last Giant" from the Dark Souls II Soundtrack

Jeremy and AJ talk about the issue surrounding "resolution-gate" with the Xbox One and PS4, our odd exchange of places with which version of Titanfall we each chose to play, our love/hate relationship with the new Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, this generations controllers, and more.

You can download the episode here, or you can subscribe to us on iTunes (please rate us and/or leave a comment!) 

We also have videos up on our YouTube page (Youtube.com/Zenspathcom) as well as our Twitch channel (Twitch.TV/Zenspath).

Let us know what you think of our work by leaving a comment below, on Twitter (@Zenspath), or on Facebook.  

Monday
Aug262013

The GamePad Helped My Daughter Play Her First Game (and She's Almost Blind)

Well, it has finally happened.  My daughter has been BEGGING me to let her play videogames for quite awhile now, but even I couldn't figure out a way for her to really enjoy the games because of a few "issues".  You see, my daughter is pretty close to blind and can only focus within a few inches of her face, even with very thick glasses, and has an anoxic brain injury from birth.  Jennifer kept yelling "I'm Doing It!" (she's on the right)Since her birth we have always been told many things she can't do.  The list is almost a cliche now, but still worth noting in my opinion.  She was 13.6 oz at birth (for reference, a single pound is only 16oz itself) and we were told she would not live, she would not walk, run, talk, learn, read, etc...and she has done every one.  She has her challenges for sure, but she is the happiest kid I have ever seen and more of a morning person than I think is legally allowed.  

But with gaming I originally thought she just had no interest in it but that changed as she would want to hang out with us playing more and more until she finally started directly asking "Daddy...I want to play a game too!".  I had played with some ideas while reading about games like "Real Sound: Regrets in the Wind" from WARP in Japan on the Dreamcast back when she was younger and was thankful there were ideas being used to allow for games without the visuals which would at least let her experience gaming in a way, but I was still frustrated on what to do about "normal" gaming that she watched me and the family do on the big living room TV.  

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Aug252013

Finding Luigi - New Super Luigi U Launches Today!

Well, actually it released about a month ago, this is the PHYSICAL copy that I am talking about.  I will finally be getting my hands on this green cased box of fun and will get back to let you know what I think with a later update!

Wednesday
Aug212013

Minecraft does what Ninten-don't

What's the deal Developers?

Well, that amazingly addictive "Lego Simulator" Minecraft has been officially announced at Gamescom this week to be coming to the Playstation 3, 4, and Vita which joins the already existing PC, Linux, Mac, Xbox 360, Android, and iPad/iPhone editions.  

And if you read that list again, you may notice a particular company seems to be left out in the cold on this deal.  Yep, not a single announcement for Minecraft to show up, in any form, for the Nintendo Wii U or the 3DS.  And no one know why.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug132013

Interview with "Two Brothers" Developer Ackk Studios

Well, we were lucky enough to get some time with four of the developers from Ackk Studios to talk about their upcoming title, "Two Brothers".  We are joined by Andrew Allanson, Tony Manfredonia, Jose Alfaro, and Ian Bailey to get the latest on their upcoming title which releases in a few weeks for PC, Mac, and Linux and early 2014 for the Wii U, PS Vita, Playstation 4, and (hopefully) the Xbox 360.  

You can find more about these developers at their website (www.ackkstudios.wordpress.com) and make sure to vote for them on Steam Greenlight (http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=143503892).  They can be found on Twitter as @AckkStudios.

Make sure to follow us as well on Twitter (@Zenspath) and to leave a comment about the show of what you want to see next from the site!

Direct Download Link

And here is the trailer for "Two Brothers".

Sunday
Aug042013

ZensPath Podcast Episode 020 - Josh and Jeremy Fight It Out!

(UPDATE: We are now officially on iTunes...find us by searching for "Zenspath" or following this link!)

Welcome back from the REALLY long break as we figured out that Windows 8 just doesn't like our original recording software so we ended up loosing the original Episode 20...but we are back with a replacement! Listen as we talk about the upcoming PS4 and Xbox One, we hear what Josh thinks of Phil Fish and Peter Molyneux, and we discuss if the Wii U can pick up with it's upcoming games or if it is dead in the water as is.  We also talk about the new ToysDay project we have started where either once or twice a week we will post a set of photographs about a particular toy/statue or set of either for you to enjoy!  Let us know what kinds of things you want to see!

Episode Music: "Ice Man Stage" from Mega Man.

Starting with this episode (and possibly going back to the older ones) we have moved our show hosting to Libsyn.com so we should be quickly moving towards iTunes, Zune, and more in regards to the show!  

Also remember to find us on Twitter (@Zenspath), email us questions and suggestions to Zenspath.com@Gmail.com, or find us on Xbox Live/PSN/Nintendo Network/Steam.

Jeremy Powers
Editor and Host of the Zenspath Podcast

Direct Download (Right Click & Select "Save As")

Thursday
Aug012013

Toys-Day Thursday - August 1st 2013: Fall of Cybertron Soundwave/Blaster

Well, I had every intention of making this a once to twice a week event, but wouldn't you know it our internet was out for over a week.  After FINALLY working it out (and Comcast replacing every cable from the pole to my house) I am here with a double treat to make up for the late arrival.  So here you go, Blaster, Soundwave, and all of their "tapes" that were released in 2012 in the Transformers: Generations / Fall of Cybertron set.  I do have the third of this set, Soundblaster, but honestly I will be keeping THAT one sealed up tight.  Be happy I broke and opened up Blaster and his tapes!  Boy do they look great on display though.  

Soundwave is a larger version of the one released back in 2010 that features the ability to actually store and "launch" the data discs that are the replacement Cybertronian forms for his "tapes" in the G1 series. Blaster showed up for the first time in this set with this figure as a repaint with a remolded head, chest plate, and different weapon.

Click the images for larger versions.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jul232013

Toys-Day Tuesday - July 23rd 2013: Batman Arkham Asylum Statue

Here we are at the first ever "Toys-Day" for Zenspath.com and I am proud to bring you the fantastic Kotobukiya statue that came with the Batman: Arkham City Collectors Edition for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC.  This version is the American one which was in black and white following the cover art style that the game took for it's advertising though the Japanese edition of this same statue was released in full color.  Personally, I always prefered the black and white version.  Click the images for a larger view.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jul222013

Coming Soon - Toys-Day!

Well, tomorrow will be the first in a hopefully ongoing series on the site called "Toys-Day".  Every Tuesday, I will post a feature set of photographs and some history on either a single toy, or a series / collection of my choice.  Eventually we will open this up to suggestions on topics or what kinds of things you want to see.  

Here's a sample of what's to come!

Arkham Asylum Batman Statue

Sunday
Jul212013

San Diego Comic Con 2013 Comic Movie Update

Well, SDCC has been interesting this year, not so much in big videogame announcments, but in actual COMIC BOOK related issues.  Here are a few of the comic movies that caught my attention. (More to come later.)

1.  Superman and Batman will finally be in a movie together.  The announced movie has only been hinted at in regards to story (with a quote from Dark Knight Returns to show inspiration) and a single image of the bat symbol combined with Superman's "S" in the middle.  Honestly it reminds me very much of the Batman Superman comic title that was going on for the past few years.  SDCC Logo Reveal

2.  Avengers 2 officially titled "Avengers: Age of Ultron" with a Summer 2015 release date.  
 SDCC Logo Reveal

3.  X-Men : Days of Future Past has taken a new spin on a classic tale (of the same name) for better and possibly worse.  It was revealed that Logan (Wolverine) will be the one sent into the past to change the future instead of the orginal Kity Pryde going back to her younger self.  So far it has been shown that the movie will take place in the past, present, and the future so the transitions should be quite interesting.Bishop (X-Men Days of Future Past)

Many characters have been talked about, but Professor Xavier, Magneto, Colossus, and Bishop have been shown at the panel as well.  Most intersting, and puzzling on their final complete look, has been the reveal of the Sentinels themselves.  Or rather a bust of a Sentinel head that we don't know if it is in scale or not, a poster done up showing an army, another poster showing a Sentinel fist, and finally a black outline hinting at the final body shape.  The new design, at least from what I can tell, should work great for the movie but it does differ greatly from the Sentinel head shown quickly in X-Men 3: The Last Stand.  

Thursday
Jul182013

Surprise! EARTHBOUND

Well, today is the day many (rabbid) fans have been waiting for.  In a surprise ending to their "Mini Direct" earlier, Nintendo announced that the often requested EarthBound is finally available on the Wii U Virtual Console.  It's a great RPG that I recommend people give a go.  It is $10 and is available now. 

Enjoy!

Tuesday
Jul162013

The Blacksmith You SHOULD Be Finding in Games is REAL!

Ok, N5omniac pointed this guy out awhile back and sadly it has taken me a bit to get the message out, but for every time you have had to find a blacksmith in a videogame...it should have been this man.  

He MADE this!

As his opening in the videos states, Tony Swatton has been a blacksmith armorer for more than 30 years and has made weapons and items for over 200 movies.  Now he is taking his business, Blacksmith Sword And Stone, and doing what we have all wanted to do...he's making the weapons and armor we love from movies, cartoons, games, and more.  

The list of weapons they have done so far is impressive, but he is always adding more.  So far I have seen Fin's Golden Sword from Adventure Time, Captain America's Shield, Wolverine's Claws, an axe from Skyrim, the Diamond Sword from Minecraft, and so much more.  Ironically though with the video series being titled "Man At Arms"...he hasn't done anything of Man-At-Arms from He-Man.  Oh well, he has done the Sword of Power from that series at least!  Check out some videos after the break.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jul162013

London does Cosplay Right...with MUSIC!

Those crazy Brits over at Sneaky Zebra on YouTube have been releasing some great music videos showing off the amazing cosplay skills of our fellow nerds across the pond.  Give this one a check, and there are more after the break.

London Film & Comic-Con 2013

Click to read more ...

Friday
Apr122013

Where We're Going We Don't Need Rope! (Cut the Rope: Time Travel)

So the lovely little green candy eating machine known to the world as Om Nom is coming back in "Cut the Rope: Time Travel", the sequel to the 2011 release "Cut the Rope: Experiments".

It looks like Om Nom will be going thru time as he tries to be fed all of the candy his little green "whatever-shape-that-is" body can hold.  It will be coming to iOS and Android soon.

If your not familiar with Om Nom or the Cut the Rope games, they are basically physics based puzzles that revolve around getting candy either to Om Nom's waiting mouth, or to move Om Nom himself (still via the physics) to the candy.  A simple idea that proves incredibly addictive and suprisingly deep with its gameplay.  I highly recommend you give it a while.  I know I will be looking forward to whatever this new itteration brings to the table.  

It looks to be as much fun as the last two games in the series, but tell us what you think of it in the comments below!