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On Monday July 21st, Ms. H will welcome one of the creators of Fanboy Comic's hit title Penguins vs Possums to Mom's Minute. Sebastian Kadlecik will give Ms. H the ins and outs of the secret war that has has been raging since the dawn of time between two unlikely foes. Penquins vs Possums is a graphic novel written by Sebastian Kadlecik, John Bring, and Lindsay Calhoon Bring and features the art of Sebastian Kadlecik and John Bring. The trade paperback collects issues 1-4 of the epic story and is available now from www.Fanboycomics.net

Listen to Mom’s Minute to find out the hurdles in developing and publishing an independant comic, how digital media has effected a medium once ruled by pen and paper, and most importantly, which side Ms. H chooses, Penguins or Possums.

Join the show live at 4pm PST/7pm EST at www.allgames.com/live  to submit questions you’d like Ms. H to ask, or if you’re too busy reading comics on Monday, post your questions right now in the comments section below.

Published in Mom's Minute Blog

Bobby King, VP and Lead Designer of Pinball Arcade joined Ms. H for a riveting interview on the Mom’s Minute podcast. He discussed the current kickstarted campaign to license the legendary Addams Family pinball table and also dropped more than a few gems of info about what lies ahead for the Pinball Arcade. A deal with Sony Entertainment will bring Arnold Schwarzenegger back to pinball with The Last Action Hero table and also, for the first time Farsignt will design a completely original pinball table based on a Sony film property. That leaves a lot of room for speculation, although it’s slated to be released in time for Halloween, so that could narrow down the prospects.

Mr. King also let us know that the long awaited Xbox 360 release is nearing completion with all of the current tables in the mix. Even more exciting is the Xbox One version of The Pinball arcade is in final testing and may be out as soon as next month.

You’ll find a lot more information in the 30+ minute interview as Ms. H gets answers about upcoming tables, leaderboard hacks, Farsights new non-pinball titles, and exactly why Christopher Lloyd’s face won’t be on the Addams Family artwork.

The interview starts 37 minutes in and you can listen to the 9/22/14 episode of Mom's Minute below.

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Published in Mom's Minute Blog
Sunday, 30 October 2016 00:27

Win a Shirt Weekend 11-6-16 : Forza 6

On Sunday, 11/6/16 you can win a limited edition All Games ‘Legacy’ t-shirt by beating Ms. H from Mom’s Minute in a race in Forza Motorsport 6 on the XBox One. To enter, send a friend request and message to gamertag ‘VARACES’ on Xbox Live or post your gamertag here stating you want to enter the race using the hashtag ‘#allgameswasw’ at anytime this week and we'll contact you. On Sunday, 11/6 at 4pm EST/1pm PST you will be invited to an online race via Xbox Live with other entrants along with Ms. H. If you win the race you will win a gorgeous AllGames ‘Legacy’ t-shirt.
Rules: Players may use any B-Class Vehicle
The Race will be 3 laps on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Ms.H will be using a custom 2014 Lamborghini Huracan
(we can ship to US or US Military Base addresses)

Published in All Games Blog
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 00:00

The Next Mass Effect

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The next Mass Effect video game is shroud in mystery

Your guess is as good as mine as to when the next Mass Effect video game will finally materialize.  It looks like Bioware is in no hurry to whet the appetite of Mass Effect video game fans who are anticipating the next Mass Effect video game.  Is it possible that Bioware is still  treating its wounds as a result of the pounding it got from the Mass Effect fans over the ending or endings of the last game in this video game trilogy?  Not to rehash what now seems like ancient history -- but you may recall the [virtual] lashing that Bioware got from Mass Effect video game fans who were not shy about letting the company know in no uncertain terms  they were not satisfied with the so-called endings of the game.  The good news is that  Bioware was receptive, and tried to appease the fans by re-doing the video game's ending or endings.  Refunds were even given out by some retailers.  However, in my opinion,  video game players would probably have prefererd a better ending for Mass Effect instead of an apology or even the refunds.  

Fast forward to the present and it appears as if die-hard Mass Effect video game fans may be ready to give Bioware a second chance.  Bioware, on the other hand, seems to be slow to reciprocate.  It looks as if Bioware is taking its time to create, design, produce and ultimately deliver the next Mass Effect video game.  To date, little is known about the next Mass Effect video game except there will be a whole new set of video game characters which will exclude Commander Shepard. 

Bioware has announced they will be taking it slow on the Next Mass Effect to bring a good, quality video game to you, the video game player,  instead of rushing to develop another video game. The company has also been relatively quiet about the storyline, the characters, type of characters, i.e., aliens, astronauts, etc. The two facts known about the next Mass Effect video game is that it will not be called Mass Effect 4 and that Commander Shepard will not be featured anywhere at all in the game.  However, the location of the video game story as well as the action will be set in the same Mass Effect universe from the previous video games in the series.

mass effect 3 shepard1 

Commander Shepard will not not make an appearance in the Next Mass Effect video game.

Just how slow is Bioware taking to make the next Mass Effect game?   The answer is "very slow."  Progress is being made -- but it is being done at a relatively slow pace.  A few days ago, it was reported there were new graphics created for the next Mass Effect video game by developers within the span of about five hours.  Of course we were not privy to look at these creations which could be due to a number of reasons.  One of the main reasons I think Bioware  is hush-hush about the next Mass Effect video game is they are taking their time to search for or create a story that will resonate as favorable with video game players as the former Mass Effect video game did -- sans the poor endings.

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Until a name is revealed for the next Mass Effect, Bioware appears to not mind in the meantime, if the upcoming video game is called the next Mass Effect -- just do not call it Mass Effect 4.  According to Bioware Chief Yanick Roy --  calling the new game Mass Effect 4 would be a disservice, since the Mass Effect triology is complete, and a new story will emerge.  In other words, it would be misleading to name the next video game,  Mass Effect 4 when it will not be a sequel  for the previous video game. 

masseffect4

Commander Shepard will go; Mass Effect universe will stay

The latest rumor regarding the next Mass Effect video game is  Bioware may do a reveal at the June, 2014 E3 Expo  while others say nothing will happen until around 2015.  With E3 just a few months away and if Bioware makes an announcement-- hopefully more will be revealed about the next Mass Effect video game, including when it will be released, as well as its name.

The next Mass Effect video game will be rated M for Mature and is expected to be playable on the previous and next generation video game consoles.   As a side note -- given the volatile atmosphere and competitive nature of the video game market, I would not be surprised if Bioware decides to speed up its production and complete the next Mass Effect video game -- sooner than later.

{youtube}https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfdHWKkwqDM{/youtube}        

Published in Mom's Minute Blog

 Introduction to Black Desert Online: A Ms. H Video Game Review

I was pleasantly surprised at what awaited me when I downloaded the Massively Multiplayer Online Role Player Game (MMORG) Black Desert Online.  Black Desert Online was different from the video game I imagined it would be.  I've played quite a few MMORGs and was ready to experience the same type video gaming experience as I did before.  However, I quickly realized Black Desert Online wants to be clear that it is not your ordinary, run of the mill MMORG video game.  Here are my thoughts and views of the Black Desert Online video game.

Video Game Customizations in Black Desert Online Video Game

It didn't take me long to find out that one of the many high points of playing Black Desert Online was the customizations.  In fact, I spent an inordinate amount of time first of all on naming my characters -- then customizing them to the Nth degree.  There were numerous choices of how I could customize my video game characters which included not only the facial features and body types, but also the horoscopes and other aspects that were provided to me.

There was a minor downside to my customizations. When I logged back in to play Black Desert Online, I discovered the specific character I customized was tied to a particular server.  Of course I had not made note of the server I chose, so I was unable to retrieve my customized character.  No problem.  All I had to do was to pick another server, customize another video game character and be sure to use the same server to bring her back up.

I believe I customized about two or three characters before I decided that it was time to get into actually playing the video game.  When i concentrated my efforts on playing the video game, instead of using my customized characters, I decided to use the character that was provided in the game with no customizations whatsoever.  That's not to say that I will not maybe later retrieve my customized character and play the game from her vantage point.

Graphics in Black Desert Online Video Game

At first glance, Black Desert Online graphics had the cookie-cutter look of other similar type video games.  However, some of the close-up rendering of the enviornment was quite impressive, and appeared to look realistic.

Choices in Black Desert Online Video Game

The developers, in my opinion, did not economize when it came to giving gamers choices when playing the Black Desert Online video game.  In addition to the wide variety of customization features available for the video game characters, there were numerous choices within the video game itself.  As I completed quests and other adventures, I was given options to interact with other video game characters in the game by simply pushing the "R" key.  There were many other choices as well throughout the video gameplay.

If I was stuck in some way in the video game or needed help, I could summon the assistant called the Black Spirit by simply pressing the comma key on my laptop.  The assistant would appear as a black flowing cloud with red dots for eyes to instruct me on what I could do.  Interesting enough, I found out if I summoned the assistant while I was in combat with enemies, this assistant was not immune and could get temporarily destroyed.

Black Desert OnlineBlack Desert Online

Violence and Gore in Black Desert Online Video Game

Speaking of enemies, many of the quests in Black Desert Online video game involved fighting or destroying enemies.  Some of the enemies included grass beetles, weasels and other creatures.  I think it was creative how the developers would oftentimes camouflage these enemy creatures in the foilage and other areas where sometimes they were not easily visible.  A negative was the blood splatters in this video game which I am not a fan. I think the video game would be even more enjoyable to play if there were no blood splatters in these battles.

Leveling Up in Black Desert Online Video Game

I think leveling up in Black Desert online was not difficult.   When I reached level 10, I was no longer considered a beginner in the tutorial stage. As I leveled up, I begin to notice other aspects of the video game.  For example, I noticed the attention to detail in the environment as well as other video game players' characters in the game.  There was also the usual dialogue among players appearing and scrolling sometimes on the left side of the screen.

I was leery of being tempted to get loyalty points by logging on to the video game Black Desert Online daily.  For the first two or three days, I gave in to signing in daily, and in turn boosted up my loyalty points.  However, I still limited my video game playing time.  I resisted the urge to log on to Black Desert Online for loyalty points as I did other things instead of playing this video game.   My caution is to not get lured into having this video game take up a lot of your time by playing it for long periods of time, not only because of the temptation of the loyalty points, but also because Black Desert Online is such a fun video game to play.  As I've cautioned you before -- always strike a balance between playing video games and doing other real-life non-video game activities.

Black Desert OnlineBlack Desert Online

Assessment of Black Desert Online Video Game

In my opinion, Black Desert Online is a video game that is worth your time playing in moderation.  I think you will enjoy the different type environments and the feeling that you are actually a part of this video game world and making video game accomplishments. There are lots of quests you can choose to take as well different adventures you can embark upon.  Black Desert Online video game will keep your interest in part because of the wide variety of characters and the real-world look of the video game backdrop as well as the various missions and quests.   As with most online video games, there is also an online forum you can consult as required if you need help in getting to the next level or getting further into the video game.

Black Desert OnlineBlack Desert Online

I believe I would have rated Black Desert Online higher if the blood splatters were eliminated, if it was easier to get the video game launched in the first place and if the characters retained their customizations once you got a far-away view of them in action, if profanity in the video game was eliminated and on top of all this if there were no instances where the server timed out during the game play.  When this happened, I had to start playing the video game all over again. That being said, I think the positives of the Desert Online video game far outweigh the negatives.

Rating of Black Desert Online Video Game

On a scale of 1 star to 10 stars, with 1 star being the lowest and 10 stars being the highest, I rate Black Desert Online video game 8 stars.

Availability of Black Desert Online Video Game

Black Desert Online is a buy-to-play video game developed by Pearl Abyss and is playable on the PC.

Published in PC
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 17:26

Ms. H Grades the Black Friday Sales - 2015

Introduction

It's that time of the year when lots of people, including myself want to enjoy huge savings from shopping the Black Friday sales.  However, the question is where do you shop to get the biggest bang for your buck.  If you want help in choosing where to shop for video game deals, you have come to the right place.  I am Ms. H from the Mom's Minute Video Game Show, and I have graded the Black Friday video game sales for you.

 As a disclaimer, the video game sales listed are not all inclusive, so if your favorite game is not listed, feel free to check the retailer's ad or website to see if the video game is on sale.  Also if you want to know where to get a 50" $100 HDTV on Black Friday, you will have to look elsewhere.  My grades are for Black Friday video games and video game bundles only.  No other merchandise was considered for my video game Black Friday sales grading system.

GameStop Closed on ThanksgivingGameStop Closed on Thanksgiving

Stores Closed on Thanksgiving 

If you ask me what changed the most from Black Friday 2015 when compared to Black Friday 2014, I would say it's the ads announcing some stores will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.  Of course Thanksgiving is a time to be with family and friends, but the last time I checked, dinner usually lasts less than an hour.  Most of the stores on Thanksgiving are opening around 5:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. which still allows time for family get-togethers.  Truth be told, I'm sure there are other reasons some stores are not opening on Thanksgiving Day, having little to do with corporations' concern for you and your family-time on the holiday. 

Of the stores closed on Thanksgiving, those that sell video games are Costco, Sam's Club and GameStop.  Based on my Black Friday grade for GameStop this year, you are not missing much by this store being closed on Thanksgiving Day.  Known for giving you literally pennies for your used video games and being not too generous on video game sales, I think it's ok for GameStop to stay closed not only on Thanksgiving, but Black Friday as well.  Check out my grading for GameStop to see why I'm making such a bold statement that's it fine with me if GameStop stayed closed on these days.

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I will be grading the video game Black Friday sales starting from the retailer that was least impressive to the stand out star.  I will let you know why they improved or got worst from the previous year. In some cases, I will give my recommendations on how the retailers can improve next year.

14.  Sears

In my opinion, Sears may be in the process of becoming a dinosaur if changes are not made soon.  Even teaming up with K-Mart did not seem to help their standing.  There is not much to report regarding Sears Black Friday video game sales.  Sears has the Xbox One Gears of War Bundle for $299.99.  Also the Xbox 360 is on sale for  $129.00. I gave Sears a failing grade of an F last year due to the lack of good video game sales advertised.

While Sears has not improved much in this area, I'm raising their grade from an F because they seem to be going against the grain and will start their Black Friday sales at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 2015.  To improve their grade for next year, Sears need to promote their video game sales via television ads and other media. They missed a big opportunity this year by not jumping on the Star Wars band wagon and promoting not only video games, but other Star Wars related merchandise as well.

Sears Grade:  D

13.  Kohl's

Kohl's was not featured in my 2014 Black Friday grading system, mainly because they were under the radar.  However, this year Kohl's may have increased their public relations' budget to include advertising video games.  However, similar to Sears, nothing much is going on in the way of video game Black Friday sales.  Kohl's will have a sale on the Xbox One and PS4 bundles for $299.99 and will be throwing in a $75.00 Kohl's cash card with the bundle.  

Kohl's is also advertising 30% off such video games as Just Dance 2015, Destiny, Minecraft,  Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare and the Lego Movie. If you plan to shop the Black Friday video game sales, I recommend you shop on-line since Kohl's usually do not stock video games in the store. As a side note, if you are interested in cameras, Kohl's is advertising a $799.99 Canon for $399.99.

Kohl's Grade:  D+

You probably know that a grade of C means average.  In my opinion, everyone should strive to be above average or even to be superior -- by being an A student.  However, relative to video games, the majority of video game Black Friday sales fell within the C area of being average.  

12.  Dell

Yes, Dell sells video games.  The video game bundle Dell has on sale online is XBox One Gears of War, where you get Fallout 4 video game and an extra controller -- all for $299.99. No other newsworthy video games were on sale, which is the basis for Dell receiving a grade of C-. However, the quality of this video game bundle sale outweighs the lack of other video game sales --moving this sale in the average category.

Dell Grade:  C-

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11.  GameStop

In my opinion, there are no blockbuster video game sales at GameStop that would warrant standing in a long line or any line for that matter.  They have an Xbox One Bundle for $299.99 where you save $50.00.  A PS4 500 GB Uncharted bundle is on sale for $299.99 -- a $50.00 savings.  The Nintendo 32 GB Wii U is selling for $219.99, a savings of $20.00.  Relative to video games, FIFA 16 for the PS 3 is $29.99.  Of note is you get a free copy of Assassin's Creed Unity when you purchase Assassin's Creed Syndicate.  As stated above, GameStop is closed on Thanksgiving, but to their credit, this store will be opening bright and early at 5:00 a.m. on Black Friday, November 27, 2015.

GameStop Grade:  C-

10.  K-Mart

Did you know K-Mart is bringing back their blue light specials?  I guess they are running out of new ideas to beat their biggest competitor, Walmart.  Regarding video games bundles, K-Mart is advertising an Xbox One Halo 5 Guardian Limited Edition Bundle online at a price of $499.99 with free shipping. No other video game sales stood out, hence K-Mart's grade of C-.

K-Mart Grade:  C-

9.  NewEgg

A new entry, pun intended, is NewEgg which is an online seller.  NewEgg has a PS4 console Star Wars Bundle with Fall Out Four as well as Call of Duty Black Ops -- all on sale for $429.97, a savings of $40.00.  Also on sale is a PS4 Batman Arkham Knight Bundle where you get the system, game and controller for $369.99, a savings of $30.00.

NewEgg Grade:  C+

8.  Steam

Valve's Steam is another new entry in my grading system.  Steam does not have a Black Friday sale per se, but rather an Autumn sale and what is being called an Exploratory sale that started November 25, 2015.  Additionallly, I found out there will no longer be daily or flash sales where games are offered at very deep discounts for a limited time-frame. Instead the video games discounted price will not change during the sales period.

Of these sales, I did not see any that stood out.  Fall Out New Vegas which has a regular price of $9.99 is on sale for $2.49.  Fall Out 3 Game of the Year Edition's sale price is $6.79, down from its regular price of $19.99.  Steam has the Tom Clancy's Franchise pack which features 14 items on sale for $42.46, regular price is $169.86.  Company of Heroes Franchise Edition which includes 9 items with a regular price of $99.99 is on sale for $24.99.  Company of Heroes 2 with a regular price of $34.99 is on sale for $8.74. Darkest Dungeon is on sale for $11.99, regular price $19.99.  HyperDimension Neptunia Re; Birth1 with a regular price of $29.99 is on sale for $5.99.  

The Crew video game with a regular price of $29.99 is on sale for $14.99. This Steam PC price for The Crew is lower than the game on Amazon, which is selling for $21.95 for the PS4. 

Steam Grade:  C

 Black FridayBlack Friday

Now it's time to move from the average zone to more higher performing Black Friday sales beginning with Amazon.com and ending with the winning Black Friday video game sale retailer.

7.  Amazon.com

Amazon.com, in my opinion, was very agressive about its Black Friday sales  In fact, I believe Amazon.com started advertsing sometime after Halloween.  When I visited Amazon.com to check out Black Friday video game sales,  there were on-going type sales, some with time-limits.  Buyer beware.  If you visit Amazon.com for Black Friday video game sales, you may find yourself buying more than you planned.  

I locked into Black Friday sales at Amazon.com as follows: PS4 Need for Speed is on sale for $39.99.  NBA Live 15 for the Xbox One is on sale for $11.99.  Borderlands for the PS4 is $29.99 and the Special Edition of NBA 2K15 for the Xbox One is on sale for $68.36.  Family Fun Pack for the Xbox One and Dark Souls II for the PS4 is on sale for $19.99.  Amazon.com earns a B- simply because it was not easy for me to extrapolate the Black Friday Day video games sales.  That being said,  I highly recommend you check out the Black Friday video game sales at Amazon.com and it's fine to shop for other items as well.  Have fun!

Amazon.com Grade:  B-

6.  Best Buy 

Best Buy continues its tradition of having people  camp out for its Black Friday sales.  I saw a deal where you can get an Xbox One Lego Movie Bundle plus a 40" LED television for $499.98, a savings of $300.00. Other sales include Xbox One Rise of the Tomb Raider Bundle and Tomb Raider Definitive Edition video game for $349.99, a savings of $50.00.  Additional video game sales are Madden 16 for the Xbox One, NBA 2K16 and W2K16, as well as FIFA 16 for $29.99 each.  Best Buy gets a B- because the price reductions are not as steep as other stores selling the same video games.

Best Buy Grade:  B-

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5.  PlayStation 4 Store

For some reason, Sony is not calling its sale a Black Friday sale.  Instead the sale is being called a CO-OP sale, maybe to not confuse its global video game customers?  Unlike Microsoft's Xbox One Store which used Black Friday to name its sales, Playstation 4 loses a grading point because it did not do the same.

The PS4 store video game sales that stood out were Battlefield Hardline Standard Edition with a regular price of $39.99 --  on sale for $21.99.  Ultra Street Fighter IV is on sale for $17.49, having a regular price of $24.99.  Far Cry 4 is on sale for $30.00 -- regular price is $59.99.  

Addtionally, the PlayStation 4 website has a deal where you get 10% off your total purchase if you use a code on the website.  The offer expires December 1, 2015.

PlayStation 4 Store Grade:  B-

4.  Xbox One Store

When you visit the Xbox One Store, you see a Black Friday Sale prominently displayed, not misnamed or renamed as some of the other online video game stores did. In addition to video games, Xbox One has sales on Xbox Live gold memberships. Battlefield Hardline which has a regular price of $27.99 is on sale for $23.99.  Battlefield 4 Premiere Edition is on sale for $30.00 and has a regular price of $35.99 - $59.99.  Dark Souls II is on sale for $20.00 and has a regular price of $23.99 - $39.99.  Evolve is on sale for $16.00 and has a regular price of $20.00 - $39.99.

Xbox One Store Grade:  B+

 Black FridayBlack Friday

3.  Target

You may recall Target had some security issues with credit card usage not too long ago.  Hopefully this problem will not resurface.  That being said, during the holiday season as well as all year long, always check your credit card transactons and balances to make sure no unauthorized or fradulent charges show up.  Should this happen, notify your credit card company immediately, discontinue using the card and request a replacement credit card.

Regarding video game sales, Target has the Xbox One Gears of War Ultimate Edition Bundle on sale for $349.99.  If you buy this bundle, you save $10.00 on your Xbox Live membership.  Other video game sales include Dishonored for the Xbox One on sale for $20.00., Mad Maxx for the PS4, Tony Hawks Pro Skater 5 for the PS4, and Xbox One Family Fun Pack which are $25.00 each.  Nintendo 3DS XL is on sale for $179.99.  $15.00 video games include Mario Kart 7, Evolve, Far Cry 4 and New Super Mario Bros.

If you are a regular Target shopper, you may have received coupons where you can save money depending on the amount you spend.  I suggest you use these coupons when you shop at Target on Black Friday.  Depending on what you buy, you may be able to save money with the coupon as well as from the items already being on sale.

Target Grade:  B

2.  Toys R Us 

Toys R Us opens at 5 p.m. on Thursday, November 26, 2015  for Black Friday, so you can start shopping early.  What stood out for me was the sale price  of two video games for $25.00, which equates to $12.50 per game.  These are mostly PS3 and Xbox 360 video games, but a good deal just the same.  The video games include Star Wars III, Skate, Skyrim, Titanfall and Little Big Planet. 

Toys R Us Grade: B+

And now, for the number 1 retailer for Black Friday sales.  Drum roll, please.  

Black Friday Sales 2015 Ads Walmarts Best Tech Deals You Can Score Thanksgiving Hours Open Time In Store Exclusives Online Specials In App Savings and More

1. Walmart

Walmart retains its place as being number one when it comes to Black Friday video game sales.  In fact, there were so many video game sales going on at Walmart during Black Friday, I had to stop taking notes and give my fingers a rest.  It's unfortunate that some Walmarts have reputations that are not as stellar as other retailers, such as Target, and other similar big box stores. When you shop at Walmart, be sure to choose one where you feel safe or forgo going to that particular Walmart at all.  Remember your safety is your number one priority. Also there is always the option to shop online, if you prefer not to go to Walmart in person.

Now, let's talk about why Walmart continues to be number one in Black Friday video game sales.  The main reasons are the wide selection of video games on sale, low prices of video games, and Walmart's store policy to match prices against other retailers selling the same  games. 

Walmart video game sales include XBox One NBA 2K16, Madden 16 and FIFA 16 for $17.00.  $35.00 games include Until Dawn for the PS4, The Phantom Pain for the Xbox One and Assassin's Creed Syndicate for the PS4 and the Xbox One.  Other $35.00 video games include Dragon Age Inquisition, NHL 16 and Forza 6 for the Xbox One.  $25.00 games include Mortal Kombat X, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Batman: Arkham Knight, Splatoon, GTA V, Bloodborne for the PS4 and Mad Maxx for the Xbox One. $15.00 video games include Battlefield Hardline for the PS4, Gears of War and Evolve for the PS4.  Divinity Original Sin, Enhancement Edition for the PS4 is on sale for $39.99.  

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is on sale at Walmart for its Black Friday sale for $8.00.  By contrast, the same video game is selling at Best Buy for $39.99.

Video game bundles include Uncharted for the PS4 on sale for $299.00, regular price $349.00.  The Wii U bundle with Super Smash Bros. and Splatoon is on sale for $250.00. 

Outside of video games, I want to share with you that the FitBit is on sale at Walmart for $59.99 which has a regular price of $99.00.  You can also get a 7" RCA tablet for $28.88. If you shop Walmart for video games, you may want to check out some of their other Black Friday sales as well.

Walmart Grade:  A

Wrap-Up

That's it for my grading of Black Friday video game sales for 2015.  A note of caution:  The day after Black Friday is known for headlines of altercations and worse as some people get overly agressive in taking advantage of these sales.  Stay out of the headlines, and more importanly be safe if you plan to shop the Black Friday sales in person.  Be vigilant, observant,  always be aware of your surroundings and remember saving a few dollars during Black Friday is not worth jeopardizing your well being.  Stay safe and enjoy!

 http://www.allgames.com/data-blog/item/10187-mom-s-minute-grades-black-friday-sales

http://www.allgames.com/data-blog/item/10171-how-you-can-be-successful-at-black-friday-shopping-secrets-revealed

Published in Mom's Minute Blog
Friday, 14 June 2013 00:00

Rush Bros. (Mac/PC)

rush bros review

If you would like to play a fun, energetic, competitive  type video game, then you may want to play Rush Bros. In the multiplayer mode, you play against your friends and find out just who is the better player.  Rush Bros. is essentially a platform racing game, where your video game character travels and avoids or conquers several obstacles before reaching the finish.  The gameplay consists of about 40 levels, with you as the video game player choosing the specific level you want to play. You do not have to traverse each level in sequence -- you have the freedom to choose whichever level you prefer to play.  There is also a survival and fast forward mode where the gameplay is basically the same; however, your character will move more quickly.

 

Rush Bros. Gameplay Before I get into the specific gameplay, lets talk about some preliminaries.  Rush Bros. is a PC/Mac game, so it is playable on either the PC or the Mac.  I played this video game on my Mac, and did not experience any problems having the game added to my Steam library for gameplay.  So it goes without saying that before you play this game, you must already have a Steam account or be prepared to set one up.  I'm thinking that if you are an avid video game player, whether you play games on your favorite consoles, PC or Mac -- that you more than likely already have a Steam account.  If not, why not set one up so you can play Rush Bros. with your friends?

 

Rush Bros.!Rush Bros.!

 A big part of video games in addition to gameplay is the graphics.  This game did not disappoint in this area.  I believe you will enjoy the bright graphics as well as the colorful backgrounds as you play the different levels of this game.  Even though Rush Bros is a racing game -- the race to the finish may not be as simple as you may think.  On your way, hopefully to victory, you will encounter spikes and other obtacles that you have to avoid if you want to clinch the win.  

 

Need help in getting to that next higher structure while you are racing?  Simply, use the springs to propel your character to the next higher height.  If the springs do not do the trick, then you may have to scale the side of the structure before jumping over the spikes to continue your journey for the win. My points here are there are a multitude of ways to move your character along the platform.

 

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 You may say to me -- "Well, that's all good, Ms. H, but were there any negatives about this game?"  My response would be the positives of this game outweigh the negatives -- but there were some.  When I loaded the game and saw the graphics on the main page, I thought this would be basically a music game.  I saw two figures wearing sunglasses who appeared  to be DJs.  And what do DJs do?  Among other things, they play music.  So I was getting excited about playing some sort of music game.  However, that was not to be the case.  Music is a big part of this game -- in fact, you can change the music to listen to different tracks as you play the game.  However, music is more of a by-product of the game -- instead of being intricately woven into the gameplay -- at least on the parts of this game that I played.  Once the gameplay started, the music was more of a backdrop to the game itself.

 

I'm not sure if this was a glitch in the game; however, while trying to get my character through a maze of blocks, I got him actually stuck in a block -- and he could not get out.  Try as I may -- the little figure stayed in the confines of the block until the challenger, of course, obviously won the race, since I could not get my character out of the block.

 

Another possible glitch is at one time during gameplay, I stopped pushing buttons during the game; however, the figure continued to run back and forth across the screen. Mind you, this was a character that should have been following my directional commands -- but that was not the case. He kept moving along, without me pushing nary a button.

 

There was also what I would call a "tedious" part of the game. The gameplay involved the character needing a key to open certain doors.  In order to get the key, the character had to backtrack over areas that had already been covered to retrieve the key -- and then go back to the door with the key to open it.  I found this part of the game to be tedious, because I felt that I made progress in getting to the door that required a key -- only to find out that I had to sometimes retrace my steps to get the key and return back to the door to open it.  Some may see this as a way to win the race, especially if your challenger is not fast at locating and using the key; however, I found it tedious to go back and forth in this game.  My suggestion would be to position the key at a checkpoint that is very close to the door to be opened instead of having the player to retrace his or her steps.  

 

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From a PC/Mac playing standpoint, versus the video game consoles, i.e. the current Xbox 360, and the PS3, I had to get accustomed to using either the directional arrows or the specific alphabet keys to move the character. In my opinion, this game would be more enjoyable to play using a controller instead of the keyboard.  In fact, I believe it is recommended that a controller be used along with your PC or Mac.  Unfortunately, during the game, in my zeal to win, my fingers would sometimes become overly taxed, as I pounded the keys to move the character.  Thankfully, my fingers returned back to normal after I stopped playing the game. Of course, you may or may not experience this discomfort while playing the game.

 

Now back to the positives. I liked  getting co-op help on certain parts of the game via challenger on Skype. I also liked the upbeat music that played during the gameplay, as well as the different environments that changed with each level. 

 

Sounds like a video game you would like to play? If so, you can play Rush Bros. now since it is available on Steam for the PC and Mac. 

 

Rush Bros. was released on May 24, 2013 by Xyla Entertainment.

{youtube}http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYe_JNDUiFo{/youtube}

Published in PC

watchdogs-1

The main protaganist, Aiden Pearce of the Watch Dogs upcoming video game, has his job cut out for him.  Not only is he expected to give video game players a spell-bounding, action-packed, suspense-riddled video game playing experience, but Aiden Pearce must also help bring in record breaking sales numbers for Watch Dogs --  similar to Grand Theft Auto V. When GTA V was released, it was probably not surprising that Watch Dog's original release date of November, 2013 was delayed.  (See Watch Dogs article link below).  You may know that GTA V went on to break video game sales records upon its release. During that time, it appeared that UbiSoft was not confident that Watch Dogs' Aiden Pearce was up to fighting against the video gaming beast that was GTA V; and subsequently, held off releasing Watch Dogs.

Aiden Pearce Fights an Uphill Battle

Looks like in some cases Aiden Pearce will be fighting an uphill battle to get to the "victory lap."  He is already being compared to the main protoganists of the Assassin's Creed and Unchartered video games.  Even the premise of seeking revenge upon which the gameplay is based resembles other video games.  As the storyline unfolds in Watch Dogs, Aiden Pearce gets into the hacking business to avenge the destruction of a family member.  His methods include hacking the surveillance system, CtOS which is used by the fictitious Chicago, Illinois company which he hacks into.  He spies not only on his enemies but also on his family because of his strong propensity to work hard to keep them safe. Even some of the gameplay of Watch Dogs is being compared to that of GTA V, Infamous Second Son as well as other games.  

The question is with these similarities to characters, actions, gameplay and missions of other video games, where does the uniqueness lies with Aiden Pearce as well as the game, Watch Dogs? What is the magic ingredient of Watch Dogs that will catapult it to record video game sales? The hacking element of the gameplay may fit the bill for uniqueness and may be the basis for the continued excitement for Watch Dogs, similar to when it was first introduced at Ubisoft's press conference at  E3 2012.  The game itself has been in production since 2009 and many may say that this game has improved with time.Watch Dogs Supporting CastWatch Dogs Supporting Cast

Aiden Pearce Strengths

Besides the similarities between him and other main male protaganists in video games, what does Aiden Pearce bring to the table that may entice you to want to play Watch Dogs?  For starters, he is a technological mastermind; an expert in social engineering; highly proficient in hacking; an expert at defensive and offensive driving; has impressive hand-to-hand combat skills,  and demonstrates atheleticism and agility when mobile.  He also appears to remain calm under pressure.  

Additionally, even though he is known as the best in his field, he still seeks out help with hacking from others including Clara Lille who he admits that he does not trust completely -- but she is the best hacker that he knows.  He shares the thought relative to technology,  "Big Brother is Always Watching." In fact, Watch Dogs gameplay uses the concept of information warfare, where all data is interconnected, in a world that is dependent to a degree on technology.  It is this information warfare and the thought that someone is always watching, in addition to revenge, that is the basis for Aiden Pearce's concentration on surveillance. Aiden Pierce in actionAiden Pierce in action

Aiden Pearce Weakness

Aiden Pearce has a criminal background, even though he seems committed to try to walk the straight and narrow sometimes.

Will Aiden Pearce Deliver for Watch Dogs?

All being said and done -- Will the video game character Aiden Pearce deliver for Watch Dogs?  The short answer is that after five years in development, the prevailing thought may be that Watch Dogs is now as good a game as it will ever be -- not allowing for the DLC that is sure to follow.  

With Watch Dogs being released in just a few days, I guess we will find out soon enough if the delay beyond the November 2013 initial launch date was worth the wait and if Aiden Pearce will deliver. When UbiSoft delayed the game upon GTA V's release, the expectation was not only would Aiden Pearce deliver for Watch Dogs, but the game, itself, would rival other games in the same genre of third person shooters, open world action adventure video games.

Watch Dogs, is rated M for Mature.  The video game releases on May 27, 2014 on the PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, the PC, and later (about Q4 2014) for the WII U.

http://www.moms-minute.com/index.php/ms-h-news/953-video-games-watch-dogs-release-date-revealed

{youtube}https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulFeUCAI5xM{/youtube}

Published in Mom's Minute Blog
Friday, 30 May 2014 00:00

The Little Pawn Shop That Could

Royal PawnRoyal Pawn

 When garbage collectors are called sanitation engineers, and used cars are referred to as certified pre-owned vehicles, it's refreshing to notice a place, though small in size, that goes simply by the name of Royal Pawn.  Why?  Because it is an actual pawn shop.  Unlike another establishment I visited during my video game field trip that was called "Cash Converters" when it was in essence a  pawn shop, the store I visited for my video game field trip was a bona fide pawn shop.  It's a place where you can pawn items it you want, or if you prefer, you can just shop around like I did, and find out what they have to offer in the way of video games.

Before visiting Royal Pawn, I went to their website and saw lots of pictures on the walls, as well as musical instruments and other merchandise displayed in glass cases.  I have visited similar looking places, and would more often than not be told that they do not sell or trade video games.  When I visited Royal Pawn and walked closer to the glass door opening of this store, I saw the sign  "We Buy Gold” -- which heightened my doubts that video games would be sold in this pawn shop.

When I walked in the store, I was greeted by a salesperson.  I was going to ask a leading question such as, "You all do not have video games or video game systems here, do you?" -- when I decided to take a more positive approach and just ask if they had any video games. I was surprised when the salesperson said that they not only sold video games but had video game consoles as well --  which were located in an area behind where I was standing.

Xbox 360's at Royal PawnXbox 360's at Royal Pawn

 I asked the salesperson if there were any PS4 or Xbox Ones in stock, and his reply was that it was too soon to have the new systems. However, he mentioned that about two weeks ago, this store had a PS4, which was bought within a few minutes after it was put on the shelf.  Of course, this could have been a fabrication; however, judging from the busyness of this store, this was a possible true story. When I asked about the prices of the video games, he said that most of their video games sold for $10.00, unlike the "Game Box" down the street that sells games for $50 and up.  When I questioned "Game Box," he said that he meant to say "GameStop."  Having visited GameStop the previous week, I can attest to the fact that the used video game prices at Royal Pawn were more reasonable. An added plus was, from what I saw -- the video games included some recent titles.

Here are some of the video games displayed in the locked glass case.Here are some of the video games displayed in the locked glass case.

 When I asked to look at a game in the glass case that caught my attention, he went to another area in the store and brought a key back with him to open the case.  The video game that caught my eye was Gears of War for the Xbox 360, which  was in a new-looking metal case.  When he opened the metal case, the game along with the external and internal packaging were intact.  I was expecting this game to sell higher than $10.00 -- but when I asked, he told me the price was $10.00.  I was tempted to purchase this game; however, I did not particularly like that there was a red skull on the front of the packaging, similar to the skull that's on Call of Duty Ghosts. The salesperson jokingly said that he would remove the skull if I liked, and I knew obviously,  he was just kidding.

To make a long story short, after much contemplation, I passed on the Gears of War game and did not purchase it.

I would describe this video game field trip as an enjoyable one.  Not only was I looking around for video games in a pawn shop that was also known as a pawn shop,  but I was being assisted by a salesperson who was very helpful as well.

If you want to look for your favorite older video games in a place that seems like it's not out to take your money, I recommend you visit a similar type establishment  in your area. If there are no video games in the pawn shop that you are interested in, there may be other type merchandise that you may want to check out.  It is likely that should you decide to look for video games, consoles, or other merchandise,  there is a pawn shop waiting for you to frequent.  Hopefully the salespeople are just as friendly as the merchandise is inexpensive.

 

Published in Mom's Minute Blog
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 02:30

The String Arcade - Dren McDonald Interview

Ms. H from Mom's Minute interviews Dren McDonald, composer of The String Arcade, a collection or video game music arranged for a string quartet. He gives insights on making full renditions of songs that began as electronic sounds, and what his motivations were in starting the project. All proceeds of The String Arcade go to the Alameda Music Project, an afterschool music program for kids in grades K-5. 

Listen to the Interview Below

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You can purchase the CD from:

Loudr.fm - http://www.loudr.fm/release/the-string-arcade/wvbUB

iTunes - https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-string-arcade/id805763356

Bandcamp - https://thestringarcade.bandcamp.com/

Take a look at the trailer
{youtube}http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGWdo3VuIP0{/youtube}

 

Published in Mom's Minute Blog
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