Assassin’s Creed 2 Rounds Third, Heads For Home

Ezio diving head first.Not to be outdone by Bioware, Ubisoft confirmed some carnal experiences for Assassin’s Creed 2. Bioware has long been champion of the cause for sex in video games, with sequences like those in Mass Effect and the upcoming Dragon Age: Origins.

The Ubisoft announcement came in the form a response to a fan by Benoit Lambert, director for the sequel to everyone’s favorite medieval stabfest. He called Ezio a womanizer, but would say little else. “There’s a bit of sex. I can’t say more.” Sounds like we’ll get some sideboob and a “tastefully” cropped shot of some pixelated buttocks. In any case, I’m sure we’ll have the answers November 20th. The moment you say “we’ve got sex,” you’ve issued a challenge to the league of perverts who also happen to be gamers.

Source: VG247

5 Hilarious Video Game Character Status Updates

There’s an awesome post on College Humor today. Written by Brian Murphy, the article suggests five status updates from favorite characters in gaming’s past.

There’s an appearance from Shiek, who’s still trying to pass as a dude, a self-loathing Mega Man failing a personality test, and my favorite: a bromance between Sonic and Tails gone sour. That last one culminates with a mssing Sonic, a drunk Tails, and the words, “I love you man seriously. I always have.”

I don’t know exactly what is so funny about defiling childhood’s idealized characters/relationships, but it is some damn fine entertainment. Looking for some reddit karma? Take the College Humor idea and apply to the nostalgic reference of your choosing. Upvotes guaranteed.

Microsoft Announces Holiday Bundles

Microsoft holiday console bundle.Microsoft announced its holiday bundles today, which reminded me the holidays aren’t nearly as far off as I thought. The console bundle will run you $299 and comes with an Xbox 360 Elite and full retail versions of Lego Batman and Pure. For those of you already in possession of a console, there’s a controller bundle, which includes a black wireless controller and four arcade titles: Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2, Lumines LIVE!, Bomberman LIVE!, and a coupon to download Ms. Pac-Man. That bundle is priced at $60.

Both packages are certainly a good deal, though I wish the controller bundle were a bit different. Arcade games are nice, but why not a platinum hit? Something for all of the folks looking to purchase the Modern Warfare 3 and Forza 3 bundles? Still, if that special someone in your life is looking for a 360, this is a great choice. Both bundles are available starting today.

Playstation 3: Giving Blood Transfusions To Nazis Since 2009

Sony nazi ad.Sony is apparently willing to try anything to get you to buy its console. There was that creepy unofficial ad depicting a man with a thumb for a penis, and who could forget the bizarre “playface” campaign. The company’s latest is sure to get some blood boiling. The ad depicts a gamer giving a blood transfusion to a nazi. In an alternate image, the same gamer is giving Joan of Arc his heart via transplant.

Honestly, I don’t even know what these ads are supposed to mean. Were things the other way around it would still be a stretch, but you could run with the idea that Sony games are so realistic it’s like you’ve become someone else. Come to think of it, that’s really not so bad, except that someone else in this case is a nazi. Well, hats off to Sony for courage. The company sure isn’t afraid of a little failure. Or a lot of it.

Check out the hi-res pics of the new ads at Copyranter.

Show Link Some Love With His Evolution Poster

History of Link poster.I tried to find a bigger picture of what you see at right, but there just wasn’t much out there so it’ll have to do. That’s a picture of the newest poster up on Club Nintendo, which features Link’s many faces over his 20-year history. The poster is one in a set of three, the other two of which are promos for Phantom Hourglass and Twilight Princess.

For 350 coins you’ll get this great piece of memorabilia along with the other two posters. To be honest, I don’t even care about the other two posters. This one is good enough by itself. The prom posters measure 22 in x 28 in while the “History of Link” poster comes 16.5 in x 28.7 in.

Sony Really Wants The PSP Go To Fail

PSP UMD disc.When Sony first announced the PSP Go, I decried the lack of a UMD drive. The nonexistent feature meant existing collections of PSP games could not be used on the new device. Then there was hope. Sony announced plans to implement a “good will” program by which PSP owners with UMD discs would be able to get a digital copy for use with the PSP Go.

Well it looks like that’s not going to happen. “We were evaluating a UMD conversion program, but due to legal and technical reasons we will not be offering the program at this time,” an SCEA spokesperson said today. The change makes the “upgrade” even less appealing for its October 1st launch.

Super Mario 3 HDD Is All Win

SMB:3 HDD mod.A lot of people are crying foul about this mod, claiming pure waste of a perfectly good Super Mario Bros. 3 NES cartridge. I cry win, though, and lots of it. This is a great use of a little nostalgia, and for all we know the cart could have been shot. This mod, on the other hand, is blasphemy. Pure blasphemy.

Back to the mod: it’s an original cart with the internals ripped out. They’ve been replaced with a 160GB HDD that’s even bus-powered. I’m in love. It’ll set you back $120 on Etsy, which seems a little steep, but I’m all for helping the handmade community.

Wii Gets A Price Cut, Amazon Offers First Deal

Wii's at Amazon.The latest in the string of console price cuts went live today; you can now officially get a Wii for $199, which is $50 off the previous lowest price. As if that weren’t enough to get you to buy, Amazon hopes to be your retailer of choice. The online seller is offering a $25 gift card with every Wii purchase.

You have just under a week to take advantage of the deal, which is only good through October 3rd. You should also make sure you’re buying the console directly from Amazon as third party vendors don’t count toward the deal. You can expect to receive your gift card 10 days or so after purchase, effectively reducing the cost of your next game by 50%.

Blizzard COO Buys A Chunk Of The Steelers

Blizzard COO Paul Sams.Blizzard COO Paul Sams has reportedly gotten into the football business, and I’m not talking about a Madden competitor. No, Sams and his family are listed as one among ten of the new joint owners of the Pittsburgh Steelers franchise. The news came courtesy of the Steelers’ official website, which gives a quick bio for both Sams and his wife.

I guess when you’re at the top of a company whose biggest title has 11 million subscribers and sits on the verge of another expansion, whose critically acclaimed RTS has an upcoming sequel, and whose dungeon masher is about to become a trilogy you simply have more money than god and can buy just about whatever you want. That includes Super Bowl champions.

Review: Gunnar Optiks

Gunnar eyewear.A couple weeks ago I was contacted by a company called Gunnar Optiks to do a review of some eyewear. The product line is designed for people living a digital lifestyle, e.g. gamers, bloggers, tech enthusiasts and the like. I was skeptical at first, particularly when the initial contact mentioned Soulja Boy as a client, but after a couple weeks of use I have to say I’m impressed with Gunnar’s product and I think the company has some potential, it just won’t be easy.

The Company
The pitch:

Gunnar Optiks is the leading provider of digital performance eyewear designed to enhance computer use by relieving the effects that stem from prolonged viewing of computer screens and other digital devices such as PDAs, cell phones, and blackberries.

It’s a tough sell, really. Sure, there are millions of people using the listed devices on a daily basis, but convincing people to buy a product that requires a lifestyle change, particularly if the product is good for them, is never easy. It takes clever marketing, some healthy press time, and truly great product.

Gunnar is apparently aware of all these things. Marketing materials reinforce a cohesive brand and my press contact was very helpful answering questions. Above all, though, Gunnar delivers a solid product, which is what this review is all about.

The Glasses
Gunnar TallonAs I said in the beginning, I was a skeptic from the start. On first use, though, I had a feeling Gunnar just might win me over. The glasses look great and fit well. They’re light and put minimal pressure above the ears, a necessity for prolonged use. Like many sport glasses, the Gunnar lenses I received have a yellow tint designed to increase contrast. Computer screens look bright and any movement stands out immediately. The tint is perfect for indoor lighting, though if you sit facing a window you may feel things get a little bright around midday. The lenses obviously distort colors so graphic artists beware.

From a gaming perspective, the additional contrast significantly enhances the experience. I noticed the difference most in FPS titles like Halo 3 and Team Fortress 2. In both cases I felt more responsive and aware of movement. Colors seem brighter and it gets a little easier to pick your enemy out of the background.

Gunnar technology is about more than tint, though. The lenses are treated with something the company calls “i-AMP,” a coating designed to filter glare from your surroundings to relieve eye strain. The lens geometry, call “fRACTYL,” also reduces eye strain by “pre-focusing” light that enters the eye. It produces a magnifying effect, making things seem ever so slightly larger. Gunnar has assured me this is just the pre-focusing, which leaves less work for the eye.

The Verdict
Anyone who spends a significant amount of time in front of a computer screen could probably benefit from a pair of Gunnars. The full product line offers glasses designed for digital viewing in almost any light condition. The technology behind the glasses has more substance than I initially expected, which Gunnar will need to sell the idea to the general public.

Gamers will love the enhanced contrast for fast-paced titles that require a lot of attention to detail. For the everyday user, Gunnars are an excellent tool for reducing eyestrain during general computer use. To get a closer look at Gunnar and its product line, be sure to check their official website: www.gunnars.com.

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