Sleeping Dogs Articles RSS Feed | Sleeping Dogs RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network The best and worst moms of gaming Fri, 06 May 2016 09:30:01 -0400 Ty Arthur


These were only 10 of the absolutely astounding number of gaming mothers, and there's plenty more we could have looked at that deserved to be nominated for "best," "worst," or even "most insane."


What did you think of our picks, and who would you choose for the best and worst moms in gaming?


The Absolute Worst Mom Of Gaming: The Mom From Binding Of Isaac


Somehow even more visually terrifying than Alma and Queen Brahne put together, Isaac's mom is the epitome of bad motherhood. Much like Abraham, this parent hears god's voice telling her to kill her child... and she listens to it.


Whether by stabbing, stomping, or crushing, she's hell-bent on ending her own offspring in a very unpleasant way. Even if he lives, Isaac will forever have those fleshy leg-folds branded into his memory!



Dahlia Gillespie Silent Hill


A fanatical cultist, Dahlia is more concerned with what her daughter Alessa can offer their religion than with her daughter's actual well-being.


She tries to use Alessa as an incubator to birth an evil god, and when Alessa is terribly burned, Dahlia keeps her alive despite the extreme pain - not out of love, but out of a desire to keep her mad plot going.


Fortunately, the tables are turned at the end of the first Silent Hill. Of course, in the movie adaptation, Dahlia is a much more sympathetic character rather than an outright villain.



Deadbeat mom: YOU


It absolutely doesn't matter how hard you try, you're going to end up a deadbeat parent in any Fable game. All that adventuring and real estate buying will always have you leaving your spouse and kid at home, wishing you'd come around more often.


Divorce seems inevitable, unless you really put in a lot of time at the dinner table. Fable 3 in particular lets you be pretty terrible on the parenthood front... by allowing devastating child labor to continue to run rampant in your home city.


Since the Fable series lets you keep marrying and having more children as often as you'd like (in fact, some achievements require you to be polygamous or kill previous spouses!), you can end up with a ridiculous number of children, as seen below.



Living Through Your Children: Flemeth


If you want to be a powerful apostate witch who can shapeshift and sling spells, then Flemeth is a great mom... until you reach a certain age. Turns out Flemeth is so exceedingly long-lived because she keeps overtaking the bodies of her daughters to start life anew. Still, up till the whole “killing you” part, it seems like she'd be a useful mom to have.



Not Around Enough To Be Awful: Jimmy's Mom


Not only does this parental figure from Bully commit crimes against fashion, but she's not a great mother either. On the up side, she's as distant and uncaring as they come. Normally that would be a bad thing, but when you consider some of the other mothers on this list, essentially staying out of Jimmy's life isn't nearly the worst thing that could have happened.



A Thousand Lifetimes And Never Learned Parenting Skills: Sarah Sisulart


Both of the immortal moms in Lost Odyssey aren't going to be contenders for any “mother of the year” awards. Seth turns her son onto the criminal path, raising him as a pirate, and then abandons him for years (decades? It's not clear). The fact that he calls her “Maaaaaaamaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!” as a middle-aged man is also of concern...


Sarah sort of takes the cake though. Thinking (erroneously) that her daughter has died, she becomes an evil witch haunting a mansion and kills anyone who comes inside – even attacking her own husband! Since she's immortal, the death of her child during her lifetime was a foregone conclusion and would have happened down the line anyway, so this was always going to happen.


After being talked down from psycho witch mode, she goes on incredibly dangerous adventures... with her two underage grandchildren. That's just bad parenting all around. I shutter to think of how nuts she'll go when they eventually die.



Pretty Awful But Sorta Redeems Herself: Queen Brahne


Definitely giving a run for her money on the “most horrifyingly obese mother” front, Queen Brahne from Final Fantasy IX was once kind and benevolent but was turned wicked and greedy after the death of her husband. She's pretty much every wicked stepmother ever, but taken to an even higher degree.


Nearly everyone hates her by the time she finally gets her comeuppance, having conquered a huge swathe of the world, turning on anyone who aided her, and even trying to kill her own adopted daughter, Garnet.


In her dying moments, she does admit all her wrongdoing and seeks forgiveness. Too little, too late?



Totally Up In The Air: Chrono's Mom


There are a couple of contenders on the mom front to be found in the hallowed RPG classic Chrono Trigger, from Lucca's disabled mother to the diabolical mother brain boss fought in the far future.


Chrono's unnamed mother is easily the most iconic, however, with her “Good morning Chrono!” line forever etched into the memories of kids who grew up in the '90s.


Despite giving her kid the only bed in the house and watching his cat while he goes on extended adventures, she's actually pretty inattentive, not seeming to realize or care when he's gone for months at a time. She does manage to finally ask about his whereabouts once... after he's been killed by Lavos.


In one ending, she foolishly chases a cat into a time portal that will never re-open, at which point Chrono strikes his victory pose, apparently happy with the turn of events.



Somehow The Best AND Worst: Alma


Whether Alma is an amazing mom or a terrible one is definitely up for debate. She's not happy that her children have been taken from her, and goes on a murderous revenge rampage against those who took them – although she goes more than a little overboard on that front.


She just wants her boys to get along, even if that means they have to become proficient killers together, and she's so enamored with being a mother that she rapes Becket at the end of F.E.AR. 2 to become pregnant again.



Totally The Best Mother: Mrs. Chu


This totally badass mom from Sleeping Dogs works hard to help her son in everything he does – including becoming a better criminal! When her son is killed, she tortures people with her meat cleaver to find out who was responsible.


When the real perpetrator is brought to her, she makes the murderer eat human meat and then viciously dismembers him. Now that's dedication to your kid's memory! How many kids can really say their mom would go that far to avenge their deaths?



With all the hardened soldiers, fantasy world saviors, and ace starship pilots across gaming, you might not expect "moms" to be a big character category, but you'd be wrong on that front.

There's hundreds of memorable mother characters across every genre of gaming, from loving and nurturing caregivers... to homicidal maniacs intending to eradicate their own offspring.


In honor of the impending Mother's Day celebrations, we're going to count down the best and worst moms of gaming, and even look at a few that blend those two extremes.

Great games that you've probably never played Mon, 07 Sep 2015 19:00:19 -0400 katlaborde


Like Buzz Buzz, this article has met its end. 


Did I leave out any of your favorite forgotten gaming gems? If so, let me know in the comments!


Image source: Destructoid

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 (2010)

For me, the most disappointing entry of this list. 


Developed by Ninja Theory, this action-adventure platformer was a re-imagining of the classic story, Journey to the West. If you don't know the story, its the same story that was used to inspire Dragonball. The player controls Monkey, performed by mo-cap king Andy Serkis, as he and his companion, Trip, must journey across a post-apocalyptic environment.


The gameplay incorporates various elements such as close-combat and platforming traversal. Additionally, the player can occasionally play as Trip in order to solve certain puzzles or get through difficult obstacles.


So what happened?


Despite receiving critical acclaim from critics, Enslaved failed to meet Namco's sales goal of 1 million units. Due to this, a planned sequel was cancelled. Although its 730,000 sold units is admirable, it does not look like we'll see another adventure with Monkey and Trip anytime soon.




Image source: Destructoid

Shadows of the Damned, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (2011)

Developed by Suda51 and his studio, Grasshopper Manufacture, this strange and quirky third-person shooter is highly inspired by horror films. The player controls Garcia Hotspur, a Mexican demon hunter who literally goes through Hell to save his girlfriend. However, he's not alone; Garcia is accompanied by his smart-mouthed, shape-shifting companion known as Johnson.


Shadows of the Damned plays as a standard shooter except with the added ability of Johnson to turn into different weapons on the fly. Also, Garcia must solve various "darkness" puzzles in order to make it through Hell. The game received mostly high praise with its humor and gunplay variety citied as its main high points.


So what happened?


It's no surprise the game only managed to sell 24,000 units in the United States. Often titles, such as Shadows of the Damned, are unfortunately easily overlooked by gamers. It seems Suda51 and his quirky creations have a very niche audience.


Image source: Bloody Disgusting

Sleeping Dogs, PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 (2012)

Developed by United Front Games and Square Enix London, this open-world action game focuses on Wei Shen, an uncover Hong Kong police officer who is attempting to infiltrate the Triads.


The gameplay is similar to Grand Theft Auto in that Shen can procure different vehicles, carry different types of guns, and free-roam the massive city of Hong Kong. However, Sleeping Dogs does emphasize melee combat a la Arkham Asylum. Ultimately, the game was well-received by critics who enjoyed exploring Hong Kong as well as the variety of gameplay elements.


So what happened?


This one is a bit weird. Although the game did sell reasonably well, selling 1.5 million copies in total, publisher Square Enix labeled the game as a flop along with other titles Tomb Raider and Hitman


Perhaps Square Enix was expecting the game make GTA-like numbers, failing to make realistic projections for this title and the others. It's unfortunate as this will likely hinder any possibilities of a sequel.


Image source: Hidden Gem Games

Remember Me, PC, PlayStation 3, & Xbox 360 (2013)

Developed by Dontnod Entertainment, this action-adventure science fiction game focused on memory hunter, Nilin, as she attempts to recover her lost memories. 


The gameplay consists of a variety of elements including platforming and beat 'em up. Although the gameplay wasn't that highly praised, except for the innovative Memory Remix segments, critics did enjoy the game's story, main character, music, and overall design.


So what happened?


It is likely the lukewarm reviews of this game attributed to its poor sales. Despite this, however, Dontnod is planning a sequel. After completion of their episodic drama, Life is Strange, Dontnod plans to begin work on Remember Me 2. Let's hope they improve on the faults of the original and hold onto the Memory Remix segments.


Image source: Video Game Writers



Bulletstorm, PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 (2011)

Developed by People Can Fly and Epic Games, this crazy first-person shooter failed to deliver the sales of Epic Games' massive hit, Gears of War. Unlike Gears, the game relies heavily on humor. In fact, the game opens with our hero, Grayson Hunt, drunkenly shooting an enemy spaceship causing the events of the game to be set into motion.


The core of Bulletstorm's gameplay was the "skillshot" system. This system relied on the player to kill enemies in creative ways to garner points to increase their overall score. Overall, the game was a critical success as its innovative "skillshot" system and shooting mechanics were often praised. 


So what happened?


Selling just under a million copies, Bulletstorm failed to turn a profit for Epic Games. In turn, a planned sequel for the game was canned. With the success of Gears of Wars, its unusual how Bulletstorm did not garner the attention of gamers.


Image source: Cinema Blend

Armed and Dangerous, Xbox (2003)

Definitely the most overlooked game on this list, Planet Moon Studios' third-person comedic shooter is virtually unknown to gamers. The game centers around a thief named Roman and his group of ragtag thieves known as the Lionhearts.


Although marked down for its linearity, the game received high praise for its hilarious writing, clever weaponry, and use of destructible environments.


So what happened?


It's hard to find a reason as why Armed and Dangerous was not embraced by gamers. The game did receive very little marketing and it is likely the game's British style of humor did not translate well to American gamers, but it still does not explain why this little gem is so unknown.


Image source: IGN

Vanquish, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 (2010)

Developed by PlatinumGames (yes, the people who made Bayonetta!), this fast-paced third person shooter let gamers assume the role of Sam Gideon, a DARPA agent with a slight resemblance to Solid Snake. 


The gameplay was centered around Sam's Augmented Reaction Suit (ARS) which allowed for interesting gameplay mechanics. Sam's suit could slow down time to allow for extra time to kill enemies, boost him quickly across the battlefield, and incorporate different types of weaponry. The game's innovative mechanics awarded it high praise from critics.


So what happened? 


Although its sales were not as disappointing as other titles on the list, Vanquish simply became overlooked by gamers. PlatinumGames' other title, Bayonetta, overshadows this innovative and fast-paced shooter. However, Vanquish was released alongside Fallout: New Vegas which could have allowed for it to fall off of gamers' radar.


Image source: Euro Gamer

Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath, Xbox (2005)

For this title, developer Oddworld Inhabitants, decided to develop a first-person shooter instead of the more familiar puzzle games featuring their mascot, Abe. The game focuses on Stranger, a bounty hunter, on the quest to capture various outlaws for cash.


Much different than its predecessors, Stranger's Wrath focused on its shooting mechanics. In fact, one of its more prominent features was that of live ammunition. Stranger could load crossbow with various weird creatures to inflict different types of damage on his enemies. The game received tons of critical praise citing its impeccable, creative design and fun gameplay.


So what happened?


On initial release, Stranger's Wrath did not sell many units causing the PlayStation 2 version of the game to be cancelled. The creator of Oddworld, Lorne Lanning, citied poor marketing as the cause of this game's poor sales


However, a HD release of Stranger's Wrath was released in 2011 allowing gamers to try out this crazy first-person shooter that they probably missed the first time around.


Image source: Euro Gamer

EarthBound, SNES (1995)

Of course, nowadays a lot of gamers have heard of EarthBound, but how many have actually played it during its initial release? EarthBound is an RPG released for the SNES developed by Ape and Hal Laboratory. EarthBound centers on a group of kids joining together in an effort to save the world from the evil Giygas. 


EarthBound is definitely different from its RPG brethren through its use of quirky writing, humor, and utilization of traditional RPG elements set in a more real world environment. For example, instead of gold, hero Ness must access his bank account to retrieve cash sent to him by his distant dad. 


So what happened?


EarthBound, also known as Mother 2 in Japan, was primed for success with Nintendo providing a $2 million dollar marketing campaign for the game. The campaign reflected the game's quirky sense of humor by boldly proclaiming "this game stinks" and including smelly scratch and sniff cards with each game copy. 


However, despite Nintendo's efforts, EarthBound failed upon initial release selling around 140,000 copies. The bizarre marketing campaign as well as poor reviews from critics, remarking on the game's cartoonish graphics and humor, could have possibly been the cause for EarthBound's initial failure.


Although, the game does now have a strong cult following among gamers. In addition, EarthBound was also recently added to Nintendo's eShop store.


Image source: Game Church

Psychonauts, PC, PlayStation 2, and Xbox (2005)

Psychonauts is a platformer created by legendary video game designer, Tim Schafer and his studio, Double Fine. The game focuses on Raz, a young boy with powerful psychic abilities, who joins a summer camp designed for kids with similar psychic abilities. Of course, not all is what it seems at Whispering Rock Psychic Summer Camp, when Raz discovers a mischievous plot brewing in the confines of the camp.


Psychonauts was highly praised by critics for its writing, characters, humor, and highly imaginative design specifically the varying unique themes of each level. It is often cited as one of Schaefer's more memorable creations.


So what happened?


Unfortunately, much like Schaefer's other titles, this one had a hard time finding an audience. Upon initial release, the game had sold fewer than 100,000 copies. However, in recent years, Double Fine has acquired the rights to digital distribution for the game allowing gamers to experience one of Schaefer's best quirky titles. 


Image source: Giant Bomb


Sometimes great games can fall under our radar or become overshadowed by the release of bigger, more popular titles. The following is a list of games that were overlooked by most gamers. I've limited this list to commercial releases, choosing to exclude indie games as they already have a limited market. 


Image source: Giant Bomb

Tempered Expectations: Why You Shouldn't Be Excited for the Final Fantasy VII Remake Fri, 03 Jul 2015 19:15:00 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

This year’s E3 certainly delivered some surprises didn’t it? We received a release date for The Last Guardian, pulling the highly anticipated project out of the vaporware realm. Yu Suzuki announced a Kickstarter for Shenmue III, another highly anticipated and oft-discussed game, (Sony’s involvement and the issue of funding is a topic to broach another time.) But Square Enix brought down the house with their short trailer announcing the beloved Final Fantasy VII will finally be receiving the HD/ remaster treatment fans have been clamoring to see happen. The only way we could have been more surprised is If Valve had announced Half-Life 3.

It will never happen.

To say the gaming community is abuzz with the announcement of a FFVII remake is akin to saying Batman: Arkham Knight on PC is buggy: a complete understatement. Fans are eagerly devouring every new piece of information to trickle from Square Enix about this game. We have seen countless articles about the subject, debates, conjecture, and more following the announcement and will continue to see these on the way to the game’s release. However, now that the dust has settled from the initial announcement, there are some things we need to discuss regarding this release, and some reasons as to why you should temper your expectations for the final release.  

We Haven't Seen a Thing

Honestly, this applies to any game announcement, not just the Final Fantasy remake. Until you actually get to see the game in action, expectations should be kept in check. Nowadays publishers are throwing games out to be pre-ordered before we have seen trailers, screenshots, or anything else for that matter (Evolve anyone?). Even when we do get to see the game in action, the final product can end up drastically different than what we were shown (Watch Dogs). While this rule applies to every game announcement, I am stressing its importance here because…

Changes are Being Made

With most re-releases in HD, the game is simply a prettier version than the original with most of the gameplay and mechanics left untouched or improved for the better (like the Monkey Island remakes). However, Square Enix is not content with just cosmetic changes for this Final Fantasy VII remake. There will apparently be quite a few changes made to the game in several places.

When the director Tetsuya Nomura was asked about gameplay changes he stated, “I can’t share details, but we’re changing it to a more realistic system.” This could be any number of things so we will have to wait to see some gameplay to understand what “realistic” entails.  However it seems the team isn’t content with just releasing the game with improved graphics, which seemed to be the simple desire of many fans. The team, or at least Nomura, wants to exceed the original. In the same interview Nomura went on to say, “Final Fantasy VII is special, and we can’t ‘exceed’ the game by simply making the graphics nicer. That’s not a thing to be excited about. Precisely because it’s a full remake, I want to challenge what’s fun and what’s possible now.”

Players have longed for the idea of Final Fantasy VII playable in HD ever since games have been receiving the re-release treatment. However, most of the comments I have seen from players concerning a HD version of the game would simply be content with a graphically enhanced version of Final Fantasy VII. While some of the mechanics and design may be dated, they are part of the game’s identity; they are integral to the entire experience.

When Nintendo released Ocarina of Time HD and The Wind Waker HD, they didn’t make a major overhaul to the mechanics or the gameplay. If they had, the games would not be the same. They made some slight changes which most people seemed to agree benefitted the games, but at their core, the games were still the same. I’m not saying Final Fantasy VII should not have some updates to the mechanics and gameplay. I imagine there are some ways those could be improved without compromising the identity of the game, but the comments from Tetsuya Nomura are worrisome. Like all games from our younger years though, it is important to remember…

It Won’t Be the Same As You Remember

Any time we fondly remember a game from our past, we tend to don our rose-tinted shades and overlook the problems the game may have had. Granted, this re-release will have issues of its own it will be bringing to the table, but some issues will have been carried over from the original. Nostalgia is what allows us to blindly overlook many flaws from the things we enjoyed in our youth. Revisiting many of these things as an adult usually results in us saying, “I don’t remember this at all!” or “I thought this game was better than this.”

Nostalgia has already changed many players’ memories about the game. It is undoubtedly a classic, but is it truly as good as you remember? The game holds a special place for many because it was the first entry of the series in the 3D realm and because for many players, it was the first game to kill a major, notable character (I guess people hadn't read Game of Thrones back then). This overwhelming sense of nostalgia is what has prompted a remake of this title over the many other Final Fantasy titles. Time will tell if the game is truly as good as you remember. However, there is one final reason why you should temper your expectations or just not be excited at all, and it is undoubtedly the most significant reasons out of all of these listed.

Square Enix is NOT Square

When Final Fantasy VII was released back in 1997, it was developed by Square. Square is a completely different entity than the entity now known as Square Enix. Squenix has seen it shares of success and great releases. Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Odin Sphere, and The World Ends with You are all titles we have had the privilege of playing thanks to Square Enix. However, the company has made some major missteps in the past five years alone. So let’s look at some of these mistakes.

This is the same company who released Final Fantasy XIV: a game that was met with such a negative reaction upon release; it was hastily announced a new development team would take over the game in an attempt to fix all of the issues with the title. While the new team has done a terrific job in restoring a dreadful game, one has to wonder why the game was launched in such a poor state with so many issues.

Let’s also not forget Square Enix is responsible for the entire Final Fantasy XIII legacy. FFXIII was extremely linear compared to past games with the game’s initial twenty or so hours being a tutorial. I have so issues with a linear title, but to constrain players with a tutorial that takes almost an entire day of play to complete?

While the game was largely well-received as whole, Squenix went on to release two direct sequels to the title that no one seemed to want. On top of diminishing returns for each sequel, Lighting Returns has yet to crack one million sales worldwide, the sequels also added gratuitous amounts of DLC , going so far as to have story content locked behind a DLC pay wall for Final Fantasy XIII-2

At the same time, both Hitman: Absolution sold 3.6 million copies and Sleeping Dogs sold 1.75 million copies back in 2013 and were considered “failures.” The Tomb Raider reboot was also considered an initial failure but has since gone on to sell at least 8.5 million copies and is now considered profitable. Final Fantasy XIII-2 has shipped around 3.1 million copies, but it is not considered a failure? It took Lightning Returns failing to sell even one million copies for Square Enix to finally get the message and move on to other games.

Remember, this is what failure looks like. 

Let’s also not forget Final Fantasy All the Bravest. This is a game that received unanimously negative feedback for its ridiculous amount of microtransactions and the way it treats players and the Final Fantasy legacy. While we are on the topic of mobile blunders, let’s take a look at the Final Fantasy VI release for mobile devices.

Instead of simply porting the excellent version the Gameboy Advance received some time ago, Squenix thought it appropriate to replace all of the wonder sprites and redo the visuals in the style of a horrible Flash game. Seriously, this thing is more hideous than the possessed Regan MacNeil.

The original.

Just no...

If Square Enix can’t respect Final Fantasy VI, regarded by many to be the pinnacle of the series, why on earth do we think they will respect Final Fantasy VII?

At the end of the day, we can only wait to see what Square Enix is doing with their Final Fantasy VII remake. While I am far from the only one who is dubious as to what they will release, I do hope more people will temper their expectations of what is to come. Final Fantasy VII is a legendary game, and it deserves the best treatment available. However with Square Enix’s behavior and decisions, I wonder it the game will get the treatment it deserves.

Now prepare for Save Aerith DLC. 


Humble Square Enix Bundle Sat, 21 Feb 2015 09:45:28 -0500 Lampstradamus

Humble Bundle is back yet again with another bundle.

This time around Humble Bundle is bringing in another Square Enix bundle (making this their second Square Enix Bundle) and as per the usual, what you get is based on what you want to pay, with proceeds going to the developers and charities.

For the price of 'pay whatever the heck you want' you can get Hitman: Absolution, Supreme Commander 2 and you also get the Hitman GO app for the Android.

If you pay more than the average(which at time of writing is $7.39) then you get 2014's reboot of Thief, Murdered: Soul Suspect, Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director's Cut, and the Kane & Lynch Collection. More games will also come soon.

If you pay $15 then you get Tomb Raider and Sleeping Dogs.

In total, all the titles up for grabs cost $185 but as usual you simply pay for what you want to get.

Funny Highlight Reels Of Gamers Failing Sat, 08 Nov 2014 09:37:27 -0500 Dustin Frisch

We all have moments in our lives where we fail at a video game, be it by our parents or siblings. Some of the moments posted in this highlight show these moments.

One such example is this gentleman, who was playing Dark Souls 2 had his mother in his room and tried to give him a kiss on the cheek like any mother would do, but it threw him off big time.

The highlight reel was uploaded to YouTube, but you can watch below it above. It features other funny gaming moments besides the example given above.

PSN October Promotion: Spend $100, Get $15 Back Tue, 30 Sep 2014 19:13:32 -0400 Brian Spaen

Planning to buy a couple of new games through the PlayStation Network in October? If all of them total $100 or more, gamers can get $15 back.

Sony announced on their store website that they'll be running the "Get $15 credit for spending $100" promo. It will run from October 1st through October 28th. While it's not limited to new games, here are some upcoming releases in North America in that time frame to spend the money on:

  • DriveClub (PS4) - October 7th
  • NBA 2K15 (PS4, PS3) - October 7th
  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (PS3) - October 14th
  • Peggle 2 (PS4) - October 14th
  • Raven's Cry (PS4, PS3) - October 14th
  • Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition (PS4) - October 14th
  • The Evil Within (PS4, PS3) - October 14th
  • Samurai Warriors 4 (PS4, PS3, Vita) - October 21st
  • Shadow Warrior (PS4) - October 21st
  • The Legend of Korra (PS4, PS3) - October 21st
  • Just Dance 2015 (PS4, PS3) - October 21st

However, there are two problems with the promo. First, it's too bad that Sony actually had a better promo in the past: in a previous promo event, you could spend $50 and get $10 worth of credit. Secondly, a NeoGAF forum post suggests that the promo is both not stackable with other offers and it's only valid one time per subscription. That means players wanting to spend $200 won't get $30 back, $300 won't get $45 back, etc.

Still, it's hard to turn down free money for gamers that were planning to spend some cash anyways, especially toward some new games. Will you be taking advantage of the offer?

Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition Coming to Next-Gen Consoles Mon, 11 Aug 2014 04:24:40 -0400 PencilPusha

Unconventional cop Wei Shen is back to run the streets of China - with an upgraded look. That's right, the fabulous open-world game Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition is coming to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 this fall. According to, gamers are in for upgraded visuals and different packaging, but that's all they know thus far. Can we expect pre-order exclusives and new DLC? Most likely.

For the original Sleeping Dogs, which came out in 2012, there was a multitude of DLC including a special Halloween-themed mission called Nightmare in North PointAccording to, the game will also be available on PC and have all the same DLC included. Pre-ordering the game gets you a limited edition art book. We don't even have all the details yet and there's already some great things to look forward to!

Best of all, there's word of a sequel to Sleeping Dogs rumored as Triad Wars. According to, we'll be learning more about the sequel as the year continues on. Will it feature our good cop, bad cop Wei Shen? Only time will tell, so keep your eyes and ears open!

Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition comes forth on October 14.

Video Game Censorship: An Honorable Move Wed, 23 Jul 2014 05:14:28 -0400 LroyJenk7

Blood and guts, swearing and sex. It seems hard to find a game of good quality that doesn't at least throw in a bit of this to make it "legit" these days. Now, I know we've got our Mario Karts and our Batmans which are obviously top-notch experiences without a ton of the aforementioned pillars of maturity. But, it seems to be that more and more developers are thinking that some grit and adult content is necessary to make the gamer feel like they're playing something worthwhile.

The Line Needs to be Drawn Somewhere

I enjoy the butterflies of a long range headshot as much as the next guy, and I see the necessity for some of the themes in today's games to create the narratives that the writers have dreamed up. In other words, these things have their place. But many games have been ruined unnecessarily by a random and unnatural shot of nudity or a character who swears just a bit too much in order to develop his "rough and tough" personality (I'm looking at you, Sleeping Dogs). I'm talking about games that don't make experiencing mature content a focus in the first place. If you go out and buy the latest copy of Duke Nukem or Leisure Suit Larry, you pretty much know what you're getting--good luck making a case against the blood, swearing, and/or sex. But for a game like Far Cry 3, do we really need a sudden nude shot popping up in a main storyline cutscene that the user can't even skip through? No. No we don't.

But hey, my dislike for what I consider totally unnecessary inclusions of "adult content that makes the game legit" is a personal opinion. It's hard to draw the line with what to include and what not to include sometimes. But Gears of War and Call of Duty have earned themselves a high degree of respect by taking a bold step that other franchises haven't. They've included graphic content filtering.

In a Class of Their Own

Many a game has done this with regards to blood (ex. Assassin's Creed, Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear, etc.), but Gears of War and Call of Duty (World at War and onward) have brought this filter into the foul language department. Call of Duty has even gone so far to limit curses with "damn" and "God" involved, which is a move that I am extremely thankful for.

I know we've got some gamers out there scoffing because connecting with Joel's expletives in The Last of Us made them feel like they were real, rugged men like him, and censoring him would just make him (and them) "soft". I encourage those gamers to think about why they need that swearing, and if explicit language and scenes are necessary for their pride in playing that game.  If that is not the case for you, then what Gears and CoD did should appeal to you. Gears of War, a game built around a macho, dirty band of brothers whose tough personalities make them perfect for squashing alien scum, added optional blood and language censoring. If you honestly feel that Gears of War just isn't Gears of War anymore with those censors, then by all means switch the "Graphic Content Filter" to "OFF." However, if you're like me and simply do not wish to indulge in that language, then you can flip that option and joyfully play your game without reservations.

It's common knowledge that games (and entertainment in general) have changed greatly over the past 50 years or so in terms of the mature content included. It's also clear that your average mature game these days feels the need to conform to this pattern, from the nude shots to the F-bombs. Though Gears and CoD have no doubt been carried along with this movement, they have elevated themselves to a very respectable place of class and sensitivity by including their respective filters.

The Dream of a Refined Gaming Industry

Now the next step for game developers and publishers is to consider the sexual content in their games. Like the blood and language filters, developers/publishers should include a sexual filter in their games, whether the developer chooses to push sex or not. Nudity and the inescapable sexual references (obscure or not) littered throughout even the tamest of games these days go a long way to destroy the class of a game.

For someone like myself, who thinks this says awful things about the honor of a franchise and who is morally opposed to fulfilling my sexual drive in this way, a fantastic option would be to include a filter. Blurring out the images, including a mature content warning screen with an option to skip, or even having black squares would go a long way! This is very doable, and taking whatever steps are necessary to make this sort of thing happen would be a HUGE step toward the earning of respect, and would open up today's games to a much wider audience.

Sleeping Dogs Review: A Violent Trip To Hong Kong Sat, 01 Feb 2014 18:17:58 -0500 Coatedpolecat

Being an undercover cop is not for the weak or faint of heart. Trying to be loyal to both sides proves emotionally and mentally exhausting. As you try to dismantle the infamous Triads in Hong Kong, the lines blur between what's right and what's wrong. The people you trust no longer trust you. The lines of morality become faded and reality seems distorted. Sleeping Dogs captures these themes and provides a beautiful back drop while some of the most shocking acts of violence and perversion are displayed.

What it's all about

You are Wei Shen, an undercover cop just returning to Hong Kong from duty stateside. Your officers in command have deemed you worthy of disrupting the ranks of the highly dangerous and very real Sun On Yee (in real life, they're known as Sun Yee On). They're a group of the Triads composed of steroid-injected thugs and highly respected members of society. 

You meet an old childhood friend in prison who's a mere gopher (ya know, go-for this, go-for that) with ties to a small arm of the gang. He will introduce you to the beautiful open-world version of Hong Kong. Like many open-world games, you'll come across many tasks to assist in your rise up the ranks. This consists of infiltrating the underground race scene, hacking cameras around the city, even a fight club-esque group around the city to try out the near perfect martial arts combat.

Ewww... That looks like it hurt

Sleeping Dogs is a mix of upgradable hand-to-hand combat and gun play. Similar to the latest Batman reboots, fighting consists of being surrounded. While engaged in multiple foes the person about to attack you glows read, indicating you need to counter. The upgrade trees allow for more combos, powerful attacks, better driving, shooting, and resistance to damage.

Doing damage in special ways earns you more experience for the Triads. Restraining yourself while driving and around civilians earns you experience as a cop. You can earn more tools and toys like cars, clothes, and cooldown bonuses.

In addition to the addicting combat, are the environmental interactions. If you're fighting in a kitchen and you've grappled a foe, set pieces like a burning stove would be an option to place a guy's face upon. If there's nothing around, you can always just slam the person into a wall or over some railings.

Not much is held back in terms of violence from this experience. Ramming heads into rotating saw blades, drowning men in their own urine, and watching someone stick a drill into the knee of a razor cut body is a bit gruesome at times. Granted, being a part of a vicious crime syndicate might have something to do with that.

A sleepy start

The story of how you gain the trust of those in the violent Sun On Yee is a bit of a roller coaster. I don't mean that in a fun and exciting kind of way. I mean that in a "teetering on pointless" to "why can't the rest of the story be this good," kind of way. After enduring a hectic gun fight and confronting the target/boss, it is always followed by a chase sequence. It broke up the pacing at times, resulting in sighs of disappointment and frustration.

On the other end of that are terrifically voiced scenes that display the amount of polish in the game. Wei's passion comes through crystal clear every time. Other red pole figures like the powerful and intelligent Jiang - the first female leader in the Sun On Yee - are handled with great care. Aside from a few prostitutes, most dialog is relevant and enjoyable.

Part of why those well voiced scenes carried so much weight was due to the detail in environments. I wasn't reminded I was in a video game at times, allowing me to get sucked into the writing. I never saw a single texture pop, screen tears, with variety of colors and environments, that's impressive. While exploring the pretty city of Hong Kong, I enjoyed a few of the tunes provided on the radio. With a total of 10 channels, I usually stuck with the metal, rap, and instrumental stations, as each felt within context of the emotions conveyed throughout the game.

All in all...

Though there are some predictable story elements, they don't take away from this great game coming together. There were about five different mission types out of the 30+ story-based missions. The pacing became bogged down about a third of the way through, but picks back up in the last 6 hours. The combat was addictive and truly felt powerful as you progressed through the upgrade tree.

This was a trip to Hong Kong I hope to never personally experience. The violence really did seem over the top at times, and a little off-putting. I've never seen the life of an undercover cop so well depicted through a video game. I can only hope we get to see what Wei Shen's next case will entail.

Steam Kicks Off Autumn Sale With AAA Price Drops Wed, 27 Nov 2013 15:18:59 -0500 Stephanie Tang

Just when you think you'd had a surfeit of Black Friday deals to look forward to, Valve and its PC gaming platform kicked off its 2013 Autumn Sale with very little warning - and very low prices.

In a massive recreation of what happens every time a big Steam sale hits, gamers have begun fingering their wallets and calculating how many holes the digital store will burn through it in the days to come. 

Steam generally unloads boatloads of titles on sale, generally between 10-30% depending on the title, but reserves the best deals for their dailies - about nine carefully chosen titles that go up to about 75-80% off. Add in the constant 8 hour rotation of flash sales, and it's no wonder previous sales have led to Steam servers simply unable to keep up with the load.

Perhaps it's kudos to Valve for learning their lesson because the Autumn Sale is currently a breeze to navigate - although aside from the blockbuster deals on the front page, it is surprisingly difficult to navigate towards some of the other games featuring exceptionally deep price cuts if you don't already know that they're on sale.

What is making headlines right now are some of the big triple-A titles that have had some huge whacks taken out of their prices:

  • Bethesda's yesteryear hit Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim makes it to the top of the list with 75% off at $7.49 - and players who have been waiting on picking up the DLC can pick them up for 50% off the regular price.
  • Square Enix's ultimate Hong Kong sandbox Sleeping Dogs is taking it a step further with 80% off at $4.99 - and an impressive 80% off its extensive DLC collection as well.
  • Telltale's story-immersing The Walking Dead takes a 75% chunk out of its price at $6.24 - and The Walking Dead: 500 Days is 50% at $2.49.
  • Other superstar deals include Left 4 Dead 2, Terraria, and quirky little Rogue Legacy that takes big steps in gaming innovation that you don't always expect with a retail price of $14.99.

Decent flash sales include 75% off the sequel to the most famous PC-breaking benchmarker, Crysis 2 (Maximum Edition) at $7.49. 

But what are some of the other big sales that you don't see on the front page? How do you get to those? Typically, Steam has always reserved a section listing all of its given titles on sale, but not this time around - making it a great deal more difficult to suss out some of the smaller indie releases such as highly rated explorer and puzzle solver Kairo at 70% off at $1.49. That's like giving it away!

Have you found any others that are worth mentioning? Let us know in the comments below, and happy shopping!

Awesome Halloween Sale on PSP Starts October 22 Mon, 21 Oct 2013 20:13:09 -0400 Alexa Serrano

For this Halloween season, the PlayStation Store will be hosting a pretty awesome sale. The sale begins today, October 22, and ends October 28. For those who are PS Plus members, PlayStation will be giving them added savings, which means up to 80 percent off!

Below is a list of games that will be on sale starting tomorrow:

Alien Breed

  • Alien Breed 2: Assault – $2.50 (PS+ Price), $9.99 (Sale Price)
  • Alien Breed 3: Descent – $2.50 (PS+ Price), $9.99 (Sale Price)
  • Alien Breed: Impact – $2.50 (PS+ Price), $9.99 (Sale Price)
  • Alien Breed Trilogy – $5.75 (PS+ Price), $22.99 (Sale Price)

Dead Island

  • Dead Island Game of the Year Edition – $5.00 (PS+ Price), $9.99 (Sale Price)
  • Dead Island: Riptide – $19.99 (PS+ Price), $24.99 (Sale Price)

Dead Nation

  • Dead Nation – $3.00 (PS+ Price), $5.99 (Sale Price)

Dead Rising

  • Dead Rising 2: Off the Record – $6.99 (PS+ Price), $9.99 (Sale Price)

Plants vs. Zombies

  • Plants vs Zombies – $3.75 (PS+ Price), $7.49 (Sale Price)
  • Plants vs Zombies (PS Vita) – $5.25 (PS+ Price), $10.49 (Sale Price)

Pure Chess Halloween Set

  • Pure Chess Halloween Chest Set – $1.19 (PS+ Price), $1.99 (Sale Price)
  • Pure Chess Halloween Chest Set (PS Vita) – $1.19 (PS+ Price), $1.99 (Sale Price)

Red Dead Redemption

  • Red Dead Redemption and Undead Nightmare Collection – $13.99 (PS+ Price), $19.99 (Sale Price)
  • Red Dead Redemption ‘Undead Nightmare’ DLC – $5.00 (PS+ Price), $9.99 (Sale Price)

Resident Evil

  • Resident Evil 4 HD – $5.59 (PS+ Price), $7.99 (Sale Price)
  • Resident 5: Gold Edition – $10.49 (PS+ Price), $14.99 (Sale Price)
  • Resident Evil Code: Veronica X – $6.99 (PS+ Price), $9.99 (Sale Price)
  • Resident Evil: Revelations – $22.49 (PS+ Price), $29.99 (Sale Price)

Sleeping Dogs

  • Sleeping Dogs + Nightmare in Northpoint – $11.24 (PS+ Price), $12.49 (Sale Price)

The House of Dead

  • The House of the Dead Bundle – $7.50 (PS+ Price), $14.99 (Sale Price)

The Last Guy

  • The Last Guy – $2.00 (PS+ Price), $3.99 (Sale Price)

The Last of Us

  • The Last of Us – $35.99 (PS+ Price), $44.99 (Sale Price)

The Walking Dead

  • The Walking Dead ’400 Days’ DLC – $2.44 (PS+ Price), $3.49 (Sale Price)
  • The Walking Dead Episode 2 – $1.25 (PS+ Price), $2.49 (Sale Price)
  • The Walking Dead Episode 3 – $1.25 (PS+ Price), $2.49 (Sale Price)
  • The Walking Dead Episode 4 – $1.25 (PS+ Price), $2.49 (Sale Price)
  • The Walking Dead Episode 5 – $1.25 (PS+ Price), $2.49 (Sale Price)
  • The Walking Dead Season Pass – $2.99 (PS+ Price), $4.99 (Sale Price)
  • The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season (PS Vita) – $9.79 (PS+ Price), $13.99 (Sale Price)
  • The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct – $33.74 (PS+ Price), $37.49 (Sale Price)

Zombie Apocalypse 

  • Zombie Apocalypse: Never Die Alone – $4.89 (PS+ Price), $6.99 (Sale Price)

More Sales

October 28 isn't the end for PlayStation sales. From October 29-November 4, the second week of the PlayStation Horror sale begins. The sale will include titles like Bioshock, Dead Space, DmC: Devil May Cry, and more.

Other reminders

In addition to this sale, don't forget that until October 29 you can receive $10 for every $50 you spend in the PlayStation store.  This deal is only valid for those who use their SEN wallet. Which games, movies and/or tv shows will you purchase to take advantage of this deal?

Sleeping Dogs: Review Mon, 30 Sep 2013 23:22:58 -0400 Steve Lawton

Sleeping Dogs is an open world, GTA-style sandbox game based in Hong Kong. The game had several setbacks during its creation including originally being considered a True Crime sequel. Eventually Square Enix was able to release a game that, despite some flaws, is an overall fun experience I would recommend to everyone.


The story revolves around Wei Shen. A police officer who has been asked to go deep undercover to infiltrate the Sun On Yee, the most powerful organized crime syndicate in Hong Kong. Along the way you realize Wei Shen grew up with several of the characters so when things begin to turn upside down, it's tough to see where Wei's loyalties lie.

The story is nothing you haven't seen in a John Woo or Stallone movie from the '90s. Individual moments can be gross or heartbreaking, but overall the story is exactly what you'd expect from this type of game. Some characters are developed very well and this includes Wei. You sometimes forget you're a police officer when doing some missions (such as watching a character hacked to death with a cleaver) but Wei also forgets this as well. Making the player feel the same way as Wei (see what I did there?) is great storytelling.

Other characters are not as well developed. Besides Wei, you have a rouges' gallery of "That Guy with the Hat" or "Wife Beater Guy" that are interchangeable and forgettable. Some guys you only remember because of their absolutely absurd names (Dog Eyes, Big Smile Lee, Ace, Winston). Some dialogue (and I'm assuming names i.e. Ace) sounds like it was put through Google translator to be more Americanized which can take you out of the game occasionally.


When on foot, Sleeping Dogs is like playing Batman: Arkham Asylum. Combat has the "free flow" feeling when fighting a group of enemies. Wei's combat has a lot of variety considering the open worldy-ness of the game (two things that don't normally exist in the same game). This game is great when it comes to finding collectibles that are meaningful. Finding Jade Statues to unlock attacks or completing various police work around town to upgrade your skills are challenging and just plain fun.

Then of course there's driving. Remember we're in Hong Kong, so driving (for us American folks) is backwards... actually a cool idea but I never remembered to stay on the correct side of the road. This isn't inherently a bad thing (it's awful during missions when attempting to not destroy things or commit vehicular manslaughter) but what makes driving unbearable is braking. Namely, it is non-existent. All cars feel like you're driving on sheets of ice.

Tires spin and you can travel several feet before coming to a complete stop. Hong Kong is a large place (imagine that!) and when attempting to get from one end to the other you destroy so many people and objects just trying to cut turns that driving becomes a hindrance instead of convenience. When simply reversing or looking around the vehicle, the camera decides to spin around making it impossible to see where you're going. So.. Driving is no good.

***Also, this is a thing***

Final Thoughts

This game is fun. Pure and simple. Is it the greatest sandbox ever? No. Is it revolutionary to gaming? No. Would I recommend you play this game? Absolutely. Driving is atrocious. The story isn't spectacular but it has some moments that genuinely shocked me. Everything else is awesome. Combat is fun and missions are varied. THIS GAME IS FUN. It's currently $15 at Best Buy so if you missed this one when it was released go pick it up.

Sleeping Dogs Demo Review Tue, 13 Aug 2013 16:05:52 -0400 Leah Augustine

Sleeping Dogs was a game that almost never existed. Originally announced in 2009 as True Crime: Hong Kong, the game was cancelled by Activision two years later. Thankfully, it was quickly picked up by Square Enix and released as Sleeping Dogs in the fall of last year.

The game received generally positive reviews for its open world combat and elements of free running. And although it came out in 2012, I have yet to play Sleeping Dogs. I decided to sit down and play the demo so that I may take a retrospective look at the game with only the limited knowledge I have so far of its gameplay.

The Sun On Yee/Wei Shen

First let’s start with a quick introduction to the main character. You play as Wei Shen, a Chinese-American police officer who goes undercover as a member of the Sun On Yee Triad (based off of the real Sun Yee On) in Hong Kong. The Sun On Yee are one of the main branches of the Chinese transnational organized crime syndicate.

From there the player can decide on how to play the game. Choices are measured using a Cop and Triad XP scale, with points allocated to the appropriate organization.

This means you can paint Wei as either a conflicted and troubled officer trying his best to remain indifferent in the criminal world he cannot control or as a complete sociopath who lacks allegiance to either side. This is emphasized with the ability to kill both rival gang members and innocent citizens, and police officers.

The Demo

Right from the beginning, Sleeping Dogs thrusts you into the task of hunting down Ming, a rival Triad member. Free running is introduced early after you track down Ming. You quickly run through the carefully designed and lively streets of Hong Kong; pushing through people speaking in both English and Cantonese. The alleyways are full of street food vendors, as well as many shops. All these details instantly create the feeling of a large open world.

After a rooftop confrontation, you are arrested by the Hong Kong police. And while being interrogated by another cop, a superintendent bails you out. This is where the game introduces you to the fact you are an undercover agent. The demo then jumps to you infiltrating a warehouse to capture a man responsible for an attack on your boss’ family. The game’s combat is shown off in full for the player at this point.

Combat in the game utilizes environmental elements. You have the ability to brutally shove enemies’ faces into furnaces, fans, boxes, walls, and basically anything near you. Shooting in the game seems to rely on a cover system that allows you to dive over objects and slow down time to give you a chance to fire at enemies (think Max Payne 3).


To be perfectly honest I’ve wanted to play this game for a long time, but I refrained from doing so because my short attention span makes me not the biggest fan of open world games. However, the demo convinced me to go and download it immediately. Great music, huge world, and quality voice acting is all mixed together with pretty fun combat, which makes the game worth your time.

That’s not to say I didn’t encounter some issues. It seems as if movement in the game is a little sticky and unresponsive. This could be a personal issue with my PC, which is what prompted me to get the 360 version of the game instead. Hopefully that will resolve the problem, though I did see some similar complaints from other players.

In the end, the game borrows a lot from known games (Grand Theft Auto), but from what I’ve experienced in the demo there’s also a lot to be offered. The game has a unique open-world setting in Hong Kong and is filled with interesting characters. It’s a mystery as to why this game flew under the radar for most gamers.

5 Bad Ass Asians in Gaming Mon, 15 Jul 2013 00:01:05 -0400 Lui Galletto

Asian characters are an important staple among video game casts. They open up brilliant side of the world, showing us the beauty, and danger, of the East. Although there are numerous characters, 5 stand out as badasses in a pool of badasses.



Wei Shen

The hero of Sleeping Dogs. Riding both sides of the law, he keeps a cool head while simultaneously pleasing and fighting what seems like all of Hong Kong. He makes Nico Bellic's explosive adventures in Liberty City (GTAIV) seem like a stroll in the park compared to the stuff he sees.

Ishi Sato

Brought back from death through cybernetics and rogue AI. He is in constant pain from his body and mind rejecting the life saving augments. He barely maintains his sanity from a constant barrage of the AI attempting to take over. Yet he still manages to show loyalty and sacrifice as your constant companion in Bullet Storm.

Faith Connors

Better known as, that chick from Mirror's Edge. No 1,000 foot drop or barrage of bullets can stop her from delivering her packages. She makes her way across the rooftops and kicks mad butt with her own brand of futuristic parkour.


The silent protagonist of the Portal series. No test, nor disappointed lies about cakes can stop her perseverance over countless levels. There are high hopes to see her return in a possible third game, but that assumes Valve can even count that high...

E. Honda

Can you even hope to stop this mountain of a man? In a game full of Asian protagonists and beautiful women, he still manages to capture players attention. With his Hundred Hand Slap, he has been a (literally) heavy contender and staple to the Street Fighter series.

Sleeping Dogs Free to PS+ Members This Month Tue, 07 May 2013 13:54:19 -0400 Ashley Shankle

PS3 owners who missed out on Sleeping Dogs last year can hop on the PlayStation Network this month and grab the game for free, provided they have a PlayStation Plus account.

Sleeping Dogs follows Chinese-American police officer Wei Shen as he attempts to infiltrate the Sun On Yee Triads. A sandbox game at its core, players can roam the city and participate in side missions. If you have the itch for a sandbox while waiting for Grand Theft Auto 5, you could play much much worse to scratch that itch.