MoCCA Arts Fest 2014

MoCCA Arts Fest

Checked out MoCCA Fest again this year and had an awesome time!

It was great seeing some old friends as well as chatting some indie-creators. My favorite by far were the peeps behind the book The Cute Girl NetworkMK Reed, G. Means, and Joe Flood, from First Second Books. It’s a super cute GN and totally worth a read – check it out!

Bigger this year due to the push from the Society of Illustrators, the show had a bunch of booths as well as an amazing gallery of comic strips featuring 1970s Dracula strips to New Yorker covers.  Also, there was a giant Charlie Brown balloon that threatened to crush everyone who attended.

Charlie Brown

All and all it was another amazing year – for those who aren’t into the packed madness of the convention scene, MoCCA is always a great place to just go and meet artists and hang out with cool people and pick up some great books.

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NYCC 2013!!!

Not to sound like a super old person (since I’m not) but I remember when NYCC was just a corner of the Javits Center and the only reason I went to the first one in 2006 was because Stan Lee was doing a talk and my dad got us press passes – and luckily he did because tickets ended up selling out because nobody knew what a huge hit it was going to be. Oh, the good ol’ days.

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With that being said, so another NYCC has come and gone and it was awesome seeing everyone there! Make sure to head over to to KABOOOOM to see all mine and everyone else’s coverage of this convention – which is now SUPER HUGE!

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Special thanks to Adam Hughes, Katie Cook, Greg Pak, GW Fisher, and Fernando Ruiz for taking the time out for interviews!

Pokémon X and Pokémon Y Launch Celebration at Nintendo World

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Last night was the launch celebration at Nintendo World for Pokemon X & Y and obviously the line was 5 avenues long for the event. It was fun though, and if you are in NYC I totally recommend you check it out since the entire store is Pokemon themed and there’s a cool History of Pokemon exhibit upstairs.

For those of you who can’t be there, I took some Instagram pics so you can live vicariously through me until you see it for yourself.

Anyway, I got the game at launch and my friend code is 2466-2307-5403! Leave yours in the comments so we can be Pokepals!

Mashable’s The Social Media Day of Reckoning

Hey Internet,

On June 29, media companies Vice and Milk will join Mashable to host a massive celebration that promises to “redefine social media as we know it.” It’s called, “The Social Media Day of Reckoning.

Social Media Day!

It’s a free event that’s being held in New York City where everyone will be coming together to party, mingle, and just be social about social media in cool offline way. It’s going to be a good time, and yours truly will be there!

Aforementioned, this event is free, but due to limited capacity you still to register since the event will be on first come, first serve basis.

Send me a tweet on Twitter if you’ll looking to stop by and we can take selfies, talk about hastags and be social media buffs in real life. It’s possible, I promise.

Heading to NYCC!

Hey guys!

I’ll be at New York Comic Con on October 11-14! I’ll be super busy reporting on everything from cosplay, to comics, to movie stars dressed as wookies!

NYCC <3s You

 

Make sure to follow me on Twitter for updates and if you’ll be at the show as well shoot me a message. We can meet up, nerd out, and talk about Batman.

Because when in doubt, you can always talk about Batman.

Batman did not kill 12 people in Aurora, Colorado.

Batman did not kill the 12 people who had gone to the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado – James Holmes did.

Christopher Nolan did not give him an AR-15 assault rifle, a Remington 12-gauge shotgun, and a .40 caliber Glock handgun – local gun shops and various internet outlets did, legally.

In the wake of tragedy, it’s easy to ask, “Why did this happen?” but the question that should be addressed is How did this happen so easily?

A woman on CNN this morning said she is sure that the killer was “sitting in his room alone playing video games, first person shooters, killing people and planning this.” This was said before the police made any statements about what was in his apartment. Another referred to the fans of Batman as a “cult”. I have always believed that violent media does not cause violent behavior, and while the media points fingers out towards every available scapegoat to blame for the senseless deaths and violence that occurred in Aurora, it’s important to look pass all that and see the real cause of death.

Batman movies don’t kill people, mentally disturbed psychopaths who get their hands on heavy artillery due to a country’s lofty gun laws and lack of awareness regarding signs of mental illness kill people.

E3 Day Two: Nintendo Press Conference

Closing the press conferences is Nintendo, who held their Media Briefing this morning at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. Though expectations were high after Sunday’s Wii U announcements, the conference was underwhelming.

Opening with a short clip of Miyamoto leaving a dressing room with Pikmin in tow, as the gaming icon makes his way to the stage he discussed that since he’s been working on the new Pikmin title, he’s been seeing the multi-colored minis everywhere. He explained that Nintendo aims to be central to the living room, even if it’s small. Miyamato then announced Pikmin 3 for the Wii U, after 10 years since the last game on the Nintendo Game Cube. In the game demo, it was apparent that graphics are improved on Wii U, which beautifully showed how Pikmin can build bridges with new materials, as well as a new type of Pikmin: Rock Pikmin. Wii U hasn’t completely let go of motion control, however, as the Wii Mote and Nunchuk allows players to aim at specific targets.
Afterwards, Reggie Fils-Aime of Nintendo of America, made his way to the stage to talk more Wii U news. He confirmed that streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, YouTube will all be available on the system. He also went into the detail about the Wii U itself, explaining how it will be able to handle having two players using the Wii U gamepads, as well as how the newly announced Miiverse will be the social hub of the console. The stream will show player’s game friends and those they’ve met from playing games online. The console will gather tiles that represent personal tastes and trending entertainment that may target the player.

With entertainment in mind, Fils-Aime introduced a new Wii U title, New Super Mario Bros. U. The five-player game allows four on WiiMotes and one on the WiiPad and featured Mario in a flying squirrel suit and Yoshi floating through levels. The game looks very pretty in HD, and included a Boost mode which allows players to run through levels quickly with use the gamepad to place blocks to help other players.

Third party support was briefly touched upon, but it was nothing anyone hasn’t seen before, though the announcement of Mass Effect 3 coming to Wii U raised a few eyebrows. Another Wii U original title announced was Scribblenauts Unlimited, from as confirmed by Jeremiah Slaczka of 5th Cell. The game allows for players to not only use their dictionary skills to use objects for puzzles, but to combine words and create all new objects – like an Auto Mutt, a dog on wheels.

The 3DS was not a big focus of the show, with very few software even mentioned for the handheld. Fils-Aime reassured that there will be a webcast later tonight for just 3DS games, but touched on Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, Paper Mario: Sticker Star and gave us a release date for New Super Mario Brothers 2, which will hit stores on August 19.

Even the Wii Fit U announcement couldn’t save the conference, as the use of both the Wii U gamepad with the Wii Fit balance board wasn’t as innovative as it appeared to be. The conference ended on a strange note, as he announced Nintendo Land, a game aimed to be the “Wii Sports” of the Wii U by showing off the innovative functionality of the system. The mini-games shown were all based on Nintendo franchises: Luigi’s Ghost Mansion, Animal Crossing: Sweet Day and Donkey Kong: Crash Course. While Fils-Aime explained that players would have to play Nintendo Land to understand it, it was still confusing as to what made the game anything more than a collection of Nintendo-themed mini-games.

Though the social stream and HD upgrade allow the Wii U to compete with current gen consoles, it’s still missing key aspects like usernames, an achievement system, or cross-game chat that has made modern connectivity so successful. And with this most likely being the last year before the announcement of next gen, the Wii U risks being not only a step behind Microsoft and SONY, but an entire generation. Nintendo lucked out this gen, as the Wii became a best selling console among the newly tapped casual gamer, but it’s unlikely that the same market will be willing to buy another console that appears to be so similar.

E3 Day One: SONY Media Briefing

Wrapping up the day of Media Briefing comes SONY, who had a solid showing of first party games as well as a new game from the creators of Heavy Rain.

Starting off the conference, President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America Jack Tretton took to the stage to give his salute to the players. The theme of the conference was to “never stop playing,” as Tretton repeated how gamers need to keep gaming into order to have more great games. At the end of his speech, Tretton motioned to SONY President Kaz Hirai in the audience, who took a bow.

After the introductions, Tretton introduced David Cage of Quantic Dreams, the creator of Heavy Rain, to announce their new IP: Beyond. Starring Ellen Page as Jodie Holmes, the game takes place over 15 years of her life. The trailer showed a police officer gently talking to a catatonic Jodie. It is learned that he had found her on the side of the road, and as he asks her questions a cup a coffee smashes into the wall. Moments later a SWAT team burst into the station, leading to a stand-off. The engine running the game was beautiful, and while its premise is still a bit confusing, knowing Quantic Dreams it’ll definitely be an innovative title.

Next was PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale, as a gameplay demo showed Sweet Tooth, Sly Cooper, Fat Princess and Kratos faced-off is a Super Smash Bros. style brawl. After the match (with winner Fat Princess) Chan Park of Superbot Entertainment announced two new characters for the game: Nathan Drake from the Uncharted Series, and Big Daddy from BioShock. The game is scheduled for a Holiday 2012 release.

Tretton then took the stage again to talk about the PlayStation Vita and its cross-platform play which would allow playing games like Battle Royale and Little Big Planet 2. He also mentioned the 1500 games on the PlayStation Network, and that SONY wants to work with more independent developers, making references to the indie titles Journey and the Unfinished Swan. Also coming to Vita are PlayStation One Classic titles, starting with the original Tomb Raider and Final Fantasy VII.

Assassin’s Creed 3 took the stage, but not before Tretton announced its PlayStation Vita offshoot Assassin’s Creed: Liberation starring the series’ first female Assassin. During the Assassin’s Creed 3 demo, Conner took the revolution to the seas as attendees witness boat combat for the first time.

Then for the second time today, Dan Hay came to a press conference to talk about Far Cry 3. This time, showing 4 player co-op during a live game demo on stage.

Move was next on the SONY’s list, showing that the company still has hope for its motion controller. Tretton mentioned PlayStation has over 250 titles support Move, and mentioned Epic Mickey 2, BioShock Infinite, and Sports Champions 2. Lastly came the announcement of a new Move/Eyeplay titled called Wonderbook: Book of Spells during which the company teamed up with J.K. Rowling to deliver a potentially innovative story-telling experience by using both EyePlay and the Move controller, which is aiming to launch this holiday season.

The last two cards up SONY’s sleeves were their in-house developed games, God of War: Ascension – with a live gameplay demo that showcased Kratos killing not only a Goat Man, but an Elephant Man as well – and the much anticipated The Last of Us. The post-apocalyptic atmosphere is simply stunning in Naughty Dog’s newest game, as the engine looks beautiful as protagonists Ellie and Joel climb through the greenery that covers their world, and they fight for their lives again mercenaries.

As the demo wrapped up, so did the conference as Tretton reminded those watching, again, to never stop playing. With SONY done, it’s a wrap for the majority of the press conferences, with Nintendo giving their conference tomorrow morning. Interesting enough though, this was supposedly the last E3 before new consoles next year and neither Microsoft nor Sony announced a hardware price cut. Could there be more time left in this current generation than previously anticipated?

E3 Day One: Ubisoft Media Briefing

The second of the two publisher to present, Ubisoft’s conference was filled with new gameplay from franchise favorites as well as new announcements for their upcoming partnership with Nintendo for Wii U titles as well as a brand new game.

Opening up with a dance number featuring a musical number from performer Flo Rida, Just Dance 4 was announced. Afterward, hostess Aisha Tyler introduced one of Ubisoft’s four major games this conference: Far Cry 3.

Making its return for the second E3 in a row, Far Cry 3 is a first person shooter that stars Jason Brody as he is forced to fight for survival on a chain of tropical islands filled with deadly creatures, insane gangs of pirates, and a lot of hallucinogenic mushrooms. While hard to watch at times, the game is pushing the envelope with its risk factor and still has that gritty, high-pressure atmosphere. The game’s producer Dan Hay explained that in the gameplay in Far Cry 3 is exspansive. “Exploration, hallucinations, open world, and a cast of insane characters,” he said onstage. “And that’s only the beginning.” The game is scheduled to ship on September 7, 2012.

Next up was the official trailer for the freshly announced Splinter Cell: Blacklist. As the gameplay demo was shown during Microsoft’s presentation this morning, during Ubisoft’s presentation fans were excited to see a brand new trailer where protagonist Sam Fisher stealthily fought through enemies and grappled to buildings with new gadgets. All while wearing his trademark green night-vision goggles.

Ubisoft also announced a slew of games that would be making their way to Nintendo’s brand new console, the Wii U. The titles YourShape, Sports Connection, Just Dance 4, Assassins Creed 3 Rabbids Land, all coming to Wii U. Along with these titles include ZombiU, a first-person survival horror zombie game as well as the beautifully fun 2D platformer Rayman Legends that perfectly showed the innovation of the Wii U’s new gamepad.

Assassin’s Creed 3 was shown off with a new gameplay demo, where the new protagonist Conner Kenway fights wolves, scales mountains, and stabs Redcoats with a musket. The latest installment in the Assassin’s Creed series is scheduled to hit American shores on October 30, 2012.

Last but not least, Ubisoft showcased a brand new game IP, which has become a rarity for the last few years. Titled Watch Dogs, the game takes place in an open-world city, where players have the power to control an entire city’s infrastructure via powerful computers that run everything from data records to power lines. Using futuristic hacking, players can find out target’s names, occupations, salaries, as well as listening into phone conversations. Combat-wise, players can also use the computers to chance a target’s violence probability.

Though Watch Dogs looks interesting, as a well as franchise favorites it appears that for the upcoming year Ubisoft is focused on padding the Wii U launch with third party titles aim for a wide variety of audiences. Whether or not the Wii U can compete with Microsoft and yet-to-present SONY is still a mystery until Nintendo’s conference tomorrow morning.

E3 Day One: Electronic Arts Media Briefing

Second up during today’s E3 conferences is the Electronic Arts (EA) briefing. The third party publisher is the parent company of well known developers such as DiCE, Respawn, and BioWare. Unlike Microsoft this morning, EA was far more game focused with many of its announcements being sequels.

The conference began with CEO John Riccitiello taking the stage to talk about EA as a company saying, “[Today] 10 great developers will come out here to show you 10 spectacular games.” The first of these ten games being the much anticipated Dead Space 3.

Vice President and General Manager at Visceral Games, Steve Papoutsis then took the stage to not only confirm the game, but to begin the gameplay demo on stage. Papoutsis promised vast new environments for Isaac to explore, as well as many new kinds of new necromorphs. The level played took place in what appeared to be a mining facility with Issac fighting some sort of drill monster, thought he was not alone.

There will be a new character alongside Isaac named John Carver, confirming drop-in/drop-out co-op. However, playing survival horror games in co-op takes away the sense of isolation that made the series so scary, however there are rumors that if the second player were to drop-out, the computer will not take control, but instead disappear – playing with the ongoing theme of Isaac’s fragile sanity. The release date for Dead Space 3 is slated for February 2013.

Next, EA Sports took the stage to talk about the new updates coming to the upcoming Madden 2013. Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin took the stage to discuss career mode with Riccitiello. Career Mode in Madden 2013 is very much modeled after traditional RPGs, as player progress is tracked through a career checklist, with goals for each season. Meeting them earns Experience Points, which is used for upgrades. Like most EA games now, players manage their teams from applications on their computers, tablets, or smartphones. There will also be a Facebook game that will connect with the game. Madden’s launch date is currently August 28th.

On the same note of Facebook tie-ins, Lucy Bradshaw the Senior Vice President of Maxis stepped on stage to properly reveal the beloved SimCity reboot. Along with the reboot is social game titled SimCity Social, which will go live on Facebook in a few short weeks. As for SimCity proper, Bradshaw explained that the game “will revolutionize simulation with our new Glassbox engine.” She also revealed the integration of multiplayer for the game promising, “Your gameplay choices affect not only the Sims of your city, but also the cities surrounding you as well.”

Other games discussed were FIFA 2013, Battlefield 3’s new Battlefield Premium services for $50 that includes exclusive DLC and other bonuses, as well as Bioware’s  Co-Founder Dr. Ray Muzyka announcing new version of Nightmare difficulty for Star Wars: The Old Republic as new companion characters, playable species, and that starting July the game will be free-to-play up until level 15.

Though what might have been the most shocking news of the briefing was the annoucement that EA had bought the rights of the UFC license from THQ. In a press release sent out moments after the announcement THQ explaining that the agreement resulted in an “undisclosed cash payment to THQ.” Additionally, THQ claimed that it “will continue to publish its existing console and mobile titles through March 31, 2013.” Not only is that a heavy blow to another one THQ’s high-selling titles, but Dana White’s ego as he has been a longtime trash talker of the publisher. Though, it seems the two have worked out their differences and are ready to work together as the deal is multi-year contract.

The second publisher to make their way to the stage tonight is Ubisoft, whose Press Conference last year turned a lot of heads with the announcement of Far Cry 3 and the very memorable Mr. Caffeine. This year there’s still eyes out for Far Cry 3, but with Assassin’s Creed 3 finally in development and a freshly announced Splinter Cell: Blacklist Ubisoft could have more up their sleeve than originally thought.