The Start Button May Make A Comeback In Windows 8.1

        According to The Verge, the start button may return in an upcoming iteration of Microsoft’s touch-based home computer operating system, Windows 8. Unfortunately, the source also claims that the new start button will only act as a shortcut that will (more familiarly) access the Windows 8 “metro” styled interface.
        
        Windows 8.1 has been in the talks since earlier this month, although the actual features it will bring to the table are currently unknown other than rumors such as a boot-to-desktop feature which will bypass your mobile-styled app screen for a more familiar desktop screen your computer eyes are so accustomed to. 

        Windows 8.1 is rumored to release in June, with its announcement to be held at Microsoft’s Build conference which takes place from June 26th until June 28th, 2013.
        
        Do you support Microsoft’s changes to their desktop operating system? Does it matter? Let us know in the comments below.*

*Also at Bullogna, we are currently seeking volunteers interested in updating the blog, administering to the Facebook page, and/or podcasting on either Dose of D-Pad or B-TEN Official Podcast. If you’re interested, click here.


        

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Top 10 Most Anticipated Gaming Events of 2013

        This Saturday on Dose of D-Pad I’ll be hosting the Top 10 Most Anticipated Gaming Events of 2013 special episode/season finale event. Fittingly enough, Saturday also happens to be my birthday, so as assumed, I’ll be crying myself to sleep praying to God that I could be 6 again. Nevertheless, I plan for this event to be a success and therefore find it suitable to promote it by publishing the outline that I’ll use for Saturday morning’s podcast event. If you have any ideas on how to improve this list, feel free to comment and I’ll be sure to include your contribution on the show when I record on Friday night.

10) Roller Coaster Tycoon (Android, iOS)

The original Roller Coaster Tycoon is being ported for support on both Google Play and the App Store. We better see a simultaneous release on both platforms. Nostalgia, here I come!


9) Beyond: Two Souls

Quantic Dream’s spiritual successor to the critically acclaimed Heavy Rain may be the final PS3-exclusive worth discussing.

8) PS Vita North American Price Cut

Will PS Vita finally get a price cut in North America? Will it matter?


7) Tearaway


Speaking of PS Vita, LittleBigPlanet developer Media Molecule has something special tucked away in their gaming laboratories… And it releases on October 22nd in the U.S. (October 25th in Europe)  


6) Wii U Price Cut

While analyst Michael Patcher claimed today that a price could wouldn’t help the Wii U, it sure wouldn’t hurt, and along with a potentially large assortment of games to be announced at E3, a price cut could be Wii U’s savior.

5) Pokemon X and Y

While Nintendo may be flopping in console sales, they’re certainly succeeding in the handheld department, and the first fully 3D Pokemon is going to make the ride that much sweeter. Pokemon X and Y will be releasing worldwide for the Nintendo 3DS in October 2013.

4) The Last of Us

I bought a PS3 last year for the sole purpose of being able to play this game at its launch. I then played all of Naughty Dog’s other titles and thrilled that I’ll be able to hang out with Joel and Ellie on the same day that I’m going with my dad to see Man of Steel. The Last of Us releases June 14th.

3) PlayStation 4 Launch

This includes every launch title for PS4; hopefully Infamous: Second Son, Killzone: Shadow Fall, Knack, The Witness, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, and more!


2) Next-Gen Xbox Annoucement

We’ve all heard the awful rumors, but I want to be able to separate truth from lies. It’s rumored that Microsoft will be holding a press conference to announce the new Xbox on May 21st, 2013, but if you want to stay updated on this subject, join my Facebook event page by clicking here.


1) E3 2013

This is where we’ll (hopefully) get all of the answers. This year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo conference will take place from June 11th until June 13th, 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention center, but is not open to the public and will be covered on most general/gaming news sites. I expect Vita games and major changes for Nintendo, but my E3 predictions will make their way into a separate article written at a later date.

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Guacamelee! Review (PS3/PS Vita)

        It’s been a long time coming since Drinkbox Studios, developers of the primarily PlayStation-exclusive Tales From Space series, announced their latest indie PSN addition, Guacamelee!, on May 30th, 2012. Until its release today, I was precarious as to whether I should pay the $11.99 it costs PlayStation Plus users  to receive the game. Even after seeing the gameplay trailer, I was worried as to whether the visually impressive metroidvania style action-platformer would live up to its ambitions. Let it be known that it has. I would even go as far as saying that the game has surpassed any ambitions it may has previously held.
Guacamelee! shines bright like a… Dare I say it? DIAMOND on both PS Vita’s OLED screen
as well as the PlayStation 3D Display in native 1080p.

        The gameplay is meticulously designed in such a way that it feels like a personal invention of the video game artists themselves. The inclusion of humor immerses players in a world that often feels as if they are interactively taking part in a Saturday morning cartoon, specifically a cartoon which I enjoyed as a kid, commonly known as Mucha Lucha! And the visuals are so well done that I no longer feel the need to purchase Rayman Legends on PS3 when it is released, as I already own the superior product with only a $12 investment. The game is a masterpiece, justifying my purchase of both PS3 and PS Vita.


Bullogna Score: 8.7!

Pros:
-Meticulously designed gameplay
-Superb performance on both PS3 and Vita
-Cross-controller support (plays like Wii U using PS3/Vita)
-Cross-buy support (only had to pay $12 for both PS3 and Vita versions)
-Excellent co-op experience on PS3
-Brilliant inclusion of humor

Cons:
-Controls can be confusing at first
-Not able to play as Juan using Vita as controller for PS3


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What Wii Want From Wii U At E3

        While this isn’t a complete list of everything Nintendo would need to survive the next generation of console with their Wii U system, I have constructed an outline of points that would help Wii U achieve cult status as its predecessor did. If you can think of more advice for the video game-exclusive company to rise to the ocassion this June for E3 and blow gamers away with a changed mindset, please leave your ideas in the comments section below.

A Strong New IP

        Although Nintendo has been able to cook up some fresh new IPs over the past 10 years, the number of new Nintendo intellectual properties with strong sales has remained at an all-time low. As a publisher, Nintendo’s first-party lineup has become victim to re-releasing slightly modified versions of games which already exist on an annual basis, or in other words has contracted the Call of Duty Virus! *Gasp* A well-designed fresh new take on the publisher who started it all could help Nintendo inch their way up to the starting line.

Super Smash Bros. 4, Zelda U, Mario Kart, and 3D Super Mario U

        Each of these titles have been confirmed to be shown at E3, but promises are not often kept nowadays. Nintendo needs to have gameplay for each of these games with upcoming release dates that aren’t so distant in the future that the system would die off before their respective launches.

Proof of Future Third Party Support

        We’ve all heard rumors that Ubisoft and EA could be completely dropping support for the Wii U altogether. As much as most of us despise the latter company, it seems that a lack of EA support would harm the systems sales exponentially, and that Ubisoft is the only major publisher still continuously supporting Nintendo’s home console. Without apparent proof of third party support for the future of Wii U, it may seem to consumers that Wii U is just a reiteration of the Wii’s final years, and that Nintendo’s first party lineup doesn’t solely sell dedicated gaming consoles anymore.

Non-Existent Loading 

        While this may not be possible with Wii U’s current hardware, it would indeed be impressive to see non-existent load times on Wii U games not dissimilar to the technology found in PS4. If possible, this could help disprove the theory that Wii U isn’t a next generation game console.

GameCube/GBA Virtual Console

        This is yet another asset which I’m not aware is possible or not, but if Nintendo is able to pull off GameCube games on the eShop’s Virtual Console, this could unanimously increase sales as older teens, and perhaps college students unaware of emulators or who oppose piracy, would buy Wii U primarily for nostalgic purposes. If they could find a way to include the option of HD upscaling in both GCN and GBA games then kudos to Nintendo because they’d be set to win!

A Clarified Marketing Campaign

        Perhaps this wouldn’t be appropriate for E3 in particular (or perhaps it would), but I think it is the general consensus that poor marketing has affected Wii U’s sales more than almost anything. All Nintendo would need is one commercial to air on various cable networks, explaining the differences between Wii and Wii U, and clarifying that the gamepad is NOT an accessory for the original Wii and sales numbers would increase drastically. It seems that less companies have it in them to invest in marketing recently, and without this major flaw, less major companies would be suffering as of now.

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