Game of the Year 2015: Atmospheric

Game of the Year 2015: Atmospheric

As another year ends, the CGM staff has come together to award Game of the Year to deserving titles of 2015. After a lengthy and heated debate on podcast, and a vote from the CGM staff all over the world, we have crowned our GotY picks! Eight categories that span all year and a wide range of genres. These titles are the best of the best of 2015 and demonstrate unique qualifications that set them apart and above in 2015. Here is our pick for Atmospheric Game of the Year.

Immersion is a concept often tossed around by game designers. While many try to use it, very few understand how to separate the player from the game, making them feel like a part of the world. One of the most important elements in immersion is atmosphere; creating a world that feels alive and filling it with believable characters that feel like they belong there. These games exceeds above all others at setting the stage and weaving the elaborate yarn.

Nominees: Her Story
                    SOMA
                    Until Dawn
                    Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture

Winner: Until Dawn Until Dawn is a true teenagers-trapped-with-a-killer horror experience; it follows the pacing of a slasher flick to a tee. More than that, though, it’s a very different take on atmospheric horror. Instead of leaving the player trapped in a horror scenario, it puts them in control of a group of teenagers and tasks them with their survival.

Though much of Until Dawn’s appeal will be lost on those uninitiated into classic horror culture, for those who are, this represents a very unique experience. Everyone has at least one slasher flick fan in their life, and this might just be the perfect game that 2015 has to offer for them.

Game of the Year 2015: Indie

Game of the Year 2015: Indie

As another year ends, the CGM staff has come together to award Game of the Year to deserving titles of 2015. After a lengthy and heated debate on podcast, and a vote from the CGM staff all over the world, we have crowned our GotY picks! Eight categories that span all year and a wide range of genres. These titles are the best of the best of 2015 and demonstrate unique qualifications that set them apart and above in 2015. Here is our pick for Indie Game of the Year.

The indie game scene is one of the last vestibules for truly inventive games. While the AAA scene chases fads, extends franchises for sequel dollars and creates larger, bloated yet stagnant games, independent developers are finding new ways to explore the medium, with fresh ideas and inspiring creativity. These games shows just how far a small budget and a big idea can go.

Nominees: N++
                    Axiom Verge
                    Armello
                    Undertale
                    Crypt of the NecroDancer

Winner: Undertale Few games come along that have almost everyone in agreement about how incredible and influential they are. Few games come along that are challenging, charming, sweet, scary, funny, and quirky all in one amazing package. Few games come along with a story and characters that enrapture you so deeply that you feel a real connection to them. Few games come along that stick with you months after you’ve played them. Undertale is one of those games.

Taking the best elements from traditional JRPGs, Undertale tells a deeply moving story while changing the traditional formula of turn-based combat in a way that challenges players’ pre-conceived perceptions of the genre. It wears its influences to genre revolutionaries like Earthbound and Final Fantasy on its sleeve, has an incredibly deep Meta that will keep players guessing the whole way through, and a soundtrack that easily could have won “Soundtrack of the Year.”

Game of the Year 2015: RPG

Game of the Year 2015: RPG

As another year ends, the CGM staff has come together to award Game of the Year to deserving titles of 2015. After a lengthy and heated debate on podcast, and a vote from the CGM staff all over the world, we have crowned our GotY picks! Eight categories that span all year and a wide range of genres. These titles are the best of the best of 2015 and demonstrate unique qualifications that set them apart and above in 2015. Here is our pick for RPG Game of the Year.

There are many things that make up the RPG genre; from games that echo the traditional sensibilities of pen & paper RPGs to the stories and characters that have become synonymous with JRPGs, the RPG genre challenges the player’s tactical ability and decision making skills over the simple “button mash” beat-em-up styles of more action-based genres. These games stood out as the most gripping and stimulating experiences in the genre this year.

Nominees: Bloodborne
                    Fallout 4
                    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
                    Xenoblade Chronicles X

Winner: The Witcher 3 In some respects, The Witcher 3 shares a lot of similarities with recent Bethesda and BioWare games. Mechanically, the game also manages to get a lot of things right, with a lot of systems clearly keeping to their more complex cRPG roots. There’s a crafting system that’s almost overwhelming in its requirements for ingredients, components, and the possibility to upgrade existing items.

The Witcher series has always been defined by its blending of real-time, action-based combat with traditional RPG systems in vast, open-world settings, and The Witcher III is no exception. It is one of, if not the most overwhelmingly beautiful games to date, with graphical settings that can make even the most powerful of purpose-built gaming PCs weep. For fans of the franchise and action-oriented RPGs alike, The Witcher 3 is truly the must-have title of 2015.

Game of the Year 2015: Racing

Game of the Year 2015: Racing

As another year ends, the CGM staff has come together to award Game of the Year to deserving titles of 2015. After a lengthy and heated debate on podcast, and a vote from the CGM staff all over the world, we have crowned our GotY picks! Eight categories that span all year and a wide range of genres. These titles are the best of the best of 2015 and demonstrate unique qualifications that set them apart and above in 2015. Here is our pick for Racing Game of the Year.

In the realm of racing games you either go fast, or get left behind. Racing games need to challenge their players with high speeds, precise controls, and most of all, exhilarating fun. From open-world street racing, or traditional tracks, these games speed past the rest.

Nominees: Need for Speed
                    Forza Motorsport 6
                    Project CARS   

Winner Need for Speed Whatever your level of experience in racing games, there should be something to your liking here, as the arcade-style gameplay means that knowledge of real-world cars and physics have very little to do with one’s ability to drop in and enjoy the world of Venture Bay.

For everyone else, though, the game’s return to Full Motion Video cutscenes featuring a posse of young, energy drink-guzzling, car-loving, fist-bumping misfits will help you to be sucked up in the silly drama and races as you work your way through the single-player experience.

Game of the Year 2015: Action

Game of the Year 2015: Action

As another year ends, the CGM staff has come together to award Game of the Year to deserving titles of 2015. After a lengthy and heated debate on podcast, and a vote from the CGM staff all over the world, we have crowned our GotY picks! Here is our pick for the Action Game of the Year.

Do you like car chases, big bloody brawls, explosions, and chaos at every turn? Then action games are right up your alley. These games challenge your reflexes, quick-thinking, and make you the hero every kid dreams of being. These games will get your heart racing and adrenaline pumping better than all others.

Nominees: Mortal Kombat X
                    Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
                    Batman: Arkham Knight
                    Halo 5: Guardians

Winner: Batman: Arkham Knight Gotham is finally playable in all of its glory and is absolutely astounding to simply glide or drive though. The rain-soaked and bleak design feels very much like the non-period specific gothic lightshow of Tim Burton’s Batman universe and the city has been crafted down to minute details. The combat is just as comfortably thrilling as always, with Rocksteady increasing the speed and ease of the design to make it even more simple, addictive, and powerful.

As our reviewer Phil Brown put it, “Taken as a trilogy, the Arkham series isn’t just the greatest superhero video game series ever mounted, but one of the greatest interpretations of the Batman mythos in any medium.”

Game of the Year 2015: Multiplayer

Game of the Year 2015: Multiplayer

As another year ends, the CGM staff has come together to award Game of the Year to deserving titles of 2015. After a lengthy and heated debate on podcast, and a vote from the CGM staff all over the world, we have crowned our GotY picks! Eight categories that span all year and a wide range of genres. These titles are the best of the best of 2015 and demonstrate unique qualifications that set them apart and above in 2015. Here is our pick for Multiplayer Game of the Year.

There’s a lot to be said for the thrill and glory that can be had in the multiplayer arena. While solo experiences build the player as the hero, a multiplayer experience gives the player the opportunity to prove it. Whether it’s single-handedly taking down the opponent’s whole team, or helping to secure victory, these games prove the most fun that can be had while playing with others.

Nominees: Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide
                    Dying Light
                    Splatoon
                    Rock Band 4

Winner: Splatoon One of Nintendo’s most admirable traits is its commitment to stand out from the crowd and create unique experiences. This couldn’t be more evident than in their first entry into the online-only arena, and with a shooter no less. Rather than trying to imitate the most popular games in the genre, Splatoon reinvents the formula and provides some much needed reinvigoration to it, shifting the focus away from the “kill everything until you win” standard that games like Halo and CoD made so popular.

Splatoon creates new goals for victory, focusing on co-ordination and teamwork as you try to paint as much ground as possible. Splatoon reminds people how much fun getting messy can be, and provides an exhilarating experience for both adults and kids—veterans and newcomers alike. Couple that with stunning, colourful visuals, a familiar yet unique world, and an amazing original soundtrack and you have one of the best multiplayer experiences not only of the year, but possibly the decade.

Game of the Year 2015: Family

Game of the Year 2015: Family

As another year ends, the CGM staff has come together to award Game of the Year to deserving titles of 2015. After a lengthy and heated debate on podcast, and a vote from the CGM staff all over the world, we have crowned our GotY picks! Here is our pick for the Family Game of the Year.

The roots of gaming started as a social activity—from a group of friends crowded around an arcade machine, to a brother and sister playing Super Mario together in their living room. These games stand out above the rest as ones that not only the whole family can play, but games you can play with the whole family.

Nominees: Tearaway Unfolded
                    Disney Infinity 3.0
                    Splatoon
                    Super Mario Maker
                    LEGO Jurassic World
                      

Winner: Super Mario Maker What makes Super Mario Maker such a special experience is its mass appeal to gamers and non-gamers alike. Adults who grew up with Nintendo can enjoy reliving their childhood through it, and creative kids can live out their fantasies through it, creating and playing an extensive variety of fun and imaginative levels.

With incredibly simple yet intuitive design tools, clean visuals, and quirky sense of humour, Super Mario Maker reminds people how fun art can be. It’s safe to say a new generation of game designers will have grown up inspired by Super Mario Maker.

Watch the Let’s Play of Super Mario Maker.

FairPoint Communications to Offer Gigabit Internet Service in Portsmouth, N.H.

MANCHESTER, N.H., Nov. 18, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — FairPoint Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq:FRP), a leading provider of advanced communications technology in northern New England, today announced that up to 1 gigabit-per-second (Gbps) fiber Internet service is coming to Portsmouth, N.H. and certain surrounding communities.* This is the first time FairPoint has delivered gigabit Internet service to residential customers anywhere in its footprint and adds to the list of high-speed Internet and Ethernet network options already available to business customers. The new super high-speed Internet service will allow customers to instantly send and receive files, conduct online video chats, stream multiple high-definition movies, connect to cloud-based applications, seamlessly connect multiple mobile devices to the network, and more.

“We’re excited to announce Portsmouth as our first gigabit-enabled city,” said John Lunny, FairPoint Communications Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. “Our fiber-to-the-premise gigabit Internet service rollout demonstrates our commitment to leveraging our extensive fiber network and dense metro Ethernet backbone in response to growing customer demand for higher speed services. We continue to invest in our technology infrastructure and advanced services capabilities in support of a wide variety of new consumer and business offerings.”

The fiber-based gigabit Internet service will be available for a limited time at promotional prices starting at $84.99 per month for consumers and $145.99 per month for businesses. FairPoint is also introducing a wide range of new Internet service tiers. FairPoint’s new services have download speeds starting at 150 megabits-per-second (Mbps) up to 1 Gbps, and upload speeds starting at 75 Mbps up to 1 Gbps. FairPoint’s most robust new offering is a symmetrical 1 Gbps service with the same speed for both uploads and downloads.

Speeds of 1 Gbps are about 100 times faster than the average fixed high-speed Internet connection, according to the Federal Communications Commission. At this Internet speed, consumers could download a four-minute song (4MB) instantly or download a two-hour HD movie (4.5GB) in approximately 36 seconds. It could take less than 5 seconds to upload large videos to YouTube (500MB) or to upload 50 photos (100MB) to social media sites.

“Gigabit Internet service enables multiple users in a household to simultaneously stream high-definition and ultra-high-definition video and gaming applications, download music, share photos and videos, and work from home with a very high-quality user experience,” said Lunny.

Along with Portsmouth, N.H., FairPoint’s new gigabit Internet service will be available in December 2015 to residents and businesses at select addresses eligible for FairPoint’s fiber-based services in Greenland, N.H., New Castle, N.H., Newington, N.H., Rye, N.H. and Stratham, N.H. To register to be notified when service becomes available, visit www.fairpoint.com/1gig.

*Services are provided through operating subsidiaries of FairPoint Communications, Inc. Gigabit Internet services available in select areas. Internet speed claims represent maximum network service capability. Actual customer speeds may vary and are not guaranteed. Actual speeds vary based on a number of factors including site traffic and congestion, components within your computer such as processor speeds, memory and hardware and software configuration, content provider server capacity, internal network management factors and customer device capabilities.

About FairPoint Communications, Inc.

FairPoint Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq:FRP) provides advanced data, voice and video technologies to single and multi-site businesses, public and private institutions, consumers, wireless companies and wholesale re-sellers in 17 states. Leveraging an owned, fiber-core Ethernet network – with more than 20,000 route miles of fiber, including approximately 17,000 route miles of fiber in northern New England – FairPoint has the network coverage, scalable bandwidth and transport capacity to support enhanced applications, including the next generation of mobile and cloud-based communications, such as small cell wireless backhaul technology, voice over IP, data center colocation services, managed services and disaster recovery. For more information, visit www.FairPoint.com.

Skullcandy Launches Flagship Store in Tokyo on Cat Street

PARK CITY, Utah, Dec. 17, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Skullcandy, Inc., (NASDAQ:SKUL) is excited to announce today that the company has launched a new flagship store in Tokyo, Japan. The store is on Cat Street, centrally located within the Shibuya fashion district and highlights Skullcandy’s new inspirational “Stay Loud” look and feel.

“We wanted to create an incredible flagship brand experience that lives in the heart of Tokyo’s influence on fashion, technology and innovation,” said Sam Paschel, Skullcandy Chief Commercial Officer. “Tokyo’s leadership in trends and technology is an inspiration to our brand and we are excited to be part of this cultural center.”

The store’s design pays tribute to Skullcandy’s action sports, technology and creative culture heritage with combinations of wood and concrete textures. Additionally, raw finished materials inspired by garage studios, street culture and iconic music venues underline the brands passion for music. The wall that faces Cat Street will feature rotating artwork from globally recognized artists who live according to the brand’s “Stay Loud” anthem. The store features a wide range of Skullcandy audio: wired and wireless headphones and earphones, gaming, sport performance, and a full women’s-specific assortment. Skullcandy Tokyo will become a cultural hub to host community events and offer consumers a premium shopping experience.

“We are excited to announce the opening of the new ‘Stay Loud’ store in Tokyo,” said Tetsuya Oishi, General Manager Skullcandy Japan. “We will continue to build brand foundation, establish brand essence, and differentiate ourselves within the market by showcasing all categories of products, and host numerous store events collaborating with trend-setting global and regional influencers.”

The in-store launch event featured a star-studded line up of Skullcandy athletes: professional skateboarders Eric Koston and Sean Malto, professional surfer Masato Yukawa and several local ambassadors. Following the in-store event, Roc Nation artist Dorothy performed a VIP show at the popular nightclub Brand Tokyo. Koston, Malto and other Skullcandy athletes also participated in a skate demo and poster signing at Murasaki Park Tokyo the following day.

To learn more, visit http://bit.ly/Ref_TokyoLaunch.

About Skullcandy

Founded at the intersection of music, sports, technology and creative culture, Skullcandy creates world-class audio and gaming products for the risk takers, innovators, and pioneers who inspire us all to live life at full volume. From new innovations in the science of sound and human potential, to collaborations with up-and-coming musicians and athletes, Skullcandy lives by its mission to inspire life at full volume through forward-thinking technologies and ideas, and leading edge design and materialization. Skullcandy designs, markets, and distributes audio and gaming headphones and other accessory-related products under the Skullcandy and 2XL brands. The Company’s products are sold and distributed through a variety of channels around the world from its global locations in Park City, London, Tokyo, Zurich, Mexico City, and Shanghai, as well as through partners in some of the most important cultural and sports hubs in the world. The Company’s website can be found at http://www.skullcandy.com.

CONTACT: CONTACT: Leland Drummond // AZIONE // [email protected] // 646-490-2945

Neonode AirBar(TM) Sensor – Transforming PCs Into Touch Interactive Devices

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Dec. 16, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Neonode Inc. (NASDAQ:NEON), the Optical Interactive Sensing Technology Company, today announced its new AirBar sensor with zForce AIR™ technology, a device that enables touch functionality on new or existing non-touch PCs running Windows® or Chrome OS™ operating system.

Neonode will demonstrate AirBar during the electronics show in Las Vegas, from January 6-8, 2016.

AirBar is a slim module that is magnetically attached at the bottom of a PC’s display. When attached and plugged into the USB port, the sensor is activated and starts to emit invisible light to detect the user’s touch and gestures. PC users can then interact with their devices using familiar touch actions like swiping, pinching, zooming and scrolling. AirBar is a portable solution to be used at home, in the office, at school or when traveling and can be used with fingers, gloves, long fingernails and even paintbrushes.

“Imagine taking a non-touch PC, and within seconds making it a touch interactive device. Our sensor does not require installation of new drivers or lengthy instructions. The user simply connects AirBar and can then start to interact with the display immediately – it´s Plug and Touch. Compared with today’s PCs with built in touchscreens, the AirBar sensor keeps your high quality matte display glare free and without greasy finger prints,“ said Remo Behdasht, SVP Business Development at Neonode.

“We are expecting an enthusiastic reaction for AirBar from end-users, retailers and PC OEMs, and we are working toward expanding how AirBar can transform even more everyday devices into interactive experiences,” concluded Mr. Behdasht.

For a limited time the 15.6 inch version of AirBar is going to be available at www.air.bar for an introductory price of $49.

For more information about the product and expected delivery time visit www.air.bar.

© Copyright Neonode Inc. 2001 – 2015. All rights reserved.

About Neonode

Neonode Inc. (NASDAQ:NEON) develops and licenses the next generation of MultiSensing® touch technologies, allowing companies to differentiate themselves by making high performing touch and proximity solutions at a competitive cost. Neonode is at the forefront of providing unparalleled user experiences that offer significant advantages for OEM’s. This includes state-of-the-art touch and proximity technology features such as low latency pen or brush sensing, remarkably high speed scanning, proximity-, pressure-, and depth sensing capabilities and object-size measuring.

Neonode’s patented MultiSensing technology is developed to support IOT (Internet of Things) applications for a wide range of devices such as mobile phones, tablets and e-readers, toys and gaming consoles, printers, white goods, wearable goods and advanced automotive infotainment systems. NEONODE, the NEONODE logo, MULTISENSING, and ZFORCE are trademarks of Neonode Inc. registered in the United States and other countries. AIRBAR and ZFORCE AIR are trademarks of Neonode Inc. WINDOWS is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. CHROME OS is a trademark of Google Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. For more information please visit www.neonode.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These include, but are not limited to, statements relating to expectations, future performance or future events, and product cost, performance, and functionality matters. These statements are based on current assumptions, expectations and information available to Neonode management and involve a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause Neonode’s actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from any expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements.

These risks, uncertainties, and factors are discussed under “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in Neonode’s public filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time, including Neonode’s annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and current reports on Form 8-K. You are advised to carefully consider these various risks, uncertainties and other factors. Although Neonode management believes that the forward-looking statements contained in this press release are reasonable, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be fulfilled. Forward-looking statements are made as of today’s date, and Neonode undertakes no duty to update or revise them.

Welcome to Earth – Independence Day: Resurgence Trailer

Welcome to Earth - Independence Day: Resurgence Trailer

Almost 20 years ago, Earth was attacked by aliens. We managed to win the fight but now, the aliens are back.

The Independence Day: Resurgence trailer has landed. This sequel will arrive two decades after the original cult classic and will also star Jeff Goldblum. He’ll have to save Earth once again from the invading alien force.

This trailer actually makes Independence Day: Resurgence look quite serious, which doesn’t jive with the semi-serious yet totally ridiculous nature of the first movie. Do fans want to see a serious Independence Day?