What Is A Pro Gamer?

Is an artist a pro artist?  That is something that should come to mind when you start thinking about being a pro gamer.  Did you start playing video games to make money or have a good time enjoying a hobby.  That hobby might have eventually turned into an obsession (even and unhealthy one).  The bottom line is that most people will eventually come to terms with one thing when it comes down to facing reality.

It is a funny conversation to have with a gamer, ‘going pro’.  In reality it is the top of list for many people that think their skills in a game will pay like they are some sort of NBA Draft Pick.

Are you a member of the crowd paying for a ticket or are you one of the 8-10 people on stage? The moment you are honest with yourself is the moment you might start enjoying your games (especially online) without throwing a fit about lag or even your KDR.

If you win an MLG Tournament (1st Place) you will have a shot at $10,000.

If you consider the perks to winning every tournament every year, you might be in line for between $30,000-80,000.  Depending on the tax breakdown for your respective state of residence you might get more or less.  This is of course assuming you are winning every match and the best in the world.

Keep in mind that you have a lot of work to do to be the best at any game.  This entry isn’t meant to kill your dreams; this entry is meant to help you see that being a pro gamer is really a matter of debate and in some cases – delusion.

Earlier we talked about facing reality…

Reality is that when you decide that gaming is about going pro and making money rather than enjoying what you love simply to enjoy it – you will begin hating what you once loved because it will turn into a job.

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E3 Coming Soon – Is It Still Relevant?

For those of you looking for a reason to get excited about upcoming games such as Call of  Duty, Future Soldier, Madden, NCAA Football or Halo – E3 is something you are going to be watching and/or reading about over the course of June 5-7.  Otherwise, you might be disinterested.

It is a new and strange development that has happened with what was once the ‘must see’ for all gamers just 5-10 years ago.

It used to be an expo that focused on gaming as a whole with the spotlight on innovation.  However, now it seems to be more focused on the big-budget titles that will over-shadow many of the other games out there that might need that moment in the spotlight just to garner enough interest to continue in their development.

With the recent closure of 38 Studios it should come as no surprise that many of the smaller developers (even if they are owned by huge companies like Electronic Arts) are the first to get cut if they aren’t producing the highest profile games out there.  The issue that this brings to the forefront hinges directly with the tagline for E3.

“Innovation Unveiled”

The issue is that most of the innovation that occurs is from upstart companies.  Whether it is gaming, internet development or something else.  The whole process of creating apps and independent games has been the driving force behind better and more intriguing innovation in gaming.  If you consider what will happen if expos like E3 continue to focus on the big budget/’big box’ games rather than pushing innovation in smaller or less publicized games and/or developers.

Over the next couple weeks we will be focusing some attention on games that you might not know about and whether or not they should be on your list as something to look into for a fantastic gaming experience.

PS – If you want to attend E3 you will most likely be shocked at the $800-$1000 price for tickets… just to attend.

Madden 13 – Is It Worth $60 At This Point?

*We have had multiple posts about Madden since this article.  Please check those out for more details.  We will have full reviews of Madden as soon as it is released!

The improvements being made to Madden 13 are catching some eyes around the sports gaming world.  The problem is that outside of some improvements being made to make the game’s eye-candy stick out we are still waiting to hear about the much needed improvements to Career Modes.  They have already announced that there will be something that ties career modes to an interactive web-based experience.  However, the fact that Online Franchise Mode has been bare-bones for three iterations is something that really takes away from any sort of community experience.

Girls and Games Are Alike… Good looks only get you so far.

With the still struggling interactions between O-Lineman and D-Lineman rendering many plays broken (Play Action Passes, just for one example) and then coupling that with other poor AI and animations… you have many questions still left unanswered.  Granted, we still have a few months until the game is released, it is worth considering whether or not Madden 13 will be something you are better off buying pre-owned rather than brand new. Rest assured that the game isn’t something you will need to pre-order in most cases as it is often readily available on launch day.

Outside of the chance that Madden 13 blows everyone away with some sort of new gimmick that EA will remove (See ProTAK, Procedural Awareness, Tuners, etc.) it will remain as a game that should be approached as nothing more than a roster update with a slight graphical facelift.  You can find Madden 12 online for around $20 on Amazon right now; if you are having that football itch that requires Madden to fill the gap, you would probably be okay to spend $20 on Madden 12 before pre-ordering Madden 13 at this point.

The moments of truth will hopefully come around the time that E3 starts in June.  Keep in mind that in our last brief write-up for Madden we focused on the hype machine and how it can suck people in early on in a game’s cycle.  You should keep your hopes up but also keep your expectations low.  Even with the reactions from EA Tiburon’s Community Days and the ‘dedicated Madden fans’ being posted, it would be a good idea to take their impressions with a grain of salt.  Remember, they have to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements and you don’t often hear too much negativity coming from people that get preferential treatment (why would you bite the hand that feeds?).

Once we get to June and July there will be a lot more information out there that EA wants to release.  In that case, you shouldn’t lose total hope in Madden or NCAA Football just yet; but you should also keep yourself grounded if you are hoping for groundbreaking improvements.

Diablo 3 – A Noob Friendly Hack and Slash PC Game

Well worth $60 and the eleven years many fans have been waiting.

I think I might be one of the ten people that haven’t ever played the Diablo series until this week.  The last Blizzard game I played at length was the first Warcraft on shareware.  Diablo was a pleasant surprise because it let me know from the get-go that it was going to be gentle when it came to introducing me to a new experience.

This game is a hack and slash version of Borderlands. 

If you want a game like Warcraft… go get Warcraft 3.

Diablo 3 allows you to either take on the enemies by yourself or team up with friends online and fight tougher foes (they get harder as you have more players to help you).  There are a few perks that come with teaming up with friends:

  1. Help fighting tougher enemies
  2. Better treasure and loot from defeating enemies

This game focuses on the ability to roam the world of Diablo 3 looking for a fight and arming your character with the best weapons for your class.  This game is so similar to Borderlands that it is really the best way to describe how the non-combat system works. My current class is a Demon Hunter named Lech.  I like to run around dual wielding crossbows.  I have been lucky to team up with my friend Deckon and he was awesome enough to hook me up with my first decent weapon.  Since that point back when I was a Level 3 I have found a lot more weapons that make me want to curse the day I was using my initial weapon.

If you want to get/play this game you will have to be sure that your PC can handle it.  Keep in mind that this game is NOT for consoles.

The system requirements can be found at Battle.net

Minimum specs should be avoided when gaming on PCs. This is often setting people up for less than optimal gaming experiences.
I am currently running a 460GTX and have a fantastic experience. If you can afford to do this type of computing, I highly suggest you roll with something with specs at or above these.

Building A Game Collection For The Price Of One New Game

By the time you get a new console, controller and a couple new games to play you are going to spend around $600+.

If you are in the market for a new console and would like to get a decent amount of games to play on it we have just the help you need to save money as you start building a new gaming library.

Low Budget Online Gaming

Gaming on a budget? These games are still played by many people online and well worth the small investment.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 = $12 – One of my all-time favorite games.  This is a very fast paced game that has a bit of a learning curve now.  Beware of hackers and glitchers that have taken over some lobbies. 
or
Call of Duty Black Ops = $20 – Treyarch put this game out to high praise that they fixed many things that people didn’t like about Modern Warfare.  You will notice that there is quite a split between some people in their preference for Call of Duty titles.  This game is a good purchase to get ready for Black Ops 2 coming out in November.
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Halo 3 = $7 – The game that got every online gamer to think they could ‘Go Pro’.  You will find a dedicated group of gamers that still play this game religiously.  This is a great cheap way to introduce yourself to Halo if you haven’t played the series before.
or
Halo Reach = $18 – Where there is Halo, there are gamers playing it online.  Reach changed a lot of things from Halo games before that may remind some people of Call of Duty’s ‘Perks’.  However, you can also download a ton of new maps and modes that give this game a long life.
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Gears of War = $7 – The first Gears of War is still preferred by a smaller contingent of purists.  The series has a tremendous community that is dedicated to the team-based third person genre that Epic Games nearly perfected with this series.
or
Gears of War 2 = $7 – The second game of the trilogy was a great success, but some glitches and online issues marred the longevity especially with GOW3 following.
or
Gears of War 3 = $24 – This game has a huge fan base even after a year of being released.  The season pass can get you all the modes and maps that were released for this great online experience.  This title is the most refined of the three and rightfully takes its place at the top of many GOW fanatics libraries.
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Battlefield: Bad Company 2 = $10 – The rival to Call of Duty that is based on large team objectives and involves huge maps with a larger focus on realism.  Weapons have more recoil and handle more realistically.
 
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The Lone Gamers On A Budget

For the offline/lone gamers out there, these should be in your library ASAP!
Fallout 3 – Game of the Year Edition = $16 – Getting this game with all of the add-on content is going to provide you with well over 60-70 hours of gaming.  You are set up in post-apocalyptic Washington DC where you will have to battle mutants, survivors, bandits and even radiation to survive.
or
Fallout: New Vegas = $10 – This is a separate story from Fallout 3 and gives a nice facelift to some of the things people wanted changed from Fallout 3.  You will have to be sure to eat and stay hydrated in this iteration of Fallout.  Who says you can have too many details?…  Not Bethesda.
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The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion = $10-15 – Before Skyrim there was Oblivion.  A game based in a fantasy realm of knights and kings where you can become a feared assassin or an admired mage/warrior.  Either way, you get to roam a huge world filled with treasure and danger.
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The FEAR Series = $10-12 – One of the scariest series of this generation is based on Sci-Fi and Horror genres being thrown into a blender with a creepy telekinetic girl that haunts you throughout.  You will learn to fear Alma and you will learn to love your shotgun.  A great game for dark quiet nights at home.
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The Assassins Creed Series = $ 10-22 – Cloak and Dagger doesn’t even begin to cover it with this title.  If you want to feel like an ancient bad-ass(assin) you will get this game.  Walk around cities like Jerusalem and follow the story that leads you through the lives of your ancestors, who happen to be assassins.
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The Splinter Cell Series = $8-10 – Sam Fisher is highly trained and voiced by Michael Ironside.  Other than that, he is also equipped with some of the coolest gadgets and gear that have ever graced the planet.  You will not regret picking up this amazing series on the cheap!