Microsoft Officially Kills off Project Spark

Microsoft and developer Team Dakota are effectively shutting down Project Spark as it will no longer be available for download via the Xbox Store or its Windows counterpart today, May 13th.

Online services will still be supported until August 12th. This means players will still be able to download and upload user-generated content.

“This was an extremely difficult decision for our team that we do not take lightly,” Team Dakota community manager Thomas Gratz said in a statement. “When Project Spark transitioned away from active development last fall, many of our team members moved to other projects within Microsoft Studios. While this means there have been no layoffs at Microsoft, it also means it’s simply no longer feasible to continue the behind-the-scenes work involved with keeping Project Spark up and running with meaningful updates and bug fixes, so we have come to this hard decision.”

Microsoft will offer Xbox or Windows Store credits to players who purchased a retail copy of the game. Nothing has been said about the downloaded copies.

Announced back in 2013, Project Spark was Microsoft’s answer to the Play Create Share games trend start by PlayStation’s LittleBigPlan. Project Spark was a more robust, ambitious take on the create/share aspect of it.

Source: Polygon

Nintendo NX Predictions

The highly anticipated console for Nintendo entitled Nintendo NX will be officially released sometime in March 2017. Little information is known about Nintendo NX despite the fact that we have only a year left before it is released. Nintendo has even decided not to reveal any information regarding the Nintendo NX for this upcoming E3. There have been numerous speculations as to the direction Nintendo NX will take from cloud-based gaming to a hybrid home/handheld console. One thing for sure is that Nintendo will once again introduce a brand new concept for gaming which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. The Nintendo Wii decided to integrate motion sensors with the Wii remote and nunchuk back in 2006 while the Nintendo WiiU decided to tackle the tablet scene with its tablet-inspired controller in 2012. For better or for worse, Nintendo is definitely not a stranger when it comes to going against the norm.

However, the overall success of Nintendo has declined over the years, more specifically with the last couple of years with the Nintendo WiiU. Despite the enormous success with the Wii, the WiiU is considered a disappointment in sales by comparison. One of the major reasons for this was due to consumer confusion caused by the marketing of the WiiU prior to its release. Many thought that the WiiU was simply a new controller that somehow connected with the existing Wii console as opposed to a new home console. Hopefully Nintendo learns from this and markets the Nintendo NX appropriately, the last thing Nintendo needs is more marketing mishaps.

In all honestly, I don’t really have an opinion on this matter simply due to lack of information. Like I previously stated, we have a year left until the release of the Nintendo NX and we still have little to no information. However, Nintendo did state that they will reveal more information later on this year but no specific date has been announced. This does fuel concern and uncertainty since this may be pushing too close to the deadline. The consumers will need some time to process everything. The combination of well-informed consumers and appropriate marketing will definitely be a key factor to the success of the Nintendo NX which is why I briefly mentioned the marketing mishap of the Nintendo WiiU. All that’s left is to look forward towards the second half of this year for further information.

Pre-Series Analysis: FW VS SKT

The bracket stage is upon us now as 4 teams vie for title of 2016 MSI Champions. There were many surprises during group stage with CLG over performing to a 2nd seed standing. It was predicted for CLG to be the number 5 seed with FW as a number 3. There were almost no expectations for NA’s storied franchise to win any games except for those with Turkey.

Gut Prediction: CLG wins 3 games to 1


Why? CLG has swept FW on both games against each other. It is clear FW doesn’t respect CLG even after being routed 0-2 so far and that can only spell disaster to a team like CLG that never says never. CLG is very hot right now too. Coming off a high as the only team to defeat RNG during group stages is nothing to scoff at even for a Bo1.

Why people may disagree: Mandatory “It was Bo1 not a Bo5”. The games were close. RNG’s game was a fluke. They lost to Turkey.CLG chokes at big events.

Blueprints for success: FW

  • Caitlyn ban is not worth it. Picking could be worth it. Ban Kalista
  • Both Huhi and Darshan try very hard to make plays and sometimes get caught out stupidly because of this. Try to get Huhi and Darshan on low impact champions.
  • Darshan has been stellar on poppy. Let him use maokai if you value ekko and try to win sub30.
  • Standard lanes. CLG has been one of the best in lane swap scenarios.
  • Pick up alistar if they do not ban it.
  • The best player to try to exploit is Huhi. He has a lot more mental and mechanical miscues. Teams have tried to pick on botlane and toplane with no success.

PlayStation Tops NPD Sales for the Month of April

The numbers are out and we have a winner! According to the NPD Group, the PlayStation 4 was the top-selling console in the United States last month.

The PlayStation 4 beat out both Xbox One and Wii U in sales for not only the month of April but also the for March and February.

NPD Group’s Liam Callahan reported that hardware sales have dropped when compared to April of last year. This was primarily caused by a 19 percentage decline of $30.4 million in console sales. Current generation console spending also dropped by 15 percent and last-gen hardware has declined over 70 percent.

With the talks of Sony releasing an upgraded PlayStation, Microsoft prototyping new ideas for the their console and NX said to launch in 2017, NPD console sale numbers may spike up again if new upgraded hardware is introduced later this year.

Source: IGN

Pre-Series Analysis: RNG VS SKT

The bracket stage is upon us now as 4 teams vie for title of 2016 MSI Champions. There were many surprises during group stage casting doubt upon SKT as the now number 4 seed going against RNG the number 1 seed in the tournament. It was predicted for SKT to be the number 1 seed with RNG as a close number 2 and for these two juggernauts to battle it out in the finals. These two teams have split their games one apiece with each other during the group stage, but, as many people point out, Best of 1’s are vastly different from Best of 5.


Gut Prediction: RNG wins 3 games to 2


Why? RNG has been playing their games in dominating fashion. Mata, RNG’s superstar support, has been on fire lately. The second game is the only reason to give me pause and say that SKT can take 2 games instead of just 1. SKT may have a better overall history, but Mata and Looper are also proven championship winners. Expect to see SKT target ban Mata and leave more power picks open for RNG.

Why people may disagree: SKT is the most winningest organization. History has shown they have flourished under pressure and best of 5’s. Best of 1’s are no indicator of skill.

Blueprints for success: SKT

  • SKT should try to target ban Mata’s pool ( Alistar and/or Bard) and MLXG’s nidalee. These are first two pick emphasis for RNG. LB is also something to worry about.
  • Do not ban twitch and save it to bait RNG into picking it if they lose 1-2 games to you. Prepare for a twitch pick/comp if you are up 1-2 games.
  • RNG will most likely target Kindred, Trundle and Ryze. Try to pick up Graves if Nidalee and Kindred are gone. This will make MLXG pick Lee Sin.
  • Use Zilean for Game 1. This will create the series tempo and uncertainty. It will most likely draw bans or influence the rest series’ pick/ban.
  • If Trundle is free, let Alistar slide in and ban bard last.

League of Legends: Mid Season Invitational Day 1 Reaction

Day 1 of the 2016 Mid-Season Invitational in Shanghai is now in the books and we are only 3 hours away from the next round of Day 2. The matches lived up to our high expectations for an action packed day at Shanghai.

For those not familiar or new with the scene, MSI is a League of Legends tournament hosted by Riot Games. The teams that qualify are number one in their respective League, or region, by the end of the first half of the season. In general, each region’s League season has two sections which referred to as “Splits”. The first split, “Spring Split”, and the second split, “Summer Split”, are both counted almost as their own season with their own playoff within their respective region. MSI takes the winner of the Spring Split playoffs of every region and puts them in a round robin group stage where the top 4 teams (by record) get put into a best of five single elimination bracket stage.

The regions participating are the North American League “NA” (NA LCS), European League “EU” (EU LCS), Korean League “KR” (LCK), China League “CN” (LPL), South-East Asia League “TW/HK/MO” (LMS), and Wildcard Region which is a culmination of smaller regions that compete in a WildCard Invitational tournament. Every organization will represent their region since the MSI tournament will determine which regions will earn top four seeds in the 2016 World Championship.

North America

Represented by CLG (Counter Logic Gaming), bolsters a squad with a chip on their shoulder. CLG is an organization that has been there since the beginning and is considered one of the forefathers of League organizations. Even though they are a storied franchise, they have struggled since the heyday of their original roster. Many people write them off and write off NA as a whole when it comes to the big 5 regions as they are known to choke at the international stage. There is intense rivalry and bragging rights when it comes to NA and EU.


Represented by G2, which is a brand new team of decent mechanical players. They have exceeded expectations within their season and have played with convincing dominance. Many people have attributed them as inconsistent at times, much like how the LPL is seen as. When they are on point, they look absolutely brilliant — but when they do tend to make the occasional odd decisions. They are considered the ‘Wild Card’ team of the tournament in the fact that it would not be surprising if they grabbed top 3.


Represented by SKT1, this region and organization is considered the overlords. They always show a dominant showing and the region as a whole is always expected to take number 1. SKT1 is the only organization to be a two-time World Champion, among other accolades. Everyone on the organization is a new face except their star midlaner Faker. Who many have called the Michael Jordan of League.


Represented by RNG (Royal Never Give Up), is the one organization that could give SKT1 a run for their money. RNG has always shown great performances at the international stage. LPL known for their over-aggression fields Korean imports and former World Champions Mata (Support) and Looper (Toplane) to help make their aggression more calculated.


Represented by FW (Yoe Flash Wolves), is emerging as a respectable region overtaking NA and quite possibly EU in international ranking. Much like LPL, the LMS region is known for looking for fights with aggression. They are considered to be top 4 on the international stage with LMS and EU being interchangeable at the 3 and 4 rank.


Represented by SUP (SuperMassive), is an organization from Turkey that really has no expectations to do anything but gain international experience. It is common for Wildcards to be just fodder at these tournaments due to their smaller region/infrastructure and limited exposure to the international stage. No one expects them to do better than 6th place.

What to Watch Out For

Everyone has the usual power rankings of (1)SKT1, (2)RNG, (3)FW, (4)G2, (5)CLG, (6) SUP with #3 and #4 being interchangeable. After Day 1, however, it looks like CLG (1-1) is on the uptrend as they had strong showings against RNG and FW. Their loss to RNG was a very close loss and CLG looked very strong considering them throwing out an unexpected and untested pick. G2 (0-2) seems to be struggling and have been joked about being the true “Wildcards” since SUP (0-2) despite being the same record showed better efforts in their loss. Besides that, SKT1 and RNG are to be expected at a dominant 2-0 record. They are poised to play each other in a few hours which will, as some people will expect to be a preview of the MSI Finals.

The Tilt/Prediction

CLG will make top 4 instead of G2. It will not be surprising to see CLG make it to 2nd or 3rd.

Don’t Starve Shipwrecked DLC Review

The new highly anticipated DLC for Don’t Starve entitled Shipwrecked was released for beta on December 1st and officially released on March 31st. The new expansion pack strays away from it’s predecessors where we are presented with a tropical setting. This will be a relatively short review as well and I shall point out the major aspects of the DLC.

One of the major aspects of the DLC is water. Don’t Starve Shipwrecked heavily emphasizes water-based game mechanics that affects and is affected by the weather, biomes, creatures, and so forth. From existing games mechanics such as rainfall and wetness meter to new games mechanics such as waves and flooding, there are more status and environmental effects that provides a new gameplay experience.

Waves are a new game mechanic that functions as obstacles if the player is hit with them or functions as a speed boost by traveling in the same direction. Waves also come in two tiers: small and large. Flooding is another new game mechanic where the ground will eventually become flooded with water with continuous rainfall. If left unattended, non-elevated structures may be unable to function such as research stations. It is recommended that players take extra precautionary steps to prepare for flooding so that non-elevated structures remain intact for use.

Since Don’t Starve Shipwrecked is an expansion pack for a continuous game, there are still aspects of the game I have yet to encounter due to the scale of the game. The time elapsed in-game can range from a few days to hundreds. Despite that, Don’t Starve Shipwrecked is an overall great expansion pack that provide hours of gameplay with new content. Those who enjoyed Don’t Starve Reign of Giants will enjoy Don’t Starve Shipwrecked as well, especially those who love tropical settings. All that’s left is to look forward to the new expansion pack Klei Entertainment comes out with.