Blog Posts by Ben Silverman

  • Special edition of ‘Dying Light’ costs $385,000, includes zombie shelter

    Most big video games these days are released in a few different shapes and sizes. You can buy a standard $60 disc, go with a disc-free digital download, or, if you’ve got the dough, opt for a pricier Collector’s Edition, which typically includes the game, a commemorative statue, and some art books.

    But if you want, say, a zombie shelter, night-vision goggles, parkour lessons, and adult diapers, you’ll have to cough up a little more cash.

    Those are just a few of the goodies included in the ridiculous My Apocalypse Edition of recently released zombie game Dying Light being offered by UK retailer GAME. Only one copy is available, in part because that copy costs £250,000, or about $385,000.

    What

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  • Review: 'The Order: 1886' is gorgeous but can’t find the gameplay grail

    The Order: 1886 has a killer pitch.

    The first big PS4 exclusive of 2015 is set in a steampunk version of Victorian England policed by gruff, gun-toting descendants of the Knights of the Round Table. Werewolves are running amuck, Jack the Ripper is Jack the Rippering, and the only thing standing between chaos and order is you, your crew of fellow knights, and your hefty wrought-iron ordnance. Also, there are zeppelins.

    It’s a fine setup for an action game, and when it’s cooking, The Order: 1886 is quite a sight. But even virtues like great graphics and an intriguing setting mean little when you can’t find the holy grail of fun, interesting gameplay.

    Your quest drops you in the clunky boots of

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  • The NES used to be nearly impossible to buy

    These days, the arrival of a new video game console is a big, brash event. Fans line up for hours at countless retailers for fancy midnight launches. Gamers eagerly plunk down cash, shake hands with a Company Representative, and proudly raise their haul above their heads like ancestral hunters hoisting a fresh kill.

    Yeah, it’s ridiculous. It’s also not always been that way.

    Take the launch of the original Nintendo Entertainment System, which was so hard to find when it arrived on U.S. shores in 1985 that you had to write a letter to the company to get one.

    Kotaku has the lowdown on the rarely seen ‘information packs’ that Nintendo sent out to prospective NES buyers. Distinctly lo-fi – it

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  • Anki's new car kit lets you build your own tracks with 'Overdrive'

    Anki OverdriveAnki OverdriveThe gearheads at toy company Anki stumbled upon a little slice of genius when they pulled Anki Drive out of the garage back in 2013.

    Essentially slot cars without the slots, the system lets players use mobile devices to steer sleek, futuristic toy cars around what looks like a flat sheet of thick plastic. It’s a killer trick — Drive was the runaway hit of Thanksgiving 2014 for the Silverman clan — but it’s been hampered by one pretty sizable problem: You can’t make your own tracks. No ramps for you.

    That changes later this year. Anki Overdrive trades Drive's fixed tracks for a new modular format that lets players build their own. It’s probably what Anki should have been from the starting

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  • Report: Netflix planning ‘Legend of Zelda’ live-action series

    Hyrule may be coming to a television near you.

    Quoting sources ‘familiar with the matter’, The Wall Street Journal reports that Netflix is developing a series based on Nintendo’s beloved action adventure franchise The Legend of Zelda. The WSJ says it’s in the ‘early stages’ and that Netflix is working closely with Nintendo on it.

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  • Get over here and check out what’s new in ‘Mortal Kombat X’

    Mortal Kombat is 23 years old. That makes me feel older than Shang Tsung.

    I still remember playing the original in a long-since vanished Berkeley arcade, anxiously fumbling through moves in the hopes of triggering one of those nasty Fatalities everyone (including the government) was talking about. Gamers had never seen anything quite like it.

    We’ve seen plenty like it since, however. Over a dozen games and a pair of feature films – with another on the way – have kept us dripping in digital gore for over two decades. But just as longtime license holder Midway was crashing, Warner Bros. Interactive and developer NetherRealm Studios (helmed by series co-creator Ed Boon) brilliantly rebooted it

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  • Review: Time flies and you're having fun in ‘The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D’

    You’ve likely played at least one Legend of Zelda game. That game probably wasn’t Majora’s Mask.

    Not that it wasn’t a hit. Originally released for the Nintendo 64 in 2000, Majora’s Mask sold nearly 4 million copies. It boasts an innovative time-travel premise, features great combat and puzzles, and ranks among the most critically-acclaimed games in the long-running franchise.

    But still it’s considered a sleeper, a lost classic. Why? Who knows. Perhaps it’s the fact that it directly followed what most gamers consider to be the high water mark of the 3D Zelda games, 1998’s groundbreaking Ocarina of Time. Or maybe its darker tone and strange mechanics kept some folks at bay. You could even

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  • Gamer beats 'Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!!' blindfolded

    As the final boss in the NES classic Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!!, Iron Mike reigns as one of the most challenging video game characters of all time. Beating him is a gamer’s badge of honor.

    Beating him blindfolded? Well now you’re just showing off, you showy showoff:

    This totally insane achievement was pulled off by speedrunning expert Jack Wedge on a Wii running the emulated NES game. He didn’t even use a code (007 373 5963, seared into my memory) to skip right to Tyson, either. With a beanie pulled over his head and facing away from the TV, Wedge managed to work his way through all 13 preliminary fights, toppling King Hippo, Bald Bull, Don Flamenco and the rest before hopping into the ring

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  • Review: The ‘New 3DS XL’ is Nintendo’s most potent portable

    Nintendo could use a power-up.

    We’ve known about the Wii U’s sales problems for a while now, of course. More surprising? The 3DS, which was once considered a buoy in a storm, is slowly starting to sink. 

    While there are now an impressive 50 million 3DS units in the wild, sales are slowing down. Blame it on smartphones or free-to-play or whatever you want, but the fact remains that even with great-selling software like Super Smash Bros. and Pokemon, fewer people are buying 3DS systems. Nintendo has even lowered its fiscal year forecast. Companies hate doing that.

    The good news? The company has a plan, one that should be familiar to longtime Nintendo watchers: Tweak the thing and release a new model.

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  • 'Madden NFL 15' predicts the Patriots will win Super Bowl XLIX

    Tom Brady is about to leave Seahawks fans deflated.

    So says EA’s annual Super Bowl simulation, at least. If the Xbox One version of Madden NFL 15 is to be believed, the ball-obsessed QB will nab his fourth Super Bowl ring this Sunday when the New England Patriots top the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 to win Super Bowl XLIX.

    According to the sim, it’ll be a nailbiter.

    The Patriots struck first with a 21-yard touchdown pass from Brady to tight end/surprising foodie Rob Gronkowski. Seattle answered back with a field goal, and after trading TDs in the 2nd quarter, the vaunted Seahawks defense finally stepped up when cornerback Earl Thomas III intercepted a Brady pass for a 58-yard pick six, giving

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