Canada is a Gaming Powerhouse

canadian-gamingOne thing that I’ve realized as working on our Canadian Gaming Week is that the Canadian gaming industry is currently in great shape. Sure, Vancouver could use a little bit of help and the once great BioWare has been on a down swing but to parrot a Don Cherry line about Canadian hockey, we are the best.

If you look at last week’s Canadian Videogame Awards, the nominees and winners lists look like most major year-end awards lists. Three of last year’s biggest triple-A games, the best-selling sports game in the world and two of the best reviewed indie games of 2012 were all developed on Canadian soil. Canadian gaming isn’t just a powerhouse but is thriving hotbed for the games industry.

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Montreal’s gamesbymo Needs Your Help to Make A.N.N.E

anne-logoEvery once in a while on our sister site et geekera, we cover some of the more interesting offerings on Kickstarter. For Canadian Gaming Week, we thought that we would do a Kickstarter preview of our own.

Montreal indie studio gamesbymo is the one-man operation of developer Moise Breton. He’s taking to Kickstarter to get funding to complete work on his latest project called A.N.N.E.

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Canadian PSN Users Can Get Freebies Thanks to a Class-Action Lawsuit

playstation-network-logoIf Canadian users on the PlayStation Network or with Qriocity or Sony Online Entertainment accounts thought they had gotten all the freebies they could out of Sony after the 2011 PSN hack, think again. A recently settled class-action lawsuit in Ontario means that Canadian PSN/SOE users can get some more free stuff from Sony.

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Despite Its Faults, I Still Love Mass Effect

I couldn’t go the whole of Canadian Gaming Week here on the blog without writing one more Mass Effect column. The reason that I write so often and at such length about Mass Effect is that the series is what brought me back into proper gaming after years of spending my time in a rut of playing sports and music games.

I’ve written a lot about the game over the last year. I’ve dug into that terribly unsatisfying ending. I’ve decried the horrible DLC practices that saw parts of the game cut out to sell separately from the main game. I’ve even promoted the Indoctrination Theory which might be my greatest sin against the franchise and common sense.

And despite how disappointed I was in the ending of the trilogy, despite how angry I was at having to pay for an on-disc “DLC” that was locked out behind what was effectively a $10 paywall and despite the fact that I have to make the conscious choice to end my playthroughs at the Citadel DLC to get the ending the trilogy deserves, I still love Mass Effect.

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Preview: Fez Comes to PC Next Week

fez-box-artNext Wednesday, the critically acclaimed indie platformer Fez will make its way from bring an Xbox 360 exclusive to multiplatform with a PC launch through Steam.

Fez is a Canadian developed game by Montreal-based Polytron Corporation. Gamers may have heard of the outspoken Phil Fish who was one half of the game’s two-man dev team. Fish and Fez were profiled in the popular documentary Indie Game: The Movie which also featured hits Super Meat Boy and Braid.

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Papo & Yo Review: A Game in a Metaphor

papo-and-yo-bannerWhat make a video game a game? That’s a question that is being asked with increasing frequency. It’s also a question that one could ask about Papo & Yo. It’s a game with a story and a message hidden behind a metaphor but the actual “gameplay” is fairly thin. So does that mean it’s a game or a metaphor?

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Help Vancouver’s Gaming Industry with The Indie Gala

indie-gala-logoDo you love video games and supporting small developers? The latest Indie Gala sale allows you to do both. While that’s not unusual for Indie Gala sales, what is unusual is the different way that you can support indie developer and the Vancouver gaming scene in particular.

This week’s Indie Gala is The Mass Effect Bundle. While Mass Effect isn’t exactly an indie production, the proceeds allocated to charity will help the indies. The Mass Effect Bundle supports the Launch Academy and the BC Member of Legislative Assembly campaign of Matt Toner.

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Sang-Froid: Tales of Werewolves Review (or Cold Blooded Action)

sang-froid-box-artFor Canadian Gaming week, we’re looking at reviewing three games. Two will be indie efforts and one will be published by a major studio. We start our Canadian Gaming Week reviews, with the indies. It’s a recently released game from new Quebec-based developer that touches on early Canadian culture and throws it into a game that hits three different genres.

I’ve never been interested in tower defence games but I’m willing to give one a try if it’s from a Canadian developer so rookie dev Artiface Studio was able to take my $15 based on my Canadian pride. By the end, I’d say that Artiface’s Sang-Froid: Tales of Werewolves certainly earned it.

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Is There Anything Jennifer Hale Can’t Do?

If you’ve play a video game anytime over the last 15 years or watched an animated TV show or movie over the last 20, you’re more than likely to have heard Jennifer Hale’s voice. The Canadian voice actress is one of the preeminent voice-over talents in the business today. She was even named “the most prolific videogame voice actor (female)” by Guinness World Records. I think that award might have to do with the 140+ games she’s been in during her career. In the last month alone, you could have heard her in Gods of War: Ascension, BioShock Infinite and Injustice: Gods Among Us.

Not only is Hale a video game voice actress, her voice has also appeared in over 60 TV series and over 25 movies.

Since this week is Canadian Gaming Week, I felt it was only appropriate to pay tribute to one of Canada’s greatest contributors to gaming and the queen of video game voices, Jennifer Hale.

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2013 Canadian Videogame Awards Winners

canadian-videogame-awards-bannerThis past Saturday was the fourth annual Canadian Videogame Awards which celebrated the best of the Canadian video game industry for 2012. Having previewed and predicted this year’s awards, we kick off Canadian Gaming Week on The Lowdown Blog by bringing you the winners of the 2013 CVAs.

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