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With Summer in full swing, heatwaves come and go, and when one comes your way what better way to avoid it than by sitting inside with an air conditioner, a cold drink, and a great game. Here are some of the most notable games releasing in August.

Batman: A Telltale Game Series – August 2nd

The Dark Knight, the Caped Crusader, the World’s Greatest Detective, these names are synonymous with one person. Batman. From the new Batman V. Superman, and the Dark Knight movies, to the previous Batman games (Arkham Series), the Bat is everywhere and most everyone and their mother have heard of him. This is a new take on a Batman game which will be released episodically, and in the game, each choice you make will matter and will alter the future of your gaming experience. This game will play similar to other Telltale games such as The Walking Dead, or Tales from the Borderlands, which were massively successful. The controls will be based on quick time events and button sequences, an aspect that should tie in nicely with the combat style for taking down Gotham’s criminals. Along with looking like a playable comic book, this game is filled with notable characters such as Harvey Dent, Vicki Vale, James Gordon, Selena Kyle (Catwoman) and beloved butler, Alfred. Episode One is going to release on August 2nd and for anyone that is a fan of Batman this game should be at the top of your list. LINK

No Man’s Sky – August 9th

Need I say more? No Man’s Sky is arguably one of the most hyped games to release in years, if you don’t know about this game yet, you must go check out some of the previews. After a few delays, the game is finally going to be released on August 9th. Before I get ahead of myself, ere is what No Man’s Sky is. This game is a procedurally generated universe, which means this game is ever-expanding and always changing and in this universe you are an explorer just trying to survive. You make a living by flying from star to star and exploring the solar systems around them. Each planet in the solar system may have life forms or may be barren, some may be a mass of dessert or it may be a lush tropical world. This game also offers a trading system that requires you to go to trading outposts and interact with NPCs or other players, and this game is open to online play. The game developers Hello Games have said that our sun would burn out before you could fully explore this game, think about that for a second, that’s 8 BILLION years. If No Man’s Sky can hold up to what it has boasted this will easily be a huge hit of summer 2016. There is one drawback, this game is a PC and PlayStation 4 exclusive which is unfortunate for Xbox owners. LINK

Madden 17 – August 23rd

With the NFL season getting underway again in September it is time for the annual release of Madden. The 28th installment of the beloved franchise offers updated graphics, gameplay changes, and smoother mechanics. EA has revamped the running game and player control, smarter defensive A.I. that adjusts to your game style and special teams that can actually block kicks. With these all new game features, this could be the most polished Madden to date. For a fan of the franchise, you know what to expect, all the game modes are still there, Madden Ultimate Team, Franchise, Online play and Draft Champions. Overall Madden will be a successful game and if you’re a football fan is a must have. LINK

Upcoming: Battlefield 1 Beta???

Ever since the reveal trailer for Battlefield 1 on May 6th, the internet has been ablaze with anticipation. EA and Dice took a chance on placing their first person shooter in the setting of World War 1, but so far it has paid off for them, as it has been very well received by the public. So well received actually, it is the most liked trailer ever on YouTube, beating out every other game and even movie trailers. Something unknown to people is when Battlefield 1 will have their public beta. There was a closed version of the game only available to a select few, but with the hype for this game, everyone is patiently waiting. EA has said that it will be in late summer, and with the game releasing in October, one would assume this beta is right around the corner. LINK

With the holiday season just around the corner, now is the time to start stocking up on all those nerdy delights for your gamer loved ones.  So on this Holiday Gaming Review we run down the list of up coming releases that you can grab before the big red guy drops from the chimney.

Halo 5: Guardians

halo-5-xbox-one-box-artFirst up is the long awaited return of the Master Chief! ( pause for cheers and applause)  I know that 343 Industries filled the gap with the forgettable collective that was the The Master Chief edition, but it has been 3 years since the last Halo.  As always Halo 5 will be a Xbox One exclusive, sorry Sony fans.  Microsoft is keeping the story specifics under wraps, the company now says the story events set into motion in Halo 5 will forever change the overall universe in “really important ways.”  After the events of Halo 5, the story “will never be the same,” said 343.  Multiplayer is always the most anticipated game mode, you can likely expect some creative re-imagined world, characters, and weapons.  And let’s not forget the soundtrack that is always a highlight and a master piece of it’s own.  Halo 5: Guardians drops October 27th only on Xbox One.  LINK

Rise of the Tomb Raider

rise-of-the-tomb-raider-j-556c7bd903a8dTomb Raider is a genius re-mastering of the franchise.  If you have not yet played the latest Tomb Raider from Square Enix you are missing out.  You can likely find a copy for $20 from your console store or Steam.  The follow up is Rise of the Tomb Raider.  An epic, high-octane action game set in the most beautiful yet hostile environments on earth, Rise of the Tomb Raider delivers a cinematic survival action adventure where you take Lara Croft on her first tomb raiding expedition as she seeks to discover the secret of immortality.  A truly original experience and story line with plenty of opportunities to show your skill.  Expect a much improved multiplayer mode this year, as the last was left lacking.  Rise of the Tomb Raider hits shelves November 10th on Xbox One and 360.  Expect PS4 and PC release in 2016.  LINK

Star War Battlefront

Star-Wars-Battlefront-PS4-CoverGet ready to be taken to a galaxy far, far away!  Star Wars Battlefront is almost here…about time!  Arguably the most anticipated game this and likely last year, Battlefront is an action shooter that allows the player to switch between first and third person view.  Choose between a Rebel Alliance soldier or an Imperial Stormtrooper as you traverse planets from the Star Wars universe, such as Endor, Hoth, Tatooine and the newly introduced planet of Sullust.  There will also be playable characters from the films, such as Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, and Boba Fett.  The game includes cooperative missions which can be played offline but does not have a campaign mode.  The game’s online multiplayer mode supports up to 40 players in one match and 12 multiplayer maps will be available at launch.  Star Wars Battlefront drops November 17th on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.  LINK

Bonus Games

ACSBoxartimageSyZRgJsAssassin’s Creed Syndicate – Oct 23rd

Call of Duty Black Ops III – November 6th

Fallout 4 – November 10th

Do you love watching movies and TV?  Are you a mega fan that can never miss a show?  Are you terribly busy and find it hard to watch your favs when they air?  The struggle is real, we get it!  So to help out, check out this list of the best streaming devices to watch TV your way, on your time.  Most of these devices have a long list of apps, including Netflix, Hulu, and other favorites.  But each has it’s own perks and exclusives, so choose wisely.

Roku 3

The third incarnation of Roku’s flagship streamer is the most comprehensive to date, sporting more than 2,000 channels, an intuitive cross-platform search utility, and an excellent user interface.  The puck-sized device is attractive and subtle, and equipped with nonskid rubber and enough weight to prevent it from getting shuffled around in your entertainment center.  The remote is simple, but allows snappy navigation of Roku’s extremely intuitive channel-based interface, and best of all, features a built-in headphone jack for wireless listening when turning up the TV volume is a no-go.  Wi-Fi is built in, but an Ethernet port is available if a faster connection is needed.  A microSD slot for additional app and game storage is a feature unique to the Roku.  The Roku 3 retails for $100 and can be purchased at Amazon, Walmart, and major electronic retailers.  Learn More

Apple TV

The Apple TV is getting a little grey — But there is light at the end of the tunnel.  Apple has announced a new model (coming soon) that boasts the best user experience, including the Siri remote.  The current Apple TV still remains one of the best offerings on our list— especially if you’re already heavily-invested in any of Apples other devices or services.  While most essential services are supported,  it is Apple Airplay and apps like iOS Remote that makes the Apple TV’s user experience unique.  You can easily beam any content you’ve previously purchased or rented through the iTunes Store to your TV straight from the cloud, freeing your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad up to do other things.  Sharing personal photos and videos from iOS devices is easiest with the Apple TV.  It may be a little old, but the Apple TV is still going strong.  The Apple TV retails for $70 (future model est. $149) and can be purchased at Amazon, Apple Store, Walmart, and Major electronic retailers.  Learn More

Amazon Fire TV

Amazon’s first go at a streaming set-top box instantly became a hit among members of the company’s Prime service, which delivers tons of free streaming movies and TV shows and a handy voice-search feature to get at them more easily.  But the super-slim and speedy box will appeal to anyone with subscriptions to other services like Netflix and Hulu.  Amazon also made the device compatible with a dedicated video game controller (sold separately at $40), which is designed to work with a wide array of mobile games such as Minecraft and Grand Theft Auto III.  As the devices on this list go, the Fire TV is the most versatile and well-supported, it even plays 4k video content.  To get the most out of this device it is best to have a Prime membership.  The Amazon Fire TV retails for $100 and can be purchased at Amazon and Walmart. Learn More

Google Nexus

After canning its first attempt at a streaming media player, Google returned to the set-top box field in the fall of 2014 with the Asus-made Nexus Player.  It offers similar capabilities to Amazon’s Fire TV, allowing for voice-activated searching and personalized recommendations, along with integrated gaming if you decide to opt for an optional gaming controller.  The Android-powered and Google-backed device has been slowly but surely adding apps, and Chromecast-style “casting” ability makes it easy for friends and family to share content from their smartphones and tablets.  The only downside is no Ethernet port, which seems like an odd omission for a set-top box.  Still, for the Google (Andriod) lover this is a no brainer.  The Google Nexus retails for $170 and can be purchased at Amazon, Asus, Walmart, and Major electronic retailers.  Learn More

Consoles (Xbox One, PS4, WiiU)

Did you know that game consoles do a lot more than just play games these days.  Video game consoles rank as the most popular devices for streaming content to your TV.   The systems have quickly become a jack-of-all-trades media centers, conveniently giving you access to scores of programming from the likes of HBO Go, NFL Network, Netflix, and Hulu. Several other devices on our list provide gaming, but as you might expect, the next-gen consoles blow all mobile games out of the water in terms of graphics resolution and playability.  The downside?  These are much more expensive option with the Xbox One retailing for $349, PS4 for $399, and the WiiU for $299.  Consoles can be purchased at Amazon, Walmart, and Major electronic retailers.