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Co-Op Quick Look: Dying Light Companion App

Dying Light was released last week, and we’ve been having a ton of fun with it so far. You may or may not know that Dying Light also got a companion app for Android and iOS, but unlike a lot of game-related apps, this one is actually really useful.

The basic concept of the Dying Light Companion is that you are commanding a crew of scouts that you send out into the city to complete missions. The loot they collect during those missions can be put into a care package that you send to your in-game character in Dying Light. It’s definitely worth your time for the amount of medkits you’ll be able to collect and send your character.
You can see our quick look in the video below.

You can get the Dying Light Companion on Android here, and on iOS here. And if you want to see the Co-Op crew play some Dying Light, we have a playlist over on the YouTube page you can check out here.
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AZ Screen Recorder is a Free, Awesome Screen Capture App

One of the cooler features of Android Lollipop is the ability to enable screen capturing without rooting your device. For Co-Op Critics, that means I can do some gameplay capture and commentary for mobile games, which I’ve been wanting to do for some time. And I’m happy to say that I found an app that has almost everything I’d want in a screen recording app.

AZ Screen Recorder is a very simple and intuitive app that lets you record what’s happening on your mobile device’s screen. You can adjust the quality of the recording, record audio via the device’s mic, and best of all, you can export directly to YouTube.

So last night, after downloading the app, I recorded this quick video of me playing Zen Pinball:

Pretty great, right? And I’m not just talking about me getting 4 million points on my first ball, I’m talking about the quality of the recording. The app works pretty much seamlessly, and uploaded pretty quickly as well.

My only complaint about this app is that because it’s recording from the mic, it’s recording the game audio that’s coming out of the speakers, as well as any noise I’m making. That’s fine if i want to do commentary, but as you can hear in this video, whenever I brushed over the mic area of my Nexus 9, you could hear it.

But that’s a small complaint for an app that is so easy to use. And did I mention it’s completely free? Because it is, and what the devs are giving you for nothing is pretty amazing.

I will be getting plenty of use out of AZ Screen Recorder, and you can expect more frequent posts about mobile games in addition to the console and PC stuff we talk about around here.

You can download AZ Screen Recorder on the Google Play Store here.

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How Amazon Could Re-Create the Wii’s Success

So, rumors were flying around the internet this week that Amazon is currently developing an Android-based gaming console, which will be released before Black Friday this holiday shopping season.

Now, most avid gamers will scoff at this potential news, for a few reasons. First, the recently-released Ouya Android gaming console has received mixed reviews at best, and while we haven’t seen actual sales numbers, the console does not appear to be selling briskly.

Second, we have the Xbox One and Playstation 4 coming this holiday season, and most avid gamers that are looking for new hardware will be investing in one or both of those consoles.

Finally, many avid gamers associate Android (and iOS for that matter) games with phones and tablets, and tend to look at those games as inferior experiences to console and dedicated handheld gaming.

Here’s the thing, though–avid gamers looked at another gaming console as providing inferior experiences to more casual audiences. That console was Nintendo’s Wii, and it recently crossed the 100 million-sold mark since it’s 2006 release. Unfortunately for Nintendo, when they developed the WiiU, they got away from what made them so successful last generation created an expensive console that left more casual gamers behind.

Amazon has a golden opportunity here to fill a missing spot in this upcoming console generation. For that matter, Apple does as well, but seems uninterested in taking gaming further than it currently is on iOS devices. Both Amazon and Apple already have app-based ecosystems full of games. Unlike the Ouya, they also both have brand recognition and a built in consumer base. So, if Amazon decided to put together an inexpensive gaming console that featured a controller and played all the games on their app store and then some? A lot of parents would be seriously considering that console for their kids this holiday season.

It makes sense that the Amazon console would be able to take advantage of other apps as well, like the Amazon Prime Video library, Netflix, and other streaming media apps.

So, imagine an Amazon gaming console and controller combo releases this holiday season for $99. It plays hundreds of games from the Amazon App Store, and a new app or game can be downloaded for free each day. The console also features Netlfix, Prime Instant Video, Audible, and more. Maybe it even allows you to use your Kindle Fire HD as a touch-based controller or a second screen.

Anyway, you get the picture. If Amazon plays their cards right, they could deal a substantial blow to both Apple and Nintendo, and offer the less expensive gaming experience to families that the Wii did in the last console generation.

I am very excited to see what happens with this, and I hope the rumors don’t turn out to be unfounded. There is definitely a part of the gaming market to be filled here, and someone will eventually take advantage of the opportunity. It’s only a matter of time before Apple comes to its senses, so Amazon should strike while the iron is hot.

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Finally! A New Co-Op Critics Podcast!

After much too long of an absence, Co-Op Critics has returned!

In this episode, our good friend Max Saltonstall stopped by to talk AnonyCon and a bunch of games both he and I have been playing. We also have two interviews–the first with Fernando Bustamante of D3 about the new Adventure Time game, and the second with our good friend Antony Johnston, writer of the upcoming WiiU launch title ZombiU. Here’s the show notes for the episode:

Games Rundown with Brian and Max

AnonyCon (www.anonycon.com)
Niantic Project (www.nianticproject.com)
Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn
Silent Hill: Book of Memories
Knights of Pen & Paper
Team Fortress 2 / Left 4 Dead 2
Angry Birds Star Wars

Interview: Fernando Bustamante–D3 Publisher
Brian spoke with the Senior Marketing Manager of D3 about the upcoming 3DS game Adventure Time: Hey Ice King, Why’d You Steal Our Garbage? The game arrives on November 20, 2012, and you can find out more about it at www.d3p.us.

Interview: Antony Johnston (www.antonyjohnston.com)
Brian spoke with the writer of ZombiU at NYCC 2012. ZombiU will launch alongside the new WiiU on November 18, 2012. You can find out more about the game at zombiu.ubi.com.

You can find the episode here, or just click on the player for the episode on the right sidebar of the page.

Enjoy!