VIZ takes on competing video streaming services like Netflix and Hulu while going head-to-head against Crunchyroll with their unorthodox subscription service on PSN. Offering animated series, features, and Asian films on a dedicated streaming platform sounds great, right?

Well, some of the quirks in how Neon Alley handles its content, a curiously barebones interface, and the overall vision for the service are things you might want to think about before plunking down your $6.99 a month.

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The subscription channel--not a streaming services--promises round-the-clock anime on Sony consoles with a free starter week for the curious.

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The anime and manga publisher enters the subscription online streaming service on game consoles, promising a studio agnostic approach in the U.s. and Canada. So what might this mean for other streaming services that offer anime?
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…and then there was the time I got to chat with the Voltron Force. Well, not all of the voice cast of the legendary 80’s series, but a nice chunk of it including Neil Ross (Commander Keith, the Black Lion), BJ Ward (Princess Allura, Blue Lion), and Michael Bell (Lance, the Red Lion, Sven the Blue Lion, Pidge, the Green Lion), who were on hand with Team Unicorn to talk about the gateway drug for many of you into the world of anime near the release of the downloadable game from THQ, Voltron: Defender of the Universe. The game represents a reunion, of sorts, for the trio, bringing back classic scenes from the 1984 series and inserting them as pre- and post-mission cutscenes as they fend off the forces of the villainous King Zarkon.

Between the three of them, these voice actors represent a solid chunk of animation history, handling roles in any and everything from G.I. Joe, to Harvey Birdman, to Darkwing Duck, to Samurai Jack. In our pretty expansive (and lengthy) chat, we covered the legacy of Voltron, the unorthodox manner in which the cast had to handle their dialog, getting banned from working alongside Peter Cullen due to pranksterism, and the changing landcape for VO talent in an increasingly CG animation industry.

What follows is an edited transcript of an interview conducted last week. Enjoy some of the best bits of our conversation after the jump.
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EA Blackbox delivers high-stakes, cross-country racing with plot and Christina Hendricks--is this ride worth your time?
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Twisted Metal

Back in the day, during the original PlayStation era, Sony introduced "Twisted Metal," an all-new video game franchise that redefined the car combat genre. By taking insane characters (some literally) and placing them in an over-the-top destruction derby with the grand prize being their hearts deepest most desire, the then unknown David Jaffe and team won the hearts and minds of new PlayStation owners. It's been over 15 years since the franchise's original release, but this February Sony is bringing back Sweet Tooth and some of his demented friends for "Twisted Metal"'s first appearance on the PlayStation 3.

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You never knew you wanted to pit Rocket Raccoon against Phoenix Wright until you could.
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Gritty narration and tortured heroes standard in all editions.
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Sony PlayStation 3D Display

One of the biggest buzzwords in digital entertainment for the last couple of years has been "3D. " Whether you're hearing about 3D in movie theaters, at home or on the go, there are countless hardware manufactures placing bets that the third dimension is going to pay off big… and soon. One of the companies at the forefront of bringing the technology home is Sony; who packs a combo punch like only an international multimedia conglomerate can. With movies, TVs, and video games in their pocket, Sony is charging full steam ahead to bring 3D tech to consumers. Their latest product that plays in this space is a hybrid between two of their most lucrative hardware departments: the PlayStation 3D Display mixes together Sony's tried and true PlayStation brand, and their top of the line display business to produce a screen tailored to suit cutting edge gamers' evolving needs.

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Later this year, Sony Online Entertainment will be launching the second round of DLC for their superhero MMO, DC Universe Online. Featuring the Flash and introducing a new electricity-based power set for players, the DLC will also include new Flash-related locations and environments including (from the press release):

  • Central City – An all-new map that offers players a more open world experience that provides on-going gameplay, with solo and group missions.
  • The Flash Museum Duo – Players can now experience the Central City of today and tomorrow. In The Flash Museum Duo, players can travel back in time to the very moment when Barry Allen became The Flash and battle foes inside the Central City Police Station!
  • Electricity Powers – Players now have the opportunity to get the new Electricity Power set for current and new characters. The new Electricity Power set allows players to leverage the lightning power of electricity and use new types of attacks in combat. Electricity Powers include the Tesla Ball, which creates a floating ball of electricity that zaps nearby enemies; the Shockwave, which shoots streams of electric bolts at enemies; and Ionic Drain, which drains energy from the environment to replenish a player’s health while simultaneously damaging surrounding enemies.
  • New Gear – Players can earn all-new gear sets including the new Zoom-inspired gear set for villains, and the new Black Lightning-inspired gear set for heroes.
  • New Characters – Lightning Strikes brings players new iconic DC Universe characters including Livewire, Black Lightning, The Top, The Trickster, Static and more. New characters – such as Livewire – will be featured as new “Inspired By” options for players who can choose to create a new character inspired by some of DC Universe’s legendary characters. Additional new characters – such as Black Lighting – serve as a bounty mission that players can fight if they choose to be a villain.

Jens Andersen, the Creative Director for DC Universe Online was kind enough to answer a few questions by e-mail about the "Lightning Strike Pack" and the shape of the console and PC MMO nearly a year after its release.
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What's that? You'll still be able to go into a backwards slo-mo dive and catch dudes in the face with your shotgun? Where, sir, do I preorder?
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With 2011 drawing to a close, the MTV Geek staff took a look back at the many games that the year brought us. From stories fighting franchises rising from the ashes, to blockbuster shooters doing what they're going to do, I can honestly say it's been a year of more pleasant surprises than disappointments. While we didn't see any big-time experimentation or anything out-and-out strange or new this year among the major releases (no beautiful failures like Mirror's Edge or completely insane masterpieces like Bayonetta), the return of quite a few tried and true titles still provided some pretty spectacular peaks in console and PC achievement.

Here's MTV Geek's 2011 picks for Best Video Games.
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I'm the guy who's going to complain that it was just Halloween and now Christmas is on the way. Retailers are running early Black Friday sales. Early. Black Friday. Sales.

November continues to be the month clogged with so many major releases by the publishers trying to get your attention and remind you that "Hey, we've got some games, you guys. Would you like to try them?"
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Are you digging Assassin's Creed: Revelations and its updated multiplayer? Feel like you need some more character skins and taunts to really make the experience great?

Well, a little under a month after the current game's release, Ubisoft is dropping some new playable characters for the Assasin's Creed: Revelations' multiplayer modes. Curiously, they're opting to start with more characters and no new maps or scenarios for the first round of DLC. On December 13th, the new downloadable lineup, dubbed the "Ancestors Character Pack," will include "the swashbuckling Privateer, the devious siren Corsair, the battle-tested Brigand and the bloodthirsty Gladiator. Each character is personalized with unique taunts, weapons and stylized assassination moves."

So guys, how is the Assassin's Creed multiplayer? I regrettably missed Brotherhood but I have to imagine the dynamics of trying to murder dudes (and ladies, of course) online has to be interesting at least? Also, in your experience, how many of you have been getting these new characters for the previous game? Do they inject anything new into the overall experience? I'm asking here, because I'm curious as to the response to this kind of targeted DLC. Tell you what: you can let us know through our Facebook page or Twitter feed what you think about character packs in DLC.

The "Ancestors Character Pack" DLC will be available December 13th through PSN and Xbox Live for $3.99/320 MS Points respectively. The PC version of Assassin's Creed: Revelations will be available on November 29th.

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