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game - hawg

games, games and more games...and me

Thursday, October 27, 2005

No World of Warcraft on the Xbox 360

Blizzard shoots down the possibility of World of Warcraft coming to the Xbox 360 anytime soon. Chalking it up to the Xbox 360 basically not being a pc.  
"It would require certain input devices," he continued. "You know, a keyboard or a mouse - those are things that are not standard, they're peripherals, and peripherals have historically not done well for any of the console companies unless you're talking about additional controllers or memory cards."


Inside look at Bungie's new place...

Micosoft blogger Scobelizer chatted up Matt Noguchi in Bungie's new offices for channel 9. No, there is nothing revealing, they did the interview before anyone was in just so you wouldn't be able to see them working on anything. You do get some insight into how they work and how they hire and the whole bungie environment. Check it out.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Gizmodo (was) run by the mob

Wouldn't they be better off making the next GTA clone? I guess that would be too obvious, anyhoo, some senior executives (and a couple other employees) resigned thier posts at Gizmondo last week and now their shadowy pasts and Swedish mob connections are coming to light. Well, that explains the utter handheld horror that is the Gizmondo. They were just a bit distracted with the money laundering and "debt collecting" and all.

Please god, give me another Killer Instinct game

I hope this news of Rare already working on two additional Xbox 360 titles means we'll see a resurrection of quite possibly, the best...fighting...game......ever. I'm all about the 50+ killer combos.

Monday, October 24, 2005

What does it mean

I was just reading through the bungie weekly update and I read this...

"We’re going to have more to tell you about how Halo one and two look on 360, and it’s all good news."

What could that mean??!??!?!?!

check it out here.

Far Cry

So I have been playing through Far Cry instincts for the Xbox the past week or so, and here are my thoughts. Overall its a very fun game and worth playing, however being that it is a FPS on the Xbox, I cannot help but compare it to Halo (ahhhhh ahhhh ahhhh ahhhhhh......), but I'll get to that in a second.

First, the story that I have experienced so far is enough to keep you engaged to the game, but its a little lack luster in my opinion. The story in the few hours I've spent in the game can be summed up in less than 5 min. I have not finished the game yet though, so maybe there is much more to come. I'll give the game the benefit of the doubt....

The graphics are about as good as it gets on the Xbox. At times they can be quite impressive, and you will find yourself amazed and in awe that you ever played 8-bit systems way back in the age of the NES (I know it wasn't that bad, if fact it was a hell of a lot of fun, but admit it, if there was an xbox when you got your NES, you would want one).

The gameplay is kind of easy so far. I have read that it gets harder, but so far its been pretty easy. There is an auto aim system in the game that basically sets it up so that as long as you are close to hitting the guy, the game just assumes the hit. The AI of the computer is alright, not the best, but not too bad. My main gripe about the enemies is the animations when they die. They get the job done, but I've seen better on the Xbox. Once the enemies are dead, its not uncommon to see arms or legs sticking through the ground :-(. In the game's defense though, it can get really fun to play. There are several unique elements to it that never get old. For instance, it's always fun to, use your special animal abilities, set traps, and stab guys in the back. There is something very satisfying about sneaking up on a guy and knifing him in the back.

I have spent maybe 20 min with multiplayer in Far Cry. I tried to give it a chance, but I just couldn't resist the urge to throw in my copy of halo 2 and go at it on XBL. It just isn't as polished as Halo is. In order to really review the multiplayer I'll have to try it again......That is if I can get my copy of Halo 2 out of my xbox ;-).

Overall Far Cry is a very fun game to play, and I would recommend checking it out if you are a FPS fan. It's no halo replacement, and its not going to revolutionize the game industry anytime soon, but it is very entertaining (and isn't that the whole reason you have an xbox in the first place?). The physics and gameplay are polished and just feel right and solid in halo. Far Cry is good, but not as great as Halo. If you are looking for a change of pace and maybe a new game to play through and have some fun with, then you will like Far Cry. If you want a game that you can play that can scratch your Halo itch, then you will probably be disappointed. That said, I think Target has Far Cry advertised around 30 bucks this week. It's worth 30 bucks if you want to have some fun waxing fools for a while outside of the Haloverse.

Final Fantasy XII pics

Some new Final Fantasy XII pics have surfaced. They're from an article in a Japanese gaming mag so I can't decipher what new details they talk about but I think a lot of the charcaters in these new screenshots are new.

Final Fantasy X for the NES

Some enterprising FF fans with a lot of time on their hands took an original Final Fantsy II  for the NES ROM and replace all of the artwork and text to turn it into Final Fantasy X. The even coded in Blitz Ball games. Now that's hardcore.

Zelda Lego set

Though the web page may say coming soon, I hope not. The whole getup doesn't look as "official" as it could be and as Alice at Wonderland notes, what's up with the Zelda beanie? If this was to be official they would need to dump the beanie and bring bacck the pointy elf hat. That's classic Zelda, how dare they!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

My Xbox 360 WalMart experience

Not being a memeber of the cool kids press/bloggers club, I reveled in the chance to play the actual Xbox 360 when I saw a WalMart employee setting up the Xbox 360 kiosk in the elctronics department in my local WalMart. The whole experience was ok and all but only a few of us got to play. The demo froze up on us! The first guy to play the Xbox 360 (they had just set up the display) got some Kameo and Call of Duty 2 in but when he tried to King Kong demo, he said it froze up on him. So I fgured I'd just stay away from that one. I play some Kameo and Call of Duty and then I leave, expecting to come back the next day to get some more hands on time.

When I came back though, the whole console was shut off. When I asked the employee who had set it up the day before, he told me it kept "overheating". I don't know if that was really the case or not but it seemed to be. When no one was looking, I turned it back on, plugged the controller back in (that's right, not wireless) and fired it back up. I tried to go back into the Call of Duty demo but the game froze at the loading screen this time, not even letting me play one second of it. It seemd worse off than the day before. Was it really overheating that made it progressively worse? I don't know but it sure seemed like it. Overall, it left a bad taste in my mouth in regards to the Xbox 360. The games looked nice and the controller felt "like buttah" but damn, it would've been ince to play a game or two.

no moving, we're staying put...for now

the title pretty much sums it up...


we're in the process of moving...
i'll post the new address when it's ready

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

hex168 reveals another Xbox 360 contest

The countdown ended a bit ago and basically, it seems like you have to submit pictures or video of wierd stuff in a bid to become one of 360 who will win a free Xbox 360 and three games (6 days before official release perhaps?) and get flown to a release event or something. It would be cool to get one for free and all but it's a little hazy on what exactly they're looking for. Here's the official legal mumbo-jumbo:

1) PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: No purchase necessary to enter or win. The Hex 168 Contest (the "Contest") is a skill contest in which participants can submit a photograph or video exhibiting "the power of hex", defined as the unusual among the mundane, for a chance to win. The promotion begins at 12:00 p.m. PT on October 18, 2005 and ends at 11:59 p.m. PT on November 4, 2005 ("Entry Period").

2) HOW TO ENTER: Access the Hex 168 website online at http://www.hex168.com. Complete the online entry form as instructed and click to submit. You will then be prompted to submit your entry materials. To submit your entry materials, create a "Researcher ID", enter the title of your entry submission, a brief description of your submission (max: 50 words), indicate the category for which you wish to be eligible (0-1 persons, 6 persons, 30 persons), and upload your photo submission (for any category) or video submission (for the 6 person and 30 person categories only) (the "entry"). After proper submission of your entry materials, you will receive a confirming e-mail at the e-mail address submitted at the time of entry. Click the link provided in the e-mail message to confirm and complete your submission. You must click the link in the e-mail confirmation you received to confirm and complete submission of your entry.

Entry Categories and Limitations: Entries in the 0-1 person category must feature an occurrence of "the power of hex" with zero persons or an occurrence with one (1) person (original entrant) "under the power of the hex". Entries in the Six (6) person category must feature exactly six (6) persons (including the Original Entrant) "under the power of the hex". Entries in the Thirty (30) person category must feature exactly thirty (30) persons (including the Original Entrant) "under the power of the hex." Your entry submission may contain a total of as many individuals are you like. However, all entry submissions must feature exactly the total number of participants "under the power of hex", (including the Original Entrant and Participating Entities) for the category for which it is being submitted and only those individuals "under the power of hex" will receive a prize if your entry is selected as a winner. Entries which feature either too few or too many participants "under the power of hex" for the category for which it is submitted will be disqualified.

Video Requirements: Videos must be a minimum of twenty (20) seconds and a maximum of forty (40) seconds in length, and must be in one of the following formats: MPEG, WMW, AVI, or QuickTime. Limit: 8 MB file size.

Photo Requirements: Digital photos must be in .jpg or .tif format and have a maximum file size of 5 MB per photo.

This whole Lutz inspired Hex168 mess

I was going to do a long post on my thoughts, interpretations and musings on this whole hex168 puzzle going on but since the "game" is up in three hours anyway (the countdown is anyway), I think I'll wait until we ifnd out just what this might be. Does this make me excited? Am I tingling with anticipation? No, I can't say I'm even close, and I actually activated axons for ilovebees. I'm hardcore but after the let down that was ourcolony and origien360, I'd rather buy a PS3 than invest in any more trivial Xbox 360 games. Yeah, I said it! Until I get some friggin big news related to something I care about, I don't need to waste my time making educated guesses and trolling forms for the little clue that gets me that much closer to a flipping screenshot. boo!

Rumormongering: Is World of Warcraft coming to the Xbox 360?

I noticed this little nugget in my weekly check of Gamespot's Rumor Control (which isn't always weekly, for shame gamespot, i need consistency!). The little nugget being that World of Warcraft may be coming to the Xbox 360. The logic behind this speculation? Some recent "for hire" postings on Blizzard's website. Nevermind the fact that Starcraft ghost was recently noticed as " coming-soon to next gen consoles", logic be damned! WoW should come to the Xbox 360 just because I don't want to have to spend a month's worth of paychecks to get my pc to the point to where it can run World of Warcraft without making my pc smoke and choke. I would be all over the Xbox 360 (the version that comes with the hard drive of course) for some WoW lovin.
p.s. because I [heart] master chief, I also have to through in the little Halo 3 related tidbit mentioned in Gamespot's rumor control as well. the Halo 3 release date may be August 1st. Why? Because of this whole hex168 mess going on. I'll post on it here in a sec.

1up is owned by...the MAN?

Well, duh. Considering 1up = EGM and that I have yet to see any independent game magazine with EGM's reach and distribution ability, this comes as no surprise. The fact that 1up is a part of Ziff Davis media and that Ziff is owned by uber investor Willis Stein doesn't automatically make 1up an underground operative for [conspiracy theorists insert publisher name here]. Stein doesn't seem to be hoarding up on game publications so I wouldn't worry too much about it. 1up may have to filter certain news items and/or comply with certain rules or regulations but that's what us little people blogs are for. Game-hawg, you're alternative to THE MAN. spread the word.
[via kotaku]

McD's rocks the free WiFi for all you Nintendo DSers out there

If you were Nintendo and you were trying to launch a free WiFi network for your DS enthusiats, how would you ensure that your cusomter would be able to get a connection on almost every street corner and in every mall? Why, you would partner with McDonalds of course. Nintendo teams up with the original fat burger in to bring their WiFi network to the (soon to be morbidly overweight, more so than now)  masses.

Nintendo of America has signed a deal with McDonald's to put Wi-Fi hotspots in more than 7000 restaurants across the US, giving DS owners free access to the new Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service.

McDonald's already offers wireless internet access to owners in restaurants around the country, but charges a fee. The access points are supplied by Texan firm Wayport, which will receive an undisclosed sum from Nintendo for providing wireless access for the DS.

Doom movie sequel?

It's not so much in the works yet but Karl Urban and Rosamund Pike have alread signed on for Doom 2. They probably weren't doing too much anyway. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson hasn't signed on for anything yet, probably because he doesn't want to commit to a sequel if the first movie bombs itself out of existance (which is to be expected with a video game movie, who rememebrs the mario bros movie? exactly).

Jack Thompson's donation a fake, Penny Arcade picks up his slack

First he offers to donate $10,000 and then goes back on his word, claiming his donation offer was "satire" and the gaming community is too dumb (basically) to comprehend that. Penny Arcade picked up to cover his lack of humanity and decency and made the $10,000 donation for him, and no one even had to make them a game!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Is THE Master Chief in Dead or Alive 4 on the Xbox 360!!

I could see how one would thing so but dag nammit, read people, read! *begin halo geek rant* While this Spartan wears similar MJOLNIR, it is not the John 117 we all know and love. This Spartan is actually Spartan-458. A female Spartan by some unknown name.*end halo geek rant* If I see one more site/blog touting the pics they have that prove THE Master Chief is in Dead or Alive 4, I will rain the fury of many-a-halo nerd upon thee.

and you call yourelves gamers...ba!


To sastify your Metal Gear Solid appetites

This MGS luvr edited together the cut scenes from the three currently available Metal Gear Solid movies. They're bloody torrents thought. That means I can't watch'em from work. Good for his bandwidth, bad for my lack of work ethic. 

Spielberg joines forces with EA

Now that this next-generation allows games to be more cinematic (supposedly...zing!), EA has decided to combine their sweatshopping creative talents with Steven Spielberg to have the director work directly with EA's developers to collaborate on three upcoming games. Spielberg had this to say:
I have been playing EA games for years and have watched them master the interactive format. Having watched the game industry grow from a niche to a major creative force in entertainment, I have a great deal of respect for EA's understanding of the interactive format. I'm looking forward to working closely with the team in Los Angeles
Master the format? I wouldn't go that far. It would have been nice to see Spielberg team up with someone like Bungie. Probably too much red tape and politics for that though.


Project Gotahm Racing Cars have more polygons than expected

Bizarre lied about the poylgon count of most of their car models in PGR3!?!?! I am shocked and awed.
It's not so much they lied (like everyone is freaking out about) but more like they underestimated. They whole "we lied, we're actually more awsomer than we said before!" angle is good for getting the hype out. When I saw "They lied!!" I was thinking the poly count was going to be lower or the game wouldn't be coming out until 2008 or something similarly disappointing.  But I digress. Bizarre previously stated that their car models were going to be around 80,000 polygons but now, closer to release, their models ended up being anywhere from 85 to 105,000 polygons. I just hope the game is fun to play. 1up has the new images Bizarre released laid out nicely. 2 wireframe images and 2 (in-game?) finished model shots.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

PS3 losing developers to the Xbox 360?

Citing the expensive costs (2 billion yen to start developing, that's $17.6 million) and how much harder it is to program games for, many developers may be jumping the Playstation 3 development ship for the lush, green hi-def paradise that Microsoft is making the Xbox 360 out to be. Developing for the Xbox 360 will cost less and is more akin to developing for Windows, which many developers are already familiar with. Could this explain Sony's, or more specifically Ken Kuturagi's, lack of comments lately? I'd say all PS3 developers should get together and finish KillZone 2 and Metal Gear Solid 4. That would make it all worthwhile.
One journalist, a veteran of the industry, observes, "The Xbox 360 is selling at 39795 yen [US $350], whereas the PS3 will probably be more expensive. To draw a comparison with PC operating systems, the Xbox 360 is like a low-cost and stable version of Windows, while the PS3 resembles a high quality Macintosh [operating system]. Considering the economic variance within the world market, we may find that console selection depends heavily on geographic location."

Ragdoll Kung Fu released

The string-puppet-ish fighter Ragdoll Kung Fu is now available.

Final Fantasy XI beta on the Xbox 360

The beta program for Final Fantasy XI on the Xbox 360 will launch the day the Xbox 360 is launched in Japan, December 10th. You have to buy a certain limited edition 360 package to actually partake of the testing goodness. You'll have to sign up for the free SquareEnix PlayOnline service and the also free Xbox Live Silver Package.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Playstation 3 festival coming late October?

According to the-magicbox, Sony is going to be holding an entertainment festival dubbed Akihabara Enta Matsuri in Tokyo starting on October 22 and ending on the 30. They don't detail whether or not any games are to be playable or what they're going to be doing at this festival that will keep people entertained for 8 days but I guess we'll see.

Jack Thompson is still crazy

Doesn anyone even listed to this guy anymore? Apprently he found a media outlet to spill some more, untrue gossip. He's now claiming that Eidos is (on the always reliable inquirer site) is shelving their upcoming 25 to Life game indefinitely since they no longer want to release it ever. Why do they want to throw out an almost completed title and waste all that they've put into it so far? Why to avoid the legal sh!tstorm that is senior Thompson himself. Oddly enough, when Edios was contacted for comment, they claimed to not know of these developments and to not even know Thompson himself.  Of course. Just what will happen if Eidos does decide to release the game (making Thompson look even more like the crazed-crazy man he is)?
Of course, even if these rumours from Thompson prove to be incorrect, Mr. Thompson himself says, "If they haven't pulled it, we're gonna sue their butts."
I am so going to buy this game.

Pay to have an Xbox 360/Playstation 3/Revolution smashed to bits

Want to see a next generation console smashed in front of the fanboys waiting in line to pick that particular console up? Of course you do, we all do. These guy are hoping to raise enough money to smash each next-generation console on the day it's launched. So far they haven't raised as much as their SmashMYiPod campaign has raised so we'll see if they cam emake it to their goal.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Xbox 360 reaches out to indie game developers

Greg Canessa, Group Manager of Xbox Casual Games at Microsoft, is trying to reach out to independant and small-scale game developers with the Xbox 360 . No word of any kind of discounted Xbox 360 dev kits or anything, not yet at least, but this is still cool to hear. Why would you want to work in a cg-sweatshop at a bigger studio when you can go small and build your game by yourself or with your own team? It will be interesting to see how this plays out though.
Greg Canessa called the original Xbox Live a dry run, with the 360's version of Live Arcade as a more true realization of what they imagined. It is all dash based with live links to downloads, trial play, special game achievements, Leaderboard settings for all games, multi-player, and even retro arcade classics with Live support for multi-player.

More Xbox 360 press event impressions...

More feedback is coming in on the, Meet the Xbox 360 - Love the Xbox 360, press gathering Microsoft has been throwing since yesterday. Kotaku's tech-obsessed sibling, Gizmodo, dug all of the games except Kameo which they described as basically a fairy running around and kicking people. But all was not lost, Project Gotham Racing 3 produced quite the soilage in the Gizmodo's writers pants:
...your humble correspondent felt blood and stool on his leg while fighting Jerry in CoD2.
That's too bad about Kameo, but it's good to know that the other proposed launch titles (I won't beleive any of'em will launch until i see them) will still have us reaching for the Depends.
The anti-Gizmodo Engadget (which has their own gaming website, despite Joystiq being a part of the same network...wtf?) was less awe-inspired than everyone has been so far. They also saw Kameo as a bit of a letdown although they heard it's supposed to get better they further you get in the game (if it holds your interest for that long that is). Overall, they liked it but they weren't in love with it. they acknowledged that a lot of people with pick up an Xbox 360 since it will truly be the only "next-generation" system available.
Me? I think I'm going to hold off for Halo 3 or the PS3, whichever comes first ;)



Microsoft invites press and bloggers to try out Xbox 360

Gaming Steve was among a number of bloggers and press people who got invited to New York by Microsoft to get introduced to the Xbox 360 and spend some quality time with some launch-day or near launch-day titles. Gaming Steve dug pretty much every title he had a chance to play with the exception of Perfect Dark, which he cited as being "pretty standard". That seems to fit the buzz around this game so far. He was pretty stoked about Condemned: Criminal Origins which played "like Resident Evil crossed with an FPS crossed with an psychological thriller".

Microsoft's Major Nelson had a good time entaertaining and getting stomped on in Dead or Alive. You can check out some pictures he took of the space the event was held in, here. All in all, sounds like it was a good time had by all.

Crackdown trailer


check out the crackdown trailer...

Upcoming game to teach kids science

University of Southern Cal's Game Laboratory has scored a $272,000 contract from the National Science Foundation to make a game, titled ImmunoAttack, that will help teach kids (grades k-12) scieontific information about immunology. Ideally, the game is supposed to work as a supplement to the standard Biology book aptly named, "Biology" by Neil A. Campbell and Jane B. Reece.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Hackers setup "free" World of Warcraft servers

The most-likely-soon-to-be-sued-into-nonexistance wowstatus.net keeps track of these hacker-setup, non-legal WoW servers in which you can do any kind of things you can do in an official battle.net WoW server. Just don't expect them to be around much longer. [i don't condone this, I am mearly the messenger, please don't hunt me down]

John Carpenter, spokesman for F.E.A.R.

John Carpenter dug VU Game's F.E.A.R. so much that he had to be thier spokesman.
The first thing that got me was the graphics. I always approach a game, mainly because of my background as a director, in terms of its graphic look. How does it look? Does it look real? Does it feel real to play? And I thought when I played F.E.A.R. and watched F.E.A.R., "This game has taken a giant step forward in terms of gaming." This is awesome. The freedom of movement, the character movement, the character development onscreen, the graphics, it's just a whole lot of fun.

I got excited about a game years ago called Metal Gear Solid. I thought that was terrific. The director of that game [Hideo Kojima] wrote me a letter and I praised it. Now this is the first game that's come along that I thought was better than that. This game is exceptional.

That's a pretty big name and that says a lot about the game itself. It would say a lot more about the game if when knew what king of gamer Carpenter is. More casual or does he have his own high-end laptop/pc that he uses to play bleeding edge pc games in addition to owning all current consoles. Still, reading the interview, you can tell the guy is passionate about this game and the craft in general. It's cool to see such a big "name" get behind a game they like.

Reactions to the Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's video game bill siging

Gamepolitics has a number of reactions to the recently passed California legislation which makes it illegal to sell or rent crazy violent games to innocent, young (and yet manipulative enough to get their parents to buy these games for them) kids. The ESA intends to file suit asap and they seem confident in getting this bill struck down.

Halo babies?

There was a Halo Babies cartoon? With this kind of voice talent (Bobcat Goldthwait and Joe Pantoliano to name a few), what happened? From the production notes:

It could be said that the seeds of Halo Babies were first planted when Bungie was shopping for animators to do cutscenes for the Myth series. According to sources inside Bungie, the story goes like this: while Bungie was delighted with the work Canuck Creations did for Myth: The Fallen Lords, they were very expensive. The animation for Myth II: Soulblighter by the Anime International Company was reasonably priced, unfortunately, it was also drab. Bungie was at an impasse as to who they should choose to do the cutscenes for Myth: The Fallen and They Can't Get Up Lords when Alexander Serpoian accidentally tripped over Tsing-Tao Kirin throwing up behind a seedy bar in Chicago. When Alex found out that Tsing-Tao was a fledgling animator and master sock puppeteer, he invited him to submit a sample of his work for the new Myth title. Tsing-Tao sent Bungie a 5 minute movie that was hilarious in its awfulness - Tsing-Tao had managed to make the Myth characters look like blind epileptic babies. Thus the idea was firmly planted in Bungie's collective mind.

I wonder if these stories were cannon?


City of Villians screenshots

IGN has some new screenshots up for City of Villains, most of them showcase villain models and a glimpse of the costume creation screen. City of Hero fans gotta love the fact that they'll be able to pick this game up and give it a whirl without having to plunk down a monthly fee since if you buy a subscription for one of them, you're able to play both. Nice.

Show how "street" you are with Fifa Street 2

Even though it's nigh impossible to get "street" cred in the US if you have anything to do with soccer, EA SPORTS BIG  is going to do their best to lend you a hand. That's right, Fifa Street 2 is in developement in a small, enclose cgi sweatshop near you. Look for it next Spring. Man, they can churn these game out. From the Press Release:
Prove you have what it takes in four on four gameplay action which captures the passion and flair of real street soccer in this fresh arcade experience. Humiliate your opponents with the new trick stick beat system, over the top juggling moves and all-new gamebreakers that allow you to win a game like never before. Beat the best in the world by traveling to new International locations ranging from the famous Westway Leisure Centre in London to the beautiful beachside of Brazil. Featuring all new authentic tricks, FIFA Street 2 provides new gameplay experiences by making over the top moves and skills even bigger in this fast paced sequel. Take to the streets, unleash your tricks, and humble your rivals with or without the ball.

PSP 30 day comding competition

PSP News and Lik Sang are running a Sony PSP 30 day coding competition. Basically you have 30 days to create some freeware application that will shock and awe all who behold it. The grand prize winner gets all kinds of PSP schwag.

Hypocritical language of Assembly Bill No. 1179

Assembly Bill No. 1179 is the bill The Governator recently signed in to law in California that fines anyone who sells "violent" video games to minors. Wired.com's Clive Thompson looks at the language of the bill and finds the section on "torture". The bill basically doesn't like users being able to "torture" (in the "to intentionally cause someone else suffering sense of the word") characters in the video game world. Interestingly enough, the government saw fit to carefully craft documents and legal memos about torture and how they could perform it. This moral ambiguity is best sumed up in the article's final sentence,
Consider that your final irony: Politicians work hard to ban virtual torture -- while working just as hard to allow it in real life.

Why these politicians believe they can craft laws on something they obviously know nothing about is beyond me. I think that if a politician wanted to play this the right way, they would get some industry people together and work with them to craft something resonable. What if parents actually parented thier children instead of depending on the goverment to do it for them (I am a parent so I can say that)? I'm not saying that parenting is easy but if a game has a Mature rating, why would you buy it for your 12 year old?

Hands on with Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Teamxbox gets thier grubby hands on Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and (surprise! surprise!) they like it. The title does look good though. I also remember reading or hearing somewhere that the voice and audio files took up over half of the game's DVD. Doesn't look like it's done much to degrade the rest of the game though.
 The Xbox 360 platform is in dire need of a breakthrough RPG for its launch lineup and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion definitely fits the bill. We are told that the game will hit the "launch window", but whether that will be day one or a before Christmas remains to be seen. Some final tweaking is needed to sure up the framerate and AI, but it's hard to imagine that this one won't be anything less than stellar. We just can't wait to finally get this baby in-house for some extended playtime.

J Allard expecting some launch day hardships

Looks like he (and maybe the rest of Microsoft?) isn't too sure that they'll be able to meet demand in every territory they plan on launching in. It's all pretty much a crap shoot I'd say. Not matter how many angles you analyze, how can you predict the size of the public's need ffor your product? I'm glad I don't have that job.

We're not discussing numbers yet. I think no matter how big the number becomes, it still won't satisfy the demand. We're going to sell every one we can make. The allocation issue is a discussion; it's a dialogue with the retailers, and it's not just by territory, it's also by country, and so at an event like this we can actually get some feedback from the retailers in terms of 'my country's going to be more ready when FIFA: Road to the World Cup comes out, and that's going to be the killer app for my country', for example, so we can adjust our allocations.

We decided we're going to take a little bit of heat on allocations, frankly, in all the territories rather than take a lot of heat in one or two territories. So, we're not saying Europe comes four months later, we're saying Europe comes now, but with that combining it with the physics properties of the silicon means we're going to have some disappointment in terms of what we can provide to retail and ultimately to the consumers this year, but that's okay, because we want to get the market started. We want to get started on a worldwide basis, we want to do the right thing for gamers, for our publishers and for consumers.

EB and Gamestop get greenlight to approve

Shareholders give the two game retailing giants (Gamestop more so than EB Games) the ok to merge.

Battle.net site update

Blizzard's Battle.net website updated last friday with a new slick new interface. Thos Blizzard guys have always had great style. Nice.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

All (or most) things from last week's X05 event

Here is our X05 round up. Not a news round up as much as a media round up. Enjoy.

In no particular order, here's what we have round up:

Peter Jackson producing Halo movie:
official confirmation

Perfect Dark Zero

1up hands on
gamespot hands on
ign hands on
screenshots (most recent from 10/07/2005)
game presentation, pt. 1
co-op demo on two seperate tvs
garage showdown
gameplay demo -
good showcase of path hints and co-op gameplay
commercial with real people and everything! low quality & HD quality
CGI commercial

huge gameplay video (821 mb)
ign hands on
gamespot hands-on
gameplay video
some images

Gears of War
way dark gameplay footage (sounds like it'd be fun though, lol) low quality & high quality

Project Gotahm Racing 3

ign hands-on
around a track footage (nice shadows)
crusie around the Vegas strip low quality & high quality
some images

splinter cell 4 trailer
low quality & HD quality

Amped 3
ign hands on
gamespot hands on
some images

Need for Speed
some images

Resident Evil 5 (nothing new)

Battlefield 2: Modern Combat
some images

Fifa 2006

ign hands on
in motion
some images

Madden 2006

gamespot hands-on
ign hands on
developer interview
in-game footage
some images

NBA Live 2006

gamespot hands on
detroit videos
ign hands on
some images

NBA 2k6
gamespot hands-on
gamespy preview
gameplay video (beta build, some ninja cheerleaders and fritzy shorts)

Test Drive Unlimited
developer interview
some images


gameplay footage (protect the offscreen stagecoach)
more gameplay footage
some images

Moto GP 4
developer interview
some images
gamespy direct feed

Saint's Row

gamespot hands on
Truck pimpin'
some images

The Outfit
some images

Too Human
gamespot first look
ign eyes on
some images

Castle Wolfenstein

first look
private demo
some images

Mass Effect
ign first look
private demo
gamespot first look
developer interview
some images

Alone in the Dark 5 (they made five?)
some images
teaser (part of montage)

some images

King Kong
gamespy preview
gamespot hands on
developer interview

Dead or Alive 4
gameplay video

Geometry Wars 2 (bonus PGR3 game)
gameplay footage

Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter (delayed to feb 06)
ign hands on
gamespot hands on
developer interview
gameplay footage (early build) -

gamespot hands on
ign hands on -
four player deathmatch footage

Superman Returns


Final Fantasy XI
ign hands on
gamespot hands on

Quake 4
gamespot hands on

Tiger Woods PGA Tour
gamespot hands on
developer interview
some images

Tomb Raider: Legend
first footage

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
ign hands on
gamespot hands on
developer interview
some images

Top Spin 2

gamespot hands on
developer interview

Friday, October 07, 2005

Awsome Kameo video

Xboxyde has a nice Kameo gameplay video up that is a good showcase how the final game it most likely to look. The video is huge though, 821.36 MB of light, fluffy goodness. This is shaping up to be quite an impressive title. Know if Rare can show off some Killer Instinct footage (we all know you're working on it!!), that would be nice too.

Perfect Dark Zero X05 presentation now online

Check out the 1st part of the Perfect Dark Zero presentation that was shown off (in private) at X05. It's the same city level we've all probably seen part of but this time you get to see a little more. It you don't have the Xvid codec, check out the screenshots here.

Hint on how Zelda on the DS may work

Legend of Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma spoke with EGM recently and offered up a pretty ambiguous hint on how the dual DS screens may work in the Nintendo DS's first Zelda game.

What I I think one of the important elements of the Zelda series has always been that you feel like you're in the world doing the things that Link is doing and touching the things that Link is touching...This time you'll be able to use the touch screen and actually touch those items and objects yourself.

Hmmmm. Nope, no idea what he could mean. Some sort of scratch gameplay or something? Will Zelda be forced to playing scratch lottery ticket games to play for his high-maintence princess?

Analyst says teens interest in console gaming on the decline

With all the text messaging those crazy kids do now and days, I'm not surprised to read about the teens interest in console gaming is on the decline. If they (they being the game industry in general i guess) can figure out a way to integrate console games into LiveJournal, I'm sure all problems will be solved.

The students were also surveyed on video game products and other consumer electronics. Results of the survey point out 79 percent of student households have at least one video game platform and 58 percent of students stating that they are occasional game players (playing at least monthly). In addition, 65 percent of student households own Sony's PS2, 50 percent own Microsoft's Xbox and 26 percent own Nintendo's GameCube. GameStop was recognized in the survey as the leading retailer for pre-owned video games with 60 percent market share and 29 percent market share for teen video game purchases. The survey also pointed out that 75 percent of teens say their interest in video games is declining and 78 percent indicated they spent less time playing in 2005.

Pro Evolution 360 may allow 22 players online

Looks like Pro Eveolution Soccer for the Xbox 360 may allow your whole team to be comprised of acutal people, making 22-player games (11 to a team) a reality. Then you wouldn't have to worry about joing a soccer (aka "footy") team in real life, getting all sweaty and fit and all that. Just meet your virtual 'mates for some online play and you're good to go.
The latest Famitsu has revealed that Shingo "Seabass" Takatsuka, big Konami guy, hopes to bring 22-player online play to PES 360. Whether this will be a feature of installment 1 or not remains to be seen, but it looks possible on the next gen platforms.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Xbox 360's first download-only title

From Microsoft and GarageGames comes the first download-only game for the Xbox 360. The game is called Marble Blast Ultra and it looks sure to delight housewives, toddlers and the occaisional serious gamer who can't find their Halo 3 disc ;)

Mario does more than just plumbing

He also does flooring? While Nintendo isn't looking of course

Jackson to get 7 figure advance for Halo movie

Not only are Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh getting 7 figure advances for their Executive Producing on the Halo movie, but also a cut of the backend profits which means beaucop d'argent when the movie eventually does come out. All this money being thrown around (nice to see they're willing to spend the $$$ to get the proper talent) and an official directory hasn't even been announced yet (uwe boll, sit down). Who ever will eventually step into the dirctor's chair will be looking at a sweet deal for sure.

Xbox 360 Trailers from X05

From King Kong to Too Human to Moto Gp, check out all of these trailers that were shown at X05. The Resident Evil 5 trailer one is nothing new though, it sure is easy on the eyes though. (remember, me = nice shiny graphics whore)

The Gizmodo really is coming to the US?

Apprently so, Tiger Telematics officially confirmed that their soon-to-be-slaughtered-by-the-DS-and-the-gamless-PSP device WILL be coming to US shores in October.
Contrary to rumours in the marketplace we are not delaying the scheduled USA launch, we are committed to the October 22, 2005 release date, and the product will be available in all 50 states well in advance of the Christmas retail season.
All 50 states? I'll believe it when I see it.


More Mass Effect details

BioWare's upcoming (not anytime soon mind you) Mass Effect for the Xbox 360 has been getting some good buz since ther project's official unvieling at the recently-wrapped X05 event in Amsterdam. Coming off of their KOTOR and Jade EMpire successes, it would be hard to think that this game would be anything but a mass sucker of your free time. Apparenlty Mass Effect is the beginning of a massive trilogy spanning across multiple worlds and maybe even universes in a whole technology vs organic type situation. More specifically:
Set in the 23rd century, the action/RPG/adventure begins as humans are on the cusp of new advancements in space exploration. These new findings allow them to reach the outer realms of the universe, and in doing so, we realize that intelligent life and well established civilizations are prevalent in a number of galaxies beyond our own. The twist to the game comes in form of what exactly those civilizations consist of; it becomes a conflict of nature vs. technology. Entire races of artificial intelligence become the biggest threat to organic life and you will ultimately shape the destiny of the universe across the epic trilogy, with Mass Effect being the first.
Anywhoo, the screens look pretty.


Xbox team feeling confident

The Xbox senior regional director for Nothern Europe is feeling pretty confident about the Xbox 360. So confident infact, that he's taking shots at Sony and thier upcoming Playstation 3.
It's up to them now. The ball is in their court. If I were Sony I'd be upset and concerned. They know they have to raise the bar.

With all the trash talking Sony has done in the past, it's good to see the Xbox team get a little brash and cocky.

Xbox 360 hard drive content revealed

J Allard confirmed that the Xbox 360's hard drive will come with a few things but nothing too exicting. He didn't specify if anything related to backwards compatibility will be included or not but here what you can look forward to not getting too excited about:
The Hard Drive contains a custom soundtrack, a few videos, one of which is "The Making of Xbox 360," a few gamer tiles, and the arcade puzzle game, Hexic.

Dig Dug coming for Nintendo DS

Dig Dug Digging Strike for the Nintendo DS is now Gold. Digging Strike uses the dual DS screens to display above-ground and under-ground gameplay. You'll have to traverse back and forth to evade enemies while completing your main goal of breaking apart the islands to dunk your opposers.

Halo who?

GameInformer scores an interview with J Allard and Peter Moore and tries to get some Halo 3 info out of the dynamic duo but gets flat out denied.

GI:  Would you hold Halo 3 for the same time as the launch for the movie?


Moore:  Halo what?  What are you talking about?


Tou're ok to mod your PS2 in the Outback

This small seller-of-mod-chipped-consoles shop owner Eddy Stevens has been fighting a four-year legal battle against Sony iun order to be able to run his business and sell modified Playstation 2 so people can play region-locked games and purchase cheaper games (ie. download them off of the internet, shhhh). Basically, he won his case. The Austrailian High Court ruled in his favor, stating that mod-chips are fine and playing a game on the consumer's modified machine is not illegal.

Hands on time with Madden 06 on the Xbox 360

Looks like Madden 2006 on the Xbox 360 will be looking pretty nice. TeamXbox got some hands-on time with the anticipated title but while the graphics were super-nice ("The pictures you've seen so far do don't do [the graphics] justice") the gameplay wasn't perfect. The passing didn't go over too well and the collision detection wasn't perfect. I think it would be safe to say that it will be tightened for release.

New Wolfenstein game coming to the Xbox 360 and the PC

Raven will be bringing a new, "next-generation" version of the Nazi shooter Castle Wolfenstien to the Xbox 360 as well as to the PC they announced at X05 which concluded yesterday. John Carmack of id (some id people will be executive producing) noted that this was the first time that an id game led out on a console before the PC. We only get a breif descritpion of what te story may be like:
  The latest chapter places the player deep behind enemy lines in war torn Germany, where Nazi experiments with technology and the supernatural threaten to turn the tide of World War II.
Wasn't this the plot of the last game?


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

More Final Fantasy games on small screens on the way

Square Enix continues their small screen fetish annoucing (the president, Yoichi Wada, did anyway) that Final Fantasy V and VI are coming to the Gameboy Advance/Micro while the DS will be getting Final Fantasy III. No word on what, if any, kind of updating the game will be recieving but we all know that they're basically solid games anyway.

The Nintendo DS wifi dongle

Dongle is such an odd word isn't it? Anyhoo, Nintendo has unvield the piece that will connect your DS to their WiFi network even if you don't have a wireless network setup in your home. The dongle will only work for Windows systems and only requires a three-step setup once connected. You don't have to create usernames and passwords or any of that. All users will have a 12 digit "Friend Code" that will be used to create friend list and all that jazz.

Looking back at Day one of X05

Here is a nice write-up of the first day at X05 including some pics from the numerous artsy Xbox 360s they had on display. I didn't know the qeer eye guys were there (doesn't he look like the blonde one?).

The not-so-much-launch-but-more-like-winter lineup

Even though the Xbox.com site itself proclaims "Launch Lineup Announced", the closests we got to a confirmed lineup was "there will be 15 to 20 Xbox 360 titles available on launch day"...maybe. Why the shadyness? David Reid, director of platform marketing, responds and says it's because many titles are in the final stages of certification *cough* Perfect Dark Zero *cough* and that is what's casuing the hold-up for some of these titles.

Perfect Dark Zero co-op footage

Here is some footage (you'll need the xvid codec) of some co-op play in Perfect Dark Zero.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Splinter Cell 4 clip

TeamXbox has the oh-so-brief-it-hurts clip of Splinter Cell 4 shown at X05 today (yesterday?). No gameplay, just a short little clip of who could be Sam (maybe a younger version or someone totally different) attempting to unsuccessfully sneak up on some guy.

umm yeah, about that halo 3 script...

Deep down inside we all knew it. The Halo 3 "script" that was leaked was a fake. Louis Wu over at halo.bungie.org got official word from inside the company so you can rest assured that you won't spoil 2-3 yrs of Halo 3 yearing by reading it.

Halo movie gets an Executive Producer

This news has got to boost your confidence in the project. THE one and only Peter Jackson and his filemaking partner in crime, Fran walsh, will be executive producing the Halo movie. Does this also mean we can expect production diaries like we're seeing with their King Kong movie? Golly gee willikers I hope so.

HALO 3 script leak?

I looked at the first few pages of this alleged Halo 3 script by Joe Staten and it looks to be legit. It's formatted properly and all that and is written pretty well but I couldn't look at it too long. The hint of spoilers began to burn my eyes and melt my skull. Doesn't anyone know if this is legit? It's only 119 pages. Wasn't the Halo 2 script longer than that (as mentioned in the DVD that accompanied the Halo 2 special edition game)? Get the script here.
Here's a snippet from the beginning of the doc (spoilers?):

Halo 3


Joseph Staten
(Staten, 12/05/2004)

R Dft 4 //


A backdrop of blackness, with only small pinholes of light is
pierced by a massive, burning space cruiser. The large craft
is aflame in its rear compartments and appears to be under
attack. In pursuit...there is nothing. The cruiser is
unorthodox, with large, narrow extensions. Extremely angular
and geometric, it is certainly alien in origin. The ship is

PAN RIGHT (following cruiser)

Now a large, luminous blue-green planet fills the void of
space and the cruiser appears to head toward it, suffering
from interior ruptures and still reeling from what appears to
have been a violent attack. The flames are pearl-white gashes
of plasma gushing from various breaches along the rear
sections of the main hull. Cessations state is dire.

Monday, October 03, 2005

EA set to showcase Xbox 360 titles

EA plans on having many of their Xbox 360 games (many of them launch titles) on hand at the Xbox X05 event in Amsterdam. The launch titles, Need For Speed and FIFA and NBA LIVE, are supposed to be playable.

NBA 2k6 footage

As impressive as NBA 2k6 for the Xbox 360 looks, no one knows how exactly things will look/act in-game. These short demo movies look nice but if it's not in-game footage, why show it?

New Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion movies

I can't check'em out since quiktime isn't working right on the pc I'm on but the screenshots from the Xbox 360's Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion videos look purty!

Call of Duty 2 hands on and new video footage

I've never been much for WWII inspired games since they seem out come out every other week but Call of Duty 2 for the Xbox 360 looks intense.

Video game inspired quilts

These game-inspired quilts do more than just keep you warm. They let people know that you can appreciate fine stichery.