<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d12139283\x26blogName\x3dgame+-+hawg\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLUE\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://game-hawg.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://game-hawg.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d-6385564139013355052', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

game - hawg

games, games and more games...and me

Friday, September 22, 2006

I'm moving to YouNEWB!

I'm going to be doing some posting over at YouNEWB.com for a while (hopefully a long while)so my posting here may be pretty light for a while. I'll still put up an occasional post over here because I can never let go of the hawg ;) I just figured I would let you, my faithful reader (yes, you), know since...well...it makes me feel important. Enjoy, my posts on YouNEWB!



Rag Doll Kung Fu makers working on a PS3 title

Mark Healy and some other ex-Lionhead studio employees released Rag Doll Kung a few moons ago to some critical praise, if for nothing else, for being different and innovative. Now, they have officially opened up their own indie studio, calling it Media Molecule, and are working on their first title which they'll be releasing on the PS3. Why go for the PS3 right off the at? Because they can of course,

"The ambition for Media Molecule is to take that a step further and prove that a small (20 plus) and passionate team can deliver a world class, triple A, next generation product," Healy said in a statement.


Well, that and the fact that they've entered into an agreement with Sony to stay Sony exclusive for now.

According to Media Molecule, the studio has entered into an "exclusive relationship" with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, and has been charged with creating an "original and innovative game" for the PS3. While details are scant, the company's official Web site mentions a "Yellow Head" prototype, calling it "damned addictive." It also mentions that the PS3 game will be multiplayer.


Is this game really "Damned addictive" or is this some boilerplate Sony hype?

[via gamespot]



MTV buys maker of Guitar Hero for $175 million

I know MTV and Guitars? Who'd a thunkit? MTV snaps up Harmonix, the makers of awesome rock game Guitar Hero for $175 million dollars. Why does MTV want Harmonix? They say they want to be able to give their MTV site visitors and MTV virtual world users the ability to play and remix their favorite songs. I'm sure that this may be limited to the tracks covered in Guitar Hero and Harmonix's karaoke games for now but would probably open up to more songs due to their being MTV. Hey MTV, I have an idea for a music-related game too. I'm calling it "Saxy Back" and I'm planning on bringing the saxophone back ("we're bringing saxy back" is the games intro song) into pop music with my easy listening but hard rocking original Saxophone tunes. I've got a Saxophone controller and everything, it'll be huge. Have your people call my people and we'll do lunch. All I need is $100 million, some red bull and a few crates of chocolate pudding.




[spotted on the nytimes site]

[p.s.: ummmm...pudding.....]



Straight Outta TGS: PS3's Ninja Gaiden Sigma trailer

Holiee cow, I didn't know there was a trailer for the upcoming PS3 Ninja Gaiden game. For the four of you out there who plan on picking up a PS3, this title might be worth looking into. Especially if, like me, you used to be a Ninja. Us Ninja's gotta stick together, Ninjas don't fight Richard, Ninja's gotta hug!









[hooray for gamevideos.com]



Straight outta TGS: Devil May Cry 4 trailer

"Straight outta TGS, crazy muther f__ker named Dante..." I have no idea how this trailer looks since THE MAN won't let me install Flash on my PC at work (no, this is not my day job...yet) but if I were to guess how it looked using only my knowledge of how previous Devil May Cry games performed, I'm guessing the trailer will show bits of stylized brilliance and breathtaking coolness, intermixed with moments of dull, oddly familiar and uninspired gameplay. Here's to hoping!









[outright stolen from gamevideo, p.s.: why does it take like eleventy-billion lines of code to embed this video into my site?]



Programming for the PS3's Cell is hard

Apparently, it takes a lot more than just a bright programmer with a sunny disposition to fully exploit multi-core CPUs. Epic's Time Sweeney chatted a bit at the CEDEC Premium event at TGS about how hard it's been for them to take full advantage of the PS3s Cell CPU.

But he did comment specifically on how difficult it is to program for multi-core processors and the even more complex Cell chip used in the PlayStation 3. He noted that it "takes about twice the effort and development cost to develop for a multi-threaded CPU", compared to a single-core CPU. Even more than that, according to Epic's analysis, fully exploiting the PS3 Cell chip "required about 5 times as much cost and development time than single-core."


What will possibly make this easier is the fact that middleware that takes specific advantage of multi-core CPUs will be more readily available in the future. Sweeney specifically mentions the Ageia's PhysX licenses they bought which have helped but still, that's a lot of money for developers who want to develop for the PS3.

Sweeney does go on to give Sony kudos for giving them the functionality that would allow PS3 gamers to create Unreal Tournament mods on their PC that they could turn around and download to and distribute from their PS3 console. That you cannot do current through the tightlipped Xbox Live service.

He notes that the mod community was "an essential part of [Epic's] success", and commented: "We would love to transfer this mod community over to the console platforms." Of course you'll need a PC to create levels for the upcoming UT2007 for PS3/PC, but Sweeney believes that everything will be in place so that modders can make new levels on the PC, "download them to the PlayStation 3, and distribute them online."

In fact, he was very positive on Sony's open attitude to networked content compared to the Xbox 360 - he commented of Microsoft's platform: "Unfortunately it's more of a closed platform", and even noted that Microsoft seems to be "quite negative toward user-created content" under certain circumstances Epic has encountered.


[more of the interview here]



World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Q&A

Senior VP of product development at Blizzard sat down and chatted with CvG about the upcoming (November/December-ish) Frank Pearce expansion to World of Warcraft, The Burning Crusade. Everytime I try to play any current PC games on my PC, it spits in my face and insults my mother but I'm sure fans of the WoW franchise would appreciate the info. Nothing too earth shattering was relvealed but Pearce does give a look into what you can do once the new areas open up and why they aren't including Hero classes with this expansion. One thing he doesn't go into is the world event that causes this Dark Portal to open up. For that goodness, you'll need cold, hard cash.

A tidbit:

Blizzard said recently that the plan is to release WoW expansions on a yearly basis...

Frank Pearce: That's our goal.

How set in stone is that plan, and how far into the future are you looking in terms of overall WoW development?

Frank Pearce: Well, the goal is concrete. That's our goal, and we've publicly stated that. Whether or not we'll be able to achieve that goal remains to be seen. An expansion set of the scope of The Burning Crusade is a lot of content to deliver on, on an annual basis. We're working to improve our production methods, to try and be more efficient on delivering and creating quality content. But at the end of the day, the quality of the experience is more important than the timeline it's delivered in. It's our goal to do it in that timeline but, if it's not ready, then... [sounds, on our dictaphone, like someone was eating a big bag of crisps at this point so we couldn't quite hear what was said. No one was actually eating a big bag of crisps, but that's what it sounds like].

And as far as how long we'd do that, that depends on the community, right? Because if players are playing WoW, we certainly want to continue to support it.




[pic from WoW site]



Only Japan gets a PS3 price cut

Sony has confirmed that despite the recent price droppage announced in Japan, Sony will stick to the $499 and $599 prices for the US Playstation models. So Japan gets the price drop and no one else does. I'd bet they would drop that price pretty fast if the PS3 launch turns out worse than expected. And by "bet" I mean "I hope" and "pretty pretty please Sony".



Mutherlovin Snake in a mutherlovin can!

Hungry for some screenshots? Me neither but here are a ton, 24 to be exact, of screenies from the Metal Gear Solid 4 gameplay demo that both underwhelmed at TGS and gave me a way to throw in a totally unnecessary (and PG) "snakes on a plane" pun.





Straight outta TGS: Ridge Racer 7 trailer

Sorry, gamevideos.com but I have robbed you again to bring my faithful reader the Ridge Racer 7 trailer from TGS. Is this the best game Sony has at TGS? From what I've been seeing and reading, it would seem so. Bask in it's black market glory!










[thanks again gamevideos]



The Metal Gear Solid 4 trailer...no really!

Have a hard time finding the actual Metal Gear Solid 4 trailer yesterday? Me too. Everyone was talking about it but cnet yanked the bootlegged vid from youtube without putting it up on their own site....I think, I looked for like 10 seconds and couldn't find it through the sludge of cell phone reviews and tech gadgeteers. So what was an aspiring game blogger with no connections supposed to do? Wait. Which is what I did and now my force patience has been rewarded by the game trailer bootleg gods. We can now all view the MGS trailer in it's full, somewhat disappointing glory!









[video from gamevideos]
[seen mentioned on joystiq]



What a Playstation 3 game really looks like

Joystiq got some shots of a couple of PS3 games in the wild at TGS and they look similar to what I posted a few days ago, the link escapes me for the moment because I'm lazy. I'm sorry, but all I see when I see that font is Spider-Man so i'm thinking, "what do all these PS3 games have 'Spider-Man 3' on them? Where am I?" . The game cases still look alright despite the overuse of the spider man font (what's that font's official name?) but I doubt that these clear plastic covers will be what the final PS3 games are shipped in. I'm thinking same labels but different casing.




How the Playstation 3 looks all boxed up

Ever wonder what a Playstation 3 looks like all boxed up amongst it's peers? Me too! It looks just like this:



This guy seems to have the fortunate job of either taking each PS3 out of it's box or stealing each PS3 one by one which, in that case, would almost be the best job in the world. Why are his pants rolled up? Where is he taking this PS3? Out to the beach?




[seen on evil avatar]
[more pics here]



Shining Force coming to the Playstation 2

The series that introduced me to the strategy RPG genere and taught me how to love again will have a sequel released on the Playstation 2. For now, it's been dubbed Shining Force EXA (exa?). This won't be your "typical gather the troops and head out to battle" strategy game, you'll also have to leave some troops behind to defend what's called the "Geo Fortress" while you're out either saving the world from some evil force or trying to resuce a kidnapped princess. Either way, I'm definitely picking this one up if for nothing other than the history I have with the series.



Thursday, September 21, 2006

Circuit City takes gamers for fools

Seriously Circuit City, did you really think that we would fall for this coupon?



All the kewl gamers know that Gears of War doesn't come out until November, yet this coupon expires on October 31st? Wha? I am going to wait until next week, AT LEAST, to use this coupon. Good try Mr. City, maybe you'll get us next time.

[noticed on destructoid]



The price of gamemaking for the Xbox Live Marketplace

Seems like producing games for the Xbox Live Marketplace might be a good way to make a pretty penny. GarageGames co-founder Jeff Tunnell gives it to us straight on what it could costs and how much you could profit from making a game and releasing it on the Xbox Live Market place. From what he says, it looks like actually making the game will run you around $100,000 to $300,000 and if you game gets popular, you could end up making close to a million. What I would be interested is in how long would money continue to roll in for these top games. Would the whole long tail theory of content being viable over the long term apply here? Time would tell for sure.



Japanese Sony press release

Sony just posted the Japanese press release announcing HDMI ports for the lower priced models and how much cheaper the lower end PS3s will be. My japanese is a bit rusty so I'll spare you the efforts of my poor translating.



My thoughts on the Sony Press Conference

What the hell? Was that considered actual news in Sonyland? So basically, what I gleam from all the hub bub is that users can upload stuff via their PS3. Ummmkay. Total let down due to all the hyping up done over the past year or so. Seriously, I was expecting to equate the PS3 experience to being touched by some divine force and being driven to cry spontaneously. Now, I'll just cry myself to sleep. Total snooze fest Sony. I hope the rest of the show makes up for it.



Liveblogging my reaction to LiveBloggers liveblogging Sony's TGS Keynote

The only live blogging of Sony's TGS conference that I found was at Kotaku. They have a totally monopoly on the live blogging of the Sony press conference right now so my live blogging will be my reactions to I guess just their live blog. Blog on!


-Sony starts off the conference a little late,
Maybe Sony is going to come out and announce that the keynote has been delayed until Spring 2007.

Kotaku, surely you jest!?!

-false alarm. Kutaragi showed up, and he brought 200 Playstation 3s with him. Nice. Here come descriptions of the trailers.

-after all this flashy talking and reading about how good the trailers look all I can think about is that Cameron diaz movie about finding yourself in this crazy, mixed up world, "there's something about mary"...."why do you build me up, buttercup baby just to let me down, and jerk me around and then worst of all, you never call baby like you say you will..."
No Ken Kuturagi, you never did call me after you left me to drown in my own puddle of tears after realizing the Final Fantasy X did not play like a CG movie on the Playstation 2, like I was led to believe!! Damn you!! So...call me tomorrow?

-hey, waitamintue, IGN has a live blog too! Your fiendish plan to monoplize the live blogging of Sony's keynote has been foiled!...

-the only trailer I wish I had seen is the Mobile Suit Gundam trailer, big mechs wrecking shop gives me warm fuzzies...

-Ken starts talking about the internet and about what people may be able to do with their PS3s. Is this going to lead to a specific announcement, or is he just going to wax philosophical on what may or may not be possible some day soon...or later

-did he just say (so that IGN and Kotaku could live blog it so I could then later read it) that you'll be able to play PS1 and PS2 games via emulation through the internets? sweet...

-woah, 4ookers of Honolulu is on HBO

-changed that channel fast...all I heard was "once I completed the change from man to woman"...click! the tv's distracting me anyway...

-huh? Ken shows a clip of some animals on an African plain and that's it?

-Looks like I meant Afrika

-and now a Q&A session. that's good because the press conference so far has unimpressed...

-Ken gets asked why only the higher end Playstation 3 comes with HDMI support included. it's because he wants to give the people a choice to not pay for it if they don't want it. All versions of the PS3 will come with at least an HDMI port.

-Ken also gets asked about the price of the PS3 and he still fails to set a for sure price. "below 50,000 yen" is what he says. he could've said 50,000 rubies and I'd still have no idea how much that is in USD (note to self: memorize Yen to USD exchange rates). That seems to be about it. Nothing earth shattering or all that concrete it seemed to me. This close to launch and we don't even get a set price?

and that seems to be it for my live blogging. thanks for watching :)

[UPDATE: fixed some gramatical errors]



Everyone and their mom buys Lego Star Wars II

Tip: To sell 1.1 million copies of your game, release it on 1.09 million consoles. Which is basically what LucasArts did to move 1.1 million units of their Lego Star Wars II title. Whatever butters your bread I guess. The game got some pretty decent reviews so it's success seems well deserved.



Far Cry on the Wii looks like poo

Is this what FarCry on the Wii is really going to look like? For Nintendo's sake I hope not. No self respecting gamer would be caught dead playing a version of FarCry that looks like it came from the bowels of an abandoned Nintendo 64.



A real working link to Bioshock video

I couldn't hop through all of IGN's hoops to get this video playing but I did find a direct link:

check it out here

those "little sisters" are just so creepy...awsome...



Sony responds to Microsoft's adding of 1080p to the Xbox 360

Sony downplay's Microsoft's adding of 1080p support to the Xbox 360 and even their HD-DVD add-on. Not so much downplaying as straight out dissing:

"It's unfortunate that Microsoft's external HD-DVD drive will not enhance the experience at all for the gamer. Sony realizes that to truly take gaming into the next generation requires a larger data format for both games and movies. PS3 uses the Blu-ray format for gaming, giving developers 50 GB of high-definition storage on a single disc, while Microsoft's 9 GB DVD gaming format is an obstacle for storing HD content. Furthermore, Microsoft's announced HD games patch is really just a compatibility feature -- upscaling lower-resolution content does not make it Full HD (1080p), something that PS3 can do out of the box."


Ouch. I can't wait until the PS3 launches. Of all the talk Sony is talking, you would think they are going to be able to more than walk the walk. Like fly the walk or something equally crazy.



Ninja Gaiden Sigma screenshots


Apparently, the Playstation 3 Ninja Gaiden port has been dubbed Ninja Gaiden Sigma and there are even some small, blurry screenshots for it. Check'em out.



Xbox to offer 1080p

Sony used to slam the Xbox as not being able to display true HD content, I wonder what they'll use now? Microsoft has stated that the Xbox 360 will get 1080p support via a software update that users would presumably download via Xbox live. What else ya got Sony?

[joystiq]



Moore on why the Wii is no direct competition


While Peter Moore in the past talked up the Wii he now seems a little less than impressed.

Moore: In a lot of instances, it will be a No. 2 box because it's priced accordingly. The fear I would have is that people will buy the box and only play a few games. I think you'll pull it out at parties. It's fun for a few minutes, but I'm not sure (how long that will last).


Oh schanp! He basically calls the Wii nothing more than a party trick. He continues to talk about stuff, gaming and the Xbox 360 I'm guessing but out of both pages and all those words, all I could see was Halo 3.

What can you say about "Halo 3?"
Moore: It's coming out in 2007. The game is going to be even a quantum leap from "Halo 2." We've allowed Bungie to really get this game to the next level, as "Halo 2" was from "Halo," "Halo 3" must be from "Halo 2." The multiplayer aspects of it must continue to redefine the way we play games.


Hell yeah.
You can check out the rest of the interview here



OMFG, new Bioshock Trailer

Straight from IGN comes the first Bioshock trailer. I can't watch it, most likely due to the hordes of people hitting it so enjoy if you can.




Ninjas on the Playstation 3...and the Xbox 360


There's a lot of Ninja news lately and in that respect, this bit of news makes good sense. And by "good sense" I mean, "gives me one reason to sell my body so I can afford to buy a Playstation 3". Why? Because Team Ninja is bringing Ninja Gaiden to the Playstation 3! Oh wait...in actually reading the article I got this from, it looks like Ninja Gaiden on the PS3 will only be a more beefed up version of Ninja Gaiden Black, which I already can't beat on my Xbox. I don't also need to not beat it on the Playstation 3 as well. (Seriously, I cannot be that damn tank. I always run out of arrows). What's exciting is that Team Ninja front man by day and ninja by night, Tomonobu Itagaki, teases and tantalizes about an upcoming Xbox 360 Ninja Gaiden game.

"If you're working on a game like Ninja Gaiden 2, where it's really important that enemies are smart and challenging, then we might use up to two threads on AI," he noted, before clamming up on the subject.


[eurogamer]



Gran Turismo wants all of your money


The first Gran Turismo title to debut on the Playstation 3 should be out in Japan before the end of this year. There will be two flavors of the game, GT HD "Where's your wallet" Classic and GT HD "Just keep you wallet near by" Premium. The Classic version of the game will ship with almost no cars, leaving you to buy the cars you wish to use. The Premium version will come with some content (2 tracks and 30 cars) but will give you the option to buy more content if you wish. If there's anything I like more than ice cream, it's buying a $60 game and then finding out that I have to pay more to actually make the game playable. Best times of my life.

[gamesindustry]
[image gamespot]



Hook your console up to your PC


As fun as it is, the Xbox 360 was not meant to be played on your 1980s era television. Hook it up to your PC monitor via Adaptec's GameBridgeTV External USB 2.0 TV Tuner. If you don't fall asleep trying to pronounce it's full name like I almost just did. You can score one extra cheap (extra cheap = $19.99) over at Woot for today only.



Nintendo wants GTA on the Wii

The only thing I've thought about since I first heard about the Wii was, "It sure would be swell to play some Grand Theft Auto on it" but due to Nintendo's lack of love for the "beat-a-hooker-and-rob-people" genre of games, I knew for a fact that I would not be able to fulfill my GTA/Wii dreams. According to the face of Nintendo's future, Reggie Fils-Aime, my wish may someday be granted after all.

That showing brought to mind the most potent third-party franchise that appears on any system but those made by Nintendo: the Take Two-published "Grand Theft Auto." Microsoft score a coup announcing in May that October 2007's "GTAIV" will arrive on Xbox 360 at the same time it comes out for PS3. But Nintendo has never hosted a "GTA" on a home console. Nintendo's leaders used to dismiss the series and tell the press it did not represent the future of games. Said Fils-Aime: "We're reaching out to every publisher, frankly every day. I'll be spending some time later today with the folks over at Take Two to see what type of support they can give our console. ... The fact is there will be M-rated content on the Wii console. EA has already announced that they're bringing 'The Godfather' to our console. And we want every single best-selling game to be available on Wii. Whatever that content is."


I imagine the talks between Take-Two and Fils-Aime goes something like this:

*ring, ring!*
TT: Hello?
RF-A: Hey...it's me again. What are you guys up to?
TT:Ummm, nothing...just working on GTA 4.
RF-A:Really? What a coincidence! I see that you're testing it out on the PS3 and Xbox 360 dev kits, where's the Wii dev kit?
TT: What do you mean you "see" our dev kits. Are you watching us?
RF-A: No, no I was just...ummm.....ok, yes, yes I am. But please don't freak out, I just happened to be in the neighborhod.
TT:Sure you did. As far as our Wii dev kit goes, it's in another room being used to test our Super Family Extreme Ping Pong game.
RF-A:That sounds nice. So what's up with GTA, can we get some of that?
TT:I have my finger on 9-1, go ahead and ask me again...
RF-A:I'm just saying...everyone and their mom, and their mom's mom will have the Wii. Just think about it for me, please?
TT:We'll talk about it...you have ten seconds to get away from ou parking lot.
RF-A: ok, ok....What do you think you're favorite Wii game will be? I think mine will be GTA 4, if you catch my drift. With Wii's unique control and ass kickery, it would rock.
TT: goodbye reggie.
RF-A: ok fine...stalk you later.
*click*

[game news mecca, mtv]



Guitar Hero coming to all big platforms


Activision CEO Robert Kotick confirmed recently that the game based on the life I used to lead, Guitar Hero, will be coming to every "major" platform next year. I'm guessing by major he means the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Wii...at least. As long as I get some credit for being the inspiration behind the title, I'm fine with it.

[gamesindustry]



new Lost Planet trailer

The buzz on this upcoming Xbox 360 game, Lost Planet, has been pretty good. I've read in at least two places how this game shocks and awes so in an effort to be cool like all the cool kids, here's a new Lost Planet trailer.









[gamevideo]



A look at the Wii box art


If Nintendo was going for the less is more look for their box art for their Wii games, I would say they succeeded. I like it and I think it works pretty well. It's not all big and flashy and all "look at me, I'm a Wii game!!".

[image from Amazon]



Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Microsoft's Xbox 360 TGS and X06 goodness

Microsoft will once again, be utilizing Xbox Live to get their users some good Xbox content over the course of the Tokyo Game Show and their yearly Xbox fest X06. During each event, they'll have daily breifings, behind the scene vids and all kinds of downloadable content that you will be able to grab on Xbox Live. Microsoft also plans on announcing a "major franchise" that will soon be available on xbox Live. Nice. Here are some of the games that Msoft plans on shedding some more light on for both of these events:

Call of Duty 3 (Activision)

Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 (Tecmo)

Forza Motorsport 2 (Microsoft Game Studios)

Kane and Lynch: Dead Men (Eidos)

Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom (Microsoft Game Studios)

Need for Speed Carbon (EA)

Project Sylpheed (Square Enix)

Shrek 3 (Activision)

Viva Piñata (Microsoft Game Studios)


Good times.



Slow posting today

I'll be busy doing work stuff today so the posting may be in short supply today and maybe even tomorrow...and no, I don't get paid to do this so yes I do occasionally have to do something to get paid.



First looks at the Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive


IGN was able to get some time with the Xbox 360's upcoming $200 HD-DVD add-on. The drive will plug in to the Xbox 360 via it's mini-usb port and will have two USB ports itself, acting as a hub of sorts. A very small hub that is, but one hub is better than no hub...bub (sorry, couldn't resist). Microsoft wouldn't power the drive on for them but they said it's being real world tested by M'soft employee and other assorted lucky employees. Life isn't fair, oh well. No word on HDMI connectivity either, but it sounds like there won't be an HDMI connection but Microsoft is "considering the possibility".



A Gameboy powered by Steam

Someone needs to tell this chap how batteries work. With time on his hands and his knowledge of steam, this guy decided to power his Gameboy via a steam. Why? Because he can, that's why.



For all you germans out there


The Germans over at Der Spiegel got to chat with Nintendo front man Satoru Iwata, in all German even! It looks like a good interview by my German reading skills are about on par with with my Greek (that would be non existant) so here are some selections that look good if for no other reason than the letters are arragned nicely. IF you can translate, please do:

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Wii soll uns wieder zurück zur Konsole bringen?

Iwata: Wenn es immer nur darum geht, dass Spiele eine bessere Grafik haben sollen, ist irgendwann ein Sättigungspunkt erreicht. Es muss also ein anderer Reiz geschaffen werden. In Japan haben wir es zuerst mit dem Nintendo DS geschafft, neue Zielgruppen zu erschließen. Und auch in Europa scheint uns das gut zu gelingen. Amerika ist dann noch mal eine ganz andere Herausforderung.


and

PIEGEL ONLINE: Sie haben mit verschiedenen neuen Titeln mehr und mehr ältere Spieler als Kundschaft gewonnen. Öffnet sich da nicht eine inhaltliche Schere zu den traditionellen Videospielen, die in Zukunft nur schwer zu schließen ist?

Iwata: Bestimmt ist es für einen älteren Spieler schwierig, den Sprung von einem Spiel wie "Big Brain Academy" hin zu einem Adventure wie "Zelda" zu machen. Das wird wohl eher stufenweise möglich sein. Auch ich kann noch nicht sagen, wie viele Spieler wir in den kommenden Jahren auch für komplexere 3D-Spiele begeistern werden können. Aber man könnte sich auch fragen, ob diese Spiele vielleicht zu kompliziert sind und das Spieldesign mehr auf Einsteiger eingehen müsste. Darin sehe ich eine große Herausforderung.


and let's not forget

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Nintendo ist als Unternehmen stark in Japan verwurzelt, sie haben dort eine Menge Fans. Aber sind die Wohnungen in Japan nicht zu klein für den Bewegungsradius, den man bei manchem Wii-Titel braucht?

Iwata: Es stimmt, dass uns dass am Anfang etwas Kopfschmerzen bereitet hat. Aber jeder Spieler hat mit dem Controller die Wahl, wie viel Dynamik er ins Spiel einbringt. Wenn man eine einfache Handbewegung macht oder wild mit den Armen rudert, erzeugt das im Spiel den gleichen Effekt.


[go nintendo]



Monday, September 18, 2006

MTV opens up virtual Laguna Beach


MTV wants their Laguna Beach fans to not only watch the show, but to star in it as well. In different capacities that is. If you aspire to being the next LC, Kristin or Stephen, you can give it your best shot in MTV's virtual Laguna Beach game/social experience. It's a game in the same sense that Second Life is a game, and that is, they're not really games. In virtual Laguna Beach, you can basically make you avatar do anything you want (besides get physical, you can only do a PG-rated kiss with other avatars). You can even start a band. The beta is free (for now) and MTV is touting this as an experiment just to see if they can build something popular and gain some attention back from MySpace and YouTube. It's definitely a unique way to reach out to your audience, but will the kids dig it? If so, how long will it be until advertisers jump on board and begin experimenting with the unique marketing opportunities virtual worlds provide? I also wonder how long it will take for the creepy way-too-old-to-be-hanging-out-with-teens-in-a-virtual-world crowd to start creeping in.

[nytimes article]



Coolest Wedding Cake evar!


I wonder who or which company made this Mario themed wedding cake? It looks awsome. I wonder how it tasted? I wouldn't be able to take a few bites without hearing Mario sounds everytime I chewed or cut off a piece. Awsome.



Playstation 3 title drops online play

What is going on with the Playstation 3's online service? Due to Sony's inability to get Neversoft what they needed, Neversoft is dropping online support for the Playstation 3 version of Tony Hawk's Project 8. The word from Neversoft:

"Neversoft is confident the PS3 version of the game will ship at launch in November, but it still hasn't received all of the software libraries and has no indication of how the online components will work on PS3, so it's not offering them," detailed the report.


Ouch. What else can Sony do to prevent the Playstation 3 from being a success?



Extreme Taiko Drum Master pwnage

Here's a video of this guy going nuts on a Taiko Drum Master machine, he's one person playing two players! Madness I tell you, madness...

[via wired]



Will Bethesda's Oblivion be a Playstation3 launch title?

Acroding to the 1uppers on the 1up podcast it will be. It's not something they declare as truth, it's just mentioned in the conversation of them wondering if it will be any different than the Xbox 360's version. I would hope so, and it would have to be different for me to get it for the Playstation 3. I'm going to assume that this will be the case for many gamers since most, if not all, of the Oblivion fans already have it for the Xbox 360 or the PC.



Pre-ordering the Wii


There's some good Wii pre-order information over at Infendo. Apparently, the Nintendo store in New York could be thousands of Wiis on launch day and if you pre-order, you're pretty much guaranteed one. Amazon openend up pre-orders for the Wii last Friday, but all of their pre-order slots were gone in a matter of hours. This bumped the Wii up to number 6 on the most popular game hardware chart. Right now (this hour) it sits at number 20, and you can't even pre-order it now. What's most encouraging is that a supposed Nintendo Store insider states that if you don't pre-order your Wii you may have to wait until Nintendo sends out the second shipment of Wiis which is...the next day! What!?!? If so, that would almost guarantee that everyone and their mom will have (and will probably be paying too) Wiis this holiday season. Nintendo seems to be on track to hit some good numbers for the Wii, and this information doesn't hurt :)



What a Playstation 3 game may look like...


Here's a shot of a Sonic the Hedgehog case for the Playstation 3 and I'm sorry, but I'm tired of that font. When I see that font, I see and think Spider-Man. Maybe Sony equates that font to success...whatever. Anyway, the case itself looks nice and shiny and Sonic even looks to be a brighter blue that I remember him being his past few outings. But is this a real case or a hoax?



Resident Evil on the Wii


A Resident Evil game is coming to the Wii and as of right now, it's titled "Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles". Some more specific information was released on the Capcom Europe forms. Here are the goods:

Resident Evil Wii is finally confirmed. It's called Umbrella Chronicles and it's a game that ties up all loose ends throughout the series.
Similar to Outbreak, it's split up in different chapters; you will be able to play as the main Resident Evil protagonists from the main series[From RE Veronica to RE4, prologue to RE5], as well as unlock additional characters.
Gameplay will be in 3rd person similar to RE4, but additionally the game takes advantage of the controller's core features. -Puzzles and shooting will have a new twist to it.


and again:

Also, previous rumors was made official.

Four chapters will be available, each chapter will have 2 playable characters
Chapter 1 - BH1 Mansion - Jill and Chris
Chapter 2 - BH2 RPD - Claire and Leon
Chapter 3 - BH3 Racoon City - Jill and Carlos
Chapter 4 - BH4 Village - Leon and Ada

Additional characters can be unlocked by playing the game, such as Rebecca Chambers, Hunk and Albert Wesker

The gameplay will be similar to BH4, use the Wiimote to trigger the over-the-shoulder view, use the nunchuk to fire

All characters will have different weapons and melee attacks like in BH4, you can find additional weapons in the stage

Each character can only carry 2 weapons, such as Chris' pistol and shotgun, and Jill's pistol and grenade launcher

The main game Scenario Mode will have in-game cutscenes, each chapter will have new contents which link to Umbrella's status

There is an Arcade Mode which plays like the BH4 Mercenaries mini game



So, it's basically a compilation of the previous Resident Evil games, with a Resident Evil 4 like gameplay. I'm sure that the games will be updated but I don't know if I have the strength to play through the mansion from the first RE all over again. I've played the original, the director's cut and the gamecube version. It's a great series and all, and I'm sure this compilation alone will be well worth the purchase of the Wii but I may have to skip that first chapter.

[go nintendo]



Major Nelson gets interviewed too...


Screenshot heavies Xboxyde got the chance to interview Major Nelson and oddly enough, besides all of the good Xbox 360 dish he dished, he did spill some secretive beans about the Zune:

Can you tell us about Zune?
Major Nelson: I’m not allowed to! I’m not allowed to say what it does. I’m not allowed to tell you that I have one with me. I am allowed to tell you that you guys will be happy with what we’re going to announce, and I am allowed to tell you that it’s going to be a fun autumn.


He has one!?!?! I'm guessing that, by his comments, there will be some kind of Xbox 360/Zune interaction. What kind? I'm not so sure since I'm not completely sure what the Zune does just yet. Either way, the fact that people like Larry exist is a huge boon to the success of the Xbox 360. Microsoft has done well in establishing a relationship with the Xbox 360 audience while Sony, quite simply, has not. Who is Sony's voice to the crowd. Where is their personal touch? All I'm asking is for them to open up a little but, establish a dialog with gamers who want to be Sony Fanboys/girls. They need to do something because all is not boding well for the upcoming PS3 launch.



Nintendo's Perrin Kaplan gets interviewed

I came across this interview of Nintendo's Perring Kaplan on Google Video today. It's a good look at how Nintendo is planning on marketing the Wii and how they plan to dominate. They're basically aiming to be all things to all people, sort of. Without HD support, they're not really catering to the hard core gamer as much as the other consoles are but that may not matter. I don't think it will, partly because I'm one of the many (but dwindling) who have not made the complete jump to HD just yet. Here's the video:



Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sweet Samus figurines


Nintendo via First 4 Figures is set to release some limited edition Samus figurines that look mighty slick. There's only going to be 2,500 Varia suit models and even less (250) Gravity Suit models. The Gravity suit models will only be available via the First 4 Figures website while the Varia sutit models will be available in specialty stores nationwide. They both will retail for $99.99 so they're not the cheapest models, but how long do you come across official Samus figures?

[noticed on siliconera]



Playstation 3 is ok by the FCC

I saw that Sony submitted the Playstation 3 to the FCC for review and it passed their tests. Good for Sony, at least they got something Playstation 3 related to go right. Does this rule out Sony delaying the Playstation 3 release for North America? I would guess so, but I'm not ruling anything out for the PS3.



The official Resistance Fall of Man site opens


The official Resistance Fall of Man site opened up (that's one ugly URL) and it's not your typical, "our game is friggin sweet, check us out!" type of site. From the site itself you can read up on the alternate history that Resistance Fall of Man takes place in. It has a long timeline of only the first third section of events or so you can view, the rest are "classified". The history items you can view aren't anything too spectacular just yet. It's basically, boring history item, boring history item, something crashes into the earth, boring history item, boring history item, weird weather happens, boring history item, boring history item, fisherman catch more fish than usual...and it goes on like that for a few more clicks. More will probably be accessible the closer we get tot he PS3 launch so it's something to keep an eye on. I'm hoping the Ratchet and Clank makers knock this one out of the park since everything I've seen/read about this game so far, just looks/sounds so damn cool. I probably won't get to play it for at least 6 months to a year which is when i'm hoping the Playstation 3 will come down in price a touch and this title will hopefully be sitting on the "greatest hits" rack.



Saturday, September 16, 2006

Official PlayStation Magazine editor to NOT buy a PS3

I guess is not that Official PlayStation Magazine editor, Dana Jongewaard, refuses to buy a Playstation 3, it's just that she doesn't plan on getting one for a while. Really, as far as we are all concerned, the only thing that the Playstation 3 has going for it that really differentiates it from experiences you can get with the Xbox 360 is the Blu-ray drive. Honestly, does anyone want a Blu-ray players yet, or will they ever? So when it comes down to it, it's really a matter of if you're willing to pay $600 for a Blu-ray player or $400 for a console whose lineup gets better every month. I think she made the right choice.

p.s. I'm so going to splurge on a PS3 the second an exclusive Final Fantasy game comes out for it. FF is my only weak point. If that never happens, I may never own a PS3.



Wii developer kit pics

Here are some pictures of the developer kit for the Nintendo Wii. That's actually a pretty good color for the Wii. Nintendo has to be planning on releasing more than one color for the Wii sooner or later. When they do release some different colors, I hope this green is one of them.



Friday, September 15, 2006

The Wii is NOT region free

Turns out that when we said previously that the Wii will be region free, we may have lied to you...maybe. In an interesting case of a company not completely having their story straight, we blogged yesterday that the Nintendo Vice-President of Marketing & Corporate Affairs Perrin Kaplan claimed that the Wii will be region free. Today, we get word from Nintendo UK that no, the Wii is not region free:

...a spokesperson admitted, "We are region-locked," and said the US arm of the company had made a mistake in saying otherwise.


umm what? Seriously, you think that everyone in the company would be clear on what the Wii was capable of and what the strategy was going to be. Hopefully, we'll get some straight, official answers here from Nintendo or there's going to be trouble...big trouble.



Weekend blitz

So what's everyone plan on playing this weekend? Me? I plan on looking around for Guitar Hero and I'm going to try to get some Dead Rising in on my brother's Xbox 360 and HDTV.



Wii game compilation

Here a cool video I found of the many games that should be out at or around the time the Wii's released. IF you can get past the somewhat creepy people in all white who seem want too entranced, them you'll dig it that much more.



Blizzard picks up the Havoc


No idea what they're planning on using the Havoc engine for (is Ghost too far in development?), but Havoc announced that Blizzard Entertainment picked up some Havoc licenses for an as yet untitled PC game. Apple is mentioned specifically so hopefully this means that the 5 or 10 Mac gamers out there now have some Blizzard PC/Mac lovin to look forward to.

[press release]
[as seen on kotaku]



Nintendo Wii Launch titles

I know the Nintendo Wii news has been dominating the gaming news scene (good for them right?) and everyone's probably sick of it...so here's just one more. Here's a list of the upcoming Wii games that will be available in the first few months of the Wii's release:

Launch titles

Elebits (Konami)
Ennichi no Tatsujin (Namco Bandai)
Hajimete no Wii aka "Wii Play" (Nintendo)
Kororinpa (Hudson)
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Nintendo)
Machi-Kuru Domino (Success)
Necro-Nesia (Spike)
Red Steel (Ubisoft)
SD Gundam Revolution (Namco Bandai)
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz (SEGA)
Swing Golf Pangya (Tecmo)
Tamagotchi no Pikapika Daitouryou (Namco Bandai)
Trauma Centre: Second Opinion (Atlus)
Wario Ware: Smooth Moves (Nintendo)
Wii Sports (Nintendo)
Wing Island (Hudson)


December 6th titles

Bleach Wii (SEGA)
Cooking Mama (Taito)
Crayon Shin-chan (Banpresto)
Furifuri (Taito)
Mahjong Wii (KOEI)
Need For Speed: Carbon (EA)
Pokemon Battle Revolution (Nintendo)
Rayman Raving Rabbids (Ubisoft)
Sengoku Musou Wave (KOEI)
Sudoku (Hudson)
Tsuri Master (Hudson)


2007

3D Action game (Takara Tomy)
3D Boxing Action game (AQ Interactive)
Action Game (ASNetworks)
Action Game (Epoch)
Action game (Takara Tomy)
Action Game (Banpresto)
Action Game (From Software)
Action RPG (From Software)
Bachindaa (Hudson, February)
Barnyard (THQ)
Baseball Game (Konami)
Battle Action game (Takara Tomy)
Biohazard: Umbrella Chronicles (Capcom)
Bokujou Monogatari Wii (Marvelous Interactive)
Bomberman Land (Hudson, March)
Call of Duty 3 (Activision)
Cars (THQ)
Crossword (Hudson, March)
Dairantou Smash Bros. X (Nintendo)
Densha de Go! (Taito)
Disaster (Nintendo, spring)
Donkey Kong Taru Jet Race (Nintendo)
Doubutsu no Mori (Nintendo)
Dragon Ball Z Sparking! NEO (Namco Bandai, January)
Dragon Quest Swords (Square Enix, spring)
Excite Truck (Nintendo, January)
Eyeshield 21 (Nintendo)
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Crystal Bearer (Square Enix)
Fire Emblem: Akatsuki no Megami (Nintendo, February)
Fishing Game (ASNetworks, summer)
Forever Blue (Nintendo)
GT pro series (MTO)
Gun Shooting game (SEGA)
Harry Potter (EA)
Heroes (Spike)
Horse Racing Action game (KOEI)
Hoshi no Kirby (Nintendo)
Java (Spike, spring)
Jigsaw Puzzle (Hudson, March)
Kawano Nushi-Tsuri Series (Marvelous Interactive)
Mario Party 8 (Nintendo)
Mario Strikers Charged (Nintendo)
Marvel Ultimate Alliance (Activision)
Metroid Prime 3 Corruption (Nintendo)
Mobile Suit Gundam (Namco Bandai)
Music simulation game (Konami)
New Action Adventure Game 1 (Konami)
New Action Adventure Game 2 (Konami)
New RPG (KOEI)
Noumiso Konekone Puzzle Takoron (Compile Heart, summer)
One Piece: Unlimited Adventure (Namco Bandai)
Original Action game (D3 Publisher)
Original Simulation game (Marvelous Interactive)
Pac-Man Carnival (Namco Bandai)
Princess Company (Starfish SD)
Project Hammer (Nintendo)
RPG (Konami)
San-X Allstar for Wii (MTO)
Shooting Game (ASNetworks, summer)
Simple series (D3 Publisher)
Soccer Game (Konami)
Sonic and the Secret Rings (SEGA)
Soothing character action game (MTO)
SpongeBob SquarePants (THQ)
SSX (EA)
Super Mario Galaxy (Nintendo)
Super Paper Mario (Nintendo)
Sword Fighting Action game (Interchannel-Holon)
Sword of Legendia (Namco Bandai)
The Dog Island (Yuke's)
Tiger Woods PGA Tour (EA)
Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam (Activision)
Totsugeki Famicom Wars W (Nintendo)
Wii Music (Nintendo)
Wii Yawaraka Atama Juku (Nintendo, spring)



Adidas opens up shop in Second Life

Adidas has commissioned marketing firm Rivers Run Red to open up an Adidas outlet in the virtual world of Second Life. In Adidas's new, virtual store, your Second Life avatar can score some a3 Microride's which add some bounce to your avatar's step. This is interesting in a marketing-company-branches-clients-out-into-new-mediums kind of way but this would be more interesting if Adidas themselves opened up a real, genuine virtual shop through which they sold more than one shoe. I think that scenario is still a ways off. But back to the point, you can get these new kicks for your avatar for around L$50 which apparently around $0.20 USD. Nice and cheap means you may be seeing a lot of Second Life Adidas fans running around with these, or at least, that's what Adidas is hoping.



Pimp my Ride...the game

Why is there a Pimp My Ride game coming to the Xbox 360? I'm just wondering, why is this a good idea?



A look at the upcoming Gundam Xbox 360 game


Apparently Japanese gaming mag Famitsu had two full page of information regarding the upcoming Gundam Xbox 360 game, Mobile Ops: The One Year War, and it looks awsome. I'm hoping that being able to actually run around with these huge mechs will inspire the same kind of awe that I got while playing Shadow of the Colossus. With the exception of being able to control this huge beasts or do some serious damage. Is that too much to ask?


[xboxyde]



Company sues Microsoft over Xbox Live


Huh? PalTalk is attempting to sue Microsoft in Texas because Microsoft has Xbox Live users in Eastern Texas. Why is this bad? Because PalTalk is claiming that Microsoft's Xbox Live service infringes on two of their patents, 523 and 686 which bascially deals with server-group messaging. According to PalTalk, Microsoft is in somehow infringing on these patents. I wonder if this was a case of PalTalk simply not knowing what Microsoft's Xbox Live service was about until recently, or did they wait this long on purpose? So they could ensure that Microsoft had a good, integral component to their console business which would put Microsoft in a position in which they would be much more willing to negotiate. Hmmmm.

[arstechnica]
[press release]



NBA 2K7 demo now on Xbox Live Marketplace


The NBA 2k7 demo is now ready fer downloadin via the internets on the Xbox Live Marketplace. Unnecessary hillbilly babble aside, I will throw my Xbox 360 into the vast emptiness that is the ocean if the free throw shooting mechanic is the same as the NBA 2K6. Shooting free throws in that game was an exercise in sheer emotional pain.



Is Microsoft's Xbox 360 HD-DVD plans

No, Microsoft is not planning to release an Xbox 360 model that will include an internal HD-DVD drive. No really, they're not...



Cheap Logitech G15 gaming keyboard


If you're close to wearing out your pc gaming keyboard (24 hrs sessions of WoW will do that to you), hop on over to Buy.com to score this sweet, display having, Logitech G15 Gaming keyboard and G7 mouse for only $83 (after a $50 mail in rebate), for both. Or you can pick up just the mouse for $33 after a $30 mail in rebate. More details here.

The lowest on Pricegrabber for the mouse is $62 and keyboard is $70.




Rockstar's Bully will be rated "T"

That's "T" as in suitable for 13 year old boys and girls. Take that over-eager politicians! I wonder how they're going to bash this one now?



IGN vs bloggers...pt.1

Looks like IGN doesn't think too highly of bloggers if this IGN employee's comments on Joystiq are anything to go by. Under the he posted numerous comments on Joystiq but a recent particular comment irked the Joystiq writers:

When one Joystiq commenter wrote about the "writers and editors at Joystiq," "GSI" responded, "CORRECTION: The bloggers of Joystiq. Don't give them too much credit. This isn't a real gaming media site such as 1Up, IGN, GameSpy, Gamespot, etc."


Ouch. Rule #1 of attacking a video game blog...don't do it on their blog. Seriously, do personal attacks add anything of value, ever? I know us wee little small time bloggers don't get invited to all the posh events and we don't get to review ever single game (I get a few here and there) but granted, we're doing this because we're passionate about our games and we like what we do. Is there anything wrong with that?

Attacking a video game blog rule #2...don't use your corporate e-mail address to do it. Joystiq probably would have never known that this chap worked for IGN if he didn't use his corporate IGN e-mail account. Honestly, when you submit that data to their website, they're bound to keep track of it.

Do I think this is how all of the big game sites think? Not really. But c'mon man, can't we all just get along?



The Wii to be profitable from day one


Now this is how you run a business, you make money. Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime recently stated that the $250 Nintendo Wii will be in the black from launch day forward. This is a good idea since they don't have Microsoft's billions in the bank or Sony's multiple market penetration (that almost sounds dirty doesn't it?). They know what they do, and they do it well enough that they are able to position themselves to make some decent coinage from launching a decent system. This is probalby why the machine isn't as "beefy" as the Xbox 360 or the Playstation 3.

[gamasutra]
[picture]
note: the linked artile lists a quote from Reggie twice:

"We will make a profit on the entire Wii proposition out of the box -- hardware and software," Reggie Fils-Aime told Reuters. "That really is a very different philosophy versus our competitors. We are a company that competes only in the interactive entertainment space so we have to make a profit on every thing we do."


and then again:

Fils-Aime added: "We are a company that competes only in the interactive entertainment space, so we have to make a profit on everything we do."


shhh. hee hee.



Blizzard's fans are the most talented fans evar!


Seriously, have you checked out Blizzard's fan art section? Compare this to any game mag's "Fan Art" section. With game mag's, there's usually one or two talented pieces which are surrounded by disproportionately bad ones. With Blizzard, every single piece in their gallery is awesome. How long until we get a semi annual or annual publication of this artwork? I'm sure the fans would dig it, especially if some $$$ was kicked back to them. A small price to pay for their amazing artwork I think.

[pictured: Blademaster by Kim Bum]

p.s. looking back on it, when eleventy billion people play your game, a few of them are bound to be talented artists. But still, there's some good artwork in there.



Why the Nintendo DS makes a good mother's day gift


Two words...Cooking Mama! When giving your mother a Nintendo DS and a copy of Majesco's Cooking Mama, make sure to enforce the point that this does not mean that she could use some cooking lessons because eating the food she's cooked is akin to swallowing gravel. Just tell her that you wanted to give her something to make her day that much brighter, that much more full of life, laughter and fun. Then end your warm hearted gift giving with a, "Now get in the kitchen and make me a sammich!" and watch hilarity ensue.



New Call of Duty 3 screeners

I think I'm going to call screenshots "screeners". Why? Because "screeners" is just the right amount shorter. In any case, Activision released some new Call of Duty 3 screeners and I must say that while they do look impressive, they don't look that much more impressive than last year's Call of Duty 2.



Former Neverwinter Nights programmer gets her first books optioned by Peter Jackson


Naomi Novik, who had a hand in the design and development of Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide, left the world of cold pizza and overnight game programming to write a series of books dubbed the "Temeraire Series". Taking place somewhere around 1930s-1950s (I thought I read 1950s somewhere but I can't find it now), the story in the first book is about a British naval captain who finds an unhatched dragon egg in a ship that was a gift from China for France. He quits his job, raises the dragon and forms His majesty's Aerial Corps. The books have been getting rave reviews (even from Stephen King, reviews here) as being a well crafted blend of fantasy and historical elements. Being fantasy, this was right up Peter Jackson's alley. So much so that he decided to option the Temeraire books with his own money. In his words:


"As I was reading these books, I could see them coming to life in my mind's eye," the New Zealand native said. "These are beautifully written novels, not only fresh, original and fast-paced, but full of wonderful characters with real heart."


"Temeraire is a terrific meld of two genres that I particularly love--fantasy and historical epic," Jackson tells the Reporter. "I can't wait to see Napoleonic battles fought with a squadron of dragons. That's what I go to the movies for."


I think it's a bit ironic how this could come full circle. Naomi begins as a game programmer/designer who quits to write a novel, which turns into a movie, which then churns out a few licensed (hopefully playable) video games. In the entertainment biz, we call that the "Entertainment Circle of Life".

disclaimer: I am not and will probably never be in the entertainment industry, so anything I say about said industry with a coarse grain of salt. Cheers.

[yahoo news]



Some Virtua Fighter 5 details for the Playstation 3

If nothing else, at least it looks purty.



Resistance: Fall of Man hype

Not to sound too critical, but a lot of of what IGN talks about in their upcoming Playstation 3 launch title, Resistance: Fall of Man, preview sounds like the same sound bites we hear for every single FPS...ever. Seriously, there's this:

This plays into the somewhat unique fact that unlike many other games with specialized weapons like Resistance features, your enemies have access to the exact same arsenal that you do. As a direct result of the design, any given weapon is likely not ideal when faced against an opponent with the same weapon as you won't have any sort of advantage. Switching to a differently-enabled weapon that can take advantage of another's weakness is the key to victory. Again, this is a thinking man's arsenal.


I highly doubt that my "thinking" while playing this game will ever consists of, "Oh wait, he has the same weapon as I. I shall change my weapon to gain the upper hand. I'll be right back you evil fiend, ta ta!". I think that my train of thought will be something akin to "kill'em all and let god sort'em out". Here's another gold one:

Perhaps one of the most impressive yet non-hyped things about the game thus far is its AI. Enemies range in intelligence depending upon who/what they are, so animalistic creatures will still be single-minded, but the soldiers are a different story. They'll use cover whenever possible, fire off blind shots just to keep you guessing and even try to flank you when given the chance. In one case, we came into a room and spotted a Chimera on the other side, standing in an opposite doorway. It fired off a handful of shots and stepped behind the wall. Thinking that we'd flank him, we set off to the right and attempted to surprise him by going around the room. Not so fast, it seems, as the Chimera had exactly the same idea. Clever girl... err, alien.


Everytime a new FPS is about to come out, in any review or preview, there will be a little blurb about how the AI is actually smart. Then something happens in the transition from preview to finished product, and it seems like the AI the consumers are left with, isn't as half as smart as the reviews or previews have made it out to be. Sure, the initial AI may start out pretty keen to your moves but somewhere, it breaks. Maybe it's that 5th level boss who can be defeated by simply attacking it from a certain location. Or maybe it's that one section where the enimie nevers seems to notive you're there and you can walk right up to them and do what you wish.

Despite my cynicisim, the story sounds pretty cool even if it is just a variation on the whole "the earth is doomed and it's up to you to save it" theme. The variation being that Insomniac wants this game to be first in a series of many, meaning that you probably won't get to actually save earth in this one. Or maybe you will and you'll take the fight to them in the next one. Here's a breakdown of the storyline:


Though the game's events take place in 1951, the story stretches back much further than that. As early as the 1930's, Russia became closed off to the rest of continent, presumably to restructure itself internally. Unbeknownst to the rest of the world, an alien race set up shop inside of the country and began preparing itself for world domination. Skip ahead to 1951 and practically all of Europe has been decimated, the Chimera washing over that half of the world with a wave of death. With the Chimera on the verge of making its way into Great Britain, England mounts up its forces in preparation for the onslaught.


Resistance's story follows the player's character of Nathan Hale, an American soldier, as told through the research of Rachel Parker. Hale's regiment had been hit by a group of Chimeran soldiers and left for "dead", infected with an alien virus. For some reason, Hale was the only soldier that actually awoke from the attack and managed to do so unscathed, immediately requesting to be sent back into action. Parker's research follows the events just after this, from July 11th through July 14th, the last day that Hale was seen alive.




The screenshots are killer too.



Mass Effect Gameplay videos



I know they say these Mass Effect gameplay videos are all actual, in-game footage. I'm just wondering if they mean Sony Playstation-"These graphics will make you cry"-like in-game footage or actual Far Cry-like in-game footage. Hmmmmm. Looks like Mass Effect could be one of those games that justifies your purchasing an HDTV. Then again, Dead Rising would have been enough justification for me so maybe I'm not the best person to listen to here.



Thursday, September 14, 2006

Bully's educational system

In true Rockstar fashion, Bully will have an ongoing Schoolwork-type mini-game in which you can earn certain gameplay upgrades and features. With this ongoing minigame, you'll have to keep up with and pass tests in certain core subjects which include English, Gym, Shop Class, Photography, Art and Chemistry. You'll have to pass the tests with flying colors to unlock the coolness. I wonder how the media critics of this game will interpret this. You have to rise up against the bullies as well as keep up with your school work, Rockstar, you evil demons!




Retro Studios perfects Metroid Prime: 3 controller use


IGN was given a demo of the upcoming Metroid Prime 3: Corrupion recently and Retro Studios let them demo the "Expert" controller mode and apprently it rocks socks:

As we played a new single-level demo of the Prime 3 at Nintendo's Wii event in New York City, the game's designers came upon and told us that we absolutely needed to try the new "expert" control mode. They explained that they hoped it would satisfy our cravings for first-person maneuverability similar to a mouse and keyboard configuration in FPSs on the PC platform.
We started up a new level where heroine Samus Aran explores a vast space station and immediately switched to expert mode. We're happy to report that it simulates the accuracy of PC first-person shooters almost perfectly, and we found ourselves soaring through levels, zipping around corners, pulling quick turns and zapping down enemies with pinpoint precision without seconds. Simply put, Retro has nailed it - and it makes the wait to 2007 for the game that much more difficult. We're not kidding when we write that Prime 3 feels like a brand new game with this control.


Will we ever get to experience any PC to Wii competition? I doubt it, but it sounds like Wii-mote will add a deeper level of immersion and extreme pwnage, and that's all right by me. I'm actually looking forward to ducking behind couches and jumping over toys while I play Metroid 3 on the Wii...because I will be...you hear that wife! I will have my Wii and play it too bwa ha ha ha!


[ign]
[images]



The Nintendo Wii will be reigon free!

The Nintendo Wii will not care which country you buy it or it's game in, it play play any game, any where. That's right, the Nintendo Wii will be Reigon Free (yes that did deserve capitalization). From Wired's Joel Johnson:

Wired had the opportunity to sit down after with Nintendo Vice-President of Marketing & Corporate Affairs—not to mention affable conference host—Perrin Kaplan to ask a few questions that weren't addressed in the press conference.

• Will the Wii be region-free? Yes. Like the Nintendo DS, the Wii will be able to play games from other regions, such as Japan, without any restriction. Kaplan implied there might be a region lock that publishers would be able to flip on, but it doesn't sound like the first-party titles from Nintendo will be restricted.


Ok, not as good as I made it sound since it seems like publishers could still restrict certain games to certain territories but it's better than the alternative.

[more of the interview]



Life of an EA intern

A few EA interns who spent this past summer doing some game work for EA, gave MTV the low down on what interning for a massive video game publisher like EA is really like. These interns were doing actual work. Whether it was programming or design, they got to help out. A couple of interns detail the work they put into EA's next Tiger Woods game, one basically created the crowds while another made sure display elements where displaying what they should be displaying. I have to try out this burger eating food contest that some EA employees take part in. Apparently, the burger is a bit spicy.

The whitewater trip was a bonding moment for the interns, but the burger contest? Stein is loathe to talk about it. "I normally go straight in for the spicy food, but I thought, 'What if it's really hot? And I've got half the day ahead of me.' " He'd been at the burger joint at the same time as Wang, who'd wolfed hers down with the help of some iced tea. "There's spicy, and then there's pain," she said. "This was like eating pain." As Wang ate, Stein looked on in shame. "It was an incredibly emasculating experience," he recalled.


When I hear of eating a food as being similar to eating pain? I gots to have it. What was kind of interesting though is the fact that these interns had to put in some overtime but they got paid overtime wages. I wonder how much overtime they had to put in? Eh, it probably wasn't much and I'm probably just reaching for some controversy that isn't there.

[mtv article]



Resident Evil game coming to the Wii

There isn't much in the way of details but I have to admit, I'm a bit intrigued at the propspect of playing a survival horror game with that funky Wii controller.

[ign]



Wii will not play DVDs

Looks like the Wii is now, officially, not a DVD player. I don't think anyone will want it to be though. I see most people who will be picking up a Wii will most likely also have either an Xbox 360 and/or a Playstation 3. In that order. I remember the days when it was either one console or the other. That seems so long ago.



Video games make crazy people do crazy things

Seriously, video games are not meant for all people. If you are a little unbalanced upstairs or if you hear voices, other than the ones coming from the TV and/or real people, please, do not play video games. They are not real, and while some of them may seem based in reality, reality they are not.

As Florian Eckhardt over at Kotaku points out, it's been a bad couple of days for gamers.

First off, Canada got their own Columbine style massacre yesterday when this 25 yr old went on a shooting spree through Dawson College in Montreal, killing one woman and injuring 19 others before he was gunned down. Apparently he was a fan of the Super Columbine Massacre game.

Second, this guy in Philadelphia beat his own daughter to death for unplugging his console which in turn made it fall to the floor. I read about that here. He got so upset that he punched his daughter a few times and may have even flung her over a chair. The end result, a dead 17 month old little girl.

I just need to pause to say, what the f$%k is going on here? What the hell is wrong with people these days. Now did these games make these crazed individuals commit these horrific acts? Hardly. As the AP report on the Montreal shooter pointed out, the gunman had a profile on some vampire freaks website which itself was drawing some heat earlier this year since some other alleged killers had profiles on the site. Did that website drive them to kill? Hells no. Do video games drive people to kill? No, dammit. I'm sure these individuals were not perfect, untouched angels before coming into contact with these video games. In the Montreal killer case, it was probably the destructive nature of the Columbine game that drew him in because he was feeling destructive himself. For some, playing games of this sort could be a way to ease tension. For someone who's a bit disturbed, this could've "turned him on". Is that normal? Obviously not, or else anyone who's ever played Hitman would be trying to get into the contract killing market. For most people, video games are a form of escapism. For the now deceased shooter in Montreal, it was training.

As for that guy in Philly, what the hell was up with that guy? It is a damn game. I have three kids, they unplug all kinds of cords all the damn time. Is it annoying when they turn the TV off or spill something on my Xbox when I'm dispensing pwnage in some Halo 2 over Xbox Live? No, no it's not. It's a minor nuisance because it's a game and no where near the cost of a child's life.

Crazy times indeed.

[post that inspired this post]



Everyone now knows about the Wiii

No, seriously, everyone is covering this. Even the big tech-heavy sites. Kotaku has a good live blog going of the press conference and I'm following that. I'll post the more interesting details as I read them. Here's a pic of the Nintendo Wii's packaging.



Peter Jackson on Halo

One of the correspondents from movie Site Aint it Cool News (Quint to be particular) got to sit down and chat with the Peter Jackson about his upcoming projects, one of which is Halo. You can find the interview here. Some tidbits that I found interesting were:

Peter Jackson on why he went with Neill Blomkamp:

We certainly didn't set out with HALO to find a first time filmmaker to do HALO. We wanted somebody on HALO that would have 3 qualities. One, a very important one, is that they wanted to do it really badly. They had to be absolute HALO fans. That was important because there are a lot of people who would be happy to do HALO for the paycheck, there's a lot of people who would be happy to do it for the publicity they're going to get from it and the kick it'll give to their career and all that and all of that sort of stuff. There's lots of reasons to do HALO that would be attractive if you're not a HALO fan, but we didn't want any of those people, we wanted somebody who was a real HALO fan.


On how a game-based movie can be good:

It's like Fantasy was before LORD OF THE RINGS. Everybody was saying, "These films aren't any good." In a sense, everybody's saying "You can't make a good film out of a game." Well, that's all crap. Good films just need good characters, good storyline and a great director to bring it to life and make a film that you've never seen before. That's what it needs. It doesn't matter a damn whether it's based on a game, a book or a piece of chewing gum, you know? That's irrelevant. It's what actually ends up on the screen that's important.



On what's been happening so far:

At all times they were people that we thought, "Well... their version of HALO doesn't really excite me all that much. I could imagine what it'd be like and it doesn't really (excite me)." But then when Neill came along and we saw what he'd done and we'd spoken to him... believe me, he's doing something that is very, very different from what people are imagining, from what people have seen before. Some of the visuals... He's been working with Weta pretty much full time for, I guess it'd be about 2 months now, turning out lots and lots of art every day. And maquettes, production design, color art has been coming out of there. I've got folders and folders of it at home here. It's fantastic stuff. I mean, I look through it and I get excited about the film.


(I would kill to see some of this artwork...kill)


Why you should be interested in Halo the movie:

So, nothing is going to end up on the screen that doesn't get our stamp of approval.



On the film being rated PG-13 or R:

That's interesting... It's something, I must admit, that's not a conversation I've had with anybody yet. It's a conversation that I'm sure will happen. Look, the reality of the budget is that I would imagine the studio are going to be pretty insistent on a PG-13, which, as you say, is certainly not an impossible thing pull off. The concept of a hard R rating for DVD is kind of fun because that does ultimately deliver a film that the hardcore fans would enjoy and that's certainly something we should discuss. But honestly it's a conversation that hasn't actually happened yet.


I can not wait for this picture. Peter sounds like he's getting the right people involved to make this movie a success. Count me in on opening day.

[the interview]