Saturday, January 26

New trailer for The Force Unleashed

A new Trailer has been released for Lucasart's upcoming game, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. The game utilizes 3 different physics engines. The Havok Engine controls the movement of objects, the DMM engine defines what materials the objects are made of, and the Euphoria Engine determining how the enemy AI reacts to the environment. The Force Unleashed is shaping up to be a game worthy of the Star Wars universe. I just hope it loves up to all our expectations.


Kudo Tsunoda Heads Gears of War Project

Kudo Tsunoda of Electronic Arts is cutting loose his ties to EA and moving over to Microsoft to lead for the next upcoming Gears of War title.

One staffer that won't be needing the assistance of EA's HR department is the studio's former general manager, long-time Electronic Arts exec Kudo Tsunoda. The gregarious GM has taken up a post within the Xbox division at Microsoft, a Microsoft staffer confirmed today.

The move reunites Tsunoda with his former EA Vancouver colleague Don Mattrick, who was hired last year and who now runs the Xbox business under Entertainment and Devices division boss Robbie Bach.

It was at EA's Vancouver studio that Tsunoda cut his teeth on fighting games (working first on Fight Night 2004). Tsunoda then moved to Chicago from Vancouver to take the reins of EA's new Chicago studio--a renamed NuFX, an independent that had worked closely with EA on the commercially successful fighting game.

Good luck to you Kudo, and other EA members, if you get fired look to Microsoft. They like your kind.




Friday, January 25

Sega Master System Coming To Virtual Console

Sega Master System (1986)

The Wii's Virtual Console will be getting a few new additions from a buried treasure of a console, the Sega Master System. The Sega Master System is scheduled to be arriving on the Virtual Console's listing sometime in February starting with Sega's Fantasy Zone and Fist of the North Star (Which is also known as Black Belt).

Sega's Fantasy Zone

From Wikipedia:

Fantasy Zone is a surreal arcade game created by Sega in 1986. It was later ported to a wide variety of consoles, including the Sega Master System. The player controls a sentient spaceship named Opa-Opa who fights nonsensical enemies in settings atypical of the traditional scrolling-shooter, thus it is considered a cute-em up.

In the game, the player's ship is placed in a level with a number of bases to destroy. When all the bases are gone, the stage boss appears; when the boss is defeated, the player moves on to the next level. There are two buttons: shoot and bomb; the normal shot is generally useful though weak, while bombs are powerful though of narrow use. One major difference between this and many other shooters is that the player can turn around and fly the other way; the screen will scroll along with the player. There is also a shop that occasionally can be accessed. The player can buy items and weapons from it using coins from defeated enemies.

Fist of the North Star/Black Belt

From MobyGames:

In this game, you play Riki. Kyoko, your beautiful Japanese girlfriend, has been kidnapped, and in order to rescue her, you must get through a tireless army of enemies. These enemies come equipped with weapons that include whips, knives, swords, and flamethrowers, but Riki has to make do with his well-trained martial arts body.

Black Belt is a side-scrolling game that is split into seven chapters. During these chapters, you are fighting Chinese Kung Fu men, wrestlers, jujitsu men, eagles, ninjas, and black women. When you get halfway through the chapter, you will fight a different enemy than one that you encounter before. At the end of each chapter, you have to defeat several bosses before continuing on to the next round. Each type of these has their own personal strengths and weaknesses.




Thursday, January 24

Today Rockstar announced the release date of its next highly anticipated game, GTA VI. The game ships April 29th . Along with the release date, Rockstar has released several screen shots of the game. The 10 screens look great but it makes the wait seem much longer.

View the screens over here




For those of you who don't already know, there is a MMORPG currently undergoing beta testing named Mythos. Mythos is dungeon crawler heavily influenced by Diablo.

The game is developed by Flagship Studios, the current developer of Hellgate:London. Originally intended for testing the networking technology for Hellgate, Mythos has evolved an independent game with a separate release.

The Setting of Mythos

The world of Uld is an ancient one, but the current civilized Kingdoms are young. Recorded history only reaches back one hundred and fifty years. Prior to that is darkness; an epoch-long war between the Kingdoms, which are devoted to order and prosperity, and the chaotic forces of Discordia.

Now, since the war has ebbed, there is only a hazy, lingering memory from that age of darkness. The conflict lasted for generations and it scoured all written chronicles from the memory of Uld. Some few tales survive, passed down mouth-to-ear from those days of bedlam, but truly reliable accounts have been forever lost in the mists of mythology.

There are several major cities where the Kingdoms of Elves, Gremlins and Humans congregate. Here, commoners find protection and community while entrepreneurs find opportunity and fortune. These cities thrive in a cautious but optimistic age, in the aftermath of a great war that nearly wiped out everything. Although almost nothing survived intact from the Time of Darkness, there is now a palpable sense that it is time for a new age of renewal.

Beyond the precarious walls of these nascent cities, however, great brutality rampages unchecked. The pockets of civilization are only tiny grains compared to the endless, corrupt wilderness. These barbaric domains are overrun with the races of Discordia, and they feed off of the spoils of fallen nations. They are a mongrel assortment of hopping, skittering, slavering fiends that befoul the forests and haunt the limitless ruins of Uld.

But out in this dangerous wilderness lies great opportunity. For the ambitious adventurer, there is limitless treasure hidden in the depths of ancient lost dungeons. There are caches of precious metals, rare gemstones, arcane tokens and magical artifacts of great power. Some say that there are even relics of the Old Gods out there, beckoning for a hero to awaken their power.

City-dwellers have a huge appetite for the spoils of the ancient world. There is much to be learned from even the lowliest trinket - and the most elite and epic items are so powerful that they could even turn the tide of the war, and restore the world of Uld.

If any of you want to check out the game, I have 4 invites left. Just email me if you want one.




Wednesday, January 23

Andrea Vadrucci Drums To Super Mario Bros. 2

Super Mario Bros. 2 for the NES had the best soundtrack of the NES Mario games in my opinion. It was also my favorite, it felt different, unique, and fresh. Thanks to this Italian drummer, Andrea Vadrucci, my favorite Mario game's soundtrack was just given new life.

Watch the video and you'll see what I mean, he's an awesome drummer and he keeps right up with the tunes perfectly.

If you want more information on Andrea check out his homepage or his myspace page.



Devil May Cry 4 Demo Coming Straight From Hell

Congratulations Xbox Live and Playstation Network users, the Devil May Cry 4 demo is finally going to be up for download on Thursday, January 24th...

The demo introduces gamers to the gothic-inspired supernatural world of Devil May Cry 4, new protagonist Nero and the awesome power of his Devil Bringer. The demo consists of a sampling of sections from the full game, chosen to showcase Devil May Cry 4’s varied locales and allows gamers to familiarize themselves with Nero’s unique abilities. Players will receive instruction on the various new actions that the Devil Bringer bestows, such as the ability to slam creatures to the ground, cover great distances in a single bound or even grab enemies while on the ground or in the air and pull them towards Nero to continue the attack combo. The Exceed system allows Nero to “rev up” his sword as if it were a motorbike throttle and unleash devastating attacks. Players will need to master all these techniques before the end of demo showdown with the mighty Berial.

Sounds like it'll be fun, thought I'm not sure how fans of the Devil May Cry series will feel about an all new white haired main character. If Nero ends up being a knock-off of Dante, I know that I'll be upset about that.

Also if you're wondering what the mysterious Berial boss looks like, check out his picture over here. He looks like a centaur mixed with Ifrit and dipped in a cauldron of fire. Oh, and a beard to rival the members from ZZ Top.




GameStops Are Bad Luck

Monday, January 22nd a couple of GameStop employees were held up and robbed by a crazy white guy with a knife.

Employees of Game Stop, in the 1200 block of East Sunset Drive, told Bellingham Police that a tall, very skinny white man who appeared to be about 20 years old browsed the store for about 45 minutes, then took several games to the register.

An employee rang up the games, but the man began to walk out of the business talking to himself, according to police. He then went back to the register and pulled out a small knife, demanding cash and the games.

Employees gave cash to the man, who jogged out of the store and sprinted east. The suspect was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with the hood up and jeans. Employees said he smelled strongly of cigarettes.

These employees were far luckier than the manager of a different GameStop whom lost his life thanks to a robber.

With incidents like this it makes GameStops seem like not such a hot place to work, but every store-chain gets people robbing, or trying to rob it at some point. It's not going to stop me from eventually getting a job at a GameStop.




Tuesday, January 22

Hobo Killin Time

Today Sega announced that Condemned 2 is set to ship March 11. If beating Hobos with lead pipes, 2x4s and whatever else you could get your hands on didn't satisfy you the first time around, Sega has Announced several multiplayer modes.Besides the traditional Death match and Team Death match modes, Condemned 2 boasts two unique modes, Bum rush (a gameplay mode where players must Survive an onslaught of enemies) and Crime Scene (One team of players must use their analytical skills to gather clues while the opposing team stops them). Multiplayer will be available for PSN and XBL and support up to 8 player matches.


Monday, January 21

Activision Blizzard

An 18.8 billion dollar deal will create us a new game company that will be come to be known as Activision Blizzard...

Vivendi Universal and Activision have set up a deal where the two gaming giants will join up and create a giant gaming industry baby that will be Activision Blizzard. The deal looks to be closed by mid-2008 with Vivendi being the majority stakeholder in the new company.

I didn't see this one coming, did any of you?




Video Games are Addictive, TV Builds Character?

Janice Turner over at the UK TimesOnline wrote a fairly interesting article where she gives her opinions about the state of children and their media. She makes some relevant points about television, but it's that last moment when she talks about video games...

I really don't have much to say about the article, she makes some interesting points and talks about what her feelings are on children and technology. but some of it seems a little bit over the top like this little excerpt,

Technology boggles us with its unfathomable black magic: what if Microsoft used its power for evil and patented spyware that could suck our brains out through our noses? But our children with their instinctive understanding of new systems, stroll with happy confidence through the techno garden.
It's easy enough for parents to relate to that wordy statement I suppose, the whole thing seems a bit eccentric to me though.

What really made me want to write about this article was the following paragraph,
I refuse to buy them portable gaming consoles, Xboxes, GameCubes, PS2s. These are Satan's Sudoku, crack cocaine of the brain. Even the crappiest cartoon or lamest soap teaches a child about character, plot, drama, humour, life. Playing video games, children are mentally imprisoned, wired into their evil creators' brains. And they play them - beepety-beep - on journeys, over family meals, any minute in which they find themselves unamused.
I think I would rather have my child play Age of Empires and learn about history while having fun playing a video game, than to let said child watch Spongebob Squarepants for hours on end. I can guarantee that the things learned from AoE will better the child in life much more than anything a talking sponge would. World history, time management, and multi-tasking skills. AoE would even better a child's decision making process, should I build another Barrack and up my military or should I build more houses so my villagers can gather resources to upgrade my city faster?

Age of Empires is only one example of course, ryizzel mentioned to me Metal Gear Solid which I completely agree with. Throughout the whole game you can talk to Natasha who will teach you about the history of nuclear waste and nuclear war.

Heck, I learned my cardinal directions by playing The Legend of Zelda! The secret lies on the easternmost peninsula.

One final thing. Game creators are not evil, and children are not imprisoned in the games at any point. The common goal for a lot of next generation game developers is to break away the linear plot lines and enable the player to truly immerse oneself in the game by going wherever and doing whatever he/she would choose. Of course however, we would never want our children to actually enjoy a video game, they'll grow up to be losers working for successful game companies and making lots of money doing something they enjoy. God forbid.




Sunday, January 20

In Soviet Russia, game kill you!

Tragedy strikes as the line between virtual reality and real life blur. A Lineage II clan named the Platinums has sustained a casualty in real life.

In Lineage II, the game emphasizes on clan warfare, so its easy to get caught up in the hype. However, when players Decide to go Aggro In real life, nothing good can come of it, as 33-year-old Albert found out. Albert is Survived by his Sister, Albina, A fellow member of the platinums, who is also recieving death threats from members of the Accused's guild.

Things like this happen When people start taking the events that occur on a virtual world seriously. I think that players of Lineage need to step back, relax and realize...Its just a game.No need to kill over it guys....kay?