The Game Show

Friday, June 22, 2007

We've been missing

Graduated. But we'll be back. More info to come soon. Maybe. Perhaps.

elmer@modojo.com
( www.modojo.com )

Friday, December 08, 2006

Music mix mash 2



to quote some enlightened comments:

mountianrage:
Stop dubbing songs over videos and thinking you have talent. The skill and brain power required is equivalent to that of a gnat. I swear people can get away with anything pulling off as good work. This is double plagiarism, its like getting your friend to rewrite a paper you found on the internet for your English assignent.

otakuboy68:
moutainrage, more like mountainLAME, that was a great mashup video.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

HALO 3

Duh

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

What was old, Made new

Okay, this is the gold standard of ass kicking here

I was on kotaku and stumbled on there post about the black mesa team being back. Who are they you ask, well essentially a Mod team dedicated to bring the original Half Life into the 21st century. That right they have taken it upon themselves to total redo and revamp Valve's soul sucking saga starting epic. They have expanded and fleshed out the original levels as well as creating really swish character and weapon designs. So far everything coming on their media portion looks fantastic and very polished. Can't wait to play through what Valve should have done in the first place.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Riddle me this...

What do you get when you cross Half Life 2, chicks in Bikinis, and a WiiMote?



Disovered through Garry's Mod, powered through YouTube, made by this guy.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Okay, undeading myself for some good old-fashioned, wallet depleting, console buying launch day reviewing goodness. Well technically its two days from launch but who's counting right? ...Hush you.

To start I would like to say I was among you all for the Wii line at nintendo world, and even have my thoughts recorded in the NY Post thankyou very much. But it was worth it. I bought a launch Wii, and it functions like a dream.

I bought Red steel and the legend of Zelda, and when combined with the power of Wii sports makes for a seriously bad sunday of work. I got nothing done except sleeping off post tramatic line syndrome ( i had what can only be described as "waking fever dreams" about horrific line abusing smurfs...yes smurfs) and playing the Wii on a very large projection screen.

Red steel is fun. simply fun. yes the graphics look like I made them, but the design and the motion control make for an interesting and challenging new way of trying to off people with pixels. According to elmer it controls better, much better, than the new call of duty 3 coming soon which was a surprise to me. I would have thought that a first attemp game would be clunky and unwieldly, especially on a launch game.
That isn't to say that Red steel is without control faults. It aims like Russia and has a limited field of view. That coupled with a new method of control was very awkward. However, a couple of games in and all was well enough for me to not simply be handed my ass.
Wii sports though was where it was at for me here, and elmer as well (the man dreams of being the tiger woods of Wii golf). If this is any example of where rhe games are going to go then I am very excited for the future of this console. Some of them, notably boxing and golf, are still a little wonky in their control sensitivity (the backswing on golf is a killer).
Exaplm e one is when trying to drive on golf, I swung back and it read that as my swing, sending the ball screaming to a watery grave. This is a prime example of how this console could very well lead to a new and inovative way of game related violence because by the end of this i was dearly wanting a bout of Wiimote vs TV. But for naught as the TV remains intact.

In closing Get a Wii and you will have an amazing fun time as its completely different than what we could ever be preped for, save if you spent 24/7 on time crisis or similar movement sensing games.

PS. even this console will bankrupt you as elmer may in the near future come to own my Wii

Friday, November 17, 2006

Theme Change (temp)

Links for podcasts were not working with the previous theme, so back to this classic one. Will tinker soon!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Just thought I'd share...

 

a little loco lovin with you all.

I'll say it now, in my opinion, Loco Roco has passed the portable test and qualified with high marks. Took the above pic with the ingame screenshot taker thingy while on the 116 from New York. I haven't done a formal review of it, I almost suspect doing one might miss the point. It's not a deep game, nor is it a long game. But it's a fun game, and more often than not, I'm smiling at my PSP screen whenever their infectious joy comes on.

PS3 comin, along with it should be new PSP firmware for PSOne downloadables. I just checked my account, I have the money. Now all I need is a little energon, and a lot of luck. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 11, 2006

1up reads tea leaves for Sony's Future

Is History Repeating Itself?

The facts are undeniable, the coincidences uncanny. Much like their article pointing the XBOX 360 as the second coming of the Dreamcast, so is the PS3 launch following the formula that served PS2 so well.

But no one console company has won three times in a row. No one in the hardware world ever seems to. Could the PS3 break the voodoo? Is Wii enough of a wild card to disrupt the whole gaming world as we know it? Has the XBOX setteled itself so comfortably as to see a healthy dominance for the years to come? Is Ken Kuturagi selling us disguised pannini toasters? Cast your votes, make your guesses, or just chill out as the gamer press and the gamer wannabe press make their gamer wars heard! The PS3 is sold out in japan, it's coming to the US next week. Large tons of Wii are being stocked up and loaded, it will soon be unleased upon the world. This is it, let the World Console Wars VI commence!

PS, some of you may have heard that I had on the Game Show publicly left it to my audience to decide which upcoming system I will try to buy. The votes came in a resounding near homogenous voice, the audience wants me to buy a PS3. This is going to require a camping chair, lots of CocaCola, and an extra long edition of War and Peace.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Music mix match

A couple of cool vids that I found recently that I thought I might share. Check em out if you got spare time.

Advent Children x Neodammerung

Forgive the audio quality a bit, it's bad, but man do I enjoy this. My feelings about FF Advent Children and the Matrix Revoloutions range generally in the bad and the ass range. However, once combined...

Resident Evil 4 x The Hamster Dance

Quite the opposite of the above, but every bit as strange a smoothie I've ever seen which works. Forgive the video quality of this one, and some timing edits are a bit more noticeable. Ah well, still funny stuff. Funny stuff indeed.

Thx again goes to the YouTubes.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Game Show Fails at Nintendo World



Despite some issues with the sound track synching with the video, I find our first experience on the YouTubes rather exciting. Perhaps more random visitors will come. Yay!

More than late news, but yeah, we still haven't gotten our hands on a Wii. And if we do, I'm sure our opinions of it will change for the better.

Episode 15 - October 27th, 2006

The latest and greatest, episode 15! We talk about Mortal Kombat, G.R.A.W., Loco Roco, Guitar Hero and more! We discuss on what makes independent games "independent," as well as even more speculation about the upcoming Console War. Woo!

Episode 14 - October 20th, 2006

We report on Sony Gamer's Day and our opinions on what will be awesome!

Episode 13 - October 12th, 2006

Episode 13! Not much news-wise since Tokyo Game Show is long gone, but we share our ideas of what kind of original games we would like to see and more!

Episode 12 - September 29th, 2006

A late release indeed - we're still engrossed in the Tokyo Game Show! More episodes coming very soon, so keep your eyes (and ears) open!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Just stick with it



Old news by now, but I just discovered this vid and felt I needed to share. I believe the very sequence of events mc chris describes correctly demonstrates the experience we've had trying to play Kingdom Hearts 2. Resident Evil 4 hasn't left the PS2 disc tray in a very long time.

(ps, yes we're still all alive and still doing the show every thursday. we'll get em up, we promise! don't leave!)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Elmer At TGS

Well, not actually at TGS... but I have been paying VERY close attention to all of the internets to give you, our loyal readers, an extensive report of the show floor. Honest! Like, I had nothing else to do all weekend. Except, ya know, homework...

We talked about it for half our show this past thursday, and obviously it was around then that Sony didn't start off very well. But over the course of the weekend, they dominated. Clearly, concisely, and without mercy. This weekend, the Sony Defense Force (XBOX AM CRY) has some real reason to celebrate. Yeah, I know that X06 still hasn't happened yet and Nintendo never makes a grand TGS appearance, but I'm ready to say that the PS3 will do just fine for the future. They will do just fine indeed. In fact, so much so that I think I've been forced in light of new evidence to flip flop on my position from E3. I believe I will not, reapeat, I will not be purchasing a Wii this year. And here are several reasons why.

TGS 06 was SONY's show

Let's just talk about games. As Ken Kuturagi has proven quite clearly that he is the most boring man on earth. With 27 playable titles, 190 games in development, he spends an hour talking about everything but games! Double U Tee Eff man!?!

(note, if you wanna find some high res vids for yerself, it'll be worth it for all of these games. These YouTubelettes hardly give these high definition beauties justice, but they are advertisement free and larger than what's ebeddable from GameVideos. Try sites like Playsyde, Xboxyde, GameVideos.com, and especially gametrailers.com)

Resistance: Fall of Man



I'm quite convinced now, and I believe I've already apologized for once brushing it off as merely "WW2 with aliens." You don't need me to expound it's virtues anymore, the internets are doing it just fine on their own.

White Knight Story (Shirokishi)



From the guys that gave me eighty hours of unsullied joy with Dragon Quest VIII is this beautiful surprise from left field. It's not that it seems to be changing the way J RPGS are played, but in the way that they live. Graphically it was already gorgeous with that sunset and water in the trailer. But you don't have to look carefully to see that the animations are where this game is king. Swords clang realistically, as if ya know, they were actually FIGHTING. With charisma oozing from their characters, even through this mere minute and a half trailer, and a combat system that is simply glorious to watch... my goodness it's giving me goosebumps.

MotorStorm



Unfortunately this is video ripped from IGN's low res free download, doubly shrunk down to YouTube's size. Check it here at Playsyde. Go on, it's worth it :) I was excited about this at E3 2005. I love the idea, and I still do. Sure it hit an ugly puberty at E3 06, but this beauty really is fillin out for Prom this Spring.

Afrika



Someone tell me what this beautiful game is about! How about you, Phil Harrison, Sony's Bald Headed Master of Games!

"Video games have a function in life, and that is: wish fulfillment. You can become a mercenary, a fighter pilot. On PS3, we can expand the realm of that experience. Africa allows you to experience a very interesting part of the world, a safari in the plains of Africa. The gameplay is entirely non-violent. You don't kill the animals. It emphasizes the positives rather than the negatives.

It's about collecting experiences and keeping them for posterity." -Harrison at Game|Life

Count me in!

Metal Gear Solid 4



MGS 4, gameplay footage, check!

WarHawk



Graphically, this gameplay seems to have seen the least improvement since E3 (discounting Heavenly Swords reused E3 trailer) But reportedly all multiplayer skirmishes and play tests have given this title a resounding turn around in terms of press reactions to it. I loved the potential of swooping down on capital ships once more, as flak bursts threaten to tear my ship assunder. I love the thought of flying through hordes of aerial foes uncountable once again. It brings me back to my days as a Wing Commander Ace. And I'm happy to hear that it has improved with time.

Heavenly Sword



Note that this isn't the trailer. I feel that this bit of arena gameplay footage does more for it than words or the cinematic trailers ever did. It's the E3 presentation, and my opinion on it hasn't changed. Calling it Goddess of War is a disservice. Even if Goddess of War is an exciting proposition anyway.

It's subtle touches that I think haven't been talked much about. The way that the music crescendoes at various times, or the way she catches the air with her right arm as she falls back to earth after a devestating move, or the way the enemy opponents duck and dodge and try to knock you off your feet when your attention's turned away. I'm amazed, and I'm expecting that somewhere at Ninja Theory is an even more completely amazing game coming our way.

Lair



My god YouTube fails this game. Quick! Go to Playsyde For Great Justice

It's dragon riding given to us by the guys that gave us the exquisite Star Wars Rogue Squadron games on the GameCube and N64! Super pumped, you bet I am!

Alright, alright, that's just a few of the games I've been keeping an eye on from this years TGS. If I may, I'll name just a few more exclusives shown at TGS that have me crying that I might not have 500 bucks to burn come November...

Ridge Racer 7, Virtua Fighter 5, Unknown Realms, Fatal Inertia (which suddenly looks ravashing in her new 1080p dress) Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Final Fantasy XIII, oh and before I forget...

Devil May Cry 4



Badass. Badass to the bone. Sure we've played Devil May Cry before, and if it didn't float your boat then, this video won't change your mind about giving it another shot. However, for people like me. More Devil May Cry, now, please.

Now for a couple PSP titles.

Jeanne De Arc



We've mentioned this title before, and I believe it deserves further excitement. The only downside to getting excited about it, is that it has no US publisher just yet. Common Sony! You're publishing 100 PS3 games and you can't find it in your heart to bring this gem across the pacific! The PSP needs this, and needs this bad.

Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops



Yes. Ashley Wood's comicery + all new MGS story + ad hoc multiplayer = huzzah this winter!

And now, The XBOX front

Alright, so Microsoft has had little to no luck in Japan. It's a different story here. Gears of War still promises greatness, and I expect to hear more from Microsoft this coming X06. It seems as if they practically yielded the show floor to Sony. But for now, they put up quite a pre-show with their Mistwalker titles in tow and a little ditty from the gods at Capcom called:

Lost Planet



Holy cow this is EPIC. Gorgeous design (in my opinion anyway) and brilliantly fun looking gameplay. Too bad Beep hasn't signed up for XBOX live or else we'd really have something to avoid homework for. On a very cold planet, surrounded by giant monster insects, pilot your mech for the good of all man kind. I am quite excited, aren't you?

Trusty Bell: Chopin's Dreams (Eternal Sonata in the US)



Alright, so Namco RPG's aren't exactly my favorite things in the universe. But man do they make good watching. I prepare for playing any of the Xenosagas with a bag of popcorn, a comfy couch, and a bottle of coke. The gorgeous visuals here are certainly impressive, and that in this case might be good enough for me. And plus, it's Chopin!

Lost Odessey



You might not be able to see the above embedded video in the near future. Microsoft had even removed all videoes, inexplicably, from XBOXYDE of their pre tgs conference. Still, this had me and Pal super excited upon first watching it. I love the wierd ass design of the knights, the wierd giant mechs, the walking mage towers reviving the dead army to fight again, and the sky burning apart and melting the earth. It's all the stuff of great tales. But random battles seem to be the key word that scares me, and a lot of other gamers out there too. While I don't mind it in DQ VIII, apparantly it's been enough of a reoccurance that most sites have vocalized their annoyance at it. And the animations, once you get inside the game, are not nearly on par with what I saw with White Knight Story.

But it's Sakaguchi. And he's making a game again! With Nobuo Unematsu doin the music! I'm still hopin, it's just gotta be good.

Blue Dragon



Yet again, another Sakaguchi piece from Mist Walker. Complete with Akira Toriyama artwork, and cg cutscenes with characters screaming at the end of the world! Warning, there is one really ear splitting scream in the middle of this trailer.
I like this game, I like what I've seen quite a bit. But beyond the slick interface, I hope the battles are engaging. The battles of which I have seen little of.

Alright alright, so what about Nintendo!?!

Well Nintendo officially let loose their Wii upon the world just about a week ago. But lets include em here, it just wouldn't be fair without it. I wish they showed us Smash Brothers, but man, here are a couple of games to look out for that will really make that Wiimote shine! Discounting Zelda, I'm buying that on the Cube if I'm still sans Wii come December. Sure, fishing looks like it'll take advantage of that remote, but I think Zelda will be fine with a regular cube controller.

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption



Unlike Red Steel, I hear tell that this game works. Those guys at Retro Studios know how to make a game sing. Even if all they ever do are amazing Metroid Games. Samus is back, and though it does look almost exactly like the previous Metroid Primes, they all looked amazing. Thanks to great art direction and smart level design, this'll be another great episode in the Metroid Prime experience.

Mario Galaxies



Like Resistance, I must apologize for brushing this game aside before. This is awesome. This is the definition of awesome. Point to the stars, and jump away. Finally, a new way to play mario as big as the jump from 2d to 3d.

So all in all, it's been a heck of a show. And these games represent my favorite sampling from this year's TGS. Oh, and one more thing:

Pheonix Wright 2: Justice for All!

Friday, September 22, 2006

HOLY SUGAR HONEY ICED TEA!

FFXIII Screen Shots! (via shacknews)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Episode 11 - September 14th, 2006

Weeee're back! This is the second season of The Game Show, where gut opinion overrules the facts! In this episode we talk about the next-gen consoles, Beep's new Xbox 360 and some games that we are addicted to right now. You missed us, right?

Resistance

Okay, file this under "S" for "Super Geek-Out." I just spent the last forty minutes analysing in depth the timeline on Insomniac's Resistance: Fall of Man's homepage. Check it out for yourself if you fashion yourself as a bit of a history nerd like I do. During my first looks at this game two E3s ago, I pegged it as a WW2 shooter with aliens. It was a disservice to what they are coming to achieve.

This is historic fantasy world building at its best. The timeline is at parts frighteningly accurate and wonderfully fictional. Scanning the timeline alongside wikipedia and google for true names and events proved quite fun. But I also enjoyed some real surprises, like the very real "Tunguska Episode" or Nikolai Tesla's VTOL aircraft patent. Even more fun are the fictional tidbits like America never entering World War 1, or the European Trade Orginization of 1919. There was not ONE mention of a Nazi Party, and the Bolshevik Revoloution never happened. This kind of stuff is history's "What if" GOLD.

On the gaming front, a couple awesome bits are revealed. There are designs for the American VTOL dropship (the UH-17 Atlas, gosh that's a cool name) as well as what might be a screenshot disguised as an old photograph of "The Red Curtain," Russia's wall blocking all the rest of the world from entry. It's far longer than The Great Wall of China and impossible to pass. And wouldn't it just make the most friggen awesome level for blowing up some damn aliens!

Hopefully there'll be more to come as the game gets closer to launch. (DAMN THAT 500 dollar price tag!)

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Game Show...LIVES!

Yes, you read right -- The Game Show is making a comeback after a long summer break!

There are a few notable changes this year: a brand new studio with five microphones (no more sharing), an actual phone to answer calls (no more Skype) and a touch of magic!

Listen to us every Thursday @ Midnight. You can either stream our show live or subscribe to our podcast on iTunes.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Quicky Ranting

If I look through another forum post on any gamer forum that says "This totally looks last gen!" I'm going to get angry, storm off to the Game Show, and post a rant about it. So I said to myself ten minutes before posting this...

Anyway, would someone like to explain to me what looks next gen and what looks last gen? Does Perfect Dark Zero get the next gen nod for being on the 360? Does Tomb Raider Legend get relegated to the last gen for having appeared on last gen systems? When will we start being impressed at looking at PS3 screenshots for what they are, forgetting the mistakes of target demonstrations past?

Ah fook this, someone hand me a wiimote already.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Top 100 Games of the 21st Century

Check it out here at Next Generation

Well, not necessarily the best games of this century. Nor is it in order of quality. Nor does it yet include PC or portable games. It's a list taking the best selling (US sales only) and best gameranking console games of a particular franchise and putting them in a great big eye opening list. Dudes, what the hell. Ninja Gaiden sold less than 50 Cent: Bulletproof! And if you think that's a shame, take a good look at how well that Spongebob game did. Although it does make me happy to see how well Wind Waker made out.

Expect a list for PC or Portables sooner or later at Next Generation.

The Price of a PS3

Check dis link out for a pretty level headed argument on PS3's seemingly staggering costs. It's an old article by Bryan Dawson on GameDaily. It's also the first time I'd gotten a really clear picture on the two different PS3s coming out this November.

I don't have an HDTV. I won't have one any time soon. When I'm back in the school dorms, I won't have wireless internet. (I won't have as much space for that matter) And I'm not looking for a media box to read my memory sticks or compact flash drives. Still, the $500s for the lower priced model is a lot of money, throw in another $50 bucks in tax and maybe $60s for at least one PS3 game...

It's a whole heck of a lot to ask of a college kid, but man Motorstorm's looking good...

Sunday, July 30, 2006

E3: Rest in Piece


E3 - short for Electronic Entertainment Expo - has been a part of our lives since 1995, but after 11 years it will be no more. The cost to hold such a convention is big money, and it's no guarantee for profit. E3 is great for big companies like Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft, but it's a dreaded day for the smaller developers who can't afford large floor spaces and/or elaborate exhibitions to draw potential investors.

The remedy that the creators of E3 have come up with is to set up smaller conventions more frequently. These conventions would allow hundreds to attend, not the thousands that E3 invites every year. This gives more attention to smaller companies and more frequent updates on upcoming games (and who doesn't want that?).

Thanks E3, for making our gaming lives something to get excited for every year! Thanks E3, for the great booth wars! We'll look forward to your smaller, more frequently visiting cousin!

MGS: Digital Graphic Novel Review

First of all, I think I have to go over the reasoning in my mind as to why I purchased this little disc. One reason, I love Metal Gear Solid. Oh sure it was a long time ago, but those sweet memories come back to me every time I enter into another gaming relation ship. When me and my friends talk of past gaming loves, we all admit to our lingering feelings for our time spent in Shadow Moses. Second reason, I love comics. I also write comics from time to time. Graphic Novels are art, and if you’re reading this site I probably don’t have to convince you. Thirdly, walking through the mall I passed what seemed to be a reprint of the original Metal Gear Solid Official Comic Book released by IDW publishing. It was only volume one. It was selling there for 20 bucks. When I passed by the local game shop, I saw the digital version for the same 20 bucks. The main sticking point, this digital version was all the many volumes put together. I decided then to give it a spin.

Now the first thing I have to admit, what you get isn’t exactly McCloud’s definition of sequential art. What you got here is a pretty solid ass kicking three hour long semi animated movie. The guys at Konami took Ashley Wood’s (visit his site here) artwork and spliced it in creative ways creating a rather uniquely visceral experience. I think it might be fair to describe his work as “if Dave McKean were an anime fan…” Most often you're watching cut out drawings of the characters moved across painterly canvases. Sometimes the paintings have been turned three dimensional, Wood’s painterly style is plastered onto the metal hulk of a very familiar nuclear equipped walking battle tank. Sound effects straight from the game accompany every ink scratched bang and boom. There are no voices; you’re reading outta good ol thought bubbles. However it is awkward whenever they decide to use a vocal sound effect outta the game like grunts or screams. The music chosen for the background is unfortunately from the remake MGS: The Twin Snakes. So there’s no Rika Murana wailing for you uber fans like me.

How it reads for non fans, I can’t objectively say. The best I can tell you is that you’re getting a great visual ride. But the story line shows many hallmarks of, “you had to be there to know what we’re talking about.” When I get super pumped at a scene from this comic, I think most of those feelings are coming from “I remember doing that,” rather than the comic on its own merits. The buildup to great scenes comes in strange doses and the storyline which felt natural and fluid in game reads on the page awkward and confusing emotionally. This was made by fans, directly to fans with all the problems that come with that.

But what of the story for those that know and love it? Here a few things happen, and just like adapting any work of beloved fiction the balance between creative changes and dedication to the original work is pushed in various extremes. The original comic series was written in small parts over the course of some years and like many compilations, the differences time makes in ability and bravery is felt as the comic goes on. At first it’s an entirely faithful recreation where almost the only adventurous decision was to show us Snake’s forceful pulling out of retirement. It’s a great way to begin and gave me hope to see lots of new scenes outside of the game I know so well. But afterwards for many pages, it’s practically a visual walkthrough. Everything from, “A Surveillance camera?” to “There’s an intruder besides me?” is still there exactly where it was. Cool new stuff doesn’t return for awhile.

With the cool new stuff, you got things coming in two flavors. Some of it is great and I won’t dare to spoil the good stuff. A couple new truly creative additions come in half way through the story and one legitimately awesome moment which had me cover my gasp of “Holy S#!t!” Truly the best bits of your three hours will come in at the middle where the writer and artist are more comfortable taking their own spins on the story. But with their own ideas come quite a bit of bad, just as much as it is awesome. While in the game, the Sniper Wolf / Otakon love story was one way and tragic. Here they’ve added an almost vomit inducing love scene at Sniper Wolf’s exit. Plus a lot of the Meryl dialogue is cut down, removing most of the “I’ve always wanted to be a soldier,” stuff. Take that however you want.

And nearing the end of this semi animated movie, it’s as if you could feel the pressure to finish the storyline within a couple more issues. The buildup from the opening scene to the battle with Revolver Occelot takes about a whopping 144 pages. (The whole first 20 dollar volume, by the by.) At the same time, everything from entering the pal codes and leaving Shadow Moses is about a mere 30.

Now what about the extra stuff that the comic book can’t do? They’ve added this strange memory building game within the whole experience. Practically every panel will have some hidden secrets. When you’re searching for them it’s not exactly just zooming in on a static page; it really feels like shuffling through Ashley Wood’s wonderful drawings. Bits and pieces disappear or move out of your way as you get closer, and sometimes you’re watching the scene from an obscure and completely different angle. One time, I found myself exploring the panel out from a cardboard box, flippin sweet! For a time I found a simple joy in addictively collecting these little pieces, and there are hundreds upon hundreds of them. Then I realized quite simply, I could be doing something a lot more useful and enjoyable with my time, like unlocking all those Lumines skins. The goal of collecting these little memories is stage one; the next part is being able to piece them all together in the huge memory puzzle grid. I can’t honestly tell you what the reward is for putting all these things together; I get motion sick whenever I try to manage their spinning gigantic puzzle box. It is a foul thing to me, and the bits of sidebar information it seemed to provide wasn’t worth the retching feeling in my stomach.

The only technical problem you might encounter is that unlike a comic book in your hands, this one has loading times. And at times it feels like a deal breaker. Cyborg Ninja enters scene, loading next panel, “That… that exoskeleton!” loading next panel, a minute of unmitigated badassness, loading next panel. The loading times happen almost all the time, though none take very long. Only a few times does it really affect the rather exceptional semi animated flow they’ve achieved.

Final opinion, it was pretty cool. You’ve gotta be a fan for it to work best. And if you’ve got a PSP and wanna see a semi movie of MGS, here’s your ticket. Put it in, set it to auto, and enjoy. I do look forward to Konami trying this again; maybe in a direct download form. There are a bunch of Silent Hill comics that I’ve been dying to read.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Onechanbara X for 360


Onechanbara X, the next-gen sequel to Onechanbara, Onechanbara 2 and Onechamploo for the PS2, will surely find a place in many hearts. The basic premise is that you are a female demon hunter in a bikini -- as you slash more and more zombies, you become covered in blood! Really, that's all there is to this game, a simple hack-n-slash game -- but what's better than a hack-n-slash game? A hack-and-slash game with babes, of course!

The previous games have been in the simple 2000 series, which retailed for a bargain price of 2000 yen, which equates to around $17. Will the game still retain its attractive price this early in the 360's life?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Jeanne d'Arc, and the future of the PSP

Jeanne d'Arc

Jeanne d'Arc, coming for the PSP in Japan Winter 2006, is a turn-based strategy game developed none other than Level 5 (Dragon Quest VIII, Dark Cloud series, Rogue Galaxy, and the ill-fated True Fantasy Live Online for the Xbox). This is looking to be one sharp game.

Some photos and a video has surfaced online, and wow, does it look good! It looks like Final Fantasy Tactics for the new age, and that is a very good sign. The game is very colorful; I want to live in this world! The textures/lighting in this game are to die for, and the game is in good ol' super deformed size, which makes the game very likeable for me. Numerous anime cutscenes are sprinkled throughout the game, which look really nice from the screenshots.

This, to me, will be the killer-RPG that Sony has been hoping for since the PSP's launch. It will definitely rock Japan if the game plays as well as it looks, because as we all know, RPGs are quite important in the console wars. It might not be as successful in the U.S. (not every gamer is crazy for FFT), but more interest in the PSP from Japan means more PSP games for the States.

I've read messages online where they pointed out that RPGs on handhelds are bad, since you can't really play on the go. Might have been true a few years ago when there was no Sleep/Stand-By Mode, but now you can just suspend the game and play again later (I haven't turned off my PSP in over two weeks since I'm in the middle of a game; even if I save, I'll put it to sleep since then I don't have to wait for the PSP to boot up). I also love playing while on the bed before I go to sleep, where it's dark and quiet -- perfect for games that require concentration.


Tekken: Dark Resurrection


The international must-have may be Tekken: Dark Resurrection. Reviews have been very flattering, citing only a few hiccups that are overshadowed by the almost-perfect portable fighter. This is no port; it's a completely new game built from the ground up (although based on Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection), which probably helps the framerate of the game since it's optimized for the PSP. I might pick this up in a few days if I can play against someone with an American version (since I'm sure that Elmer will grab this immediately).

PS1 on PSP

A firmware update to allow downloading of PS1 games directly from Sony will arrive soon. There's no definite date, but another firmware update will be available by the PS3 launch, which may or may not have the PS1 emulation implemented. Sony has said that by the end of 2007, they will release 7000 games for download -- hard to believe if they don't start showing something. A demo would be nice, perhaps even another conference. This new feature has been stirring up my thoughts often -- this would kill the DS in a heartbeat if the price is right and it works as well as they claim. Are they creating the ultimate emulator, or are they patching every game with a slightly-different/optimized emulator for each game? Tell us more, Sony!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The most Horrific Ending Ever IN a game


HAHAHAHAHAHA,

To long have I been absent from this arena, my opponents have grown weak.
They shall learn PH34r again!

Thats right, I'm back and I have reviews. The first is of Dreamfall, the longest journey.
As most of you know by now the game opens with one of the main characters in a coma which lead me to preorder many cases of valium proir to actually sinking my well worn teeth into what looked to be a long and indepth ride into the last living moments of an innocent girl. Not usually my type of game as I generally like to be on the giving end of that fate, but I persevered. Now Its hard to describe the game without giving plot away, seeing as thats mostly what the game is all about. What I can comment on without hessitation is the art direction. There literally aren't enough words in the english language to describe how awsome it is. Everything in the worl dfrom shops to space planes, even the god-damn subway asatounded me with originality and an eye for detail. Every scene just oozes with life and vibrance, even places that are supposed to be long dead have a life of their own. But however amazing of eye catching, funcom does a good job with not letting the scene overpower the game itself, you move through them and just about everything you see only enhances the story or the story's grounding in one world or the other.
And what a story. Its not for the weak minded, thats a certainty. With 3 main characters, 15 subplots and about twice as many themes ideas and supporting characters, it often takes a pencil and paper, not to mention a degree in deductive logic to figure out what really going on. Although this may have not been intention in some cases. The biggest problem I could find in the story was that of too many plot lines, and not enough meat to go around. You play as three people intermitantly. Zoe, April, and Kian, each adding their unique view to the story. Howeverthe main bulk of the story is focused around Zoe and her exploits trying to find her lost love, an investigative reporter who got in over his head. The other two characters feel like add ons to her characters story as they have little or nothing to do with it. April and Kians parts to play mainly focus around eachother and their interactions. April is trying to get a tyranical and overbearing rival empire out of her city before it succeeds in crushing all hope of freedom from her adopted people. Kian is simply sent to kill her.
Out of the two, April has the more time devoted, with Kians sole reason for being in the game is to give to alternate viewpoint behind why april has to dye, and providing her with a dramatic foil. However as stated before, these two plots have nothing to do with Zoe's own adventure, save for her being forced to try and save April from somehting by a wierd little emo girl in a frozen doll house. And on that subject, the little girl's plot line. Its hard to classify where she actually fits in the over-arching and much labored plot of this beast, because shes is at once everything, and nothing. Shes always butting into Zoes search for Reza, her investigative reporter ex-boyfriend, but when it actually comes time for her secrets to be revealed, we find out she's only an end to one of the minor sub plots instead of being the lynch pin to the game, as shes been advertised as being. Its at once thought provoking and un-godly annoying.
Which then leads to the actually players of the gamer. No, not you, the characters. As stated before there are many, many, MANY of them. So many, that it seems more likely that funcom couldn't decide which ones they could safely cut, and played it safe by including EVERYONE. And the worst part is 80 % turn out to be irrelivant to whats actually going on. As stated before aprils character and her whole supporting troupe are concerned only with the goings on in stark. Nothing of what they're doing in the least affects whats going on in the real world (stark for those of you who can't infer pervious statements) which is in fact tied loosly to the little girl. April herself is even told IN GAME that she has nothing to do with what going on. But the worst bit is that that comes 3/4s of the way through and your left going, "SO WHY AM I STILL FOLLOING HER AROUND" and "WHY DID I WASTE MY TIME ON SOMEONE WHO DOESN'T MATTER" Also Kian's story is even less important to the plot as he ends up where april started in term of character and he brings nothing of real value to the story save a means to Aprils end anbd a dramaticly forced twist. Infact the only usufull supporting characters in the lot were both dead and they did more for the story than anyone else still alive. Oh and my favorite bit of usless and wholly disheartening story point was the white of the driac kin. After hearing about her through most of aprils story, we meet her with both Zoe and April, BUt what she has to say only raises more questions of a non-solvable type. She is them just as quickly swept under the mat.
Now that I have ranted enough about how usless everyone is to each other, I would like to go on record as saying that these are some of the greatest usless people you could ever want to follow around for 5 days. Each story they tell is gripping and tought provoking, chief among them being Kian, whose entire belief structure is challenged and Funcom leaves it to you to decide what he makes of it. Each interaction is handeld with such care and poise as to keep you engrossed for the hours it will take to get through a conversation. The writing and dialougue are top notch, as is each and ever voice actor, and with a cast this big, thats a real achievement. Howvever despite folowing 3 disperate and whole unrealated stories, In the end it feels like Funcom was setting something up, something that you weren't allowed to know about, because while none of the stories tie to each other save for each character meeting the other in non-story moving and usless ways their backgrounds do. Whats happening in the background of each Characters story actually ends up being whats really going on, With the main characters stories serving as a way for you to observe the setup without actually being a part of it. Sounds like a gype, well it is, but the biggest part of it is yet to come.
The end, the part which comes under fire the most in these games. This one has a true doozy, and not in a good way. After playing for what felt like a week, and having poured my soul into these characters, the game ends in a brief span of 30 or fourty mintues of play and cutscene. If this is intended to have a sequal then there gonna have to get some new players becaused it feels and looks like Funcom was told mid production to drop it and end the story here. But they way they chose to end it is the worst part for me. STOP READING IF YOU DON;T WANT SPOILERS!!!!!

Ahem... (deep breath) Everyone dies. there, I've said it, and its true. Actually, really true. Only X3 had the amount of team killing and wanton sptie for the people watching that this game presents. And they way they die only serves to further agitate the playes, like cutting someone, then mixing lemons, salt and leaches into a mixture pouring it all on and then burning it into the wound. Then you would have to jump up and down on said wound with golf shoes to fully appreciate how horrific and jarring to your psyce this ending is. Not only do the bad guys win, but at the rpice of zoes entire family save her dad who is placed undersurvelance. Arpil is stabbed right in front of Zoe, further adding and illustrating how copmpletely useless her character actualy was in this game. It seems as though the little girl in the doll house was for some reason just misleading you into following our jadded and unresposive hero from the last game around, if only because of a whim. hwat makes her death even more tragic is that up till that point her character had been making slow but steady progress in sloving her own inner demons and become a real person again. her character arc was finally getting into the realm of something good happening, and then she dies right as you start to have hope for her and investing emotionaly in her. The same goes for the rest of her folowers. The warrior who finally put his past behind him and started a family. The boy whom april rescued, fell in love and could express it, died in a suicidal charge to avenge her. Her closest ally, forced into betraying her and htne running away in shame. And that s only half of it, I won't even begin to illustrate how badly Team fuck Zoe gets at the end. Only that the choices that these characters make up to the ending was the most horrible to behold, because most of them don't make sence. Case in a nutshell at the end, zoe allows herself to be put under and go back into the winter to talk to the little girl one last time. But she allows a person, who has her life to loose should zoe live, put her under. A person who has absolutely no morals and lives only by pragmatics and logic. And what worse is that Zoe knows this going in, but you are forced to whatch a girl ( who I think I actually fell in love with) be put to death because the writers needed her to die so as to finish her story. After that you see all the forces, cleaverly showing in the background to what happend in game, come forward to grab center stage, and putting your 5 days of play into the trashcan. You litterally acomplish nohting with you days spent running around trying to save both worlds. And not only do you fail, you fail so horribly and predeterminedly that you feel the need to go drwon your sorrows in slayers for another five days, just so you can stop thinking about it. It that sad and horrifying.

Now keeping all that ranting in mind I would like to say that this game up till the ending was a great ride. I would almost say its the best adventure game ever writen if they had managed to tie the plots together with a satisfactoty ending. But the truth is they didn't, and no matter how good a game is in the beggining or the middle, the game can't manage to simply justify itself, let alone explain what going on. It leaves you with every question you had going into the game going unanswered, only answering plot points that occur mid way through with only passing relevance to the main plot. It also manages to castrate the players and then serve back the aforemention parts blended to a frothy mixture of pain and spite. I am sorry it ends that way but it does and unless theres some amazing good reason, on par with jesus come to my door to personaly appologize to my broken heart, then im going to leave this game with a big

6


Great Plot, great characters, great character development, amazing storytelling and voice acting, perfect execution of a german dive bomb into a granite hillside populated entirly by small kittens, puppies, and babies all singing how wonderfull it is to be alive....

Monday, June 05, 2006

Another game that will stay in Japan

"D3 Publisher will release a new action shooter for PS2 called Simple 2000 Series: The Maid Loaded with Machine Guns. In the game you play as a maid named Yuki, who is an android invented by Dr. Masaki. Yuki's mission is to protect the doctor from an evil organization who is after the doctor's time machine. Yuki must time travel back in time to protect the juvenile Dr. Masaki, she can use a variety of weapons to battle the enemies, such as rifles, pistols, machine guns, and swords. She also needs to serve her master properly as a maid."

See what happens when we're not so sequel centric? This is the freshest idea since Zombies vs. Ambulances.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Hands-on: Ninety-Nine Nights (demo)

I went to my local Yamada Denki the other day (think Best Buy with toys as well) and lo and behold, a working Xbox 360 kiosk. The other kiosk at Best Denki was pretty pitiful, the console missing and LCD monitor missing, replaced by a 5 inch LCD display playing videos of Xbox 360 games.

I walked up to the kiosk and grabbed the controller. No one was in line to play it or anything so I checked out what other demos were contained in the disc. Sadly, Ninety-Nine Nights was the only playable game on the kiosk, the other games on the demo disc being videos.

Without much of a choice, I chose the game and waited for a good 35 seconds or so for the system to get to the Start Screen. The opening movie looked good but it wasn't as flattering when actually playing. Sure, it looked good, but it's just not a good game to show off the graphics power of a system. This is Dynasty Warriors at heart, so it's more about the processor -- the game shows off how many characters can be on the screen without slow-down.

The level I played didn't look as epic as the screenshots conveyed these past few months, nor did the level have as many grunts on the screen as the screenshot used for this article. It's foolish to ever think that you'd play the game at those nice angles (like the screenshots of most driving games). Of course, this is just a demo of one level -- I have yet to play the real, finalized game.

The controls were pretty simple: normal attack, a special attack (something Orb attack), evade, block and jump. Response was as expected, which is that it feels pretty good. Tilting the second analog stick up and down helped to see the field better (pressing the stick would zoom in and out a tad, but characters lose detail), but it was still a little too focused on the ground: I like to be able to see what's up ahead. The D-pad can be used to order your troops around. The special attack can be used by collecting orbs that you obtain when slaying an enemy. The special attack looked pretty slick -- the main character girl basically enters a berserker mode and can slash enemies at blinding speed.

The biggest gripe I had with this game is that I can't tell who's who when in battle (but yes, there's no friendly fire). It would be pretty lame to have the enemies colored red and the good guys blue or something, but things look too bland: nothing really stands out since everything looks brown. This level was especially at fault since instead of the pretty grasslands in the screenshots it was in a canyon with annoying walls to walk around with bland brown textures. The main character does look good, but that's about it; everybody else on the team is a no-name, expendable soldier without a face.

Overall I wasn't too impressed. If you loved Dynasty Warriors and can't get enough of it, get this game. If you're mildly interested, rent it. If you don't have a Xbox 360, and you're on the fence, this isn't the killer app you've been waiting for.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

E3: Elmer's Thoughts

SUPER LONG POST!

First off, the light stuff. Despite the supposed ban on booth babes, E3 2006 still had much costumed hotness upon the show floor. The Sin Episode girls were in particular scorching hotness. But my award for unprecedented achievement in the field of hotness goes to G4 TV’s Layla Kayleigh. Layla Kayleigh may be the first and only person to get 50cent to blush on live television through the power of her hotness and admit one of his favorite games is Pac-man. Not in the same moment mind you, but an impressive feat nonetheless.



Moving on...

E3 2006 has been over for some time now, and quite honestly I couldn’t be happier. The onslaught of news came at an inconvenient time for me to digest it all, what with moving out, trying to cram a summer’s worth of social life in a couple weeks, being on three different medications, and generally wanting to enjoy some r&r. So admittedly I spent far less time checking the sites than I usually do. My primary news came from the surprisingly competent live nightly reporting from G4 TV, complimented by videos which have found their way online. About G4’s reporting, Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb were their usual goofy and entertaining selves while being rather informative. Kevin Peireria, I’ll never be able to spell that last name right, was redeemed when on the last day he proved he truly rocked hard at Guitar Hero. I don’t usually like his cocky yet self deprecating attitude, but he knows his stuff. Olivia Munn, seemed very lost or at least two steps behind everyone else on the live broadcast. She seems nice enough, but not good enough. It seems odd to say, but I felt the broadcast was desperately in need of the sobering presences of Victor Lucas and angering opinions of Tommy Tallarico. If you don’t know any of those past six names, don’t worry too much. G4 is a very confused channel. If you’re lucky enough to watch the channel during the morning hours when they actually cover videogames, and do it rather well with “The Electric Playground” and “X-Play”. Their show “Icons” deserves an Emmy for what it does about gaming history. If you catch it at the afternoon and primetime, be prepared for reruns of Star Trek and some of the crappiest non gaming TV you’ll ever find.

SONY

After the initial press conference, the overall internet opinion on the PS3 wasn’t as impressed as last year’s monstrous demonstration. Here’s why, and I’m in total agreement with Chris Remo from Shacknews, they announced that crazy ass price scheme. Secondly they announced their cheap ass Wii rip off in their controller. Not only did that expensive price sober up the rest of their presentation, the motion sensing comes off as too little too late wannabe crap. AUGH! I’ve ripped on the 360 for having two differently priced systems at launch, I’ll be even worse on the PS3’s plan. Especially as it appears that the lower priced system might have less functionality than just less hard drive space. 600 dollars is painful, very painful.

But let’s move aside from that, I thought the PS3 had exclusively some of my favorite games on show. Metal Gear Solid 4, Final Fantasy XIII, Heavenly Sword, Motorstom, and Assassin’s Creed, (note: current controversies about Assassin’s Creed’s exclusivity are widely reported on) are just four of the games exclusive to the system which have me uber excited. The untitled Naughty Dog project looked like barrels of beautiful jungle fun. Warhawk being playable, being fun, was very important for Sony. Ridge Racer 7 is good news. And the EA sports titles looked incredible, note the use of the word “incredible”. And that PS3 Eye Toy demonstration was incredibly cool. Remember, the one with the cards. (Alright, so a lot of people didn’t think it was that cool. But I still secretly like my Magic the Gathering, and a toy like this is awesome to me.)



Heavenly Sword looks exactly like they promised from E3 a year ago. And it was playable on the show floor. This game looks like it’ll play very much like God of War, and in my mind this is a very good thing. And graphically, I’m willing to call it the most impressive demo I’ve seen from here all the way in Jersey. From all appearances, there were no slowdowns even at the most crowded fighting moments. And that’s much more than many games could boast.



Final Fantasy XIII I will surreptitiously rename to “Bullet Hotness” whenever I think about it. Sure it’s made by the FF X2 team which I loathed. But I only loathed FF X2 for transforming the beautiful and surreal FF X into a super pop Barbie simulator. But from this trailer, the singular heroine appears for all intensive purposes, gracefully badass. It’s like Dante dated Yuna and this is their super beautiful assassin lovechild. Sure it looks nothing like the old Final Fantasies. Sure, it even looks more like it’s a Devil May Cry RPG hybrid than a Final Fantasy we usually think of. And sure, I’m scared that it apparently has a franchise of sequels before it’s even come out. But that trailer triggered in me two very impressing words, Bullet Hotness.

Motorstorm was one of my favorite concept demos from Sony’s 2005 reel. And now it’s coming into playable form, and it’s coming for launch. It’s ambitious, it’s crazy, but it’s also far from done. Eurogamer over here has a very good preview which raises a lot of similar concerns I have with the game. Nintendo’s Excite Truck looks like it’s taken the same idea, but is actually going to finish it. I’m cautiously excited about Motorstorm, it looks great as it does but if it’s not done…

Assassin’s Creed was demoed behind show floors, which I hear is unfortunate since everything I’ve heard has been glamorously positive about its game play. It’s being made by the team which made Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Assassin’s Creed looks truly authentically placed in its 3rd Crusade setting which in itself is no small thing. The scant game play videos I’ve seen show a very powerful graphics engine at work. But excitingly I want to know more about how the game plays. I’ve gotten vague ideas about an extremely open ended next generation version of Looking Glass Studio’s masterpiece, Theif: The Dark Project. While knowing Ubisoft, Assassin’s Creed probably won’t be a PS3 exclusive. But I know it’ll be the system I’m buying it for.

Hideo Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Of all the games my friends and I have talked about post E3, this has been at the top of all discussion. Check out the full fifteen minute trailer via Eurogamer. The full trailer is worth your time, trust me. We’ve been for the past week passing around quotes from the trailer like quotes from our favorite geek films; it’s had that kind of impact. “The onus is ours.” “It was you who killed Abel and was cast out by Eve!” “My turn to protect you, Snake.” (nothing quite like quotes like that to liven up a round of Smash Bros which reminds me, Snake in new Smash Bros = win.) The trailer, once again by a Metal Gear, does the gustiest thing I’d ever seen at an E3. See the trailer for yourself. I was left crying like Darth Vader.

The rest of Sony, God of War II is awesome to the max which reminds me of just how viable a system the PS2 still is to develop for. Guitar Hero 2 is still good news for them. Metal Gear Portable Ops for the PSP is just as awesome, multiplayer MGS on the go is totally good news. I want that MGS digital comic, Ashley Wood is one of my favorite comic artists. Loco Roco makes me happy for the PSP as well. It’s all good times. Oh and btw, OKAMI.

NINTENDO

Heh, what can I say about the Wii? Their press conference was true fanservice to the max right from the get go with Shigeru Miyamoto conducting for the audience. They know how to play us, and we want to play with them. But what can I say about the Wii that I haven’t already said a thousand times over on the show? It’s new, it’s innovative, and it’ll be affordable. The one major new thing I want to talk about that I haven’t said much about, the graphics.

Yes, I want this system. Holy crap, do I ever. And apparently, thousands of people waiting in line to get their hands on it want it just as much.

But I, being all the way on the other side of the US, couldn’t get my hands on it and have no right talking about what it’s actually like to play with it. Reactions from the floor have been mixed but generally found positive. All I can go on from here is what it looks like. And what it looks like is just as I feared, Gamecube 2.0 graphics. Now graphics are very far from the most important thing, but they can be very important and can be used to heighten the game experience. (Imagine if Gears of War weren’t pretty.) Art direction I find is much more important, but is still inherently linked with the technical abilities of the system. The 360 and the PS3 give the art directors so much power for guiding the emotions and the immersion of the player. It worries me for the Wii, but then again there’s that controller.

Metroid Prime 3. It looks like the past two Metroid Primes, beautiful and awesome as those games are I really hope there’s more to this than just the addition of the Wiimote. Zelda: Twilight Princess, I already wanted this game on the Gamecube. I still want it, only now I can get it on Wii. Mario Galaxies or whatever… sure I’ll get it I guess. I fricken love Mario games and this’ll hopefully be no different. But now on to a couple games I really want to see more of. Nintendo Sports, it’s like the eyetoy minigame sets except… ya know, probably fun.

Excite Truck because it’s exactly like Motorstorm except it’s working near completion and it’s driven via tilting the Wiimote. Whatever that Resident Evil Wii project will become, consider me interested. I want my hands on Red Steel because it’s doing everything we immediately clamored for upon the announcement of the Wiimote. Trauma Center for the Wii is good news for me.



Smash Bros. Brawl with more characters, including the possibility for characters from other developers = awesome. But apparently there’s nothing very Wii exclusive about it, meaning it seems so far to not take advantage of the motion sensing stuff and will opt for the classic controller. So beyond the inclusion of Solid Snake, lemme suggest a few other guys for your consideration. Get Pac Man in there, get him in there fast. Simon Belmont, Viewtiful Joe, Cloud, Ken and Ryu would all be great. Some less likely choices could be Master Chief and Gordon Freeman, and many others. The lists could go on to everyone now, and I really hope they’ll take em all up and then some. If this is a launch title, I’m reserving my Wii tomorrow.

So yeah, Nintendo’s got a ton of games and a bunch of new ways to play them. But in the end, is this the revolution we were hoping for? My theory is that upon launch the system will see a smattering of classic game types with tacked on functionality. I’d written on that Madden game for the Wii, but from floor reports it sounds like what I’d feared it be instead of what I hoped. But within the next year or so, we’ll see those games that no other controller could hope to do. The Wii will get its Brain Training and its Kirby, but we will have to wait. So where’s my Animal Crossing!?!

MICROSOFT

The 360 has made a lot of headway at LA easily eating into Sony’s North American presence. Buzz has been positive, the games look great, and the system is already in millions of homes. Getting GTA4 on their system is being seen as a major blow to Sony. And their Live service, unlike the proposed services of the other two companies, actually exists and is working. It’s a solid system, and a very good system, but it’s one that I personally have no real interest in getting.

Ya wanna know why? I don’t like the character of the games that they have. Now I’m not just talking characters and icons, I’m talking about the very character of these games. The general feel of it all seem so… hardcore. Or at least it’s as if they’re trying to show how hard they can be, which is far from being the best. I think I may have said this on the show before but it warrants repeating, I feel like as their trying to show how badass they are, they’re pulling farther and farther away from me. To me, it looks like posing. But beyond that, let’s talk about three titles I’m interested in.

Gears of War. Gosh that looks really really pretty and is probably a barrel of fun too. It looks like a more intuitive Resident Evil 4 improving on the tactical aspects of the game play. But jeeze, I really don’t care for the art style. I never liked Epic’s art direction, as it’s all so… friggen big. I have in the past given praise to big crazy gory art direction, like Quake 3 and God of War. But something about Epic’s art work continues to not click with me. And Gears of War shows no hint of a story, character, or world that I might even remotely care about. It’s the same big shouldered marines fighting big ass monsters that fire missiles on what might be a post apocalyptic earth or something. (Note: it is the very same thing that’s happening in Hellgate: London, but Hellgate I very much praise. More on that later) But beyond the artwork and design, I’d love to get my hands on this game. You get a fricken chainsaw to melee off your opponents’ heads! It’s like reversing the role of your head in RE4.

Halo 3. I think I’ll let our resident Halo master talk about this game when he gets to it. For my two cents, I’m down with “Finishing the fight.”

Mass Effect I’m only interested in for my love of Bioware. Bioware, I love you. Let me marry you. Let me be with you. I love your mind. I love your soul. I don’t care how you look. I don’t care what you’re wearing. I love you for who you are. (translation: I’m not a big fan of their art direction either, but I love their writing and their truly expansive rpgs.)

I might have bought the 360 for a little looked at title called Bioshock. But as it turns out, just like many 360 games I’ve wanted, this is coming to PC.

PCs (and macs now if you got bootcamp)

One of the things that has always kinda kept me from buying an XBOX and a 360 is the fact that most of the games I’ve wanted have sooner or later come out on PC. Don’t get me wrong, the 360 is a lovely system but it lacks exclusives that make me immediately need to get it. Sure Oblivion looks great on it, but I can get it for the PC too. Gears of War is an exclusive, and a very good one. But it ain’t my cup of tea.

Hellgate London, we’ve mentioned this game before and I’ll need to reiterate how awesome this game is looking. It’s a good ol hack and slash with a design sense that appeals to me. The Templar designs look badass and the backdrop of broken hellish London streets seems a great enough place to battle monsters emerging from fiery pits. There’s something about the design sense, there’s the whole big shoulders thing but it also holds a sense of beauty and the ornate truly evoking the crusade era knights in armor. But the most fun aspect of it to me is the easy to pick up and never have the exact same levels twice. The levels are randomly generated, ala Diablo. And the items are equally as random but entirely customizable. Watching the demonstration on G4, I totally got psyched when they started adding parts to this gun and it changed the model on the avatar. If that translates to customizable appearances with armors and accessories, count me in. It’s Diablo, in London, with Guns. (speaking of Diablo, reminds me of Blizzard, which reminds me of Starcraft Ghost, What the hell dudes!?!)

SPORE, I love this idea. I know I’m buying this idea. And I think the whole rest of the internets have done a good job eating this up. It’s reawakening the scientist in me. But not the benevolent cure the world scientist. It’s the mad scientist who wished to profane nature’s creation and turns it upon itself to create worlds never dreamt possible or reasonable, a place where the piteous worlds of distant stars are my playthings to tinker with or to destroy. Thank you Will Wright.



And Bioshock. This is coming from the team that made System Shock and System Shock 2. That alone is enough to peak my interest. Those two games were a couple of the most revolutionary and truly frightening games in history, which no one played. I find that most descriptions of how it plays sound a lot like a bunch of other games out there. But with everyone’s write ups, there’s the absolute assurance that it does things so well and so innovatively that every minute of the closed doors demonstration showed true next generation promise. The world is not just a backdrop; it’s an ecosystem of enemies and allies which you must use intelligently to your advantage. The environment is a gorgeous idealized Art Deco world shadowed with splatters of blood and destruction. System Shock gave me nightmares, Bioshock I’m betting will do the same.



Now my favorite announcement that no one else noticed, SAM AND MAX is coming to Gametap! I’ve been accused of being an advertiser for Gametap’s excellent service, and I won’t argue. I love this service and have vouched for it the minute I downloaded it. And Traveler’s Tales is doing an awesome thing here providing episodic content to the lineup of Gametap’s downloadable games. It’s the perfect place for episodic storytelling. It’s great, it’s totally freakin great.

FINAL WORDS

And now to the part most of you have probably skipped to. I’m not betting on a good year for Sony in terms of the PS3. As for the rest of Sony, I’m ready to believe the PSP. Developers are starting to come out with some more system moving games. And with Sony possibly looking to ditch UMD, there’s always the possibility of them encouraging a solid download service like they’re starting in Japan. And for Sony’s part, you still can’t discount a 100 million unit install base for the PS2. But when you look at how well the 360 did this year at E3, and the maturing of their games, the smart money’s on them having a very merry Christmas in the US. I’m getting a Wii; it’s possibly the only system I can afford. Despite what I said about it above, I think this system will prove its price in gold. But that’s also because I’m one of them Nintendo fanboys at heart, eagerly awaiting their next Smash Bros and their next Zelda. And Pikmin! Where the hell’s Wii’s Pikmin, it’s practically made for that controller!

The Sony, too pricey for me to get on launch. The XBOX, no exclusives I care about. The Wii, has all the Nintendo games I want but might fail to entice the usual hardcore.

So the hardcore have said their voice, and in general the 360 is the winner for North America this year. As Pal had revealed, it’s a very different story in Japan. But what about Nintendo’s push to bring other demographics into gaming? We’ll have to see how they market it. Are we gonna be seeing ads for the Wii in Reader’s Digest? The really casual gamers don’t care about E3. Heck, even I’m hoping next year people will spread out their news better. (I’m betting there’s a ton of cool small games I’ll never hear about since they got squished by Halo and MGS and the others.) And of course the casual gamers don’t give a rat’s ass on who’s winning the console war. I still pray for the day that these console wars will be over and I won’t have to buy three systems to play all the games I actually want. In the end, obviously, it’ll be about which console has which games you want most. The PS3 has those for me, the Wii does too, and the 360 does not.

One last note, I’m off to the other side of the world. Elmer’s going island hopping, snorkeling, and artsy stuff in his homeland of the Philippines. Chances are unlikely I’ll be connected to the internets for any long period of time, so don’t expect updates from me for awhile. Maybe I’ll come back with gaming life from Cebu. Maybe I won’t touch a single videogame for a month. But one thing I know, it’s gonna be great. So for now… AWAY!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

E3: Pal's Thoughts

A lot of things happened this year at E3, especially the unveiling of the future consoles to come. Sure, we knew about it, but this was the tradeshow to showcase their best before they ship it out. I've always loved hearing new specs, videos, reactions to the playable demos, etc., but this year I felt a little underwhelmed.

Maybe I need to play them in the flesh. Right now it just seems like more of the same, but that's how it goes. I'm sure it'll be impressive when I get my hands on it. The jump from 2D to 3D changed the way we play games in a brand new way but we've been stuck in 3D-style gaming for a while now. Nintendo's trying to change that, but I hope that it won't be a gimmicky mess. The Nintendo DS paved the way for the Wii, selling interactivity as the major new dimension in games, but the third-party seems to still have problems with it. A good example is Red Steel, where sword fighting was one of the big selling points, but it has been revealed that swinging the sword merely triggers a sword swinging animation -- no real-time sword fighting.

Sony on the other hand embarrassed many fans with their new PlayStation 3 controller. Sure, it looks respectable again, but the new sensors inside to detect movement is a bit sad -- it has even been reported that the controller was a rushed hack, and it looked like one. I don't know if Sony needs this. The console already has a $550 starting pricepoint and I can't justify more money for this feature unless Sony pulls off some crazy miracle that makes it the pinnacle of the next generation.

Sony is scared of Nintendo, Nintendo is becoming the blacksheep this coming console wars, and Microsoft...Oh, Microsoft. I heard that the booth was spectacular, but sadly I've only seen the Halo 3 news and the $200 HD-DVD external drive. Let's put Halo 3 aside (since I'm sure we know how that was) and talk about the drive... $200! Puts the 360 in Sony's league, doesn't it? It's very clunky and I can't see this being too popular. I'm sure that Microsoft will include this in new 360 models with a price bump, a head-to-head format wars with Sony.

It's hard to guess who will end up on top, but my guess is pretty much the same as this generation. In Japan, the PS3 in first, Wii in second and the 360 in distant third. In America, PS3 will come in first, 360 and Wii sharing second (most likely Wii a little ahead of 360). It's interesting to note what Japanese gamers considered the top news in E3:

  1. Impression and presentation of PlayStation 3 Controller
  2. Square Enix's announcement of Final Fantasy XIII
  3. Price and Launch date of PlayStation 3
  4. Announcement of Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Snake as a new character
  5. PlayStation 3 menu and user interface
  6. Details of the PlayStation 3 Network Platform
  7. Images of PlayStation 3 games
  8. Three versions of Final Fantasy XIII
  9. Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen & The Tower of Mirrors for Wii
  10. Images of Square Enix games
PS3 and Square-Enix dominates the list, with only two things concerning Wii (and one of them is the announcement of a Dragon Quest Wii game, which is by Square-Enix). It's obvious that Square-Enix is still a very powerful presence in Japan, and traditionally any console graced with their games have flourished (NES, SNES, PS1, PS2). It's a shame that Mist Walker's release is so far away, as we can't tell yet if they are the Square-Enix of the 360.

How will Wii handle RPGs? If in the style of Oblivion it may not do so well in Japan with their shyness of FPS-style games, but would be a hit in the United States and perhaps elsewhere. The Legend of Zelda will do well as usual, but what about traditional, non-action RPGs?

We'll just have to see this coming November, won't we?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Yeah... about that E3

We're not there. We won't be there. But we'll be here with all our favorite highlights from this year's super mega important press conference.

But right now, it was just the last week of school. And we're students. We've just been essentially thrown out of our dorm rooms and are looking for some R&R. We'll be with ya soon, check your news elsewhere. We'll be back, we'll always be back. Peace!

Monday, May 01, 2006

How Wii will play football

EA's John Schappert goes into a nice little mindboggling interview with IGN about how Electronic Arts is taking Madden and some other franchises home on the Nintendo Wii. (Wii! I just... friggen... love... saying that!) Click the title to check out the full article.

Among the revelations, including that John Schappert's a Nintendo fanboy, is the existence of large amounts of EA resources dedicated to Wii development. Not merely just a large team of developers creating ports of existing franchises, but many teams working together on many game projects and sharing their resources and ideas about Wii. And a Madden as a launch title for Wii, which in any language is a good thing.

As far as Madden controlling on the Wii, here's hoping it'll be a fun experience. As it is right now, it seems you'll control your player's with the analog stick on the nunchuck and perform actions like passing or juking with the wand. Snap your wrist right and your player will juke right. Imagine the amount of subtlety you could accomplish in terms of faking right, then heading left.

John Schappert seems committed to making this version of Madden unique and not just a port with tacked on functionality. And while Electronic Arts has not always been known for boldness and uniqueness, this interview with EA Canada's senior Vice President sounds more than a little promising for the crazy new platform.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Nintendo Revolution no more, introducing...

Nintendo Wii!

I don't like the name at all, but here it is. Get used to it!

Nintendo named it this way since the Revolution was being abbreviated by many, and Nintendo did not like that.

I'm sure that Wii will be slapped on every game title as well, a la Super Mario, Mario DS, and now...Mario Wii.

Sure, you don't have to abbreviate the name. But do you know how confusing it's going to be?

"We were playing the Wii last night."
"The what?"
"We were playing with the Wii."
"Dude. Don't tell me this, this is too weird."
"No, I mean, we have our own Wiis and we were waving the controller and...Ugh, nevermind."

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Game development team for rent!

Have a great idea for a game? Don't have the skills or the connections to get it mainstream? Well, if you have what it takes, and that means over $150,000, you can have your own game development team for 90 days!

It's a crazy idea. A team of 7 to 15 (depending on the project) will work remotely for the winning bidder for a full 90 days. Not enough time to finish a game but enough to make a working alpha if the winner knows what they're doing -- which might be good enough to get picked up to be finished. The team is negotiable for intentions to work longer if the producer sees that it's going somewhere (or if the money's really good, I'm sure).

According to them they can develop for the Xbox 360 and the PS3 on a cross-platform engine. The team members are not individually disclosed but have worked on Dungeons and Dragons, DarkStalkers, Army Men: Sarges Heroes, Battletanx, The Red Baron, Tribes 2 and many more.

Unconfirmed: PS3 release date, price

The latest issue of PSM (Unofficial PlayStation Magazine) claimed that the release date for the PlayStation 3 is set for early November with a price tag of $399 (¥45,965, €€322).

On a side note, CNN speculates that Sony & Nintendo both will not officially announce the release date/price of the PS3 & Revolution at E3. Microsoft, however, will hype Windows Vista gaming and first footage of the new Halo.

Source: Joystiq

Monday, April 24, 2006

Final Fantasy III

More screenshots of the classic Famicom RPG remake for the DS has surfaced! This is the first time this game has been remade and the first FF game on a DS: when it comes to the States, this will also be the first time it has ever landed on this side of the Pacific.

Go there!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

M.U.G.E.N.

Someone a while back mentioned this little program to me. As it was then, I wasn't too excited and it still seems like a lot of effort. But now, after reliving some of my love for 2d fighters in recent days and finding these wonderful little videos on the internet, MUGEN seems a lot more appealing.

The premise is simple, it's a fan made engine available online for sprite based fighting games with tag team matches and insanely fast moves. The characters and moves are all user created, or ripped from other games. And the community that has reached out to each other is phenomenal. It's essentialy a wonderful tool for creating your own ultimate showdowns of ultimate destiny.

Where else can you have a tag team matchup of Dr. Doom and a Sentinel versus a Metroid and a Chain Chomp?

To go along with this, I'd been keeping up with a large championship that has been excellently fitted onto YouTube. Here's a clip.

MUGEN World Tag Team Grand Prix: Night One


Check the rest via YouTube courtesy of a man known as Manwithastick.

I'll be looking in how you guys can get in on the MUGEN action. Hopefully a detailed analysis on character creation as well. As for that tournament, if it ain't already over, I'm putting my money on Marvin the Martian teamed with Popeye the Sailor.

History of Videogames (video)

A brief overview of the first video games to emerge on the market. Good documentary with some interesting interviews!

Click on the title to jump to the video.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Episode 9 - April 14th, 2006

Episode 9! We minimize the news this week and talk more about games: opinions, nostalgia, likes and dislikes...Fanboyism to the max! BREAKING NEWS (reported by The Game Show): LEGO Batman game...Yes! Like LEGO Star Wars!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The One Legged Man Can Dance

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Behind the Scenes of Silent Hill

Anyone traveling on the subway recently are likely to have seen this adorable little face staring back at them. Quite frankly, the porcelain white nature of it has made it an ideal victim for unflattering graffiti.


Behind the Scenes of Silent Hill

Originally aired on Starz, voodooed onto PutFile, and here for your edutainment. There's a little bit too much of that classic hollywood promotional talk like; "The director is such a visionary." "The script scared me so much I had to put it down." These words get tossed around so easily it makes me roll my eyes. But the visuals and the scenes that are shown seem like tangible evidence that this is gonna be a heck of a flick for once living up to those hollywood hyperboles.

Why inform you of a hollywood movie here? Because any gamer worth their salt has at least heard of Silent Hill. Having just revisited Silent Hill 2 for the PS2 recently, my excitement for this flick is at an all time high.

Spoilers galore, watch at your own risk. Even if you've played the game, all of them, there are some specific scenes that probably should've been left unspoiled. Beautiful to watch, incredible to know that they're there, but probably woulda been better to not have known before the movie came out. By the way, yes the movie features the creepy nurses. And yes, they are very creepy.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Episode 8 - April 7th, 2006

Eight! Xbox360 re-release in Japan, GDC PS3 demo reactions, Capcom's tax fraud issue, sex/perversion in games, and more...more!...MORE!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

APRIL FOOLS: Boll is BACK! HIDE THE FILM RIGHTS!!!!

Why, Saint nick's right nipple WHY!!! Dr. Uwe Bol has, through some unfounded leep of logic swept up the rights to make not one, not two, but THREE starcraft movies.

The man can't even make one good movie, let alone three. And what galls me about this is that the AOL artical not only calls his movies a "sucess" but they also say that blizzard was "tickled pink" by the script. Obviously this must have happend in another universe because from what I know, this can only signal the apocolypse.
Uwe bol bashing aside. these games wouldn't even make the best of movies in a compitent directors hands. sigh we'll see what happens, but as of this moment...

I weep for the species

Monday, April 03, 2006

Bob Ross coming to Revoloution!


This news is so good it has to be fattening.

Bob Ross Inc. has announced in March 2006 that they have filed a letter of intent to license to Joseph Hatcher's AGFRAG Entertainment Group to develop exclusively worldwide video/computer games based on Bob Ross' creative, unique and easy to learn painting techniques and TV show properties.
The Bob Ross video game, currently untitled, is planned to be developed for PC, the Nintendo DS handheld & on Nintendo's next-gen system coming later this year, code named Revolution. Release date was not announced. AGFRAG is currently seeking a publisher.
-from bobross.com

Alright, this news has been sulking around for some time now, and it was early on marked as an April Fools joke. However, most of these jokes don't last five days. I did some digging around and developer AGFRAG is indeed real. Or at least an impressive fascimile. All the major websites and blogs are confirming and publishing their reports of the stunning announcment. And someone from AGFRAG has indeed contacted many of the sites who've sent inquiries. So, count this as pure unadulterated truth.

And delicious truth indeed.

Bob Ross.com Press Release
AGFRAG.com

Taking a look at those AGFRAG guys and their website isn't exactly encouraging. But considering the developer friendly nature of the Revoloution and the DS, count me optimistic that even this small team can give all gamers that have ever held a paintbrush something to smile about.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Episode 7 - March 31st, 2006

Episode number lucky 7! GDC announcements, Nintendo Revolution's supposed specs, Crytek's new engine, a day in the life of Elder Scrolls: Oblivion with Blackwell, Elmer's quick review of MGS3: Subsistance and Pal's review of Brain Training (Brain Age).

NEW: Now in VBR! File sizes as small as under 30MB -- compare to 60MB! *Older episodes will be converted to VBR for convenience to future listeners.

Monday, March 20, 2006

SPRING BREAK!

above image totally belongs to Something Awful

It's spring break here at Pratt and while that might mean fun in the sun, relaxation without taxation, we unfortunately don't get to give you your weekly dose of us. But don't worry, we're still here working a little overtime to keepin you all up to date on the news and views that matter to yous.

Big news to watch out for, The Game Developers Conference. We'll be checking all the major sites daily and we'll come back to you with all the tastiest tid bits from the show floor.

And for all you Pratt people who're also on Spring Break, here's a ton of fun to keep you all busy from here till the second coming.

Lifemeter Comics Great Art, cool comics, and true lighthearted fun. Lifemeter Comics is a sort of collective welcoming submissions from gamer savy artists all around. Check dem out, they're good.

Penny Arcade As I called em during our Webcomics episode, the Doonsbury of gaming. If you don't know them, you should.

Red Vs Blue A Halo quite unlike what you may be familiar with. Brilliantly funny and truly an epic storyline all it's own, Red Versus Blue is a fine way to spend your hard won free time.

VG Cats Fun, fur, and violence. Videogaming at it's most foul and funnest. With a truly original and exceptional comic timing, his elegant writing structure is tempered finely with a taste for the obscene. Fine work.

Mario and Zelda Big Band Live I've been listening to this album for a good year now and it has never bored me once. This live Nintendo nostalgia is so worth your two hours.

Garry's Mod Got Half Life 2? Get Garry's Mod. Express your creative juices and delve into your inner machinima. It's a hell of a way to import days of fun into your already fine purchase. We'll be sure to share with you all our Garry's Mod creations and we'll hope to see some from our fine listeners as well.

The Speed Demos Archive Think about how long it took you to get out of bed this morning. If you're anything like me, it's quite some time. Now imagine someone just beat from start to finish The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind before you got to the bathroom. These Speed Demos will be sure to astound and amaze.


Enjoy your vacation everyone, we'll be here and we'll see you when you get back.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Dreamfall

The Longest Journey


Now we here at the Game Show feel it is in our best collected interests in telling you about the games which excite us. This year may be the last year for the passing generation to provide us with its last memorable masterpieces. Dreamfall: The Longest Journey is coming from the small developer FunCom and has been whetting my appetite for new adventure.

Sequel to the critically acclaimed, and one of my personal favorites, The Longest Journey, Dreamfall is looking not to reinvent the old adventure genre. But to give us a memorable story and grand new worlds not entirely unlike what we know. Follow the following links, you may just like where you end up.

Official Dreamfall Website
Shacknews Dreamfall Preview/Interview
Dreamfall trailer via Fileshack

Friday, March 17, 2006

Episode 6 - March 17th, 2006

The latest PS3 and PSP news including the AMAZING firmware coming soon to the PSP, PSP pricecut, piracy issues, I AM 8 BIT, Buyers Beware: Paid Previewers, Halo 3 and the new Elder Scrolls!

Oh yeah, we're on top of the game.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Stand Back Boy, I kick Ass for the LORD!!!

HELLGATE LONDON!!!!!. Basically take the creator of Diablo, and tell him to go to town on Merry ol' London, and this is what you get. Futuristic crusade against the legions of the damned in London England. This RPG-Shooter that promises all the demon fucking done proper you could ever ask for. And unlike doom you'll actually be a HOLY fighter. This is classic folks, not since hellsing have we seen priests grab sharp object to put foot to ass for the lord.

News on this game has been scarce, until now. Hellgate Guru has been righteous enough to bring us the HELLGATE LONDON FAQ, click the title to go there and breath the sulfur. Many things discussed about gameplay and solo player, but nothing revealed about the multiplayer action (can't wait to challenge the catholic glee club to a match of this hehe!").


If you doubt, then look no further than this

PS3 Press Conference, what's there to report?

Ken Kutaragi made the robots cry...

So, by now everyone and their mothers have heard that the PS3 is sorta delayed. Hell, it was even on CNN this morning. Here's a bit of a rundown on the interesting stuff the press conference revealed. If you want the full rundown, check it out here via the Gaming Age Forums.

- PS3 to aim for worldwide launch sometime in early November. They hope to launch with 6 million units in all territories by March 2007. Some sites pointed at the singular date of November 11th as the launch date. Whether this is referring just to Japan or all territories hasn't been cleared up at the time of this posting.

-Final PS3 dev kits due out to developers in June. Pretty much four months before launch. Get cracking guys and good luck.

-PS3 will be no less than 50,000 yen which is roughly $425. Note that the conference says, "no less than." Meaning of course those people holding on to $700 price stickers still have room to speculate.

-PS3 will come with a 60gb hard drive as standard. (GOOD MOVE in my opinion)

-Blu-ray development was indeed the cause for delay. Publishers and Sony are still working on a system for copy protecting their content.

-Sony's workin with Gamespy to deliver the online goods for PS3. Which if you allow me to speculate a little, should extend to their PSP.

-Full Backwards Compatibility with PS2 and PS1. Which arguably gives it the best launch library of any console. Speaking of launch library...

-No new game news. GDC is only a little while away guys.

-PSP gets a videophone thingy and a price cut. Sorta. You'll soon be able to purchase a Core System PSP that doesn't come with some of the accessories in the box for $199. Personally, I just want a flash memory drive on that sucka.


So there you have it. Simultaneous worldwide release in November. Can they do it? Are they up to it? Are they in fact, building them as we speak? Are we looking at a repeat of 360 MADNESS!?! Be sure to tune in to the Game Show this Thursday for our two cents on the matter.


One really interesting note that I have to point out. No pictures coming out of the conference so far show the PS3 mockup we've come to love or hate in any of the slides. Could it have been redesigned behind our backs? Oooooo the mystery!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Desu Ex Your ASS!!!

Apparently you'll have to pick up Game informer to get the full story but all you really need to know is that God of war 2: Divine retribution is coming. Duck

Monday, March 13, 2006

Episode 5 - March 10th, 2006

Final Fantasy XII gets a perfect score by Famitsu, Super Robot Wars comes to the U.S., even more PS3 rumors, our special guest Mark discusses video game web comics with us and... The Lightning Round!

Episode 4 - March 3rd, 2006

A mini-review of Black, a review of Super Monkey Ball: Touch & Roll by our guest Kim, several listeners phone in, and gamers being gamers!

Episode 3 - February 24th, 2006

Episode tres! PlayStation 3 release as vague as ever, funny commercials and videos, Blue Sky In Games, Hollywood vs. gaming industry, how to be a cheap-ass gamer, 101 Free Games and we review Need for Speed: Most Wanted.

Thanks for listening guys and gals, our love is mutual!

NOTE: Sorry for the delay in posting this episode -- we didn't have webspace to host it!

Episode 2 - February 17th, 2006

Another great episode of The Game Show! We cover news like the new Nintendo DS, Halo 2 on the PC, video game movies, a review of Resident Evil 4 by special guest! We even have our first ever caller on the show, giving us a review of Dragon Quest VIII -- this is good times.

Enjoy the show!

NOTE: Sorry for the delay in posting this episode -- we didn't have webspace to host it!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Non sequitur

Kudos to our guest Mark for telling us about this. This is perfection in comics.

The London Scene

Some exciting news from across the seas, two major events scheduled for the game community in London. This marks a serious step forward in credibility for games in England, with both the London games festival and the British Academy Video Game Awards scheduled for an entire week in the coming year. These not only serve to honor game makers as talented and imaginative, but also recognizing video games as an creative media art form equal to Movies and Television.

http://www.bafta.org/site/page20.html, This the site for the BAVGA

The London Games festival is to use most of the week, hosting the London Games Summit, and the content market. More Gamer targeted events are expected to be announced in the coming months.

"Hail to the king baby" Ash-man god and friend to women


The Mentioned Mentionables

Mentioned this a while ago and again on the most recent show, the Mortal Kombat Shaolin Monks commercial that is now banned:



Final Fantasy XII Potion commercial:



Final Fantasy XII - Famitsu magazine scans and translation (by me, Pal!). Get the magazine scans here (password is ff12), and the translation below:
First reviewer:

"As always a grand story and the ever slightly changing battle system pulls you in more and more. The large maps that you battle in especially can make you lose track of time because of its appeal. It's amazing that a single player game can make you feel like you're playing with team mates!"

Second reviewer:

"It may feel awkward at first for FFX players since the battle system takes ques from the FFXI battle system, but the Gambit system will make getting used to the system a smooth transition. The freedom that can be achieved is great, even if the gamer's skills are limited. The story is great as usual and the acting is impressive."

Third reviewer:

"A very generous game in how it's built. The story is rock solid but offers a great sense of freedom. The battles are a joy to play once you're used to the transition-less nature. There are times when you may just die instantly, so caution is to be taken at all times. This nervousness also makes the game a lot more exciting and fun."

Fourth reviewer:

"Visuals that take your breath away, a complicating looking yet easy to play system, a balanced experience that fits all playing styles -- there are no faults in this game. You'll somehow get really into the game at one point and won't be able to stop. Even compared to the classic FFs, this can be ranked right alongside of them."

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

How to build a Game of the Year

The Making of Shadow of the Colossus

Found via Kotaku, on Dying Duck.com, originally from some japanese site which I don't know the name of but keep seeing all the time

Namco Bandai president speaks for the PS3


It's getting harder and harder to trust Sony and their ability to pull the whole PS3-on-spring thing off, but here's some information that's going around from PS3 backers.
In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Namco Bandai president Takeo Takasu said that Sony will not be able to launch PlayStation 3 in spring, because there is still no official announcement and distribution of the console is impossible in the spring. Furthermore, the company develops a number of titles for PS3, but progress is temporary stalled to coordinate with the hardware. Takeo said he thinks PS3 will be launched before Christmas 2006.
This is perhaps the slowest feeling, least exciting pre-launch bonanza, ever. No new announcements, pictures, playable demos, nothing. There's some hope however:
Weekly Famitsu mentioned that details of a next generation console will be revealed very soon in Japan, but names were not disclosed. It could possible be either Nintendo Revolution or Sony PlayStation 3.
What system this may be is still unclear, but finally, something to keep us interested!

Update: New information for the PS3 will definitely be revealed at the GDC on March 22. Read about it here.

Source: The Magic Box

Was it worth the wait?

It feels like we've been waiting forever. Delay after delay SquareEnix has teased us, but we have finally been given a release date and a review. No more promise-laden screenshots, trailers and a demo that give you a taste of only the battle system and none of the story -- this is the real thing!

Was it worth the wait?

Here are the latest Japanese game review scores, Square Enix's Final Fantasy XII received a perfect 40/40 score.

* Final Fantasy XII (PS2, Square Enix): 10, 10, 10, 10 - (40/40)

Note that this is Famitsu's review, meaning that by converting their scores to any other gaming review standards it equals to 12 out of 10. In the history of Famitsu only six games (with the addition of Final Fantasy XII) have received the 40/40 Platinum award:

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Nintendo, for Nintendo 64)
Soul Calibur (Namco, for Dreamcast)
Vagrant Story (Squaresoft, for PlayStation)
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (Nintendo, for Nintendo GameCube)
Nintendogs (Nintendo, for Nintendo DS)
Final Fantasy XII (Square Enix, for Playstation 2)


Mark your calendars for the first of August for the U.S. release, since it looks like we're in for quite a ride.

Source: The Magic Box

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Not so fast there cohost

In a long going internal argument between us three hosts, I've taken the more conservative road in reporting anything, ANYTHING, PS3 related.

I link to you this article at the Video Game Mediawatch.

It's quite revealing that it was not the Sony CEO being quoted but Variety Magazine themselves. While yes, this was in the context of speaking with Sony's US CEO, it is not exactly a Sony Press release. And this isn't even the chairman of their electronics entertainment department.

Journalist Kyle Orland at the Video Game Mediawatch took it upon himself to phone Variety about this very question. As of this posting, he's received no response that I can check.

In the end however, there seems to be enough reason to believe Variety's claim. Check Variety's article for yourselves people. Though they don't cite any source who says that specific statement, hopefully it was made with some intelligent inference. If it hasn't, then it's truly unfortunate damage that has been done. But I shall remain skeptical. Even if I'm not buying it on opening day, I probably wouldn't be able to afford it, it's still something I'm betting SCEW (Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide is hahah skew!) is doing everything in their power to avoid any delay to their bold Spring Statement.


Correction: I said US CEO, that's wrong and I apologize. He's generally in charge of all Sony divisions worldwide and managing them much in the way a general is overseeing individual divisions and troop movements. He doesn't necessarily know all the details of hardware or software and is an admitted low tech dude, but he knows what must be done in general. (haha, get it) I reiterate, the words that Sony's console would miss Japan's Spring launch did not come directly from his mouth.

One more time, while I am not saying that this article is a confirmation of anything, I cannot deny the growing probability of a PS3 delay.

Sad Sad day in PS3 Land

Sony CEO Howard Stinger Has confirmed that the PS3 will launch in the holiday season of 2006. Sorry guys.

Febuary Sales Figures Low

But not unexpected

While the whole industry often looks at this time to save and wait for the next generation consoles and spending on games is going down, I sit and await eagerly the Now Generation getting cheaper and cheaper and cheaper. Let the sales figures decline! Maybe it'll get publishers and retailers to refuse that $60 price point.

This is what gamers want

As the real sorce of carnage driven male hormones on this show I feel it is my duty to present this.

This is how you sell World of Warcraft

Kotaku had this video (ed. on The Swedish Fish) linked on their site as the real way you should sell world of warcraft. My response was to book the next flight out for Korea

Monday, March 06, 2006

The age of the Brain

Isamu Shishido, a 67-year-old retiree told the AP that he sometimes forgets simple things like names or phone numbers and that he intends to play Brain Training to (hopefully) help his memory. "I don't want to end up some crazy old man," Shishido explained. "I want to play a little everyday before going to bed."

Shishido added that he's going to get his adult daughter to play as well, so that the two can compete. "If I practice hard enough, maybe I'll even beat her. That's my goal. I'm not going to let her make fun of my memory again."


Check dis article out here. At GameDaily, via Kotaku

A few Japanese hospitals have gotten the bright idea to lend out Nintendo DSs (what's the plural of DS?) equipped with Brain Training to their patients. The doctors hope the game will help keep their minds stimulated and especially for the elderly, the games are proving to be more than just a diversion but a form of mental preservation. Known as Brain Age in the West, I'm hoping these games prove to be much more entertaining and more stimulating than those Reader Rabbit games from elementary school.

Long Live the FIGHTERS!

haha, your eyes will now partially belong to me, now that I have conquered the Blog entry demon. Blackwell here and I can finally post on the blog. For to long have I been abcent from this arena, my enemy's have grown weak and soft. They shall once again know fear.

The Newest Massive

Or at least it's new to me. Check it out.

Massively Multiplayer PONG

Dumb fun worth your valuable eight seconds.

edit: It seems that it doesn't work at all times. Either it's because you need to wait for an opponent to log on, or the code is just broken.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Future is AWESOME #002

Check dis interview from film website Ain't it Cool News.

Now I don't like explaining articles, but a brief description of who these two are is important. Harry Knowles is a movie journalist unlike most others, known for his geekiness, his informality, and his distinct character shape. (fat man, shorts, red beard, you've seen it) James Cameron is the man who just may change the cinema tomorrow. He's been responsible for a couple of the major technological leaps in filmmaking of the last couple decades, notably Terminator 2 and Titanic. Since Titanic he's been working on how to bring about the 3d revolution. As more than just a cheap gimmick, but a real evolution in entertainment media. Stereoscopic imaging for both the home and the theater. It certainly sounds a lot more interesting to me than HD TV.

Not really an in-depth article, more like a "just so you know" kind of deal.

The hills are full of trolls

Found via Penny-Arcade, who linked to an article on game blog GameLife

Writer Chris Kohler had apparently angered some sort of gaming god with his preview of the Elder Scrolls: Oblivion last week. His preview happened to differ a little with all the gushing praise that's been coming out of the regular press outlets. Thus he angered the trolls.

The comment thread on his article has provided me with many snickers. And not the candy bar. Like this piece of comedy gold,
"The only people that would not like this game are people that do not like any type of RPGs or dumb ass people that can't handle the immense content and freedom of the game."
"its a role playing game, with AT LEAST 200 HOURS of gameplay, and you say it "sucks" because you're "forced" to spend an hour or so in a tutorial dungeon? "

An hour in a tutorial dungeon, good god. Any case, the trolling of his comment thread amazes me. The preview wasn't even a negative preview. Chris Kohler was even forced to reiterate that the scope of the game is a stunning achievement. No journalist should be forced into such a state, especially by rabid fanboys emerging from the Elder Scrolls forums.

The attacks on him don't end there, it's even appeared on Shacknews forums. We shouldn't even mention The Elder Scrolls forums. And with enough digging, I'm sure you could find it on every forum out there.

Sure, not all journalists are equal in skill or credibility. And yes, Chris Kohler is just one voice out of dozen that choose to highlight the things he didn't like. But crazy ass fanboys are just as bad for the internet, if not worse. It's not as if they're just disagreeing with Kohler, they're also calling him discredited. Now that's just low, people. Now that's just low.

But other parts of the comment thread offered not only idiocy but highlights to some of the industry's worst and most contentious issues. Things like 200 hour long games or reviews that are objective instead of emperical. These issues are worth another rant for another time.

-elmer

edit: Ya know, I take some of that back. It's not even a preview article. It's a blog post about someone's experience. If this is enough to get those Elder Scrolls fans riled up, I can't wait to see an actual negative review.

Monday, February 27, 2006

On Hills that are Silent

Alright, after this EGM interview with Christophe Gans, I'm not just expecting Silent Hill to be a great and faithful videogame adaptation. I'm expecting it to be the scariest film I'll see in years.

Find that interview right here.

I'm the kind of guy that rather have you all read the entire article than sum it all up myself. It's a long one so give it a good half hour, it'll be a worthwhile read for any gamer. Be warned, it goes indepth into some of the ideology of Silent Hill, so if you haven't played the games. Prepare to be spoiled.

-elmer

Friday, February 24, 2006

Late night update guys!

*Yaawwwwwwnnnnnn*

Hey, we just had our third show and to our pleasant surpise, our loyal fans were all still listening in force despite class schedules really doin us all in. The topics covered ranged from the PS3 rumor mill to our Need for Speed: Most Wanted review to our coverage of gaming for the cheapskate and even a special music break appearance from De La Soul cover of Parappa the Rapper's "U Gotta Believe!" (link via YouTube)

Other links to come up later, I'm sure. But for now, night everyone!

PS. as of this post, there still seems to be a problem getting archived episodes online. Ricky, if your reading this, we need to get in contact with that network guy you mentioned. Otherwise, it's allll goooood.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Emulated Music


So, you've probably played a game on an emulator or at least heard of it. A program basically tells your computer to act like a specific machine and tries to run the game as faithful to the original as possible. Emulation's gone a long way, and last generation's (or is it two generations now?) 32/64-bit games are being emulated almost perfectly -- if your computer can support its high demands.

Another side of emulation is game music emulation. Instead of mimicking a whole game with graphics, music, controls and then timing them all to run at the same time, a sound processor is singled out and emulated. This is not too demanding on computers, and is quite ingenius.

For example, the ever so popular Final Fantasy VII has a huge soundtrack of over 90 tracks and spans four CDs. When emulated, the soundtrack is only 809KB. You read it right, it's under a megabyte! Other games can be larger in size (Dragon Quest VIII weighs in at 13MB - yes, PlayStation 2 games are supported too), but it's quite a difference.

The best part about sound emulation is that most games that never got a soundtrack now has an unofficial one. One of my favorite games, Kirby Super Star, can now be summoned via Winamp whenever I want and it's a wonder to behold, especially considering that it provides me with over an hour of music for 157KB.

How this is managed is that it isn't recorded as a sound like traditional CDs or MP3s. All the emulator does is read a series of instructions that tells them what note to play at what time. Another novelty of sound emulation is that you can choose how it plays. Resample the song to a higher quality, adding reverb or how many times it plays before fading out to the next track. If you're really into a particular song, you can actually loop the song indefinitely, just like in the games.

So, where can you get this sound emulated goodness? A great place to start is Zophar's Domain in the Game Music Archives section.

SPC - Super Nintendo. A lot of players to choose from (even a Macintosh one), but I use the Winamp plug-in Winamp2 SPC Plugin. It works with Winamp5. For music, visit SNESMusic.org.

PSF Central - PlayStation 1 & 2. Get the Highly Experimental Winamp plug-in and look for music on the bottom of the main page under PSF Files.

Well, that's that. Good luck, and have fun indulging in nostalgia.

Hint: Make sure to uncompress your downloaded music before you play them. Unless some plug-ins are installed, your music player will not be able to play *.RAR/*.RSN files!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Twilight Princess Delay

It's Official

Twilight Princess will be available for the 2006 holiday season, bringing its time delayed to a full year. If the game is actually spending time being forged into a masterpiece, so be it. But it'll be a sadder spring and summer season for GameCubers everywhere. Plus it might bring about the nightmare situation many Nintendo fans have dreaded, having to choose between the Revolution and the latest Zelda game.

Well, we'll at least have Yoot Saito's Odama to look forward to.

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Future is AWESOME #001

The future is awesome and the mouse will be dead.

Video Link

- Elmer C.

p.s. I need to figure out how to put links into regular text...

Quick News: 02/17/06


A new Tekken has been announced for the PSP - Tekken: Dark Resurrection. Adapted from Tekken 5's sequel with the subtitle, the screenshots look spectacular. Check it out at 1UP, they've got a ton of screenshots to go along with more information about the game.

Sony at the Taipei Game Show. Remember when the PlayStation 3 was rumored to be there? Yes -- it sure was, but nothing new was there. The same concept design case and still no playable games. It was kind of expected, since announcing such huge news at Taipei Game Show doesn't seem to make too much sense. They did, however, comment that they are still aiming for a 2006 release.

Mobile Suit Gundam: A New Dawn is coming very soon, 2/21/06 to be exact. I've played the Japanese version and it's quite fun - it's an RPG with customizable Gundams from parts, colors to weapons. The Gundams are SD (Super Deformed, which means small stubby bodies and big heads. SD does not stand for Superior Defender in Japan), so it instantly gives it an old-school RPG feel when you're playing. You can have three characters in a battle at a time and switch between more, a la Final Fantasy X. I recommend this game to any Gundam fan and a casual fan of RPGs looking for something a bit different.

Sources: 1UP, Joystiq

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Another Thursday, Another show!

Alright visitors, be sure you got your favorite caffinated beverage with ya cause we're coming back on live at midnight right after Ricky Galbis's Subdrive. Which, by the way, you should catch for his exclusive interview with a great new band from Norway.

Tonights broadcast we've got a lot on the adgenda. A lot of new news and rumors to cover. Along with a couple guest speakers comin along to talk about some of their favorite games. A review of Indigo Prophecy and if you're lucky, a review of Electroplankton or Dragon Quest 8. Plus you don't want to miss our discussion on D.I.C.E. and how games should be more or less like Hollywood. In short, don't miss it!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

When Boll Attacks...

http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=62899

Director Uwe Boll, say what you like about his movies I still gotta say the guy's got a lot of passion. Passion for good, or passion for evil I'll have to let the world of tommorow decide.

I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt, I have yet to see a single Uwe Boll film first hand. Though in my personal life I have done my share of Boll bashing. It is actually pretty unfair and underhanded that the entire videogaming world sucker punches him before his movies ever come out. Anyone who's lived a little amongst the internet culture understands how fast everyone is to bash and how much fewer ever check themselves. And Boll just seems too easy a target.

-Elmer C.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Quick News: 2/14/06


Nintendo filed a European patent for the Revolution, here are some pictures (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). No internals, and it's more of the same that we've seen only in line art now, but at least it means that what we've seen already is close to the final product -- so don't expect any surprises.

According to a Best Buy customer who has pre-ordered the game, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess for the GameCube has an unconfirmed release date of April 1st now, which could be interesting. It's hard to tell if this is some random number Best Buy came up with to calm the customer down, but we'll just have to wait and see.

Some new Ninety Nine Nights screenshots have surfaced and they look quite good. This could be the killer app on the Xbox 360 for many, and it's easy to believe by how it's shaping up. The release date is awfully close to the PlayStation 3 launch, however, they better hurry.

I wish I could talk about the PS3, but there aren't any news! Hopefully they will reveal more about this late bloomer in the upcoming Taipei Game Show. What worries me is the fact that the logo proudly displays "Taipei Game Show 2004."

I hope you all had a nice Valentine's Day, since some of us -- like the 150 Activision employees that got fired on the 13th -- didn't. Let's wish them the best of luck.

The Game Show cast bio

Who are you, The Game Show, you may ask. Here's a quick bio of us all.

Name: Elmer
Voice: The lowest one
Bio: Elmer is well known for his comic strips in the Static Fish, debuting in 2003 under the pseudonym of Erwin Concepcion (he now uses his first name). Not many realize that in his room he houses a robot from the near future -- size of a small action figure, it helps him with most of his important decisions, such as determining the right amount of detergent for each load of clothes to wash.

Name: Blackwell, AKA Beep
Voice: The excited one
Bio: Blackwell - or sometimes referred to as Beep - is a professional zombie killer. Honing his boomstick skills by training under Ash himself, Blackwell has killed at least two hundred sixty-two of the undead. His specialties include weapons, kicks in mid-air and coming up with menacing plots that could bring a grown elephant to its knees -- a skill that a rare few can accomplish and even fewer can master.

Name: Pal
Voice: The other one
Bio: Pal is secretly a rock star in other countries, though they cannot be listed here for legal reasons. Taking a break from making music, he has taken up art to take advantage of his third arm. Hailing from the land of Japan (although originating elsewhere), he is rumored to have traveled to America by swimming and living off plankton in the sea -- altering his eating habits forever.

OFFICIAL GROUPIES!
Instant message WPIRIM and ask to become a groupie! The benefits cannot be included here for its content.

#001. Nny
#002. Britas

Monday, February 13, 2006

Commentary: Pay Sites

I'd like to direct the audience to this wonderful little quote:

You will of course need to be a member of our Penny Arcade Supreme™ service in order to see this bonus content. Becoming a member is easy though, you just need to log on to our website. So if you’re reading this, congratulations you’re a member! Gabriel, http://penny-arcade.com

I remember a time on the internet where everything was pretty much free. IGN Insider and Gamespot Complete were concepts one would hardly dare to imagine. But now exclusive content, special download services, all that jazz are becoming more common even with the most indy of hosts.

Plenty of sites seem lucky and more than content in providing all their visitors full service despite membership. The sales of merchandise, collected volumes of already free material, and advertisements for all their consumerist indulgence seem a fair enough way for supporting our favorite sites. This is, after all, an entirely consumerist hobby.

But not to entirely decry those sites which ask for money in return for special treatment. People who run these sites need to earn cash too. But thanks to better search engines, newsgroups, heck even having a net savvy friend is enough to find most of that exclusive content for free anyway.

The economics of the world wide web are far too vast for one little blog post to fully comprehend. So here I am merely speculating, as I am oft to do, about how much premium membership fees affect all those vast internets. Xbox Live, World of Warcraft, IGN Insider... there's a lot of money sunk monthly into these things. And a lot of money to be made.

-Elmer C.

Mario Adventure - NES Hack


Possibly the coolest hack of a game that I have ever played.

It's based on Super Mario Bros. 3 for the NES, and it's wonderful. All original levels, new enemies, items, mechanics, etc. It's hard, but you have unlimited continues.

Read more about it here and download the files to play it -- links are provided near the end of the article (hint: Let Me Play it Already! section).

Happy gaming! *goes back to Mario Adventure*

Source: Joystiq

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Elmer Here

I'd like to say that I'm the guy at the left in the recording room. I'm an avid Eurogamer and Shacknews reader. And once I get into a game, I get into a game.

Beyond that I'm very excited to bring you all a good mountain sized helping of gaming news and views. We're a new show and we're your show, Pratt Institute. The first and only Gamer Talk show on Pratt Radio. Come on by and listen to us sometime. Think you're gamer savvy? Drop us a line. Think we're wrong? Correct us then! Got some news, some reviews? Feel free to drop by with a few words as we're recording.

- Elmer C.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Ohh, what fun!

Like video games? Want to get into it? Tune in every Thursday at midnight for The Game Show - the first and only video game talk show on Pratt Radio!

We talk about anything from news, reviews, commentary, social issues...basically whatever we want that has to do with video games, accompanied by some awesome game music in the background.

You know what's funny? The Game Show abbreviated is TGS! This must be fate. (Note: TGS stands for Tokyo Game Show, or the lesser known Taipei Game Show).

Episode 1 - February 10th, 2006

game show cover


Join Elmer, Pal, and Blackwell on the first episode of The Game Show, Pratt Radio's first and only video game radio show. The trio discuss video game news, trends, rumors, and opinions.



Tune in live every Thursday night at midnight.