Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What are they mining in Donkey Kong Country Returns?

if you talk to Cranky Kong every once in a while (presumably in the Mines area), he'll ask you something along the lines of "Just what are they mining down there?" I have a theory to this:

Phazon.

For those not in the know, Phazon is that nasty shit from the Metroid Prime subseries that corrupts whatever it touches (or just hurts like hell in Samus' case). Now, I haven't beaten the game, nor will I. The last boss is a huge pain the ass, it is unfuckingbelieveable how Retro actually managed to put the thing in there and said "Yep. This is good. Ship it!". So, I don't know what happens near the end.

However...

I have a strong feeling that Retro is throwing an homage to itself and Metroid by having Phazon come out of the mines. Want proof? Look at some of the mine carts during levels that has DK riding them. Just what is that shiny blue shit in there? I'll give you one guess...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Help Us Out: Create Destroyed Controller's Logo!

I'm quickly approaching a year and a half running Destroyed Controller, yet I have no banner/logo/favicon for it. I don't know shit about Photoshop, and I don't have the patience to learn the intricacies about it.

That's where you come in.

If you feel like you have the time and dedication to create the logo to be used for this blog, keep a few things in mind:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What's the Next Fad in Gaming?

I began writing this on November 12, 2009, and has been sitting in my drafts folder ever since. I have gone through to update particular information, or added in "editor notes" to certain areas.
 


 http://www.examiner.com/images/blog/EXID4080/images/CliffBleszinski_300.jpg

"Borderlands, I adore you. You're Diablo for a generation raised on first person shooters."

- Dude Huge Cliff Bleszinski

This quote has been digging in the back of my mind for a while now, and it's got me thinking: if first-person shooters are the games that are raising this generation, and 2D side scrolling adventure games - we'll just call them "2D" for this piece - was the genre of the 90's, then what do we have to look forward in the next generation?

When I say "next-gen," I don't mean the Wii 2, or the PS4, or the Xbox 1080. The "2D" games pretty much were the only thing we were playing up until Counter Strike, and that was just the PC guys. FPS games didn't really hit home with the entire fucking world until Halo showed up at our door steps in 2001 as an Xbox launch title (yes, there was Doom and Wolfenstein, but I'm talking on a grander scale). Since then, it's been run-gun-shoot-lather-repeat. The most recent - and most sought after entry in the genre - game came out recently, Black Ops. Breaking records here and there - 5.6 million copies sold in 24 hours (earning Activision $360 million Diablo-III-funds) and surpassing the $1 billion dollar mark just six weeks after it's release, which translates into $23.8 million dollars a fucking day (or just under 400,000 copies a day) - Black Ops shat all over the competition. Master Chief is just an echo in Alex Mason's wake of destruction. Sure, it's got it's controversy (airport, much?), but it's a damned fine FPS.

There have been so many FPS games, ranging between third-person shooters, military squad based shooters, survival-horror shooters, futurisitic shooters, first-person adventure, really fucking terrible other worldly shooters...the list can go on and on. Yes, FPS isn't necessarily hindered to a first-person shooter. However, many people do not understand the difference between an FPS and a TPS, or a third person shooter. Hell, some people didn't even know a genre existed. They don't even understand why it's "first" and "third," mainly the reference to literature story structure, which is where it actually comes from. So I guess this generation could be summed up in a general "shooters" genre, but, Dude Huge used the more specific FPS moniker to draw attention away from his own, TPS series, Gears of War.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Destroyed Controller's Best of 2010 Game Awards

A little more snazzier than last year's, I'm going all out as I possibly can, as I have more time to do this than say the 3 days I worked on it last year.

As with last year, the same rules apply:
  1. GOTY for a specific platform must be a system exclusive title (ex: AC: Brotherhood cannot be awarded the Xbox 360 GOTY)
  2. With the aforementioned, multiplatorm titles have their own category to keep bitching to a minimum
  3. If a system was not played, a GOTY award will not be awarded
  4. Coincidentally, if there was only one game played on a system, that system will be disqualified (can't just give away awards)
  5. 2010's Eligible platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PSP, Xbox Live Arcade
  6. 2010's Ineligible platforms: PlayStation Network, WiiWare, DS, handheld multiplatforms
  7. Runners-up will be listed in the order of how well they permormed; the higher up the list, the more of a fight they put up.

I'm introducing a handful of new categories, however:

  • Biggest Surprise - Something that completely floored me that it has to be mentioned...and given it's own award
  • Digital Multi (XBLA and PSN) - Name's a bit wonky, but it's there for digital releases on XBLA and PSN (such as Limbo or Super Meat Boy)
  • The Demo Was so Bad, My Interest for the Game Fell off of The Face of the Earth - Yes. That is seriously the name of category, and it need not be explained.
  • I'm Kicking Myself in the Ass for Not Playing This Game (Yet) - Again, name of the title, self explanatory. This is a good way to get an idea as to why some games weren't just included.
  • Worst Game of the Year - This ain't just for the best game of the year, but I'm awarding a Razzie to the worst game of the year.
  • Most Anticipated for 2011 - We're not just reflecting on 2010, but looking into the future for what beauties 2011 can bring us.
  • Best and Worst Idea - Essentially, things that came from people's thought-processing pool of thoughts that either were awesomely epic, or epically horrendous.
  • Adventure, First and Third Person Shooters, Role Playing Games, Hack-n-Slash, and Platformers are all under the whole "Genre" moniker.
Without further adieu, here are your DestructiCon GOTY 2010 winners:

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception Announced [UPDATED]


UPDATE: Amazon has posted what appears to be a stand-in box art for the game, which simply uses the artwork available in the press kit, and is nothing more than the panoramic shot with the PS3 box art template thrown around it. Remember, Uncharted 2's box art was created using artwork that was released when the game was announced as well. Check it after the break.

Original Story: Oh yea. This is what I'm talking about. Sony, on their PlayStation.blog, just announced Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, and that it will take place in the Arabian Deserts (along with a teaser video). Following the path of Indiana Jones, eh?

This time around, Naughty Dog "wanted to deal with the challenge of animating the fluid landscape", as to why they chose the desert setting. They're not just going with the desert to test their skills, oh ho ho ho, Drake & Co. will be searching for the "Atlantis of the Desert", or Iram (which has many different names). Sully will apparently be getting a bigger goddamned role, which has me gitty for more interlaced blasphemous deliciousness.

Naughty Dog will be on hand on Jimmy Fallon's late night show on Monday, December 13, to give a live demo of the game. Entertainment Weekly's December 17 issue will also feature "a ton of additional details on UNCHARTED 3 and the new art shown above in glorious, full color print."

The game doesn't have a projected release window, but judging by the other games (and seeing as it's announced at the tail end of this year), I'm assuming a Fall 2011 release date.

I will kill myself before the game comes out, the anticipation is that bad. In the meantime, check out a glorious artwork panoramic of Drake and another crashed plane.

[Via PlayStation.blog]

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mortal Kombat Getting Platform Specific Characters?

According to a recent Tweet by Cliff Bleszinski, that's what we're all thinking now:

"Clay Carmine for exclusive 360 character in the new MK would be an AWESOME contrast to Kratos."

It would be an awesome contrast to Kratos. Imagine, Carmine from Gears of War beating the shit out of Scorpion, or vice versa.

....

Wait, what?

"AWESOME contrast to Kratos"? Did I just read that right? Since when was Kratos confirmed as a playable character in Mortal Kombat? I did some digging, and apparently, it's the new hot rumor coming from the magazines, this time, Official PlayStation Magazine. There are no scans or images, but the rumor is Kratos is the PS3-exclusive character, similar to how Soul Calibur 2 was handled so many years ago, where Sony pretty much was shitted on, considering they got Heihachi from Tekken ("Hey, let's put a fisti-cuffs guy in a weapons-based fighter! Here here, Joe Bob!").

Friday, December 3, 2010

What Happened to "Bringing it Home"?

So, we all remember Bringing it Home, right? Microsoft's way of bringing the big name events to your home, via Xbox LIVE (read: PFM) and you just gobble up the freebies. E3, TGS, Comic-Con...it was all there.

Then, all of the sudden, it disappeared.

It would bring up a ton of content from aforementioned conventions: themes, GamerPics, demos and premium content (oh, the demos). Hell, this is how gamers got their first taste of Too Human, back in 2008 during E3's BIH event that year.

I've contacted Microsoft to get an answer. I'll update once they do.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Nintendo Putting it's New Trademark to Use


This is an email I got from Nintendo, reminding me of Donkey Kong Country Returns 4's release, with the subject line reading "Tim, it's on like Donkey Kong!"

Guess they need to do something with the trademark they just filed for. Anyone know if they actually got the trademark in their favor?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Halo Wars Shuts Down December 15: 2 Down, 3 To Go

Remember when Halo 2 had it's doors shut back in April? Who'da thunk that a second Halo game would be closing it's LIVE doors later that same year?

Recently announced on the halowars.com forums, Halo Wars will be closing down in less than 3 weeks time. Not just the game's online functionality, but the forums as well. People aren't happy. Want proof? Here's the first comment on the thread about the shut-down:

Game is dead. Fuck you.

Yea, for realz.

So, for a recap: halowars.com shuts down and transitions to halowaypoint.com's forums (just the name, not the threads and whatnot), stat-tracking is no longer existant, Title Update 5 hits (which doesn't include all the problems they promised to fix), forum members get an exclusive avatar images for their account on halowaypoint.com, and everyone is pissed. This happens on December 15.

So, if Ensemble has been dead and buried for a while, is this the same and encasing the coffin in concrete?

[Halo Wars forum]

Friday, November 19, 2010

Assassin's Creed's Lucy plays Project Legacy?

If you check out one of Lucy's monitors (you've gotta leave the Animus), you'll see Project Legacy in full view, complete with left-hand menu, hexagonal memory selection and stats at the top. Way to tie in PL even more, Ubisoft.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fable III's New DLC: A dollar for dyes?!

Fable III's Sanctuary Shop was recently updated, and with it come some very questionable purchases, such as a tattoo set, a new dog bread, and, yes, dyes:

  • Industrial Knight Outfit : 160 MSP : Always wanted to be an industrial age cyborg? Well, now you can at least look like one. The outfit comprises a helmet, gloves, boots, gauntlets and armor.
  • Dye Pack : 80 MSP : Breathe new life into your hair and clothes with this collection of dyes, including the long-awaited black dye. Those preferring lighter colors will make good use of the cream, hot pink and turquoise dyes.
  • Red Setter Dog Potion : 160 MSP : Transform your faithful collie into a red setter with this amazing potion. Just let your dog have a sip when he's lying in his basket in the Sanctuary.
  • Highlander Tattoo Set : 80 MSP : Summon the spirit of the highlands with this new tattoo set, perfect for charging into battle with a rebellious roar.
  • Male Highlander Outfit : 160 MSP : Summon the spirit of the highlands with this new outfit, perfect for charging into battle with a rebellious roar. The outfit comprises a bonnet, bracers, boots top and kilt.
  • Female Highlander Outfit : 160 MSP : Summon the spirit of the highlands with this new outfit, perfect for charging into battle with a rebellious roar. The outfit comprises a bonnet, bracers, boots, bodice and kilt.

This list slightly varies from the DLC that leaked about 2-3 weeks ago. The Hair Pack (80 MSP), Understone Quest (400 MSP), and Five-Star Dog Potion (80 MSP) are not in the Store...yet. However, the Five-Star Dog Potion is the most absurd, as it fully maxes out all of your dog's stats to five-stars; pay to play win.

For those wondering, yes, the Industrial Knight is not Hal's Armor 2.0. It is, rather, a steampunk-esque Robocop attire.

First off, I can understand new outfits, however, the Highlander outfit is in the game. I'm looking at it in my Sanctuary right now. Second of all, dyes? Are you off your fucking rocker, Lionhead? I've been wondering why there are a few empty spots on my dye rack, but charging for dyes? The file size is 240MB, meaning it's not another "unlock-key", but rather intentionally left them out to charge you later down the road for them. Cream, hot pink and turquoise I can see never being used, but leaving out black in character customization is just absurd.

Leaving out colors in general is downright pathetic.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

GameInformer's December Issue Cover Revealed: Holy Panorama, Batman!


GameInformer. I haven't had an issue come from them in over a year. Still, something like this comes up, and I get all giddy inside.

GI has employed the talents of one Sam Spratt - a guest-artist for Gizmodo, and a bomb-ass flaming Master Chief wallpaper-worthy mural - and has cranked out this wondrous beauty. It has characters from some of the more pivotal games from the past decade, and the only thing I can complain about are what characters they chose to represent their respective games.

GI did say that prints will be available at a later date for purchase. They didn't say when, how large or how much, but if I can get one that's 2' x 15', I'm so fucking down.

With all the praise, there has to be some criticism. For a taste-test, Spratt surely could have splurged for a fourth spread and included some other characters from other games that definitely deserve a spot amongst the others.

For the rest of the bitch-fest - plus the breakdown of the 31 character-deep spread, with a handful of props strewn about - check past the break.

You've got Zelda in my Fable!

 

I'm a sucker for games referring other games, especially when those games being referred are awesome. It also helps if you're a nerd for that game.

Take, for instance, Fable III. In it, it references The Legend of Zelda in a strangely obscure way. In the Mourningwood Cemetery (just beyond the Mourningwood Fort, a story-related mission), you'll find a shit-ton of graves. You'll find a small handful of references in there (I think I even found a Pokemon reference in there; "he died by going into the long grass"), but they don't beat Zelda's reference, wooden sword and all.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Club Nintendo's 2010 Rewards Start Arriving, Where's Yours?


I just received my Elite member reward from Club Nintendo today in the mail, and I have to say, I was expecting something a bit...bigger.

My reward was the Mario statuette, featuring Mario, Luigi, Bowser, Peach and whatnot. Sure, at the time, they gave the dimensions - 4" tall and 4.5" wide - but still, that shit is tiny.

I think the packaging is more interesting than the actual statuette. Check past the break for the unboxing video.

Monday, November 1, 2010

[UPDATED] Things That Need to be Included in a 360 Update

UPDATE: I've only added one new thing, labeled as [NEW] under the Achievements section. Yes, I'm a bit of a bastard for adding something to the list, but it just hit me.

So, we know the 360 is getting a system update soon (I'm in the preview program, myself). However, there are some things that Microsoft is still neglecting, and it's here that I want to make it clear: these are features that we want need.

I've been under embargo since I was a part of the beta program, so since the update is live, I can finally bitch about the things that still aren't in place:

LIVE Enhancements

We've seen a lot of enhancements to Xbox LIVE over - nearly - the past decade. The biggest one was the introduction of the Marketplace, which coined the oft-overused acronym 'DLC' and the term "nickel-and-dimed" has seen a recent upsurge in use. Sadly, it's the driving force behind many of the developer's pockets (I need not even mention You-Know-Who).

Friend Limit Cap Lifted/Increased 100. 100 friends is what we've been accustomed to for the past 8 years. Eight. Years. That boils down to 12.5 friends a year. God help you if you befriend half a person. At that point, you either met a schizo, or this guy. Either way, being limited to 100 people to make their acquaintance is a bit ridiculous; I've got nearly 300 on Facebook. Lift the limit, because  we're overdo. So, this was the first thing I thought of. Sadly, during the drafting phase, the announcement on the Xbox Germany Facebook page let loose that the friend limit would be increased to 1,000 in an update. Major Nelson was quick to dispel it, saying it wouldn't be in the next update, which is currently in beta phase (which should be out around Kinect's release date on November 4), but he didn't say it wouldn't happen.

No Questions Asked If there is free content on the Marketplace, why do we have to "confirm" that download? It's just as absurd as Apple asking for your password everytime you download updates for apps you've previously downloaded. Go head and keep asking us on pay-to-own content (even at the minuscule $1 80 MSP price point), but for the free stuff? There's a reason why I'm downloading free stuff.

Shopping Cart Or, better yet, let us que up a batch of downloads, confirm the lot, then you can download. The only problem is the 6-download que limit Microsoft has imposed on the 360 right now.

Nicknames I have 82 friends on Xbox Live. I only remember a small handful of who they are. I don't usually friend request people I meet online. With that being said, I have no idea who the fuck I'm talking to most of the time. Hell, most of the people on my friend list don't even fill out their name or bio, so it's impossible for me to tell who it is. With this, allow us to "rename" those on our friends list to something a bit more...suitable. We can choose to toggle between their GamerTag or our own Rename, or, better yet, where their name would usually appear below their GamerTag - granted, if they actually filled it out - this is where it would show up. It would help us keep better tabs on our friends, and keep us from deleting the wrong person if we're at the 100 friend limit, or just doing some spring cleaning.

Friday, October 29, 2010

[FAUX-REVIEW] Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

This is not a real review for Castlevania. It's more of a decry of the game itself:

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is an awful fucking game.

For starters, there is nothing original about it. From the health/magic regeneration fountains (Dante's Inferno) to the quick-time sequences to take down a larger foe (God of War) to the giant Titans with weak spots scattered across their body that you must climb to (Shadow of the Colossus), there's too much borrowing from other games and not enough thought put into making something truly unique. The only thing that this game has in connection to it's roots are names; the name of the game itself and the protagonist, Gabriel Belmont. That's it. There is nothing Castlevania about this game.

Yes, I am aware that it is intended as a "reboot" of the franchise. To be honest, the franchise didn't need a reboot. It needed new thinking. Multiplayer-driven titles and 3D titles are not what the franchise needs. It needs a good, 2D romp through Lord Dracula's castle. The game borrows content from two prior games - Portrait of Ruin and Order of Ecclesia - in that the game is not one, huge land, but rather broken up into various, smaller places. There are 12 chapters, but you don't realize that they are chapters until you reach chapter 2, to which the "world map" is opened up for you to see.

I have only gotten to the point of the second Titan fight, and I couldn't do it anymore. The combat engine is severely broken (more on this later), health fountains are scattered few and far between, and the story is, by far, the most un-Castlevania thing about the game.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise Coming Stateside in 2011

Earlier this year, Japan got No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise, and HD-ification of the first No More Heroes game. Shortly after it was announced, Ubisoft came out saying they would not publish the title in the US, so a localization immediately stopped there.

Until today.

Konami has come out of the woodwork and has officially announced Heroes' Paradise will be coming to the US, exclusively to the PS3 with Move support (hot damn). This has me very excited, as now, I can sell my Japanese copy, stop trying to play it, and hopefully, it will be better localized with better controls on the DualShock's side of the equation, with Terminex working with them to get rid of all the damned bugs.

No release date is set in stone as of yet, asides from the cryptic "2011". Maybe we'll see a release of it on the anniversary of the Japanese release date, which was April 15. One can only hope...

[Via PlayStation.blog]

Thursday, October 21, 2010

[GLITCH] Super Meat Boy's Chapter 4 Boss: Easy Defeat Method

GameFAQs. I've never once saw eye-to-eye to these people. They've rejected an "in-depth guide" I submitted (differences between the GameCube and PS2 differences of Resident Evil 4, which I spent tedious hours on, detailing many, many differences between the two), they're forum members are douchebags and idiots (there can be one shining star every once in a while), and they've now rejected a valid glitch for Super Meat Boy, which I am now going to share to you, pulled straight from my Contributor Status page:

Easy Chapter 4: Hell Boss Method

During the boss fight in Chapter 4: Hell, pause the game, go to [Switch Character], and the game will say you cannot. Press 'A' and you'll still be in the pause menu, however, the boss will still be going about his animations in the background, and you are invincible! After each attack, he will simply stay put, awaiting for you to un-pause the game. Simply exit out of the pause menu, pause again, and repeat the process above.

Note: After he completes each attack, all he'll do is sit there with that same shit-eating grin on his face. You'll have to back out to the game, pause again and redo the process.

Simple, right? You probably would never find this on your own - more by accident than actual determination to find a way around the fight - and is pretty valid, and straight to the point. Right?

Wrong.

GameFAQs admins kicked it back to me, rejecting it, saying, simply, "Not a Cheat". Here is a further explanation in the same rejection notice:

Super Meat Boy is Testing My Patience


Who fucking does this?

As seen in Super Meat Boy, during a bonus "Warp Zone" stage.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Invisble Elite at the Beginning of Winter Contingency


Here I am, playing Winter Contingency - the second mission of Halo: Reach - on Legendary to go for the Flawless Cowboy commendation, and I notice a figure off in the distance running from the distress beacon. I pop off a few shots from my pistol, and, to my amazement, a shield appeared over the creature, and it's outline was an elite.

I almost shat bricks.

I restarted the mission and gave haste with the Sprint ability. I was able to get closer and closer, and pop some more rounds off. This time, I was able to deplete his shields, but only right before he disappeared. That's right, this son of a bitch disapparated right in front of my eyes.

I opened up File Share, and this is where I discovered that, yes, it was an Elite (as you can see above) and he did disappear, just before you head through one house to get to the one where Jun drops off at and opens the door to find refugees.

I've got a video of it, but since I don't have a Bungie Pro account, all you can do is download it to your fileshare and view it while playing Reach.

Despite me thinking that this is ZOMG material, it actually isn't. This Elite holds a Data Pad, the one that is tied to this level on Legendary (there are Data Pads that will only appear on Legendary difficulty). This Data Pad that he holds - only seen while his active camo is, well, active - is Winter Contingency's Legendary Data Pad.

Oh well. It was cool for a little bit. I actually thought there would be hidden creatures, like the monkey men from Halo 3.

Apparently, I've 100%ed BioShock's Achievements


Last I checked, I only had had 33 of 51 Achievements unlocked....

As seen on my PlayFire Activity Feed.

[MY GAME] What I've done so far

I actually have a good chunk of the game planned out so far. The best I can do here is a list with percentages, which I absolutely hate. How can you accurately pinpoint a percentage on something like game development? Anyways, I guess I can wing it:

  • Weapon Tree/Upgrades - 95%
  • World Map - 40%
    • World 1 - 95%
    • World 2 - 95%
    • World 3 - 5%
    • World 4 - 0%
    • World 5 - 0%
  • Characters
    • Main Character - 25%
    • Supporting Characters - 10%
  • Creatures - <5%

What You'll Be Playing With

The first thing I started working on when I got the idea for the game was the weapons, because the weapon selection was the first thing that came to mind. How it works is simple: double-tap the screen near the center and hold (FYI, for those who don't know, I'm planning on an iOS release). This will bring up your item selection screen, or the Weapon Wheel. From here, you choose your attachment, and a sub-menu opens above that, allowing you to chose your ammo type. After that, simply let go and you return to the game.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

[QUOTE] An 11-Year Old's Take on PlayStation Move

"Did they get permission from Nintendo to do that? I mean, it's just like the Wii." - My 11-year old brother after watching the Kevin Butler-starring PlayStation Move commercial.

Hey, Sony. Maybe you should start putting a disclaimer on your packaging and commercials: "Sony is in no way affiliated with Nintendo or the Wii brand. The concept of flailing your arms around with a dildo/Bingo ink-dotter, plus the 'Wii' name are both intellectually owned and created by Nintendo. Even though the PlayStation Move is incredibly similar - some would argue it's borderline copyright infringement - Nintendo had no input on the creation of the PlayStation Move brand, the 3mote Motion Controller or the Navigation Sub-tertiary Controllinator."

That, or just come out and say you've been playing copy-cat since the PS1.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Brian Wood Memorial Fund Opened for Surviving Family Members

Brian Wood, the Company of Heroes Online lead developer for Relic Entertainment, was killed in a head-on collision Friday night. His wife of five years, Erin, who is 6 months pregnant, survived the accident, only because "(Brian) braked really hard and turned right so that he would be put in the path of the SUV and not me and the baby, and that is the only thing that saved us both." She also said that "all the policeman say that if we had hit the car head-on all of us would be dead."

You have a widowed, pregnant wife of a 33-year old game developer who is "hospitalized but in improving condition".

A family friend, Szymon Mazus from Radical Entertainment, helped set up a memorial fund, which can be accessed here: The Brian Wood Memorial Trust.

I just came out of unemployment. I'm selling various things around the house to make credit card payments and much-needed car repairs. She lost her husband, who sacrificed himself to save her and his child. I'm giving whatever I can once these eBay listings are done. Give whatever you can to help her out.

You can read more about the entire situation over at Kotaku.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

[REVIEW] Metroid: Other M

Metroid. It sits in the 'Top Five' of my favorite franchises. I'm a fairly recent fan of the series, starting with Metroid Prime six years ago, but I've done my research; Metroid II remains as the only game in the series I haven't beat. However - and here comes the turn-around - Metroid: Other M has quickly fallen to the bottom of the pile for the series, nestled right above the aforementioned unfinished title.

When Nintendo announced Team Ninja's involvement in a two-and-a-half dimension Metroid game, I was as giddy as Penny Arcade. My eyes became as wide as your favorite anime character, rainbows spurt out from every corner, and I was as ecstatic as a 9-year old girl who just hugged Justin Beiber. Yea, it was like that.

Seeing as they referred to it as a "high-tech NES game," I had some mixed feelings. Only being able to use the Wiimote sideways had me very skeptical, as I felt that could be used as an alternate, "casual" gameplay mode, and using the Classic Controller would invoke a more traditional, Super Metroid experience. It's hard to do Metroid wrong, as the past 6 years, we had the Prime sub-series, Zero Mission and Fusion (which, to be honest, I didn't like all that much). Team Ninja knows what they doing, as Ninja Gaiden is an amazing series. What could go wrong?

So goddamned much...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

[THOUGHT] Did the Space Pirates Worship a False Idol?

The Space Pirates. Those ugly sons of bitches that are the only antagonist in the Metroid series. Their leader? Mother Brain, with Ridley and Kraid bringing up the second and third-in-command seats, respectively. But, and this is something that only came to me recently, did they worship Mother Brain as a false idol? Did Ridley believe that Mother Brain was giving him commands and was purely psychotic? Was he that convincing that he was able to get a following of the Space Pirates to believe a floating brain was giving them instructions? This is the topic of this entry in THOUGHT.

Mother Brain's role and physicalities are what gave her/him/it's name: it is the leader of the Space Pirates and looks like a giant brain. However, in Metroid Prime 3, a cross-section (a fancy way of saying '2D map') of a "future Aurora complex" is shown, which looks nearly identical to MB's hideout in Super Metroid. Here is a quote from Metroid Prime 3, as taken from Wikitroid:

"Twenty years ago (prior to the events of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption), a team of Federation scientists announced the birth of an organic super computer. Its name was Aurora. Since that historic date, thousands of Auroras have been built and installed. Originally designed for scientific purposes, the Auroras are now used in government, business, and military roles as well. They are given male, female, or gender-neutral personas, based on the needs and desires of the staff at the facility they are to serve in. A vast network links all existing Auroras, allowing them to access a tremendous database without peer."

Also:

"The Mother Brain was built by the Chozo, though the manga indicates that the Federation had some part in this as well, as she was built to link the Federation and Chozo information databases, similar to the function of the Auroras."

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Left 4 Dead's New DLC: The Sacrifice

You didn't think I'd go on hiatus and not talk about the Left 4 Dead DLC that I've been clamoring about for ever, right?

Valve announced "The Sacrifice," which is the prequel to "The Passing," explaining how Zoey & Co. got down to Bon Temps New Orleans, Louisiana, is set to be released sometime in October. The bad thing about this is that the story canon in The Sacrifice does not follow The Passing's outcome; you choose who dies in the new DLC.

There is good news to be had with this announcement. The Sacrifice will work for both L4D and L4D2, so even if you don't have numero uno (and seriously, why not?), you can still experience what had happened.

Finally, Valve will be releasing, alongside The Sacrifice, a L4D2-compatible version of No Mercy, L4D's first chapter campaign (and easily the better of the bunch).

It seems that the entire story may not be fully revealed in The Sacrifice, as plans for a digital comic to be distributed next month is set to get players up to speed on the story of the new DLC.

If you have your zombie-shooter on a computer-type device, then you get The Sacrifice for free. If you have the 360, expect to pony up for it (no price was announced, but I'm expecting it to be $7 like it has always been).

[Via Kotaku]

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Going on a Hiatus

It's been over a week since I've done anything here, and there's for good reason: I've finally gotten a job after three months of searching, so I'm dedicating as much time as I can to said job.

I have some editorials I've been working on throughout the past several months, adding a paragraph here and there, and I hope to finish them up. I do have a fairly sweet treat in store for those who frequent the site, and I'm just hoping that I can pull it off.

In the meantime, your RSS inbox will seem a bit paltry, your noggin may seem flaccid on news, and your frothing for gaming news should be fulfilled by other sites who are actually at Gamescon, but I'll be back. When...well, I'm not sure. Maybe sooner than later.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Splinter Cell, Prince of Persia HD Trilogies Planned? [UPDATED]

[UPDATE] Amazon France has removed the Splinter Cell Trilogy page (the original trilogy's page for Windows exists, but not the PS3 page). The Prince of Persia page is still active.

[UPDATE 2] And just like that, the Prince of Persia page has disappeared. Gamescon is just around the corner, folks...

Yes, you are thinking correctly. There is evidence towards and HD compilation of the last-gen entries in Splinter Cell and Prince of Persia. This is two off my wanted list.

Entries on Amazon's French page point towards "Splinter Cell Trilogy" and "Prince of Persia Trilogy", both for 40 Euros (about $53 USD), both on November 2, and, the most surprising detail, both exclusive to the PS3.

That's not a typo, both are listed only for the PS3. Splinter Cell has been a multiplatform series up until Conviction, and Prince of Persia has never held any system preference prior. It, honestly, doesn't make sense to release a Splinter Cell HD Trilogy for the PS3 when the PS3 doesn't even have the newest entry (or, this could foreshadow a Conviction PS3 release). Unless Sony paid Ubisoft off, then there really is no need to limit these upconversions to one platform. Then again, each game would probably need it's own disc on the 360, increasing the cost of the game to Ubisoft, which defends the reasoning behind the PS3-exclusivity.

Bringing said entries to a system like the PS3 begins rumors of online multiplayer, but if the God of War and Sly Cooper Collections are anything to compare to, you're just looking at getting pretty graphics and a slew of Trophies. I do love me some Trophies.

I'm not complaining, I have a PS3, and I will buy these, whenever they come out for whichever system I damn well so choose. What I do see is that Sony could be banking on God of War Collection's success and the incredible interest in these HD ports of last-gen's biggest games and create their own line of said HD ports; a sub-brand of the PS3, if you will. By snagging exclusive rights to these collections would definitely secure Sony's interest in creating such a brand.

[Via TheSixthAxis]
[Splinter Cell Trilogy at Amazon.fr, via Google Translate]
[Prince of Persia Trilogy at Amazon.fr, via Google Translate]

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Visit Arkham City in Fall of 2011

What is Arkham City, you ask? It's none other than a peaceful getaway the biggest shit-storm to come to Gotham.

Arkham City is the subtitle for Batman: Arkham Asylum's sequel, and the supposed "City" is Gotham transformed into a super prison, run by none other than Joker and Harley Quinn.

Not much is known yet, as the only reason we know about is that Game Informer unveiled next month's issue's cover, and it features - depending on which one you get - a bloodied Batman with Catwoman playing upside-down S&M, or Batman and Catwoman back-to-back, but Bats has some restraints on her.

Not so sure about you, but it seems like Catwoman will play a pretty integral role in the story. Sure, she's one of the more popular villains in the Batman universe - Halle Berry would have you believe otherwise - but a prominent feature on the cover?

Check past the break for the GI covers.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Halo 2 Lives on in Halo Reach


Thank you, Baby Jesus, for Ivory Tower is back!

Not so happy about Midship...

Anyways, Bungie put out an update to let gamers know about 3 maps that will be available in Halo Reach. Ivory Tower is exactly as you remember it - exactly - and is now to be known as Reflection, whereas Midship (shudder) is now known as Zealot.

Reflection is a 100% accurate recreation of Ivory Tower, and looks beautiful. Zealot is a 3-tiered map, with the bottom 2 an accurate immitation of Midship, however, the third floor is now outside in outer space, where gravity is reduced severely, and with added jetpacks, you have some "crazy space combat". There is shielding between the second and third floor, similar to a Bubble Shield; the action that happens on the third floor doesn't effect, nor is effected by, the action from the lower two levels. Effectively, you are in your own little world out there.

Finally, the third one is brand new, called Spire. Just as Forge World's map is the largest horizontally, Spire looks to be the largest vertically. It's made for 4v4 game variants, specifically Invasion. Remember Boneyard from the beta, where the Spartans were defending their own spots? Well, Spire is the Covenant version, where phase 3 has all the Elites at the top of the Spire, defending attacks from helicopters and Homo Sapiens Propulsifier Man-Cannon.

It all seems good, but just more Halo 2 map remakes makes me just want them to take them all - including DLC - and release it as a huge map pack, ala the Halo 2 Multiplayer Map Pack.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Future of Multiplayer Gaming: 3D [UPDATED]

Don't scoff, don't sigh, don't even blink at me the wrong way. By the time you finish reading this, you'll believe me.

3D technology is being lauded at as useless, quality-draining "luxury" that film makers are being forced to film their movies in by the big studios (the reason why Sam Raimi stepped away from Spider-Man 4 and led to the reboot), and that Sony is, somehow, so far up it's ass, we've got a handful of 3D games coming our way: Killzone 3, Sly Cooper Collection, WipEout HD (already here, actually), and many others. Hell, even TV networks are broadcasting in 3D, when the adoption rate is probably lower than what it would take to make this entry viable, and that makes absolutely no goddamned sense.

With online multiplayer gaming soaring over the past 7 years - mostly thanks to Xbox Live and Halo 2 - the sanctity of the previous form of popular multiplayer, split screen, has died out pretty damned quick. Hell, GoldenEye was the forefather of split screen, then Halo: CE took the world by storm, offering up system-link (or LAN) to get 16 people together. Ever hear of a frat broskie willingly take part in a LAN-party that didn't involve torturing the souls of those in said party before Halo? I didn't think so.

I like split-screen multiplayer. During Halo 2's reign, me and two of my friends would gather 'round close to 8 or 9 o'clock, play until midnight, cruise down to Taco Hell Bell, suffer from the inevitable indigestion that is shitty Mexican food, and finish the night off with Super Troopers (hence my uncontrollable urge to quote the movie from "You boys like Mexeeco?" to "I love acid!!!" and everything inbetween). We'd team up on Xbox Live, me and one friend got as high as level 13, whereas the other one had something like 28: he was good, and it was the first game he kicked my ass in, and consistently does. 3 of us on one TV, playing the world. I would use my friends screens as a secondary, or even tertiary, screen to help keep an eye on the entire battlefield.

Square Enix's Yearly Gift Now Arriving

I got this pretty lame, dull envelope in the mail today, and the sender was Square Enix. In the recipient field, it addresses itself to me, Mr. Square Enix Member, Bronze Level.

Square Enix's version of Club Nintendo, MEMBER, has started to ship out the rewards, and, being a MEMBER solely because I registered Final Fantasy XIII, I was entered into the Bronze category, and I got a paltry set of post-cards.

Yea. Post cards.

However, they're adorned with artwork from 3 different games: Final Fantasy XIII, Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days and Star Ocean: The Last Hope. None of them seem to be screaming anything back at me, but the art is pretty decent.

I'm sure there's a fanboy somewhere who'd love to have these. Perhaps they're lurking on eBay, right now...

Check out more shots after the break.

Ken Levine's Next Game Unveiled Next Week

Don't know who Ken Levine is? Then stop reading and walk away.

For those who care, Ken Levine is the mind behind Thief, System Shock and more recently, BioShock. His studio, Irrational Games, unveiled on their latest podcast that they will be unveiling their long-in-secrecy game, which has been known to exist since 2007 when BioShock first hit the streets.

Now, his new game - which he hasn't made any inclination if it's a sequel or a brand new IP - will be unveiled at a press conference in New York in the form of a live demo, with a CG trailer on August 12 (next Thursday).

Translation?

"You're invited to: Irrational Game's "Look With Your Eyes, Not Your Hands" Party"

Hey guys, Ken Levine here! Come to NY, sit around and watch us play a demo of our new game - no touching! - and froth with the longing of want and the taste of desire in your mouth. Then we'll give you a CG trailer soon after!"

I'm expecting a "nana-nana booboo" chant during the event.

Damn you, Levine!

LEVIIIIIIINE!!

/colbert

[Via Kotaku]

God of War: Ghost of Sparta Release Date, Box Art, and Pre-order Goodies Announced [UPDATED]

I have just learned that this post is my 250th blog post, which comes 9 months after my 100th blog post. Coincidentally, that post was about BioShock 2's Special Edition announcement. Go figure, right?



UPDATE: Sony has recently revealed the new boxart for Ghost of Sparta on their blog. Why, I don't know. The white background, tied with his white, ash-stained body helps with the name of the game. Does the artwork fail as bad as Heavy Rain did? No. But it's still pretty fucking stupid. I've kept the original (left) up to compare to the new one (right).

Hot. Damn. Sony just unveiled the ultimate trifecta of gaming goodness: a release date, official boxart and pre-order incentives.

God of War: Ghost of Sparta is setting to release on November 2, and there are actually multiple ways of getting your second God of War interquel fix.

First up, pre-order the game from either Amazon, Best Buy or GameStop and receive an exclusive DLC pack...for free! When's the last time you got free DLC for any game that wasn't on Steam?


  • Ghost of Sparta Original Soundtrack
  • PSP Theme
  • PS3 Dynamic Theme
  • Exclusive PlayStation Network Kratos Avatar
  • Legionnaire Kratos Skin
  • EXCLUSIVE Game Directors Documentary – A full length featured video roundtable with all of the past and present Game Directors for the God of War franchise in front of a live studio audience, including: David Jaffe, Cory Barlog, Stig Asmussen, Ru Weerasuiya and Dana Jan.


A round table with David Jaffe? I'd love to see how that goes down...

Next, there is the God of War-themed PSP, which is a black and red two-toned PSP-3000 (or the PSP brite). Sony doesn't have a shot of the PSP in question, but I'm expecting something incredibly similar to the last GoW-themed PSP we got.

  • Black and Red Two-Toned PSP-3000
  • God of War: Ghost of Sparta UMD Game
  • God of War: Chains of Olympus PlayStation Network Downloadable Game Voucher
  • Kick Ass – UMD Movie
  • 2 GB Memory Stick Pro Duo

Both God of War PSP games in the system bundle with a movie that doesn't suck? I think Sony is actually starting to get the hang of this whole "game/system bundle" business.

[Via PlayStation.blog]

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Singularity's Metroid Reference

I'm thoroughly forcing myself to enjoy Singularity, and while perusing the achievement list, I notice one called, "Mother My Brain Hurts"

I can only imagine where this goes.

After obtaining the Dethex Launcher aboard the ship you "revive" out of the water, I notice a Weapon Tech through the glass panel of a door that I can't open, as well as a hole in the grating where I picked it up. I took note of the secondary fire of the gun, and I discovered I could control the ball, very similar to the Morph Ball from Metroid Prime.

This is where shit gets fun.

After entering the grate with the Morph Ball Controllable Explosive, I'm jumping up through the grating, as if I were playing Metroid for a hot second. I work my way through the grating, under the door, let go of [LT], which serves as the secondary fire purpose, and the door blows open. An ominous space track plays as I enter, which, to me, reminding me of the Space Frigate from Prime 1.

Anyways, I walk in, and I see a Chrono-Note up on the wall, a dead body on a couch curled up with a note. The Chrono-Note says, "Mother My Brain Hurts!". I filter out "Mother Brain" and the Metroid nerd in me is raging. However, nothing more screams Metroid than the note, plus the doo-dad I found after I read it.

Read past the break for the note.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Halo: Reach Achievements Get the Full Reveal

We had a list of the Achievement's icons for Halo: Reach, but now, Bungie has detailed how you get them (sans GamerScore).

There are 23 achievements related to the Campaign, 6 under "Any," 4 Multiplayer, 7 for Firefight and 9 for "Player Experience" for a total of 49 Achievements.

The "Any" achievements seemed to be related to specific actions you need to do, be it in the Campaign, Multiplayer or Firefight, hence the grouping name. The Multiplayer specific ones are few, but damn, does one of them sound difficult: "Won a game of Invasion in the 1st phase." Plus, the oft-rumored "Legendary by Yourself" Achievement is confirmed at #4 in the list, with the crossed swords and human skull.

It pretty intense to see the Achievements for the game when it's not due out for anther month and a half - plus the first TV spot for the game was just aired on my TV...creepy - and it's gives those some insight on the story.

Catch the rest after the break, but be warned: SPOILERS exist beyond the break.

[Via Bungie]


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Assassin's Creed's Comic Details Are Here

Yes, I'm using this image again. Fuck off.

So sue me, I'm a week late. But I just got word on the comic for Assassin's Creed.

Set in the early 20th century (read: 1900's), you take on the adventure of one, Nikolai Orelov. The whole teaser video was talking about the Tunguska tragedy - you know, that huge, monster ass explosion in Siberia in 1908 - and the narrator apparently knows how it happened because he was there.

For the juicy bits, Nikolai's descendant is not series-staple Desmond Miles, but Daniel Cross, a recovering drug addict. As Cameron Stewart put it: "We start with [Orelov] when he is a very young man, a novice, and as the story goes on he gets older, and we see the changes and effect that being in the [Assassin's] Order has on his life." The reason for introducing a new Assassin and an equally new modern day newbie is because of the canon put in place by the first game: Desmond wasn't the only test subject. He was number 17, and the guy before lost his fucking mind (which, his invisible scribbles are what are alluding to future locals to romp in).

They promise to weave in other important aspects of the series - the Animus, the Assassin's guild, and the Templars - including the whole "re-write history" bit. Key elements throughout Russia's history will be tied into the game, but not too much, as they feel that oversaturation would kill the experience for the reader (Rasputin has already been confirmed to not be in the story, despite existing during this time). A lot of research is being put into the comic, too. Both Cameron and Karl ventured out to St. Petersberg for a week, and returned to the States just days prior to Comic-Con.

There is good news who find the aspect of a comic book for a highly successful - and incredibly fun - series a bit wonky, is that the Daniel/Nikolai combo are being treated as a very important addition to the lore, and that they may be intertwined into future Assassin's Creed...things. A video game isn't out of the question. As IGN puts it:

And while [Cameron] Stewart and [Karl] Kerschl have the entire life of this Russian assassin mapped out, Ubisoft does intend for Orelov to become a permanent part of Assassin's Creed lore. His life is not being considered a side project and will not be forgotten, even having the potential to be developed into games in the future (though to what capacity is uncertain). Ubisoft made it clear to us that it sees Orelov and Cross as important as Ezio, Altair or Desmond, and their language and approach certainly seem to bear that out. 


The 3-part comic is due out later this year. I'm expecting it around AC: Brotherhood's release on November 16.

[Via IGN]

Start Saving: Nintendo to Unveil 3DS Pricing/Release Date on September 29


As if you didn't need further convincing to be completely stoked for the 3DS, Nintendo has let out that they will release the pricing and release date details on September 29; exactly two months time. Think of this as Nintendo adopting Square's strategy, where they announce the date of an announcement.
They also said that the pricing for the 3DS will "fit" with the current DS lineage. The DS lite was $130, the DSi is $170, and the XL is $190. A lot of rumors have the 3DS pegging at $250, but they'd be absolutely stupid to do that.

I mean, the last time a handheld went for $250, things didn't go so well...

[Via Destructoid]

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Modern War Gear Solid is back



Oh yes, here we go!

Part 2 of the series, entitled "Sun Burn," has more fun, more fighting, more shirtless men and more jokes about Snake than you can dream of in your comic strips. Oh, and the boss' name is revealed. It's as obvious as you think it is.

Part 3 won't be out for a while, "months" even, but apparently, there are some deleted scenes coming our way pretty soon. Taken from the YouTube description:

Due to your amazing responses, we're going to make Part 3 as epic as possible! I don't know how long it will take to finish - it might take a few months - but we'll make it worth the wait. We'll keep you updated on our blog and facebook page with teasers and extras.

I hope it's as epic as I think it is.

[Via BeatDownBoogie]

Monday, July 26, 2010

You'll Have More Master Chief, Don't Worry

At a panel discussion at Comic-Con, Bungie's Frank O'Connor said that Master Chief's story will continue beyond the massive cliffhanger at the end of Halo 3, because just letting him and Cortana drift around in space near a planet that apparently looks like Onyx (from, you know, the "Ghosts of Onyx" novel) would be completely dickish of you.

Or "asshole," as he put it:

"At the end of Halo 3, and cover your ears if you haven't played it, Master Chief is in cryosleep. Cortana has sent a rescue signal, and they are orbiting a strange world. We'd have to be the world's biggest assholes to not follow through on his story."

So yea, with 343 Industries thriving alongside Bungie, I hope to see Marathon finally get tied in to the Halo story, cause, you know, it's there.

[Via Destructoid]

Friday, July 23, 2010

Touchable Holograms Made Available by Wii Remotes


Leave it to Japan! Researchers at Tokyo University have created the first touchable holograms. That's right, touchable. Your wild dreams of fondling Princess Leia's hologram are now coming true.

What makes it pretty astounding is that the researchers are using a pair of Wii Remotes to get this thing off the ground, which are tracking your hand movements. Using ultrasonic waves in junction with the Wiimotes, the waves give a sense of force feedback, which create the pressure necessary to imitate the sense of touch with whatever objects you so desire to touch.

So far, it's only been successful with smaller objects (think ping-pong balls), but the developers have bigger things in mind. Hospitals are the big draw, as they can eliminate the need of the patient-doctor interactions (or, as the report calls it, "touch contamination"...I'm just as weirded out as you are). Other uses see it in as a replacement for books (so long, iPad!), or the end to product refreshes, as the interface can be changed with a simple firmware update.

Color me intrigued, but it doesn't seem like touchable holograms could replace every bit of physical tech around us. It does seem to give Apple a run for their money as they have a hell of a time trying to get you buy new products once something like this hits. Well, they could try selling you new hologram projectors once every year, but good luck with that, guys.

[Via YouTube via New Tang Dynasty Television]

Thursday, July 22, 2010

[UPDATED] Halo: Reach Themed Xbox 360 Slim Coming Your Way


[UPDATED] Major Nelson just confirmed on his blog that the bundle is real, and everything from the product description page is real. Also unveiled is that the controller will be available separately, plus a wireless headset featuring similar, silvery-styled art and coloring. The controller and headset are both going to sell for $60 and $50 respectively ($60 for the controller?), plus be available near the back end of next month (read: before Halo: Reach's launch). Everything is available for pre-ordering starting today, plus Bungie has posted an unboxing of the unit that's available to download at halo.xbox.com and viewable on Halo Waypoint.

Image has been updated. Check after the break for more images.

[ORIGINAL STORY] So, this guy, the Ars Mole, has told Ars Technica (whom the mole does his...mole-ing for) has come out and said a Halo: Reach-themed Xbox 360 Slim (plus controller) is going to launch alongside it's respective game day-and-date with it, September 14.

Ars Mole has a hell of a knack for getting things right (or just getting word and reporting them), as he's foretold the PS3 Slim, the FFXIII and Splinter Cell 360 bundles, plus various other spot-on things.

The controller, which you see above, is silver and sports various lines of lineitude, with the a "Property of the UNSC" and other Halo-related insignias. You can tell that this is a mock-up, as the Ring of Light around the Guide button is peculiarly small, while the face buttons seem...flat.

This goes hand-in-hand with a screenshot that's been going around of a leaked product page on Xbox.com that shows the "Xbox 360 Halo: Reach Limited Edition Bundle," which shows a 360 Slim, inspired with the same paint job as the controller, goes for $400 and is expected to be a 250GB model (considering, well, all "limited edition" hardware bundles have always utilized the largest capacity hard drive at the time). It comes with 2 controllers (like the above) and a copy of Halo: Reach. Thank god it's not Baby-Shit Green like Halo 3's 360 was.

We've got the Slim Arcade coming out in just under two weeks with 4GB of storage, then we've got this doozy of a bundle, then finally, we get the Slim Arcade w/ Kinect bundle later this year. Not sure about you, but my wallet is fucking hating me right now.

Filter on through the Ars Technica link at the bottom to get a look - albeit a small one - at the Reach-inspired 360 Slim.

[Via Joystiq via Ars Technica]

Dead Rising: CASE ZERO hits August 31 for $5

Oh yea, I'm liking that price.

After many months of saying "oh, it'll be out before Dead Rising 2," Capcom has finally told us when we can expect CASE ZERO. To fill the void that used to be filled by Dead Rising 2, CASE ZERO fills us up on August 31. This is also two weeks after Summer of Arcade ends with five $15 priced games.

With a game that has as much gameplay as it does, and it sells for $5 (400 points), I'm sure a lot of people - myself, including - are retracting their "Higher Quality Games = More Money That I'll Gladly Pay" statements.

[Via Kotaku]

Skyward Sword Predates Ocarina of Time

There goes the high hopes theory that Skyward Sword is a Majora's Mask sequel.

In the newest issue of UK's Official Nintendo Magazine, Eiji Aonuma, in an interview, states that Skyward Sword takes place before the betrothed Ocarina of Time. Since Majora's Mask is a direct sequel to Ocarina, then Skyward Sword cannot be a Majora's Mask sequel.

Take from GoNintendo:

“Yes there is a master timeline but its confidential document! The only people to have access to that document are myself, Mr. Miyamoto and the director of the title. We cant share it with anyone else! I have already talked to Mr. Miyamoto about this so I am comfortable in releasing this information – this title [Skyward Sword] takes place before Ocarina of Time. if I said that a certain title was ‘the first Zelda game’, then that means that we cant ever make a title that takes place before that! So for us to add titles to the series, we have to have a way of putting the titles before or after each other.” - Eiji Aonuma

Well, shit. If Skyward Sword is before OoT, and most put OoT at the beginning of the timeline, could Skyward Sword actually bring into view another conflict? OoT took place immediately after the Hyrulian Civil War (which Link's mother escaped into the Kokiri Forest from) and the Imprisoning War takes place in the 7 years that Link was in the Sacred Realm. The Imprisoning War was talked about during ALttP, while the Hyrulian Civil War was created for OoT (the Deku Tree Sprout told Link about it after you beat the Forest Temple), then SS might even bring into light a new conflict.

For even juicier tidbits, a while back, it was stated that Skyward Sword actually shows the creation of the Master Sword, which was originally known as the, you gottit, the Skyward Sword (which transforms into the thing you see in the original artwork). Taking that plus the "SS is before OoT," then we've got ourselves one hell of a Zelda title coming.

[Via GoNintendo]

[ANALYSIS] Microsoft Prices Out "Cost of Ownership" For Motion Gaming

You've gotta love this one. After Major Nelson posted the official pricing for Kinect, gamers began criticizing Microsoft's expensive approach. Well, Microsoft was quick with the Reggie-style graphs, and cranked out these lovely beauties (originally spotted on Kotaku):


First, we see Microsoft trying to justify the price of Kinect. They say that Kinect is cheaper for a new system owner across all three systems. They undercut Nintendo by $60, and Sony by a whopping $210. That's not all.


Here, they take on existing system owners, which I fall into (for all three). Kinect is just $10 shy of Nintendo, where as Sony is a full next-gen game above Microsoft. Let's delve past through the corporate bullshit and get some rectifying done.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

[REVIEW] LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4

[NOTE: You'll have to forgive my ignorance on many of the names in the Harry Potter universe. Expecto Patronum is, pretty much, the only spell that I remember off of the the top of my head, and I can only remember a handful of the characters names. Forgive me, but I'm sure you can play a bit of Mad-Lib here and get it done.]

"Another LEGO game?"

That was the first question that I asked myself when LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (LHP) was announced. Star Wars (LSW) was awesome. Indiana Jones (LIJ) was pushing it. Batman (LBM) was, well, bat-shit crazy. However, they all worked, and were respectable entries in their own franchise's game library. They took what worked in the universe, LEGO-fied it, and made it enjoyable by anyone. You could say LEGO games (by that, I mean of the aforementioned Star Wars/Indy/Batman games) are the Pixar movies of the gaming industry: 5 minutes in, and you love it, no matter what.

The reason this one works is that it harks back to the LEGO Star Wars games with the magic. Using Wingardium Leviosa (purple spell; 3-o'clock) is Harry's version of the Force, and it works even better than the Force. Rather than a pile of LEGO pieces turn into their desired form instantly, you watch them being whisked away into a tornado of awesome, while the pieces take their turn creating whatever it is they're supposed to be in the eye of the storm you've created. The Force is what makes this game magical, and it speaks to me in that it reminds me of the good LEGO games (both Indy games were for shit, and Batman was...well...).

[REVIEW] Alan Wake

 Something about Alan Wake was a bit perplexing. Since Remedy worked on this game - and they're responsible for the original Max Payne games, not the balding, fat sack-o-shit version we're getting in the third game - I had high expectations; you could say that I walked away from this considering it the spiritual Max Payne 3. Seeing as they finished MP2, took a small break them immediately started working on this, a bit of Max's soul seeped into Alan Wake. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Yet.

Alan Wake is a deviation from what I'm used to playing lately, so it was a nice refresher. I finished up 3D Dot Game Heroes prior to indulging myself on this, so I may have been easily swayed. But, I have to say, I am a big Max Payne fan (I honestly felt the movie wasn't too terrible, but the Ludacris/Jim Brown fiasco was a bit ignorant, IMO), so I felt right at home with this game; it's been seven years since the painkiller-popping cop was in front of me (which, by the way Remedy, nice homage to your roots late in the game with the flashback). The "psychological" part of this game wasn't much of a psychological thing, considering that everything going on was real, effecting everyone and everything around Alan. He wasn't psychotic. He was screwed.

Kinect, 4GB Xbox 360 Slim Gets Pricing Details, Almost Immediately Loses Interest

4GB Xbox 360 Slim with Kinect/Kinect Adventures bundle

Major Nelson just updated his blog with information about Kinect's pricing, and boy, let me tell you something...

Kinect will launch on November 4 for the oft-rumored $150 (bundled with Kinect Adventures), while Kinect games are going for $50 a pop. Putting that in contrast with Move, the controllers run $50/$30, depending on your flavor, plus the PlayStation Eye that's $40 that you'll need. One set of controllers plus the Eye puts you at $120. Move's games are priced at $40 each.

Now for something jucier: the Xbox 360 Slim is getting a 4GB version (internal memory) on August 3 for $200, replacing the Arcade unit that's out right now. And yes, there is built-in Wi-Fi on this model.

Even better: the Holiday bundle that Microsoft offers every year is the 4GB model with the aforementioned Kinect bundle (pictured above). This is going to sell for $300 when Kinect launches.

Now, as many have stated before, $150 is "too much." I'm not the first to say it, but I'll be damned if I try to justify it after this point: if games are $50, and the Kinect bundle comes with one, then Kinect is effectively $100, and Microsoft is pulling a Nintendo here with the pricing (bundle a game in, add $50, say it's a "deal").

Sorry, but unless the 250GB Xbox 360 Slim doesn't have a bundle, then I'm not buying Kinect. Sorry.

[Via Major Nelson]

"Modern War Gear Solid" is Exactly What You Think It Is


Oh the delicious, sweet fruit that is the 1st Amendment a parody.

This fan-made video mashes up the worlds of Modern Warfare and Metal Gear Solid into the titled name, which stars Ghost and Solid Snake, respectively. The Snake you see does nothing but lampoons the real Snake, while the Ghost is actually taken seriously...somewhat.

Battling Activistsun, which has acquired Outer Haven, Ghost and Snake end up teaming together, all the while staring at Naomi's chest.

The first of many Acts to some, I hope.

Catch the video after the break.



Monday, July 19, 2010

Assassin's Creed II DLC on sale for Xbox Live

If you don't subscribe to Major Nelson's blog, then you haven't heard the news yet: the Assassin's Creed II DLC - Bonfire of the Vanities and Battle of Forli - is the hot new shit for Xbox Live's Deal of the Week.

Both Sequences are down from 320 points ($4) to 240 points ($3), while the "combo" is now 400 points ($5) rather than the usual 560 ($7). There's a couple of Avatar things discounted pretty steeply, but this good news for those who don't even have ACII yet, as GameStop has dropped the price down to $20. You get a broken game for $25 rather than $68 like most of us payed who bought the game when it came out and each DLC separately upon it's arrival.

Now would be a great time to get in on the DLC, as my own recommendation was to pass on it until it was on sale, like a DotW. Sure, it's only 25-30% off (depending on your flavor), but it's a nice little discount to DLC that should have been free.

It must feel good to be a cheap bastard, you...cheap bastard.

[Via Major Nelson's blog]

Saturday, July 17, 2010

[GTFO] That $35,000 NES on eBay? Dude got $50


Not $50 as in fifty dollars. No, this sumbitch got fifty thousand for it.

There was absolutely nothing special about this thing. It was a standard fair NES with 42 games, a Nintendo branded carrying bag, 2 controllers, a Zapper, an original Game Genie and bunch of other stuff. He originally wanted $35,000 to "pay bills," but he walked away with $15,000 more than what he hoped for.

My physical NES collection stands at 5 deep (4 if you don't count the Ninja Gaiden that doesn't work). I had plans on rebuilding my catalog up after getting rid of them all those years ago, but seeing how Guy got $1,190 for each game if you don't factor in the NES itself (which has a "Keepin' it Old Skool" Nintendo sticker on it), I should just buy a bunch of NES games, package them together and say I need "food".

Check after the break to see the ridiculously low-key games he sold with it.

[Via Destructoid via eBay]

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dead Rising 2 Gets US-Exclusive "Zombrex Edition", Motion Picture Release Details



We may all know how much I despise country-exclusive limited editions, but hey, this one is US only! Despite the irony in this, Dead Rising 2 is Canadian made, Japanese published, yet US gets the collector's edition. Strange how this works, right?

This special edition, dubbed as the Zombrex Edition, runs you $80, and both the PS3 and 360 gets you this:

  • Two-Disc Steelbook case   
  • Dead Rising 2 game disc 
  • Zombrex “Syringe” pen
  • Zombrex “Prescription” notepad (25 pages)
  • Zombrex “Safety” card 
  • Zombrex “Prospectus” Sales Brochure (16 pages)
  • Dead Rising 2 Hardback Artbook (48 pages)

The PS3 version scores you a voucher for an XMB Dynamic Theme and a "Blu-Ray Disc featuring a High-Definition 24 minute “Making of” featurette".

The 360 version gets a "high-def version" of the above 24-minute "Making of" featurette plus the 83-minute “Zombrex Dead Rising Sun” motion picture, made by Keiji Inafune himself.

Assassin's Creed Goes to...Russia?

Oh yea, I'm loving that logo.

This isn't a game, but a 3-part graphic novel series that is set to debut at Comic Con during a panel hosted by Morgan Webb called "Assassin's Creed: Behind and Beyond the Brotherhood" on July 22 (next Friday). Cameron Stewart and Karl Kerschl are the minds behind this, and Karl will be with Morgan at the panel. It's here where we'll learn more about this, but it's not the first time where someone from the Creed isn't Arabian or Italian.

Nothing more is know, other than a teaser trailer featuring black and white film footage of guys digging in the dirt with a stereotypical, threatening Russian-accented man talking about stuff.

The teaser ends with "Coming soon to your comic book store".

I don't know about you, but this seems to be what the femme-fatale in the early 1900's project that was alluded to back in October of last year turned into. That is, if the lead character is female.

[Via Newsarama]

[JAPAN ONLY] No More Heroes 2 Gets Collector's Edition


Fuck you, Japan.

I'm sorry, I can't stay mad at you. I love you, Japan. I love sushi. I love your women (I've been suffering from Yellow Fever for many years now). I love your games. Sadly, they get to taunt us with things like this: the No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle Hopper's Edition. You get:

  • A movie made by Suda51 called No More Heroes 1.5 
  • The soundtrack on CD
  • A "fan book"
Not sure what the fan book would be, but if you pre-order, you also get an erotica comic book. It goes for ¥8,980 ($101). It's out on October 21, same day as the "Black Box" edition, which is just the game for $81.

This isn't the first time an entry in the NMH franchise that got something awesome.

[Via Siliconera]

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

[WTF] Destination: Arcade only available during Summer of Arcade

Yes, you are reading this right. Major Nelson has updated his blog post about the one-week delay of Destination Arcade to let us know that it will only be available during the Summer of Arcade run. For those not keeping count, that's July 21 through August 18, just a few days shy of a full month.

The purpose? Well, right now, there is none. But seriously, what the shit, Microsoft?

As one commenter pointed out, this could be a nonchalant open beta, and Microsoft would make it fully available alongside Kinect later this year. If that's not the case, then it's absolutely backasswards.