News We Care About Wrap Up – 5.23.08

Too early to declare a console victor
Ignore that Microsoft recently declared that history has shown us that the first system to 10 million historically wins the race, thus heavily implying their console is the winner as it’s sold a little over 10 million in the states. Their new PR line is that declaring a winner between the PS3, Wii and 360 will be impossible until one of them reaches 100 million in sales. By this logic the only systems to have ever “won” a generation are the PS1 (barely) and the PS2, and they did it after many years on the market, long after it became apparent to everyone who doesn’t work for Microsoft that Sony had won those generations.…

Non-Review Footnote – Persona 3:FES

Last week marked an interesting release on American shores, as Atlus shipped out Persona 3:FES. FES is both an expansion pack and a revision to the original P3 – it mainly serves as an epilogue chapter to the story, but was also served with the original game as a “director’s cut” that added new goodies to the entire quest.

This kind of release is very rare on consoles. For example, whenever Square releases an International Edition of a hit RPG, you can be sure this nation won’t see it. Yet for whatever reason (likely due to success of P3 last fall), Atlus decided to grace us with more of this excellent game, rather than leave Western fans out in the cold as happens so many times.…

Tales From Behind The Counter – Come One, Come all! Hear my tales of Mystery and Excitement!

Welcome to the inaugural release of my new and (hopefully) weekly column. Since returning to America, I have found myself short on cash and pretty much willing to do anything for a buck or two. Yes, I have even tried to sell my body but for some reason or another, most prospective customers frown upon my “by the pound, by the hour” pricing scheme. This lack of cash and abundance of free time meant that I spent a lot of time hanging out with my friend who works at a small video game shop close to my house. Well lets be real honest, it isn’t my house, it’s my parents’ house and I live in the basement.…

Ziff Davis files for chapter 11, rebel journalists celebrate

So Ziff Davis, owner of the magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly and website 1Up, is finally going under. Last week they filed for bankruptcy (I hope you didn’t have any gift cards for their merchandise). This probably won’t mean much since companies have the amazing ability to survive even after they’ve lost all of their money, but for the sake of argument pretend it means that the 1Up network is dying.

Should this passing be celebrated or mourned? Forget that there are real people who need to eat running these publications for a moment – our capitalist system is harsh and we all implicitly agree that if people can’t make a living doing what they do then they are probably not good enough at that job (minus those of us who belong to the American Communist Party – I still believe in our mission comrades, this whole site is a ploy to gain the trust of the greedy pigs).…

Hysteria Over Mass Effect and the Infantilization of America: On the Benefits of Exposing Children to Adult Material

Volumes have already been written regarding the recent clash between several conservative pundits and the gaming community over ‘objectionable’ material in BioWare’s newest addition to the RPG genre, Mass Effect. What the conservative pundits found abhorrent was that the game offers the option for the main character to develop a romantic involvement with a bi-sexual member of another species which culminates in a 40 second love scene somewhere around the 30 hour mark of game play. Yet another editorial in defense of the game would likely serve little to no purpose. (A forthcoming review of Mass Effect will hopefully provide all the defense the game needs from misinformed critics.)…

Gametap grows, but is it changing for the worse?

For the longest time, Gametap was a confident and persistent service that had a vision and, at least content wise, seemed to be making good on their promises. In the last year however, the service has changed considerably. They began supporting original projects, such as the critically loved Sam and Max episodes. They offered a select few games for free every week for anyone to play. Their community site exploded, and now rather than merely offering forums and commentary on their own games, the ‘tap has reviews and commentary about the industry as a whole. Blogs like Joystiq now cover the weekly releases with some semblance of seriousness.…

Weekly News We Care About Wrap Up – 2.1.08

New game from Parappa masterminds
Well this sounds promising. A new Wii game from the creator and lead artist of Parappa the Rapper. What’s this, Majesco is publishing it? That’ll be ok, a good idea doesn’t need 10 million dollars to work. Err, it’s a marching band simulator? That… sounds cool. I mean, I’ve always despised parades and anyone who likes them and walking around while playing music makes as much sense as reading while performing ballet, but… Kick, punch, it’s all in the mind?

90% of American DS owners pirate games
This comes from the Entertainment & Leisure Software Publishers Association and is wrong.…

Review – Lunar Knights

Because Lunar Knights is such a solid little game, I had hoped the gameworld would be fleshed out; I hoped that I’d have enough new levels to allow me to upgrade all my weapons without returning to the same stages over and over. I wanted the many mechanics to continue to build on each other and each to be fully realized. Hell, while playing it I designed my own game (usually I charge to see my ace designs, but for the sake of this review I am willing to go hungry):

Multiple high quality CG movies in a DS game? Yes, please.

All you ever need to know about Japan

After spending 10 nights in Japan I am now qualified to make sweeping statements about the Japanese culture. The following are immutable truths (told in a convenient pros and cons style) about this wonderful and bizarre country:

Pro
Suntory Boss is the boss of them all since 1992.

There’s no use denying it.

Con
Japanese people seem as pro-Japan as Americans are pro-America. I was asked by one of my gracious host’s fathers why we came to Japan. He was an awesome guy but really pushed hard for an answer he found satisfactory. I think the question was probably just mistranslated and he actually asked, “How awesome is Japan?”…

Mario Galaxy Non-Review

Not long into Super Mario Galaxy, the player will become quite accustomed to, maybe even fond of, seeing Mario enter each level with his arms spread as he flies around and lands on a safe spot, shouting “yes!” on his success. About 20 stars in, it dawned on me; the next time I entered a level, I really wanted to see Mario scream “yes!” as he performed a greased landing, hitting the ground running at top speed, not stopping until he got to the end (or came up to some tricky group of hazards).

This might sound like I am really looking for Sonic the Hedgehog Galaxy, and I suppose that is the point.…