Review – Superman Returns

As you are happily whiling away the hours on the great games that have come out in the past few months, allow me to darken your day with another reminders of how much shit last year’s flood of licensed games sucked.

As a child, I spent a fair amount of my time educating myself, to a very precise degree, on the capabilities of superheroes, should a need arise to discuss how such powers would fair in various hypothetical conflicts. For example, I know the powers of each superhero so well, I could tell, with scientific accuracy, who would win in a battle royal between Namor, Aquaman, Namorita, Black Manta, and Aqua Lad.*

The sound of dueling banjos plays in the distance...

Later in life I developed a deep resentment when I came upon two crushing realizations. The first, and perhaps the one that should have been foreseeable, was that no one ever got laid due to their wielding of such knowledge. →  Phoenix Write: Just Posts for All

Guitar’d Hero – Downloadable song packs sell like lightning

Guitar Hero 2 on the 360 is making Activision loads of cash monies thanks to its downloadable content.

This is interesting on several levels. For one, I find it curious that people are gobbling up these song packs when all but one of them feature tracks from Guitar Hero 1. If you haven’t played GH1, then the packs are a no-brainer, but I personally will never play Smoke on the Water again after five staring it (great song to hear, boring as fuck to play through to the end).

Of course the news is outraging the Kids of the Internet (uh-woo-oh), who are quick to call us “Sheep” for buying these packs at a high price point. Aside from the fact that I haven’t actually bought them myself, I’m still cringing at this nerd rage. →  Uncharted Waters: New Horeadin’s

Fishing for Quarters – Remembering arcades

Being a kid of the Eighties and Nineties, I spent a ton of time feeding quarters into arcade games. We at videolamer may rain praise upon our little console buddies but we rarely talk about their much larger, and these days dumber, brothers, the arcade machines. If it were not for these coin-gobbling behemoths, consoles would not exist. There would be no Pac-Man to munch on stuff, missiles to command, or Tron…to do whatever it is that Tron does.

We owe a lot to these big guys and sadly, like all overly-huge things such as woolly mammoths, dinosaurs, Sony, the RIAA, and The Ultimate Warrior, they are becoming extinct. Not many people visit arcades these days, and for good reason. What was once a bustling, multi-genre industry has deteriorated into a handful of companies making fighting games, shooting games, racing games, and beat games. →  A delayed article is eventually good, a rushed article is all we post.

Breaking News: Big Japanese publisher to release crappy games on Wii

According to Screen Digest, one major Japanese third party publisher said, “We’re running a business, not to win awards but to make money — if we make breakeven plus on Wii then we are happy.” This translates to “We will port a lot of PS2 games to the Wii and develop real games for other consoles. The neutrality of Screen Digest has been disputed on some popular gaming forums, but assuming this quote is accurate, it still boggles my mind.

I was an economics minor and want to pretend my parents 120k were well spent, so please roll with this haphazard attempt at a proof:

First, we must necessarily assume that profit comes first because the quote indicates this is true. This rules out the idea that 3rd party publishers are saving their big games for HD and fancy processors simply because the developers want to work on them. →  The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Read

Kotaku and Sony Agreed to Disagree

I’m sure you’ve all heard the huge controversy surrounding the rumor reported by Kotaku on the whole “Playstation Home” thing, so I’ll just give you the short story.

Basically, Kotaku searched the Internets, came across a rumor about something called the “Playstation Home”, and posted it for their fellow readers, which is what any good news service would have done. Sony apparently didn’t want the rumor posted, as it seems it may be something that’s going to be unveiled at this week’s GDC Conference in San Francisco, California. Kotaku defended the post, saying it signifies what journalism really is and that it is not a place for PR dribble (amen to that). Sony then blackballed Kotaku, banning them from any future Sony related event and asking for their PS3 dev kit back. →  Theme Postital

Weekly News We Care About Wrap Up – 9.22.06

RedOctane sues TAC who in turn sue RedOctane
Guitar Hero makers RedOctane have filed a lawsuit against TAC for making guitar controllers that resemble their own. In response, TAC has sued RedOctane, claiming they’ve been making guitar controllers longer and that RedOctane is actually infringing on their copyright. Whether or not this sue the suer move is just standard stupid legal strategy remains to be seen. Personally, I’d find it hilarious if RedOctane loses.

Nintendo wants violent sexy games
Nintendo of America is courting mature content for the Wii. This is no doubt a good business strategy, but it still doesn’t sit totally right. However evil they were as a corporation, I always had a little respect for their slightly patronizing desire to protect us from unseemly content. Nintendo was the catcher in the rye. →  Contains 10% more consonants than comparable articles.

Where to sell your classic games

Today while looking for a deal to trade in my old DS for a new pink one (it matches my nail polish) I came across the tremendous SellVideoGames.com. The site is run by BRE Software and is an amazing deal for anyone interested in trading in their old classics. And by amazing, I mean they are taking advantage of anyone stupid enough to take them seriously.

Looking through their trade in prices for Saturn games left me speechless. $6 for Bomberman when on eBay you could get five times that price. $7.10 for Dragon Force instead of around $50 on eBay and $8.20 for Guardian Heroes instead of about $60 on eBay. Surprisingly, Suikoden 2 nets you $48.11 from BRE Software. This is a tad shy of the over $100 eBay would yield, but I expected worse. →  Rule of Read

Polarity

Welcome to the world of tomorrow!

If you ever asked yourself why video games were invented, you probably answered that the original creators just wanted to have fun. And, in fact, you’d be correct. The very first video game was created in 1958 by a scientist named William Higinbotham to let people have a little bit of fun at a science fair in Long Island, NY. The fair was mostly centered on nuclear theories and revelations, but Higinbotham thought it made the exhibit a bit scary for the general public, so he made what is now known to be the very first video game: Tennis for Two.

Suffice to say, it was a hit at the show. People were amazed that they could control something on a screen (which was actually a 3-inch radar screen). →  Now with fewer vowels.

Top 100 best American sellers list analysis

Next Gen was good enough to make a comprehensive list of the top 100 games of this century by American sales. The list proves supremely useful because they included the average Game Ranking review. Clicking back and forth between the pages and going over what fell where and what didn’t make the list in my mind, I realized that the list could be sorted in every which way. So, I opened Excel, threw some numbers in and it popped out a few graphs.

Some highlights:
1. Ninja Gaiden
2. Bulletproof
3. Virtua Fighter 4
4. Prince of Persia: Sands of Time
5. SSX 3
6. Tetris Worlds
7. Soul Calibur 2
8. Burnout 3
9. Yu-Gi-Oh! The Duelists of the Roses
10. God of War
11. Devil May Cry
12. Knights of the old Republic
13. →  The King of Articles 2002: Unlimited Match

A guide to selling extra content

Microsoft and Oblivion have shown the world that gamers will actually buy discreet bits of additional content for their favorite games. Designing a method that allows a game to create a constant stream of revenue is ingenious, and now that the groundwork has been laid for us all we need to do to take advantage of this lucrative business opportunity is jump on the bandwagon. So then the question is not how do we set up a system that continually milks our fans, but rather what exactly do we use to separate them from their money; what content can we sell and to whom?

Any mildly proactive person can see that things like weapons, armor, and other gear can be sold to players for additional fees. This is exactly what has happened in the game Oblivion. →  SNK Article Classics Vol. 1

The Videolamer Guide to In-Game Advertising

Video games are an exciting new medium, primarily because of the potential for huge profits. These profits won’t just fall into our laps, though. Video games are unlike other media, and as such we cannot rely on the same tired marketing tactics. An annoying tagline like “can you hear me now?” may work on TV, but that’s because TV viewers are morons. The gamer is slightly more clever and we must treat him as such. Because most marketing is aimed at stupid people, most ad agencies will not have the know how to target a gaming audience. This guide, specifically tailored to the advertising needs of the video game advert, will lead you step by step to your ultimate goal: Take money from the ignorant.

1. Target your demographic

An ad, no matter how clever and well thought out, will not make an impact if it is seen by the wrong audience. →  I can has post?

Untapped Talent

First a confession. Last night I watched Project Runway. Girlfriends often force you into doing things you wouldn’t normally do (like shower) and this was no exception. I don’t like fashion and it doesn’t like me so we stay 50 yards apart at all times. I could go on and on about the lush tapestries and… nevermind, I’ve already run out of words to describe fashion, but I do have a point in all of this. A designer was dismissed because he didn’t do a great job sewing the garment he designed.

Who cares if he can’t sew, if his designs are good then he will have a team or sewers, or better yet, a sweat shop. To penalize and dismiss him from the field for something as trivial as sewing ability is to only deprive the fashion world of his talent. →  Final Fantasy Mystic Post

Gold Farmers: Destroying the Fun (and economy) of MMORPG’s

If you have not read Billy’s take on gold farmers, you may want to now.

Anyone who plays World of Warcraft knows them: they often have strange names (Ihugirls, Jobsister), but they may also have a name unnoticeable from others. Their guild tag might be your average WoW lore fluff, or it could be something along the lines of “Knightsofthepiratekitty.” They play as much, if not more, as any hardcore addict: 8-12 hour days. But rather than roaming about the game’s many dungeons and zones, you find them in them alternating between the auction house and the same hot spots: Winterspring hunting herbs, camping elites in Tyr’s Hand, or patrolling Burning Steppes for rich thorium veins. Every hour of the day.

Who are they? Gold farmers. Somewhere along the line, people figured out that there was in fact more money to be made in the secondary market of MMORPG’s (selling gold, items, and characters) than their was in the primary market (selling subscriptions). →  Beyond Read & Evil

Atheists case made for them

50 Cent’s new game Bulletproof has sold over a million copies. I have not played the game, but despite this I will say it is bad. I wasted hours of my life watching Battlefield Earth just to be “objective” and guess what, everyone else was right. Bulletproof has bad to terrible reviews so I’m running with the idea that it sucks.

So what does this tell us about the industry, and if I can editorialize wildly and blow things hugely out of proportion, life itself? It says that image is not just 100% of what people look for because that implies a neutral stance towards knowledge. It implies people go out of their way to ignore reality, fight to maintain ignorance and probably should not be given the right to vote for their leaders. →  Now bear my arctic post.

Review – Mortal Kombat: Deception

Mortal Kombat: Deception
Developed by Midway
Published by Midway
Released 10.04.04

Ta da
I got a small role in a Broadway play, it’s not much, but it’s a start.

I grade games on a 100 point scale broken down into several categories. Each category gives a maximum of 20 points. The combined total is score of the game.

A 100 = perfect.

Graphics: 15

Music: 15

Game play: 20

Plot: 15

Replay ability: 20

Total Value: 85%

Moooortaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal Koooooooooooooooombaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat! Test your might! Do do doooo dooo doooo!

Here is a cute story. When I was a young lad I was a Mortal Kombat master. I won a tournament at a local arcade out of 100 people for the best Mortal Kombat II player. I must have spent somewhere between $10,000.00 to $20,000.00 playing that dangfangled game. →  If you die in the article, you die in real life.