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.… Read the rest

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.… Read the rest

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.… Read the rest

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.… Read the rest

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).… Read the rest

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.… Read the rest

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.… Read the rest

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.… Read the rest

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.… Read the rest

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?… Read the rest