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.

The long term angle behind this absurd criteria for victory may be to prevent Microsoft acknowledging any victor this generation. →  [do not click]

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.) In this instance, my reason for setting finger to keyboard is to focus briefly on the detrimental effects of the rapidly escalating, conservatively rooted, child protection fetish. →  Finger lickin’ read.

Weekly News We Care About Wrap Up – 10.5.07

Dream team created to make MMO
One of the three guys behind Fallout and 17 ex-Blizzard guys all in one development team? You know these are going to be amazingly well crafted fetch quests that change absolutely nothing in a static MMO world. And think of the grinding!

Halo 3 is the biggest event in human history
The release of Halo 3 makes John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald look like footnotes in history. The moon landing is dwarfed by Bungie’s newest game, which sold approximately thirty thousand times more than any other product ever created. There are now significantly more copies of Halo 3 than wheels, and just about the same number of grains of sand.

This game topped the charts in Japan last week, proving that in a tepid market environment an American game can actually sell well in the East. →  There is only one really serious philosophical problem, and that is games.

The Hardware Honeymoon Is Over, Bring On The Games!

I just took a quick peek at the Japanese console sales charts and I think it is safe to say that the newness is starting to fade from this generation of consoles. This is by no means a doom and gloom statement, it just means that now some game developers need to step up to the plate and convince people to buy into all of the new hardware floating around.

Microsoft will again be the loser in the Japanese console market. The Xbox 360 just does not have titles that Japanese people are interested in. Halo 3 will most definitely boost sales in the United States and Europe but not many Japanese gamers play Halo. I am positive I will be able to walk into any store here on the day Halo 3 is released and walk out with a copy of the game if I so desired. →  Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 5: Golden Post

Dreamcast Mania!: What did we miss? – Headhunter

What Happened?: Headhunter was supposed to come out at the tail end of the Dreamcast’s life. It still did – in Europe. Its US cancellation was a big enough deal for IGN’s Dreamcast channel to review the import, meaning it was as important to them as Shenmue 2. Eventually Americans got a chance to play it on the PS2.

The Game: Allow me to get bold and assertive for a minute. 1998 was the beginning of a new little period in which a flurry of Important Games were released. They reinvented series, changed genres, and refined 3d game design. It ended with the release of Halo in 2001. It isn’t that innovation or good games ended there, its just that, six years later, we’re still copying Halo’s formula. Where we once only had Metal Gear Solid for stealth and Medal of Honor for WW2 shooters, we now have countless games in each genre. →  Read Danger!

Sony’s Jamie Macdonald lies to Spong

Digg led me to a hilariously bad review of Bioshock today. The site the review is on is called Sony Defense Force and, luckily, the entire site is hilarious. It may be a parody but it’s hard to tell, especially after the All I Want For Christmas is a PSP debacle.

Browsing the SDF page, I came across this gem of a story: PS2 still outselling Wii in all Major Markets. The bloggers own comments are excellent – “Looks like Wii won’t even be able to catch PS2. Get ready for another Sony dominated generation.” More importantly, the quote from Jamie Macdonald is an obvious lie:

“Jamie Macdonald: Could I just point something out – that PlayStation 2 is still outselling Wii in all the major markets.

Unless he delivered this interview from last year, he is wrong. →  Game. James Game.

Second helpings of the DS list article

Yesterday we covered 65 DS games as something of a jesting response to a PSP Fanboy article. Some readers decided to ignore the point of our piece, which was that games are, at least by our standards, the real reason to buy or not buy a system. For those people, we now present a second reason (in their view) to buy a DS — backwards compatibility.

The entire GameBoy Advance lineup is available to a proud DS owner. While a majority of games on that handheld were licensed kiddy garbage, it was still home to some excellent titles you should make sure to play.

After some GBA games, we will then take a look at 10 upcoming DS games that look promising. Like the GBA games, it didn’t seem appropriate to include these yet to be released games on yesterday’s list. →  Read or Alive 2: Hardcore

Morning Glory Issue 001

In this first ever issue of Morning Glory, we see the typical setting of two gamers talking. One day we might see three gamers talking, or even four. This morning only required two though, so only two there are. Bring forth gamers one and two.
—-
It’s the typical setting of a conversation. There are two people. One fellow clearly favours the food, whilst the other obviously doesn’t favour it as much.

Porky decides it’s his turn to start off a deep and meaningful conversation. His expression suddenly turns sullen, and he takes in a deep breath.

“Hey man.”

“Hey.”

Porky fucks up starting a deep and meaningful conversation. Nevertheless, he ploughs on with vigour. He takes another deep breath, as if launching into a long speech.

“Have you heard about Manhunt 2 being banned in Europe? →  Speak softly and carry a big post.

PS3 Gets Boatload of PS1 Titles…in Japan

Through their newest 1.70 firmware update for the PS3, Sony has bestowed upon the Japanese buying public a cornucopia (25 to be exact) of PS1 titles for purchase through the Playstation Store. This will also mark the very first time that PS1 titles are playable on the PS3. Before today, they were only playable on the PSP, which makes absolutely no sense.

Blocky characters in 1080p: totally worth $600.

And sadly, not all of the titles that are being released tomorrow are playable on the PS3. You can check out the complete list at PSPFanboy.

Now, although this is only for Japan, it does seem that Sony is at least somewhat trying to do what Nintendo has been doing with their Virtual Console Mondays. Nintendo has been on the ball ever since the service started a week after the Wii’s launch, and after seeing how much profit they stand to gain from doing nothing releasing their old wares, Sony has decided it’s their turn to milk their customers of their hard-earned money. →  Readbot Chronicles

Review – Soul Calibur 3

Soul Calibur 3’s is like a reunion tour, featuring every character in the franchise, as well as classic stages and songs. It also boasts a huge level of customization, right down to the ability to create your own character. It seems to be everything you could ask for, but in order to experience it, you’re going to have to play by the game’s rules, very strict rules that state that if you want to enjoy some of it, you’ll have to slave through all of it.

Soul Calibur 3 is the Square-Enix of fighting games, so proud of its accomplishments that it doesn’t give you a choice about whether you want to see it all, so ashamed of its old school roots that it hides them far away from the player, as if to scold them for ever wanting to dig them up. →  All you need is read.

Numbers are fun: Super awesome stock update

While at work today, and trying to justify thinking about video games, I became curious about the recent performance of the three companies gamers (probably) follow most closely. Thus you now get to read a rundown of how Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo stock has performed since the launches of the 360, PS3 and Wii respectively. But first a few caveats. With nothing besides perception to back this up, I’m going to say that Wii sales are more important to Nintendo than either of the other consoles are to the their companies. While I’m not sure, and I would be willing to listen to arguments to the contrary, I would say Microsoft is least reliant on its games division, but Sony obviously has diverse business interests as well. This means that stock moves could have nothing to do with game sales, and I am completely spinning my wheels. →  Now bear my arctic post.

Wii Shortages Will Continue

Next-Gen has reported through an interview with Nintendo of America’s Perrin Kaplan that it may be awhile before the Wii Shortage of ’07 ends. Perrin stated that they are at maximum capacity right now in terms of manufacturing the system, but the demand for the system is still at a fever-pitch, making it very hard to keep an amble supply on store shelves. The Internet community has known about this situation for some time now, but it’s surprising to see that even Nintendo themselves can’t predict when the shortage will come to an end.

But let’s think about this for a second. Even though the Wii is doing gangbusters right now, you can’t call it a complete success when the demand for it far exceeds supply. It isn’t good to have virtually no stock of your product on store shelves when everyone and their grandma wants one. →  Postlanser: Heritage of Read

Weekly News We Care About Wrap Up – 3.30.07

PS3 sells well in Europe
Is this a sign that Sony is turning a corner? I recently noticed that the PS3 has a lot more well-reviewed titles and fewer games the critics hate than the Wii. Surely that’s a sign things will start picking up for Sony.

But then there’s the recent news that Devil May Cry 4 is going to be on both the PS3 and 360. A lot of smart people have said stupid things about this generation not being about console exclusives. Considering the Wii will have Nintendo first party titles and the 360 already has a number of good exclusives, I wonder if the sentiment that exclusives are dead is really just a nice way of saying, “Exclusives still matter but it’s depressing to think about how many Sony is losing.” →  Holy crap, show me more!

Hidden Beneath the Waves: Tech Guide to your PSP

Having trouble figuring out how to make the most out of that super-sexy but dust-covered Sony PSP? Well, you came to the right place. In this guide, I will help you understand and utilize all of the abilities of the Playstation Portable. You’ll finally understand how to get podcasts, mp3’s, videos and demos working on your PSP. Sadly, this does not include homebrew, as that is beyond my technical expertise. I’m trying to make you use your PSP more, not break it in the process, as it is not legal to put homebrew on the system (dictated by Sony, of course).

Before you start, I suggest you go out and buy a 1GB Memory Stick Pro Duo from Sandisk. The memory card that Sony supplies (256MB) is far too small to use for anything worthwhile. →  All I want for Christmas is my PSP.

Microsoft to Buy Capcom: Tssyeah, Right!

Rumors were running rampant this week with the prospect that Microsoft (i.e., evil-incarnate) was going to buy Capcom, developer of the Resident Evil series and this week’s big 360 release, Lost Planet. This rumor is, in fact, not new. It was first started almost three years ago when Msoft was looking to get a better foothold in the Japanese market. They still need the foothold over there, but Capcom has been out its sights for sometime now. So once again, no, Microsoft is not buying Capcom.

But let’s think about that for a second.

Obviously, Msoft would get a huge surge in the popularity rankings by having Capcom in its portfolio. They’d get the rights to Resident Evil, Street Fighter, Dead Rising, Phoenix Wright, Megaman, Devil May Cry, and one of my personal favorites, UN Squadron. →  [do not click]

Series Retrospective: Wild Arms

As far as RPG series go, one of the smaller ones you don’t hear too much about is Wild Arms. They are the only RPGs I’ve heard of that try to tackle the Wild West as an overall theme, and tend to blend in fantasy and science fiction elements to keep the game interesting for more traditional RPG fans.

Although the plot and setting differ significantly between any two members of the series (with one exception), there are some trends, such as the Guardians, which are summons characters can equip and use. All of the games also have the blessing of Michiko Naruke’s composition talents. Although she was not able to do the full composition for 4, all of the games have excellent music which adds greatly to the atmosphere – in fact, it was hearing the music that brought me to revisit the first and go on to try the rest of the series. →  Michigan: Article from Hell

Where has the hype gone?

Here in England, we always get things late. Sometimes very late, but that’s usually just Sony (I still stand by my claim that the PS3 won’t be out here until November). Something that England and the rest of Europe usually have, though, is an abundance of hype, hype, and more hype. Strangely enough, we all of a sudden have a lack of hype, and since the Wii has been released in America it seems to have disappeared off of the face of the planet over here. It’s released here in less than a month, so where has it all gone?

Maybe Nintendo have suddenly discovered that it won’t appeal to us Limeys. They’ve seen that the majority of the reviews by fat balding Americans of Red Steel be a tad negative, and they must be assuming the same for the English. →  Article Kombat

A FPS Japan likes

Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu has given Red Steel for the Wii a very nice review score of 34/40. This would be an 8.5 in English. American reviewers have not responded to the game well, but the odd thing is, besides Nintendo Power’s review, Red Steels two highest scores came from European sources (NGamer UK, Computer and Video Games UK). These Euro-sources are the only two obviously non-American reviews of the game, too.

So does this mean anything? Do foreigners like Red Steel more than decent, hardworking, red blooded Americans? The Japanese enjoying the title makes some sense. The country has never been impressed with our FPS output and the genre didn’t really catch on there. So a FPS with a different control scheme, more Japaneseness, and possibly added suck appeals to them. →  Welcome to the Fantasy Zone.

Sony Ram More Hard Phallic Instruments Up Britain

It really is never ending is it? First we get told that we wont receive the PS3 until March, which I accurately predicted about a year ago (shame I didn’t put a bet on it), and now Head Honcho Harrison is refusing to tell us that we’ll be getting it for March. Which I also predicted a couple of months back. This time, I’m going to commit this prediction to the web: I reckon the PS3 won’t be released in England until November 2007. That’s right. That late. They screwed us with the PSP, and now they’re doing the same with the PS3.

When asked whether or not the console would be released in Britain and Europe for the predicted March launch window, Harrison merely said:

“It’s not my job to comment on hardware supply issues other than to say some very smart people are working very hard to catch up”

Let me rephrase that statement in to what he really wanted to say:

“I’d like to tell you that we really don’t know when the console will be out in Europe, and to be honest we really don’t care. →  Ikari Warriors 2: Postery Read

Review – Sid Meier’s Railroads

It could have been legendary… instead it’s just good. That’s how I’d sum up Sid Meier’s Railroads. It’s not that the core game isn’t fun: in fact, I’d say that for the most part, the core game is what shines. Unfortunately, the game was rushed out, and it shows: the first version is buggy, a little light on content, and lacks several key gameplay features that would make things much easier. Despite all of this, the game is quite fun, and I am confident that within 2-3 patches it will be where it needs to be. And it was only $40, instead of $50, so I guess that’s why we got 80% of a game.

What I Love

The core game engine of Sid Meier’s Railroads is excellent. Cities are placed throughout the map, with their starting supply/demand determined randomly. →  Devil May Read 2