Review – Real Soccer 2008

When I first spotted “Real Soccer” in my local game shop, I was initially under the impression that the game’s name was an indication of a metaphysical breakthrough at Ubisoft labs. Sick of titles stuck with the “virtual” nomenclature, Ubisoft had determined – Matrix-like – that they could decide what is and is not real. I mean, what is “reality,” anyway, right? Yeah.

Sadly, however, the title instead betrays the pathetic lack of sports titles for the DS. Not “this is real soccer,” but “omigosh! Honest-to-goodness real soccer on the DS!!” It makes more sense when one appreciates that the title’s name is Real Football in the UK, and there are probably plenty of British dudes who are sick of us calling our decidedly un-foot-centric game by the name of football, but whatever. →  Words are the towns and cities of letters.

Weekly News We Care About Wrap Up – 12.21.07

PSP sales explode in Japan
Sony’s handheld has been selling very well lately, this last boost thanks to a new red model. If Sony simply releases a new model and/or colored PSP every other month they may be able to seriously compete with Nintendo. At least on the hardware front.

Games simply don’t appear to sell on the PSP. The leading theories as to why this is are:

If you cut yourself while playing you won’t even notice.

1. The PSP is a successful multimedia machine. A significant percentage of purchasers are using it to listen to music and watch movies. Reports of people not particularly interested in games buying the system are common, and even dedicated gamers (see Christian of this website) are very interested in all the multimedia aspects of the PSP. →  Xenosaga 2: Jenseits von Gut und Pöst

Review – Madden 08

The Madden Curse Comes to the Wii

For years we’ve seen each Madden cover supermodel fall to the “curse” of becoming overpaid, injured and irrelevant. And just as eerily, the infamous curse is plaguing the upper right corner of its cover as well.

I know I’m supposed to unconditionally lower my expectations for the Wii’s substandard graphics and love it because of it’s removable showerhead inspired controller, but this is just lazy. (And by the way, the joy of flailing a little white rod at my TV is neither new nor innovative.) Crowd shots, backgrounds, stadium flybys and even the loading screen still shots rely on heavy, let’s say, “artistic” blurring to compensate for these worse than average Wii graphics. Whereas the animations have finally improved on the other two consoles, the motion capture for the Wii looks like it was recorded in the Madden bus toilet using a breakfast burrito and some pork rinds. →  You may say I’m a gamer, but I’m not the only one

The Madden Cycle

Guess what the best selling game of 2006 was (or probably was)? Why am I even giving you guys a guess; its Madden 07 of course!

Like a lot of gamers, I guess you could say that Madden is wearing a little thin on me. I understand why it sells so well; the NFL has such a huge fanbase that even if a few disgruntled gamers decide to stop buying it, there’s an army’s worth to fill in the gap. I also understand the desire to play a good simulation of America’s most popular sport (I’m a diehard football fan myself). Despite this, I have no desire to play the game, and a lot of that has to do with what I call the “Madden Cycle”. Here’s how it goes:

1) EB/Gamestop employees remind me that Madden is coming out. →  One must imagine video games happy.

Weekly News We Care About Wrap Up – 12.1.06

Analyst predicts Sony will leave the hardware business
This may be completely stupid and absurd, but then it just may make sense. The recent management shuffle at Sony, some believe, is an indication of things to come. Kutaragi, the Sony hardware guy, has been promoted out of the way and now Kaz Hirai, a software guy, is in charge of Sony’s game division. The theory goes Kutaragi has fucked things up too much and the PS3 may cost Sony money, so by removing their hardware guy and putting in a software guy, they can transition out of hardware and focus on developing software only.

This is slightly hard to believe if only because I was completely unaware that Sony has a significant software division. Ueda and Jaffe aside, what does Sony have to offer gamers? →  [left click on your mouse to open the remainder of this post in your web browser on your digital computing device]