News We Care About Wrapup – 5.30.08

Beyond good and sequels
Beyond Good and Evil 2 was recently released much to the joy of gaming forums everywhere. Sequels are exciting because it means more of something good. That we long for sequels seems to stem from a few things but most of them point to problems in the industry. It means we expect crap and usually get crap and when a game that’s worth playing actually comes out we want more because the other option is crap. We want sequels because we do not trust developers to make good games. If Ancel is given full reign over his next project and allowed to do what he wants, then let the man create something new. Shadow of the Colossus is the perfect example – a great game by the same designer as a game you love is even better than a sequel. →  Read the rest

Lame discussion – What makes Metroid Metroid? Part 2

Continued from last weeks Part 1, Matt, Christian and Don discuss what makes Metroid Metroid.

Christian: That’s a major problem the game has. It doesn’t do a good job of convincing people “it’s not a shooter, it’s Metroid.”

Don: I have to agree – that is where MP3 FAILS.

Christian: The opening planet screams “HEY GUYS YOU LIKE HALO RIGHT?” “WE”VE GOT HALO! AND STAR WARS! AND DRAGONS!”

Matt: I think this was more of the fact that it’s the end of a trilogy, and they need to flesh the universe out more.

Don: I, a fairly devout Metroid fan, found the Prime series to be a wedge. A way to get ‘the hardcore’ into a dying (yes, I said it) franchise.

Matt: Wow, can’t say I agree.

Christian: To me, at the very least Nintendo doesn’t know what to do with Metroid. →  Read the rest

Weekly News We Care About Wrap Up – 9.21.07

PSP outsells DS in Japan
Square’s Final Fantasy VII spin off for the PSP, Crisis Core, sold half a million copies last week. It also sold PSPs. Possibly not all of the 95 thousand Sony sold in the week, but likely around 80 thousand, which is how many more units were sold than the previous week. Sony’s business strategy should be clear – simply release a spinoff of one of the most beloved games of all time once a week and the PSP will handily outsell the DS in Japan 1.2 to 1.

Or, to quote someone from a forum I read:
“If DS stopped selling and PSP continued at this rate, it would catch up in 139.7 weeks (May 21, 2010).”

Does anyone else feel nauseous?

Home delayed till Spring
Good for Sony. →  Read the rest

Weekly News We Care About Wrap Up – 4.8.07

Resident Evil games coming to Wii
Capcom loves to remake and rerelease Resident Evils. Resident Evil 1 was released first on the PS1, then the Saturn, and PC, then the director’s cut came out on the PS1. This was followed by the remake for Gamecube and the slightly modified Deadly Silence version for the DS. Somewhere in there a mobile phone game was released, but at least Capcom had the sense to scrap a GBC version. Some PS1 games don’t look good on an NES — who knew?

Good news for people who have only played this game eight times — the Umbrella Chronicles game coming to the Wii looks very much like a recreation of the first game (with some of the second thrown in to placate whiners like me). →  Read the rest

Adventure Games on the Rebound? We Can Only Hope

It’s official. I’ve been bitten by the adventure gaming bug. Yes, I know, I’m about ten years too late, but in the month of January, we have seen not one, but TWO adventure games come out for the DS. You have the awesome Phoenix Wright: Justice for All, and the excellent noir crime-drama Hotel Dusk: Room 215 from Cing. I bought them both and have been thoroughly enjoying myself.

And I think the bug has bitten another gamer on the net: a journalist by the name of Scott Nixon of Gamasutra. He has even written an article on the subject, asking for a rebirth of the once great genre, with an update to some of its outdated gameplay conventions (enough pixel-hunting!). It’s a great read for fans of the nearly dead genre, and I humbly suggest checking it out, courtesy of Gamasutra. →  Read the rest


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). →  Read the rest

Lame Discussion: Immersion – Part 2

Continued from yesterday’s part 1.


Jay: Golden Jew, tell us more about your controversial theories on immersion.

Golden Jew: My view is, as with anything, there are many ways to skin a cat, and target a particular gamer… one thing I’ve been frustrated with and responded to before is the lack of good demographic analysis of gamers. And I think that’s because although gaming has been a huge industry for a long while, only when our generation started slamming the work force did it start getting respect and I think now the industry is struggling with ways to better design games and target the right audiences. So we end up with these semi esoteric questions– what is immersion– because designers think that answering that question with a silver bullet will mean big bucks and nothing, in any industry, (except for the fact sex sells) is that clear cut. →  Read the rest

A.I. woes

I’m currently reading a book on game design. The chapter on AI speaks only of the good that will come with advancing computer intelligence, yet not a word of caution or hesitation is included. I quickly outlined a number of worries I have over advanced AI and decided to bring them to our resident computer science major, Christian. Keep in mind I’m not “against” better AI, I just think it may lead to issues designers will have to deal with. I also find game design discussion to be infinitely enjoyable.

What follows are the initial worries I had and then Christian’s cool headed reponses.

This guy probably wishes he were smart enough to stop, drop and roll.

Jay: In an old interview, Warren Spector spoke of making the AI for Deus Ex 2. →  Read the rest

Review – Super Princess Peach

Super Princess Peach
Developed by Nintendo
Published by Nintendo
Released 2.27.06


“Why can’t I have more than one line of dialogue in my own game? Hey look a vine… neato!”

I have to admit I wasn’t too excited when I first heard about this game. I mean, of all the characters in the Mario universe I’d want to have there own game, Princess Peach wasn’t at the top of my list. My girlfriend, on the other hand, bought it the day the game came out and I haven’t given it back to her since. This game is seriously addictive.

The story starts with Mario, Luigi and Toad being taken prisoner by Bowser’s hench-turtles using their newfound Vibe Wand. The wand’s vaguely-explained powers are related to emotions, and allows the normally bumbling koopas to take down an entire castle of Toads and subdue our usual heroes. →  Read the rest