Late Night Consoling

Okay, so... I'm not really sure what kind of response I expected from that Electroplankton review, but suffice to say I didn't anticipate that. It's cool, though! Got some interesting feedback. I was gone the whole day (covering non-wacky games for you guys!) so unfortunately I didn't get to respond to the thread at all. One thing to bear in mind is that as of now I've only done one actual review for this site. Shack isn't even known for having reviews ever, so it would seem odd to take that lone exception as a precedent. I like reviewing games though, so if you guys want me to do it more often I can. Electroplankton was not chosen as "my inaugural review," it was just a game I wanted to play so I figured why not let Shackers know what I thought? Likewise, in terms of previews, Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! is just one out of a whole bunch I've done here so far. Two titles do not a rule make.

So, yeah! Hopefully that's sort of cleared up. Thank you to those in the comments who voiced either side, just remember that I'm not trying to lay down some manifesto one way or the other. Basically: I like games, lots of different ones. Sitting on my shelf next to Kirby Canvas Curse is Max Payne 2. Well, not right next to it, but you get the point.

  • Be Charitable, Buy Crazy Game Stuff

    [ps2] [xbox] [gamecube]

    The Entertainment Software Association holds yearly benefits to improve the quality of life for children in America, aiming to create positive social impact by being a large contributor to such organizations as the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Starlight Children's Foundation, and more. Right now, the ESA is holding a rather large eBay auction to raise money, and the items up for bidding range from the extremely rare (a Star Wars lightsaber signed by George Lucas) to the oddly mundane (an HP Photosmart printer).

    Other items up for grabs include two tickets to E3 along with a pass to Nintendo's private E3 party, two tickets to E3 along with a pass to Sony's private E3 party, an Xbox 360 signed by Bill Gates, and a six-foot-tall statue of Halo's Master Chief.

    Most of the auctions end in the next few days, so if you have cash to burn for a charitable cause, get on it!

  • Microsoft Worried About 360 Launch

    [xbox]

    For those who wonder why console manufacturers always take so long to launch their machines in certain territories, Microsoft's Peter Moore has this to say: "There's a reason no-one has done this before and we are figuring that out. If we knew what we were getting into, we might not have done it."

    A BBC report indicates Microsoft is getting rather worried about its ability to keep its upcoming Xbox 360 console stocked worldwide in a far shorter timeframe than has ever been attempted before with a major console. Moore seems determined to see the problem through, but don't ask him how he's going to do that; he doesn't know. "We're going to ship all around the world; how we're going to do that, I don't know," said Moore. "We're going to rent every 747 we can find."

    The article also brings up the issue of launch titles, a topic Microsoft seems to want to avoid answering conclusively until the last possible moment. In regards to Microsoft-published anticipated titles such as Rare's Perfect Dark Zero and Kameo: Elements of Power as well as Bizarre's Project Gotham Racing 3, Microsoft Chief XNA Architect J Allard said, "These games are not far from being done, and if they're three weeks after the launch or they're on launch day I don't think it makes a significant difference." Moore echoed those sentiments: "Games will arrive with a thousand bugs and get into the certification process. They make it or they don't. It's no big deal if a game takes another week. The consumer will get a strong line-up."

  • Real Time Worlds Licenses Unreal 3

    [xbox]

    Real Time Worlds, the studio founded by Lemmings and Grand Theft Auto creator David Jones, announced today an agreement with Epic to license the Unreal Engine 3 for use in any of the studio's games. The first title to take advantage of the deal is the upcoming MMO All Points Bulletin (APC) (X360, PC). Real Time Worlds is also working on Crackdown for Xbox 360, but it was not specified whether it will make use of Unreal technology. The game sports a very stylized visual aesthetic, in large part due to its atypical color palette.

    Webzen, the Korean firm publishing APB, has also obtained several licenses of the engine.

  • Nintendo Announces Two Bundles

    [ds] [gamecube]

    Nintendo just announced two upcoming hardware bundles, one for its DS console and one for the GameCube.

    I've seen quite a few people ask about this in chatty, so here's your answer: Two weeks after Mario Kart DS hits stores, Nintendo will launch a Red Hot Nintendo DS bundle. Like the recently-announced Nintendogs bundle, it goes for $149.99 (the price of a standalone DS before its recent price cut), comes in a limited edition color scheme, and includes a full game. In this case, the game is of course Mario Kart DS and the limited edition color is a deep red. The deal also comes with a checkered-flag wrist strap as well as various decals. Mario Kart DS ships November 14, and the bundle will follow on November 28.

    Nintendo also announced another GameCube promotion, following the recent Super Smash Bros. bundle. November 7 will see the release of a bundle containing a GameCube, Mario Party 7, a GameCube microphone, and two controllers--all for $99.99. Separately, the items would retail for about $175, with the upcoming Mario Party 7 priced at $49.99.

  • 24 Hour Dance Dance Fitness Revolution Alpha Extreme

    [ps2] [xbox]

    Konami has announced a deal with major U.S. gym club chain 24 Hour Fitness to include DDR machines in 24 Hour Fitness locations. The machines will be featured in grand openings of the chain, as well as in 24 Hour's Kids Club section. 30-day trial passes to 24 Hour Fitness will be included in copies of Dance Dance Revolution EXTREME 2 (PS2) and Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix 3 (Xbox).

  • Misc. Q&As/Features

    IGN asks a few questions of Silicon Knights president Denis Dyack regarding the studio's upcoming Too Human (X360).

    1UP has a developer interview with The Creative Assembly's Clive Gratton regarding Spartan: Total Warrior (PS2, Xbox, GCN).

    Iain Simons at Gamasutra has a feature up on the processes followed by Xbox 360 design director Jonathan Hayes.

Misc. Media/Previews

PS2

1UP keeps going with day 3's coverage of Fumito Ueda's Shadow of the Colossus (PS2), today looking back on Ico (PS2). GameSpot previews Harmonix's Guitar Hero (PS2).

Screenshots: Dynasty Warriors 5: Xtreme Legends (PS2). Mobile Suit Saga (PS2). WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2006 (PS2, also PSP).

Xbox

Screenshots: Shadow of Aten (X360, also PC).

Movies: Shadow of Aten (X360, also PC). Top Spin 2 (X360, also DS, GBA).

Portable

IGN digs up some info on Nintendo's Mario Kart DS (DS), Square Enix's Children of Mana (DS), and Mistwalker's ASH (DS). Eurogamer also scrounges some info on Nintendo's Animal Crossing: Wild World (DS). Meanwhile, GameSpot gets a non-exclusive look at the multiplayer in Raven's X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse (PSP, also PS2, Xbox, GCN, PC) as well as a preview of Sony Online's Field Commander (PSP). IGN checks out Sony Online's Untold Legend: The Warrior's Code (PSP).

Screenshots: Viewtiful Joe: Double Trouble (DS). Burnout Legends (DS, also PSP).

Movies: Viewtiful Joe: Double Trouble (DS).

Multi

IGN previews Rockstar's The Warriors (PS2, Xbox).

Screenshots: Crash Tag Team Racing (PS2, Xbox, GCN, DS, PSP).

Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]

Chrono Cross for the PS1. "Innovative combat system, pretty graphics (for the time), and interesting characters, locations, and story made this my most favorite RPG of all time." (submitted by rotten element)