On a whim, I picked up F.E.A.R. today with some store credit. Now that I have a computer that can actually play current PC games I'm looking forward to it. I wasn't thrilled about those five CDs in paper sleeves, though. I understand why many games come on CDs still, but for games targeted primarily towards hardcore gamers with at least fairly decent PCs it's surpising to me. A DVD-ROM drive has to be an easier and cheaper upgrade by far than the advanced video cards and processors many of these games require, and it can actually be used for other things besides games (ie, actually watching DVDs). Hopefully the three remaining PC gamers with only CD-ROM drives get it together...
Aside to Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga menz: you gotta check out the Partners in Time screenshots down there, seriously.
Aside to menz in the know: does today's Peter Moore story remind anyone of the escapades of a certain mr.sleepy?
Peter Moore is Slighly Unhinged; Rare Makes Games[xbox]
Peter Moore, part of the wacky Xbox PR duo of Allard & Moore, was interviewed by MTV yesterday, and he delivered some interesting news regarding upcoming Xbox 360 projects. But first, let's draw our attention to this mind-boggling rumination from Mr. Moore, regarding deliberations as to the upcoming system's name:
"We tried Xbox 2. We tried a number of names. Went around the world for four months, and Xbox 2 got a shrug of the shoulder. Then we explained the Xbox 360 as a living entertainment experience powered by human energy [that] revolves around you and makes you at the center of your experience [and] people were like [snaps fingers] ... 'I get that.' "
Mr. Moore, sometimes when you make claims such as your video game console being "powered by human energy that revolves around you and makes you at the center of your experience," and people say they understand, that's because they think you're an insane person and they're trying to avoid getting on your bad side.
But leaving that baffling explanation aside, Moore did reveal some actual news: Microsoft first-party studio Rare, purchased from Nintendo in 2002, is working on two more Xbox 360 games besides Perfect Dark Zero and Kameo: Elements of Power, and they will be announced some time next spring. The games have apparently been in development for up to two years now.
Moore also noted that in addition to the Xbox Live marketplace being used to sell small bits of content such as extra cars for racing games, it can be used to sell player-created content, such as machinima. He did not elaborate as to how such content would be created on a console or whether players would be allowed to distribute it for free.
Given Moore's past track record with Dreamcast at Sega, MTV inquired as to whether he is worried that Sony's upcoming PlayStation 3 will garner more gamer support, but Moore was confident. "If the PS3 is so incredibly superior to the Xbox 360 in game quality, game quantity, game breadth, game visuals, depth of the digital entertainment experience and price, God bless them." He declined to comment as to what will happen if the PS3 harnesses the powers of the living earth, binding gamer and nature in an unholy fusion of energy, divinity, and the ability to stream mp3s.
A Few More Revolution Tidbits[nintendo]
Following yesterday's Ars Technica prediction of the release date for the upcoming Nintendo Revolution, GameSpot has translated a few more comments made by Nintendo president Satoru Iwata in his interview with Japanese publication Nikkei Business.
For one thing, Iwata confirms that Nintendo will in fact shoot for "a simultaneous worldwide release as much as it's possible"--note that given the many months that consoles usually take to reach all parts of the world, a simultaneous release does not necessarily indicate a same-day schedule worldwide. For example, Xbox 360's launch is considered "simultaneous" even though there is technically a period of a few weeks before the console is fully deployed.
Iwata also suggests that, despite the GameCube's constant profitability, the system probably could have stood to sell a lot better. "It [the Revolution] would be a complete failure if we didn't sell more units than the Nintendo GameCube," he notes. For reference, Nintendo has shipped about 19 million GameCube units.
Iwata also noted that former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi, who was responsible for turning Nintendo into a gaming powerhouse and who presided over the company from 1949 to 2002, was in no way involved with the creation of the recently-unveiled Revolution controller.
Xbox Live Returns[xbox]
Following yesterday's approximately 28-hour downtime of Microsoft's Xbox Live service, the servers and website are back up, with Xbox.com sporting a new look in anticipation of the release of Xbox 360. The site contains various bits of information regarding the Xbox Live services that will launch with the upcoming console, but currently it is not possible for users to sign into the My Xbox services, even for a regular Xbox Live account. Microsoft plans to have the website fully functional again by the end of this month.
There are also some totally sweet sample profiles (see, that guy is hardcore; you can tell because his name is Hardcore) for you to check out (see, she's got game; you can tell because her name is "Grrl Got Game") demonstrating the various archetypes you can fall into as a Video Game Player on The Internet.
Nintendo Limits Electroplankton Distribution[ds]
Nintendo has confirmed that Toshio Iwai's interactive music game Electroplankton (DS) will be coming to North America, but the company has decided to sell the game only online and in its Nintendo World Store in New York City. (For more information on the game, check out my review.) The decision is somewhat maddening, given how poorly this strategy has worked for Nintendo in the past. For example, many gamers are unaware that the GameCube even supports progressive scan. Despite every first-party and many third-party games sporting that feature, Nintendo only sells the required component cables through its online store, not through brick and morter retailers. This of course results in most GameCube owners simply not bothering, and it's hard to imagine a similar fate not befalling Electroplankton, which is almost the perfect example of a game that's hard to sell with screenshots but easy to sell to people who have tried it out themselves.
Electroplankton will be available from major online retailers January 9, 2006.
Destroy All Humans is Fox'd[ps2] [xbox]
The rights to Pandemic's retro sci-fi action title Destroy All Humans (PS2, Xbox) have been acquired by Fox for adaptation into a computer-animated comedy television program. Presumably, like the game, the show will star murderous alien Crypto Sporidium 137, who gets his kicks from annihilating residents of planet Earth with variety of wacky weapons and powers. Despite the deal, there is no guarantee the show will actually make it to production. Some of you may remember the deal Will Wright signed in 2003 to option The Sims' property, also by Fox, for use in a television program, but no such project has yet materialized.
Gunstar Super Heroes Released[gba]
I have to make an correction to Sunday's release list, because I foolishly missed a rather noteworthy game. Sega announced that Treasure's Gunstar Super Heroes (GBA) shipped to retailers today. The game is a sequel to Treasure's acclaimed classic Gunstar Heroes, released for Sega Genesis in 1993.
IGN has footage of a next generation panel from its recently IGN Live event, in which somebody makes an infuriatingly poorly argued claim that graphical improvements are the most important thing in improving games. He cites such evidence as "close your eyes and tell me the game is still fun to play!" as well as claiming that the reason Burnout is better than Pole Position is because of its graphics. Uh, yeah that helps, but what kind of comparison is that? (Physics, gameplay, online, hello?)
Screenshots: Heavenly Sword (PS3).
Screenshots: Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble (GCN).
GameSpot checks out EA's Lord of the Rings: Tactics (PSP). Eurogamer has some Famitsu details on Mistwalker's Archaic Sealed Heat (DS). IGN checks out Capcom's Mega Man Battle Network 5: Double Team (DS) and EA's Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (PSP, also PS2, Xbox, GCN, DS, GBA, PC).
Movies: Tony Hawk's American Sk8land (DS, GBA).
Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]
Tecmo Bowl for the NES. "Tecmo Bowl was the only football game that let you throw a touchdown from one endzone, to the other. 100+ yard pass: not impossible." (submitted by killrig).
For $5 more you could have had F.E.A.R. on a DVD.
with a ton of extras, and if you had pre-ordered it, it was the same price as the CD version
They didn't have it at my store :(
here in ontario, canada it ended up being 30 dollars more for the DVD edition
49.99 for CD-ROM at Best Buy and Futureshop (which didn't carry the DVD edition at all) and 79.99 for the DVD at EBGames. (All Canadian funds)
I'll bug the wife to bug the buyer of PC games to start carrying more DVD versions. I totally agree it's high time to move on from the CD format or at least start carrying the DVD version in similar quantity to the CD version.