Archive for February, 2008

Metal Gear Solid 4 slated for simulataneous worldwide release.

Posted in News with tags , , , on February 29, 2008 by Arya

Konami has officially announced that on June 12th of this year its highly anticipated title, Metal Gear Solid 4, will be released. And that’s not just for us Stateside folks – it’s also the official release date for Japan and Europe. Yes, unlike most sinister and nationalistic Japanese publishers, Konami will be releasing their title simultaneously across the globe. And the best part for this TB writer in particular is that it will be released on his birthday. Who could ask for a finer gift.

For a trailer of the game, check here.

Also here are a couple highly recommended spoofs of the game, hosted by Newgrounds:

Metal Gear Awesome
Metal Gear Awesome 2

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Bunchie: the sauntering face of a generation.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on February 28, 2008 by Arya

I’d like to take a quick moment to share with you a dear friend of mine. His name is Bunchie, and I met him some eight years ago on Albino Blacksheep, when I saw the .gif you see to the left. I knew from then on that this creature was destined for great things. Yesterday I finally discovered the true origin of Bunchie: he was created on a whim by artist Aaron St. Goddard.

If there is ever a character that needs to be the star of his own title, it is Bunchie. Please spread the word about this gregarious little critter. With any luck, he will rise to stardom.

You can get to know Bunchie better at his official website, here.

Are those really PS3 graphics???

Posted in News with tags , , on February 28, 2008 by Arya

Nippon Ichi Software will finally be making a North America release of the third major installment in its highly successful series, Disgaea, this August. Other than Final Fantasy Tactics and the Vandal Hearts series, Disgaea: Hour of Darkness is the only turn-based strategy games that I have ever been impressed by.

Despite the bitching and moaning of graphics-mongers worldwide who find themselves scowling at this game for its last-gen visuals, I am pretty confident this title will still be enjoyable to play. After all, I would take good gameplay over fantastic graphics any day (which is why a huge void of good new RPG’s entering the market has left me replaying FFVII and Chrono Trigger). This news as well as the anticipation of Metal Gear Solid 4 just might give me enough reason to finally pick up a PS3 of my own.

Nintendo Locates Online Gaming Ball, Will Likely Drop It

Posted in News with tags , , , , on February 27, 2008 by Pvt. Eyes

kamekWith everything that Nintendo does right in the gaming world, I suppose there has to be at least one thing that it can get woefully, hopelessly wrong. In this case that would be online gaming. The Wii has yet to produce a single meaningful online game, though that could change with Brawl coming out next month. Of course, you still won’t be able to talk to anybody in the game, though in the future you may be able to communicate in ridiculous txting form.

A slight tangent here, but is anybody else slightly worried about the prospect of online Brawl actually being fun without communication? I know for me, as well as the vast majority of those I played the GC Smash with, trash talking (and I’m talking like an extreme amount of spraying abuse at your opponent) was an integral part of the game. I feel like something will be lost when transitioning the game to the net sans vocals. In fact, most Nintendo games cultivate a unique party feel and, without human (or at the very least vocal) interaction to go along with the in-game events, I’m worried about the potential outcome of putting these games online.

But back to the issue at hand, which is Nintendo now entertaining the prospect of pay-as-you-play online gaming. In its current disgraceful state, I can’t imagine paying for the online services that the Wii offers, not to mention going through the tedious task of shelling out new fees every time I buy a game that is designated to have online play. To be sure, I don’t mind paying for an online gaming service, but it damn well better be worth my dollar. I’m willing to give Nintendo a little room here, and they’ve released precious few details so far. However, this is definitely a story that I’ll be watching, especially since every day Nintendo falls farther and farther behind the online gaming curve. Who ever thought that Microsoft and XBL could be doing something right?

MMORPGs: just another stick in the MUD

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on February 26, 2008 by daggius
Yes friends, long before Everquest or World of Warcraft, MUDs (Multi User Dungeons) were already perfecting the online gaming concept that is so popular today. MUDs are text-driven, using descriptions of locations, characters, and events instead of graphics. Playing one is not unlike reading a great Choose Your Adventure book. On top of this, MUDs offer all the same gameplay action as MMORPGs, be it through quests, guilds, or player killing. These concepts have been built on since the first MUD was created in 1978! What’s more is you can totally log into your favorite MUD from that super sketchy computer in the library that can’t even open a browser.

Recap:

  • Same immersive atmosphere and gameplay as MMORPGs
  • None of the distracting graphics, noises, or monthly fees
  • Beefs up your reading and typing skills

Links:

  • Turf: The only MUD I’ve played, I can attest to its greatness. The player begins as a student in Oxford, and from here the game links to a number of fantasy and history worlds ranging from Ancient Greece to Star Wars.
  • Top MUD Sites: A helpful tracker/finder.
  • Are MUDs and MMORPGs the same thing?

Gamernomics: EA and Take-Two

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on February 25, 2008 by Pvt. Eyes

Since last week, EA has been seeking a takeover of Take-Two Interactive, developer of the GTA franchise. Last Friday, Take-Two rejected a two billion dollar proposal by EA, but the latter company is at it again. In a story even picked up by Morning Edition as I heard this morning driving to work, EA is now launching a GTA-style hostile takeover of TT by going straight to the shareholders.

Electronic Arts is offering to buy out TT shares for $26 per share, which was a pretty good deal when TT was at $17.83 per share after Friday’s closing bell. Not so much this morning, as TT shares have jumped to $26.60 (at last check) and are expected to rise even more. That’s about a three year high for the stock, but EA says that it will not rest just yet – they want TT before GTA IV ships in April.

This is a pretty big story, and is getting major play in the news. At first I thought it was bigtime that Forbes put something out on it this morning, but now its all over the place. I suppose, as I think about it even more, this is actually pretty big news both inside and outside of the gaming community. As for us gamers: With the Blizzard/Activision merger and now this, are we seeing something similar to the consolidation of movie studios? That process has been around in film for a long time, but as the video game industry continually grows, more and more events like this could happen. Good or bad? What do you think? Will it effect the product?

We’ll be sure to keep you updated, but a great place to track every move is at Joystiq, where they’ll be updating this post throughout the day. You can also Track Take Two Interactive’s stock with Google Finance here. In the meantime, you can read up on business takeovers here. That is the first place that I am going…

Open Source Rock Band Sequel

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2008 by Pvt. Eyes

Well, not quite. But in a conference at GDC, Chris Foster, of Rock Band developer Harmonix, stated that the company was investigating possibilities of user created content and song imports for future Rock Band titles. As Joystiq staffer JC Fletcher aptly points out: does this mean that Rock Band 2 is confirmed? If so, I gotta get my Xbox back ASAP.Nickelback Rox

I’ve been lobbying for user generated songs for Rock Band for awhile now as I feel that the transcendent game could capitalize on user driven content in a way that few titles could. The music world is so vast, that allowing the Rock Band players to contribute to the game seems the obvious next step. And quality control (another massive piece of the user content puzzle) could be self regulating: Nobody is going to play your crappy port of Nickelback. It’ll get drowned out by better ports. Or just by better songs. I suppose this is the YouTube model of operation.

Of course the red tape surrounding this operation must be entangling, to say the least. Can you imagine trying to pitch this to big time music studios who are already soiling themselves over the plethora of piracy problems? The bottom line though is the fact that all parties involved are taking it to the bank courtesy of Xbox Live downloads. Why give something away when you can cash in on it instead? I know I’m putting the points on my account nonstop. El Scorcho anyone?