Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Demo Impression: Tomb Raider Underworld


Downloaded this over the weekend. The graphics are phenomenal. I have never played Uncharted: Drake's Fortune but I think this title on the 360 looks as good as that title on the PS3. However the camera is not my friend. It gets hung up a lot when you have to do jumps. In the demo you're taking a lot of leaps of faith, not unlike another heroine in a big title this fall. I hope that gets fixed. This video is from Gamespot and provides a behind the scenes look at the game.

Demo Impressions: Mirror's Edge

Recently the demo was made available for the PS3 and the 360. I took a run through the demo last night and was impressed. Once you get the hang of the controls, Faith's movements are pretty fluid and there is an impressive sense of speed as you move through the demo. If you're prone to motion sickness you may want to sit further back from your screen unless you're playing on a smaller TV. It was a little unsettling at first when you're getting your bearings. I didn't play the demo to the very end, but I did like the look and controls so much that I don't think I'd be disappointed when I do get a chance to play through. The attached video is a commercial but it highlights a lot of the action available in the demo.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Remembering Michael Crichton

Michael Crichton passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 66.

From Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch blog:

"There's a line between our awe of science and technology, with all the possibilities they offer us, and our fear of same, that the sense of control they offer is a lethal illusion. Few authors made that line their own as skillfully -- and as profitably -- as Michael Crichton. The author/screenwriter/director, who died Tuesday at age 66, had a knack for finding and exploring hot-button issues in his techno-thrillers -- sexual harassment (Disclosure), epidemiology (The Andromeda Strain), airline safety (Airframe), the importation of Japanese business culture to the U.S. (Rising Sun), nanotechnology (Prey), global warming (State of Fear), and of course, genetic engineering (Jurassic Park, The Lost World, and Next)."

The rest of the article is an excellent read. Unfortunately, his personal website doesn't appear to have active links but the wikipedia has great information if you want to learn more about him.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

NBA Jam: Secrets behind the original arcade phenomenon

Boomshackalacka! NBA Jam was probably the best sports video game behind Tecmo Bowl in its day. Crazy insider information about how the game dissed Scottie Pippen and the haunting of Drazen Petrovic.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Gamasutra: Halo's Multiplayer Almost Didn't Make It

From the article on Halo's multiplayer development: "[W]hen Microsoft acquired Bungie, at the time a veteran PC and Mac developer, and repositioned Halo as a flagship Xbox title, its multiplayer mode was almost axed in the interest of expediency and cost-saving -- a move that may have altered Microsoft's early status in the hardware race."

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Three Developers Explain LBP Level Design to a 7-year-old

"My son has become completely enamored with LittleBigPlanet. Which isn't that surprising. Watching his interest in game development grow, I suggested that he write up a letter asking for advice in game design, which I would then email off to a few developers I know."

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Monday, October 6, 2008

Rocking Out With a Pair of Full-Size Rock Band Guitars

Both Guitar Hero and the Rock Band series continue to be big sellers and impressive draws in getting casual players to buy expensive peripheral-laden games. With the news that peripherals between both games should be completely compatible, a new market has popped up for more expensive instruments.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

EA Kills Tiberium, Cites Quality Issues

Electronic Arts said Tuesday that it has canceled its squad-based first-person shooter Tiberium, saying that the game was "not on track to meet the high quality standards" of the company.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Demo Impressions: The Force Unleashed


I took some time out of my hectic morning to download the demo for The Force Unleashed and tinker with it a little bit. My first impressions were that it is a very good looking game; the cutscene before the demo level looked really good. Picking up stuff and flinging it around was a lot of fun even though I don't yet have the hang of moving objects around in 3d space. I keep wrecking what I'm holding by bashing it into the environment.

The only thing I am worried about is that the game is nothing more than force pushing targets to bits. I can imagine that there will be some force based puzzles for certain but would it really be worth the $60? The embedded video is just gameplay from Gamespot and not the demo.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Op-ed: Women in Games: Who Cares?

Excellent piece about the "fascination" with women in games. She makes the point that her gender shouldn't matter very well when she asks her peers "How does it feel to be a man in games"!

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As John Madden would say, 'Boom!' His NFL game turns 20

One of the pioneers of modern video gaming, Madden football has become a cultural phenomenon that has taught casual fans how the game of football is played.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

24 Things Sports Video Games Can't Get Right

Like realistic-looking snow and blatant-CPU-comeback cheating, tennis serves are one of those things sports games just can't seem to get right. The others? Read on ...

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Will 3-D Sportscasting Save the Movie Theater?

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban gave a presentation to the FCC about the future of digital media, and his number one point -- obviously a little self-serving, but it wouldn't be Cuban if it wasn't -- was that people will be able to go to a movie theater and watch a major sporting event in 3-D.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Study: 40% of US gamers are women

Exactly who is playing video games these days? The ESA has released its 2008 Essential Facts pamphlet, and female gamers now outnumber teenage boys.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Giant Bomb: Force Unleashed Preview

Brad Shoemaker gives us his first impression of the latest Star Wars title after playing through the first two levels.

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

DRM license transfer tool now available

The DRM tool to transfer licenses for content purchased on the Xbox Live Marketplace has just been released. This will allow anyone who has purchased a new console, or had one replaced to (painstakingly) transfer the licenses to the new console in order to use all of the premium content while offline.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

ArsTech: McCain uses game music in ad

John McCain used music from Medal of Honor: European Assault in one of his campaign ads; the only problem is that the composer is an Obama supporter, and McCain's campaign never contacted him about the use of the music.This isn't the first time that McCain has been burned by the music he has selected...

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Stan Winston dies of cancer at 62

The father of the dinosaurs in JURASSIC PARK, of THE TERMINATOR, of PUMPKINHEAD and PREDATOR and the Monsters in MONSTER SQUAD and, of course, ALIENS, has passed on.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

The new EA and managing morale in the creative industry

This is a great blog by a level designer at EA about improvements at the company and their potential impact on staff as well as their bottom line.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The new EA and managing morale in the creative industry

This is a great blog by a level designer at EA about improvements at the company and their potential impact on staff as well as their bottom line.

read more | digg story

Game Reviews: The Ugly Path from Publisher to Publishing

For some sites, reviewing video games isn't about helping consumers make better decisions, nor is it about serious criticism of the art form. Game reviews, and the process of writing them, is a scramble to get the first review out—an exclusive if possible—in order to get the most readers to sell the most ads

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Top 20 Women in the Gaming Industry

Highlighting the women who are important to the gaming now, those who have a crucial hand in shaping video games as we know them today.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wait... You are "delisting" Xbox LIVE Arcade Games?

"You may have seen the Next-Gen.biz article with Marc Whitten, and it may have left you confused.Don't panic - we've seen your questions, and we have some answers for you."

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Video Game Star and His Less-Than-Stellar Pay

His face still isn’t famous, but Michael Hollick’s voice and gait have moved into the pop culture firmament recently as those of Niko Bellic, the Balkan criminal at the heart of Grand Theft Auto IV.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

MadWorld 'Debut' trailer HD

From Nintendo Wii Fanboy:

"Described as a game that "straddles graphic novels and 3D worlds," MADWORLD looks every bit as stunning as early video footage had suggested. It's set for release during Q1, 2009, and promises weapons that range from chainsaws to street signs, irreverent humor, and sports commentary to accompany the slaughtering."

Saturday, May 17, 2008

EA cuts baseball games from lineup

EA has decided not to renew its contract with NCAA baseball, and instead will not be making any baseball games at all.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Note to EA. . .Stop Buying Developers, Make More Games. . .

Great editorial from thegamereviews.com:"Everyone’s favorite Madden factory is growing, but it’s profits aren’t following suit."

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Friday, May 9, 2008

how do i play game? - Adventures of a Non-Gamer

I found this site completely by accident. It's a blog chronicling a play through of Half-Life 2 by a non-gamer. It's a fun read and gives a great perspective on how people who play video games very very casually manage with today's games.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A History of Gaming Platforms: Mattel Intellivision

Gamasutra's A History of Gaming Platforms series continues with a look at the Intellivision, a classic video game console developed by toy company Mattel and continued as an independent business for years after being dropped by that company.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Library of Congress Acquires Spider-Man’s Birth Certificate

“Spider-senses” all around the Library were set tingling when we learned that the Library had just acquired 24 pages of original 1962 drawings from “Amazing Fantasy #15,” which marked the first time the world’s most famous web-slinger, Spider-Man, would appear in print anywhere.

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Xbox Dad: Is this game appropriate for my child?

Xbox Dad looks at ESRB ratings and what games are appropriate for your kids.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dungeons & Dragons: The Pen and Paper Video Game

From Gamasutra.com:In a fitting tribute to late Dungeons & Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax, Volition designer Monje examines Gygax's massive legacy, suggesting that D&D was "the progenitor of most contemporary video games, irrespective of genre."

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Sunday, April 6, 2008

Quake 3 Multiplayer running on 2 iTouch's

From Hermitworks:

So we've been playing around with Quake 3 and Apple's iTouch. Scott grabbed the icculus source and with a few modifications had it running pretty quick. Here's a video of him with two iTouch's in multiplayer.

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Rockstar Social Club to Launch with GTAIV

From 1up.com:

"When Grand Theft Auto IV hits stores on April 29th, it will launch alongside another new Rockstar Games project: the Rockstar Social Club. Starting on April 15th, players can register for the online community at rockstargames.com/socialclub with their Xbox Live gamertag and/or PlayStation Network ID"

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

How to survive your first foray into online FPS gaming

First person shooters are fun for the veterans, but won't somebody think of the newbs?

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Exclusive: Penny Arcade's Gabe and Tycho Talk Greenhouse

In this Wired.com exclusive interview, Penny Arcade creators Mike "Gabe" Krahulik and Jerry "Tycho" Holkins talk about their ambitions for their game download store Greenhouse, how it's all set up, and the kind of indie games they want to put in front of their army of loyal readers.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Myth of the Media Myth

In an article on the Escapist website, game designer Brenda Brathwaite talks about the mainstream perception of videogames and takes a good look at how the perceptions are formed. She points out it is easy to blame "the Media" for the public's perception of games but finds that there are other reasons rooted in how people feel about their relationship with videogames in their lives.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Xbox Live takes serious action against gamerscore cheaters

Microsoft has taken action against numerous cheaters on Xbox Live who have been manipulating their gamerscore. The actions include resetting the gamerscore of these people to zero, removing their ability to regain all previously gained achievements, and labeling them as a cheater on Xbox.com and in the Xbox dashboard.

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

GameSpot editor leaves: timeline of staff exodus inside

Jeff Gerstmann was fired from GameSpot, reportedly for a bad review given to an advertiser's game. GameSpot staffers then began to quit the site, many in protest. Today we add one more name to the ranks, and look at the timeline of events.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Did you see that? Sneaky In-game Ads and Crackdown

The other night while the kids were sleeping I was bouncing around the Shai Gen district and I noticed something very odd on one of the buildings. It was a billboard that said "H and K in '08'...in theaters April 25th". WTF?

I hadn't picked up Crackdown in some time. It and All Pro Football have been my games of choice as of late because I can play them in short bursts before getting to bed. My first thought was "oh what a lovely Easter Egg" and then when I googled 'Harold Kumar Crackdown' I found this link.

I don't have a problem with in-game ads, but this is the first time I have run into them in a game. I always thought that I wouldn't pay them any mind when I saw them, but here I am giving the movie face time because I thought I was seeing things. Clever marketing ploy, indeed!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Dungeons & Dragons creator dies

Gary Gygax, co creator of the pen-and-paper game that directly spawned Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights and influenced the entire RPG genre, has died at age 69.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Xbox 360 HD-DVD drops to $50

Kotaku reports that Microsoft is officially dropping their HD DVD add-on price to $50 starting tomorrow (though many retailers have already jumped the gun). I'm considering picking one up because it is a cheap entry into high def movies and a lot of my favorite movies are available on the cheap in the format.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

No Country For Old Gamers - Gaming Generation Gap

There is an interesting article from Level Up that talks about what would happen as gamers of different generations interact. From the original post: "We've often complained about the generation gap that divides those who understand videogames as a medium and those who, in ways large and small, dismiss them... What would happen to those of us in our mid-thirties and above if our parents, grandparents, bosses, religious leaders, politicians, all wanted to play as regularly as we do?"

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Gamer Saves Real Life Using Skills from America's Army

Paying attention to annoying tutorials evidently pays off. Last November, Paxton Galvanek saved the lives of two people in an overturned SUV on a North Carolina Interstate by using the skills he learned playing a medic in the popular "America's Army" video game. Paxton remained calm, prioritized the victims' wounds, and administered first aid.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

COD 4 OCD - Freakin' FNG

My wife picked up the Limited Edition of Call of Duty 4 for me over the holidays and I finally got around to firing it up.

I didn't get very far in the campaign because I spent all my free time in tutorial.

At the start of the game you're given a overview of your weapons, aiming, firing, reloading and swapping as well as melee attacks (BTW, the NPC response to my melee attack was pretty funny, I thought). You're directed to meet up with the rest of the squad afterwards and this is where I spent my free time.

There is an obstacle course where you have to take out targets with your weapon and flash bang grenades. Based on your finish time, the game sets an appropriate difficulty level.

I must have run through the course a couple dozen times trying to get close to the best time at Infinity Ward. Even when I went back to the game later, I still kept trying to better my time.

My best is 25.87 seconds. The Infinity Ward best was listed at 15. Someone has managed (hacked?) a finish of the level in under 10 seconds.

I know the rest of the game is awesome but for some reason I keep going back to this time trial!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Evolving Disney: Graham Hopper Speaks

As part of an in-depth new Gamasutra interview, Disney Interactive GM Graham Hopper has been discussing the company's wide-ranging portfolio, suggesting that it's "regrettable" that some parts of the video game press "don't recognize when a game is trying to be different" in targeting a family market.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ubisoft, Midway and Sony bans EGM from publishing content

In an interesting journalistic move, console gaming magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly has been banned from further writing about any content specifically regarding game companies Ubisoft, Midway and Sony's sports game division. Apparently this was done in the response to a column from Editor-in-chief Dan "Shoe" Hsu

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