5/3/2010 Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow headed to the Playstation 2
Sony announced today that Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow, the critically acclaimed sequel to the 2006 PSP hit Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror, is headed to the Playstation 2. Sony's legacy platform will be reciving an updated version of the game on the first of June. The port is being handled by Sony Bend, who also did Dark Mirror and Resistance: Retribution. The game will feature a reworked control scheme to make shooting and the cover system easier to use as well as up-rezed textures and visual effects.
5/2/2010 THQ registers Red Faction domains
Even before the release of Red Faction: Guerrilla for the PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, THQ hinted at their intentions to continue with the series, though they have been very quiet about any sequel to the game thus far. It would seem that a sequel is pretty much confirmed. On Febuary 22, THQ registered domain names for two games that seem to be titled Red Faction: Armageddon and Red Faction: Origins. These domains expire on Febuary 22, 2011. At this point in time, none of the domains have any content up on them.
5/2/2010 Atomic Games wants to creat more realistic first person shooters
Atomic Games fell under a lot of fire for their shooter Six Days in Fallujah, a game based on the Second Battle of Fallujah or Operation Phantom Fury. The outcry against the game caused Konami to cut the title, leaving it without a publisher and forced Atomic Games to make cuts to it's staff. That isn't stopping them, though. The developement of the game has led to the company getting into touch with a number of military personnel who are offering their own personal stories about various conflicts across the globe, says company president Peter Tamte. "As a result of Six Days in Fallujah, we actually have been contacted by people across the world and other services, and there are certainly other stories begging to be told. There are stories from across the world, and we got involved in Six Days in Fallujah because of our relationship with specific marines who served in that particular engagement."
5/1/2010 APB gets release date
Realtime Worlds' upcoming Massively Multiplayer Online Shooter has finally recieved a release date. It was announced earlier this week that the game would hit store shelves on June 29 in the United States and July 2 in Europe according to an FAQ released on the game. The FAQ went on to say that it would cost $50 in hte US, £35 in the UK, and €50 in the rest of Europe and would contain 50 hours of play straight out of the box with unlimited use of its social district and market place. The game will be avaliable both at retail stores and online at the games website and at EA's online store. You can preorder the game and preorder bonuses include early-access APB VIP game time, an exclusive in-game Asylum upgraded criminal car and Enforcer upgraded patrol car, and C.S.A. Enforcer and Asylum criminal clothing.
5/1/2010 Telltale Games announces Puzzle Agent
Telltale Games is hard at work on the new season of Sam and Max episodic content, but they just announced a new series for the Wiiware, PC, iPhone and iPad called Puzzle Agent set for release in June. The series, set in Scoggins, Minnesota, sees players take control of a detective who is investigating the local rubber eraser plant has ceased manufacturing. While there, the detective uncovers a sinister mystery and runs across a number of odd citizens. The art for the game is being done by Graham Annable, who has worked on both Grickle and the Hickee humor anthology.
5/1/2010 InstantAction launches browser imbedded game platform
InstantAction, an independent game development company, pioneered technology that allowed for high quality gaming through the use of a web browser. This week, they announced an extension on this that will add portability to their products, thanks to an online distribution service that allows you to embed the games nearly anywhere on the internet, including blogs and social networking sites. The technology works similar to embedding Youtube videos and uses "in-browser, thin client, and progressive downloading technology." This allows users to jump into the game immediately instead of spedning time downloading the software. Some hardware requirements still apply, though. The service launched with The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, which is embedded into Facebook.
4/30/2010 Sony registers Infamous 2 domain
Anyone who played last year's Playstation 3 exclusive Infamous from Sucker Punch knows well that the ending does hint strongly at a sequel to the it. It seems that fans of the game will be getting their wish and revisiting the worrld of Cole McGrath. Sony has registered a doman name for the game at www.Infamous2TheGame.com though no website is currently up at that address.
4/30/2010 No Doubt's Tragic Kingdom is coming to Rockband
While No Doubt was having major problems with one music game, another is getting an entire album from them. Their entire 1995 album Tragic Kingdom will be downloadalbe for Rockband on the Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360. The album brings the total number of tracks avaliable for Rockband, both on the disc and in the online store, to 1,174.
4/30/2010 Sony being sued over cutting out the "Other OSes" option on the PS3
Sony's v3.21 update for the Playstation 3 locked out it's ability to install Linux on the system by getting rid of the "Other OS" option. At least one Playstation 3 user is not taking this lying down. Anthony Ventura of Santa Clara, California, filed a lawsuit with the US District Court of North California against Sony for breaching it's sales contract and "the covenant of good faith and fair dealing" by removing this option. Ventura wants this suit to be made into a class action complaint on behalf of PS3 owners who bought the console between November 17, 2006 and March 27, 2010. He lists four reasons why the removal of this option was unlawful. First, he says that Sony advertised this option, encouraging people to buy the system over competitors for this option. Second, it is a valuable feature because it "saves the consumers money from having to buy many additional electronic devices or applications." The suit also says that Sony reneged on it's promise to support this feature and claims that Sony are doing this in an attempt to stop piracy. Finally, it says that the update is optional, but not really. If you want to access many of hte PS3's features, you need to update.
4/30/2010 Steam comes to Mac on May 12
Last month, as discussed on the podcast, Valve is releasing Steam for Macs, giving Mac users access to their back catalog of games. The first game that will feature support for both Mac and PC at launch will be Portal 2. Valve annouced a release date for Steam on the Mac. They said that it is coming to Apple's system begining May 12. PC and Mac users will be able to play with or against each other in online matches on Steam and Valve plans to release updates for both versions of their games simotaneously. The Steamworks developement toolkit, which allows titles to be built using their software, will be interchangable between Macs and PCs
4/30/2010 Buy Alan Wake new and get free DLC
Alan Wake, the Xbox 360 exclusive psychological thriller set to be released in the U.S. on May 18, will be getting a bit of free downloadalbe content, if you buy the game new atleast. Microsoft said that new copies of the game will come with a voucher that will let you download it's first lieve of DLC for free, though they did not say what this downloadalbe content would be and only said it would be avaliable later this year.
4/30/2010 Halo Reach Beta goes through May 19
The May 3 start date for the Halo Reach beta was announced some time ago, but Bungie has been quiet as to how long it would last. They finally broke their silence. The beta will go from the 3rd to the 19th, lasting aproxamately half a month. The beta will be accessed through the Halo 3 ODST game disc. At launch, it will incude three different rotations for the players to jump into. This will include a four on four Deathmatch Arena mode. On the 7th, Bungie will add a large scale Spartan vs Elite mode. On May 14th, they will add "Generator Defense" matches. Microsoft will host a video walk through for the beta to show off the new modes and features. Silver members of Xbox Live will get to play the beta for free from 9 AM PDT on the 14th of May to 9 AM on the 17th of May. If you play a full match, you will be able to claim a free hoodie for your XBL Avatar ad the Halo Waypoint.
4/29/2010 Mega Man Zero collection heading to the DS
The four Mega Man Zero games, starring Mega Man X's famous side kick, are headed to the Nintendo DS in a collection. The Mega Man Zero collection has a release date of June 8th and will cost $29.00. Capcom said that these games will not be just a simple rehash of the original games. They will include new modes. One of hte new modes will be an easy difficulty setting. The Mega Man Zero series takes place 100 years after the Mega Man X series. It introduced a diabolic Neo Arcadia government and saw Zero trying to save robot-kind.
4/29/2010 Two more Tom Clancy games in the works
Ubisoft has enjoyed a lot of success from the Tom Clancy name. In fact, they bought the rights to the name in March of 2008. Since then, they have released three Tom Clancy games, End War, HAWX and Splinter: Cell Conviction with a fourth on the way, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. It, now, seems thatthere are two more Tom Clancy games on the way, though they are untitled at this time. While speaking with the Dutch gaming site Control-Online.NL, Michael Verheijdt, the brand manager for Tom Clancy games, revealed that there are two in developement. "At this moment, I'm working on two Tom Clancy games that are in developement," he said. "If I say anything about that, I'll have to send Sam Fisher after you." One of these two may be an MMO, as hinted at by Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, "We will be able to adapt the brand to new formats, in particular, the MMO format, where the royalties were the big thing holding us back."
4/29/2010 Xbox version of Singularity nets you Xbox versopm pf Prototype
Following in the wake of Vigil Games promotion where, if you preordered Darksiders: Wrath of War, you got a free copy of Red Faction Guerrilla, Raven Software is doing the exact same thing with their upcoming shooter Singularity. This time, however, it is exclusive to the Xboix 360. If you pick up the Xbox 360 version of Singularity, you will recieve a mail in offer that will net you a copy of Radical Entertainment's bloody action adventure game Prototype for the 360. The offer will only be avaliable for a limited time, though no specifics were given beyond this.
4/29/2010 Xbox Live Game Room updates no where to be seen
Xbox Live recently launched their Game Room, a sort of virtual arcade where people can play classic arcade machines. They had announced plans to update it weekly, but that has not happened this week. Neither the North American nor the European updates have gone up. "The latest batch of Game Room content has been delayed until further notice--I'll let you know once the date is confirmed," Microsoft said via Twitter. These delays might be tied to the recent lay offs at Game Room developer Krome. Major Nelso said, via Twitter, "We're working to bring you additional Game Room titles as soon as possible! I'll let you know the moment I have more details."
4/29/2010 Halo 2 online being kept alive by hold outs
The original version of Xbox Live was supposed to shut down on the 14th of this month, two weeks ago. Two weeks later, Halo 2 is still going strong. It seems that a group of 12 players refuse to let it die. Microsoft either cannot or will not shut it down as long as there are active games, and there have been for two weeks straight. Halo 2 holdout Joe Campbell said, "throughout the past week, a small group of dedicated Halo 2 players kept their Xboxes on so that they could enjoy the game for a while longer. (As long as we don't turn off our xboxes or lose connection, we can stay online. Our xboxes have been on nearly 14 days straight!) Each day the amount of people decreased, at a rapid rate."
4/29/2010 Michael Griffith resigns as Activision CEO
The Los Angeles Times revealed earlier this week that Activision is quietly restructuring its company. Activision Publishing president and CEO Michael Griffith has resigned and become vice chairman of the company's board. He will remain an adviser to CEO Bobby Kotick. He will now collect a base sallary of $250,000 with $50,000 in stock options. In a further management mixup, the Times revealed that Thomas Tipple has been temporarily promoted to Activision Publishing CEO and COO of Activision Blizzard. He will also oversee Blizzard Entertainment's president Mike Morhaime and Philip Earl, the head of ACtivisions new Call of Dity business unit.
4/28/2010 Sony, EA, Unbisoft and Disney settle court case with Bareis Technologies
Last November, Bareis Technologies took Disney, EA, Ubisoft and Sony to court to battle over patent infringement for voice chat technologies. The law suit took issue with Ubisoft's Tom Clancy games, including Rainbow Six: Lockdown, Rainbow Six 3, Rainbow Six Vegas, Ghost Recon 2 and End War 2. It also had claims against Sony's Socom franchise, EA's Nascar series and Disney Interactive Studios' Phonics Quest. The company was seeking royalties from these four software giants. While details remain scarce, the five companies have reached an agreement outside of court that ended the court battle.
4/28/2010 The ESA adds 4 more members
In a week that has seen the supreme court saying that it will rule on the groups five year legal battle with the state of California, four new companies have also joined the Entertainment Software Association. Realtime Games, known for Crackdown, Ignition Entertainment, who has established themselves by bringing Japanese games to the States such as Muramasa: The Demon Sword, survival horror game Deadly Premintion and King of Fighters XII, Nexon America, the american arm of the South Korean MMO specialists that created MapleStory and O-Games, the publisher behind Pro Stroke Gold and PDC World Champonship Darts, have all joined the ESA this week. It is a big week for them. This brings the ESA to 33 members, the largest that it has ever been.
4/28/2010 SyFy is making a Red Faction movie
In Febuary, THQ signed a deal with SyFy and announced that SyFy would develope a show based on de Blob. Today, they announced that they will make a 2 hour made for television movie based on the Red Faction francise. SyFy hopes that this movie will be a pilot that leads to a TV series based on the game franchise. "It is the kind of content that fits our genre," said senior VP of SyFy Ventures Alan Seiffert. "It is a great fit for a big SyFy Saturday movie and if it really works, a great backdoor pilot." This deal works two ways. SyFy Games will coproduce future installments in the Red Faction series.
4/28/2010 The Sims 3 is coming to consoles
In Febuary, as part of their slated releases coming this year, EA announced that The Sims 3 would be coming to consoles, though they didn't announce which ones. The game that sold 4.5 million on PC and Mac will be coming to the PS3, 360, Wii and DS. The console and handheld ports of the game will boast some new features. They will include karma powers. Karma powers allow players to give their created characters good or bad luck instantly. The 360 and PS3 versions of the game will feature the ability to share ones creations online and integration with Facebook that will allow them to broadcast their achievements and trophies. The Wii version will be set in a beach town and will feature adventure elements, including quests. The DS version will let players use the stylus as a design tool to customize physical objects as well as tailor clothes for the characters and alter physical features and hair styles. It will also have a story mode which lets players play as various family members as they go through life.
4/28/2010 Petroglyph's MMORTS detailed and dated
Trion Worlds, a company estableshed in 2006 by ex-Electronic Arts exec Lars Buttler and Heros of Might and Magic creator Jon van Caneghem, announced itself to the world three years ago when they announced a developement slate of three games. One of them was a collaboration with SyFy and another was an MMORTS with Petroglyph Games, who developed Star Wars: Empire at War. Petroglyphs MMORTS entitled The End of Nations will hit PCs next year and will allow players to engage in battle in a persistent online world where gamers can go solo or fight with "thousands of other gamers across the gigantic battlefields." While the details are, mostly, staying under wraps at this point, Trion did say that players will be able to develop their own commanders and set up a head quarters. The game will feature unlockable vehicles, weapons and technologies throuch combat, crafting and research.
The company is also working on an MMORPG entirled Rift: Planes of Telara, which they describeds as a dynamic fantasy MMORPG. The game is expected to be released for hte PC in 2011. The game will feature rifts from space that threaten to tear at the fabric of the universe. These rifts can be triggered by players or developers. They can also occur randomly. They will alter the landscape and open up new areas to explore. The MMOG with SyFy will have a show that goes along with it. It will be action oriented and will offer a "shared universe of characters, alien races, organizations, environments and technologies." Players will have an impact on the TV show, and the TV show will have an impact on the game world.
4/28/2010 BlazBlue gets DSiware sequel
Last Year, a new 2D fighting game by Arc Systems entitled BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger was released for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. It was quicly expanded with a PSP version of the gamer entitled BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger Portable and a sequel called Continuum Shift is in the works for arcades, consoles and PC. It would seem that it is going to be expanded yet again for the DSi. The ESRB recently rated a game called BlayzBloo for DSiware. It recieved an E10+ rating. The game will sport a cartoony look with "small, stubby fighters" and will feature last-man-standing and capture-the-flag modes.
4/27/2010 Gunblade NY and LA Machineguns are headed to the Wii
Last year, Sega revitalized one of their lightgun arcade game franchises with the release of House of the Dead Overkill. It seems tha Sega is aiming to do this again. This time, however, they are not giving us new games. They are giving us updated versions of old games. Gunblade NY from 1996 and it's sequel LA Machine Guns from 1999 are getting ported to Nintendo's console. These ports will include new features such as a revamped chain combo system and unlockable weapon features such as wide shot options and rapid fire.
4/27/2010 Bioshock 2 DLC delayed
Last week, Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb announced in his blog that Bioshock 2 would be recieving a second piece of downloadable content this week. It seems that he was right about the downloadable content but wrong about when it would be released. It will not be coming out this week, and no release date has been given for it. The Rapture Metro Pack, as it is called, will include six new multiplayer maps and 3 new trophies (achievements if you own the Xbox 360 version of the game) and a rebirth feature that lets players that have reached the level 50 cap to set their character back to level one. Players who do this will recieve a special mask. The pack will cost $10.
4/27/2010 Capcom patents Mega Man Universe
Mega Man is a series that has exanded itself across 126 video games in its 23 years of existance, making it Capcom's largest franchise by far. It doubles its nearest competitor (Street Fighter) in total number of games. Aknowledging this, Capcom has filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office for the phrase "Mega Man Universe." Capcom wants to trademark the name for a number of uses, including games (retail and downloadable) and mobile phone applications (games, screensavers, music, wallpapers and ringtones). Look for a lot more Mega Man in the future.
4/26/2010 California court battle over gaming laws moves to the Supreme Court
In Febuary, the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the decision of a lower court that said that California's law that prevented sales of violent video games to children was unconstitutional. The appeals court found that the law, signed by Govenor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005, violated the right to free speech. In May, the California government appealed the courts decision to uphold this. Today, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case officially titled Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California, v. Entertainment Merchants Association.
4/26/2010 San Fransisco Court OK's Datel's lawsuit against Microsoft
Last fall's Xbox Live update locked out third party memory units. This cut off a lot of business for companies such as Datel, who offered larger Xbox memory units at a lower price than the first party Microsoft ones. In November, Datel filed an anti trust lawsuit against Microsoft for requiring 360 owners to buy first party acessories. Microsoft has filed four motions asking federal Judge Elizabeth Laporte to throw out the case. She rejected three of the four, which allows Datel to go forward with the case. The hearing will be on June 2. It is interesting to note that Microsoft currently has a suit against Datel for their Turbofire and Wildfire wireless controllers for the 360.
4/25/2010 Delays abound!
Amidst all of the good news this week, a bit of bad news has emerged as a number of titles have been delayed. First off, Ubisoft's real time strategy game RUSE has been delayed from June to late September. The game is in developement for the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. A couple of Wii exclusives have been delayed as well. The Team Ninja developed Metroid: Other M has been pushed back from June 27th to August 31st. Sin and Punishment: Star Successor is taking it's June 27th slot, as it has been pushed back a few weeks from June 7th. Furthermore, Photodojo has been confirmed for May 10th. The game is free for its first month. Starting on June 11th, it will be purchasable for 200 DSi points ($2). Earthworm Jim has also been confirmed for DSiware on May 10th. Bit.Trip Runner, Looksley's Line Up and Frogger Returns will hit DSiware on May 17th. May 24th will see the release of Metal Torrent for DSiWare. May 31st will give us X-Scrape and Hero Of Sparta. June 7th will bring Flametail and June 14th will see the release of A Kappa's Trail.
4/24/2010 Mike Hayes explains Sega West retooling
In an interview with Gamespot, Sega West CEO Mike Hayes talked about the retooling of the company and the moves they have been making recently. He said that the closing of Iron Man 2 developer Sega San Fransisco studios in no way reflects how they will run their business in North America. The studio was closed because of their inability to find or agree on another project for them to tackle. Their market share has increased steadily over the past 5 years, and they are looking to continue this trend. He said that packaged games will have their downloadable content developed by the studio that developed the game, and not the digital division. He also said the company is going to start putting more focus on new IPs. You can read the entire interview here.
4/24/2010 Ex-Infinity Warders join Respawn
Another chapter in the seemingly never ending saga of Infinity Ward has unfolded this week. Many of the employees who have resigned from Infinity Ward's staff recently have joined up with Jason West and Vince Zampella at their new studio, Reswawn Games. Lead designer Todd Alderman, lead software engineer Francesco Gigliotti, lead environment artist Chris Cherubini and lead animators John Paul Messerly and Mark Grigsby have all joined West and Zampella at their new studio, totalling 7 former Infinity Warder's at the new company. The studio does not have an office yet, but they are looking for one in the same area of northwest Los Angeles as Infinity Ward's offices.
4/23/2010 Krome suffers job cuts
Earlier this week, rumors were reported around the net that Australia based game developer Krome cut half of it's staff and lost the lisenses to develope the Wii version of The Force Unleashed 2 due to poor review scores. Today, the largest developer in Australia confirmed that it has made job cuts, but made no comment on The Force Unleashed 2. "We regret to confirm an unspecified number of positions have been eliminated today at Krome. The industry worldwide is facing a new challenge, and Krome is not immune to the effects of this. Beyond that, we cannot make a comment." Krome's prior works include the Playstation 2 version of The Force Unleashed, Ty the Tasmanian Tiger and Star Wars The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes.
4/23/2010 More Layoffs at Sega
Sega is cutting loose more employees from its western offices. Both their London and San Fransisco offices recieved cuts. 73 employees were laid off in total, and it was split fairly evenly between the two. The cuts were mostly done in the marketing and internal developement divisions. Sega said the reorganization, "reflects both the changing face of the global video games market and a need to improve efficiencies within the operation." Sega is also setting up a new division of their company that is based in San Fransisco and is digitally focused. The London side of this deal "will now act as a hub for the traditional console and PC side of the business." The digital division will be responsible for downloadable titles on the consoles as well as titles for the iPhone and iPad.
4/23/2010 Drew Brees chosen for Madden 11 cover athlete
Drew Brees led the New Orleans Saints to their first ever Super Bowl in 2010. He also won himself the Superbowl MVP by completing 32 of 29 passes for 288 yards and 2 touchdowns. He can add one more item to his list of accomplisments for 2010. He has been chosen to be the cover of next years Madden game. He was voted over the Minnesota Vikings' defensive end Jared Allen and Indianapolis Colts' wide receiver Reggie Wayne. The game is set to be released this August on the Playstation 2, Playstation 3, Playstation Portable, Wii, Xbox 360 and iPhone. It will feature a new GameFlow system which lets olayers call more realistic situational plays in less time as well as overhauled graphics, revised animation, online features and new audio and broadcasting flourishes
4/22/2010 Halo Reach to come in 3 versions: standard, limited and legendary
Halo Reach, much like Halo 3, will come in multiple versions. The legendary version of the game comes with 6 individually numbered and hand painted 10 inch tall statues of the Noble Team Spartan squad from the game created by McFarlane Toys. It also comes with UNSC-themed custom packaging, exclusive Spartan and Elite armour for the multiplayer compnent of the game, the personal journal of Dr Catherine Halsey, the Spartan program creator, classified documents that "unravel the long held secret of the Halo universe" and a copy of the game in a black box from the Office of Naval Intelligence, the military branch tat commissioned Halsey's research. The limited edition of the game, which costs 80 dollars, will include the black box case, the elite armor and the journal.
4/22/2010 MLB.TV is PS3 bound
Major League Baseball's streaming service that allows people to watch any game either live or recorded is headed to the Playstation Network. You will be able to download the MLB.TV app from the Playstation Store later today. The service cost 100 dollars for a whole season or $20 a month. For the premium service, you will pay $120 or $25 a month. Your money will net you the ability to live stream any major leage baseball game in high definition, though the blackout rules for home teams still apply. It also has DVR functionality. You may pause live games and watch earlier games that have already happened. You have the option of either watching a full game or a condensed version of it. The service also features real time highlights and fantasy player trackers.
4/22/2010 The ESRB gives the Wii version of Sid Meier's Pirates! a rating
It would seem that the 2004 remake of Sid Meier's Pirates that was released for the PC, Mac, Xbox and PSP is headed to the Wii. A Wii game entited Sid Meier's Pirates was rated E10+ by the ESRB, and it fits the description of the 2004 remake and reboot of the classic franchise. "In this adventure game, players build a fleet of ships, explore the high seas and engage in sword battles on their way to find a seafarer's abducted family," the description reads. "Players can shoot cannons at ships and fortresses and engage in one-on-one sword fighting on the ships."
4/21/2010 Okamiden is coming to a DS near you in 2011
Capcom held their Captivate 2001 event this year, and Okamiden made an appearance. Okamiden is a DS sequel to the 2006 action adventure title for the Playstation 2 Okami. At this event, Capcom confirmed that the game will come to the United States, though we will have to wait until 2011 to be playing it on our DSes. The game picks up after the original and features a new protagonist named Chibiterasu, who is a child of the protagonist of the first game Ameterasu. Capcom has stated that it will feature a ranging cast of new and returning characters and the return of the Celestial Brush. The story, they say, will be "morally impactful and fun."
4/21/2010 Mech Warrior 4 to be released for free online
In July, Smith and Tinker, a company that came out of the ashes of the deceased FASA Studios, announced that it gave MekTek Studios permission to release Mech Warrior for free online to celebrate teh 25th anneversary of the BattleTech series. There was a problem, however, when they realized that they would need permission from Microsoft to do this. Due to this set back, the launch of the game for free online was delayed until Microsoft's legal team would agree to it. MekTek has recieved permission from Microsoft, and the game will see release for BattleTech's 26th anneversary, instead.
4/21/2010 Blizzard bans 320,000 Battle.net users
While Blizzard is hard at work on the new version of Battle.net for Diablo III and Starcraft 2, they have not forgotten about the original version of it still running for Warcraft III and Diablo II. This was quite evident today, as they that announced 320,000 people had been banned from it's service today. Blizzard was not specific of their reasons, but they did say that it was for terms of service violations. First time violators got 30 days. People with previous violations had their CD keys permanently bannes from the service.
4/21/2010 Yakuza is coming th the PSP
Sega's Japanese organized crime action game Yakuza is headed to the Playstation Portable, as reported by Famitsu Magazine. It expected to debut in the fall for Sony's handheld. The game will feature a new style, says the magazine. While it will still feature the bright neon lights Kamurocho, the game will star a new protagonist whose name is Tatsuya Ukyo. Kazuma Kiryu, the main character of the previous games, will not be featured heavily in the portable title. No United States release is confirmed.
4/21/2010 WB buys Turbine Inc
Warner Brothers Interactive has purchased Turbine Inc., who developed the successful Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game set in the fantasy worlds of JRR Tolkien Lord of the Rings Online. This makes WB the company in charge of all of the Lord of the Rings IPs. WB has two more Lord of the Rings games in developement, the kid friendly Aragorn's Quest and the action RPG War in the North. This purchase also gives WB the free MMO Dungeons and Dragons Online. Turbine is currently considering making a console MMO with the Playstation 3 as the lead platform.
4/20/2010 Two more villians revealed for Arkham Asylum sequel
Maurice LaMarche, who played Brain on Animaniacs and Egon Spengler on The Real Ghostbusters said on the Geekcast Radio podcast that he will be playing Mr Freeze in the upcoming sequel to Arkham Asylum. "Video games is hard work. I'll say that," he said. "I've only done a handful, and I am very lucky right now. I'm about to go in and do Mr Freeze for Arkham Asylum 2." When asked to talk about this role further, he said, "To tell you the truth, I think, contractually, I can't. I've got to keep it under wraps. As for Mr Freeze's role in the game, he's out for blood right now because... I can't tell you the situation, but he's actually somewhat of a sympathetic character within the framework of the game."
Furthermore, Stana Katic, the star of ABC's Castle, confirmed on her Twitter account that she will be playing Talia al Ghul, the daughter of Ra's al Ghul, in the game. She wrote, "Just recorded a character voice in the next Batman video game. Never did that before. For those asking: I'm voicing Talia al Ghul, the daughter of Ra's al Ghul (played by Liam Neeson in Batman Begins)." Her post has since been deleted, but Leagueofcomicgeeks.com managed to snag a screenshot of it before it was taken down.
4/20/2010 River Rush revealed for Project Natal
For the most part, Microsoft has held a pretty tight lid on games designed for their Project Natal. Fable III, a dodgeball game called Ricochet and an art game called Paint Party are about all that they have mentioned thus far. Well, another project has fallen through the cracks, though Microsoft were not the ones that revealed it. Screenwriter James Gunn (Dawn of the Dead and Slither) talked about a game that he called River Rush in his blog that he got to play at a recent Los Angeles press event.
"It's a game where you stand side by side in a river raft, so it's two people playing at once," he said. "To move right, you have to step right; to move left, you have to step left. As you rush down right rapids, you have to jump up and slap floating stars in the air--the whole raft jumps up every time you do. This game was even more exhilarating than [Ricochet], and even more aerobically challenging."
4/20/2010 Bionic Commando Rearmed returns in 2011
Swedish studio Fat Shark has announced that they are making a sequel to 2008's remake of the NES classic Bionic Commando entitled Bionic Commando Rearmed. Capcom has hired art studio Massive Black to create the games cut scenes. Massive Black recent credit include Infamous, Bioshock 2 and God of War III. This sequel will pick up shortly after the first game. Nathan Spencer finds himself facing off against General Sabio. He will be given new gameplay mechanics, weapons and attacks to deal with this new threat, and the game will feature more detailed characters and a brightened color palette.
4/19/0201 Mega Man 4 comes to the Virtual Console
With Mega Man having gone back ti it's original 8 bit style with Mega Man 9 and continuing this trend with Mega Man 10, it seems natural that Capcom would reach into the well and pull out one of the Mega Man classic games. With Nintendo's update of their online store for the Wii this week, you will be able to purchase the classic game Mega Man 4. The game will cost 500 Wii Points ($5.00) for you to download. See Microsoft? That number makes sense! Also seeing release on Wii Ware this week is Bang Attack from Engine Software ($5.00). On the DSi front, you will be able to purchas EA's Surviving High School for $8.00 as well as Donkey Kong Jr, Flagman and Ball Games as part of their Game and Watch series. They cost $2.00 each.
4/18/2010 Activision has Freedom of Speech defense thrown out
With the firing of West and Zampella, lawsuits and counter lawsuits, the Activision legal team has had a lot on their plate lately. On top of all of the recent debacle, Activision has been battling the band No Doubt over using their likenesses. In Activision's game Band Hero, you can play as character that look just like the members of No Doubt and could perform songs written by other bands with these characters. No Doubt had a problem with this and took Activision to court over it. Well, it seems that, after having their request to have this case bumped up to the Federal Court level refused, Activision has suffered another setback in this case. A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge rejected Activision's attempt to use a Freedom of Speech defense for the case. Score one for the band.
4/17/2010 PSN updates are moving from Thursdays to Tuesdays
Due to the day that Sony chose to update the Playstation Network with new content every week, they have always gotten updates after the Xbox 360 got it. The Xbox 360 updated on Wednesdays. The Wii updates on Mondays, and the Playstation 3 updated on Thursdays. There were very few exceptions, and they were all instances when companies decided to give limited exclusivity to the Playstation 3. Well, this is all about to change. Starting on the 4th of May, Sony will change the day that they update the Playstation Network from Thursdays to Tuesdays. Until then, they will continue with the regular updating on Thursdays.
4/17/2009 Ex GRIN employees reunite to form new studio
In 2008, swedish developement company GRIN created a remake of the NES classic Bionic Commando entitled Bionic Commando Rearmed. About a year after this, the company closed it's doors. Yesterday, the developement team from Bionic Commando Rearmed announced that they are getting back together to form a new studio called Might and Delight. They said they are "here to repear our former successes." They intend to make Retro games. "It's no secret we love retro. Our ambition is to continue doing what we started with Rearmed. Small, fresh games with strong old school flavor."
4/17/2010 Demon Souls finally sees release in Europe
Demons Souls was released in the United States last year to fantastic reviews and a Game of the Year nod from Gamespot, and European action RPG fans have been waiting for some time for the game to cross the ocean. The RPG will finally see European shores on the 25th of June. It will also come to the Middle East, Africa and Pacific Asia regions. If you live in these areas, look for this to come to a PS3 near you very soon.
4/16/2010 The last of the leads on Modern Warfare 2 leave Infinity Ward
In the continuing and very negative saga of Modern Warfare developer Infinity Ward that all started with the firing of West and Zampella, the last of the lead desingers on Modern Warfare 2 have left the company. It seems that Steve Fukuda and Zied Rieke have left the ailing company. They were the only two remaining leads for Modern Warfare 2 left at the company, but that is not the end of the bad news for the company. It seems that Lead Environment artist Chris Cherubini and programmer Rayme Vinson have also left the company. Cherubini has been with the company since Call of Duty 2 in 2004. Will anything stop the bleeding over at Infinity Ward? Activision hopes so. They stated their intent to reallocate Modern Warfare 2 bonuses previously intended for West and Zampella to "those employees responsible for the success of the game who remain employees of the company."
4/16/2010 Xbox Live 1.0 shuts down for good
An era ended this week as, on Thursday, the original version of Xbox Live shut down permanently. The long running online service for the original Xbox is no more. This means that no original xbox games will be playable on Live. This includes both the disc based versions of the games and the downloadable versions made avaliable on the 360 version of Xbox Live. The original version of Xbox Live has been shut down after having been up and running for eight years, a full four years after the console, itself, was discontinued.
4/15/2010 Apple delays iPad in Europe
Apple, surprised by the success of the iPad in the U.S., has decided to delay the device's launch in Europe by a month. It will now launch at the end of May. Apple lists the sales numbers for the first day as more than 300,000 and more than 500,000 in the first week. They say that they will announce international prices and preordering will begin on May 10. Knowing that Apple fans world wide would be disappointed by this news, they said that it was delayed internationally because "the iPad is a runaway success in the US thus far."
4/15/2010 Nintendo wins controller court battle
You may remember that about four years ago a Texas based company called Anascape filed a law suit against Nintendo for copy write infringement over various Nintendo console controllers. In 2008, an Eastern Texas jury found that the Wiimote and Nunchuck did not infringe on Anascape's patents, but the Classic Controller and the Gamecube's Wavebird and standard controllers had. This verdict would have cost Nintendo $21 million in damages, but this decision was overturned. Nintendo announced this week that the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in it's favor and found that Nintendo did not infringe on Anascape's US Patent No. 6,906,700. The 4 year court battle is finally over.
4/15/2010 Forza 3 gets downloadable content
Microsoft announced this week that downloadable content for Forza 3 entitled the Road and Track Car Pack is now avaliable for Xbox Live. The downloadable content costs 400 Microsoft points ($5. Try figuring that one out) and includes ten new vehicles for the game as selected by Road and Track magazine editors in conjunction with Turn 10. For those looking for a "try it before you buy it" deal, you can download the 2010 Mini Coupe Concept free of charge.
Road and Track Pack:
2010 Volkswagen Golf R
2009 Holden HSV w427
2010 Ford Taurus SHO
2010 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG
2010 Renault Megane RS 250
2010 Vauxhall Insignia VXR
2010 Mini Coupe Concept
2010 Bentley Continental Supersports
2010 Mazda MX-5 Superlight
2010 SEAT Leon Cupra R
4/14/2010 Dead Space to get prequel novel in July
Dead Space is getting it's first novel, Dead Space: Martyr, from horror author Brian Evenson, who wrote Last Days in 2009 and The Open Curtain in 2006. The book will give more background on the game by exploring the Church of Unitology, the alien artifact and the Necromorphs. It is a prequel to the game, and further expands the Dead Space universe, which has been expanded with a Wii spin off, Dead Space Extraction, a movie, Dead Space Downfall, and a six part mini series of animated comics. EA hopes that this will not be the only novel.
4/14/2010 Nintendo announces white DSi bundle
Nintendo is celebrating the launch of the DSi XL in very strange ways. They seem to be ignoring it completely. A week before it's launch, they announced a 3D capable version of the DS. The DSi XL has now been on store shelves for two weeks, Nintendo is announcing a bundle for it's predecessor....the DSi. You will be able to purchase this bundle for $170, and your money will net you a white DSi and a copy of the action role playing game Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story.
4/13/2010 Netflix Wii discs ship wide
You may remember that, in late March, Netflix began to send out thier discs for the service on the Wii. They were shipped to a select number of Wii users as a beta period. Well, that beta period is over. They are shipping it wide. You can now get your Netflix Wii disc free of charge and begin streaming movies to your Nintendo home console.
When you get the disc, you will be able to insert it into your Wii and Netflix will appear in the Wii menu, and you will be able to launch it the same way you would launch a game on the system. The disc will contact the Netflix servers and present you with the video que and top movies at the time. You will be able to rate movies, fast forward, rewind and pause the streaming video, just like on other platforms. You can get the video streaming service on your Wii free of charge.
4/13/2010 Sony's Sub Controller given proper name
At last month's Game Developers Conference, Sony finally showed off it's motion controller. They gave it the name Sony Move and gave it's equivalent of the Nunchuck the name of Sub Controller, a name that did not seem to sit well with the gaming industry as a whole. That appears to have been nothing more than a place holder name until Sony could come up with something better. Sony seems to have renamed it the Navigation Controller. While this still isn't a great name, it is a significant improvement.
4/13/2010 3 more top ranking execs leave Infinity Ward
Infinity Ward cannot seem to keep it's name out of the news lately, and none of it is good. Three more top ranking exec have left the company, totalling 5 people leaving and 2 getting fired. It is almost like abandoning a sinking ship at this point. Maybe it is. Mackey McCandlish, who has been with the company since the launch of the first game in the Call of Duty franchise in 2003, announced his departure via twitter. He was a design lead. Jon Shiring, who has been with the company since June of 2004, and Bruce Ferriz, who has only been with the company since March of 2009, have announced their leaving it.
4/12/2010 Epic rains a Bullet Storm on the PS3 and 360
Cliff Bleszinski, creator of Unreal and Gears of War, has, apperently, had one of his big announcements for the Jimmy Fallon show stolen right from under his feet on Friday as the cover for the latest Game Informer was revealed. The cover revealed the first person shooter Bullet Storm, which is coming to both the Playstation 3 and hte Xbox 360 in the first quarter of 2011. The game is a joint project between Epic Games and People Can Fly, who worked on the Painkiller series and the PC version of Gears of War. EA will be publishing it.
4/11/2010 Uncharted 2 Siege pack gets release date
Naughty Dog is readying their third piece of downloadable content for release on the Playstation Network. Entitled the Siege Expansion Pack, this DLC nets you a new Siege co-op game type where two or three players attempt to capture and hold a position against increasingly difficult enemies. It also gives you two new multiplayer maps, Highrise and Nepal, 6 new multiplayer skins to play as and 11 new trophies to collect. All of this can be had for $6 and will get released on the April 22.
4/10/2010 Modern Warfare 2 DLC gets release date on PC and PS3
As you already know, Infinity Ward had an exclusivity deal with Microsoft for the Modern Warfare 2 downloadable content. This deal appears to be short lived, however, as the 5 map DLC pack has already gotten a release date on the Playstation 3 and the PC. The 5 maps, which include 3 new maps Bailout, Storm and Salvage and 2 from the first Modern Warfare Crash and Overgrown, will be hitting the Playstation 3 and PC on the 4th of May. These maps will see release in Australia and Europe on the 5th of May. The price is the same 15 dollars that it was for the 360.
4/9/2010 Pokemon Black/White being released in Japan this fall
Nintendo is just coming off of the release of the Gold and Silver remakes entitled Heartgold and Soulsilver for the Nintendo DS and, to no one's surprise, the next Pokemon is already in developement. Unlike the last games, however, this one is not just a remake of older Pokemon games. These will be full fledged new installments in the series for the first time since Diamond and Pearl. Nintendo claims that these new titles will feature "ground-breaking evolution of all aspects." The game's website can be visited here.
4/8/2010 Startrek Online is not coming to consoles
Cryptic Studios have stated that they no longer have plans to release Star Trek Online for consoles. After stating in 2008, when the game was first announced, that it would come to consoles as well as PC, the game saw release earlier this year on the PC platform to soft critical reception. Now they are stating that it won't be coming to consoles. "It's something we can readily do in terms of technology. We've had it up and running on certain consoles and had plans and designs in order to take advantage of those platforms, but, as it stands right now, it is a little difficult to make the final leap on the business side of things. So, currently, just like Champions, the console versions of Star Trek Online is on the back burner."
4/7/2010 Gilbert leaves Hothead and Deathspank is finished.
In early 2008, the creator of Secret of Monkey Island, Ron Gilbert, was made the creative director of Hothead Games. He, then, began developement on the action role playing title Deathspank. Originally planned to be an episodic game, Deathspank eventually developed into a full fledged downloadable game for both the Playstation Network and the Xbox Live Arcade. He confirmed recently that the game is finished. It has left the production stage and entered, "that long and winding road of certification and testing of the Xbox and PS3 and [REDACTED] versions,"
Furthermore, he stated, via his personal blog, that he is leaving Hothead. "I wanted to let all the Premium Gold Level Grumpy Gamers subscribers know that I left hothead," he said. "When I started working there two years ago, my goal was to make Deathspank the most awesome game ever made and have it win a Nobel Prize and the early word out of Stockhom is that Deathspank is neck-in-neck with some string theory dweeb (eleven dimenions my ass.)"
4/6/2010 Two more leads depart Infinity Ward
As we discussed in Press the Action Button a couple of weeks ago, the two heads of Infinity Ward Vince Zampella and Jason West were fired. It would seem that it is not the last of the company's troubles. It seems that two more high ranking team members have left the troubled company. Lead designer Todd Alderman and lead software engineer Francesco Gigliotti departed the company this month.
The two joined the company in 2002, one year before Activision bought the studio and they shipped the first game in the Call of Duty franchise. Alderman would be the bigger blow of these two. His profile indicates that he was the head of the series multiplayer component that has taken off and sold so many copies. All of this comes on the tail of the massive uproar last month, when Activision suddenly fired both Zampella and West for reasons of "breaches of contract and insubordination." Activision also set up a unit dedicated to the series. They are overseeing a new first person shooter developed by Treyarch, an action adventure by Sledgehammer Games and a massively multiplayer online role playing game set for release in Asia.
4/5/2010 DICE claims they will never charge for Bad Company 2 DLC
As we discussed in this week's podcast, the Modern Warfare 2 Stimulus Map Pack was released last week with a 15 dollar price tag. It left people unable to play games online. Soon after that, the Bad Company 2 Stimulus Map Pack was released, and it was free. It caused no problems at all. Dice senior producer Patrick Bach claimed in an interview with Xbox World 360 Magazine that they have no plans to charge for their maps. He was quoted saying, "We don't ever want to charge for our maps and insisted to EA that this attitude was crucial when it came to keeping our community happy and playing together." He added, "We're owned by EA, but we're still very much DICE."
4/4/2010 Nintendo shuts down fan made MMO
Nintendo has issued a "cease and desist" order to a fan-made Pokemon MMORPG known as Pokenet. The creator of this MMO, known simply as Nushio, recieved a fax from Nintendo in late March, issuing the shut down order. Nushio stated, "We kinda postponed closing the site, but after much talks within the devs, we decided to 'formally' close it down, on April Fools, no less. Did I expect the game to meet with this end? Of course not. Truth be told, we're not the only 'Poke-MMO-n' around this side of the net. We [were] however, the only one that handed out the source code to whoever wanted it. I'm not sure if that's the reason they attempted to shut us down or not. We don't know what exactly we did different."
Fan projects do get shut down every now and then, but Nushio does not seem to want to stop his long running project. The MMO has been running for 2 years now. He said, "We joked around using Digimon, or Monster Rancher as our next targets, but most of the devs are just giving up. There's still people tied to the Pokemon MMO genre, and they might try to revive it though, who knows. The code is out of the bag, and anyone can start a new game and server quite easily. There's still developers on our team that are waiting on us to say 'Haha, we gotcha! It was all a joke." Unfortunately for him, it isn't a joke.
4/3/2010 Final Fantasy IX is coming to the PSN in Japan
After having released Final Fantasy FFVII on the PSN in June and FFVII in December, many series fans were left wondering if or when Final Fantasy IX would see a release on the Playstation Network. Well, Square Enix confirmed via their Twitter feed that it is coming, in Japan atleast. There was no release date and no pricing information for the game. There was also no news of whether it will be released for the PSN outside of Japan or not, but it is coming. Only time will tell if it is coming to States. Keep your eyes on this site, and we will keep you informed.
4/2/2010 Take-Two is suing former execs for fraud
The latest earning's report indicates that Take-Two is fixing it's financial problems, but they still have problems to fix, it would seem. A federal judge in New York has given the company the go ahead to persue a law suit against 4 former execs of the company. The lawsuit is for security fraud relating to backdating stock options.
Despite dismissing several other claims made by the company, the judge, Laura Taylor Swain, gave Take Two permission to proceed with the law suit, saying, "the company specifically identified the alleged improperly backdated option grants and sufficiently alleged the defendants had an intent to deceive or defraud." It was just one year ago that the company paid $3 million in a settlement to end an investigation by the Security and Exchange Commission.
The suit was filed against ex-Take Two CFO's Larry Muller and James David, as well as former CEO's Kelly Sumner and Ryan Brant. It is not the first time that Brant has been in legal trouble in relation to the company. In October 2006, Brant left the company while it was under investigation by the Security and Exchange Commission. Three months later, Take Two released the results of this investigation, which pinned Brant with the blame. In Febuary of 2007, he pled guilty to first degree felony charges of falsifying business records for his role in the company's stock option backdating scandal.
What the SEC found was that, from 1997 to 2003, Brant was granting stock options to both himself and other employees. He also altered the records to allow them to be instantly profitable to him and other employees. He was given a plea bargain that allowed him to avoid jail time, which he took in 2007. He was ordered to pay $6.3 million to the SEC to settle their suit against him. He also had to pay local New York Authorities another $1 million. This new suit against him could make him liable for even more monetary penalties.
4/1/2010 The Conduit returns to the Wii
If you like shooters and own a Wii, Sega is giving you a reason to be excited. It looks like Nintendo might be getting their wish for more third party hardcore games. Sega announced this week that it is, once again, teaming up with High Voltage Software to bring a Conduit sequel to the Wii. The first game sold 150,000 copies world wide. Evidently, this is enough for a sequel.
The Conduit 2 will be coming to the Wii in both North American and in Europe this fall. The single player campaign will pick up where the first game's story left off. Sega is promising that the sequel will have "dynamic environments, player customization options and giant boss enemies." Take this to mean what you will. The games multiplayer modes will include a co-op mode, both offline and online. For the offline side, it will feature 4 player split screne. Because the first game had problems with cheaters, Sega is promising increased multiplayer security for the sequel. No furhter details have been announced at this time, but Wii owners have something to look forward to.
4/01/2010 Darksiders is coming to PC
If you are a PC gamer, and you were drooling over Vigil Game's Darksiders: Wrath of War, your chance to play it is coming up sooner than you think. The post apocalytpic action adveture game where you play as the horsemen War as he tries to clear his name will be coming to a PC near you in June, as was announced on the game's official website. There has been no additional content announced for the PC port at this moment in time, but the game will feature PC friendly features, such as the ability to define the resolution yourself and keyboard and mouse control schemes. The game will also be avaliable through digital distribution. You can read Digital Delirium's review of the PS3 version of this game here.
3/30/2010 X-Box 360 brand USB drives to start at 40 dollars
As we discussed in this week's podcast, Microsoft announced that the next 360 firmware update will allow for the system to start supporing USB flash drives. This update will go up on April 6th. This move comes on the heels of only offering first party memory cards and harddrives, which have been critisized as being overpriced. The previous firmware update also locked out third party memory units. As such, it came as a bit of a surprise that Microsoft would allow for USB storage devices at all.
It will come as no surprise to anyone that Microsft is creating their own X-Box 360 band USB flash drives. To do this, they are teaming up with SanDisck. On Gamestop's website the price for these drives has been listed to start at 40 dollars. The 8 gigabyte unit will retail for $39.99 and the 16 gigabyte model will retail for $69.90. There is no big surprise there. It is significantly more expensive than an unbranded flash drive would be.
The given description of the units on Gamestop's website say that the 360 brand USB flash drive's main selling point is that they are "preconfigured" for a "seemless experience." They also come with a one month gold level membership to X-Box Live, a retail value of 8 dollars. Unbranded drives will be supported, however. Configuring them for use with your X-Box 360 is as simple as plugging them into your X-Box 360, going into the system settings, selecting the USB Flash Drive and selecting "configure now." It is worth noting that, even with the added bonus of a free month of X-Box Live Gold, an unbranded drive is still significantly cheaper than a branded one.
3/29/2010 Tetris helps ease stress
If you have had a traumatic experience, playing a video game is probably the last thing to come to mind. You probably have no urge to immediately reach for the nearest version of the classic game Tetris, but it seems that this might help. According to psychologists at Oxford University, Tetris does help to ease stress. It is supposed to help with treatment of post-traumatic stress, or so an experiment by Oxford University seems to indicate.
Dr Emily Holmes of the university's Psychiatry department led a group of researchers in an experiment whose goal it was to prove this theory. They took 40 healthy volunteers and showed them traumatic images of people being injured for aproxamately 30 minutes. Following this, half of the group was allowed to play Tetris for 10 minutes. These 20 people reported fewer disturbing flashbacks over the course of the next week than the 20 that were not allowed to play Tetris.
There is a time limit, however. Dr Holmes deduced that this form of treatment will only be successful if Tetris is played soon after the traumatic events take place and stated that the memory becomes fixated aproxamately 6 hours after the traumatic experience occurs. She said that playing Tetris can "Interfere with the way our memories are retained in the brain." It allows the brain to focus on something other than the traumatic experiences, which means that this will probably work with many other acitivities as well. Tetris was the only one experimented on, though. As such, it remains to be seen if any other video game will have the same effect. It is hoped, however, that playing Tetris can help calm down the hospitalised and people in war zones.
3/28/2010 Hydro Thunder gets downloadable sequel
As many of you know, Midway went bankrupt last year. When this happened, Warner Brothers purchased most of Midway's assets for a grand total of 49 million dollars. WB did not purchase everything that Midway had to offer, however. They left behind the TNA wrestling lisense as well as the Hydro Thunder arcade style boat racing franchise, a series long thought to be dead.
Well, we were all wrong on that one. An independent gaming studio named Vector Unit did pick up the Hydro Thunder franchise. It was announced that they are defeloping a brand new sequel to the original game. This sequel is entitled Hydro Thunder Hurricane and will be coming to the X-Box Live Arcade. This downloadable title is listed as a sequel to the original arcade game. It will feature new levels, speedboats, water physics and multiplayer modes, both cooperative and competitive. These modes will allow for up to 8 people to race each other online and up to 4 players to play via split screen. This games tracks will feature themed tracks with over the top obstacles such as a massive hammer-wielding viking and a large sea serpent.
The trailer for this title can be seen here
3/28/2010 Penny Arcade Adventures Episode 3 canned
The Penny Arcade Expo has finally hit the eastern side of the United States, as it kicked off in Boston this weekend. One of the first bits of news to be announced at the conference, however, was not a happy one for fans of the long running web comic. In an interview with the gaming blog Joystiq, the creators of the comic, Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins confirmed that the third installment in their episodic foray into the realm of video games has been cancled. In short, there will be no Penny Arcade Adventures Episode 3. They went on to state that the storyline established by the first two installments would not go uncompleted, however. They stated that they plan to finish the games story on the games website with an episodic graphic novel. The project is not being dropped all together. It will just no longer be in the format of video games. It will, instead, be in the format of an online graphic novel. The given reason for this was that Hothead Games, the company developing the series, will be focusing on the EA backed DeathSpank. Instead of having the company focus on two games and, possibly, having the third installment in the series be half assed, they decided to drop the game project all together.
3/27/2010 Netflix ships out discs for the Wii
In the first edition of the Press the Action Button podcast, we discussed Netflix coming to the Wii. Well, for everyone that owns a wii, it is finally happening. The disc required to run Netflix from the Wii was shipped out recently and should be in the hands of Wii owning Netflix subscribers shortly. It is not all good, however. Only select members are having discs shipped to them as part of a trial period or test run for the service on Nintendo's console. Not every person that wants one will be getting one right away. The rest of you will e getting your discs eventually, just not today. The discs are expected to be shipped within the next couple of months, but Netflix has not confirmed a date for this. If you wish to be ready for it when this day arrives, follow this link to place an order for your disc.
3/25/2010 Shigeru Miyamoto blames the industry slump in 2009 on game quality
In a recent interview with The Economist, Mario and Zelda creator Shiteru Miyamoto didn't blame the slumping economy, as a whole, for the gaming industry, in particular, slumping a bit in sales from 2008 to 2009. He, instead, placed the blame on the games themselves, effectively calling into question the quality of games released in 2009. He was quoted as saying, "The fact that in 2009 we were not able to sell more than we did in 2008 was simply that, in comparison, we were not able to produce fun enough products. There are always up and downs in this business. As long as we create a unique and unprecedented experience with games, there should be nothing to worry about."
He went on to talk about online gaming later on in the interview. He gave reasons for why Nintendo was slow to adapt to the online gaming world. He said that Nintendo wanted "to take sufficient time to make it a proper business." He said, "I think it is obvious that when everyone is connected online, there will be enormous opportunity for me to create something really unique, but my job is to try to entertain as many people as possible, and I see all Wii owners as the audience. Of course, we have Mario Kart, which can be played online by multiple people, so we are gradually expanding the experience using the internet, but my own personal focus is to try to entertain people, even if they are not connected to the internet. That is my priority."