Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Defense of OnLive

More fuel to the OnLive fire. This article ignores just about all the technical limitations to making the service work and actually comes across as pretty ignorant for doing so, frankly. It's basically praising the premise without giving any actual reasoning for why it might live up to the hype.

Source: http://coregamenews.com/?p=227

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A New Hero in Town

Seems Marvel is cooking up their own MMORPG. With City of Heroes dying down in its subscription numbers, and the onslaught of comic-book-based movies cooling somewhat, I'm not sure 2012 is the optimum time to release something like this, but hey, maybe the Wolverine and Magneto movies will be huge box office sensations for Marvel again, and I'll end up looking stupid for saying this.

Source: http://www.beefjack.com/blog/news/marvel-mmo-scheduled-for-2012/

10 Reasons to Hate Every Console

Here's an entertaining list rooted firmly in the bitterness that can only come from listening to countless fanboys prattle on about the merits of their own individual investments. The red ring of death still ranks high on the first page.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

OnLive - The Next Wave?

A couple of former heads from Eidos, Atari, Apple and WebTV have collaborated to create a new games streaming service called OnLive. Supposedly, it allows you to stream games directly to your PC from the OnLive servers, using their hardware. This sounds fantastic since it would eliminate the need for PC upgrades and would make PC gaming a lot more accessible to the budget gamer, but honestly, it all seems too good to be true.

What about things like bandwidth limits, and limits of net technology in general right now. Even streaming high definition video is taxing, let alone an entire game. The service also claims near-lagless multiplayer, which is somewhat suspect as well.

Click here to see it in action.

Source: http://kotaku.com/5181300/onlive-makes-pc-upgrades-extinct-lets-you-play-crysis-on-your-tv

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sony's Blunder is Your Bounty

Seems like Sony goofed and let slip some of their new IPs for the updated Phyre engine.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Supercomputers Eye the Consumer Market

Seems we all might be running super computers sooner than we think. I can't comment much on the technobabble, but to summarize briefly, Intel seems to be the one leading the development of these machines, and Nvidia apparently stands to lose the most in the shift away from current gaming PCs.

Source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/161545/personal_supercomputer_is_coming.html?tk=rss_news

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Best Graphics - The Redux

Last week, I linked you to IGN's best and worst graphics list, and this time, I thought I'd give you my own take on the subject. Mine won't be quite as elaborately categorized, sad to say.


Okami -
Probably one of the most experimental art styles ever used in a game. The asian scroll-art inspired presentation was truly a sight to behold.

Donkey Kong Country
- Released at the height of the bit wars, it looked better than a lot of the games being released on so-called 32 and 64-bit consoles. This is also the game that really made Rareware into a big time developer

Resident Evil REmake - At the time that this was released, there wasn't a single game that looked better. Sure, everything was pre-rendered and thus non-interactive, but it was just so damned good in combination with the horror atmosphere that you really didn't care. Even going back now and playing it years later, the visuals still hold up incredibly well.


Air Cars -
I always thought early polygonal games were ugly from the start, but this game made no real effort to turn them into recognizable objects. Instead you controlled a non-descript cube hoveirng around shooting at other dully colored geometric shapes.

Red Alarm -
Untextured wireframe models and a bright red color scheme made sure you'd have a headache about 5 minutes into playing.

Feel free to give me your own little lists or even individual games that you think are deserving of either title.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Games and the Law

Found an interesting blog (and a Canadian one at that) that covers legal matters related to the game industry.

Check it out if you're interested at:


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Greatest Graphics of All Time

IGN's put out a list of games with the supposed best and worst graphics of all time. Games were
picked based on 4 categories:

-Biggest graphical jump
-Technical excellence
-Serving a creative vision
-Worst Visuals

Some of the obvious entries are on there like Shenmue (the game whose budget probably helped to put Sega out of the console race) and Jet Grind Radio, but it's really the "worst visuals" ones that are the most entertaining.


Afro Samurai Demo Impressions

This would probably be the other big release online right now besides Chronicles of Riddick and Wanted, which I haven't really got to playing yet. This one's different in that the game's actually been out for a quite a while now, which makes the release of this demo a little strange.

Honestly, not too much to say about this one other than a comment about the awesome Rza-inspired soundtrack that the game features. It's your basic beat-em-up with a really terrible camera and some good presentation thanks to the cell-shading, muted color scheme and thatched textures. There's a slow motion Max Payne-style feature that lets you slice enemies apart instantly, and it's cool the first few times, but you quickly grow tired of having to keep charging your sword up to finish enemies off.

Give it a shot if you're a fan of the show or of eastern-inspired hip hip beats. Otherwise, it's probably not worth your time. The highlight is probably Samuel L. Jackson's humorous take on otherwise mundane tutorial segments.

Ninja Blade Demo Impressions

This thing is probably the biggest demo release on Live and PSN right now, but I can't say I'm particularly impressed. The visuals are solid, and the controls are tight, but it's a blatant copy of Ninja Gaiden. That isn't bad in and of itself, but it feels like it copied its fighting system and visual presentation, but then didn't really know what to do with it. Enemy encounters have a sort of dull, endless feel to them -- probably because they have way too much health, and the gameplay relies way too much on QTE events, which outside of God of War, really just feel like a bad holdover from the FMV gaming era.

I'd skip it unless you're really hurting for a new Japanese-style action-game.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Starcraft 2 May Ship Without LAN

Strictly a rumour, but Blizzard representatives are being strangely dodgy about the inclusion of LAN. Incgamers speculates that it might be related to Blizzard's desire to maintain ad revenues on battlenet, and this wouldn't be unheard of given that Microsoft has taken similar measures to cut down on LAN gaming by forcing them to get on Live instead.

This is really a terrible idea if it's true. Starcraft was always one of the biggest games at just about any LAN party, so to get rid of such an integral feature is going to alienate a lot of people. Especially in asian countries where most people play at internet cafes. Sure, battlenet will still work, but it's not nearly as smooth lag-wise.

Source: http://www.incgamers.com/News/15532/StarcraftIILANMissingInAction

Monday, March 16, 2009

Late to the party.

The Wall Street Journal's published an article about racist overtones in Resident Evil 5. They're about a year late for this kind of commentary, but it's interesting to see the mainstream's take on it.

If you haven't been keeping up, the Resident Evil series has traditionally featured zombies and their derivatives in North American settings, but with 5, they're going to Africa where the "zombies" will be predominantly black. Apparently, depicting an American killing hordes of crazed, bloodthirsty Africans didn't sit too well with a lot of activist groups.

The whole thing is kind of ridiculous considering that RE4 was chock full of almost nothing but spanish speaking zombies, and nobody was up in arms then.

Source: http://catplaysgames.com/the-re5-racism-dialogue/

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Starcraft Fans Up in Arms Over Voice Changes

If you've been following the progress of the sequel, you might know that the original voice actors for Jim Raynor and Sarah Kerrigan will not be making a return due to unconfirmed rumors that there were personal issues between them and the development staff at Blizzard. Well, given that they were probaby the two most iconic characters in the series, fans are not taking this change lightly, and there have been hundreds of angry posts, petitions, and video requests pouring in to protest the change.

Personally, I'd really rather see the original voice actors return, and it's a downer, but not a deal breaker for me.

How do you all feel about it? Will it affect your purchase of the game? Or at the very least, will it affect whether you buy more than one copy to follow the whole campaign?


To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before

J.J. Abrams' new entry in the Star Trek franchise will be receiving a game tie-in courtesy of Naked Sky Entertainment who brought us the charming, if not really mindblowing, Roboblitz some years ago. As much as I like the series, they tend not to translate all that well to videogames. Combat scenes in Star Trek are notoriously comical and even the ship-to-ship battles are rather static in terms of CG. Not to mention just about every Star Trek game has been god awful unlike the Star Wars franchise, which has had more than its fair share of entertaining games.


Nintendo Jacks Up the Price of Wiis in the UK

Normally, as time passes, consoles tend to drop in price, but due to the current economic crisis, the British division of Nintendo is actually raising the price of the Wii in retailers across the country.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Timbaland Gets his own Game

Seems like the success of one Timbaland has come at the cost of another, as the iconic shoe franchise has been snuffed out. Suppose it's really not all that strange after seeing everything from Shaq Fu to a Spice Girls-themed rhythm game, but Timbaland's coming out with his own game called Beaterator courtesy of Rockstar (sounds like some bad Kindergarten slang or a new flavor of gaterade). It's really more of a beat creation tool with a lot of amusing little side games. Sort of like Mario Paint with gold plated rims. Wonder if it'll be anything like that where most people spent all their time playing that fly-swatting mini-game anyway.

50 Cent's latest game is reportedly pretty good, so hopefully this'll follow the suit of good artist-based games.

Source: http://thatgamingsite.com/news/521/2k-gamesrockstar-releases-info-on-new-psp-game/

DirectX 10 Coming to Mac and Linux

Good news for the poor souls trying to game on these platforms.

Source: http://games.slashdot.org/

Monday, March 2, 2009

Real Life Bioshock Syringe

Prop designer, Harrison Krix is turning heads again after creating his model of Portal's portal gun by creating an accurate, albeit, non functional replica of the syringes featured in the game Bioshock, which were used by the little sisters to extract ADAM from unlucky individuals.

It's a pretty good imitation right down to the red fluid inside, which is apparently a dye and not actually a genetic substance that will give you the power to set people on fire.

Source: http://www.cinemablend.com/games/Real-life-Portal-Gun-Creator-Makes-BioShock-Syringe-15699.html?catid=6&id=15699&tid=6256

Nvidia's New Supercomputer

The last time I remember hearing the word supercomputer in gaming was when Sony used the term to describe their playstation 2 during the early hype campaign. Well, Nvidia has created a new computer that legitimately fits that description, although it isn't anywhere near as affordable at $10, 000. It's strictly a gimmick item for the most part at the moment unless you're an exceedingly wealthy PC gamer who absolutely needs to have the best technology possible, but it's still interesting if only because you can compare it to your own PC and see how unnecessarily powerful it is in comparison.

You can check out the system's ridiculous specifications here.

A Tarnished Legend for Chun-Li

Unsurprisingly, the new Street Fight movie, The Legend of Chun-li, is a critical flop so far, receiving almost unanimously terrible reviews from just about everyone but Variety who gave it a very generous 60% rating. You could talk about the stilted acting or the film's complete lack of resemblance to the game series itself, but movie's biggest flop is the god awful fight scenes. You haven't seen fight choreography this base and awkward since old '80s American action movies. Most of the fights rely heavily on wires, and they aren't covered up very well, as the actors spend most of their time flipping around slowly while larger than life sound effects try to make up for the complete lack of action.

If you're planning to see it for whatever ungodly reason, you're better off just skipping it. At least the original movie dared to be bad; this is just too boring to be amusing in any way. Kreuk's acting is about the only thing anyone's named as being even remotely admirable, and that's only in the face of the wooden dialogue she's been given to work with.

Girls and Gaming in MMORPGs

This is probably not particularly shocking news to anyone experienced with the MMORPG genre, but a recent study has shown that of the hundreds of thousands of people who play Everquest 2, around 40% are women with part of the reason being that they're playing with their husbands or partners.

Guys have been trying to introduce their girlfriends to games for ages now though, so why the sudden success with the MMORPG genre? I'm going to make a couple of bold pronouncements here: first off, they require very little twitch gaming skill -- the kind of fast reaction-based gameplay that you see in games like shooters. This makes it very welcoming to people who don't usually play games and might otherwise be intimidated.

Second, there's a large focus on creating a character and an identity rather than just accomplishing a goal like destroying a tank. This ties into the other large factor, which is the fact that these games are inherently social. They require players to cooperate with one another in order to accomplish objectives, and very large social networks spring up that can eventually encompass dozens or hundreds of people who then often form guilds.

All these things allow for an environment where new gamers (of which many are women) can ease into an environment that isn't immediately overwhelming and also feels lively and social, whereas many might normally feel kind of isolated playing a game alone.

Source: http://www.tumeroks.com/everquest-ii-where-girl-gamers-go-to-avoid-testosterone/