Archive for the Video Games Category

Video Games: Beyond the Controversy

Posted in Uncategorized, Video Games with tags on May 13, 2008 by maxpwnage

Recently I’ve been pretty frustrated at the media using games as a publicity stunt, and usually in a controversial sense. As with my previous post about GTAIV, it’s like they’re just blaming games just for the convenience of it and it’s getting out of hand. There’s actually more to video games than violence, like these examples.

1. Beautiful Imagery – Over the years, video games have been evolving to be more interactive, and the most obvious change is with it’s graphics. With the current generation of games, the graphics have been advanced to the point that you get totally immersed in the setting. In Oblivion for example, sometimes I just put down the controller and just sit back and enjoy the view.

2. Storytelling – Other than providing lots of enjoyment, games have really well done stories too. They’re great as storytelling devices and unlike movies, you really get immersed on the setting because of the interactivity. Some games recognized for their great storytelling are the Final Fantasy series, and Dreamfall: The Longest Journey. Here’s an interesting article on the future of video games and interactive storytelling.

3. Music – I’m a big fan of video game music. Since the 8-bit era, video game music has been evolving as well but one thing remained the same, they’re very memorable and nostalgic. Today, video game music has been getting mainstream attention with concerts like PLAY! and tours of video game music composers and I think it deserves more attention from the media. Listen to this moving medley of tracks from the games Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross performed by the PLAY symphony:

As you can see, games have more to offer than what most people are getting worked up for. I’m aware that there are games with violent content out there but as I’ve said before, I believe it’s the parents’ responsibility to guide their children on what’s wrong and what’s right.

Persona 4 Gameplay Trailer Revealed

Posted in Video Games with tags , , , , on May 6, 2008 by maxpwnage

Persona 3 is arguably the best RPG of 2007, and Atlus will soon be releasing a follow-up for the Playstation 2, Persona 4. A 17-minute trailer was released with the gaming magazine Famitsu giving us an exclusive look at the new game:

Unlike Persona 3 which took place in a modern setting, Persona 4 will be set in a rural town and will have a suspense-thriller murder mystery theme as well as new characters.

Aside from that, the systems that were introduced in the previous game such as Social Links and the battle system will remain intact, but gone this time is the controversial “evokers” of the first game, replaced by what seems to be eyeglasses. Another new feature of Persona 4 is an active weather system replacing the previous game’s moon phase system.

I loved Persona 3’s unique style and engaging gameplay and I can’t wait for this game to be released on our shores! Persona 4 will be released in Japan on July 2008. Also, check out screenshots of the game at The Magic Box.

GTA IV racking up controversy

Posted in Video Games with tags , , , on April 30, 2008 by maxpwnage

As expected, Grand Theft Auto IV was met with a lot of complaints and issues from parents, organizations, politicians and the media, and to think it just came out a few days ago! I can’t blame them for it since the game does feature gruesome violence and the more grim side of human nature, but when it comes down to it as long as kids play it with proper adult supervision and guidance I guess there’s nothing to be afraid of. When it all comes down to it, they just want accountability for the terrible crimes happening everyday, and for a sandbox game like GTA IV where you can do everything, it’s just too convenient.

In any case, I got the 360 version and I’m enjoying the hell out of it. Rockstar did a terrific job with updating the franchise for the next generation, and i’ll probably play this for years to come… and I haven’t even tried multiplayer out yet! It definitely deserves it’s title as the most anticipated game for 2008.

Hideo Kojima Expresses Disappointment with Metal Gear Solid 4

Posted in Video Games with tags , , on April 18, 2008 by maxpwnage

I read this shocking news from Kotaku the other day, apparently Hideo Kojima, the creator of the Metal Gear series, had an interview with UK’s Edge magazine where he admitted that he was disappointed with the outcome of his latest project, Metal Gear Solid 4 for the Playstation 3. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

“When we first showed the game engine at TGS, the staff were really proud and happy. PS3 was a dream machine, y’know, and we were going to work on this and that – and we had so many ideas. But when we actually started developing the game, we realized there were a lot of restrictions and so it turned out how you see it today. The original vision was to go ten steps further, the reality was just one step, which isn’t to say we didn’t progress.”

This is… a shocking admission to say the least, especially coming from a perfectionist like Mr. Kojima. But I guess I can’t blame him on overestimating the PS3’s capabilities, everyone pretty much did. Though I don’t think that’ll make Metal Gear Solid 4 any less enjoyable, probably just not as they initially planned it to be.

A Peek at Sega’s Upcoming Iron Man Game

Posted in Movies, Video Games with tags , , , on April 17, 2008 by maxpwnage

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you’ve probably heard of the upcoming movie based on Marvel’s iconic superhero Iron Man coming this Summer.

Iron Man is the story of a wealthy arms manufacturer, Tony Stark (played by Robert Downey Jr.) who gets kidnapped by terrorists who wants to use his technology for creating weapons of mass destruction against their enemies. Stark eventually hatched a plan to escape from his captors by creating a suit of armor out of the parts that’s supposed to go into the weapon he’s developing. As Iron Man, Tony Stark uses technology to exert superhuman abilities as well as superior firepower and faces one of his former friends, the ambitious Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges).

Iron Man is one of Marvel’s big hitter superheroes, and probably the most famous Marvel superhero of all. So bear with my excitement as I can’t wait to get the chance to finally play as him on the game Sega’s coming up for to tie in with the movie. Here’s a gameplay demo:

The most interesting thing with the game though is the ability to unlock Iron Man’s vast selection of armored suits. Since he’s just a regular human being, Tony Stark keeps his edge by having a multitude of armors with different abilities, each one building up on the previous model with more advanced weapon systems.

Aside from the armor present in the movie, Sega also included a variety of suits from the comics itself, including the original “First Appearance” armor, the “Classic” armor, the special “Hulkbuster” armor and even the “Ultimate Iron Man” armor which comes from an alternate universe! The gameplay will be action combined with an open-world gameplay, allowing the player to do whatever he wants and complete missions at his own pace. There’ll also be cameos from characters not present in the movie, including long-time Iron Man villian, Titanium Man.

I’m glad they put this much effort into making detailed models of Iron Man’s various appearances, and as a fan I really can’t wait. It’s also rumored that since both the Iron Man and Hulk games are developed by Sega, there will be some sort of interactivity between the two titles, perhaps even a multiplayer mode that lets you choose between the two and whack it out! The Iron Man movie hits the theaters on May 2, 2008, while the game comes out sometime this Spring.

The Five Hottest Games coming in Spring 2008

Posted in Video Games with tags , , , on April 16, 2008 by maxpwnage

Unlike movies where blockbusters come out during the Summer, this year’s biggest video game titles come will come out this Spring season. Here are the five highly-anticipated games that will surely top most gamers’ must-buy lists.

1. Grand Theft Auto IV – It goes without question that Rockstar‘s next game in the controversial Grand Theft Auto series is the hottest game of the season, with it’s promises of redefining the ‘sandbox’ genre of highly immersive gaming. When screenshots of GTAIV first came out, I couldn’t believe that they pulled off an almost exact copy of New York City’s skyline for the games’ fictional setting Liberty City, and the thought of GTA-type gameplay on a highly detailed game world like it made my head spin.

Over the last few weeks a ton of previews have come up for the game, with promises of a totally revamped physics and graphics engine, realistic car handling, much more realistic AI and tons of new content, as well as a no-holds barred ‘do whatever you want’ gameplay that gamers loved about the previous games. This game will be coming out for the PS3 and the Xbox360 first, and will hit PCs later on, and I’m sure everyone’s itching to play it, and I’m sure that there’ll surely be a lot of controversy comin thereafter. Grand Theft Auto IV comes out April 29.

2. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots – Probably the most anticipated game on the Playstation 3, Metal Gear Solid 4 will be Sony’s trump card in the raging console war. Konami’s Metal Gear Solid series has been the benchmark of stealth action games, with the first 3 games becoming the biggest hits for their respective systems when they came out.

The highly cinematic game follows the exploits of our hero Solid Snake (who seems to have aged a bit) set five years after the events of Metal Gear Solid 2, as he deals with the threat of his remaining nemesis, Liquid Ocelot. MGS4 will be released on June 12.

3. Mario Kart Wii – Nintendo’s Wii conslone has shown proved itself as the perfect platform for addictively fun games that crosses generations, and with the massive success of Super Smash Bros. Brawl (with most gamers calling it one of the best games ever), Nintendo revs up our adrenaline again with the impending release of the Wii incarnation of their highly addictive racing title, Mario Kart Wii.

The new game ditches the innovations presented with the Gamecube version and goes back to basics with one-person vehicle action, wonderfuly constructed colorful tracks, as well as trademark power-ups to blast your competition off the road. What’s new though is online support, allowing you to race along with 11 other people from all over the globe! Mario Kart Wii comes out April 27, so heat up your engines and prepare to race!

4. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2 – Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas totally revamped the gameplay of the long-running squad-based tactical shooter series, with updated graphics, dynamic gameplay as well as a robust multiplayer gameplay for Xbox Live, and became one of the best-selling games for the Xbox360 in 2006. The sequel Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2, which will take place before and after the events of the first game, promises better AI for the single-player mode, a new character creation system and more, as Team Rainbow takes on the terrorists that took over Las Vegas.

I absolutely loved R6 Vegas, the single player gameplay was well done and gameplay on Live was one of the most thrilling experiences I’ve ever had for the system and I’ve yet to try out Vegas 2 but I’m sure it’ll be a blast. The Xbox360 and PS3 versions are out now, with the PC version coming soon sometime this April.

5. Gran Turismo 5: Prologue – Sony’s long-running Gran Turismo series is the the definitive title when it comes to racing simulation, featuring licensed cars, realistic gameplay and famous tracks recreated in absolute precision. While not being a full game, Gran Turismo 5: Prologue will hope to satisfy the appetite of racing addicts worldwide as they wait for the release of the full game later this year, as it gives them a preview of what to expect with the full version.

Prologue will have 60 licensed cars under it’s hood, unbelievably realistic graphics and for the first time in the series, online multiplayer gameplay. The game will come out on the shelves, as well as for download on the Playstation Store, on April 15.

Whether you’re a hardcore gamer, a casual one or somewhere in between, this Spring season has a multitude of great titles for you, so get ready and prepare your controllers!

Gaming Community Celebrates April Fools’ Day

Posted in Video Games, Weird with tags , , , , on April 3, 2008 by maxpwnage

April Fools’ Day has been one of the most celebrated occasions ever, and the gaming community has always played an active part in turning people into complete morons. This year we’ve seen some of the most elaborate pranks ever played by gaming companies and communities, check these out:

IGN.com’s “The Legend of Zelda” Live Action Movie Trailer

Probably the most elaborate prank this year, IGN.com released this “exclusive trailer”, and was so well made that it totally fooled a lot of people into thinking that it was real! The movie trailer seens like it was based on The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time from the N64, and I can’t blame them, it’s a damn good story and it would really make a good movie. Thumbs up to whoever made the trailer, it almost got me.

Assassin’s Solid

Game publishers Konami and Ubisoft collaborated on this awesome trailer for a game called “Assassin’s Solid”, an amalgamation of Konami’s highly anticipated Metal Gear Solid 4 and Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed. Introduced by Jade Raymond from Ubisoft, the trailer showed gameplay from MGS4 with one glaring difference… instead of featuring Solid Snake, it shows Assassin’s Creed protagonist Altair smoking a cig and packing heat (though they later reveal that it’s really Solid Snake all along, wearing Altair’s robe). The punchline comes from Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima though, as he closes the video with “Did you rike it?”

Blizzard

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Blizzard Entertainment delivered again this year, with a hefty amount of fake news and pranks. First they announced a merger between their parent company Vivendi and Guitar Hero publisher Activision, and will be coming up with a Bard class for World of Warcraft‘s Wrath of the Lich King expansion featuring Guitar Hero gameplay. Then they also came up with a Diablo Loot Pinata, a Tauren Marine character for Starcraft II and an upcoming World of Warcraft: The Molten Core console game… for the Atari 2600. Blizzard’s April Fools pranks never really ceases to amuse everyone, and they certainly didn’t disappoint this year!

Super Pii Pii Brothers

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ThinkGeek.com had this hilarious offering, a product overview of an upcoming game from Japan for the Nintendo Wii called “Super Pii Pii Brothers” where you wear a harness over your waist, strap in the Wiimote, and try to “aim” an endless stream of pee into toilets onscreen. Hell if this game was real I’d get it in a heartbeat! It sounds like a fun game to play during drinkouts… as long as nobody gets pee’d on for reals.

This year’s April Fools’ pranks were totally some of the best so far, and it’s amazing how much effort these people gave just to make these. I hope next year’s would be just as fun or even better… granted that it won’t be changed to Rickroll Day.