Many of us know Epic Games for their successful stop-and-pop 360-exclusive shooter Gears of War, but before they made it big on Microsoft’s home console Epic was widely known as a PC-centric developer. Unreal Tournament has been a staple of arena-style multiplayer games on the PC, but Epic’s heyday as a big time PC developer is long gone.
While many of the company’s fans bemoan the studio’s shift in focus, Epic president Mike Capps says that the move from PC to console was one of necessity, citing PC piracy as the major reason for the change. Speaking recently to Edge (via 1up), Mr. Capps said that the studio still loves the PC, but they saw how piracy killed a bunch of great independent developers and lead to a conversion of business models.
Mike Capps isn’t all down on PC gaming, though, and he feels that the platform might eventually see a comeback, possibly through Facebook. While that isn’t the resurgence many of us were hoping for, we have to remember that the often looked-down upon casual games (like Ubisoft’s Petz series) subsidizes the production of larger, more “hardcore” games.
I know that we have a fair few PC gamers on this site, myself included, and I spent a lot of time in my youth playing Unreal Tournament against the AI because I wasn’t allowed on the internet. Although Epic’s console offerings have been mostly decent, one has to wonder how different the market would be today if Gears had launched as a PC title first. What do you guys think? Is piracy actually to blame, and will PC gaming make a Facebook comeback?
I don’t know a whole lot about Red Dead Redemption, but every passing trailer I see for it looks more and more awesome. I never played the first game in the series, and I continue to hear good things from people that were fortunate enough to do so. The newest entry from Rockstar releases tomorrow, and so far it has gotten some rave reviews.
However, Grand Theft Auto 4 received the same kind of lavish praise, and we all know how I feel about that game. Still though, Red Dead Redemption holds a lot of promise, especially judging from this brand new kickass launch trailer. So who’s going to play this, and who’s played the first? Tell us what made the first game so good!
Summer. In the great state of Texas, Summer is more than just a season. It is a way of life. It’s more than just hot, it is like living in a dog’s mouth. Yes, in our neck of the woods we will soon start dealing with temperatures that are greater than 95 to 100 degrees constantly, with 1000 percent humidity to boot. Texas climate is a great and harsh mistress, and we will weep.
But that doesn’t mean we stop playing games. In fact, we play games more than ever, as we seek shelter from the sun’s plague-ish rays that beat our brows, and try to find solace in moving pixels and multiplayer matches. For many of you guys, you’ll soon be off of school and ready to tackle a whole new slew of games. For working folk like myself, I will soon be free of a humongous burden known only as the second season of Web Zeroes. That means lots of gaming goodness will be had by all. Lo!
So, I guess that’s my way of asking what you guys are playing? Me: Starcraft 2 Beta and Reach Beta. You guys? Go!
Nick reminded me of this little swinging ditty during our podcast and after listening to it for about 3 seconds, it all came flooding back to me, much like Celine Dion once sang. The Genesis was not known for its sound chip, but you wouldn’t know it from listening to this. The song holds up well even after all these years and I love the little breaks before the music picks back up again. Enjoy this trip down memory lane.
Bonus points to whoever knows what the title of this post refers to.
We had a lot of fun last year with the Phantasy Star Gameblog and I thought it was almost time to do another one. I am still a month or two away from getting started, but I thought we could at least get which game I will be blogging about out of the way.
I had originally written a nice long post, with detailed descriptions about each game, but that was lost due to the server timing out when I tried to save. So forgive me for the lack of details, as I have entered a new dimension of pissed off. Continue reading A Gameblog Draws Near! Command?
Like many of the PC gaming faithful on this very website, I was a bit dissapointed in Infinity Ward’s decision to use a peer-to-peer matchmaking service for their multiplayer. While it was fun for a bit, the amount of glitchers and hackers I would run into during every single match became a bit much. I quit playing that game in January, and I haven’t looked back (mostly because of how awesome Bad Company 2 is).
With a new Call of Duty on the horizon, you would expect developer Treyarch to continue on with IW’s plan of no dedicated servers, right? Fortunetly, Treyarch is thinking for themselves this time around, and studio head Mark Lamia recently went on record with PC Zone (via CVG) saying that he thinks, quote:
…dedicated servers are excellent. I don’t see any reason not to see them unless… well, I just don’t see any reason not to.”
Honestly, I think this is good news for the Call of Duty franchise. When you take out dedicated servers, and with it the ability of admins to moderate the player base, what you get is an unholy mess, where only those with the latest aimbot hack comes out on top. I’m still not digging this new Call of Duty that much, but at least it’s a step in the right direction. What do you guys think? Good news? Enough to get you to purchase yet another CoD?
If you miss the days of yore for First Person Shooters, where it was you, a gun, millions of hostile aliens and no plot to get in the way, then you might enjoy the following trailer for Bulletstorm, the up-coming FPS collaboration from Epic Games and People Can Fly. If you played Painkiller, PCF’s previous shooter-oriented effort, then you know that they have a healthy thirst for crazy on-screen action. Bulletstorm looks to be a great spiritual successor to Painkiller’s legacy, allowing the player to use their massive boots to kick guys into cacti and laser whip them around. The video looks like it enables players to combo their attacks together for points, a “chain of pain” if you will.
What do you guys think? Is this on your radar now?
For many years past, Square Enix has been the reigning king of RPG titles. From Final Fantasy to Kingdom Hearts, these guys have enjoyed many eons atop the RPG heap, reveling in their great successes and enjoying all of the accolades (and bling) that goes along with such a thing. However, in recent years, you could say there has been a bit of a changing of the guard in some ways. Not because Square Enix has gotten bad or anything, but simply because their releases are less frequent, and this period of time has come with the rise of many Western RPG developers: namely, Bioware.
So, how does the Bioware Writing Director feel about Final Fantasy XIII? He explains in a recent interview with Strategy Informer.
Well, before I address the main point I just want to take a slightly more controversial route: You can put a ‘J’ in front of it, but it’s not an RPG. You don’t make any choices, you don’t create a character, you don’t live your character… I don’t know what those are – adventure games maybe? But they’re not RPG’s.
I’m not entirely sure I agree with him, though he has a point about a role-playing game in the literal sense of the term. What do you guys think about what he said? To you, what constitutes an RPG experience? Go!
If you’ve ever watched the credits after the end of a game, you know that it takes a heck of a lot of talented people working very long hours to craft the piece of art you just enjoyed. Before that can even take place, though, you need someone with drive and vision that can get a project off the ground and keep it going when it falters. That’s where the lead developer comes in, and a lot of your favorite games have been made or broken on the whims of these visionaries. Who are some of the most prolific designers in the industry? Read on the see who, in no particular order, we’re pledging eternal obeisance to. Continue reading Top Six: Our Favorite Developers
So far, Bad Company 2 is one of my favorite games of the year, and one of my favorite multiplayer experiences in this generation. I haven’t had much of a chance to play the regular campaign all the way through, but one thing is clear: the game needs co-op. I’ve never really understood why it was left out of the game, when it is clearly set up as a squad of four badasses. It seemed to be totally begging for it.
Well, it looks like DICE is going to deliver that wish for myself and many others. At a time specified only as “soon”, they’re going to be adding a new co-operative mode for four players in Bad Company 2. It basically looks like Firefight or horde mode, but with objectives. I’m pumped about this. Who else is?
It seems almost inevitable that all major releases will have a special edition these days. Gone are the simpler times when you could just walk into your local retailer and pick up a plain old box with a manual and the game; these days, you can choose from up to three flavors of your game, ranging from the basic package to some $200 monstrosity that might contain night-vision goggles, a ten-pound statue, or anything in-between.
Besides being home to extravagant pieces of memorabilia, special editions of games often include codes that allows the purchaser to access additional in-game content, things that may not even be available to other consumers some months down the line. That’s all right for those of us who want to feel that they are buying something that they can hold on to, something that is not just another toy, but what of those of us who don’t want, or can’t afford, the upgraded versions?
So, I submit this question to you guys: how often do you purchase limited or collectors editions? What kind of extra goodies are needed to guarantee that you will drop your hard earned money on it? Let us know!
We’ve finally started releasing GamerSushi podcasts, and we couldn’t be happier. For real, I’ve been obsessing over doing the next edition ever since we recorded the first. Hopefully you guys enjoyed it, too.
We’ll be recording a new episode on either Sunday or Tuesday, so the time to start asking questions or topics that you’d like for us to talk about is now. Feel free to ask about whatever, as long as it is generally game related, and we’ll pick our favorite submissions to discuss on the podcast. You can already rest assured that EA’s new game codes will be on the list, as well as Little Big Planet 2 and Alan Wake.
What are you waiting for, fools? Submit your questions.
There is nothing quite like the release of a long-standing franchise giant like Final Fantasy XIII to get some great gaming discussions going. Square-Enix’s new entry to the well known franchise has started a slew of discussions from fanboys, haters and regular gamers alike, all armed with their own talking points about a franchise with an esteemed history, and how the newest addition stacks up compared to its long line of ancestors.
Final Fantasy XIII was first introduced at E3 2006, promising lush visuals, a deep and rich story, and some things we’ve never seen from this set of games before. Since then, people the world over have been itching to play it, to see if Square-Enix could continue to deliver on the leaps that the previous two titles had made. After a cross platform announcement and its own set of development issues, the game is finally here. So, how is it? Let’s talk about that. Continue reading Review: Final Fantasy XIII
Oh, EA, you were doing so well. You started trying to publish new games in 2008 with Dead Space and Mirror’s Edge, and you took back your estranged children Vince Zampella and Jason West when they got canned by Activision. You even pledged on-going downloadable content support for your titles with “Project Ten-Dollar”, but now the true nature of this initiative rears its ugly head.
Announced today in what may go down as one of the biggest bone-head moves of all time, EA Sports has dropped the word that all Sports titles will come with an online access card similar to the ones in Bad Company 2 or Mass Effect 2. The major difference is that this card will allow the player to access the multiplayer portion, something that gamers have come to take for granted from their titles. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 will be the first game to include this pass, and one has to wonder if this practice will begin to make its way into other EA titles. Could Crysis 2 require this? Unthinkable to most gamers, but I wouldn’t rule it out. Additionally, this pass will only be available with new copies, so used game purchases and renters will be out of luck.
In an effort to further underline the questionable motives of this maneuver, GameStop CEO Dan DeMatteo has pledged his support to EA Sport’s new enterprise, stating that GameStope employees will begin pitching X-Box LIVE and PlayStation Network point cards to used game purchasers.
What do you guys think of this? How do you think it will affect the rental industry? Let us know in the comments.
Like I mentioned in the podcast, I am trying not to go crazy with Square Enix music, but give me a pass for this week. I was in love with this music before the game even came out and I have to say, 30 hours into this game, I never get tired of hearing this song. That’s pretty damn impressive, if you ask me. Enjoy:
Well, we all knew it was coming. Like any major videogame developer, Media Molecule is returning to the well of riches that was Little Big Planet, and unveiling a sequel to the hit PS3 game. The new Little Big Planet 2 trailer is full of tons of fun stuff, and great hints towards even more ambitious level design than the first game. It looks like players can create cooler stuff than the original, including creatures with their own AI as well as different modes. Rumor has it that someone has already created an RTS with it over at Media Molecule.
Nothing quite brings out the inner jerk in me like a good rousing game of Halo matchmaking. For the last week, I’ve been enjoying Bungie’s new multiplayer offering in the form of the Halo: Reach Beta. Kicking it up with jetpacks, armor lock, Slayer and the like awakens old habits in me at times, it seems, even though much of the gameplay is new or different. Tonight, while playing, I found myself getting irritated at trash talkers. Soon enough, I was engaging in the famed tea bag maneuver at my opponents’ expense and it was glorious.
The funny thing is, sometimes this translates into other areas of gaming as well. GamesRadar has an awesome article up about 18 Ways to be a Bastard in Games, where they recount how you can be a total jerk in a number of different titles. They cover everything from killing hospital patients in GTA IV to choosing a character to die in Mass Effect simply because you get to have sex with the other. The most shocking thing about the list? I have done 11 out of the 18 things they mentioned, and most of the ones I haven’t done are because I haven’t played the game listed.
So what about you guys? What are your favorite ways to be a jerk in games? How many things on the list have you done? Go!
I have always been a huge fan of some of the retro looks that GameTrailers does in its numerous original videos. They do a really good job of taking a unique glimpse into some old favorites, and re-capping some lesser known facts about the games we’ve always known and loved.
Enter Pop-Fiction, their brand new gaming series where they test out gaming’s unsolved mysteries, one at a time. Think of it as a Mythbusters for old school games. Their first episode takes a look at the fabled Chris Houlihan room in Link to the Past. Very entertaining video, for sure.
So what are some of your favorite urban legends in video gaming? I think one of my favorite would have to be the Ermac character in Mortal Kombat.
One of the premier titles of 2008, Fallout 3, was well received for its large game world, memorable denizens and its slow-motion auto-targeting system, VATS. Knowing that a game this popular deserved a follow up, Bethesda studios, creators of the popular Elder Scrolls series, enlisted Obsidian Entertainment to take players back to the Fallout universes’ post-apocalyptic setting. What’s being changed from the 2008 title, and what can fans expect to return?
The first thing wasteland-aficionados will notice is that the setting of the game has changed from Washington DC in Fallout 3 to, rather obviously, the areas around Las Vegas. While previewers weren’t given the option to travel to the titular gambling town, they were allowed to try out the reformatted VATS system and fool around with the new weapon customization options. Continue reading Fallout: New Vegas Info Hits the Internet
I was originally going to slap this thing with a “Today’s WTF” prefix, but with E3 around the corner, those things are going to be coming fast and furious. Still, this little bit of news is a head-scratcher for sure. Alan Wake, the upcoming X-Box 360 exclusive by Remedy Studios is catching a bit of flack for the game’s facial animations which apparently don’t match up with the tone of voice the character is using. For such a story driven tale, you can bet this has caused some consternation amongst the game’s reviewers.
One would expect such a fix, if it were to come at all, to be included in a patch, not through DLC. Remedy is doing the exact opposite, however, bundling in the change with the supernatural thriller’s upcoming downloadable content. No word on whether or not the additional gameplay will be free of charge or not, but if it includes alterations to the game’s code, it’s a safe bet that there will be some Microsoft Points involved.
What do you guys think about this? Fair or foul on Remedy’s part? For a game that’s been in development for so long, should we have to pay for something that should be there in the first place?