I think I may have found one of my new favorite gaming articles ever. While there are many Final Fantasy games that have been praised over the years, none seem to be more divisive than Final Fantasy VIII, starring Squall and Rinoa. Some people hated the magic system, some hated the story, and some simply hated the fact that it wasn’t Final Fantasy VII.
Despite all that, though, Pop Matters has written an in-depth piece about Final Fantasy VIII called Remembering the Orphan, dissecting the things that really made the game shine, especially its attention to human relationships. The main thrust of the article has to do with the focus on the orphaned characters, who through the use of magic and battle begin to lose their memories and thus, their innocence. It really provides an eye-opening look at the game, with an attention to detail that most don’t often give to video games.
Even though I wasn’t crazy about Final Fantasy VIII, I really do think that had to do more with my age and what I expected from the game. Reading this article really makes me want to go back and play it and give it another look. And to be honest, I really would love to see more articles like this out of the gaming community, because it was fascinating.
What do you guys think? What are your thoughts on Final Fantasy VIII?
If you were hiding under some huge rock-like structure during E3, you might have missed some pretty cool videos. One of the coolest ones, and perhaps the video of the show, was the Uncharted 2 rooftop sequence that pitted Drake against a helicopter, some dudes with guns, and awesome platforming. This video really took my breath away during the Sony conference, so if you missed it, here’s your chance to check it out.
After Microsoft’s Shock and Awe campaign yesterday, I think we were all anxious to see if Sony would even show up for their 2-hour presentation today. Here are the highlights:
Sony dude Jack Tretton opened with a joke about how nobody in the industry can keep secrets, a total reference to the leak of the PSP Go from the other day. I think it’s pretty classy that they can make fun of themselves like that.
364 new games coming to Sony systems this year, 35 of which are exclusive. Considering the dearth of PS3 games for a while, this is welcome news.
Uncharted 2 Multiplayer beta goes live tonight. Single-player looks very impressive. Really seem to have meshed the shooting and platforming elements. Also, the graphics are incredible.
Gameplay footage of MAG. 256 players in one battle. For so many players, it looked kind of lonely. Would have liked to have seen more action.
Hannah Montana lilac colored PSP announcement for this Fall is met with cheers. I don’t know if that’s funny or scary.
PSP Go! announced officially. Will not replace UMD or other PSPs. 16MB of memory. Can download from PSN with built in Wi-Fi. 50% smaller and 40% lighter than original PSP. The price will be $249.99, available on 10/01/09. Too rich for my blood.
Gran Turismo for the PSP. Over 800 cars and 35 tracks. You can trade cars with your friends. Cool, but where is the PS3 version???
Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker for the PSP. Kojima announced it himself. Set in the Seventies, 10 years after MGS 3. Might show the origin of Outer Heaven. Looks like a full on MGS game, with the possibility of 4 player co-op in the form of Snake clones.
New Resident Evil for the PSP. Also, LittleBigPlanet, Monster Hunter, Motorstorm, Soul Caliber, Fat Princess, Guitar Hero and Star Wars: Battlefront.
Final Fantasy VII on PSN TODAY! Also, over 50 PS1 classics by the end of the year.
More content coming to Home. Meh.
Video of various games, including DC Universe Online, an MMO and also a PS3 exclusive.
Rockstar PS3 exclusive: Agent. Spies and assassins in the late 1970s. They claim this will have the same must-have value that GTA did. No footage shown.
Assassin’s Creed 2 footage. Looks pretty cool, might have solved the problems of the first game. Out before Christmas along with the PSP version. PS3 version will have 6 exclusive weapons.
More Final Fantasy XIII footage. Gorgeous, just like you would expect.
Final Fantasy 14 in 2010 for PS3 ONLY! It’s an online game! Awesome footage! This is the megaton announcement!
Motion control time: True 1:1 tracking. All of it was a tech demo, looks cool. Coming in 2010.
LittleBigPlanet is getting Disney themes. That is kinda awesome.
Mod Nation Racers announced. Part of the Play Create Share theme that Nintendo ripped off earlier. Drivers can be customized like in LittleBigPlanet. Think Mario Kart meets Sackboy. Custom tracks! That is pretty neat. Better than making Wario Ware games! The track builder seems easy to use as well, they built one on stage in just a few minutes.
The new Team Ico game is called The Last Guardian. The trailer from last week was indeed leaked, but it doesn’t change that this game looks incredible. Interestingly enough, the leaked footage is about a year old apparently, and this stuff looks way better.
God of War 3 will be the last game in the series, and it’s going to have some crazy brutal quick time kills. The ones on the centaur and the chimera are stinking insane. Creatures are going to get owned, for sure. The game drops March 2010.
Overall, a pretty solid showing with really no wtf moments to speak of. Not a whole lot of new stuff coming, but when you have this many exclusives coming over the next year, why do you need to drop a lot of new information?
What do you guys think? What’s the most exciting piece of Sony news?
With E3 just around the corner, everyone seems to have an opinion about what’s going to happen or what should happen. So I got to thinking: what would I do if I were running any of the Big 3?
Honestly, for Nintendo, I would keep doing what they are doing, but also I would try to get more of the classic Nintendo franchises out there to lure the hardcore gamers. Wii sales are finally tapering off, so if you can lure in those older gamers with a solid library then I think they will really show their dominance. Also, more Virtual Console games. One game a week ain’t cutting it.
For Microsoft, I would give up any hope of competing with Nintendo using motion controllers and stick to what works: hardcore gamers and buying exclusives for the 360. Microsoft doesn’t have nearly the number of Triple A exclusives for this year that Sony does so if they can hold their lead they will likely reload for next year. Look for a new Gears game to be announced at next years E3. I would also dump Rare. Their time in the sun is gone and I think they will only cost Microsoft money now.
Sony, despite the constant negative press, is not as far behind as you might think. They are only 6.5 million consoles behind Microsoft and since they started a year later, that isn’t too big a lead. 2008 was not Sony’s year for exclusives, but 2009 is. Killzone 2 and Infamous have already landed and more are on the horizon, including Heavy Rain and what the hell Kojima has planned. I have heard rumors of a MEGATON announcement that Sony has planned at E3, but I have no idea what it is, if anything. Sony needs to keep adding to the PSN and getting franchises that people associate with Sony, like God of War, Gran Turismo and Final Fantasy. If it means shelling out the big bucks, then I would do it.
So, InFamous, the rocking new PS3 open-world exclusive, just dropped yesterday. I have to say that I’m pretty excited to being play it, and I’ll be picking up my reserved copy after work. The PS3 really is starting to build up a quality library of truly unique and original IPs, which is welcome amidst the sea of sequels.
In honor of the release of InFamous, the developers have put out a fancy new launch trailer for the game. Can’t wait to play it.
Get it? I have puns. Anyway, InFamous, the PS3 exclusive open-world superhero game, has managed to fly under my radar the past few months. However, recent reviews are starting to pour in that claim this title is the real deal, and perhaps one of the reasons you should own a PS3 this year.
I didn’t really believe it until I started checking out the videos myself. It looks like the best parts of Crackdown, GTA and Spider-Man 2, with the latter game being made by the same developer. Check out the video!
Ok, considering that I’ve been wanting to play these games for the last few months, this news is just awesome. For you PS3 and PSP owners, a recent ESRB ratings search shows that Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil are coming to the PSN Store for download! Yes, the original honest-to-goodness PlayStation titles.
I’ve been on a bit of a classic gaming kick recently and since I learned the other month that I misplaced my MGS disc, this is definitely a welcome surprise. The original Metal Gear Solid is still to this day one of my top five favorite games of all time, and playing it on my PSP while I travel over the summer is definitely going to be a bonus.
Is anybody else excited about this? Have you ever lost or misplaced an old game that you really wanted to play again?
We all know what E3 means. It’s the time of year when we get sandwiched by video game news galore, and announcements from every corner of the gaming kingdom. Not only do we hear from the developers we enjoy, but also from the big 3 of the console wars: Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. Each year, they regale us with tales of things to come. So how truthful are they?
A writer over at Kotaku took the time to analyze last year’s E3 promises from each of the major console makers, in order to see who told more fibs and who did the biggest exaggerations. Surprisingly enough, it seems that all of them did a pretty good job at predicting the things to come. See for yourself:
So, how do you think they all did? And who had the best year? Personally, from the looks of it, it seems that Sony may have edged out the competition in terms of truth-telling, and they’ve even given us several great reasons to pick up their new console since then. Thoughts?
Team Ico, the awesome guys that brought us classic legendary titles like Shadow of the Colossus and Ico, have been hard at work on a new, super-secret project. Well, according to PlayStation LifeStyle, that PS3 project has just been revealed, codenamed “Trico”. While they have no source on the trailer below, it definitely has the look and feel of some of their past projects.
The footage shows a boy and a strange creature that seems to be a dog/rat/bird thing, and the two engage in co-operative platforming through awesome environments. I don’t know how I feel about the animal, but the footage definitely has a great feel to it. No word on whether this is real or not, but the music isn’t original and appears in the movie “Miller’s Crossing”.
Ah, Hideo Kojima. You’re a little rascal. You like to make crazy cut scenes, pretentious dialogue, awesome action and things that tease your loyal followers. Take this new announcement Web site from Hideo Kojima, for instance. It appeared sometime last week and has a mysterious countdown, a field, some lightning, and what appears to be the number “5″ (or the letter S) splashed across it.
However, it seems some Metal Gear Solid fans have done some digging around, and the source code for the site shows that the timer runs out on June 1, the day of the Microsoft E3 press event (Sony’s is on June 2). A Microsoft Metal Gear game, perchance? Also, looking at the meta keywords reveals the words “next” “metal gear” and “mgs”, though nothing that says “mgs5″.
So, what does this all mean? While Metal Gear Solid 4 was the last entry into the Solid Snake story, I wouldn’t put it past Kojima to keep the series going, only with a new and rebooted storyline with some different characters. What do you guys think?
If there’s something that I’ve learned about gamers, it’s that we like to torture ourselves. Seriously, it’s true. Whether it’s with a dungeon, a particularly hard boss, or maybe obtaining a certain achievement or level in a multiplayer game, we will beat our faces against the screen until we are a bloody mess in order to satisfy our goals. We’re masochists, really.
I think one of the more obvious symbols of this self-induced flaying would have to be the storied midnight launch. The midnight launch, the method of instant releases for both systems and games, brings a real life obstacle for a gamer to grind his way through. Something to set our hopes on and try to tackle. Though I’ve participated in many midnight launches in my day, none was so arduous as the quest to obtain my Playstation 2 back in 2000.
GameCop vs. LameCop is a feature where Anthony and I argue about video game issues, playing the role of either the GameCop or the LameCop as we do so. We switch roles each time. The GameCop has your best interests as gamers at heart, while the LameCop is just what he sounds like: a total loser.
This week, we tackle several issues including multiplayer in single player games, Nintendo’s lackluster GTA: Chinatown Wars sales and E3 predictions.
For those that are uninitiated, MAG, or Massive Action Game, is an FPS game coming for the PS3 that promises 256 player multiplayer matches. Massive, indeed, no? While I’ve been doubtful about pulling this off, Sony has come along to prove us all wrong with a new MAG trailer along with real-time footage of some of the big battles in question.
This is all very early, but what do you guys think? Can they pull this off?
No. Please, no. It appears that a Shadow of the Colossus movie is in the works. While many might find the idea of such a great and epic video game being put into a big screen format enticing, I find it simply repulsive, for a number of reasons.
Beyond the fact that the game is one of the most powerful studies of death I’ve ever seen, the people involved with this project don’t exactly scream cinema quality to me. Ready for this? The producer is also behind such great flicks as The Scorpion King. Heck, they even went top dollar and hired the writer for the new Chun-Li Street Fighter movie.
While part of me is sick to my stomach to even think about a bad film version of this, I can’t help but get angry at the people in the video game industry that keep cheapening their unique intellectual properties for a quick buck. I mean, really? This is the depth you’ll sink to for more money on your brand?
What do you guys think? Is this an epic fail or am I just being dumb? Go.
Could this be the last generation of consoles? Apparently, that’s what analyst Michael Pachter thinks, and it’s his job to come up with this kind of stuff, I guess.
Here’s what Pachter-Man had to say:
I think we’ve seen the last generation of consoles… [Third party publishers] are not going to support a PS4 or Xbox 720. The content is not going to change in any meaningful ways because the publishers can’t afford it.
He also believes that Nintendo might upgrade the Wii at some point, but that both MS and Sony are going to stand pat with what they’ve got. Personally, I think we’ll probably see at least one more round of consoles, but he might not be too far off the mark. What do you guys think? Is this the last console generation?
Over the weekend, I got sick as a dog. For real. Burritos and stomach viruses do not mix, and apparently I don’t go well with with those two, either. Anywho, my brother was in town visiting, and since our options were limited to anything I could do while plastered to a couch, we chose to partake in the glorious fight scenes of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.
All complaints about the movie aside, the fight scenes are some of the coolest I’ve ever seen in any medium, but beyond that, the movie itself is total fanboy service in terms of the content it delivers. I mean, really, they revisit nearly every single major or minor character and even give you a glimpse at life after the events of the story. Hell, they have the main bad guy show up again.
This got me wondering- what other franchises or video games would you love to see get the Advent Children treatment that Final Fantasy VII got? If you could have a ridiculous fanboy-loving movie sequel to any game that allowed you to see what happened to your favorite characters, and even threw in pants-wettingly awesome action sequences, what would it be? Go!
Take-Two said in a press conference that sales of its mega-ultra-super-shiny juggernaut Grand Theft Auto IV (the one without the digital ding dong) were split about even between the 360 and PS3. They did not give any other specifics or release any actual numbers, but fanboys on both sides are freaking right out, while Wii fanboys wave a plastic remote in the air cause they just don’t care.
GTA IV sold 13 million copies worldwide so if they sold even down the middle on both systems, this means that more of the PS3′s installed base bought the game than the 360′s, which is odd and just a little surprising. The PS3 has sold 21.3 million worldwide and the Xbox 360 has sold 27.93 million worldwide. Maybe its due to the PS3′s demographic skewing older? Maybe people just preferred getting it on the PS3 because thats what the old GTAs were originally on? If this is accurate and Take-Two is not just having a laugh at us, it also means that Microsoft’s much vaunted exclusive DLC did not play much of a factor in people’s decision, which is even more odd. If I had a 360, I would have got it on that for the DLC. As a PS3 owner, I am still hoping it is simply a timed exclusive.
What did you buy the game on and if you have both systems, why? What do you make of this surprising news?
If you haven’t seen the God of War III trailer yet, it kind of owns. In a massive way. The game looks bigger, more violent and more epic than ever before. Unfortunately, all we really have is a 2 minute trailer that gives us any hint of what to expect. That’s why Gametrailers posted an in-depth and detailed look at the footage, complete with pop-up factoids. Fun times.
The Consumerist is reporting that a woman who identified herself as a lesbian on her gamertag profile was banned from Xbox Live. In order to prevent offensive actions or harassment, Microsoft bans certain words, regardless of how they are used. This policy makes a certain degree of sense, but wasn’t the case:
The woman, who only goes by “Teresa,” claims that she was harassed by other XBL users. “They followed me into the games and told all the players to turn me in because they didn’t want to see that crap or their kids to see that crap. As if xbox live is really appropriate for kids anyways!” She goes on to say that her account was suspended. When she brought the issue up to Microsoft, the response was that other users found it “offensive.”
Simply saying you are gay, which has no affect on anyone you are playing online with, causes this kind of hatred. I think its really sad and it makes me ashamed that gamers treat people like this. Microsoft told MTV they are reconsidering their policy towards offensive words, which is good news.
Xbox Live and PSN are full of people who shout “faget” and other racist and homophobic terms. Gamers get so offended when someone portrays them as mouth-breathing neanderthals or violent-loving sickos, but this kind of portrayal doesn’t seem to bother most. I think its really wrong when people play a GAME and can’t even enjoy it without hatred and vitriol spewed at them.
This is Anthony, getting off his soapbox, in a bad mood because Morrissey canceled his concert, which was Anthony’s birthday gift. We now return you to your regularly scheduled life.