Fable 3 Trailer is a Revolution

Ah Fable 3, the black sheep of the Microsoft exclusive lineup. Not as successful as Gears of War or Halo, you still manage to maintain a certain presence within the gaming community despite your continued over-promising. Broken dreams of a fully realized world aside, Fable still has enough clout to make a major debut this holiday season, and we’ve got a new trailer to celebrate the impending release. The launch video for Fable 3 chronicles the overthrow of the current, presumably evil, King by you, his brother. Worst family ever.

I kind of like the stylish presentation of the trailer, and I am anticipating being the King of Albion after busting my hump to save it in the past two games. Time for this faux-British fantasy world to start paying dividends (oh, and friends list baby making). Anyone here getting Fable 3, or is this one we’re passing on in this stuffed holiday season? Saving it for later? Anyone getting it on PC? The game hits the Xbox 360 on October 26.

Microsoft Says It Needs to “Step Up” Its PC Support

games-for-windows-live-logoIt’s funny how things can change in just a few years. Microsoft, once the PC gaming giant, has now taken a back seat in that race, preferring instead to dump its collective resources into the console game. While it is making a good amount of head-way there, the giant company is rightly getting a bit of flack for “abandoning” the PC. Microsoft recognizes that it needs to give a bit more attention to the platform that launched its gaming business, and there are a few initiatives underway to make that happen.

Microsoft Game Studios’ General Manager Dave Luehmann recently had a little chat with MCV where he outlined the plan for the PC resurgence. He spoke pretty candidly on Microsoft’s stance in the industry, while at the same time being less than humble about the company’s position as a former forerunner:

“There’s been a fair bit of criticism aimed at Microsoft that we were spending a lot of our focus on console, and we need to be putting resources behind PC as well. Other companies should look to Microsoft for leadership, but I’m not sure they do. It is our job to lead the way on PC. And in some ways we are doing that and in other ways we are not. So we need to step up. We are putting some real investment and big IPs behind the Windows platform. We’ve spoken of the first three, Fable III, Age of Empires Online and Microsoft Flight. However we are not going to stop there.”

One thing is for sure, Mr. Luehmann knows how to talk a big talk. While X-Box LIVE has done some revolutionary things in regards to party connectivity and nickle-and-diming the customer, Games for Windows LIVE continues to languish as XBL’s neglected cousin. For those of us who play our games on the PC, GFWL is sort of a black-sheep compared to other, more user friendly services such as Steam or Impulse. While it’s nice that Microsoft recognizes the importance of PC gaming, it still remains to be seen as to whether or not they’ll actually do as they promise. What do you guys think of MS’s stance? Should they reassert themselves in the PC gaming scene, or is this just an empty boast? With the X-Box doing fairly well and Kinect on the way, should we even expect for Microsoft to bother with their former territory? Let us know!

Source: MCV

Today’s WTF: Microsoft Bans a Man for Living in Fort Gay

x-box live fort gayMicrosoft, Microsoft, Microsoft. What, are we playing catch-up to our former WTF King Blizzard now? If you’re not putting down your fanbase or trying to disguise your fairy leanings, then you’re banning people from your online service based on the name of their home town.

While this might not be an issue for most people (unless you have the misfortune to live near Lake Titicaca), an X-Box LIVE gamer recently ran afoul of Microsoft’s stringent “no bad words” policy. Typically these types of epithets are wielded on the internet with the expressed purpose of hurting someone’s feelings, but what if you’re just trying to tell people where you live. Fort Gay resident Josh Moore was kicked off of X-Box LIVE for adding the name of his town, a small 1,000 person hamlet in West Virginia, to his bio. Playing the devil’s advocate for Microsoft, they probably have a program that scours their user base looking for offensive language and auto-bans them without delving into specifics. Surely a phone call to X-Box LIVE’s customer service center could fix the issue? Unfortunately, that was not the case.

Mr. Moore was informed by Microsoft that the word gay was unacceptable in any context, and if he persisted in keeping the name of his town on his account, then his subscription would be canceled without a refund. Fort Gay’s mayor David Thompson got involved at this point, and through a series of interviews with local TV stations and the Associated Press, X-Box LIVE’s Director of Policy and Enforcement Stephen Toulouse stepped in and solved the issue. He reasons that, without context, the words Fort Gay, WV could be misconstrued as an insult. Mr. Toulouse promised to get in touch with Mr. Moore and remedy the situation. He said that keeping a lid on improper conduct on LIVE is a challenge, but he will work to set this particular incident right.

What do you guys think of this latest slip up? Microsoft is no stranger to backlash from heavy-handed maneuvers on LIVE, so this is just one more unfortunate incident. Obviously they were wrong in this instance, but is it better to be safe than sorry?

Source:CSB News

Today’s WTF: Gun Loco Trailer

Square Enix has announced a new X-Box 360 exclusive today called Gun Loco, and the trailer is perhaps one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen. The gameplay looks normal enough, all run and gun action with sliding, weaving and plenty of chest-high objects, but the art style is very, very odd. If you’re old enough to remember Virtua Fighter, you may find the characters in the video to have a similar look with their angular features and blocky body shapes. No word on whether this is a retail title or a LIVE Arcade release, but based on the rough look of the game, I’d guess the latter. Give the trailer a watch:

This is all the info I’ve seen about Gun Loco so far, other than the little tidbit that the character designs were done by respected toy maker Kenny Wong. The game will have both single and multiplayer components when it is released. What do you guys think of the trailer. Did you find it as weird as I did?

Update: It looks like this game is going to a be a full disc-based product after all. Hopefully the art gets a few more passes for polish before the release date.

Firefight Returns for Halo Reach

While last year’s Halo 3: ODST divided a lot of people with its price point and the short length of the campaign, I think that we can mostly agree that Firefight, the four-person co-op survival mode, was pretty freaking awesome. Players would band together against ever increasing waves of Covenant troops, competing for points but using teamwork to stay alive. Since Firefight was so well received, fans have been hoping and wondering if Firefight was going to make a reappearance in Halo: Reach, Bungie’s final (?) foray into the Halo-verse. Well, wonder no more, Spartans! Firefight is back and better than ever. Check out the trailer:

Just watching that trailer makes me salivate a little bit, because the thought of Firefight with Reach’s refined mechanics is a delicious one indeed. Better yet, the mode will feature matchmaking this time around, which was a point of contention when it was excluded from ODST. What do you guys think? Who here got even more excited for Reach, and who’s had their opinions changed?

GamerSushi Game Night Part Two: Halo for Haiti

There’s been a huge outpouring of support for Haiti from all over the world, but the Caribbean nation is still a disaster zone and more help is needed. For those of us who can’t contribute directly, Bungie Studios, makers of the hugely successful Halo series, is holding a charity where they will donate $100 per every thousand players on Wednesday January 20 and Thursday January 21.

Bungie is hoping to raise over $77,000 dollars, and we here at GamerSushi think that playing some Halo is a great way to assist in this noble cause. On Thursday January 21, we’re having another Halo 3 game night to benefit the humanitarian efforts in Haiti. It’s simple: all you have to do is log onto X-Box LIVE bearing a specific emblem (directions contained within this link) and your contribution will be counted.

Same deal as last time, Eddy (Pwnocchio) and myself (Lubeius) will be sending out invites at 7:30 pm CST (check your time zone here) so leave your Gamertag in the comments below. News about PC and PS3 Game Nights forthcoming, so don’t think we’ve forgotten about you!

Review: Left 4 Dead 2

Many people joke about something called “Valve Time”, an imperceptible chronological measurement visible only to the revered developers themselves. Games of all sorts, even episodic content, seem to take forever to be released, but they are always of the highest quality. The original Left 4 Dead was also subject to the whims of Valve’s crazed machinations; it suffered delay after delay before finally being released to a heap of praise. Now, after only a year, the beloved zombie-killing co-op extravaganza has gotten a sequel. With such a short turn-around time between the original, is a year enough time for Valve to work their magic?
Continue reading Review: Left 4 Dead 2

Valve Says Unkind Things About PS3, Internet Explodes

Guess Valve didn’t get around to checking out the report that states the PS3 is experiencing a surge in popularity because Left 4 Dead 2 Lead Writer Chet Faliszek, in a recent interview with CVG has come out publicly to state that Valve views the 360’s online capabilities as “head-and-shoulders” over the PS3’s. In the same sentence, he also puts Microsoft’s console on equal footing with the PC, thus pissing off the Valve’ most fervent supporters at the same time.

Valve doesn’t really strike me as the muck-raking kind, but this statement has set off all kinds negative backlash from not only the Sony Defence Force, but also from Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford. Mr. Pitchford has in the past stated that he views the Steam platform as a less-than-ideal way for small developers to get their games onto the market, and now he’s got something to say about Valve’s posturing towards the PS3.

In a recent interview with Official Playstation Magazine, Randy equated Valve’s attitude to be comparable with that of fanboys, implying that they’ve become “X-bots”. Randy also thinks that the PS3 version of the Orange Box being handled by another company, and Valve viewing it as the “step-child” just speaks of “underlying sleaziness.”

The catapults have been loaded and fired by Gearbox, so it just remains to be seen if someone from inside Valve has anything to say about this. Frankly, I think that Valve’s comments are a bit out of line, but the venerable company clearly has some issues with Sony’s black monolith. This little game of back-and-forth could go on for a while, and it’s pretty ironic considering that Borderlands topped the Steam sales charts for a while.

What do you guys think, though? Is Valve just trolling, and is Gearbox just trying to catch them riding dirty? Can’t the developers just play along nicely?

Source: Kotaku

Abandoning Ship: Choosing a Different Console for Sequels?

assassinscreed2If I were in charge of the PlayStation division of Sony, I’d be feeling pretty good about myself right now. According to Gamasutra, more and more consumers seem to be buying up the hotly anticipated sequels to Assassin’s Creed and Modern Warfare on the PS3 as opposed to the X-Box 360.

Gamasutra’s article focuses on something called “franchise lineage”, which for us laymen is “gamer intent to purchase sequels to successful games”. The direction of the lineage seems to be changing for Assassin’s Creed 2, which shows the biggest shift. According to GamePlan Insights, the company that ran the research, fifteen percent of those who own the X-Box version plan to buy it on PS3 while only seven percent of PS3 Assassin’s Creed owners are purchasing Assassin’s Creed II on the X-Box.

While Assassin’s Creed II seems to be in the forefront of this movement, the report also indicated that Modern Warfare 2 shows a varying trend as well. The big question is this, though: why is the X-Box 360 losing sequel sales to its competitor?
Continue reading Abandoning Ship: Choosing a Different Console for Sequels?