Monday, July 30, 2007

Metal Gear Online

Introducing a new chapter in the Metal Gear saga, a completely stand alone online team oriented multiplayer game.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Why DirectX 10 Is Slow to Start

Unlike every previous update in the DirectX serious DirectX 10 has completely dumped all backwards compatibility in favor of a fresh start. By doing so it has managed to get rid of annoying little tid bits that have built up inside it over the past few years. DX10 has been made with the next five to six years in mind which may show off some of the biggest developments in the history of real time 3D graphics.

DX10 isn't particularly easy to program for, unlike in the past older cards won't be able to run it meaning if you want to make a DX10 game you will have to write most of the code over again for DirectX 9 (DX9). DX9 has backwards compatibility with 8 and 7, a DX 9 game can run on a DirectX 8 card, but a DX10 game cannot run on a DX9 card unless it has been written in DX9 as well as DX10 (giving the option to switch between them).

It may also be hard to move DX9 legacy code to DX10 since DX10 has abandoned the fixed function pipeline, an inherent bottleneck that has plagued games since shaders (particularly HSLSL) gained traction with developers. Now with DX10 everything runs through shaders, basically all that 'unified shader architecture' is a fancy way of saying 'were throwing out the fixed function pipeline, do everything in shaders'.

OpenGL itself will be undergoing revisions soon to take advantage of the latest hardware and unless some clever folks can find a way to do so without fundamentally changing OpenGL (that is, do a much, much better job than Microsoft) odds are the latest OpenGL is going to also suffer from the same slow uptake.

Some may argue this leap is unnecessary, however moving over to such an architecture will eliminate many bottlenecks, GPUs can do virtually anything with shaders, things like advanced physics can be simulated using shaders without the need for a costly PPU.

These sacrifices Microsoft has made is to future proof DX10, DX9.0c started pushing this trend, perhaps in an effort to give developers some leg room so they can adopt the next generation of graphics programming, and now with DX10 it is in full force. In reality DX10 is a major corner stone in its development, it isn't an iterative improvement but a huge jump.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Call of Duty DS

No joke, the Nintendo DS will be getting some Call of Duty loving. It will, just like Call of Duty 4 be set in the modern world and will be an FPS.

The production values seem high, this game is one to look out for. Perhaps there will finally be another decent FPS title to play besides Metroid Prime Hunters.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Uwe Boll Beats Up Four of His Critics

He may be a terrible scamming movie director but he seriously wasn't joking when he challenged his critics to boxing matches, one after another he won. Lowtax (founder of Something Awful) in particular played the part of the nerdy kid who gets beat up by the big bully pretty well.

Richard Kyanka (Lowtax of Something Awful) vs. Uwe (Winner: Uwe)

I'm sorry Lowtax but running around like that won't win you any cheers here, you have to actually punch the other guy and by punch you have to actually hurt him. Acting like a nerdy little kid won't win you the audiences appreciation here.

Jeff Sneider (of 'Aint it Cool') vs. Uwe (Winner: Uwe)

Turning your back on your opponent to avoid getting punched in the face? There's a better way, face your opponent and punch him. Oh, by the way, At least have the dignity of getting the shit beat out of you instead of just giving up like that.

You bowed out because you thought it was a PR stunt instead of 'getting punched in the head'. I've got news for you: The PR stunt involved you 'getting punched in the head', if you at least returned the favour...

Nelson Chance Minister (17 year old blogger) vs. Uwe (Winner: Uwe)

You're only 17 but by and far you put up the best fight and ended it well too, even if you did lose you get my thumbs up for taking it with grace. Faced the enemy, got beat up, but you can still hold your head up high.

Chris Alexander of Rue Morgue radio vs. Uwe (winner: Uwe)

[See second half of Richard Kyanka (Lowtax of Something Awful) vs. Uwe]

You lost, and your little trick where you pretended to spew out blood was pathetic to say the least. "It was my Jedi mind trick to try and disorient him", given you lost it worked perfectly. Seriously dude, did faking internal bleeding get you out of getting bullied back at school?

Uwe Boll might have beat up his critics but that doesn't change the fact he's a terrible scamming movie director. I give him some respect for going through with the fight, not joking and being 100% serious about it. It's a shame that only one person, a 17 year old blogger actually put up a fight against Uwe.

360 Games Montage

Sony might be getting back on its feet but it's hardly over for the Xbox 360. 2007 is going to be a very big year indeed, from Halo 3 to Eternel Sonata the Xbox 360 has some quality titles coming up.


Gran Turismo 5 Disappointment

Now without a doubt Gran Turismo 5 is shaping up to becoming the best looking racing game on any platform. Unfortunately it is suffering from something that has been with games for as long as flora has. Of all 'next gen' titles you would think Gran Turismo 5 would have shook off this decade old convention.

While the trees are barely noticable when driving they stick out like a sore thumb during the replays. They should either be taken out completely or made to look more like trees instead of two flat surfaces crossed onto each other.

Far Cry 2 is Coming, First Video Tech Demo Released

Far Cry 2 is coming though it is not Crysis and it is not being developed by CryTek, Far Cry 2 is being developed and published by Ubisoft. The tech demo showcases some very interesting vertex shaders being used for real-time deformations, materials will deform realistically from impacts, also they are used to build dirt on different materials. They are also going to be used for lighting.

Visit Far Cry 2's website

Friday, July 20, 2007

Like Playing a Pixar Movie

The latest 'Ratchet and Clank' trailer shows the game is departing from guns and moving back to platforming with a distinct change of feel from serious/cartoon to just plain fun. It is every bit the Pixar adventure as it is a great game, from witty dialogue to colourful art style this game has it all.

There is also a nice touch of sentiment, James Westbrook who featured in Extreme Makeover is a boy who was paralyzed in a car crash. He will feature as a playable character in 'Tools of Destruction'.

Embedded/Downloadable HD

For those unsure the trailer is 100% real-time in-engine footage.


In 'Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction' Ratchet goes back to discover the roots of his species (Lombaxes) as he fights Tachyon the emperor of the Cragmites that had previously fought and lost against the Lombaxes in an ancient war.

Graphically the game speaks for itself, it looks like a Pixar movie tip to tip, from fluid animations to colourful high resolution graphics it could hold its own.


The Valve Conspiracy

It has been proven without a doubt that Valve is involved in some global videogame conspiracy to not develop games for Linux, while there are many, many developers who don't ever make games for Linux it is apparent that Valve deserves to get the criticism for not porting its games to Linux.

So off went the rioters, running their pirated Vista computers demanding Linux support. 'We want teh linux0rz!' they screamed, anti-establishment all the way, the true revolutionaries of the software world. They wanted an end to the global oppression of Linux by the game developers of the world starting with Valve who as everyone knows is spearheading this plan to end Linux support for games.

Seriously, short of re-writing their engines for OpenGL and Linux and getting and hiring an extra ten people to help with the porting and new games Valve is always working on this isn't going to happen.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Sour Grapes - Silicon Knights May Ruin Itself and Too Human Over Childish Grudge

There's no doubt that Silicon Knights head blames Epic games for the PR failure of the second playable showing of 'Too Human' however whats sad is that it has turned from a personal dislike to a full blown lawsuit that may potentially ruin Silicon Knights and 'Too Human'.

Their lawsuit is unwarranted on many levels, the most basic of which is common sense, I wouldn't expect any programmer to get away with bad coding by blaming it on someone else, 'it isn't someone else's fault the software is no good, it's your fault'. Blaming Epic, an established and respected developer, for Silicon Knights poor second gameplay showing of its title is a serious mistake. Not only can it have a massive backlash from the community in general but the lawsuit itself won't be winnable given Epic is bigger and has a lot more at stake here.

The lawsuit is no more than bitter rivalry, it seems that Dennis Dyack thinks the fanbase will side with him if he goes open with this in court. There are many Epic licensees right now and all are chugging along with no complaints, some of the biggest upcoming titles are using UE3 and they all look great. As it stands Silicon Knights is out numbered, just throwing in their blood doused PR into a shark infested pool.

Now the other problem, the whole 'new engine' that was 'derived' from UE3. If it works it works, Epic provides a lot of things with UE3 to licensees and in effect the so-called 'derived engine' is probably no more derived than Bioshock uses an engine 'derived' from UE3. UE3 is flexible enough and easy enough to use so that developers can add stuff to it as much as they want.

In effect, derived or not, Silicon Knights bought the license from Epic, they paid for it and they received it. 'Deriving' from it does not make them exempt to the license they paid for it. Of course all this won't sound good in court on Silicon Knights behalf, so they get choosy with the details.

An excerpt from their claims:

"The final development kit for the Xbox 360 was released in early September, 2005, such that Epic was obligated to release the functional Engine for that platform no later than March, 2006."
If this was genuinely what Epic had contracted then they do at least in part owe something back to Silicon Knights, but it's asking too much to try and get a full refund.
"The support Epic had misrepresented it would provide Silicon Knights... became increasingly inconsistent as both Silicon Knights and Epic progressed toward the target launch date for their respective games. Epic has attempted to avoid its obligations under the Agreement by representing to Silicon Knights that the support,
modifications, or enhancements to the Engine – all of which are essential to the Engine’s proper function – were “game specific” and not “engine level” adaptations, and that Epic therefore need not provide them to any of its licensees, including Silicon Knights."
Would inconsistent support have something to do with a dodgy showing of Too Human? Could this entire lawsuit be based on the differing opinions of two journalists, one who liked the game and one who disliked it.
"That representation is false, as evidenced in part by the fact that Epic later provided nearly all the Gears of War code to all of its licensees, at no extra charge, in a belated effort at damage control."
Silicon Knights is essentially saying that Epic didn't provide consistent support to its licensees so that it could concentrate more on its own games. The question here is whether or not Epic was contracted to provide this support that Silicon Knights is/was demanding. However Epic did provide the entire code behind Gears of War in the end, perhaps to help calm down Silicon Knights which had been getting more and more frustrating to Epic.

Whats interesting here is that it was reported that Silicon Knights was working on a new game engine and was leaving behind UE3 after the second poor showing of Too Human, before the release of the Gears of War source code indicating that Silicon Knights was just piggy backing Epic and using whatever of Epics code it could to create its own game engine. Epic might have started to find it frustrating that one of its licensees was using its code to do no more than what any other of its licensees might (i.e. alter code) but claiming it to be a whole new game engine hence the shaky relations with Silicon Knights.

Unfortunately that wasn't good enough for Silicon Knights, and they blatantly lie:
"Epic’s actions and the consequent increasing delay and cost of development of Silicon Knights’ own game caused by the unworkable Engine forced Silicon Knights in May of 2006 to embark on the time and resource intensive task of writing its own game engine, the very task it had hoped to avoid be entering the Agreement with Epic."
They weren't writing their own game engine, they were essentially re-writing an early version of UE3, fixing up loose ends and bugs that they couldn't be bothered waiting on Epic to finish. It's either that or were to believe Silicon Knights made an engine comparable by look and feel to UE3 in under a year.

It gets interesting, it seems that Silicon Knights might have not been able to finish Too Human because of Epics alleged lack of consistent support:
"Silicon Knights was forced to decide whether to continue waiting for Epic to provide it with a commercially functional version of the Engine. Under the Agreement, Silicon Knights found itself in the position of being ostensibly “bound” to use Epic’s non-functional product, even though doing so would result in the breach of its obligations to its publishing partners. Rather than let that happen, in May of 2006, with the Engine two months overdue and under the looming risk of funding for Too Human drying up if no workable engine could be found, Silicon Knights had no choice but to abandon the Engine and begin creating its own game engine (“the Silicon Knights Engine”). By that time, Epic had shown neither the ability nor the intent to fulfill its obligations under the Agreement."
IN a way you can sympathise, perhaps the developers of other big UE3 based games like Bioshock had more funding. Unfortunately Silicon Knights decides to shit all over their viable and perhaps even justifiable claims by saying that "Progress on the Silicon Knights’ Engine continues to date and, at this time, the Silicon Knights Engine is completely independent of Epic’s Engine and certainly derives no benefit from the unworkable source code provided by Epic.". I'm sorry but it's going to be hard to prove that the Silicon Knights engine is not deriving 'any benefit' from UE3. To me it screams of 'you just copied and pasted the code, changed a few minor details and compiled it again!'.

The whole Epic vs. Silicon Knights thing seems to be based on one poor showing of the game, if Epic was as bad a licensee as they claim then other developers might start siding with Silicon Knights, however no one else wants to touch it. This may lead Epic to stop providing, or at least charge extra, for Source code of its engine code and instead provide DLLs and appropriate documentation otherwise to offset the potential for similar lawsuits in the future.

Win or lose this is just sour grapes, it's obvious there is a lot of love going into Too Human as Dennis Dyack said 'some people joined Silicon Knights ten years ago to make this game' (very sic) and this whole lawsuit thing may just ruin it for everyone, except maybe the Sony fanboys who'll love to see Too Human and UT3 both be released to very poor receptions.

Bully Heading to Xbox 360 and Wii

Rockstar is porting its infamous 'Bully Simulator' to the Xbox 360 and somewhat surprisingly to the Wii. The game is still a port however it will have new content and will be renamed Bully: Scholarship Edition.

Both the Wii and Xbox 360 versions will retain the wit and deep gameplay of the previously released PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system title and will boast additional new content. Bully: Scholarship Edition takes place in the fictional New England boarding school of Bullworth Academy, and tells the story of 15-year-old Jimmy Hopkins as he experiences the highs and lows of adjusting to a new school. Capturing the hilarity and awkwardness of adolescence perfectly, Bully: Scholarship Edition pulls the player into its cinematic and engrossing world. Universally acclaimed upon first release, Bully: Scholarship Edition is a genre-crossing action game with a warmth and pathos that is unrivaled.

The original Bully was Playstation 2 exclusive and was well recieved by critics. There is the potential downside to the 360 having to deal with a last generation game though the Wii may not suffer as much from this predicament as many of its titles are last generation ports.

Rockstar seems to be continuing its love affair with the Wii, other titles it has already ported or is set to port are Grand Theft Auto: San Andrenas, Rockstar Presents Table Tennis and Manhunt. This is in sharp contrast to last generation where there were no Rockstar titles released on the GameCube. One can't help but wonder what sort of deal Nintendo has struck up with Rockstar to justify all the attention.

Press Release

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Mark Rein: 'Playstation 3 Only Known Console Thats Gonna Let us Create Mods'

In an interview with Gamespot Mark Rein continues his love affair with the Playstation 3, explaining that Unreal Tournament 3 is running better on the Playstation 3 than Gears of War was on the 360 last year.

Furthermore he said that one of the reasons why Epic was going Playstation 3 exclusive was because of the openness of the Playstation network' and that Unreal Tournament 'is all about mods'.

SIXAXIS controls will be used to control some vehicles which according to Mark Rein will be 'very natural' and even better than analogue controls. Other matters discussed is cross platform multiplayer and downloadable extras (which will mostly be free).

Rockstar Presents Table Tennis Heading To the Wii

It was only a matter of time no doubt, it was only a matter of time. The Wii will finally find a *real* table tennis game to call its own in the form of 'Rockstar Presents Table Tennis'.

The Wii might lose out in the graphics deparment but there certainly is gameplay potential with the WiiMote.
"Ever since we released Table Tennis, fans have been asking us to create a Wii version," said Sam Houser, Founder and Executive Producer of Rockstar Games. "By bringing Table Tennis to the Wii and utilizing the motion-sensitive Wii Remote™, a new audience can now experience a game that is beautifully designed and impossible to put down."

Full Press Release

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Super Smash Bros. Brawl/Melee Screenshots Comparison

You really don't know how much better Brawl looks until you see it first hand.

Super Smash Bros. Melee was never really a graphical powerhouse however it did manage to run at 480p at 60fps and feature some really advanced physics (for its time). With the extra grunt the Wii is pulling in the question is now if will we still be seeing 60fps with great physics? Or if that has been dumped for eye candy. Smash Bros. fans shouldn't take it lightly, 480p at 60fps plus widescreen should be a given for this title.

NOTE: Even though the comparison can be seen as unfair given the GC shots are taken off screen and some parts of the SSBB shots being pre-rendered (though not significantly better looking than in-game SSBB) the comparisons purpouse is not for competitions sake but just a generel showing of how much better SSBB looks compared to SSBM.

A Game That Really Mysteriously Did Not Show At E3

It was supposed to feature on the Playstation 3, Xbox 360, PC AND Mac, the big next-gen engine iD has been working on after Doom 3, it could have been the game of show but no one seems to have missed it. Whats surprising is this missing game is actually a mystery, John Carmack said it would be at E3, E3 came and went, no news about it.

This isn't Final Fantasy where TGS is round the corner, this isn't Price of Persia where the developers are working on another title, this isn't GTA IV or Spore where it was announced beforehand it wouldn't show, this isn't Rainbow Six where the last game in the series was only just released, this isn't God of War 3 that is being kept under very tight wraps (to the point it is supposedly 'not in development'), this is iDs big next gen debut, the one John Carmack promised to show us at E3 running on all the high profile platforms, WHERE IS IT!?

Where the hell are you!?
Ah well, Quake Con it is, don't leave us out in the cold Mr. Carmack!

Related Post: John Carmack Shows off New Game Engine - At An Apple Conference!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Killzone 2 Gameplay

The trailer did show off how good the game looked, but showed off very little bit of how good it may actually play. The first *real* gameplay video of Killzone 2 shows off some fine animations however the objective in the mission looks very boring, playing off something like 'open hatch, shoot exposed core, repeat' when a simple 'plant bomb, run back and watch the big explosion' would have been enough.

Embedded + Downloadable HD

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Crysis Developer Video Walkthrough

The latest Crysis video walkthrough shows that CryTek have not just been working on the flashy graphics but also on a lot of finer details. Animals will feature heavily as a graphical feature, complete with extremely realistic behaviour. Different types of fish in the water look and behave as they would in real life, chickens don't move and flock the same way as other birds.

Embedded + Downloadable HD:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Have Your Voice Featured in GTA IV!

Viral marketting at its best, WKTTRADIO.COM has a listed number asking people to call in and answer a few questions which will be featured in a talk back radio show. This supposed talk-back radio station doesn't seem to exist anywhere though the sites privacy policy and terms and conditions link to fueling speculation that it may very well be a way to collect content for one of the radio stations in GTA IV.

The number to ring is 212-360-2368, all you need is that and answers to the following questions:

What's wrong with your health?
What's wrong with the world?
What's wrong with America?
What's wrong with you?

Get calling.

Part Rogue Squadron, Part Lord of The Rings, Pure Awesomeness

It plays a lot like Rogue Squadron with a few tweaks, it looks like Lord of the Rings, it's a combination that seems to have worked out surprisingly well.

Unreal Tournament 3 PC Mods Will Run on The Playstation 3

During Sony's E3 conference Mark Rein confirmed that Unreal Tournament 3 on the Playstation 3 will run Unreal Tournament 3 PC mods. This effectively providing the first ever case of true cross platform compatibility between PCs and consoles.

Mark Rein put it quite clearly that "You'll also be able to share mods between the PC and PS3 platforms". He has also said that the open source platform Sony is using makes this possible. This may make it very unlikely the Xbox 360 will have such cross compatibility.

This effectively increases the value of Unreal Tournament 3 on the Playstation 3 above that of the Xbox 360, custom generated content has always been what keeps old games afloat and giving this much power to the community will ensure the longetivity of UT3 on the Playstation 3.

Unfortunately there has been no word on corss platform multiplayer gameplay yet.

UE3 PS3 Exclusivity Fails To Generate Anger From PC Owners

A few years ago, when screenshots of Gears of War were few and prized above all else, and Unreal Tournament 3 was called Unreal Tournament 2007 there was a rumour that the Playstation 3 would launch with Unreal Tournament 2007. That meant that Unreal tournament 2007 would launch on the Playstation 3 well before the PC and that ruffled quite a few feathers.

Now, Sony has nabbed exclusivity to Unreal Tournament 3 for Summer 2007, that is, Unreal Tournament will launch on the Playstation 3 first as a timed exclusive. Cliffy B keeps making the point in the following interview. Most obvious is at 3:00 and I quote 'this holiday season Unreal Tournament 3 will be on the Playstation exclusive'.

Yes, between all the Gears of War PC talk Cliffy repeats severel times that Unreal Tournament 3 will be a Playstation 3 exclusive for the summer of 2007. This may be a sign of things to come, rampant piracy on the PC and lots of fighting over exclusivity by the two big wigs (Microsoft and Sony) means that we may start seeing more PC titles going to console first. If they can get one of the biggest titles on the market to be console exclusive for any period of time then no franchise is safe.

Friday, July 13, 2007


Many call the Playstation 3 the successor of the Playstation 2, though in reality it is the successor of the PSX, a special version of the Playstation 2 with a DVD burner, hard drive and cross XMB-like menu. It was marketted by Sony Corporation rather than SCE as it was more of a media center than a games console.

The PSX had a custom Playstation 2 controller that plugged in via USB through the back of the unit, the console stood on legs to allow the wires to run under it and plug into the USB port.

Even today it is updated, the PSX had PSP connectivity long before the Playstation 3, Sony has no plans on stopping support for it as they are now working on Playstation 3/PSX connectivity.

There are 160 and 250 gigabyte versions of the console, it was never sold outside of Japan.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Gran Turismo No Longer a Tech Demo

The doubters said that GT: HD was just a tech demo, only one car per track implying multiple cars will lower the graphical quality of Granturismo on the Playstation 3. Has this been proven to be true?

GT Prologue will feature full online multiplayer, multiple cars on screen at the same time and render at 1080p, it is more of a game than a tech demo and even the biggest doubters will have to agree to that.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Killzone 2 - Target Render vs. Real Time

While the real time Killzone 2 trailer was certainly above all expectations it didn't quite manage to live up to the target in all cases, though in a few it did manage to surpass even the pre-rendered trailer.

The major differences between the two is perhaps caused by the lack of RAM in the Playstation 3. The trailer was made before the Playstation 3 spec's were announced, most people thought it would be at least 1024mb instead of 512mb. This will undoubtedly hurt the Playstation 3 for it's entire lifetime, it is clear the real time trailer could have used better textures, some textures are very blurry.

While the target-render was perhaps over all more impressive the pre-rendered is better in a few ways, the lighting is certainly brighter and provides far more impact, the environments look far more destructable and the animations if anything or on the same level as the target render.

The fire effects are definitely lesser in quality than in the pre-rendered trailer, though if the Playstation 3 has the shader power it could only be a minor technicality for the time being.

Over all if the Playstation just had a bit more than 512mb of ram the trailer might have looked way too much like the target render, to the point people would be convinced it was also pre-rendered.

Killzone E3 (2007)

Well, not quite as impressive as the pre-rendered one, but damn well it's enough to shut the gobs of the doubters!

Given a 20 million dollar budget and 120 people on staff it was but certain that while the pre-rendered trailer was a bit too high the Playstation 3 could pull off a downgraded version of it.

Mass Effect, The Halo Killer

With its latest showing at E3 it looks like Mass Effect has just left Halo 3 in the dust. Halo looks more and more like the guilty pleasure of sci-fi games wherein Mass Effect seems to be showing off far more, from a potential love interest to the ideas of ethnic cleansing. Mass Effect seems to be turning more and more into that brilliant game not enough people know about, if Halo 3 was the Star Wars Prequels then Mass Effect would be Serenity.

No question about it, the trailer has Hollywood pedegree and odds are the game will blow away all expectations. Perhaps this was a long time coming, a lot of what is shown in the trailer is standard movie fare, stuff that couldn't be translated over to games due to the extremely limited dialogue systems employed. Though Mass Effect seems to have changed all that, and even thrown in more. I think it is the first game in history to have a kiss/(sex?) scene in the name of character development/story progression rather than for porns sake or to simulate humans.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Destroy All Humans: Path of the Furon

The game that poked fun at the 50's got a sequel that poked fun at the 60's now has a sequel poking fun at what else but the 70's. Destroy all Humans will capitalize on 70's stereotypes and an overly zealous alien to deliver on the humor and will be a completely open ended game.

The games protagonist, Krypto (or clone 137) will be retaining most of his abilities from previous games (body snatching, mind reading etc) but will also have new skills. One of the more intersting new moves Krypto will be pulling off is the Temporal Fist technique that will allow him to stop time.

Weapons are all fully upgradable and imaginative as always (Venus Fly Trap anyone?), the game will also support downloadable content. It will be released on the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.

Monday, July 9, 2007

People Who Got Scared Playing Doom 3

When Doom 3 was just released the web was flooded with videos of people getting scared playing it. It got so bad that Kevin Rose and Alex did a parody of one of the videos on Tech TV.

Turok Melee

With this generation of gaming were seeing more and more movie like moments made possible through procedural animations. Games like 'Assassins Creed' and Lucas Arts upcoming Indiana Jones game show case this very well, however neither have dared to go nearly as violent as Turok has. While in Assassins Creed you can cut a dastardly crusader you won't see much blood in Turok if you stab the dinosaur multiple times in the head the blood will flow. Now this is a game thats taking melee combat to the next level.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Call of Duty 4 E3 Trailer

Thats right, a full blown trailer, this is not another one of those brief gameplay demonstrations.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Hitman Reborn DS

It's not what you think...

Sorry for getting you overly excited.

DS Top Seller in Australia

After Nintendo declared the Wii a winner for reaching 100,000 units sold fastest and being rebuttled by Sony saying that the Playstation 3 has been outselling the Wii since its launch (both proven to be true) it seems that over all Nintendo can say it is the leader in terms of raw sales with the DS, selling well over 29,000 units more than the next biggest seller (the Playstation 2) in between the months of April and June.

This is in sharp contrast to the DS launch figures which placed it well below the PSP and Playstation 3. It would seem that even the Wii may make this dramatic come back if the PSP and DS comparison will apply in home consoles. Despite launching a few months before the Playstation 3 the Wii did outsell the Playstation 3 for the first time last week and this trend my continue.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

26 Interesting Facts About Nintendo

1) Did you know that the word 'Nintendo' is composed of 3 Japanese Kanji characters 'nin'-'ten'-'do', and can mean "Heaven blesses hard work", but it can also mean the following: "Leave luck to heaven", "we do all that we can, as best we can, and await the results" or "Work hard but in the end it´s in the hands of the heaven".

Other suggestions are "Deep in the mind we have to do whatever we have to do" and some people believe that it stands for: "The house where you leave everything to the heaven/fortune".

2) Nintendo started back in 1890 with playing cards

3) In the US a burglar had broken into severel houses stealing various electronic equipment, he was finally nabbed one day when he was caught red handed - playing Street Fighter. He said he was getting a new top score, just couldn't stop. Talk about addictive!

4) During the production of Super Mario Bros. 3 there were plans to have a Cenatur Mario.

5) After the release of the SNES Nintendo also released a SNES arcade with the games Super Tennis, F-Zero and Super Mario World.

6) In Super Mario RPG Bowser and Mario joined forces for the first time.

7) Pocket Monsters has outsold Final Fantasy 7 two to one.

8) Star Fox was originally just a tech demo for the SuperFX chip, but went on to become a full blown game.

9) Metroid doesn't do well in Japan, it only lives on because of its popularity overseas. This is also probably why Nintendo outsourced the development of Metroid to a US based studio.

10) Despite plenty of proof and showing that R.O.B was a failed concept Minoru Arakawa (ex-NOA president) pressed forward with its release, and yes, it bombed. Since then R.O.B has made plenty of appearances, most recently on Mario Kart DS.

11) The SNES was the target of some criminals, for some time Nintendo only shipped the consoles late at night to avoid them being stolen. Too bad they weren't as careful with the Black Nintendo DS.

12) There has been an instance in which Burglars broke into an electronics store and only took the Nintendo 64's leaving the Playstation's on shelves.

13) "Who knows how Mario will look in the future. Maybe he'll wear metallic clothes!" -Shigeru Miyamoto (1991).

14) Super Mario 64 was originally planned to be a SNES game using an enhanced SuperFX chip. This fell through due to the technological limitations and the game was moved on to the Nintendo 64.

15) Mario used to be a carpenter called 'Jump Man', he featured in a game where he fought a Gorilla called 'Donkey Kong'. He is now known as Mario and is an Italian plumber.

16) Mario is named after Mario Segali a landlord in New York. What happened was that the NOA President of the time, Minoru Arakawa, saw 'Jump Man' he likened him to his landlord, Mario Segali.

17) Nintendo ex-president (and nutcase) Hiroshi Yamauchi has been compared to the Mother Brain from Metroid and his office has been likened to the 'realm of the Mother Brain'.

18) Zelda: Ocarina of Time outsold 'A Bug's Life'.

19) Cid has been featured in every Final Fantasy title on the SNES (at least) and has been likened to the Yoda of the Final Fantasy series by producer Hironobu Sakaguchi.

20) Final Fantasy on the Nintendo 64.

'nuff said really.

21) After losing a lawsuit to prevent the Game Genies distribution Nintendo got a little sore and started making their games to crash if they were using Game Genie. This is why there are severel versions of Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy 3/4.

22) The street outside of the office of Nintendo's distributor in Sweden was renamed "Marios gata".

23) Fujiko Takimoto who did the voice acting for Link as child is a woman, that explains Link's extremely light voice.

24) Some 'concerned parents' were planning on suing Nintendo because their kids had sustained blisters from many a hour of Nintendo goodness.

25) Miyamoto says that the inspiration behind 'Legend of Zelda' was the childrens innate desire of exploration and the movie 'Legend', directed by Ridley Scott and starring Tom Cruise.

26) The Japanese version of Mario Kart 64 featured many signs advertising spinoffs of real world brands with Super Mario twists, the only one that made it to the US was 'Koopa Air' (i.e. 'Nike Air').

VIA Nintendo Land

PS3 outselling Wii and 360 in Australia

Looks like the $1000 AUD ($800 US) price tag isn't enough to deter Australians. After Nintendo proclaimed the Wii reached 100,000 sales fastest of any console in Australias history Sony has humbly pointed out that the PS3 has been outselling the Wii (save for last week) since its launch. Oh, and it's also being marketted as a Blu-Ray player, not a games console at Harvey Norman.

Launching March 23, 2007 the Playstation 3 has sold 50,000 compared to the Wii launching December 2006 sold 100,000. However last week the Wii did outsell the Wii perhaps indicating the hype behind the Playstation 3 was slowly dying out.

From Sony Australias managnig director Michael Ephraim's mouth

"Since March 23, PS3 has been the number one-selling next-gen console in
Australia, and this is GfK figures. We've now sold 50,000 -- and we're very
excited about the fact that it's being sold in retailers that are gaming
retailers as a gaming device and other things, but as you'll notice it's now
being sold in Harvey Norman consumer electronic stores as a Blu-ray player."

GFK is the Australian equivalent of the NPR*

VIA c|net Australia

Lair - Ground, Sea and Crazy Looking Critters

Shaping up to be the first *real* killer app for the Playstation 3, no need to say how great this game looks.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Have Fun While Learning

The problem with most games that are 'educational' is that they are actually just boring education related questions with a game-like twist. The game is built on top of the education rather than vice versa. However a few games manage to get passed this problem by building the game and using the education as an element of the game.

Back when I used to be a little kid my school had a sharp contrast of Windows 95 in one room and Windows 3.1 in the other room. Most would expect us kids would play on the Windows 95 computers, though we never did, the reason being the Windows 95 computers never had any fun games. They had 'educational' games which involved cleverly disguised multiple choice questions.

On the Windows 3.1 PCs the games were many and varied however a few inevitably took to our liking more than the others, games like Commander Keen and DOOM, though in between all that was one game called 'Word Rescue'. So just what the hell was (is) Word Rescue?

It's a game that teaches reading words. Gasp? Shock? Horror? Yeah. I used to be terrible at reading but that game kind of helped, kind of really helped. The objective was to run around different levels finding pictures and matching them up to their corresponding words, make a mistake and a bad guy pops up. It was part platforming, part adventure and part learning.

I think what made it really entertaining was the fact the game came first and the education was a part of the game, it wasn't the opposite, the game was not a part of the education. You had an equal chance of falling into a hole as you did getting hit by a bad guy (because you made a mistake with the words match up). It was fun.

Another incredibly entertaining game that anyone can play (not just kids who can't read very well) is 'The Incredible Machine', or its newer clone 'Crazy Machines'. Both these games give you a scenario involving physical and mechanical parts and charge you with fixing them.

I suppose YouTube says it best:

From what I understand Atari is actually working on a modern version of this game *fingers crossed*.

In the end games like Sim City, Civilization, The Sims or even Grand Theft Auto spin around the basic idea of putting the game first and making everything a part of the game. Would Sim City be very entertaining if you were asked to solve some math question everytime you wanted to build something? Sadly this is the case for many 'educational games', and it may be for a long time to come.

Kids will learn more from Super Mario than they will from some generic Multiple choice question test starring Freddy the Frog.

Heaps of New Metroid Prime 3 Screenshots

Many, many screenshots, after the announcement that Metroid Prime 3 will be delayed it loooks like someone at Nintendo HQ through extreme feelings of guilt green lighted this massive down pouring of screenshot goodness. Is that Samus shooting phazon!? Epic to say the least!