Friday, July 27, 2007

360 / PC / PS3: Mirror's Edge

Its rare when a print magazine draws your attention to something you've never heard of in this day and age. I just picked up my monthly copy of Edge and there it was on the cover. Without one single whisper from any site or forum on the web. Seems I wasn't alone either, as Kotaku and IGN also happened to find out about this via Edge. Stop press! (but follow the jump to find out more about this quite interesting-sounding game)

Coming from DICE, the guys behind the Battlefield series, and published by EA, Mirror's Edge is an FPS-action-adventure game that focuses on movement. The devs say the emphasis is not on shooting or the weapons, but on the person itself, and their movement in-game.

Setting and background follow the by-now standard seemingly utopian city environment which is also ruled by an authoritarian government regime who keeps its citizens under tight surveillance.

Players take the role of a runner; the only way in which covert communications can take place in such a city. To quote from Kotaku:

Huge levels will allow you the same kind of free-form exploration and athletic tomfoolery as a game like Tony Hawks or even Crackdown, but with much finer control. Don't think the lumbering cops of Crackdown, think Prince of Persia.

But in first-person. Instead of your character being just a floating camera, like most other FPS games, your whole body is an object in Mirror's Edge. Your legs, arms and torso are visible, allowing you to judge your leaps, handholds and shimmys. Your body will also behave accurately - if you're running at full-speed you'll be able to see your feet taking larger steps and your arms pumping, and this will affect your momentum. (source)

Release date is TBA sometime in 2008...

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360/PC/PS3: Resident Evil 5 / Biohazard 5

Check out the full trailer from the latest installment of the Resident Evil / Biohazard franchise. Looks awesome and should be winging its way to us sometime in 2009 apparently.

Nothing here? Tough shit.

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PS3: Heavenly Sword Demo Released

It what may just be the greatest release for Sony's online PSN store so far, comes the 10 minute playable demo of the upcoming God of War clone Heavenly Sword. If you have a PS3, and like me, have been dying for some decent games, head online to PSN and download it. Now.

Nothing here? Tough shit.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

WTF: Clock Suckers

Clock Suckers is a new cartoon from the makers of College University, and just so happens to be my new favorite show. Forget South Park, forget Family Guy and forget about the damned Simpsons, Clock Suckers is where it's at;

"What's up your ass Kate? You love videogames."

"I do. I'm just sick of beating you guys all the time. It's like I'm the Harlem Globetrotters and you guys are two retarded assholes."

And here is the rest of it

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TECH: Microsoft & EA Team Up To "Give Us More Ads"

In another Bill Gates' shaped devil horn likely to strike yet more discontent and depression into the hearts of gamers everywhere (DX10? Vista?), Microsoft has just announced plans to work closely to bring more in-game advertising to EA Sports' yearly updates for "hits" like Nascar, NHL, FIFA, etc. Thankfully I haven't bought or played an EA Sports game since I was 14 and didn't know better (Konami?), but this is a sure sign we are going to see more of the whole viral-advertising thing in the future. Great. More after the jump or follow the link above...

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Microsoft said on Wednesday it will pipe advertisements into a slate of popular sports video games from Electronic Arts, including its best-selling "Madden" football franchise.

The deal, which also covers EA's "NASCAR," "Tiger Woods" golf, "NHL" hockey and upcoming "Skate" skateboarding games, is a significant win for Microsoft as it tries to build an early lead over rivals such as Google in putting ads into video games.

"The real issue here is that we're making a network play. If I just had 'Madden,' while great, it would be of limited value to advertisers," said Cory Van Arsdale, chief executive of Massive, a game ad company that Microsoft bought last year for $200 million.

The deal comes as Massive faces increased competition from Google, which bought game ad service Adscape for a reported $23 million in March, and from privately held companies such as Double Fusion.

"We need to build an overall network and this is a major stepping point to have us do that," Van Arsdale said in an interview with Reuters.

Massive acts as a broker between companies that want to get their ads in front of gamers, and game publishers eager to tap new sources of revenue to offset higher development costs for flashy new titles that can cost $20 million or more to make.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. In-game advertising was worth just $50 million in 2005, but that is expected by many analysts and industry executives to balloon to $1 billion over the next few years.

The $30 billion global video game industry is also one of the fastest-growing entertainment sectors, thanks to new home and handheld gaming machines and a rush among publishers to win over nontraditional buyers like women and seniors.

The ads Massive delivers are dynamic, meaning they can be tailored by advertisers to target specific groups or areas. Unlike static ads that are a permanent part of a game, they can be altered quickly to pitch new products.

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Wii / 360: Bully: Scholarship Edition Announced

Rockstar Games is proud to announce that Bully: Scholarship Edition is coming to the Xbox 360 and Wii in time for winter this year. More after the jump.

Both the Wii and Xbox 360 versions will retain the wit and deep gameplay of the previously released PlayStation 2 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. (source)

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wii Sales Close in on Xbox 360

After only 9 months on the market, the Nintendo Wii has amassed sales of 9.27 million worldwide at the end of June 2007, compared to 11.6 million for the Xbox 360, which has been on the market now for almost 20 months. What exactly does this mean? More after the jump...

All of this means that Nintendo's strategy of pushing for the mass market -both in game design, hardware innovation and pricing, has paid off immensely. It means Nintendo is going to sweep the floor with both Sony and Microsoft in the next-gen console war.

Microsoft's Entertainment Division are struggling to break even; battling law-suits over the chronic Red Rings of Death Xbox 360 syndrome, and facing down a US$1.2 billion bill for extending the 360's warranty to 3 years. Sony have just limped to their first million Playstation 3 sales mark, and although things are on the upturn for June and July, it will be a long while yet before Sony recoups anything from the massive investment gamble that was the PS3.

Meanwhile, Nintendo have the enormously successful DS, and the rampaging success of the Wii still to unfold. With Sony realistically out of the race for the next six months, how do things look between Nintendo and Microsoft?

The latest figures exhibit a difference of 2.33 million units between the two consoles. The Nintendo Wii retails for $250, while the most inexpensive Xbox 360 configuration sells for $300. Hard drive-equipped models sell for $400 and $480. To date, PlayStation 3, which recently dropped in price to $500 in the US, has sold around 3.38 million units worldwide. Global sales of the DS handheld hardware stand at 47.27 million units. Nintendo today announced net income of 80.3 billion yen ($668 million) for the quarter ended June 30, 416 percent year-over-year increase. The firm in effect raised full-year net sales forecasts to 1.4 trillion yen from 1.14 trillion yen.


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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Xbox 360: Army of Two - Nov 15th?

Word from Electronic Arts is that Army of Two will be released worldwide on November 15th for the 360. Gameplay focuses on two-man missions, strategies and tactics. Co-op is no longer an option, it's the game.

Click here to read more about Army of Two

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PC: Hacker Recommends Opera for Safe Browsing

So this story goes like this; a hacker who designs exploit tool kits for fun (and mayhem) has graciously offered his recommendation on how to browse the web safely. Whereas I look at it like this double-edged sword; "I've spent the last six months reverse-engineering the Opera browser and now know how to really fuck any computer that uses it. So yeah, Opera rules!" Of course he could actually be telling the truth. More after the jump.

In a recent interview over at SecurityFocus one of the developers of the exploit tool kit known as MPack has talked about most of his and his colleagues eVIL ways and, in the end flat out recommenced people to use Opera Software's browser in order to stay safe.

The exact words were: "I would advise you to use the Opera browser with scripts and plug-ins disabled in order not to be caught by the MPack someday." Good advice from a 'bad' man? Or a strategy of unknown origins? Just one way to make sure.


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E3: Gamecritic's Best of E3 2007 Awards

Gamecritic has posted a roundup of the best games from all different genres from E3 2007. Heavenly Sword, Burnout Paradise, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, Little Big Planet, Halo 3, Call of Duty 4, and the big gun -Bioshock (360 / PC) taking away most of the nominations. September and August are looking like mighty fine months for gamers everywhere. Follow the jump below...

Best of Show
- Bioshock (Irrational Games/2K Games for PC, Xbox 360)
- Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Infinity Ward/Activision for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
- Fallout 3 (Bethesda Softworks for PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
- Mass Effect (Bioware/Microsoft Game Studios for Xbox 360)
- Rock Band (Harmonix/MTV Games/EAP for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

Best Original Game
- Bioshock (Irrational Games/2K Games for PC, Xbox 360)
- de Blob (Blue Tongue/THQ for Wii)
- Little Big Planet (Media Molecule/SCEE for PS3)
- Rock Band (Harmonix/MTV Games/EAP for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
- Wii Fit (Nintendo for Wii)

Best PC Game
- Call of Duty 4 (Infinity Ward/Activision)
- Crysis (Crytek/Electronic Arts)
- Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (Splash Damage/id/Activision)
- Fallout 3 (Bethesda Softworks)
- World in Conflict (Massive Entertainment/Sierra)

Best Console Game
- Bioshock (Irrational Games/2K Games for Xbox 360)
- Call of Duty 4 (Infinity Ward/Activision for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
- Mass Effect (BioWare/Microsoft Games Studio for Xbox 360)
- Rock Band (Harmonix/MTV Games/EAP for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
- Super Mario Galaxy(Nintendo for Wii)

Best Handheld Game
- Contra 4 (WayForward/Konami for Nintendo DS)
- Dead Head Fred (Vicious Cycle/D3 for PSP)
- God of War: Chains of Olympus (Ready at Dawn/SCEA for PSP)
- Silent Hill: Origins (Climax/Konami for PSP)
- The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (Nintendo for Nintendo DS)

Best Hardware
- PSP-2000 (Sony Computer Entertainment)
- Rock Band Instruments (Harmonix/MTV Games/EAP for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
- Wii Balance Board (Nintendo for Wii)
- Wii Zapper (Nintendo for Wii)

Best Action Game
- Call of Duty 4 (Infinity Ward/Activision for PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
- Crysis (Crytek/EA for PC)
- Halo 3 (Bungie/Microsoft Game Studios for Xbox 360)
- Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (Retro Studios/Nintendo for Wii)
- Unreal Tournament 3 (Epic Games/Midway for PC, PlayStation 3)

Best Action/Adventure Game
- Assassin’s Creed (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
- Bioshock (Irrational Games/2K Games for PC, Xbox 360)
- Heavenly Sword (Ninja Theory/SCEE for PlayStation 3)
- Super Mario Galaxy(Nintendo for Wii)
- Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (Naughty Dog/SCEA for PlayStation 3)

Best Fighting Game
- Naruto: Rise of a Ninja (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft for Xbox 360)
- Virtua Fighter 5 (Sega for Xbox 360)
- WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2008 (Yuke’s/THQ for Nintendo Wii)

Best Role Playing Game
- Eternal Sonata (Namco Bandai Games for Xbox 360)
- Fable 2 (Lionhead/Microsoft Game Studios for Xbox 360)
- Fallout 3 (Bethesda Softworks for PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
- Hellgate: London (Flagship Studios/EAP for PC)
- Mass Effect (BioWare/Microsoft Games Studio for Xbox 360)

Best Racing Game
- Burnout Paradise (Criterion Games/EA for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
- Need for Speed ProStreet (EA Black Box/EA for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
- Project Gotham Racing 4 (Bizarre Creations/Microsoft Game Studios for Xbox 360)
- Stuntman: Ignition (Paradigm/THQ for PS2, PS3, Xbox 360)

Best Sports Game
- Madden NFL 08 (Tiburon/EA for All Systems)
- Skate (EA Black Box/EA for PS3, Xbox 360)
- Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 (Tiburon/EA Sports for PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
- Tony Hawk's Proving Ground (Neversoft/Activision for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

Best Strategy Game
- Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution (Firaxis/2K Games for PS3, Xbox 360, Wii)
- Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts (Relic/THQ for PC)
- Halo Wars (Ensemble Studios/Microsoft Game Studios for PC, Xbox 360)
- Universe at War: Earth Assault (Petroglyph/Sega for PC, Xbox 360)
- World in Conflict (Massive Entertainment/Sierra for PC)

Best Social/Casual/Puzzle Game
- Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (Neversoft/Red Octane/ATVI for PS2, PS3, 360, Wii)
- Little Big Planet (Media Molecule/SCEE for PS3)
- Rock Band (Harmonix/MTV Games/EAP for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
- Wii Fit (Nintendo for Wii)
- Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure (Capcom for Wii)

Best Online Multiplayer Game
- Burnout Paradise (Criterion Games/EA for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
- Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (Splash Damage/Nerve/id/ATVI for PC, PS3, 360)
- Halo 3 (Bungie/Microsoft Games Studio for Xbox 360)
- Little Big Planet (Media Molecule/SCEE for PlayStation 3)
- Unreal Tournament 3 (Epic Games/Midway for PC, PlayStation 3)

Click here to find out detailed publisher / developer nominations


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