Thursday, December 23, 2010
Back to the Future: Episode 1 - It’s About Time
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Genre: Point-and-Click Adventure
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
Platforms: PC, iPad and PlayStation 3 (TBD)
In my last post, I said would be posting a review of the first episode in the five episode series of Back to the Future by Telltale Games. I posted this thinking that games almost always are released on the Tuesday of the week. Half-way through the day, I realized that Back to the Future wouldn’t be released until Wednesday, December 22 (the next day). So that afternoon, I went and saw Tron: Legacy with my brother. I will be posting a review of the film sometime during the weekend after the Christmas festivities, but I’ll also be using that time to watch the first Tron, a film I haven’t seen in over 10 years.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
The list of nominations for this year’s Spike Video Game Awards was released today. After going through the list, it really reminds me of how much of a great year in gaming its been. While there are some obscure nominations (Danica Patrick as Herself in Blur for "Best Performance by Human Female”), generally all the nominations I agree with. So while these might not become actually winners, they are who I would choose.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
But that was so last year. The newest iteration of the annualized Call of Duty franchise, Black Ops, is already shaping up to break records set by last year’s model. GameStop’s Senior Vice President of Merchandising Bob McKenzie told Gamasutra that the game is looking to overtake where Modern Warfare 2 was last year.
“GameStop is tracking to all-time, record reservations on Call of Duty: Black Ops. We are ahead of where we were with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 last year, which previously set the industry standard.”
Treyarch, who is developing Black Ops, also announced this week that game would ship with support for stereoscopic 3D for all platforms. VG247 had a first hand experience with the 3D enabled version, which you can read about here. A 3D TV and 3D glasses are still required, but it is a nice gesture for early adopters who have already invested in 3D technology for the home.
I haven’t played a Call of Duty game since 2003 when the first one was released, so I’ll be picking up Black Ops, though I’m not sure how close it will come to actually breaking Modern Warfare 2’s record-setting sales. EA’s reboot of the Medal of Honor franchise, being released on October 12, is sure to take some of Black Ops’ potential customers, but Call of Duty: Black Ops will surely reach high sales numbers. Whether those numbers actually beat Modern Warfare 2’s in the short or long term, is a toss-up.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Developer: Crystal Dynamics
Publisher: Eidos Interactive/Square Enix
Genre: Action Puzzle Platform
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
Platforms: Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, PC (via Steam)
Though not technically part of the Tomb Raider series, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is a great example of what can happen when fresh ideas come to a seemingly dead franchise. Available only through download, Guardian of Light takes a detour from the normal experience of Tomb Raider, setting the player in an isometric perspective. High replay value combined with local or online co-operative play makes Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light one of the best Tomb Raider games in recent years.
Monday, October 4, 2010
The thing about release dates is that they can always change. Companies announce games way ahead of time to build not only hype, but community around that game. Community drives word of mouth, which builds onto the hype already created by the game and its company, without any external work. As release dates get closer and closer, hype about a game escalates. Sometimes this can work in the game’s favor, as with the evidence of the hype machine I Love Bees, the alternate reality game that helped market Halo 2. Other times hype can be so overwhelming that it is beyond capable, and the the audience is disappointed. I could name numerous MMO games where this scenario occurred. Through my own experience and being observant of those around me, I’ve learned not to get carried away regarding hype and release dates. For example, Bioshock Infinite was announced earlier this year, but isn’t slated for release until at least 2012. I am looking forward to seeing what Irrational Games' final produce will be, but my anticipating will certainly be quelled by the string of great games coming 2011.
Friday, October 1, 2010
“...we have also received feedback from friends and families of fallen soldiers who have expressed concern over the inclusion of the Taliban in the multiplayer portion of our game. This is a very important voice to the Medal of Honor team. This is a voice that has earned the right to be listened to. It is a voice that we care deeply about. Because of this, and because the heartbeat of Medal of Honor has always resided in the reverence for American and Allied soldiers, we have decided to rename the opposing team in Medal of Honor multiplayer from Taliban to Opposing Force.”
So after only a month of EA defending the decisions to include Taliban in the game’s multiplayer, saying that when kids play cops and robbers, someone has to be the cop, and someone has to be the robber, EA decidedly buckled to the pressures and renamed it to Opposing Forces. This doesn’t change anything in terms of gameplay, players will still be able to play as each side in multiplayer and the game will still look the same.
In early September, it was reported that the commanding General of the Army and Air Force Exchange Services decided to have Medal of Honor pulled from GameStops on US military bases worldwide, due to “well-documented reports of depictions of Taliban fighters engaging American troops,” in the game. It is currently unknown if this decision will remain or not, due to opposing force change being implemented.
I’m a little disappointed in EA. I was glad that they were sticking with their guns and going using the name Taliban despite who or what groups may be offended. I don’t want to call into question our freedom do whatever we want, or say whatever we ant, but it seems ironic for a game to effectively censor itself when the game’s essence is about fighting for freedom.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Ubisoft announced today they are in the process of remastering the Michel Ancel adventure game Beyond Good & Evil. The game originally was released in 2003 on Gamecube, Xbox, PlayStation 2, and PC. The remaster, titled Beyond Good & Evil HD, is tentatively scheduled for a 2011 release as a downloadable game on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade. Ubisoft said the new version will run at 1080p resolution and feature updated character models, high-res textures, and a remastered soundtrack, along with the inclusion of Trophies and Achievements.
Beyond Good & Evil was well received when it was originally released, garnering critical acclaim and awards. However, it was not a commercial success. It was released in time for the 2003 holiday season but quickly saw its price cut due to poor sales. Ubisoft did not put much marketing behind the game, and its odd premise didn’t lend itself to heavy advertising.
I’ve never played Beyond Good & Evil, but I’ve heard from many that it is one of their top games of all time, and that it stands shoulder-to-shoulder next other great games like Psychonauts, so now might be a great time to play. Gameplay is decribed as Zelda-ish during the Zelda 64 age. It currently is available on Steam for PC and playable in higher resolutions but I’ve heard controls are wonky, not customizable, and that it feels like a clumsy port.
During the Ubidays 2008 conference it was announced that work begun on Beyond Good & Evil 2. Although currently in development, there is no word on when it will be released. No news about a release date after more than 2 years of development lends itself to vaporware, but we all saw how that turned out with Duke Nukem Forever.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Let me first get a couple of updates out of the way. The NO News has shut down. So instead of an external site, I’ll be posting and updating on New Sanctuary. What you can expect is daily posts through-out the week, including new articles, editorials, and short interest pieces. You’ll see an expansion of what is currently being posted and I hope you enjoy it .
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
In my previous post, I said I wanted to try to keep updates coming out every two weeks. I can see how well that went. I’m still going to shoot for that goal, but also insert short posts in between. I realize that not every post needs to be 700-1000 words. Sometimes ideas only need to be planted and left alone to grow, rather than being groomed. With that being said, today’s post will be more of a longer one, but its something shakes my ideas on what gameplay can be.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
Mass Effect 2 Review
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: Role-Playing Game
ESRB Rating: M for Mature
Platforms: Xbox 360, PC
Mass Effect was one of the decade’s best science fiction games. It combined RPG elements found in classic Bioware games like Baldur’s Gate with an epic space opera setting that created a galaxy of its own. Mass Effect 2 takes all the best parts of the first game and improves on the rest, taking the criticism and feedback and turning into a game that feels right and personal.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
I created a list a while back of great games I had missed that I wanted to catch up and play. Some of these included games I talked about last time (Mass Effect 1 & 2, Fallout 3) but some were critically acclaimed games. The rest included Batman: Arkham Asylum, Bioshock 2, and Splinter Cell: Conviction. I also have not played Assassin’s Creed 1 or 2, but I haven’t felt inclined to play an open world collect-stuff game.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Justin D. May, the suspect who allegedly stole over $6 million worth of code to Atomic Games' "Breach" at PAX East, is now scheduled to appear before a judge at the Boston Municipal Courton on May 19. According to the Suffolk County District Attorney Press Secretary Jake Wark, May was originally to appear before a court on March 30.
May is accused of stealing code from Atomic Games' upcoming first-person-shooter game, Breach, valued at over $6 million. He is charged with with larceny over $250 and "trade secret, buy/sell/receive stolen." If found guilty, the sentence for such crimes is a maximum of five years for each of the the two theft charges and fines. When asked if May would face any additional charges for skipping bail, press secretary Wark said, "No, no additional charges at this point. He actually contacted the court upon learning of the default warrant and made arrangements to postpone the court date. Given that he and his whereabouts are known to authorities, that he has no criminal record, and that he affirmatively contacted the court, his request was granted. At the end of the day here, we aren't exactly dealing with John Dillinger, you know?"
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Last week Nick Earl, general manager of EA-owned Dead Space studio Visceral Games, revealed a new strategy that may involve selling "premium downloadable content" before a packaged game's release. According to analyst Michael Pachter, "The PDLC would be sold for $10 or $15 through Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, and would essentially be a very long game demo, along the lines of 2009’s Battlefield 1943." Essentially what this does is "limit the risk of completing and marketing the full packaged version, and serves as a low-cost marketing tool," (His words, not mine). Insert slippery slope here. This worries me a gamer because of the implications this could mean. According to David Jaffe, creator of the God of War series, gamers would rather have bite-sized portions they can play for 3-4 hours at a time and see the fruits of their efforts, rather than sit down for a 20, 30, or 40 hour experience (paraphrased). The problem with this line of thinking is that it allows game developers and publishers to cut back on production and instead of giving more to the gamer, the gamer gives more to them. DLC in my opinion is already a bane on the video game industry, as it justifies the developers to hold back or cut parts of a game that were intended to be included in the final packaging, and instead deal them out arbitrarily to garner more money out of the consumer. With this new strategy that EA-company Visceral Games has in mind, the free demos that pushed titles such as Bioshock, Portal, and the recent release of Just Cause 2 (which hit 2 million downloads) could potentially hurt the company and gamers alike. Instead of building word-of-mouth about your game, the companies will push away consumers and box sales will suffer because of it.
Friday, March 12, 2010
In the end, I think everyone came out a winner. The Hurt Locker went home with the trophy and they definitely deserved it. The film really used the setting of war to tell a story of addiction and self-conflict. Many people may claim that it only won because of its political agenda, but they would be wrong and I would even question if they actually saw the film. The war is merely a background in the story and at no point can I remember the film showing why one way of thinking is better than another. Avatar's nomination was understandable for the pushing of technology that the film presented. It really took a grandeur approach to melding computer technology and live action film. Its story was not the strongest point, but it didn't need to be. The story simply needs to move the direction and actions of the characters along. I feel that too many people went into Avatar expecting a new and original story. That wasn't the point of the film, the point was to tell a story in a new kind of presentation, and I think that presentation worked.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
What sets this blog apart from the other 50 billion blogs on the internet? Well I would say that a major theme in my life for at least the past 10 years has been the idea of 'escapism'. I'm not really sure if thats the correct term or if thats a term at all, but thats what I call it. Basically escapism proposes the idea that life is boring. Everyday we wake up, go to work/school, and come home. We spend the weekends either catching up, or doing something fun. We take vacations to get away from it all, but how many of you reading this can tell me the last time you had an adventure?
Well thats pretty much what you will find here. Things relating to films, books, television, radio, video games, technology. All of these are way to escape from the mundane and boring in life and find the new and fastastic. The name New Sanctuary comes from the meaning of the word. Safe place, haven, place to escape to.
This blog will be updated about every 2-3 days, maybe longer depending if there is nothing to write about. Any comments, questions, or ideas feel free to submit them and tell me what you think!