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Preview: Joystick Revolution

Joystick Revolution



Browse the archives of Entertaining U magazine's video game reviews, along with blog postings and editorial from contributing writer Norm. EU is based in Jacksonville, Florida.



Updated: 2017-09-27T15:07:00.318-07:00

 






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2007-09-13T09:25:20.838-07:00

Movie Review: King of Kong – A Fistful of Quarters As a fan of modern-day competitive video gaming, I was pretty anxious to see this movie. With it’s limited showings in cities around the country, I had feared that I would either have to wait for it to come to DVD, or just read about it and miss out on it altogether. On many gaming websites there has already been lots of hype and hoopla over the film, ranging from wild and exaggerated praises to irate gaming fans that feel that the film’s antagonist was portrayed in an unfair way. Well, whatever. I had to see it for myself to form an opinion, and lucky for Jacksonville, we can now see King of Kong in theatres starting this Friday. King of Kong is a documentary film that follows the casual but dedicated gamer Steve Wiebe (pronounced “Wee-Bee”) on his mission to get the top score in the age-old classic known as Donkey Kong. Steve, who judging by the movie seems to be a pretty regular guy aside from the fact that he plays so much Donkey Kong, really goes the distance to show his worth. As the film starts, you find that Wiebe had recently achieved the accomplishment of getting the world record high score in not only Donkey Kong, but also the sequel to the game, Donkey Kong Jr. In doing so, he knocked out video game legend and hot sauce mogul Billy Mitchell, who eventually becomes the antagonist of the film. Billy Mitchell plays a good bad guy in the film, and he is probably the most quotable guy in the history of all champions, with the exception of Muhammad Ali. Take this little gem, for example: “No matter what I say, it draws controversy. It's sort of like the abortion issue. If you're for it, you're a son of a gun. If you're against it, you're a son of a gun.” (Note: Mitchell never ever uses swear words, and never curses) Wiebe, on the other hand, seems to be the polar opposite. Calm and friendly, all he wants to do is play some Donkey Kong in a head-to-head fashion with Billy Mitchell in a friendly match. He comes across as the nicest guy ever, and doesn’t seem boastful or rude to anyone in any way during the film, and though he strives for the high score, his family seems to keep him grounded. When discussing the Guinness Book of World Records and the importance of gaming scores, a little girl who I’m sure was Wiebe’s daughter made a good point. While Wiebe noted that some people take them very seriously, she responded back: “Yeah, but some people ruin their lives with that stuff.” The ups and downs of Steve Wiebe’s adventures are well documented and edited in a dramatic way that stays interesting throughout the movie. Along the way you meet plenty of colorful, real-life people who really show some personality, such as the Twin Galaxies arcade referee who also happens to be a musician and something of a hippie, if you go by his appearance in the film. And I can’t leave out a mention of mustachioed men who wear specialty gaming gloves molded from weightlifting gear, or the greasy hair and awkward clothing that seems to have come from an 80s movie. Yes, there are nerds aplenty, but not only are they real and authentic, they also wear the clothing that nerds from the era of their favorite game would have worn back in the day. I’m talking golden Phil Donahue eyeglasses, greasy hair, and fanny packs, a look only upgraded with cell phone holsters on the hip. Terrific! Overall, I feel that the movie in itself is worth the ticket price, if not more. Like most documentaries, much of the subject matter has been edited for dramatic effect and certain nuances are left out that may give some insight to the relationship between Steve Wiebe and his rival Billy Mitchell, but as it is it’s a great watch. If you want to read up on the current high scores and see opinions from fans of the players and from some top players themselves, you can read all about that and more at the official movie site. But even if you aren’t THAT interested in the subject matter of this film, it’s a great watch nonetheless, an[...]



We all know about the heavy hitters...

2007-09-11T09:58:18.898-07:00

The month of September is well underway, which means video game release season is upon us. There are a number of high-profile games to be released this month, including Sony’s often Ill-reviewed Lair, Nintendo’s Metroid Prime 3, Sony’s Warhawk, and Bungie’s highly anticipated Halo 3. To most people familiar with gaming, these titles are well known, so I won’t spend too much time with you telling you how Lair is impossible to play and frustrating, that Metroid Prime 3 is surprisingly great, or that you are probably going to have to buy Halo 3, no matter what. Instead, I’d rather talk about great games that you may not know about that you may enjoy. Skate.For PS3 and Xbox 360I’ll have a full-sized review of this next week, as it got delayed till Friday. (The PS3 version comes later this month or possibly early next month) The demo, however, is currently available on Xbox live and is wildly addictive, and has garnered nothing but respect from skateboard enthusiasts. If you can, download the demo on Xbox Live to see for yourself. If you love skateboarding, I’d say head down to the game shop and buy it right away. Dynasty Wars GundamPS3, Xbox 360If you are not familiar with the Dynasty Warriors series, basically the games center around former military leaders from China and Japan, who will hack and slash their way through armies of millions of soldiers on their way to greatness. Basically, playing a Dynasty Warriors game is like watching one of those Greek/Roman war movies where you have a few guys going against an army of thousands. So what is new with this Gundam version of Dynasty Warriors? Well, take out the Asian military guys, and replace them with Giant Robots of Japanese origin. Replace the bad guy armies with Gundam bad guys, and there you have it. Dynasty Warriors Gundam is a great way to kill time, and though at times the action can be repetitive, the game does wonders for relieving stress. And fighting robots are always awesome. Fans of the Gundam series will be especially impressed, especially after playing the last Next Gen Gundam game. John Woo’s StrangleholdFor PS3, Xbox 360Well, maybe you do already know about this game. It isn’t exactly underground, but I think it is a fun game nonetheless. If you are familiar with the movie Hard Boiled, you should recognize the characters in this story, which functions as a sequel to that movie. Using gameplay mechanics much like those found in games like Max Payne, you will duck, shoot, slide across tables, and dive through the air in slow motion while shooting bad guys. With fully destructible environments and a high dosage of action, Stranglehold is a great example of Hong Kong action translated into video game form. As far as movie games are concerned, this one is one of the best, up there with Chronicles of Riddick. (Although I thought the movie that was based on was kinda whatever.)[...]



Review: Odin Sphere

2007-05-31T07:15:34.464-07:00

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Odin Sphere
for Playstation 2

Sometimes, when a new game console comes around, the last line of releases for its predecessor tends to be overlooked. It’s an unfortunate thing, too, because that is usually when some of the best games are released. Now that the PS3 has come to replace the PS2, games like Odin Sphere don’t tend to make the limelight. It really should though, because this is probably one of the most beautifully illustrated RPG-action-adventure games to be released for the console. With absolutely huge storylines and an innovative way of reviewing events that have happened along your adventure, this game has the potential to keep you entertained for weeks. Odin Sphere plays a bit like your average beat-‘em-up game, only pumped with steroids for awesome gameplay and oil paints for the visual polish. I’d highly recommend this game to any PS2 owning RPG fan.



EA Announces Need for Speed ProStreet

2007-05-31T07:09:17.530-07:00

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From Press Release:

EA SHIFTS GEARS WITH NEED FOR SPEED PROSTREET
Compete in the ultimate street racing showdown with EA's blockbuster racing franchise

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – May 31, 2007 – Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) announced today that the blockbuster Need for Speed™ franchise is introducing a new version that drives the series in a new direction. Need for Speed™ ProStreet is a ground-breaking Need for Speed experience where you’re thrust to compete head to head against the best street racers in a multitude of racing showdowns. The game is being developed by EA Black Box in Vancouver, B.C., and is slated to ship this fall.

“Need for Speed ProStreet accelerates street racing culture by providing the ultimate stage for the pursuit of street racing supremacy,” said Executive Producer, Larry LaPierre. “This is a game about building the ultimate performance-tuned battle machine, taking it to multi-disciplinary showdowns all over the world and pitting your skills and reputation against the very best street racers.”

Need for Speed ProStreet boasts impeccable precision and impressively detailed photo-realistic graphics, effectively transporting you to the center of the action. It pushes the “Autosculpt™” technology to a new level, allowing you to directly impact your car’s performance for the first time as well as personalize its appearance. Need for Speed ProStreet is a true taste of raw adrenaline and racing with consequences. Every dent, every scratch and every crumpled body panel is a battle scar, proof of your commitment and competitive mettle. With an aggressive and skilled AI system, you become immersed in an unmatched believable race experience. Add in a revolutionary online mode that will redefine the meaning of competitive social play, and Need for Speed ProStreet is the ultimate formula for an emotionally charged street racing showdown.

Need for Speed ProStreet will be available for Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, and Wii™ as well as the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Nintendo DS™, PSP® (PlayStation® Portable) handheld entertainment system, PC and mobile. More information can be found at www.needforspeed.com.



NBA Street: Homecourt

2007-05-24T17:51:32.536-07:00

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NBA Street Homecourt is a hell of a drug. I say that, because the last few times I played it, I felt like a crackhead that couldn’t get enough. Typically, though I like to watch basketball, I don’t play too many sports games, so I was a little hesitant to give this game a try. Once I did, however, I was hooked. With gameplay almost as easy to learn as yesteryears’ NBA Jam, new players will have no problem picking this game up.

Street-style basketball isn’t typically a complicated sport to understand, and naturally, neither is this video game. Your goal is to score points, and to make your opponent look bad while doing so. You’ll do this by performing tricks while dribbling, bouncing the ball off their heads, and dunking the ball, repeatedly. And by repeatedly, I mean dunking the ball, catching the rebound mid-air while clinging to the rim, and dunking again. If it sounds ridiculous to you, that’s because it is. The gameplay is completely over-the-top, and can be maddeningly frustrating and exciting at the same time, especially when someone scores a double or triple dunk near the end of a close game. Online multiplayer is an added bonus, which plays smoothly enough, and the graphics are of course, amazing. The only real complaint I had with the game is that there weren’t more gameplay modes, which I guess I can look for in the sequel. Not a deal breaker, though, by any means. NBA Street Homecourt is great as it is.



flOw for Playstation 3

2007-05-24T17:39:22.199-07:00

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flOw has been labeled under many categories, but I don’t think any of those labels really fits. The basic idea of flOw has you controlling a sub-microscopic looking creature, collecting items and growing longer flagellum in the process. Along the way, you will come across other creatures that you will absorb, get distracted by, or interacted with in some way. To control your creature, you simply tilt the Sixaxis controller in various directions. Gameplay wise, you could compare it to Pac-Man, Geometry Wars, or maybe even some kind of interactive screen saver, but you would only be partially right.

In flOw, the visuals feature simple colors and soothing yet fulfilling music that seems to suit the game perfectly. While most on-screen characters seem simplistic in design, when in motion they move more gracefully than anything you have ever seen in a game, and as you progress the colors will draw you in just as much as the characters you are controlling. There is no real way to describe flow, as you have no scoring system, now heads-up-display, and no real way to end the game-it really is something you have to play and experience yourself to form an opinion about. Some may hate it, as it may seem pointless, and some may love it for the same reason, but for the $7.99 you pay to download it from the Playstation network, it certainly won’t kill you to try it, so please do.





Who uses Joysticks to play games?

2007-02-06T08:50:58.168-08:00

Really, who these days wants to control a video game using a joystick? I guess that depends on who you ask. I've been working on building my own for quite a while now, and so far interest has been high- I usually sell these for around $150-225 to people in the fighting game community. Here are some of my latest sticks, customized for people who ordered them:

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(Yep, thats a Manowar album cover)

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Here is a link to the whole set:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/63539949@N00/sets/72157594166543763/


Stay tuned for more info on upcoming game tournaments!



0 Comments

2007-01-31T10:34:14.843-08:00

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If you have ever wanted to read a novel that played like a video game, or wanted to play a video game that read like a novel, Hotel Dusk is the game for you. Sure, it doesn’t sound interesting when I preface it like that, but Hotel Dusk is special. The game places your character in the middle of a detective noir-style storyline, taking place near New Year’s Eve in 1979. Your character, along with others in the storyline, has been brought to a strange hotel by a dark secret, which you are enticed to uncover through interesting interactive dialogue. In Hotel Dusk, you hold your DS sideways much like a book, using the touch screen to interact with in-game tasks. Although most of the game is based around the dialogue via on-screen text, you are also presented with the task of finding things by ‘pointing’ on the touch screen, and sometimes handy little techniques come into play such as closing and then opening your DS in order to check the flip side of an object you are holding.

The Graphics in Hotel Dusk are great. All done in a noir-style setting with stylish old-school colors, all the characters in the game are presented as black and white, stationary drawings that look great in terms of gameplay and in atmosphere. Though the graphics are very stylish, the storyline is really what brings the game together, so if you can’t decide between reading a good book and playing a video game, do yourself a favor and pick up Hotel Dusk: Room 215.



0 Comments

2007-01-16T13:42:07.229-08:00

Victorious Boxers 2: Fighting SpiritFor Playstation 2Who doesn’t love Ippo? I know I sure do. Victorious Boxers is based on a great Japanese manga franchise featuring the dedicated character that most all of Japanese boxing fans love. The gameplay in Victorious boxers 2 is the same as its predecessor, which if you haven’t played it, think of a control scheme much like EA’s Fight Night- Round 2 with an anime theme, and over 70 characters to choose from. (I’m pretty sure Victorious Boxers was the inspiration to Fight Night’s controls, actually. They work amazingly well.) Duke it out with your opponent using your dual shock analog sticks, ducking, weaving, and beasting your way to the top. If you love boxing but have played Fight night to death, be sure to give this one a try. It isn’t exactly getting the media buzz it deserves. Cars For Nintendo WiiSo lets face it, most licensed movie games tend to be lacking in the quality department. Did you ever play the Pirates of the Caribbean game? How about the Jaws game? If so, you’ll know what I mean. Well, prepare to be surprised with Cars, a game that is geared toward the smaller family members, but really holds its own even with the big kids. Granted, it’s no Gran Turismo HD, but Cars has a certain special charm with its fun gameplay and controls and its full cast of voice actors including Paul Newman and Owen Wilson. In Cars, you are able to drive about, racing in various locales including Radiator Springs and plenty of NASCAR inspired racetracks. There is plenty to do, and Cars doesn’t get old as fast as most kid’s games. Cars image from IGN: Import Game Review: King of Fighters XI For Playstation 2Not everyone is fortunate enough to have both a Japanese and an American Playstation 2, but after I made a trip out to Game Force in Mandarin, I was set to play games meant for both regions on my soon to be modified PS2. See, I really had to get my hands on this Japan-only fighting game my friends have been pushing me to get. I didn’t have a Japanese PS2, and hell if I was going to pay for one. Luckily, Game Force sells mod kits so you can play these imports on your favorite console. I was told they could even do the mod service for you, for a small fee, which is awesome. So, now that I am set up for multi-regional gaming and ready to share my somewhat cultural gaming experience with you. King of Fighters XI is the newest edition of the KOF series, (with the exception of the Maximum Impact/20006 games) which retains many of the coolest innovations in the series, and adds a few new ones. When you start out a game in Arcade or versus mode, you first select the person who is to be your team leader. Then, you select 2 team members to support you. During gameplay, you can snap in (or tag in) your team members by tapping both punch or both kick buttons. Easy peasy. The pause menus provide you with all the special moves and combos, and most text in the game that involves navigation is written in English. You can also participate in single player, one-on-one matches, and if you live in Japan, you can even play online via networked matches. Why doesn’t the US market have more PS2 games like this? I don’t know the answer to that, but if you are a die-hard fighter fan or even if you like KOF just a little, consider importing King of Fighters XI. I’m glad I did. King of Fighters XI:[...]



More Holiday games

2006-11-27T12:40:07.586-08:00

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
For Nintendo Wii

Twilight Princess has probably been the most anticipated game of the year. Seeing multiple delays, and an eventual shift in release platforms, Twilight Princess has finally arrived. The results of the delays for extra fine-tuning are nothing short of monumental. Offering a score of 10 out of 10, 1up.com describes this game as “a 60-hour adventure where every moment is memorable.” If you love classic Zelda style adventures and are interested in a greatly implemented wireless control scheme, don’t hesitate to pick this one up. I’d say this title is eligible for EU’s Game of the year.

Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam
For Nintendo Wii

If you are a hardcore fan of the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series, this game may or may not be for you. Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam took out all the “street skating” aspects, replacing them with solid downhill fun. Though the controls have been designed specifically for the Wii’s motion sensitive controller, they are never intimidating, and as a whole the experience is a lot of fun. While the experience is a little more flashy than real downhill skating might seem, all of the fun is there and as far as racing games are concerned, this is the best one so far on the Wii.

Resistance: Fall of Man
For Playstation 3

If you are looking for the Killer App for the Playstation 3, Resistance is here to fill those shoes. Offering a solid control scheme and well laid-out levels, resistance keeps up with the best of the genre. With great graphics and extremely huge multiplayer online functionalities, this game comes through with flying colors. While it isn’t quite up there with games like Halo 2 and Gears of War, Resistance: Fall of Man is nothing to scoff at. With a slew of lackluster launch titles on the PS3, This one truly stands out.



This is the Launch week of PS3 and Wii!

2006-11-16T11:51:21.975-08:00

Review:Tony Hawk's Project 8For Xbox 360Some companies have a habit of making yearly updates to their games with little to no changes to the formula. Usually this happens with sports franchises such as Madden Football, or NBA Live. So, with the newest installment of the Tony Hawk skateboarding game franchise arriving earlier this month, the question is raised: is this merely a roster update? Well, to that, the answer is a resounding "NO". With Tony Hawk's Project 8, we are given a fresh take on the franchise, and that is a good thing. While past versions were all filled with fun and addicting gameplay, they pretty much just offered incremental improvements from year to year that didn't really help differentiate one game from the next. Project 8 is an upgrade in all aspects, in a big way.The controls in the game are as easy to pick up as ever, and the challenge levels are always catered to your ability. If you are familiar with skateboarding, the controls are easy to master, and you will 'get it' right away. If you aren't familiar with the series or skateboarding in general, it won't be long before you have a good understanding of how the game works, as the tutorials are effective and fun.The graphics have been totally rebuilt from the ground up, and the controls on the Xbox 360 work well. Your character will move smoothly and more realistically with the environments he or she is interacting with, and the rag doll physics make bailing a lot more entertaining than it was with previous games. The level design in this game is much like a Grand Theft Auto game, with sandbox-style gameplay allowing you to go anywhere, and new portions of the game world are introduced and unlocked as you play through the career mode. Another key feature is the 'nail the trick' mode, which allows you to slow down time and control your board with your feet, moving each foot individually with the 2 analog sticks. Sounds complicated, but in practice it really is a lot of fun, and it is easy to activate during gameplay.As far as skateboarding is concerned, this game features tons of skate celebrities including Tony Hawk, Jason Lee (of NBC's My Name is Earl Fame), and Bam Margera, along with other heavy hitters that may surprise you.The graphics for the Xbox 360 version seem to be a bit better than the PS3 versions, (more effective normal mapping and bump mapping) and the 360 version has a smoother frame rate and online play that the PS3 doesn't offer. The one advantage the PS3 does have is the familiar controller and the ability to use the motion sensor for balance, but this feature just doesn't translate well in this fast paced game. If you have to go next-gen, I would recommend the Xbox 360 version of this game this time around. If you don't have or plan on getting the 360 or the PS3, the Playstation 2 version is a good game, and there is an Xbox version, as well. Whichever one you go with, you are sure to enjoy it. I mean, if you are "extreme" enough, that is.Stevie Williams in Tony Hawk's Project 8New Releases This week:The Playstation 3 launches on Saturday the 17th. This is a big deal!! Though most people will probably admit that they are standing in line to buy this thing just to make more money selling it on eBay, some hardcore gamers will have theirs as early as this weekend. Be advised, GameStop and EB Games released a memo online that they will probably not receive enough systems to meet their preorder demands by the 17th. For more info on that, check out the GameStop/Ebgames website. For best results, I recommend camping out at a place like Best Buy, Circuit City, or Sears if you absolutely have to get one. Actually, don't camp out. It makes you look like a nerd with no friends. I'd just wait on this one. Retail price for the PS3 is $499 or $[...]



Gears of War and Movie downloads? Make mine Microsoft!

2006-11-16T10:00:07.483-08:00

Apparently, according to a recent blog post on Joystiq (and other linked articles reviewing the game)Gears of War has been kicking all sorts of ass in the reviews department. Which, of course is good news, considering all the hype it has been given. I really do believe the reviews, after seeing gameplay videos you could say that it could probably be one of the best looking shooters to date. As of today, it should be available at most major retailers. One thing sort of bothers me though. What the hell is up with that Gary Jules cover of 'Mad World' in the TV commercial? Totally out of place, although I'm pretty set on the conclusion that each are great in their own rite.



So how about that HD movie and Television content on Xbox Live? I think that is a pretty good move on the behalf of Microsoft. Looks like the 360 is starting to be the next iPod/iTunes-living room equivalent. Hell If I'll put my music on my 360, but I don't think I'd mind downloading some new on-demand UFC matches from time to time. Good call, Microsoft.

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Play with your kids:
Parents and Video Gaming

2006-11-16T10:00:07.286-08:00

With some especially controversial games coming to store shelves for the holiday season, the dilemma of finding the right video game for your young one(s) can be a big one. With teen violence in the news and blaming fingers being pointed right at video games, its difficult not to be concerned about what games your kids are spending their time with. The ESRB (or Entertainment Software Ratings Board)) has a ratings system designed to deter younger gamers from games that may be inappropriate for them. Games with mature content including nudity, violence, and vulgar language may be given an “M” (mature) rating, whereas a game geared toward preschoolers that features learning activities, music and rhythm exercises and color matching would be Given an EC (Early Childhood) Rating. One item of note with this system of ratings is that law doesn’t enforce them. Unlike going to a movie theatre, game shops won’t always turn away young buyers from purchasing M-rated games. I could almost never get into an R-rated movie in my youth, but kids these days don’t have any problems logging into a game of Halo 2 on Xbox live and fragging their friends into oblivion. (All the while, trash talking and acting like…kids.) So how do you know where to draw the line? The answer is pretty simple, but going through with it is a little more difficult. First and foremost, you should pay attention to what they are playing. You could even go far enough to even play the games with them, but not every kid wants that, and parents may find some video games to be difficult to understand and get into. If they like a certain game, there has to be a reason behind it. Find out what that reason is, and you may learn a good deal about your child. Some games are just too popular and too hyped to escape, and even though they are advertised on TV and in game magazines kids read, they probably aren’t suited for anyone that wouldn’t be considered a “mature audience”. Take Rockstar Games’Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas as an example. Although the storyline is great and the voice acting is top-notch, due to the violence and drug use, I would not want my tot playing through this game. I mean, I love Scarface, but you won’t catch my kids watching it in my house. You can’t always trust the local news to tell you what is right or what is wrong for your kid, you really should find out for yourself. Rockstar’s Bully is a new title that had a good bit of controversy behind it just before it’s release. Going by the name alone, people were to assume that the role of your character was that of a bully, and some people went to great measures to assure that the game would not be released. However, after just 15 minutes of gameplay, the player would find that this game is more of a video game version of Catcher in the Rye than it is a school aged-Grand Theft Auto clone, with a great story about an outcast student attending a prep school. Sure, there is violence, crude humor and prank pulling, but the idea of the game is to deal with bullies, not to be one. The game actually punishes your character for bad behavior, if you choose to engage in it. Basically, if you would let your teen read Salinger, you should be able to let them play Bully without having too much to worry about. Some popular games really push the limits in terms of violence, such as the recently released Mortal Kombat: Armageddonfor the PS2 and Xbox. Although the action depicted on screen is hardly realistic, the violence is pretty intense and hard to avoid, and this is why the game receives an M Rating. There are plenty of games available today that are family friendly, and you don’t have to limit y[...]



No news, not such good news.

2006-11-16T10:00:07.185-08:00

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So I'm working on this story about the few-week-old release of the game Bully. By now, everyone knows its a great game. My focus is going to be primarily on the fact that the storyline borrows heavily from my favorite genre of novel-the prep school collection. This collection consisting of books like Catcher in the Rye, A Seperate Peace, and Old School. I mean yeah, its a video game, right? but I think the storyline really holds something. I think all of Rockstar's games tend to have great stories with the exception of Thrasher: Skate and Destroy, but I love that game for totally different reasons anyway. Grand Theft Auto has always been about the great dialogue and progression of story, although sometimes the free-form gameplay gets my ADD-addled brain off the beaten path of the game's storyline. But I can forgive it for that. I love driving my motorcycle off cliffs and then opening my parachute, its just as much fun as a crime story. And, I can always get back to the story when I feel like it.

To my point, the only thing I can find to talk about is this game that was released weeks ago, which is fine by me. Its a hell of a game. The only other thing I can think of is to talk about how I, like Eric Cartman, can hardly contain myself with the anticipation I have building up inside me thanks to the Nintendo Wii.



Arcade Renaissance in Kissimmee

2006-11-16T10:00:07.101-08:00

So come November 25, I'll be on my way to Kissimmee for Arcade Rennaissance 4: Gameapallooza. Arcade Rennaissance 4: Gameapallooza. I've got a friend named Jamal from Mobile Alabama coming with me. Jamal is the guy who won our recent Jacksonville Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike tournament that was held at the Pearl, he goes by the Handle "RPD Rookie". He also placed 2nd in the recent SRK sanctioned Ranbat. Hopefully, I can get some people to come out with me. I know Jacksonville has some serious Marvel vs Capcom 2 and Guilty Gear Slash players, so I'm hoping that Jax can make a name for itself at the event. In case you need a flyer to make it official, here it is:

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SkullgirlS

2006-11-16T10:00:06.996-08:00

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So if I hear news about a new fighting game being in development, of course I am going to be all over it. Yesterday a poster on shoryuken.com's forums clued me in on the development of SkullGirlS, and the game seems pretty promising so far. If you are lucky enough to be a windows user, (which I am unfortunately not), you owe it to yourself to check out the game and its progress so far. The demo, from what I hear, is worth checking out, and it would be great if you could provide some feedback for these guys.

Here's to hoping that my windows PC will be up and running again soon. I need to find some time to fix that thing. All I have used it for in the past year is MUGEN games and emulation, which is probably a subject I want to avoid here. Anyway, check out the SkullgirlS game for me, and tell me all about how it plays. I'd appreciate it muchly.



Ebay and EB Games crack down on Pre-order re-sales, violence erupts?

2006-11-16T10:00:06.884-08:00

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Excerpt taken from an article on suicidegirls.com:
http://suicidegirls.com/news/geek/18928/

(not a work or "family friendly" site, mind you)

"Over the weekend, PS3 pre-order winning bids on eBay soared up to $2000 a piece. I'll be honest, I was hoping to jump onto that rickety bandwagon of cash prizes and set out pre-sunrise Sunday morning to numerous Toys R Us in hopes of obtaining the coveted $50 pre-order receipt. Alas, the sleeping baggers won, and I went home with a little richer, a little sadder and with a vanilla soy latte in hand. Now, I may be glad for that, because according to Evil Avatar, EB Games stores in Canada are about to receive notice of all PS3 pre-orders sold on eBay. This unfortunate list of doom means all pre-order numbers specified are not to be honored come launch date November 17th. EB Games' move was facilitated by eBay's new policy surrounding pre-sales, which basically allows for one pre-sale per account, and a photo of the receipt must be listed.

According to frantic and furious forum posts on eBay over the weekend, PayPal accounts with money from a PS3 pre-sale were being locked in their entirety.

In possibly related news, the eBay PayPal Headquarters blew up last night. Okay, maybe a window just shattered, but there was still a bomb. At 7:31pm, authorities were called to the building after a bomb exploded outside an exit at the PayPal building. 26 employees were inside the building at the time, but thankfully no one was hurt. This is likely just an impeccable coincidence, but if I had listed a PS3 pre-order, pocketed two grand and then blew it all away on coke and hookers before even picking up the PS3, I'd certainly want to blow some shit up."

Written and submitted by model/site member known as "Posh".

Its an interesting idea that eBay and EB games is doing this, and I can certainly see why. The question remains, do YOU think selling a preordered item is wrong? In my opinion, it certainly is irresponsible, especially knowing how Sony is struggling to get even 4 PS3s to each Gamestop and EB games locations. The demand is high, and production numbers are surprisingly low. It certainly does make for an interesting discussion.



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2006-11-16T10:00:06.757-08:00

Fighting Games Make a Triumphant Return This Fall (And I couldn’t be happier about it) norm@904skate.com So the media is abuzz with all of the new fangled gaming machines and the herds of software titles bombarding retailers this holiday season, and for good reason. These next gen systems really do have a lot going for them, in many different ways. However, the fighting games of yesteryear are creeping out from these next-gen cracks, and finding their way onto modern current-gen consoles with a growing amount of fanfare. Those not familiar with the genre are quick to write these games off, but make no mistake- 2006 will be the year fighting games made a comeback, and this time around, you don’t have to deal with tokens and over-used, under-repaired arcade machines. King of Fighters 2006Playstation 2King of Fighters 2006 is the much-improved sequel to last year’s KOF: Maximum Impact. Unfortunately this game hasn’t received much publicity, and it’s too bad. KOF 06 is probably one of the most balanced, well paced 3D fighters out now, with 2D style gameplay that works well in 3D environments. Added to the game from last year, there are parries, safe moves, and a great selection of bonus minigames and hidden characters. With easy to pick up and fun to master gameplay, this is my choice for new fighting game of the year. Mortal Kombat: Armageddon On Ps2, Xbox, and Nintendo Wii MK: Armageddon is like a double-edged sword. On one hand, you have broken, crippled gameplay and weird-looking graphics and animation. The fighting action is full of glitches and unbalanced characters, meaning whoever picks the strongest character usually will win. The game adds ‘combo breaker’ moves to limit your opponent’s use of combos, and you can use these 3 times in a match. You can also make use of the new Parry system, which can work to your advantage as well. Even so, competitive play can get a little unbalanced once you know your stuff. HOWEVER, this game does have some very redeeming aspects to it. I’m not talking about the ‘korny’ Konquest mode, or the forgettable ‘Motor Kombat mode-I’m talking about Kreate-a-Karacter. MK:A has an awesome character creation mode. In addition to creating almost an entire cast of Street fighter characters and my favorite action movie characters, I can create a playable version of He-Man and Skeletor. And that is the reason you should buy this game-He-Man and Skeletor. (Maybe some X-men, too. Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 On Xbox Live Arcade Yep, we have another entry to the Xbox Live Arcade fighting game lineup, and that is the arcade-perfect port of UMK 3. Long gone are the days of camping out at Kona Skatepark in Arlington, playing UMK 3 in the clubhouse while wearing my stinky elbow pads, knee pads and helmet. With this version, I don’t have to worry about some wobbly-footed rollerblader on the player-2 side bumping into me messing up my killer combos. Nope, it’s all Live, and its all gravy. UMK 3 on Xbox live is all about nostalgia, and its great. My only regret is the lack of a button-mapping feature, because my DOA 4 arcade stick would be perfect for this game. [...]



Big Guns

2006-11-16T10:00:06.653-08:00

The Big Guns of Console Gaming Soon, the games we have all been waiting for will be ready for our grubby little hands. With the amount of hype surrounding these recent releases, it’ll be difficult for most video game fans to sit idly. Well, here they are, the games that we have all been waiting for. Gears of War Xbox 360 Gears of War is one of those first-person shooters you can’t get away from. Aiming to be the next Halo, Gears if war packs quite a punch. While the screenshots that have filled the net show plenty of death, destruction, doom and general gloominess, the finished product provides a lot more than what the demo clips have revealed to us. Gears of War is filled to the brim with exciting gameplay options, including co-op and multiplayer modes. With an intuitive and fun-to-use cover system and great single player modes filled with exciting boss battles, Gears of War is certainly the shooter game to buy this holiday season. This is one of the games that you just have to play to understand, as the mountains of hype surrounding it don’t do it justice. Really. Final Fantasy XII Playstation 2If reviews and scores mean anything to you, it may be reassuring to hear that Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu gave Final Fantasy XII a perfect score. Gamespot and similar websites have given the game similarly high scores, which leaves no doubt in most gamers minds that this is truly the sequel they have been waiting for. While some have been put off by previous installments, FFXII seemingly addresses all those negative vibes this time around. With a heavily updated combat system including a new feature known as the “Gambit” system, the developers seem to be trying their best to make the fight scenes memorable and exciting, which is welcome news. It may seem boring at first, but it should really grow on you as the game progresses. As far as voice acting is concerned, the game is stereotypically sub-par, but the game’s interesting storyline and characters more than make up for it. Visually, the game is probably the best-looking PS2 game to date, and that says a lot. With an overall package that comes together surprisingly well, FFXI certainly delivers. If you are any kind of RPG fan, you owe it to yourself to check this game out. Splinter Cell: Double Agent Xbox 360 (also available for Gamecube, Xbox, and soon PS3 and Wii) I’ve always liked the Splinter Cell series, especially Chaos Theory. My only complaints with the series have rested in the tough-as-nails requirements for you to follow the mission to a T. With Double Agent, UBIsoft seems to cater to those who found its predecessors to be a little too strict. Sam Fisher returns in this installment, with an interesting plot twist involving some confusion as to whether or not he is working with the bad guys. It’s a great storyline to follow, and the plot and delivery works. Double agent does have some downsides however, specifically in the multiplayer department. Those who were big fans of the Mercs vs. Spies game may be disappointed in the fact that the Mercs have been significantly nerfed, yet somehow they become pretty overpowering in some aspects of gameplay. The game is still lots of fun; just don’t expect more of the same from multiplayer. Visually the game is great, and although it does seem a bit short, the exciting gameplay and storyline and the inclusion of a fun multiplayer mode should make up for that. [...]