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what's in the news?

Ron Alpert

October 30, 2007

6 Min Read

  Hello bloggerlads and bloggina lasses. yes i have been neglectful of my game-industry-blogging duties, lately. again. This is what happens when real life (well, real work life) breathes down one's neck.. still i had ought to make a more dedicated effort to maintain this thing in a better fashion than merely once a week! Well, keep checking back to see whether or not i am a liar..

  Lots of news in the games industry lately, if also sort of quiet. As the xmas season dutifully approaches, the giants descend with their high-profile software releases continuously, and uncle sam (and auntie japan) continue to reap the rewards. So then, Super Mario Galaxy is less than a world away (I've seen the demo at EB) just in time to celebrate the Wii's one-year anniversary party. Ratchet and Clank do the same likewise for Playstation, finally giving a good reason (although a familiar one) to actually want to own one over a 360. Of course, Guitar Hero III finally rears it's ugly metal head, merely weeks after it's brother title Tony Hawk Ninety-Three (yeah, say what you want, but cheers to those guys for getting such major releases out the door nearly simultaneously!) Rock Band, on the other hand, I am not sure of it's date but it'll likely be soon.. Surprisingly, I have just learned that Wii Fit is not releasing on these shores in time for Xmas, and I sense many fat gamers are (not really) groaning, though the game's publisher will have a little to be sorry for as a result (yes.. just a little. Don't feel too bad for them). I am a little out of the loop - what the heck is out for DS, besides Zelda Phantom Hourglass? And what, pray tell, for the shiny new PSP 2000 or whatever they are calling that thing? (I want to get my hands on one and see if it's as gross-feeling to hold as it's predecessor) Yeah I am a little guilty for not paying attention, but is it my fault or is it because there's just actually not much to DEMAND my attention, rather..

  The Simpsons game has released from EA. Say what you will, and I am sure you will, but I like the directions being put forth by "the New EA." No, I still don't wanna work there, but you have to hand it to them, they have been putting out some noteworthy quality titles of late. Skate, of course, comes to mind.. and I've already mentioned Rock Band.. never mind their always-competent sports lineup/onslaught. They get a lot of gripes but EA is making some good moves. Now I wanna see them release a console (3DEA0!) and truly disturb the crap outta the industry. Oh, and while I am on topic, I heard they laid off after their shareholders weren't too brilliantly happy with the mega-expensive buyout of Pandemic/Bioware. boo. I take back all the nice things I said.

  Not much to report on my own game front. I am still waiting to reflash my Game Boy card.. it never feels too imperative, though I should get to it shortly. I think there's a decent colecovision emulator I could put on there too, that would be fun. Hrmph, I need to make a list of things to squeeze in there.. Anyway I sat down on the couch and played some games last night. Latest acquisition is Burnout #2, I think it's about 4 years old - xbox title. It's not aged too terribly well, but I remember my friends being into it a few years ago and it caught my eye so I snagged it. yeah, kinda renderware ugly, but a nice groovy little game.. I am no stranger to what it's story is, but getting my hands on it I can appreciate what it's worth. This is what I am usually preaching, makes games that don't necessarily emulate what you do in real life! Driving is certainly enjoyale in the day-to-day, and racing games with tricked-out wheels are always fun (well.. fun-ish) but these days they're really a dime a dozen. But now who DOESN'T fantasize about car accidents? Okay well, maybe most folks don't but honestly I do. And a game about setting up huge destructive car accidents is just what the doctor ordered, I gotta say. Now, this title doesn't really do muchmore than hint at the possibilities, as it is.. and I suspect the new generation of Burnout titles is still gonna remain pretty tame as compared to what it could ultimately transmogrify into - but that's a game I would line up to buy, if and when they unlock it's potential. That's genius.

  I plugged in Strider 2 for PSX, I mention it now and again in this blog - I still hae yet to play through it, as it's a clumsy and somewhat boring game. But oh, the style.. talk about your potential! Why Capcom sits on properties like this, I will never know. It's dripping with love and excitement, and I am sure it's sitting there waiting to get picked up down the road. Screw Bionic Commando, we need more Strider! I play this game, and I know it's something of the sort I would love to be a part of, development-wise. Ah well, stranger things have happened I suppose.

  Also sitting in my shelf is Gunner's Heaven, as mentioned previously likewise - and also likewise, not much playtime had been given to it yet. I guess I made it a level or two in last night, and I have to say that even i am astonished to the degree in which they directly ripped off Gunstar Heroes.. bu, that's cool! RIP OFF GUNSTAR HEROES!! If there's a freakin' game which needs to be shamelessly, brutally ripped off. Yeah, they lose points for originality, but they show that thy have good taste.. I hae some problems with the title, even so.. some charaters (namely the player sprites) are bland/boring/dullsville, and a lot of the general design is uninspired and blase'. Not that it's bad, by a long shot, but considering the hardware (and what's been done with less) it's just kind of a waste of time in the aesthetic department. Likewise the soundtrack
, from what I have heard, is essentially turn-off-able. Again, not quite offensive, but such a letdown when you consider what could (should) be there in it's place. But that stuff is forgivable - the cardinal sin here is the omission of a 2-player simultaneous mode. Come on! How much harder is it to implement? Even if it would cheese the design a little, games like this (Contra-style) are made for two people to enjoy together. Sigh. Maybe there's a hidden mode buried in there somewhere.. who knows. Ah well, it sucks but not enough to take away from the coolness that is this game's very existence, at all. I don't regret picking it up.

  I have laid off on my other two planned PSX acquisitions, maybe when the prices fall some more..

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