Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
| The video game industry has gone from a mole hill to a mountain in no time flat, Chris DiMarco is your Sherpa as you endeavor to scale Mount “Everquest”

July 2012

You are browsing the archive for July 2012.

Does Take Two Need Another Grand Theft Auto?

July 31, 2012

While out roaming the news channels looking for something interesting to bring you today, I found something that downright spoke to me. Specifically, the confluence of two particular chunks of news about popular game studio Take-Two. One, a bit of news about their investor call, and two, a bit of news about a pre-order title that's doing quite well.

Take-Two had its investor call earlier today, and on the lips of many investors was a common theme: "Where is Grand Theft Auto V?"  Sufficiently so that Take-Two got hit with three questions about the title in rapid succession, and by all reports, answers were short in coming and even shorter in terms of satisfaction. Making things worse were the fact that GTA 5 was apparently factored in to Take-Two's impressive revenue projections, but despite this, still had a TBA release date. Given that holiday shopping season--Christmas, naturally, but also Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and others in there too--isn't exactly far off, this was a good question.

Katamari Damacy Hits Museum Of Modern Art In New York

July 30, 2012

Admittedly, the idea of Katamari Damacy as art is a bit of a puzzler, yet then again, the game itself is so bizarre that calling it art isn't out of line. Agreeing with my perception that Katamari Damacy isn't out of line as art is the Museum of Modern Art in New York, who will be featuring it as part of an exhibit.

Set to run July 29 through November 5, the "Century of the Child: Growing By Design" exhibit represents "an overview of the modernist preoccupation with children and childhood as a paradigm for progressive design thinking." While that may sound pretentious, Katamari Damacy fits in as part of an exhibit of toys and games, and an explanation of part of what drove childhood through the 20th century, along with designs of ball parks, schools and the like.

Don't get me wrong, I loved Katamari Damacy. I've played three games' worth and every time it never fails to make me happy. Rolling up large chunks of reality and turning them into a star, planet, or other celestial object because my father is a nigh-omnipotent idiot that is, relative to me, the size of the Chrysler Building is actually an entertaining concept.



Planetside 2 Trailer Lands, Beta Starts Next Week

July 26, 2012

Who says trailers are just for game conventions? Sure, E3 and PAX and the like have put up trailers and to spare, but sometimes, you get a little something special dropped in your lap not due to any date. That's how I got to take a look at the trailer for Planetside 2.

The trailer is clearly following a protagonist who contains two thirds of the world's known supply of awesome and one third of the world's known supply of stupid as he, and a group of his highly-expendable cohorts who make Star Trek redshirts look long-lived by comparison decide to take on a whole field full of killer robots. They won't be using cover to do so, but will rather be relying on high speeds and sheer machismo from armor-mounted jet packs.

Is Gaming's Future In The Cloud?

July 25, 2012

Today comes as the result of special request, folks, as I was shown a very interesting article from the folks out at Fortune. In it, they not only talk about what may well be the future of gaming, but also a potential reason why E3 wasn't all that hot this year. Turns out we may be looking in the wrong direction in terms of the future of gaming, and instead, we should be looking toward the cloud.

With companies like Gaikai and OnLive offering up a new kind of gaming experience, one that doesn't require particularly burly hardware options, it's enough to make users--and pundits--alike wonder if maybe the idea of progressively more potent hardware isn't necessarily the way to go. The concept of electronic-only game purchasing isn't exactly a new one, but it's one that's been looked at a bit askance in the framework of bandwidth.

PS2's Haunting Ground Looks To Make PS3 Jump

July 24, 2012

Horror gaming is a clever if somewhat under-appreciated art form. Given all the horror movies lurking out there, you'd think that more games would try to catch that particular lightning in their own bottle, but it just doesn't seem to happen very often. That's going to change just a bit with the upcoming release of Haunting Ground for PS3.

Not surprisingly--especially to those who have played it previously--the ESRB slapped an M rating on the title. For those who haven't played it, meanwhile, the game revolves around a young lady named Fiona, who, along with her dog Hewie, finds herself stuck in the midst of a haunted castle.

Best Buy Summer Gaming Blowout Looks To Make Big Splash

July 23, 2012

As we've all known for some time thanks to the magic that is a calendar, it's summer. While summer used to mean long hours of high heat and brightness that would scorch the paint of your retinas, so to speak, these days it means something a little different. Following the ultra-successful Steam sale, in which perfectly good games were sold off at rock-bottom prices, Best Buy is looking to go forth and do likewise with their own kind of summer sale.

Dubbed the Best Buy Summer Gaming Blowout, it will put up no less than 100 games and accessories up for grabs, including Assassin's Creed Revelations, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and Just Dance 3 for a meager $10 each. Gears of War 3 will set you back a whopping $15, while Metroid: Other M will sell for a crashingly low $5.

While Best Buy generally isn't first out of the gate when it comes to PC gaming, they'll pull out all the stops to get you a good deal here.



The War Z MMO Lands On Our PCs Soon

July 19, 2012

One thing I've often said, for years actually, is that there should be more zombie games out there. There's so much room for zombie games to happen in the first place--why on earth not bring them into play? Zombie shooters, zombie builders, zombie RPGs...well, seems that someone finally took me seriously, because The War Z is coming our way fairly soon...and it's an MMO.

Moreover, The War Z has a downright impressive release schedule in mind. It's currently in alpha state, and looks to launch a closed beta ahead of its release by the end of the year.

Roccat To Roll Out Power Grid At Gamescom Show

July 18, 2012

With E3 now just a fond memory, and the next PAX show so far off in the distance you can't even really see it from here, the next game show, such as it is, will be the massive German extravaganza known as Gamescom, which will hit Cologne, Germany August 15 through August 18. When it does, the folks at Roccat will be ready and waiting with their long-awaited Power Grid system ready to show.

The Power Grid system is part controller, and part game augmentation. The Roccat Power Grid allows users to take their smartphones and incorporate them into a whole new control scheme for many popular games. It provides an access to not only communications systems like Skype and TeamSpeak, but also a means to control certain in-game functions like the dispensation of healing items and the like.

Paramount Looks To Launch World War Z Game

July 17, 2012

While I'm not very fond of the work of Max Brooks--it's a great idea, overall, but his execution isn't all that great, and his fascination with the Shaolin spade drives me up a wall---there's plenty of people who love both his zombie guide and his novel, World War Z. Sufficient people, in fact, to get Paramount interested in launching a World War Z game.

The trademark has been registered, but no one's quite sure just what it's going to be about. The immediate guess is that this will either be a real time strategy title or a first person shooter, perhaps both at once. Given the nature of World War Z, there are plenty of possibilities.

There are also plenty of possibilities for a zombie game that isn't just a shooter, and this one may well take advantage of some of them.



Deadpool Hits Trailer Scene With Comic-Con Trailer

July 16, 2012

Ask many Marvel Comics enthusiasts--like myself--who their favorite character is, and more than once you'll likely hear the word Deadpool come up. While many Marvel characters have made their way to games, the Merc with the Mouth hasn't had the opportunity to get his own game...until now.

The trailer for the Deadpool game emerged from Comic-Con, which is widely regarded as a great source of information about television, movies, and video games, especially if they're about comic books in some way. Getting Deadpool involved is an exciting prospect, especially since some believe a Deadpool movie may not be too far out of the picture, given how the Wolverine movie went.

The trailer itself, meanwhile, is classic Deadpool, complete with multiple narration boxes, attractive young women in skintight clothing, a bouncy castle, and lots and lots and lots of gunplay. The voice comes from none other than Nolan North, who had previously performed the voice role of Deadpool in several other video games previously.



Fortnite Going To PC--And PC Alone, At Least For Now

July 12, 2012

Bad news for all you console gamers out there, like me: Fortnite, a surprising little title that got a little face time out at the San Diego Comic-Con today, will be making its first appearance on the PC. Perhaps worse news, however, is that no one's sure if it will make an appearance anywhere else.

The word is that running Fortnite is going to take a pretty impressive amount of hardware to run, since it will be packing the Unreal Engine 4 under the hood. Moreover, the PC-only release is likely to be gradual, with a rolling release likely starting with a "friends and family beta" and carrying onward from there.

Considering that it's already been described as a kind of hybrid of Minecraft and The Walking Dead, it's not hard to be enthused about such a release. But such a release being only available for the PC, as opposed to including a little love for the Xbox 360 and PS3 crowds, isn't a welcome development.



God Of War Still May Hit The Silver Screen With Some Saw Help

July 11, 2012

While the thought of a God of War movie leaves me cold at best, there's some fresh word about this one that may leave some even colder...but may perk some up for a potential winner in the making.

The early word says that the writers of Saw IV through VI, as well as the Feast trilogy, Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton, are taking over the script for the God of War title, which was formerly the province of God of War's executive producer David Self.

Oddly, I enjoyed the last few titles in the Saw series, thanks to the introduction of the "Jigsaw's legacy" subplot as personified by Jigsaw's protege Detective Hoffman taking on Jigsaw's widow, Jill Tuck. Personally, I was Team Hoffman all the way, especially after Tuck's little trick with the reverse bear trap--man, how low was that?--but that odd little detail aside, the thought of Dunstan and Melton being involved gives me a note of encouragement for God of War. Especially if they throw in some of the surprising humor that the Feast series brought into play. The end credits on Feast 3: The Happy Finish alone were a delight of bizarre comedy.

This may well prove better than I expected originally. It may not. There's only one way to find out, and since there's no word as yet on release dates, we may be in for a bit of a wait.





Android-Powered Ouya Makes Kickstarter Goal In Less Than A Day

July 10, 2012

Looks like we're going to be seeing a new entrant in the console wars before too much longer has passed. Specifically, we'll be getting eyes on with the Ouya, an Android-powered console that made its $950,000 Kickstarter goal in well under 24 hours.

It's set to sell for $99, and will be powered by a Tegra 3 processor running the Android platform, making it an unusual item to say the least. It will be packing eight gigs of storage, a wireless gamepad, and was designed by no less than Yves Behar.

Ouya hopes to have this one available on shelves by the first quarter of 2013, which is a crying shame, because they'll miss the Christmas shopping rush that will hit within the next four months.

A $99 console sounds like a good idea, though one question that immediately springs to mind for me is the games.





Help Wanted: Mists Of Pandaria Occupations Emerge

July 9, 2012

While, not so long ago, people regarded the concept of Mists of Pandaria as little more than an in-joke, the in-joke has become a reality. Now, we've got a first look at one of the newest occupations in Mists of Pandaria: tailoring.

For a society that basically looks like Kung Fu Panda times a million, it's not surprising that they're not doing a whole lot of metalworking and armorcrafting. No, from the look of the early reports, the newest chapter of World of Warcraft will bring a lot more working with cloth.

Specifically, so the newest reports put it, Windwool cloth, which will be to Mists of Pandaria what Embersilk was to previous iterations. But this time around, there will be a premium on tailors willing to go out and kill their own bad guys, as some of the best stuff will require very specific items that may not readily be found at auction.



NiGHTS Into Dreams To Make HD Comeback

July 5, 2012

Just recently, we were discussing the future of Sega as a company, following news that they were about to launch a big old slew of layoffs from their European branches, among others. But now, news that Sega is planning to bring back an old favorite: NiGHTS Into Dreams.

The release is set for sometime this fall, and will boast not only a 16:9 aspect ratio, but also achievements and trophies, as well as a "Saturn mode" that offers as yet undetermined extra capability.

That's not the only unknown packed into this particular game, which will be hitting both Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network as well as PC when it actually does hit. Some have wondered if the Christmas NiGHTS content would make the re-release, and Sega, for its part, is staying mum about such things.

But this, in and of itself, is a fine idea.





Final Fantasy 7 To Hit PC Via Square Online Store Soon

July 4, 2012

Now stepping into the "Coming Soon" slot is no less than one of Square's biggest releases in history, as the PC version of Final Fantasy 7 will be hitting Square's online store in the not too distant future.

The game will be released in a variety of languages, including French and German, and is also said to feature a way to boost characters' stats in game without the need for leveling up or associated grinds and farming. This particular point has raised more than a little ire across the gaming community, though a case can comfortably made for this point. There are many gamers out there who like playing games for the sake of the plot, and a way to make your characters overpowered sufficiently to tear through boss fights and get on with the plot, well, that's appealing.

Still, it's easy to understand why many are annoyed, as for many, a game is about the challenge, with the plot being a reward for challenge achieved. I, on the other hand, am not one of them for two significant reasons: one, I'm one of those who plays games for the plot, and two, I, unlike most of the civilized world, preferred Final Fantasy VIII.



Quantum Conundrum Episodes Release Featuring Kevin Pereira

July 3, 2012

For those of you who've been wondering what Kevin Pereira's been up to since leaving kind-of gaming network G4, the answer is simple, and somewhat surprising. He's been involved in promotional videos for the upcoming game release of Quantum Conundrum, and the second one in the set released only a few hours ago.

The Quantum Conundrum game, based on the promotional videos, is about a game show that offers "fabulous" prizes, though the things that will be done to get them will be just as bizarre as the prizes themselves. By way of example, the first episode mentioned a previous contestant who had not only gained a quantity of liquid uranium concentrate, but in the process had lost his ability to love.

The full name of the show, as expressed by the videos, adds to the mysterious and ludicrous nature of the show itself, as the game show Pereira is hosting is called--and you'll want to brace yourselves for this--The Super Dimensional Quantum Learnings Problems + Solutions GameTime Spectacular.

While the newest episode is a bit heavy on the obvious--pun intended, and not intended at the same time, which is perfectly appropriate given the circumstances--the idea is no less baffling, and at the same time, surprisingly funny given Pereira's over the top delivery style and all around preposterous nature of the proceedings.

The game, meanwhile, is currently available on PC, and at last report, will be available for PS3 and Xbox 360 sometime in July. The game has virtually nothing to do with Pereira's quirky game show, which is a shame, because it looks like a lot of fun, like a kind of You Don't Know Jack in the Fifth Dimension. The game itself is actually more of a puzzler, based on the current reports, which may or may not be fun.







The Secret World Launches Tomorrow, Funcom's CEO Launches A New Career

July 2, 2012

One of the most anticipated MMO titles in some time, The Secret World, is set to make its official launch in a matter of hours. But even as developer Funcom is poised to launch a big title, Funcom's CEO will be launching something of his own, namely, a new career.

Funcom's CEO, Trond Arne Aas, has stepped down from the CEO position, and has ceded the rank to the company's former COO, Ole Schreiner. Yet Aas won't be leaving Funcom entirely, but rather stepping into a new role as a chief strategy officer.

As for reasons, there really weren't any aside from Aas' own inclinations to step into a freer position in the company. The company's financials seem in good shape, there are more titles in the making from Funcom coming soon...there seems to be no significant reason driving Aas' decision.

It's extremely unnerving, frankly.