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Buy One Game, Get One You Don’t Want Free, Beatles: Rock Band Track List [Game Overview]
Aug 14th, 2009 by Dan

Insert another credit, because it’s time for your weekly video game news and you’ve just hit the Game Overview screen.

Microsoft made a very intelligent move last Friday by introducing PayPal to Xbox Live for US users. From Friday onward users could use the online service to add points to their Xbox Live accounts. Those of you who don’t have credit cards rejoice. Things just got easier for you.

The Numbers Keep Climbing

As of last Friday, sales of Wii Sports Resort hit 600,000 copies. It’s also racked up at least 500,000 in the US and 350,000 in Japan, again, as of last Friday. We’ve got a big seller on our hands here.

I Really Wish They’d Stop Doing This…

Square Enix announced last week that they would be announcing the release date for Final Fantasy XIII in the coming weeks. Instead of rejoicing, most people said “Yeah, ok…How about you just tell us the release date when you know it?” Popular opinion is that the date will be revealed during Tokyo Game Show 2009.

Your Mother Lied, There’s Only So Much Love to Go Around

Ever wonder why you’re limited to a scant 100 friend on your Xbox Live buddy list? The answer lies where it always lies with Microsoft: legacy support. Keeping Halo 2 on the roster of games played over Xbox Live requires that the 100 person cap be met. Since tons of people still play Halo 2, the artificial limit continues.

Really?!

Nintendo has announced that the DSi outsold the DS, DS Lite, and Wii in its first three months of sales. Since the buzz seemed to be so muted, I was personally way shocked by this news. Who knew the new iteration was so popular?

Exclusivity

Xbox continues to lock down Netflix by getting exclusive movie streaming right to the service. PS3 users are out of luck as are Wii users in the USA, despite similar streaming services being available in Japan.

Pre-Buy One, Get One Free

In a move that screams lack of confidence, Activision has announced that anyone who pre-orders the upcoming Guitar Hero 5 will get…a free copy of Guitar Hero: Van Halen.

It’s definitely the first time I’ve ever seen a company outright give away a brand new game should the consumer commit to buying another game. It’s a move that’s got me scratching my head and wondering just how bad the projected Van Halen sales are supposed to be, but it could easily be a response to the nosediving sales numbers of rhythm music games.

Open SD

Nintendo has finally opened up the SD card slot in their system for booting DLC, allowing Guitar Hero and Rock Band fans to cry out in joy. No longer will players have to leave space open on their hard drives to swap data, they can now launch and play DLC directly from the SD slot. The new feature will debut on 1 September concurrent with the launch of Guitar Hero 5

A Good Old Fashioned Competition

The latest iteration of the classic Wolfenstein series will launch next week, a mere four days after August behemoth Madden NFL 10, which launched at 0000 today. Manveer Heir, a designer at Raven Software, would like to make a deal with you involving these seemingly disparate events.

If Wolfenstein outsells Madden in August, he will personally pay for any and all copies of Wolfenstein sold that month.

Good thing for his wallet that it will never happen. Like Kotaku said when they reported the story, he may as well just use that cash to buy copies of the game for himself to drum up sales.

Sgt. Soul

Harmonix has announced/confirmed that The Beatles albums Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Rubber Soul will be among the first albums released as DLC for the upcoming The Beatles: Rock Band (09/09/09)

While we’re on the subject, Game Informer Magazine has announced 44/45 of the track list for the upcoming game.

Singles
I Want To Hold Your Hand
I Feel Fine
Day Tripper
Paperback Writer
Revolution
Don’t Let Me Down

Please Please Me (1963)
I Saw Her Standing There
Boys
Do You Want To Know A Secret
Twist and Shout

With the Beatles (1963)
I Wanna Be Your Man

A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
A Hard Day’s Night
Can’t Buy Me Love

Beatles For Sale (1964)
Eight Days a Week

Help! (1965)
Ticket To Ride

Rubber Soul (1965)
Drive My Car
I’m Looking Through You
If I Needed Someone

Revolver (1966)
Taxman
Yellow Submarine
And Your Bird Can Sing

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band/With a Little Help From My Friends
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
Getting Better
Good Morning Good Morning

Magical Mystery Tour (1967)
I Am The Walrus
Hello Goodbye

The Beatles (White Album) (1968)
Dear Prudence
Back In the U.S.S.R.
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Birthday
Helter Skelter

Yellow Submarine (1969)
Hey Bulldog

Abbey Road (1969)
Come Together
Something
Octopus’s Garden
I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
Here Comes the Sun

Let It Be (1970)
Dig a Pony
I Me Mine
I Got a Feeling
Get Back

Love (2006)
Within You Without You/ Tomorrow Never Knows

Most surprising to me is that last entry, Love. This album is from the remixed Cirque du Soleil show Love and it’s interesting to see that such modern additions are being made to the game.

Almost Nothing Creepier Than a Carnival

You really didn’t think you’d get through an edition of Game Overview without mention of Left 4 Dead 2, did you?

Gabe Newell announced on Gametrailers last night that one of the new campaigns for L4D2 will be The Fairgrounds, an amusement park-style level. All I can say here is that I’m already decently terrified by clowns. Please don’t make me cry in the corner Valve. Please don’t make clown zombies.

I’m going to go not think about zombie clowns for a bit. Have a week.

Achievement Whores BEWARE: Giant Bomb [Game Overview]
May 15th, 2009 by Dan

Insert another credit, because it’s time for your weekly video game news and you’ve just hit the Game Overview screen.

If you’ve never actually visited Giant Bomb then you probably don’t know that it’s the greatest user-populated video game database on the internet and a pretty darn cool concept. The gist is this: you get all the editorial content that you’d expect from a video games site, only now you get to also create a super-detailed wiki, of sorts, where you can associate games with abstract concepts like “Full Body Awareness” in Left 4 Dead, meaning that when you look down (you’re already in the first person perspective) you don’t just see floor, you see your feet, or objects like crates or, well, you get the idea.

That’s all pretty great on top of the personalities on the site with their hilarious sense of humor and features like This Ain’t No Game, which reviews video game movies, and the aforementioned Persona 4 Endurance Run, but now they’ve gone and done something big.

Users can associate their gamertags and WoW accounts with their Giant Bomb accounts to attach their achievement status to their profile. This creates a site-wide database of achievements that is compared against itself, ranking achievements in terms of rarity and grading each user on a per-game basis for their achievements. Rarer achievements give more points, but if you still are underperforming, guess what, you’ll get a D or :gasp: an F in Halo 3. Max out achievements and get an S-rank that is not able to drop based on the user curve, unless more achievements come out for the game.

Right now they can’t handle PSN trophies thanks to Sony’s lack of a released API, but they will soon be adding Steam capability. I can’t wait until my page updates!

Texas Sex Offenders Could Be Required to Register Their Gamertags [GO]
May 7th, 2009 by Dan

In an interesting move by the Texas legislature, sex offenders may be required to register their online identities with the state, according to this article at Kotaku. While it (intelligently) doesn’t explicitly mention Xbox Live or the PSN, it’s clear that they’re talking about services like that or AIM. The bill, if passed, could even be extended to restrict sex offenders from even having identities on social networking sites altogether.

It’s a bizarre move by the government to limit freedoms, but then again it’s to convicted sex offenders. I’m no lawyer, but I’m not sure how the constitution falls on this topic and I predict that if Texas does pass this into law, it will quickly be challenged as high as it can go. Not that I don’t support vigilance with respect to sex offenders, but it just seems a little too big brother-y to not let you use a social networking site, since the government doesn’t have control of those. Not allowing you to teach or work with kids is a smart, good thing, but cutting you off from the (if the trend continues) vein of modern society seems harsh. I do support registration of online identities though, since it’s really no different than publishing on those websites where they all live like in Knocked Up.

Flock [Embedded Reporter]
Mar 30th, 2009 by Dan

Deep from the trenches, it’s time for your Monday video feature: Embedded Reporter.

Capcom’s upcoming arcade game Flock seems pretty interesting. Who wouldn’t want to play an alien abduction puzzle game? Enjoy!

Penny Arcade, The Guild, Lost, Heroes [Game Overview/Idiot Box]
Dec 16th, 2008 by Dan

PA

I think it’s worth mentioning that the guys at Penny Arcade are universally hilarious. I was tooling around their site today and I found a couple of oldies, but goodies that I thought I would share:

There’s one about Pokémon that shows Gabe at his training worst. If nothing it’s a hilarious take on the oftentimes frantic and crazy love of the game that you usually witness in small children.

Then there’s the running gag that Gabe loves Patrick Swayze and Dirty Dancing. I’ve seen the ending to that movie. I think this does accurately represent it.

There’s also Gabe dominating children’s games and deciding that he needs a new group of friends.

And, finally, we have Doritos. I think the less said about that the better. Let the professionals do the talking.

The Guild

I’ve never seen The Guild, but I love Felicia Day and the premise of a WoW guild who decides to meet in real life just sounds like too much of a delicious premise for me to pass up. I’ll probably start watching today, but if any of my readers has seen it and knows if it’s good or not, let me know. Season 2 is debuting every Tuesday on XBL.

LOST!

It’s been about half a year since we saw just what happened to the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 and I’ve gotta say I’m itching to get back into the swing of things. I got my hands on Season 4 on Blu-Ray and I’ve been working my way through the disappointingly short bank of episodes to fully recap all the plot points I’ll be expected to have at my fingertips on 21 January.

Supposedly the new season will feature less flashbacks and flash forwards, but I’ve gotta say that I don’t really mind those. I’m just insanely curious about how the (SPOILER ALERT!) Oceanic Six are going to find their way back on the island. How is Jack going to convince Kate to get back on a plane? What happened to Locke and the rest of the folks still out there? T-36 days until I can finally find out at least one or two answers…

Heroes

Despite a lukewarm season so far, Heroes managed to put together a rock-solid mid-season finale ending to Volume 3: Villains.

Contrary to what most people have been saying about the show, I think this season has been as strong as S1 in a lot of places and certainly way stronger than S2. Still, they could use some refocusing and I hope that they learn from the finale (which was amazing because of Sylar) about how to effectively tell these human stories in the future.

Just remember guys, Hiro is not a moron, so stop making him act like one!

Embedded Reporter: Rockman 9
Nov 3rd, 2008 by Dan

Deep from the trenches, it’s time for your Monday video feature: Embedded Reporter.

Why this? I can’t resist Rockman music!

Enjoy.

Embedded Reporter: Retro-Hard
Oct 6th, 2008 by Dan

Deep from the trenches, it’s time for your Monday video feature: Embedded Reporter.

Mega Man 9 is HARD.

People say, “That’s the idea. It’s supposed to be Retro like the days when games were tough.” Let me tell you a secret about the old Mega Man games: they were NOT this hard. Aside from Quick Man (the magma plumes were mad cheap), I could more or less reliably kill almost all of the Mega Man 2 bosses. At this point, I’ve still only killed Galaxy Man and Concrete Man. Funny thing about that is that both of those Robot Masters are more or less the easiest in the game. As hard as maybe this video looks, this is an easy stage.

The real point I’m trying to make here is that while MM has always been hard, it was never as insidiously hard as this game is. There are enemies who jump up specifically over gaps, as you see, enemies who pop out of nowhere to grab you and drag you into spikes, and tough enemies with hard pattern recognition required to defeat them. It’s abuse to play, but it’s so fun.

You Can Quote Me On That: Tim Rogers
Aug 23rd, 2008 by Dan

If you know me or read this site regularly, you know that I’m a huge fan of Tim Rogers of ActionButton.net. I don’t universally agree with him, but I do universally love how the things he says about game design and video games in general make me think critically about games both as entertainment, as examples of good design, and even as an art form. Today’s quote isn’t really all that thought-provoking, but it does bring up a rather good point:

It’s a lot like the iron boots in modern 3D Zelda games: you have these 200kg boots in your inventory; you’re swimming in water; you open the menu and choose to put the boots “on”; you sink to the bottom of the water. Are the boots only heavy when they’re on your feet? (Maybe they’re magical.) It’s not a puzzle; it’s not “thinking”. It’s just “there”.

-Tim Rogers in his Ikaruga review.

Sure, video games do require immense suspension of disbelief and Rogers does harp a lot on modern Zelda and Nintendo design in general, but it’s true when you think about it and pretty funny.

Game Overview E3: Now That’s Dedication
Jul 18th, 2008 by Dan

Insert another credit, because it’s time for your weekly video game news and you’ve just hit the Game Overview screen.

I’ve talked about how dedicated Capcom is to the old-school aesthetic of Mega Man 9, but just how dedicated are they? Below is the “boxart” for the DLC game:

Mega Man 9 Box ArtSee More Mega Man 9 Box Art at IGN.com

If you remember back to my 8-Bit All-Stars post, you might remember me talking about the Mega Man 2 boxart as being nonsensical for the anime-cutesy style of the game. This is such a return to the old school that it makes me kind of pumped for this game.

I know I said I’d have E3 updates as exciting things happened, but I’ve failed to see much that excited me in this show. That being said, I will close off with a particular trailer that does pique my interest:

Big N, M$, Sony: Mega Man 9
Jul 12th, 2008 by Dan

If you read my 8-bit All-Stars feature you know I love me some Mega Man 2. There was just something sublimely perfect about that game with its polished level design and great boss battles.

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a real sequel to a Mega Man game. The last canonical MM game was MM 8 for the PSX in 1997, with the X series taking over with about eight installments that have also stopped coming out.

Imagine the world’s surprise when Mega Man 9 all of a sudden showed up on an ESRB classification website. Could the beloved franchise be making a return in all of the splendor of the current generation’s technological advances? And then we saw the first screenshots and trailer…

Cue some controversy. I’d say that a large number of dedicated MM fanatics were happy with this new direction, but many were perplexed by Capcom’s choice to go way old school with this new installment. Personally, I’m a fan of the new direction. When you look at the disappointments that have been the more recent MM games, it seems clear that a conscious effort to get back to the roots is just what the series NEEDS. Not to mention the fact that old school, 8-bit Mega Man music is great.

It’s not exactly a straight NES-style game though, it does have some technological advances. If you look closely you’ll see that the game does have some fancy-pants effects that weren’t possible on the NES. Personally, I’ll be happy if the game manages to not drop framerate when a bunch of enemies appear onscreen.

Another neat little change in the Mega Man conventions is that MM 9 will feature the first female robot. Splash Woman is the first non Man robot in series history. Some purists are very anti-Splash Woman, but I’m pro-female evil robot rights.

If I’m not mistaken, Mega Man 9 is slated for a Fall release on WiiWare, Xbox Live, and PSN.

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