The Hype Machine

By Jason Green

Since video games are bigger than Hollywood, companies are always trying to hype up their next big games.

Treyarch is hyping up the new Call Of Duty, 343 Industries is getting people amped up for Halo 4, and Capcom is showing off Resident Evil 6.

This is a business strategy so fans get excited and buys one of the new games.

However, sometimes games don’t live up to the hype or end up becoming hyped for way to long.

Let’s take a look at a few.

Duke Nukem Forever – This is the number one game that comes to mind when I think of not living up to the hype. Announced during the Clinton administration, the game was slated for release in 1998 but suffered some development problems. It then looked like things were going smoothly and the game would come how 2001, but, that didn’t happen either.

Duke Nukem Forever was in development hell for many years until it was ultimately cancelled. It probably should have stayed dead, but, Borderlands developer Gearbox picked up the pieces and made one hell of a mediocre game.

When DNF finally came out last year, it was met with extremely unsatisfying and poor reviews. I played the game myself and found it extremely boring and ugly looking.

Also, I saw it in the bargain been for $5 bucks the other day.

Duke Nukem Forever? More like, Duke Nukem ForNever… ha ha.

The Last Guardian – The Last Guardian was announced in 2009 and… that’s about it. Nothing about the game has been said since.

It marks the third game in Team ICOs trilogy of awesome games, the first being the classic game ICO, second being the outstanding game Shadow of the Colossus, and third being The Last Guardian.

At this time, we should of heard something about The Last Guardian, but all we’ve heard is negative news like several developers from the studio leaving the project.

It’s been over three years since the game was announced and with all this bad press that leads me to believe it’s stuck in development hell, and, if this game ever does come out, will it live up to the hype?

Final Fantasy Versus XIII – This one is a similar story to The Last Guardian.  Versus XIII was announced way back in 2006 as a PS3 launch title. No videos were shown, just screen shots.

Since then, there hasn’t be any news.

Fans of the series have been wondering what has happened, the most suspected thing being that it was cancelled.

This, as with The Last Guardian, begs the question of, will it live up to the hype?

Only time will tell regarding the status of both The Last Guardian and Final Fantasy Versus XIII.

It seems to me that Japanese developers, though they make great games, sometimes don’t have a good hold of their projects.

For example: In the time it took Japanese developer Polyphony Digital to make Gran Turismo  5, American developer Naughty Dog made the ENTIRE Uncharted trilogy.

Food for thought.

As for now, here’s hoping that those games will end up good.

@JayGreen89

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The Low Price Of Gaming

By Jason Green

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone who plays video games all know one thing. The price.

An average game costs $60 bucks.

$60 dollars is by no means a small sum of money, especially in today’s economy, people are fiscally-minded.

But if you take a look back in the past, you’ll see how $60 dollars is not that bad.

Lets go back in time to the good year of 1990.

Seinfeld became a hit, the Golf War began, and a very expensive video game system known as the Neo Geo debuted.

The Neo Geo was unlike anything at the time. It was a system that was extremely ahead of its time. The only problem was the price.

It ran up to $649 dollars and each game was tagged at $200 dollars.

That was over 20 years ago.

The Turbo Grafx 16, released in 1989, was priced at $400 dollars and it’s handheld partner, the TubroExpress, was priced at $250 dollars which would be about $446 by today’s standards.

I think the price of The Legend Of Zelda: Majora’s Mask when it first came out was $80 bucks.

Also, in the N64/PS1 era, games were priced at around $30-$40 bucks so with inflation that would be a lot more in today’s economy.

The NES and SNES was expensive, too. There games were also $80 and I’m talking back in the late 80s.

Overseas, Australia specifically, once you factor in conversion a video game there costs $99 dollars. Now does a mere $60 dollar game seem bad?

I know gaming is a very expensive hobby and dropping $60 is no easy thing to do, but if you look at some of the prices from years past, one could see that we have it pretty easy now.

Once the next console life cycle hits I don’t think games will go up in price, maybe, in fact, they’ll go down.

With the talk of games becoming digital, that’ll cut out the middle man and will give us a lower price for our beloved experiences.

@JayGreen89

Kafkaesque

By Jason Green

Czech writer Franz Kafka wrote stories about bizarre, nightmarish occurrences, such as waking up and being a giant spider.

From that, the term kafkaesque was coined – meaning something strongly surreal or just weird.

I’ve heard this term used a few times but, until now, didn’t know what it meant.

There’s more to the term than that but it got me thinking.

So, I thought to myself, what are some weird – kafkaesque like games out there.

A few came to mind.

Catherine: Catherine is a 2011 puzzle/platformer/adventure/dating sim game that follows the story of a normal dude named Vincent who is dating a cute girl named Katherine, only to become interested in a blonde bombshell named Catherine.

Throughout the game Vincent has a series of extremely bizarre dreams where he must climb up a series of boxes while being pursued by a giant demonic baby. Seriously. That’s just one of the dream sequences.

As the game goes on, the dream puzzles you have to complete get harder and harder all the while the story unfolds into something that nobody sees coming.

Poor guy, relationships can be tough!

SeamanIf you go up to someone and ask them “what was the one game from the Sega Dreamcast that you remember?” Chances are they’ll probably say Seaman.

In Seaman, you play as a scientist tasked with having to take care of this rare species of fish, a fish with a human face. Not only that, this fish can talk to you and ask you questions.

That’s the lot of the game, it’s kind of like a virtual pet, only creepier.

Katamari Damacy: When trying to explain Katamari, I have difficult time. But from what I can gather, you play as a king from heaven who has a little to much to drink and knocks out all the stars in the sky. So to fix this he goes down to earth with a Katamari – a ball with the power to stick things to it – to somehow fix the problem.

I’m not really sure how that one turns out, I’ve never played the whole thing.

Well this is only the very tip of the ice berg, as there are plenty of other bizarre, other-wordly video games out there, waiting for us to play.

All I have to say is, thanks Japan!

Have any weird games in mind, share!

@JayGreen89

Going All Digital

By Jason Green

We all feel it’s inevitable; to one day download all games instead of buying a hard copy at the store.

Technology is already moving in that direction, with full games being downloadable on Xbox Live, the Playstation Network, and iOS, that the general gamer public think the next cycle of consoles will be all digital downloads and buying a game at Gamestop or Wal-Mart will be a thing of the past.

If not downloadable, there’s always streaming.

Remember Blockbuster video? No? Well it was a store where one would have to drive to and rent an actual hard copy of a movie.

Now with the inclusion of movie streaming services, such as Netflix, VUDU, and Amazon instant video, Blockbuster stores are now a thing of the past and have since become a streaming service as well.

There’s still the Red Box, but I think it’s only a matter of time before that becomes an instant streaming service too.

A few years ago a new service called OnLive debuted. OnLive is essentially the Netflix of video games, where as you plug in the device, make an account, and choose between a huge number of games to stream to your TV.

Could that be the way of the future?

Well not quite yet.

OnLive has been out for a good amount of time now and it hasn’t seemed to catch on just yet.

If streaming isn’t the way to go, maybe downloading is.

For the past few months, games have been released as a hard copy and digital download simultaneously in stores and on the PSN.

This may all seem like baby steps for some because, consoles still have slow connection speed when it comes to downloading and there are still some consoles with small hard drive space.

But baby steps do lead to walking; and, there are some PS3 models and Xbox 360 hard drives that can hold up to 320 gigs or more.

Maybe future consoles will have 1 terabyte of storage and a much quicker download speed.

Personally, I believe we will be hitting an all digital gaming future, but not for a very long time.

Sony tried going all digital with the PSP Go but that flopped hardy than a fat guy doing a belly flop into a pool of syrup.

With the new cycle of consoles a few years away, I don’t think Sony or Microsoft will suddenly drop that bomb out of nowhere so I can safely assume that the PS4 and new Xbox will still use game discs.

The new nintendo Wii U is scheduled to come out at the end of the year and that still uses discs.

I think that we will hit that point probably in the console cycle after this one.

But how would stores like Gamestop just disappear? Would they become something of an antique store?

I like having a hard copy of a game. As I am a very impatient man who doesn’t want to deal with waiting for a download. However, I am also lazy and not getting up to change a disc would be awesome.

Either way, whatever the future brings, I’ll be okay with.

@JayGreen89

Activision Reveals New Walking Dead First Person Shooter

By Jason Green

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Walking Dead is the highly popular comic book series developed by Kevin Smith lookalike Robert Kirkman.

The story follows a man named Rick Grimes, who wakes up to the zombie apocalypse after being in a coma for a month. Rick, than, gathers with friends and family members to survive the harsh zombie infested world.

It’s than just issue after issue, chronicling Rick and company’s terrible ordeals. Actually, issue number 100 came out on the 11th and it was pretty good.

Since its release in 2003, The Walking Dead has become very successful, spawning a TV show on AMC and recently, a downloadable video game from developer Telltale.

Of course one video game isn’t enough and recently, publisher Activision announced that developer Terminal Reality will be making a Walking Dead FPS (first person shooter) game.

This new game, as of now, is simply called The Walking Dead Video Game.

It has a tentative release date of next year and has no relation to Telltale’s Walking Dead game.

The Telltale game is based off the comic book and this new game will be based off the TV show, following the character Daryl Dixon.

The TV show is significantly different from the comics, with new characters, and some new takes on the story.

Personally, I love The Walking Dead. Specifically the comics, which I have been reading for years. The TV show on the other hand, is extremely mediocre with bland, boring, one-note characters, and unsatisfying changes to the storyline.

The Telltale game, however, is outstanding. It engages you with its gripping storyline, fun game play, and tough moral choices you have to make.

I feel indifferent about this new FPS Walking Dead Game. On one hand, the developer, Terminal Reality has a good track record with the games they’ve made. Games like the Ghostbusters game, Def Jam games, and the Bloodrayne games. On the other hand, though, this new Walking Dead game is based off of the TV show which pales in comparison to the comics.

As long as they stick to gripping action, tense moments, and dynamic characters, which is the polar opposite of the TV show, the new Walking Dead game will turn out good.

Only time will tell though.

A few months ago in an interview, Robert Kirkman once stated that a Walking Dead FPS game would be a waste of time.

I guess waving a big bag of money in someones face would change anybody’s mind.

@JayGreen89

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Movie In The Works

By Jason Green

Well it certainly is turning out to be a good week in Hollywood.

It was announced yesterday that Michael Fassbender would be the lead in the upcoming Assassin’s Creed movie.

Now a mere 24 hours later, another bomb drops in that a movie based off the critically acclaimed 2011 game Deus Ex: Human Revolution is under way.

CBS films, along with help from developer Eidos Montreal and company Square Enix,  have acquired the rights to a movie adaptation with producers Roy Lee (The Ring, The Departed), Andrian Askarieh (Hitman), and newcomer John P. Middleton.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the third game in the Deus Ex series.

The original Deus Ex was released in June of 2000, followed by the sequel Deus Ex: Invisible War in 2003.

Eight years later, Deus Ex: Human Revolution would come out and serve as the prequel to the series. I can see making a movie out of the most recent, but chronologically first game, making sense.

It’s a known fact that video game movies are never well received.

But I believe that if handled with the right set of hands, a great video game movie can be made.

When Deus Ex was first released 12 years ago, it was very avant garde. Here’s hoping that this movie will do the same for the video-game-movie category.

@JayGreen89

Assassin’s Creed Movie Star Casted

By Jason Green

It was recently just announced that the Assassin’s Creed movie adaptation has found their lead star.

That star is none other than…

Drum roll…

Michael Fassbender.

Mr. Fassbender is the acclaimed actor from such movies as Inglorious Bastards, Shame, X-Men: First Class, and more recently, Prometheus.

It was stated that last year Sony and Ubisoft, the company who makes the Assassin’s Creed games, were in negotiations for several Assassin’s Creed movies. Ubisoft’s film department would make the films independently so they have full control over the entire project.

That may be a sigh of relief for some fans of the series.

Now that the ball is rolling, and Michael Fassbender is on board, aside from staring as the lead he is also co-producing the picture.

No word yet though on who Fassbender will play, whether it be Desmond or Altiar.

This film is in a very early stages of production, seeing as how there isn’t even a director yet, but maybe it will be the saving grace in the whole video-game-movies-suck category.

Only time will tell.

@JayGreen89