Video Game Originals and Opinions

Harmonix: Guitar Hero Only Difficult Because Note Charts Aren't True to the Music
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Harmonix: Guitar Hero Only Difficult Because Note Charts Aren't True to the Music

Time and time again, Harmonix has reiterated that Rock Band is a music platform -- a new way to experience the melodious tunes you so enjoy. But what about Rock Band's main competition? You know, not-Rock Revolution? It's just a game. Speaking with Gamedaily, Harmonix boss Alex Rigopulos struck a powerful blow against Guitar Hero in this battle of the bands. "The guiding philosophy for us when authoring patterns is staying true to the music," he said. "What we found was if material in Rock Band was actually easier compared to Guitar Hero, it's because the actual guitar parts are easier, whereas the design mandate for GH seems to be more focused on a gamer mentality in ratcheting up the difficulty. What you see are these note charts that are very disconnected from what's actually happening in the real guitar parts in the music; they might be more crazy from a gameplay point of view, but they're also more disconnected from the music. So for us, that departs from our core design mandate." So, next time you roll through "Devil Went Down to Georgia" on Expert, just remember that your strumming is empty, soulless. And when you blaze through DragonForce's "Through the Fire and the Flames," well, wait, you beat DragonForce? Props! Read More

Dunaway: No More Nintendo Surprises in 2008
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Dunaway: No More Nintendo Surprises in 2008

Cammie Dunaway, with a gleeful disposition so overwhelming that she could murder your adorable pet dog before your very eyes and then convince you that she probably didn't do it -- while kicking another puppy -- dropped quite a bomb recently. "You have seen the extent of Nintendo's 2008 holiday lineup," she told Wired, to the dismay of Nintendo fanboys the world over. But don't fret, giggles, sunshine, rainbows, and dresses! Ack, her infectious smile has possessed me! Er, anyway, don't fret because 2009 is a comin'. "Well, you heard [Nintendo President Satoru] Iwata's commitment, that the Zelda and Mario teams are hard at work. And you know us... we don't talk about things until we are confident that they are in a place where we're going to be able to deliver on them in relatively short order after talking about them," she continued. "So you have to know that those teams are working hard and there will be stuff that will be delightful coming out." Yes, just delightful! Lord have mercy. Read More

Mad Catz Releasing Raving Rabbids Controllers and Accessories
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Mad Catz Releasing Raving Rabbids Controllers and Accessories

Oh God. Yes! Madcatz has secured the rights to manufacture whatever the hell they want based on Ubisoft's Rayman: Raving Rabbids franchise. They'll be creating "a range of accessories" stemming from the long-eared, bug-eyed little buggers, so that Wii-mote plunger attachment you've been dreaming of could very well be within your stout, plumberly grasp. Check out the full press release after the break! Read More

Splinter Cell: Conviction Delayed til 2009-2010
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Splinter Cell: Conviction Delayed til 2009-2010

Splinter Cell fans probably noticed the upcoming Splinter Cell: Conviction's non-presence at this years E3. No demos, no news, no presentations regarding the game whatsoever. Those same people that took notice to the title's missing were probably a little nervous about the potential that Ubisoft has decided to shelve the game entirely. Well no, apparently, the game has not been put to pasture just yet. Ubisoft just wants to put it in next year's lineup in order to bolster sales and strengthen their release list. They also cite the fact that the game is a bit risky; risky in that the cost of R&D on the title is much higher than on something like Raving Rabbids, which would explain why we have that game again in such fast succession. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot spoke a bit about the title and the cause for delay: We can give him a little bit more time to make sure it can become a huge product...The way we build our plan is always in having a certain number of products... that will not be automatically in the year. It was one of the products that was in what we call the 'risky products'... it's one product that is now leaving to another year, but it doesn't change our plans. There you have it, Splinter Cell: Conviction isn't going away just yet. Read More

Burnout Paradise Cagney Update Taking Its Time En Route to Xbox 360
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Burnout Paradise Cagney Update Taking Its Time En Route to Xbox 360

Seriously Criterion, can't you at least post some vacation photos or something? We weren't too miffed when you delayed the update by four days, but now you're saying that Xbox 360 owners will be stalled out at the starting line while their PS3-packing rivals enjoy the Cagney update for a full month? "Yes." According to Criterion, stalwart Xbox 360 supporters won't be zipping through brand new online modes and challenges or cavorting (read: exploding) about in new vehicles until, at the earliest, August 4th. Paradise lost, guys. Paradise lost. Oh, but thanks for the free content that you could've charged for or not created at all or whatever, Criterion. That's cool, I guess. But yeah, anger, vitriol, and whatnot. Read More

Rumor: Wii Music Hitting Japanese Shelves October 16
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Rumor: Wii Music Hitting Japanese Shelves October 16

The game that mostly plays itself may have a vague 2008 release date over here, but Japanese blog Rambling Man has drummed up an apparent release date for our gaming brethren across the pond. In between long, barely-coherent tangents, Rambling Man claimed that Wii Music will launch on October 16 for ¥5,800 (US$54). Unsurprisingly, it will be joining Nintendo's Touch Generation series, which translates roughly to "Cold, Hard Cash" in English. Additionally, Japan will be seeing new Wii-mote straps -- this time in color. They'll be out in September, heralding the release of non-white Wii-motes, I hope. Please, Nintendo? Read More

E3 2008: Mattrick to Rivals: You All Screw Around Too Much!
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E3 2008: Mattrick to Rivals: You All Screw Around Too Much!

Earlier, Don "It Doesn't" Mattrick had his foot put in his mouth over the President of Bungie's reaction to their trailer being pulled. Will he make it two for two today? Let's find out. He spoke confidently of what he felt was a victory for Microsoft at E3, accusing his competitors of slacking off over the past twelve months. "I think we got more than 12 months' work done," he told MCV, "and others went on an extended vacation. Hopefully they got some good vacation photos, because they sure weren't showing up at work." "Of course I'm going to be biased," he admits, "but so far what I've heard is that Sony and Nintendo have disappointed. And Microsoft has been leading, innovating and driving a very comprehensive global programme." "We're building momentum and we're on a scale that no other consumer electronics company or entertainment company has been able to achieve in nine years. It's been a very good show and I'm very pleased with what we've been able to accomplish. I think there was a lot of good work, a lot of innovation and a lot of news from us," he concluded. Read More

Japan's Wii Gets New Feature: 'Bonus Redeem Software'
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Japan's Wii Gets New Feature: 'Bonus Redeem Software'

Something new and strange is going down in Nintendoland... the Japanese side, at any rate. Not very long ago, the Wii Shop Channel added a new "Settings and Features" button in the place of the previous "Settings" button, but nothing came of it... until now. What it seems to do is allow users to enter a 16-digit code that will apparently be available with certain retail games. When used, the Wii will be able to obtain "bonus software" through the Wii Shop Channel. Kotaku speculates that it could either be DLC for titles, or maybe something more akin to before the Wii launch, when everyone was dreaming of ways to get Virtual Console titles, including something like "free Super Mario Bros. with purchase of Super Mario Galaxy" and things of that nature. Read More

Media: Wario Land: Shake It! Tutorial Level Video
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Media: Wario Land: Shake It! Tutorial Level Video

A nice look at the gameplay via a tutorial level for Wario Land: Shake It!, featuring that little green guy and Captain Syrup, presumably on the latter's pirate ship. Princess who? I don't care what anyone else says, this and Kirby will keep the traditional gamer in me busy for awhile, alongside Mega Man 9 and Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia. Read More

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