Video Game Originals and Opinions

Ubisoft Announces Armored Core for Answer
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Ubisoft Announces Armored Core for Answer

Ubisoft has announced that it will be releasing the latest in the Armored Core franchise this September for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, titled "Armored Core for Answer" (a peculiar title; I thought maybe it was for some sort of cellphone I'd never heard of). There should be some screens on the way shortly, but it seems they aren't uploaded to Ubisoft's servers yet. In the meantime, here's the press release: SAN FRANCISCO – July 30, 2008 – Today Ubisoft announced it will publish Armored Core for Answer(TM), the newest addition to From Software's mech-based combat franchise, Armored Core. The thirteenth installment in the series, Armored Core for Answer is scheduled for release on the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system in September 2008. About Armored Core for Answer In the distant future, massive urban development and pollution have critically damaged the planet. There is widespread fear that the end of the world is approaching. The League corporations, a military superpower, control the planet's infrastructure and have forced most of the world's population to live in huge aerial communities, called Cradles, to avoid the contamination. The ORCA, a rebel resistance still residing on the surface of the polluted planet, have amassed a formidable arsenal and are mobilizing to attack The League's bases to put an end to their iron grip on the planet. As a mercenary armed with cutting-edge military robot technology, choose your side and defeat the other factions by harnessing the power of the deadliest and most gigantic weapons ever created by mankind. Armored Core for Answer is rated "T" for Teen with Mild Language, Violence. Game features can be found after the jump. Read More

Firmware 2.42 Available, Life with PlayStation a No-Show
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Firmware 2.42 Available, Life with PlayStation a No-Show

Sony unleashed a new firmware update for the PS3 earlier this morning. Sadly, the update doesn't have any new unique features to further enhance our PS3 gaming experience. "Just wanted to give everyone a quick heads up that a PS3 firmware update (v2.42) is now available for download. This update improves the playback quality of some PLAYSTATION 3 and PlayStation format software." -- Eric Lempel via PlayStation.Blog Those hoping to see Life with PlayStation launch in this new firmware upgrade will be sorely disappointed. During E3, Jack Tretton boasted on stage that we would see Life with PlayStation launch by the end of July. Well, July is nearly over and we still don't have a weather station on our PS3. There's always the next firmware update. Read More

Random Video of the Day: World's Loudest Xbox 360
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Random Video of the Day: World's Loudest Xbox 360

Another fine repair job from the folks at Microsoft: "Microsoft: We stand behind every console we sell... because there's less risk of shrapnel there." Seriously, do they test these before sending them back out? Or just go through the motions and slap a stamp on it? Read More

Red Bull BC One (DS) Demo Available Online; Did I Just Draw a Triangle?
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Red Bull BC One (DS) Demo Available Online; Did I Just Draw a Triangle?

Apparently, Red Bull hosts a break dancing competition every year called Red Bull BC One. Apparently someone thought it would be a good idea to make a break dancing game for the DS, based on the competition. Apparently, you are able to try out the game here if you consider yourself a brave soul. Apparently, I don't think drawing parallelograms and triangles is fun. Read More

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune Trophies Detailed
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Uncharted: Drake's Fortune Trophies Detailed

When Firmware 2.40 hit the PlayStation 3, Sony fans everywhere roared in triumph. Why? Because the PS3 finally had in-game XMB support and, even better, trophy support. Acting as the answer to the Achievement system from Microsoft, the Trophy system introduced Sony die-hards to the addicting drug Microsoft hooked so many on already. Sadly, PS3 owners could only unlock trophies in Super Stardust HD. Nearly a month has passed since Trophy support hit the PS3, and we still only have one title supporting it. All that's about to change thanks to Naughty Dog and Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. Naughty Dog was nice enough to share the first information with IGN about the kinds of Trophies that would be found in Uncharted, as well as how many for us to expect. "Arne Meyer: You'll be able to get up to 48 Trophies in Uncharted. There are 47 Trophies related to what you do in the game -- finding treasures, hand-to-hand or gun combat and the like -- and the last one is the Platinum Trophy for getting all the other Trophies." -- Arne Meyer via IGN Unfortunately for us who have already beaten the game once and back again, the trophies will not be retroactive. "IGN: Will any of them be able to be awarded retroactively? Arne Meyer: That would have been nice, but it wasn't something we would be able to do. We originally left our save games unlocked and portable so gamers could move them off the hard drive and their existing game elsewhere or show off some of the unlocked content at a friend's house. This type of portability would have allowed gamers to get Trophies unfairly and we couldn't let that happen. To receive Trophies in Uncharted you will have to start a brand new save game without any medals or rewards unlocked." -- Arne Meyer via IGN I, personally, found Uncharted: Drake's Fortune one of the most entertaining games on the PS3 to date. I will be going through the game again to acquire those beautiful new trophies for my collection. Hopefully, it won't take other Sony titles as long to receive patches. I know quite a few people who have halted their PS3 gaming because they are waiting for a Trophy patch. Even with all this new information, we still don't have a release date for the said patch. Read More

Epic to Test New Intellectual Properties Using Comic Books
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Epic to Test New Intellectual Properties Using Comic Books

Us nerds have been telling common folk for ages: Comic books are the shit. Sorry if you don't get it. Sorry if you think it's all about funny pages for little kids. You're wrong. Speaking at the Casual Connect conference in Seattle this week, president of Epic Games Mike Capps revealed that his studio is looking into cheaper and faster ways to produce new IPs. Comic books were one way of doing this, he explained, saying they were "a new way to try new ideas" and that, via comic books, "it's very cheap to build up an IP franchise in comics than it is compared to games." He pointed out that the story-driven medium, with a lower cost of production and episodic, sustained content was perfect for introducing and building a new IP – which could presumably then form the basis of a new game. -- Develop Mag Making comics as an independent writer is a relatively cheap process. Relatively cheap, of course, for big companies like epic. To get one issue drawn, colored and covered, writers normally look to shell out about $1,000-$2,000 from start to finish. That's how much it costs to present a story to a publisher. A low risk for potentially high rewards. Capps went on to talk about XBLA developer Chair, who Epic recently acquired. "But we liked most was that they had multiple IPs on the go while making that game as well. We're trying to not fuck them up while getting ideas from them and giving them stability and funding," he joked. "We want to learn from casual games. You guys are awesome, we're really jealous of the things you do and we're going to steal all your ideas." -- Mike Capps So, sounds like Epic is going to use the comic book market to test the waters before creating a video game based on a new IP. I don't think it's a terrible idea, but I'm kind of a whore for new video game IPs, so I selfishly wants them all to be born out of our industry. Plus, is a "new" video game IP really all that new if it's based on a "new" comic book? Read More

Shane Kim Admits Microsoft Has "Not Had Success in the MMO Space" Under His Leadership
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Shane Kim Admits Microsoft Has "Not Had Success in the MMO Space" Under His Leadership

Remember projects like True Fantasy Live Online and Marvel Universe Online? Both are Xbox-platform MMOs that were once in development but never made it to store shelves. Shane Kim recently chatted with Edge Online about the subject of these games, and, more broadly, the lack of MMOs on Xbox and Xbox 360. I'll admit MGS has not had success in the MMO space, and that happened under my leadership, so I take full responsibility. It's a tough and challenging space that's evolving all the time - a lot of shifting sands. We haven't been able to crack the code. "...I think we've made the right decision not to proceed with those things like the Marvel MMO. And that's tough, both for customers looking forward to it and teams working on it. That said, we haven't been successful, but there's nothing to say those titles can't be successful on 360." -- Shane Kim, speaking to Edge Now, now, Shane. I'm sure it's not all your fault. Besides, unless you get WoW on Xbox 360, it's unlikely that you'll see much success in the MMO space. If you can prove me wrong, however, please do. I'd love a groundbreaking, fantastic new console MMO. Read More

Sony Takes Hit, Yet Game Division Thrives
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Sony Takes Hit, Yet Game Division Thrives

Sony is full of ups and downs right now, as the company has taken a 47 percent hit to its profits this quarter and has lowered its forecast for next year, though the games division has managed to report a profit with sales up 16.8 percent versus the year prior. PS3 sales are up, but PS2 and PSP are in decline. Kotaku breaks it down thusly: Worldwide hardware unit sales (increase/decrease year-on-year): PS2: 1.51 million units (a decrease of 1.15 million units) PSP: 3.72 million units (an increase of 1.59 million units) PS3: 1.56 million units (an increase of 0.86 million units) Worldwide software unit sales (increase/decrease year-on-year): PS2: 19.3 million units (a decrease of 11.8 million units) PSP: 11.8 million units (an increase of 2.0 million units) PS3: 22.8 million units (an increase of 18.1 million units) In addition, Sony has reported that its total software sales are down, due to the decline in the PS2 portion of its software sales. Read More

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