Video Game Originals and Opinions

Media: Some New Mega Man 9 Footage
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Media: Some New Mega Man 9 Footage

Purportedly from E3, this bit of footage seems to have slipped through the cracks, but gives us a better look at the stages for Tornado Man, Hornet Man, and Magma Man. The dragon looks tough, and the balloon robot is just awesome. Check it out: Read More

kombo August 1, 2008 | Comments
The Skinny on Comcast's Free Wiis
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The Skinny on Comcast's Free Wiis

Recently, Comcast has begun to offer a free Wii when you sign up for certain package deals. Of course, Comcast seems to be far from the most reputable service you can find. And naturally, you have to be aware of a catch: "If you think you can sign up with Comcast just to get a Wii and then cancel or downgrade service, think again. Downgrade service or cancel in the first year, $250 in fees, second year, $125. Other restrictions apply. The insider says the new Wii promotion is a bunch of crap and they and other Comcast CSRs won't be offering it to customers unless customers beg for it because of all the caveats. Frankly, they're in the right for protecting their asses on this one. However, it's not too hard to imagine scenarios where Comcast gets the account details wrong and customers wrongly get assessed fees..." -- Ben Popken, The Consumerist Click the above link for the full internal document which details more of the specifics of the deal, including the Wii's online compatibility with Comcast and what happens if you try to downgrade or cancel early. Read More

kombo August 1, 2008 | Comments
Mysterious Gains and Losses of Microsoft Points
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Mysterious Gains and Losses of Microsoft Points

Mysteriously, many Xbox Live accounts (not mine-- d'oh) have been credited with 500 Microsoft Points. However, the reason behind it is unknown. "The free points were originally thought to be compensation for those who had pre-ordered Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto IV. The title was sold with a special offer that granted all pre-ordering customers 500 free MS points. Unfortunately, most users weren't aware that those free points had an expiry date and it was believed that Microsoft was merely refunding those customers who felt short-changed. However, it has now been confirmed that many of the free-point recipients didn't pre-order GTA IV, and many have never played the game. To further add to the confusion, various Xbox Live subscribers have also reported that MS Points are being deducted from their accounts without warning - often including points they'd actually paid for." -- Parm Mann, HEXUS.gaming Come to think of it... I'm not sure how many points I had in my account before today. Damn. I hope Microsoft straightens this stuff out, and gives us an answer. Read More

kombo August 1, 2008 | Comments
Jim Brown Sues EA, Sony Over Unlike Likeness
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Jim Brown Sues EA, Sony Over Unlike Likeness

Well, you learn something new every day, it seems. I, for example, have just learned who Jim Brown is: Some NFL Hall of Fame guy. I have also learned that Jim Brown apparently holds the rights to the number 32, being black, and playing football. As such, he has filed suit against Sony and EA for the use of a generic black running back in Madden '09 who wears the #32 jersey in the game. Reportedly, the player in question looks nothing like him nor does it bear his name, but such technicalities are pure folly: He wants his "likeness" removed anyway. Brown said Sony and Electronic Arts, maker of the ``Madden'' football games, have ``unjustly enriched and have received and continue to hold ill-gotten gains,'' diluting his trademark rights for his likeness and reducing its value. In the lawsuit, Brown seeks unspecified damages for trademark infringement, unauthorized use of his likeness, trademark dilution and unfair business practices and competition. He also seeks a preliminary and permanent court order to stop the use of his likeness. -- Bloomberg So far, EA and Sony have not responded, but let this be a warning to any aspiring African-American football players who might want to join the Cleveland Browns and could possibly wind up as #32, as you might find yourself being sued for identity theft. Or something. No idea why Sony is singled out for this one, though, unless theirs is the only version with this. Read More

kombo August 1, 2008 | Comments
Microsoft Calls European Gamers More "Casual"
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Microsoft Calls European Gamers More "Casual"

Microsoft's attempt to reach out to the more "casual" gamer, debuted at E3 as the new "Xbox Experience," has met with a mixed reaction at best on this side of the Atlantic. But in Europe, Billy G's boys seem to be a bit more optimistic: ...according to Microsoft brass, Europeans are "a key part of us getting the next 20 million on" Xbox Live. Why? Because "the gameplay style in Europe is more casual, more collaborative and social." And what does that have to do with the New Xbox Experience? Microsoft is hoping the interface reboot will help the Xbox "become something that's relevant to everyone." -- Christopher Grant, Joystiq Overall, Microsoft is out to make the Xbox 360 feel like a new system, one that can draw in more people who aren't aware of all the functions and features of the current layout, and have missed out on what the 360 offers. Read More

kombo August 1, 2008 | Comments
echochrome Goes 2D on PlayStation 3 Home
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echochrome Goes 2D on PlayStation 3 Home

Word from the Develop conference in the UK is that a new echochrome is on the way to the PlayStation 3, only this time, it won't occupy the same three dimensions it did before: Tatsuya Suzuki and Jun Fujiki, lead developers on the PSP and PlayStation 3 puzzler echochrome, announced that a 2D version of the game is coming to PlayStation Home at an unspecified date. Instead of tapping into the PS3's 4D capabilities, the Japan Studios team is going in the other direction, presumably adhering to their gameplay credo of "getting people to play with rules and laws." -- Michael McWhertor, Kotaku Beyond that, little if anything else was said about the new title, with the developers instead choosing to focus on the original title: "The concept reminded me of two games in particular - the rubik's cube, and sudoku. Both of those have several things in common - it's all about getting people to play with rules and laws. We wanted the same with echochrome. Only rules and challenges - nothing else." As such, they attempted to pare down the concept as much as possible. "It was an elimination process, really. We specifically didn't lock the stage menu, we didn't add gimmicks to stages, and we didn't add multiple types of characters. It was actually a pretty brave decision." "But without this decision, I thought it would be impossible to deliver the users something simple and straightforward but that's boiled down to what I just said - rules, challenges, nothing else. We couldn't build classic gamey game." --SCEJ's Tatsuya Suzuki, Develop Magazine And apparently, it worked. Read More

kombo August 1, 2008 | Comments
Rumor: How a Wii Jet Grind Radio Title Might Have Looked
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Rumor: How a Wii Jet Grind Radio Title Might Have Looked

A couple of days ago, a rumor surfaced about a possible Jet Grind Radio title for the Wii, which in turn brought people out of the woodwork. Well, one person, anyway. Tipsters told Kotaku (and not us, shameful) about the work of one Cory "Rey" Lewis, who had art from a "proposed" Wii title in the series. The post featuring the artwork is dated early 2008, while the work itself is listed as dating back to 2006. A little is revealed about the possible developer as well: "According to the post, developer Kuju was the one pitching a new entry in the Jet Set Radio series. Kuju Entertainment actually comprises a number of studios, including Zoe Mode, Kuju America, and doublesix, among others. Kuju London, which specializes in Wii development, recently changed its name to Headstrong Games, announcing that it had an unannounced Sega title in the works. The studio's previous work includes the Battalion Wars series for Nintendo." -- Michael McWhertor, Kotaku So far, there's been no word back on what Lewis meant by saying that the pitch "didn't take," whether it means someone else got the gig or they just aren't using these designs. For now, click on over to Kotaku and see the other designs for Beat, Gum, and the rest. Read More

kombo August 1, 2008 | Comments
Media: Snoopy DS Trailer
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Media: Snoopy DS Trailer

Square Enix came out recently and stated that they are making a series of games starring pop-culture characters; they're calling it Pure Dreams. Two of the titles they have announced so far are 'Snoopy DS: Let's Go Meet Snoopy and His Friends' and 'Pingu's Wonderful Carnival.' Pingu is a widely popular show that can probably be compared to Gumby. Here's the trailer for the Snoopy title: Players will make their own characters and interact in the Charlie Brown world through minigames. The title looks a little casual targeted, but the animation alone is so reminiscent of the show that I'm intrigued. Stay tuned to Kombo for more on this one. Read More

kombo August 1, 2008 | Comments
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