Once in awhile there comes along an experience that shapes the way that we look at things. A video game experience that makes something in your brain tingle. A game where simply a mere melody from its title screen sends nostalgia crawling up your spine. There are a few video games with these kinds of experience that stick out in our minds; not just for being great games, but for their “wow” factors. Sometimes these experiences are shaped by our personal interpretations; i.e. revolving around what was going on in our lives at the time. Therefore, you may have a different top five list, but we can all agree that the following five games helped to shape the way video games are made even to this day.
Watching the Bioshock Infinite trailer for the first time you would think that another underwater outing is in store for the next serious installment of Bioshock. And that’s exactly the effect desired by Irrational Games. While in the midst of this underwater backdrop, the size scale is disrupted when a seemingly enormous fish encircles the perimeter, prompting a very warranted “huh?” from the viewer. Instantly the carpet is pulled from underneath the audience as the scene is revealed to be from the perspective of an unknown victim who just went face diving in a fish tank. This, courtesy of a menacing giant with a visible beating heart sporting a very Bioshock look. The antagonist then tosses our unlucky friend head first out of the window. As the glass shatters we get our first real glimpse at the setting of Bioshock Infinite - above the clouds. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re not in Kansas anymore.
“The time for silence is over,” said Ken Levine of Irrational Games, finally unsealing his lips on the game they’ve been developing for the past three years. The last Bioshock released was heralded not by the original team behind the groundbreaking Bioshock, but by several different sister companies. However, this time Irrational Games is back behind the wheel, and is striking with a vengeance. However, no word on whether or not Infinite has a connection with the first Bioshock world, and Levine is remaining mum on the subject. “I don’t want to think about that…I don’t think it’s particularly constructive to have that conversation,” said Levine in reference to the narrative connection in Infinite. He did, however, nod that the Infinite part of the title “[has] meaning”.
Film director Guillermo del Toro, of Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy fame, is currently set to lend his artistic vision to a field that has long fought for its place in the artistic realm. The debate as to whether or not video games can be considered art was recently set ablaze when acclaimed film critic Roger Ebert blogged that “no video gamer now living will survive long enough to experience [video games] as an art form”. While Ebert admits to having no desire to ever play a video game, hardly the same sentiment applies to del Toro, who previously stated that Flower is “like haiku poetry.” Almost a year later Ebert referred to the same game as “decorative interest on the level of a greeting card”. The two are definitely polar opposites when it comes to video games and art. However, with del Toro’s unique artistic direction poised to influence the gaming industry, can the opinionated Ebert change his anti-gaming ways? Or will del Toro’s gaming projects miss the mainstream mark like other filmmakers’ ventures into the gaming world?
Read More | MTV
Kongregate, a community with a firm back bone made up of thousands upon thousands of free games, is about to get even more backing thanks to its recent fusion with gaming giant Gamestop. But will this unlikely pairing hurt the Kongregate gaming community more than it will help? And what exactly does this mean for your beloved local Gamestop?
Kongregate (or Kong for short) averages over 10 million active users with more than 23 million hours of logged game time a month, and puts forward games provided by eager young developers. Indie developers are supported by Kong not only in having a platform to present their wares to such a large community, but also by given a share in ad and transaction revenue. The owners Jim and Emily Greer wholeheartedly support this community, and do their best to give developers and gamers the best possible community for them. They also believe that Gamestop wholeheartedly support the Kong community as well.
If you didn’t go to E3 this year, well, you didn’t miss much. I mean, well, you missed dancing. And space marines. And Skittles.
You missed Skittles the Dancing Space Marine, the unofficial mascot of E3 2010.
Microsoft hatef*cked their audience with scripted hilarity and dated motion control games. Sony pimped a new 3D TV technology that costs thousands and can only be watched by a few people at a time. Nintendo was the show’s net positive with a bunch of new, awesome games and the 3DS’s grand appearance.
Some commentators looked at this year’s presentation and predicted the fall of the game industry. Others sighed and walked away. Some of us were unable to post because we were caught somewhere inbetween the NBA Finals riots and my third vodka and red bull, which was weak, and I took notice of that.
I’m here to tell you that things aren’t quite as grim as some would have you believe. This time around, I want to talk about Kinect. Hit the jump for some ill-informed musings.
Yesterday, many rumors were put to rest with the release of the Apple iPad. People were excited, joyful, angry, disappointed, or just plain indifferent. Whatever you stance, you had some kind of reaction to Apple’s announcement of the iPad. Is it a giant iPhone? A female hygiene product? A cool netbook replacement? That’s for you to decide.
Whatever iPad really is, and regardless of what it’s competing against, one thing is clear–Apple wants to make a dent in the gaming industry. Developers and publishers were present at yesterday’s conference, including Gameloft and Electronic Arts (EA,) to show off their games running on the iPad, including a full-screen version of Need for Speed. EA made its presence clear, by announcing during the presentation they are to support the iPad platform with future titles built specifically for the device. This should come as no surprise to most, as EA has been a huge supporter of the iPhone and iPod touch as a gaming platform.
Now that we’re over the holiday hump (i.e. every game imaginable being released at the same time, oh god, why do you do this to me), a lot of sites and publications have been putting together lists of games to look forward to in the new year. Me? Nuh-uh. I don’t have the cash for that. Fallout and Dead Space alone have depleted my gaming funds for a while (not to mention a certain 360 dying enough times for me to wish ill on its relatives), and if you’re like me, you want a cheap alternative until your funds recover. Hell, even if you don’t need it, you can’t pass up a quality gaming experience on the cheap, but being a penny-pinching bastard like myself tends to help heal those imaginary wounds. So, I’ve decided to put together a list of a few old-but-still-awesome games that you can get for slightly less than the cost of a night with your mom, though they’ll probably last far longer.
You may want to note that some of these games are older and may stutter and wobble and spurt blood if you’re running more than Windows XP, so you may want to check your compatibility before you plunk down the green to have them downloaded to your inferior operating system, muahaha. Hit the jump for the rundown.
So, as we’ve already reported, Nintendo has announced the DSi, a spiffy new iteration of the DS franchise. There’s the larger screens, smaller profile, music playback, SD card slot…But what’s got everybody in a kerfuffle about it is the 3MP camera embedded in the system, both on the top and between the screens. The burning question now is what exactly Nintendo plans to do with the system, and how they’re going to integrate the features. So, if you want some uninformed opinion about the possibilities and future of the DSi, kindly hit the jump.
Looks like Microsoft has finally gotten around to attempting to fix the horribly, horribly broken Xbox 360 DRM model, which we have written about in the past here and here, with the release of the Xbox 360 Content License Transfer Tool. The video above, hosted by Major Nelson, shows off exactly how users go about consolidating all their licenses to a single Xbox 360 console. There are a couple of issues here though, and they need to be addressed - after all, if you are going to work on a tool to help your users, the help shouldn’t result in new problems.
The image you see above isn’t some generic image we grabbed off the net - it’s my personal Xbox 360. I know what you might be thinking - another one? Yeah, another one - but there is a bit more to this story. This Xbox 360 you see above has been used for all of 20 minutes. You see, about three weeks ago my old box 360 crashed and was giving me the three Red Lights of Doom. I sent it in for repair, and today I finally got a replacement. This actually is a replacement - they didn’t fix the one I sent in, they just sent me a new one. This one happened to have been manufactured on 8/15/2007. Anyway, I got it in the mail, hooked everything up, went through the Dashboard configuration, and started playing a demo. Fatal Intertia. We got tired of that after about ten minutes, and decided to boot up the demo of Stranglehold. We got through the opening sequence when everything froze. Fair enough. I had to manually turn the Xbox 360 off because it wouldn’t even respond to the guide button. I turned it back on, and was presented with yes another Three Red Ring Circus.
I think that there is a lot of confusion with the consumer in exactly how this issue has been remedied. Not just with the extension of the warranty but with the hardware. Exactly what has had to go on to fix the problems that people have been having?
I’m not sure that the consumer needs to understand the complex technical fixes that we need to do for the multiple different problems that come together to create the three flashing red lights. I think the ability for us, all the consumer cares about is my console going to be ok? And if it isn’tm are they going to fix it and take care of it immediately? And if I [already] paid them to fix it, will I get my money back? And the answer is yes to those questions.
But are you guaranteeing or insuring that the systems that are rolling off the assembly lines now and the systems that will be returned to consumers will be fixed properly this time. It won’t be a situation where there are multiple replacements.
Yeah. I mean, nothing is perfect, guys. And the other two hardware companies have their problems as well. I can’t guarantee everyone in the world that we go fix one thing and then something else [won’t] happen. No I’d be stupid to make that guarantee. But I feel very, very good about the quality of hardware now. You guys know this, every day in the factories where we are building these and where we are learning more about it. Sony’s very good at it, Nintendo is very good at it, and we’re very good at it. You’re constantly tweaking, moving parts around, you’re renegotiating with suppliers because your goal is to continuously raise the quality of the box, and bring the price down. Because you have to get your costs down to be able to move your pricing to the level you want. If your costs never came down, then price would never change.
So yes, you can’t guarantee that something won’t go wrong - we get that. But at the very least, Microsoft, you should be able to guarantee that if something like this does happen, that you have some sort of expedited method for dealing with it so that your consumers who spend hundreds of dollars on your hardware aren’t sitting without it for 8-12 weeks because of your hardware problems. Also, I think it is a fair expectation that if you said everything would change in mid-July, that a console manufactured a month later would be clear of these issues.
UPDATE: As always, there are trolls who are claiming that this story must be made up, because a console manufactured over two weeks ago could in no way make the 8 hour plane trip from where it was made all the way over to here in Seattle in that timeframe. I must be some sort of Sony or Nintendo fanboy, just making up the story - they want images to prove I’m not lying. I grabbed a couple of shots of the back of the console, which you can check out after the break.
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