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
God, what a lonely-looking stand they had this game set up on. Look at that. Really?
When it comes down to brass tacks, at least to me, Rock Band and LEGO go together like peanut butter and chitin. After being revealed to discerning eyes during Dan Teasdale’s GDC talk, the game has garnered some attention from puzzled, clueless journos like myself. LEGO Rock Band is a game for the little’uns, principally, tooled to a younger age demographic and given a fresh coat of paint to keep the drooling cretins jamming away on modern pop hits. So if you’re coming in looking for some Pantera, you’ll be disappointed. But I digress.
Hit the jump for some impressions of LEGO: Rock Band.
The Official Xbox Magazine’s podcast has an interview this week with Harmonix co-founder and president Alex Rigopulos about their upcoming game Rock Band. In the interview he talks about the game bundles, although light on concrete details he does confirm a band-in-a-box bundle that will include a guitar, drum kit and microphone. However, he goes on to say that the PlayStation 3 version will include a wireless guitar controller while the Xbox 360 version will have to include a wired guitar because Microsoft‘s wireless technology is too expensive to make the bundle reasonably priced. Since the 360 also has only two USB ports, the 360 Rock Band bundle will also be packed with a USB hub.
Rigopulos goes on to discuss the game’s career modes a little, saying there will be both solo career mode that progresses in a linear fashion similar to what Guitar Hero players are used to, but they are also including a less linear band career mode. In this mode you traverse to various venues trying to build up your fan base and in some cases return to previously played locations to maintain your fame there. Also it’s worth noting that the solo career mode will not include a bass career track so your options are vocals, guitar and drums in solo career mode. But Rigopulos did reveal that the finale songs for each career path (and therefore likely the difficulty distinctions throughout) will be different for each instrument, and he even said that at this point the drum finale will be The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”
Read More | KOXM Podcast
Look no further for proof that the video game business is big business indeed. Media giant MTV has announced that it is sinking over a half billion dollars into the video game industry over the next two years.
“As we take our brands narrow and deep to serve our targeted, niche audiences, we’re putting well over $500 million behind building our games business across all of the brands in our portfolio,” explained MTV chairman and chief executive Judy McGrath.
MTV is set to make a big splash this fall when Rock Band is released. MTV/Viacom recently purchased Rock Band and Guitar Hero developer Harmonix, so the success of the game will greatly impact any of the network’s future gaming endeavors. In addition to the Harmonix acquisition, MTV/Viacom has snapped up Xfire and GameTrailers, quietly making itself a major player in the gaming scene.
Read More | GameDaily
Over in Microsoft’s camp, chest thumping has commenced with their announcement of over 7,000 pieces of digital content for their burgeoning, yet still controversial – see Guitar Hero II, horse armor – Xbox Live Marketplace. The month of June will absolutely clobber their current video collection with brand new stuff.
Geneon/Funimation is preparing an all new addition to the Video Marketplace stable: Anime! Akira, Samurai 7, Basilisk, and Lupin the 3rd should be tempting you as early as next week. It’s said that more are to come soon, so let’s cross our fingers for HD Evangelion and Samurai Champloo, shall we?
MTV is offering a slate of Country Music Television programs to the table, including Comedy Stage, Foxworthy’s Big Night Out, and Prankville. Another slate comes from the networks gay/lesbian channel, Logo, offering up The Big Gay Sketch Show and Noah’s Arc. While it’s nice to see companies attempting to broaden the current demographic, one has to wonder how this kind of content will do on the notoriously immature Xbox Live service.
The obligatory new movies are also on their way: Pan’s Labyrinth, Dreamgirls, Shooter, Black Snake Moan, Team America: World Police, and Letters from Iwo Jima are all scheduled to arrive in June.
It’s been a crazy week for all things Guitar Hero related. While nothing seems able to stop the juggernaut that is Guitar Hero 2 from being released on time, some of the other news we’ve been seeing might be bad news for fans of the series. First off, MTV announced Monday that they’d be purchasing Harmonix, developer of the series, for $175 million dollars.
MTV had this to say about the acquisition:
The acquisition of Harmonix will deepen MTV’s connection to its audience via on-line, mobile and console music gaming, and expand the relationship with both labels and artists through the creation of games based on classic songs as well as future album releases.
If MTV’s responsible with this property, that could be good news. It sounds like we can expect Guitar Hero to be ported to a variety of systems. It also sounds like we’ll be “treated” to something like a micro-transaction-based system for downloading new content. Of course, there’s always more money to be made by charging $50.00 for hastily-made sequels, so we’ll have to wait and see how MTV treats their new baby.
In other news, you might not be able to play with that fancy wireless guitar in the future, at least if Red Octane has anything to say about it. On the 20th, Red Octane sued The Ant Commandos, the company that produces the wireless guitar controller “compatible with” (read: made for) Guitar Hero. Not one to take it lying down, TAC has countersued, saying that RedOctane is actually at fault and stole the design of the guitar controller during a tour of Topwave factory (Topwave is TAC’s parent company).
Harmonix must be having a field day with this - it’s got to be flattering to produce a game so popular that EVERYONE wants in on the action. Now please guys, can we all just get along so that we can start rocking out again? Please, think of the children…
Read More | Joystiq
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Read More | DigitalTrends
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