Home Upcoming Reviews About
Ethos and Riddles talk about video games...
            Can you handle it?
by Ethos

Tingle! Tingle! Kooloo-Limpah! #006

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Holy crapsticks! Did I ever walk into a wagon full of news! This will definitely be more than 2 stories, so let’s dive in!

God of War Tease Levels Up Again

If you haven’t been paying attention, it turns out that God of War III gives players a “secret” URL after they Platinum the title. “Secret” was in quotes because the website is obviously public knowledge now. The website depicts a rainy scene with occasional lighting flashes revealing a figure (potentially a reflection) that looks suspiciously like Kratos. The interesting thing about this site is that there is an icon in the top right corner that has been filling up slowly since the website was discovered. So far there has been an update to the site each time the icon fills up another corner in the circle.

Initially on March 18, when the bar was a quarter full, it was a similar scene, but it was barely raining, and there was no figure on the left. Then, on March 28, it was half full and the weather incorporated heavy thunderstorms. Finally on April 28th, it reached its current state with the figure on the left and the mysterious figure appearing in the water. The going theory is that the gauge fills a bit every time somebody obtains a platinum trophy in the game. I’m a little curious why every update has ended with an “8″. The former is a cooler idea though.
(IGN)

Activision Bungies Back

Despite analysts saying that Infinity Ward is essentially done for (big surprise), Activision has stayed in the headlines for a different reason. Legendary Halo creator, Bungie, has singed a 10-year exclusive publishing deal with the big bad Activision giant. Community manager for Bungie, Brian Jarrard confirmed that they are “looking at a multi-platform release,” although he didn’t give specifics on which platforms or what type of game. At this point we can assume that it will not be Halo and it very likely won’t involve the Wii.

Also, despite Bungie stating that this has been in the works for years, and analysts speculating that this is good for gamers in general, the announcement does seem a little timely with the mass exodus of Infinity Ward employees. I can’t imagine the timing of this announcement doesn’t have everything to do with Activision wanting to save face.
(IGN)

Linux? Seriously?
Remember when Linux support was ousted out of the PS3 Slim? And then 3 people cried? Well in March, Sony released a firmware update that included removing the “other OS” support from all consoles and 3 more people cried. Apparently one of those people cried a lot because Anthony Ventura of California has filed a class action lawsuit against Sony on “behalf of himself and all others similarly situated. The lawsuit basically says “you promised us Linux! You promised! And now you’ve left me all alone! I thought we’d be together forever! You promised!”

If you have absolutely nothing better to do with your life, you can read the whole filing here.
(IGN)

Not actually from the game, but I wouldn't be surprised.

Now Your Little Sister Can Be Your Wife!
The Japan only 360 title “My Wife: A Wife Just For You”, isn’t such a surprise in itself. Dating sims are popular in Japan, and the ability to create your wife (within the game’s choices) and go through various stages of romancing her isn’t so surprising or new. Why this game’s announcement caught my eye wasn’t the concept or even the “Sleep Together Mode” so much as some of the descriptions of your wife. Two of her personality options are “big sister type” and “little sister type”. Yup. I’m not joking.
(IGN)

Well that’s it! More than last time, ‘eh? DOUBLE to be factually accurate. Riddles may wank to Kotaku, but at least I balance that with my IGN masturbation. Anyway, the battery is low on my compy, and I have dishes and laundry and showering and washing the bathroom and playing Patapon 2 to do! Later!

Hey! Look! Listen! #52

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

It’s TUESDAY, everyone! And you know what that means; or, you should.

That’s right, it’s time for a big, beautiful new edition of Hey! Look! Listen! I’m your host Oliver “Riddles” Motok, and just two days ago, I managed to delete my ENTIRE music collection off my computer. And off my external. Case in point: it was all completely, 100 percent gone.

Well, I actually managed to recover some of it with recovery software. And Charlie, being a music man, has quite a collection for me to sample from. So, it wasn’t as awful as it could have been. Even as we speak, I’m enjoying psychedelic tones of The Flaming Lips. (Soft Bulletin, to be specific.)

But nobody cares about that. It’s time to talk about VIDJA GAMEZ

Courtesy of Kotaku's latest Shop Contest.

26 Employees Have Left Infinity Ward

Ahhh. Karma’s a bitch, eh Mr. Kotick?

Last Friday, five more people packed their bags and left Modern Warfare 2 developer Infinity Ward. During the subsequent weekend, three more people left. And, just yesterday, five more parted ways with the sinking development studio.

The total number of IW employees who have jumped ship is now at 26. Of those 26, 12 have been confirmed to now be employed by upstart development studio Respawn, which is headed up by ex-Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella.

There’s nothing quite like a good quitting story. And this is one of the best I’ve heard in a while. I really hope Activision recognizes the fact that they’re reaping what they’ve sown here. As far as I’m concerned, Modern Warfare is dead – I’m ready to see what Respawn Entertainment as in store for us. (Kotaku, VG247)

California’s Violent Game Bill Being Re-Heated

Mmmm, microwaved Violent Game Legislation leftovers.  So gewd, so gewd.

Well, not really. But it makes for some good Game Journalism fodder, I guess. Remember California Senator Leland Yee? He actually used to be in gaming headlines fairly often, mostly because of the bill he wrote stipulating the restriction of violent game sales to minors. The bill was actually signed into law by California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, but then subsequently blocked by the state courts.

And now, for god-knows-what-reason, the damn thing is going to the supreme court.

As you can imagine, certain people are happy about this, and certain other people are not. Mike Gallagher, head of the Entertainment Software Association, is not. Speaking to Kotaku, he said the bill “…could have a distinct chilling effect on the types of games that are made, the types of games that are marketed, and certainly the types of games that are sold, and how widely available they are.”

Yes, well, any law that essentially defines the demographic of certain products could have that effect.

Leland Yee, on the other hand, is more optimistic on the matter. Makes sense, I suppose, seeing that he wrote the bill and whatnot. Here’s what he had to say to Kotaku:

This is not about Leland Yee trying to destroy the industry. This is not about Leland Yee trying to prevent any of you game [developers] from developing any more atrocious kinds of games. This is a free society. If you have the imagination to do something even more horrible with the technology, then god bless you. That’s part of our freedom of expression here in America, but you just have to figure out when it’s appropriate and when it’s not appropriate. For me, as a child psychologist you ought not be doing it for kids.

He just couldn’t resist those smug, holier-than-thou comments that tend to characterize game-hating politicians, could he? Perhaps you’re wondering what Mr. Yee considers an “atrocious” kind of game. This excerpt from his bill shines a little light on the matter:

(A) Comes within all of the following descriptions:
(i) A reasonable person, considering the game as a whole, would find appeals to a deviant or morbid interest of minors.
(ii) It is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the community as to what is suitable for minors.
(iii) It causes the game, as a whole, to lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors.
(B) Enables the player to virtually inflict serious injury upon images of human beings or characters with substantially human characteristics in a manner which is especially heinous, cruel, or depraved in that it involves torture or serious physical abuse to the victim.

Lots of vague language in there, like “reasonable person,” and “prevailing standards in the community.” Also, (and I know I’m just being difficult here, but still) by my eyes, Link from The Wind Waker inflicts some pretty “serious injury” on “characters with substantially human characteristics.” Maybe not in a “heinous or cruel” fashion, per se, but being bludgeoned with a Master’s Sword certainly involves “serious physical abuse to the victim,” wouldn’t you say?

The silver lining in this scenario is that once the Supreme Court rules on this, it’ll likely put a pretty decisive end to any and all similar litigation. Or… so we can hope, I suppose. (Kotaku)

Dunno who did this, but thanks.

WTF: Square Enix Announces New “Extreme Edges” Label

God. Square Enix continues to display their ignorance of what appeals to Western gamers. Whether it’s releasing a watered-down mockery of Final Fantasy or making an announcement like this, the result is the same: a collective “WTF” from the audience they’re trying so hard to garner.

In the latest Famitsu, Square Enix president Yoichi Wada announced that Western-developed games bearing the CERO D and CERO Z ratings will be published under the new Square Enix Extreme Edges” label. (CERO D is equivalent to an M rating, while CERO Z is similar to the dreaded AO rating.)

Supposedly, the intent of this is to inform consumers of what to expect from the games they buy. My translation: Japanese Square Enix fanbots who buy anything with their logo on it will be spared the pain of purchasing a game like Kane and Lynch: Dog Days.

Yeah… I kinda hope we don’t see that label make its way to the states. It’d be slightly embarassing. (Siliconera)

Kotaku Pisses Off Famitsu

Kotaku recently gave Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu the beatdown it’s deserved for years. Hit the link for the full article, it’s a good read. In a nutshell: Famitsu, and its publisher Enterbrain, are being used to advertise Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker for the PSP. Hell, one ad campaign prominently features the mug of Enterbrain’s president Hirokazu Hamamura. The entire campaign is a pun on his last name.

What a happy-looking man.

As you’ve likely heard, Peace Walker received a perfect score from Famitsu. 40/40. Kotaku’s Brian Ashcraft rightfully called this out as a conflict of interest. Famitsu Magazine appears in Peace Walker. Famitsu magazine and Enterbrain are actively promoting the game, and thus, have a vested interest in its success. Any review would be a conflict of interest. And a perfect score? Well, that just looks downright dirty.

Kotaku Japan – which is an entirely different entity from the Kotaku we know – translated and published the article. Ballsy of them, eh? Well, they paid for it. Famitsu quickly contacted them with complaints. Metal Gear publisher Konami contacted them on the same day, and uninvited them to a Peace Walker launch event.

Fishy, fishy, fishy. Remember when receiving a 40/40 from Famitsu was a big deal? Those days are long gone. It’s bad enough how Famitsu is acting, but frankly, the fact that Konami took issue and snubbed Kotaku Japan in such a way is the most damning evidence.

Who knows what really happened. Maybe Konami didn’t buy that 40/40. Maybe it’s a coincidence that they both decided to bitchslap Kotaku on the same day. But no matter what the actual facts are, it’s an entirely inappropriate thing. It is, at the end of the day, a blatant conflict of interest – and that’s a fact. (Kotaku)

Comcast Named Worst Company of 2010 by Consumerist.com

This one will only interest our American readers, probably – but, speaking of, how many of you guys have Comcast? Most of you? Maybe all of you? Yeah, they kinda have a stranglehold on the cable internet market. As a result, they’ve never really had to care about those things called “customers” Oh, and that 250 GB per-month limit? What’s up with that? And that FCC ruling they pushed through? Come on, now.

Anyway. Through the very internets they supply, they’ve finally gotten theirs. Kinda. People over at Consumerist.com voted them 2010’s Worst Company in America, beating out titans such as Ticketmaster, Cash4Gold, and Apple. Mikel Fahey of Kotaku had this to say:

Congratulations, Comcast! I’d send you an e-card or something, but I need to watch my bandwidth, jerks.

I really should stop wanking off Kotaku. Maybe it’ll happen one day. (Kotaku)

When I’m working for them. HA!

Erm, well anyway, that’s all she wrote for today, folks. Look for my decision as to what backlog game I’ll be tackling later tonight!

Hey! Look! Listen!

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

HLLfinal

ETHAN PIPHER IS WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING, ALWAYS.

Nah, I’m just kidding. That was last week. This week is The Final Fantasy Week, so needless to say, there’s been some back-and-forth debate. Mostly concerning Final Fantasy.

But, we now take a break from that to make time for a regularly-scheduled favorite! I’m  your host Oliver “Riddles” Motok, and it’s time to look and see what’s going on in our beloved game industry.

This Can’t Be the 3DS… Can It?

My innate skepticism is telling me that there’s no way in hell that Nintendo could produce such a sleek-looking piece of hardware. I frankly don’t think they have it in them.

500x_0023

vertical

On a less vindictive note, turning the screen vertically in order to play original DS games looks really… unwieldy. Maybe it’s not? I wouldn’t know unless I was actually holding the thing. Anyway. Hit up Kotaku for the full batch of screens.

Two More Lead Developers Leave Infinity Ward

According to their respective LinkedIn profiles, Lead Designer Todd Alderman and Lead Software Engineer Francesco Gigliotti have departed Modern Warfare 2 developer, Infinity Ward. Alderman and Gigliotti worked at the company for over eight years. Sources told Kotaku that the duo had resigned, but this is unconfirmed.

Why is this interesting? Because it’s hot on the heels of two other key departures from Infinity Ward: Jason West and Vince Zampella, who were essentially the company’s two main men. As I’ve reported in the past, they were unceremoniously canned, and subsequently filed suit against Activision, claiming that they were fired without proper cause.

The IW/Activision scandal seems to be in a dead heat right now. But I have a feeling that won’t last. Or, rather, I hope it doesn’t. (IGN)

ac2screen2Assassin’s Creed 3 Apparently Set for 2010 Release

Michael Donnell is a 3D animator for Ubisoft. Like practically every other dude in the game industry, he has a LinkedIn profile. On his LinkedIn profile, he lists a few games that he’s worked on, and among these are “New Assassin’s Creed Title,” which he lists as a 2010 release. While this could conceivably be another shitty portable spin-off, I’m guessing it’s the real deal, since Ubisoft has said in the past that Assassin’s Creed 3 will be released sometime during their current fiscal year.

As of right now, his profile no longer says “New Assassin’s Creed Title,” but simply “new title.” But it totally said it before. Check this VG247 story for proof.

On a side note, Donnell also lists the fast-approaching Splinter Cell: Conviction as an Xbox 360 and PS3 release. Could mean nothing. It could also mean… something.

Aaaand that’s that. Short column today. If  you’re wondering where my pick for Best Art Direction is, worry not! It’s coming. It just might be, uh… late. Or something.

Laters!

Hey! Look! Listen!

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

HLLfinal

1:32 a.m. on a Friday night, and what am I doing?

Nothing FUN, that’s for sure. I’m at my desk, surrounded by empty bottles of cheap lager, writing an article for you fucks. I hope you enjoy it.

Actually, I hope you don’t, because that would SHOW you.

Yeah.

Anyway. Let me grab another Yuengling, and we’ll get started.

Bobby NodickActivision Vs. Zampella/West: Things are Getting Heated

You guys should pay attention to this, because it’s one of the juicier, more scandalous stories to emerge from the game industry since Jack Thompson was disbarred.

In the previous edition of HLL, I reported on the unceremonious canning of Infinity Ward’s two main men, Jason West and Vince Zampella. I also reported that Activision had filed an SEC suite against both of them, citing “insubordination” and “breaches of contract.”

Well, the (seemingly) dynamic duo of West and Zampella aren’t taking this one lying down. They’re counter-suing Activision, claiming that the company owes them royalties for work on the massively popular Modern Warfare 2, and that they were fired without proper cause. They’re not playing small-time here either: their suit demands 36 million USD in damages, as well as the rights to the Modern Warfare brand. (Not Call of Duty, mind you; but Modern Warfare.)

Said West: “We were shocked by Activision’s decision to terminate our contract. We poured our heart and soul into that company, building not only a world class development studio, but assembling a team we’ve been proud to work with for nearly a decade. We think the work we’ve done speaks for itself.”

Said Zampella: “After all we have given to Activision, we shouldn’t have to sue to get paid.”

Said Activision: (full commented blockquoted for douchery)

“Activision is disappointed that Mr. Zampella and Mr. West have chosen to file a lawsuit, and believes their claims are meritless,” the company said in a statement e-mailed to Kotaku by a spokesperson. “Over eight years, Activision shareholders provided these executives with the capital they needed to start Infinity Ward, as well as the financial support, resources and creative independence that helped them flourish and achieve enormous professional success and personal wealth.

“In return, Activision legitimately expected them to honor their obligations to Activision, just like any other executives who hold positions of trust in the company. While the company showed enormous patience, it firmly believes that its decision was justified based on their course of conduct and actions. Activision remains committed to the Call of Duty franchise, which it owns, and will continue to produce exciting and innovative games for its millions of fans.”

Well. If anything’s clear at this point, it’s the question of appearances. West and Zampella look like two creative geniuses who’ve been thrown under the bus, while Activision continues to look like a grand, huge, massive, gargantuan, money-grubbing bag of douche.

And, frankly, I wouldn’t be too surprised if that turned out to be exactly the case. I have no proof, of course, but the pieces fit. Why the hell would Activision fire their two golden boys? Either they were doing something awful, like, say, money laundering – or Activision just wants them out of the way. Creative differences, perhaps? Arguments over what direction the Modern Warfare brand should take? Understand, as the heads of Infinity Ward, West and Zampella had complete control over the Modern Warfare subseries.

There are countless rumors and nuances to this story, and I’m not going to try to sum them all up here. It’s honestly deserving of a site feature in and of itself. I’ve given you the basic facts. Choose your side, place your bets, and we’ll see where this goes.

portal 2 - GIPortal 2 Unceremoniously Announced

I don’t care about Portal. I’ve never played it. I actually have it sitting on my PC’s hard drive somewhere if I’m not mistaken, but I’ve yet to give it a go. Regardless, a lot of people like Portal. So. All of those people can now officially get excited.

I say “unceremoniously” because rumors have been flying around for a while, and it was revealed the next month’s Game Informer would feature a Portal 2 cover story. After all of this happened, Valve confirmed it through steam.

So yeah, that’s pretty much it. Maybe we’ll see a reveal trailer at GDC? It is next week, after all – and Valve’s very own Gabe Newell will be receiving a “pioneer award” (whatever the fuck that is) at the show. (VG247)

dsi-xlOh Snap: DSi XL and iPad to Hit Retail Within Days of Eachother

C’mon, isn’t this at least kinda interesting? The DSi XL and the Apple iPad, two devices that a) are catered to people who like… uh… large things, and b) don’t need to exist for any reason are both hitting North American retailers within the same week. You can grab a DSi XL on March 28, and then an iPad on April 3.

All of you “size matters” people should be in heaven. Me? I’ll be sitting back and laughing at anyone dumb enough to purchase either device. Unless they’re really old and have problems seeing things properly. I’ll still be laughing then, but for different reasons.

Thanks to GamerLimit

Thanks to GamerLimit

Here, I’ll Up the Ante: Michael Atkinson is a Stupid, Melodramatic, Misguided, Fame-Seeking Fuck.

Note: I did NOT call him a crook.

Everyone other than SiliconNoob is probably wondering what the hell I’m talking about. Well, it goes like this: there’s this little island nation called Australia. Australia likes to ban a lot of games. They’re sensitive like that. Left 4 Dead 2 is one of the most recent examples. One of the reasons for this is that Australia’s most “mature” rating for games is MA15+. After L4D2′a banning in Australia, a bunch of sensible people decided that it might be time to introduce an R18+ rating for Australia, so we could end this nonsense of banning and/or altering games once and for all.

For the hell of it, South Australia’s Attorney General, Michael Atkinson, decided he didn’t like the idea. He’s opposing it tooth and nail. He just doesn’t understand WHY Australians crave more sex and violence in their interactive media! From a letter he wrote to… uh… someone:

“It does not follow that a game is more interesting to an adult simply because it contains extreme violence, explicit sexual material, or highly offensive language. Indeed, with all the effort and money that goes into game development, coupled with the effects and graphics now available, there is no need to introduce these extreme elements. I am baffled and worried about why proponents of R.18+ games are putting up their hands and saying ‘Give us more cruel sex and extreme violence!’”

Cruel sex…?

Anyway. The above was just a crash-course in Michael Atkinson, seeing that I’ve never mentioned him on the site before. In a nutshell: he’s an idiot. The real story is this: sometime last year, a dude named Dean McQuillan submitted a comment on an Adelaide-based website. Somewhere in the comment, he called Atkinson a “crook.”

Because the comment was “highly defamatory,” Atkinson is now suing McQuillan for $20,000.

Yes, you read that correctly. An Australian attorney general is suing a civilian for calling him a “crook” online. And that’s, quite literally, all there is to it.

Atkinson’s head must be one hell of a place to be. Obviously the guy has some serious issues of self-worth, because he seems to be doing his very best to simply be noticed – to  hell with what he’s being noticed for. But hey, I suppose we should thank him. It’s been too long since we gamers have had a public figure outside the industry than we can love to hate. (Kotaku)

shimomuraNERD ALERT: Yoko Shimomura to Score Xenoblade

What? You don’t know who Yoko Shimomura is?! Where is your nerd card, sir?

Anyway. Yoko Shimomura wrote all the pretty music for Kingdom Hearts. She’s damn good at what she does, and if Famitsu via Destructoid is to be believed, she’ll be providing the music for the upcoming Wii RPG, Xenoblade.

I’ve actually been fairly interested in Xenoblade for some time now, if only because I’m the world’s biggest Xeno-fanboy. (Xenoblade is, for the record, written and directed by Tetsuya Takahashi, the mastermind behind the Xenogears/Xenosaga games.)  Shimomura’s musical presence only sweetens the deal. I was actually just listening to the final boss themes from Kingdom Hearts II. Absolutely fantastic stuff. Xenoblade is set for release in North America sometime this spring.

FFXIII logoLook at All the Final Fantasy XIII Reviews

That pesty embargo for Final Fantasy XIII reviews has been lifted, so now the internet is practically swelling with verdicts on Square Enix’s first current-gen entry in the beloved series. Go to GameRankings. You might be a little surprised at what you see.

Having said that, I haven’t actually read any of the individual reviews, and I have good reason for it: I don’t want to go into Final Fantasy XIII with any more negativity than I’ve already acquired. I know for a fact that I’m going to be disappointed with some of the decisions they’ve made. I know that it’s not going to be the same as it was all those years ago, when I was young and Final Fantasy was the greatest thing in the world. But, regardless, I want to give Final Fantasy XIII a fair shake. I want to try to re-capture some of that magic that I felt as a kid, when I didn’t read or care about reviews. Impossible? Maybe. But I’ll give it my best.

As a closing thought, I leave you with indisputable proof that the Xbox 360 version of Final Fantasy XIII is superior to the PS3 version.

Thank god for Destructoid. And to think, I was about to go buy it for the PS3! Silly, silly me.

Well. It’s now 3:19 a.m. on a Friday night. Or… Saturday morning. Whatever. Point is, I’m still not doing anything fun. I’m at this same desk, with the same empty lager bottles. Plus a few new ones.

‘Till next time!

Hey! Look! Listen!

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

HLLfinal

It looks like we’re back on a sort of regular-ish schedule here at Riddlethos.com. Aside from the part where the new theme week didn’t start until today.

But hey, at least HLL is here! Right? Everyone loves HLL, right? It’s better than Scatter Storming, right?

RIGHT?

EH?

Before I single-handedly destroy my own ego, we shall get started.

infinity-ward-logoActivision and Infinity Ward Are No Longer Friends

Well, I suppose I should rephrase that: Vince Zampella and Jason West, to two heads of Modern Warfare 2 developer Infinity Ward, are no longer friends with Activision. And, because of that, they’re no longer employees of Infinity Ward. Even more interesting than that, however, is that Activision has filed an SEC suite against Infinity Ward, investigating “breaches of contract and insubordination by two senior employees at Infinity Ward.”

You’ll notice that the above paragraph is rather short on details. This is because there aren’t many details to be had at the moment. What we know for sure is that neither Zampella or West are employed at Infinity Ward any longer (according to their respective Linked In profiles) and that Activision indeed filed the SEC suit. What happened to prompt such a lawsuit, and why did IW’s two big cheeses leave? Nobody knows. Kotaku is currently doing its best to stay abroad of the situation.

ps3fatSay What…? Apparently the PS3 Fat Was Having some Issues, All Better Now

This one kinda went under the radar for me, mostly because it didn’t affect me, because I have a PS3 Slim.

But apparently, owners of the PS3 Fat fell victim to what Sony is calling an “internal clock bug” yesterday, and because of this, many trophy-enabled PS3 games did not function correctly. Or… something.

Here’s the gist of it: the internal clock on many PS3 Fats reset themselves to January 1, 2000. Supposedly, this was because the PS3 fat was programmed to recognize 2010 as a leap year.

Well, after this automatic reset occurred, whenever owners of the Fat attempted to go online, they were greeted with the dreaded “8001050F Error Message.” And, on top of that, certain trophy-enabled games couldn’t even be played offline  - players were given the same error code, along with a message that said “Registration of the trophy information could not be completed. The game will quit.”

Anyway. As much as I’m sure that sucked for many people, it’s over now. Sony posted on the official PlayStation blog that it has been “resolved,” and if your time still isn’t right, feel free to adjust it.

Sounds so deliciously exciting. I’m sorry I missed out on it. (Kotaku)

wpid-Verizon-DROID-Eris_PhotoApple Sues HTC For Infringing on iPhone Patents

Perhaps by now, you’ve heard of HTC. They are, after all, the ones manufacturing phones utilizing the relatively new Android Operating System, such as the Droid Eris (the slightly watered-down version of Motorola’s Droid) and the upcoming Nexus One from Google.

Anyway. They’re one of the few players who are challenging Apple’s iPhone right now, so it hardly comes as a surprise that Apple is trying to sue them. Apparently HTC has infringed on over 20 of Apple’s patents, including multi-touch technology and other such nonsense. If you wanna know more of the specifics, check out this article on PC Magazine.com.

For drama’s sake, here’s a quote from Apple’s Chief Executive, Steve Jobs:

“We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it,” Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, said in a statement. “We’ve decided to do something about it. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.”

PREACH IT, MR JOBS!

Nah, actually, this kinda stinks of a dominant player in the smartphone market trying to stamp out competition before it becomes competition. And I say that with little to no evidence supporting me. It’s just my gut reaction.

space-invadersPeople are Trying to Make a Space Invaders Movie

No, really. They are. Or, Warner Bros. is, to be exact. They are currently in talks with Taito to purchase film rights for everyone’s favorite arcade classic.

This is so ridiculous that I’m not even going to exert the effort necessary to say that it’s ridiculous.

Except I already did. Fuck. Oh well. If the movie ever does happen, then it will (reportedly) be produced by Mark Gordon, Jason Blum and Guymon Casady. Gordon was involved with Saving Private Ryan. Blum produced Paranormal Activity. I don’t care what Guymon Casady did. His name is sketchy. (Kotaku)

500x_codActivision Has Plans for Call of Duty

Rather than commenting on the juicy Infinity Ward rumors, Activision has taken the sneaky way out, and outlined their grand new business model for their immensely popular Call of Duty franchise.

Activision intends to form a Call of Duty “Business Unit,” which will “bring together its various new brand initiatives with focused, dedicated resources around the world.” The focus will be on “high-margin digital online content and further the brand as the leading action entertainment franchise in new geographies, new genres and with new digital business models.”

Sounds pretty heavy. But they didn’t talk all business jargon – they confirmed that a Call of Duty game developed by Treyarch (responsible for Call of Duty 3, and 2008’s World at War) will be released in 2010. In 2011, another CoD game from an unnamed developer will be released. And, furthermore, another CoD title will be developed by the upstart Sledgehammer Games, a studio headed by Dead Space creative leads Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey. Reportedly, Sledgehammer’s take on CoD will “extend the franchise into the action-adventure genre.”

Wait… really? I mean, uh. That could be cool? Iunno. All I can think about is the fact that one of my (newly) favorite franchises is well on its way to being transformed into an Activision cash-whore.

I mean, I guess that’s what it was before. In a way. But you know what I mean. Right?

New Metroid: Other M Cinematic Trailer Looks Dumb

I’m sorry, but it does. I mean, I guess I can sorta get behind this dramatic, story-driven new direction that Nintendo is taking with the Metroid franchise. Really, I can, because it would be great to get to know Samus a little more intimately. (Not that way.)

But if that’s what they’re gonna do, then the writing had better be good. Like, really damn good. Better than it is in this ridiculous, melodramatic, gameplay-devoid trailer.

Anyway. Now that I’ve torn the trailer to pieces. Enjoy it!

And that, as they say, is that. I’m off to play more Heavy Rain. ‘Till next time!