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by Ethos

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Saturday, February 27th, 2010

HLLfinal

I’m baaaaaack!

Or, HLL is back, I should say. I feel like it’s been weeks since I sat down and wrote one of these things… and that’s probably because it has been. We did have the debut of the Audio Edition last Tuesday, if you recall (I’m sure it’s impossible to forget, as much as you’d probably like to) but HeyLookListen started as a written column, and those will never go away.

Now, will we see more audio editions in the future? Well, I can’t give any specifics at the moment (largely because I don’t know them myself) but I think it’s safe to say that you haven’t heard the last of HLL.

Get it? Heard the last? I’m implying that, y’know… there’ll be more audio editions.

Anyway. Let’s get on with it.

SamusMetroid: Other M Demoed, Dated

Nice. I’ve always been a strange breed of Metroid fan, but a fan nonetheless. I really love Metroid Prime 1+2, but I never did get into 3. I played Super Metroid all the way up to Ridley’s lair, and then for some reason, stopped playing forever. And that’s the extent of my Metroid experience.

We haven’t heard shit about Other M for almost a solid year until now, and it’s looking like a day one purchase for me. The concept intrigued me when it was first unveiled, and after reading through the slew of impressions now floating around the interwebs, I’m all but sold. For once, it looks like Nintendo is doing something very, very different, and that alone is enough to interest me.

For your convenience, I’ve provided links to gushy, fanboyish impressions from IGN (in which Matt Casamassina literally quotes all the dialog from the demo) as well as slightly more objective impressions from Kotaku. Both, however, seem to love the game. Other M has been confirmed for a June 27 release date in North America. Can’t wait.

And who knows, maybe I’ll finish up Prime 3 for posterity’s sake before then.

mediaMario Galaxy 2 Demoed, Dated

Hey, this headline is the same as the last one… except it’s Mario Galaxy 2 instead of Metroid.

I suppose I could have mentioned the fact that the Nintendo Media Summit just took place. Hence these two announcements. I’ve really never had much interest in Mario games of any kind, but Galaxy 2 is looking pretty sweet. For a Mario game. And that’s my educated opinion, after watching the trailer and not reading these Kotaku impressions I’m about to link you to. For your viewing pleasure, I’ve also provided the newest trailer for the game below.

Oh, and uh… here’s the boxart.

UR MI AY...? Whut? "UR MR GAY" was so much more straightforward.

UR MI AY...? Whut? "UR MR GAY" was so much more straightforward.

ffxiiiFinal Fantasy XIII is an 18 GB Install on 360

That’s between all three discs, naturally. Ve3tro.com was nice enough to provide exact sizes for all three discs:

  • Disc 1: 5.9GB
  • Disc 2: 5.8GB
  • Disc 3: 6.6GB

18.3 GB in total. Of course, it’s entirely optional to install. And it’s worth noting that the PS3 version sizes in at about 38 GB, so it literally more than twice the size of its 360 counterpart. And it’s all on one disc, too! Oh, the beauty of Blu-Ray.

heavy-rain-1New Line Optioned Heavy Rain Film

And, in fact, it’s technically still an “option,” as it were. Waaay back in 2006/2007, New Line Cinema (y’know, the people who distributed the Lord of the Rings movies) filed a “Short Form Option” for Quantic Dreams’ Heavy Rain. All this really means is that they have the option to make one, should such a thing be feasible. It has no financial contracts therein. The filing was discovered by internet sleuth Superannuation.

So really, this is nothing at all to get worked up about, just an interesting bit of trivia. And also a reminder that development on Heavy Rain really did start a looong time ago… now that I think about it, I do seem to remember the game being shown off before the PS3 had even been released. It’s been a long time coming.

On that note, I apologize for the complete lack of Heavy Rain-related content on Riddlethos this week. It’s been a little difficult, getting back from 8 days in Toronto and readjusting to normalcy. But I promise to have something written and posted before this week ends. Look for it!

Save Data Should Never Be Locked (#Heavy Rain)

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010
Thanks PS3Blog.net for the image and for their list of locked PS3 saves.

Thanks PS3Blog.net for the image and for their list of locked PS3 saves.

As you’re all well aware, it’s Heavy Rain week. It’s another week I’ll be soloing, since I’m more interested in the game than Ethos is – hence why I went to buy it today while Ethos did not.

As the title implies, things haven’t quite gone according to plan. It began when I went to buy it this afternoon. I walked to what seems to be the only GameStop in Toronto (they’re a bit behind on the EB/GameStop switch) with the intent of buying it so I could play it immediately – despite having it reserved back in TN.

Right before I walked in, some sketchy-looking fuck with a rat’s nest on his head and a backpack full of games stepped up to the register and said he wanted to trade a few games for credit. Whilst I stood and waited, I heard him ask, seemingly on a whim: “do you guys have any copies of Heavy Rain left?” And to my dismay, the GameStop clerk answered: “yeah, we have one non-pre-order copy we’re selling.”

I wasn’t happy, needless to say – I asked again to make absolutely sure they had no other copies to sell. The clerk said “no,” and that next time I should pre-order. I replied that I did, in fact, have it pre-ordered- back in the states. They didn’t care.

Although, the dude who was stealing my copy did say I could come over to his place. As long as I “stayed out of his pot.” (I quote.) I politely declined.

Anyway. As fate would have it, a store across the street called Sonic Boom had a solitary copy hidden away, which I found and snagged. Along with $100+ worth of other shit. (Hey, it was an awesome store.)

SO. After coming home, performing the 5GB install, going back out, getting some wings, and coming back home, I finally started playing Heavy Rain.

(Not sure why I keep referring to Ethan’s house as “home,” but we’re going to let that slide for now.)

As certain reviews have stated, the opening to Heavy Rain is slow. Really, really slow. You spend the entirety of it performing mundane tasks such as brushing your teeth, setting tables, and reheating pizza in the microwave. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it – it’s clear that the slow opening is needed to establish whatever dark murder mystery Heavy Rain has in store for me – but it certainly requires a bit of perseverance.

So after playing for about an hour and half (and, incidentally, finally reaching a part that seemed semi-interesting) I decided I’d better check to ensure that I could transfer my save to a USB key before I played any further.

And guess what? Like Dragon Age, and a few other random PS3 titles, Heavy Rain’s save data is locked. Why is it locked? Why is the save data for ANY game locked, ever, for any reason?

Hell if I know. But of course, the one game I buy in Canada won’t let me take my progress back to TN. I’d love to give you proper Heavy Rain impressions right now, but thanks to Quantic Dream and their draconian save-locking ways, I can’t. Because I can’t play any further. Because I have to go back to TN tomorrow.

Heavy Rain Demo Impressions

Monday, February 8th, 2010
I hope the literal origami turns out to be the killer

I hope the literal origami turns out to be the killer

Well since Riddles is off drunk and cheering on the worst of all sports: football, that means I can’t get my Mass Effect 2 review posted although it is finished. It also means that it can’t officially be Bioshock 2 Week yet. Sooo, good news and bad news. Because Bioshock 2 is worse than February.

Anyway, I got a chance to play the Heavy Rain demo. That’s that game that people are jizzing over and I have no idea why. I decided I’d play it with an open mind and not judge it from the videos that made it out to be nothing but a quick time event fest.

From what I gathered, it is and it isn’t what I feared. The demo includes two sections that star two different characters. Both characters are investigating the murders done by the interestingly named Origami Killer who, from what I can gather, is called that because he leaves a paper crane in the hands of his victims. The game is a refreshing change of pace from the non-stop action games of late by taking on an almost point and click murder mystery feel. Just from the demo, I could understand why the developer is pushing the fact that choices are everything in this game. There are times when you choose what questions to ask, what evidence to look at, and even whether or not you should turn a blind eye to an ex-client abusing a prostitute. Still, that’s when the cool unexpected stuff ends. Yes, many interactions and sequences are just quick time events. I had to push the right buttons in the right way at the right times in accordance to cues on screen. Although in one fight scene that I carried out, it looked like when I missed a cue, it didn’t make me instantly lose, but turn the tide in my opponent’s favour. Still, quick time events are annoying. But at least the game looked pretty amazing.

So I’m still not interested in this game at all, but I don’t think I’ll turn my nose up at anybody who plays and loves it. It appears to be attempting something that hasn’t been done before rather successfully, so I’m all for that. I’m also a little interested in the story now, but I think it’s a game I’d much rather watch than play.

Hey! Look! Listen!

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

HLLfinal

What’s worse than February?

This recurring “news” column, that’s what. This barely informative, self-gratifying, irregularly updated EXCUSE for videogame journalism.

I feel sorry for anyone who’s about to read it, frankly. But hey, everyone’s gotta bite the bullet and eat a shit sandwich at some point in their lives. For the lot of you, that day is today.

So let’s get this over with.

lusiMegaphones Ahoy! Celebrates its 50th Podcast

A lot of you probably don’t need to be informed of this, but for those of you who don’t listen to Lusipurr.com’s Megaphones Ahoy! Podcast, there’s never been a better time to start. Both myself and Ethos guest star in this special, double-sized 50th podcast. I’m there for the whole thing, while Ethos’ airtime is limited to a 15-minute pre-recorded segment. Kinda stupid, actually, but so is he.

Click here to download the cast. Alternatively, you could get it on iTunes. Or you could click that big freaking banner to the left to go straight to the website itself. Choices, choices!

I like this guy already.

Mass Effect 2 Sells 2  Million

We have our first official videogame blockbuster of 2010, folks, and it’s Mass Effect 2. Here’s some PR spin for you:

Forty perfect scores. Two million units. One pop culture phenomenon. BioWare™, a division of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS), announced today that Mass Effect™ 2 has sold-in over two million units worldwide in its first week of release*. Lauded for its intense shooter gameplay and deep, hand-crafted story, Mass Effect 2 has earned an average review score of 96** — making it the second highest rated game of all time on the Xbox 360

I’ll admit to being a little surprised. I knew Mass Effect 2 would be big, but 2 million units in a week is huge.

Then again, I’ve never seen so many people at my GameStop for the game’s midnight premiere. Not even for Modern Warfare 2. (VG247)

Heavy RainHeavy Rain Requires 4.2 Gig Install, Lets You Make Origami

Quantic Dreams’ interactive movie, Heavy Rain, will size in at a whopping 4.2 gigabytes. 4.2 gigabytes that you’ll be required to install before booting the game up. But never fear, because Quantic Dream was reportedly nice enough to include a 12-step origami minigame that you can play while performing the install.

I’m not sure that a 12-step origami piece will be enough to occupy the average gamer for 4.2 GB worth of install time, but hey, the effort is appreciated.

I haven’t talked much about Heavy Rain on Riddlethos.com, but I’m actually really looking forward to the game. I’m somewhat familiar with Quantic Dream’s previous works, having played approximately half of Indigo Prophecy back in the day. I really liked it, too – which makes me wonder why I stopped playing it.

Not interested in Heavy Rain? This video might change your mind. It features the main (female) protagonist naked. No, really. There are boobs and everything. Damn nice ones, too, as far as digitally rendered stuff goes. (VG247)

ps3slimSony Hopes to Bring More PS1/PS2 Classics to PSN, Considering Charging for PSN

IGN recently interviewed Peter Dille, Sony’s senior vice president of marketing. He’s also the man “in charge” of Sony’s PSN service.

The interview is very, very good, and there are more than a few things to latch onto and discuss. Two things in particular caught my attention: the discussion of PS2 games coming to PSN, and the possibility that Sony may go the way of Xbox Live and charge for their online service.

When asked about PS1 and PS2 classics on PSN, Dille responded that they’re “working really hard” on making more of them available. From the interview:

By all means, I think people can look for more of that because once the third-parties see how this works, it’s just found money. There’s not a whole lot of work that has to go into it and once we can get it up on the network, it finds an audience pretty quickly.

“Found money” is an excellent way to put it. On all accounts, there is absolutely no reason for PS2 games (and more PS1 games) to be on PlayStation Network. Peter Dille said it himself. I suppose it’s a matter of getting third-party developers on board, but frankly, that shouldn’t be difficult for Sony to do. So. Where are the PS2 classics?

IGN asked quite a few questions about Sony’s PlayStation Network, and one of them was if Sony ever planned to charge for it. From the interview:

It’s been our philosophy not to charge for it from launch up until now, but Kaz recently went on the record as saying that’s something we’re looking at. I can confirm that as well. That’s something that we’re actively thinking about. What’s the best way to approach that if we were to do that? You know, no announcements at this point in time, but it’s something we’re thinking about.

And… ugh. I am not in support of this. I buy multiplatform games for the PS3 for a few reasons, and the main one is that if I ever feel like playing online, I can do it for free. I don’t play enough to be considered “hardcore,” and certainly not enough to justify a $50 Xbox Live subscription, but I enjoy the occasional round of, say, Modern Warfare 2.

If Sony does introduce some type of subscription model, I sincerely hope it only applies to “premium” content – like, say, exclusive demos or videos.

I know $50 a year isn’t much to ask, and I know that people have the idea that it “pays for the stability.” But playing games online is not and should not be considered “premium content.”

I encourage you to check out the full interview here.

QUICKIES:

Here’s a few rapid-fire headlines for you. Short, sweet, and not really worth writing about at length.

Final Fantasy XIII Will Ship on Three Discs – As long as one of them doesn’t sit in a paper sleeve. (I’m looking at you, Lost Odyssey)

Final Fantasy XIV Is Coming to Xbox 360 – According to VG247, this has been “obvious for a while,” but it came as a surprise to me.

And just because we have a bit of a Simpsons thing going this week, I figured I’d include this image from the latest episode:

simpsonsZii

I should watch that show more often.

Well. Between a long night at work and frequent South Park-induced distractions, this thing went up a bit later than I anticipated. But hey, at least I did it, right? If nothing else, it means you don’t have to suffer another one of Ethos’ pathetic attempts to match my news-condensing prose.

Which is almost as bad as February, but not quite. ‘Till next time!

GamesCom 2009: Three trailers you should watch

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

So, GamesCom isn’t the grandest affair to be spoken of in the gaming hemisphere, but nonetheless, we’ve had some interesting stuff come out of it thus far. The PS3 Slim was announced, a PS3 price cut was announced, and… uh… the PS3 slim was announced!

Anyway. A few quality trailers for some high-profile games have surfaced as well, and here are my top three. (Read: the only three I’ve watched. Granted, not many more have been shown, but still.)

Mass Effect 2. Man, I need to finish the first one, because everything I see for the upcoming sequel gives me chills. Especially odd considering how lukewarm I am about the original game. (Hence why it remains unfinished.)

Heavy Rain
Heavy Rain. Man, I need to finish Indigo Prophecy. I know the concept of a game composed largely of quick-time events is a major turn off to a lot of people, but Indigo Prophecy is such a unique, mind-blowing experience that it can hardly be judged for its use of quick-time sequences. And Heavy Rain looks to be upping the ante in every way. Can. Not. Wait.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Man, I need to finish the first game. Of course, I need a working PS3 to do that. Maybe if I finish the first one I’ll understand why Nathan is so strangely melodramatic in this trailer. Ah well, he’s a badass however you slice it.

Huh. I noticed a disturbing trend over those last three paragraphs. Did you?

Oh, and all of those trailers are courtesy of GameTrailers. You likely figured that out already, but I figured I should touch all my bases.