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by Ethos

Hey! Look! Listen!

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

HLLfinal

Good… uh, early MORNING everyone, and welcome to yet another edition of Hey! Look! Listen! As per always, I’m your host Oliver “Riddles” Motok, and I’m here with a smattering of news stories and oddities that managed to catch my eye.

In case you haven’t guessed already, I’ve failed at playing any Wind Waker this week. However, the week is far from over, so there is time. That game happens to be my second favorite Zelda, hot on the heels of the immortal Ocarina of Time. So naturally, I’m pretty excited about re-visiting it.

Shall we?

PrinceofPersiaWarriorWithinUbisoft Announces New Prince of Persia Game

I don’t think I’ve ever been so simultaneously thrilled and terrified by a game revelation in my life. Ubisoft has recently announced that Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands will be released for both consoles and handhelds in May, coinciding with the upcoming film. Reportedly, the game will feature “fan-favorite elements from the original series,” as well as “new gameplay innovations.”

Why is this awesome? Because it’s a) Prince of Persia and b) a return to the Sands of Time universe, which is INFINITELY preferable to the cel-shaded universe of the recent series reboot.

Why is it terrifying? Well… because it’s a movie tie-in. While I can’t imagine that Ubisoft would mar the integrity of one of their most respected franchises, it’s still an unpleasant thought, given the quality of most film tie-ins. Secondly, Ubisoft DID NOT announce if this was a return to the Sands of Time videogame universe, or a game based on the film itself. (i.e, featuring the likenesses of the actors and such). If that turns out to be the case, no corner of the internet will be safe from my wrath. Let’s just say I’m tentatively both stoked and enraged. (Kotaku, 1UP).

Final Fantasy XIII Boxart, Length Revealed

The fact that Final Fantasy XIII will be mine in four months still hasn’t quite hit me yet. Not sure why, but regardless, the internet isn’t going to rest until my anticipation has reached the breaking point. Have a look at the game’s recently-revealed boxart:

FFXIIIboxart

My verdict: not bad, though extremely simplistic, and the Xbox 360 version wins for showing more leg.

While I’m on the subject: Final Fantasy XIII director Motomu Toriyama has gone on the record stating the the game will be a whopping 50-60 hours long. “For XIII, the size of the entire game is considerable,” said Toriyama.  ”Just running through the main story takes experienced players over 50 hours. For the first time, I think it’s possible to play through in full in about 60 hours or so.”

Good to know some things never change, I guess. Lord knows I’ll be punching in every hour and then some. (Kotaku, 1UP).

ac2screen2Assassin’s Creed II DLC Forthcoming

I rarely give a shit about downloadable content, but Ubisoft might change my mind with what they have planned for Assassin’s Creed II. Two different DLC packs have been announced, scheduled for release in January and February of 2010. They are entitled Battle of Forli and The Bonfire of the Vanities, respectively.

Those who have played and finished Assassin’s Creed II know that late in the game, the story skips a rather large chunk of time. (11 years, to be precise – it jumps from 1488 to 1499).  Also, it skips two chapters – jumping from “Memory Sequence 11″ to “Memory Sequence 14.”

Perhaps you’re picking up on something here? If  you need further proof, the Bonfire of the Vanities is an actual historical event that took place in Florence during the year 1497. Fits right in the aforementioned 11 year gap.

Oh, and Ubisoft is telling gamers to keep 1 GB of space available for each DLC, meaning these additional chapters will be quite lengthy indeed. (Kotaku).

Check Out Mass Effect 2’s New Asari Babe

I’m sorry, but Liara will not be making the cut as long as this chick’s around. All I can say at this point is damn.

Yakuza 3 Listing Found on Amazon Germany

It’s easy to forget that Yakuza 3 isn’t ACTUALLY confirmed for release outside of Japan. However, Sega’s persistent “no comments” and now this Amazon listing act as a sort of de facto announcement if you ask me. Apparently the game is set for a March release. I’d give you the link, but it’s apparently (and unsurprisingly) been taken down. Yakuza fans rejoice; I know you’re out there. I’m not one of them, though… seeing that I’ve, uh, never tried the series out. (1UP).

Nintendo Scales Back Wii Production

A report from Nikkei states that two Japanese companies, Mitsumi and Hosiden, are facing staggering losses in profit due to “declining fortunes” of Nintendo’s Wii. In case you’re slow on the uptake, Mitsumi and Hosiden are companies that assemble, among other things, Wii systems. Fewer Wiis being sold means fewer Wiis being assembled. All said, both companies are reportedly looking at net profit losses of over 50 percent. Ouch.

I find it rather humorous that, after years of keeping Wii production low, (likely for the sole purpose of stirring hype) Nintendo ramps it up, only to cut it back again with startling quickness. Or… maybe it’s all part of their evil plan. I don’t know. They’re devious little bastards like that. (Kotaku).

And that, as they say, is that! My goodness it’s late. Early. Whatever. Good thing I have to work for 10-11 hours tomorrow! Time to grab my four hours of sleep. Catch you on the flip side.

Hey! Look! Listen!

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

HLLfinal

Greetings, and welcome to the Thursday edition of Hey! Look! Listen! I’m your host Oliver Motok, and last Tuesday, I spent nine straight hours playing Modern Warfare 2.

And I plan to play more tonight, so let’s make this hasty, eh? We actually have some decent news to cover tonight, though, so I promise you it’ll be worth your time.

MW2screen1Modern Warfare 2 Sells Nearly Five Million Copies in 24 Hours

Yep, that’s what I said. This, of course, is according to “internal Activision estimates,” so nothing’s OFFICIALLY official until November’s NPD numbers are revealed. But honestly, this isn’t too difficult to believe.

4.7 million copies sold, amounting to $310 million. In 24 hours. And that’s only counting North America and the UK.

Blowing the horn for all it’s worth, Activision is billing this as “the biggest launch in history across all forms of entertainment.” And frankly, that may not be far from the truth.

MSNBC Tackles Modern Warfare 2’s “Terrorist” Level

With Modern Warfare 2 breaking sales records and whatnot, it’s obviously caught the eye of non-gaming press as well. MSNBC recently aired a segment featuring Kotaku’s Stephen Totilo, in which the now-infamous “terrorist” level of the game is discuss. It’s actually a pretty decent segment; the two chicks manage not to sound entirely ignorant, and Stephen makes his points nicely, while not coming off as overly-defensive. Watch the clip on Kotaku, but beware of spoilers.

500x_uncharted_2_salesUncharted 2 Sells Over a Million Copies

Sure, this story may look a little puny compared to Modern Warfare 2’s 34287 units in a single DAY, but seeing that Uncharted 2 is still currently my Game of the Year, it always has a place in my column. Phil Rosenberg, SCE’s Senior Vice President of Business Development, boasted the game’s commercial and critical success at today’s BMO Capital Markets Digital Entertainment Conference. According to him, Naughty Dog’s masterpiece crossed the one million mark last week.

More power to it; the game deserves every copy sold and every penny earned. Now how ’bout they hurry up and fast-track Uncharted 3?

Nintendo’s Wii Back on Top in October

Ugh. It pains me to report this, but apparently that $50 price cut did Nintendo some good after all. After being defeated by the PS3 in September, the Nintendo Wii was back on top for the month of October.  Here are the NPD hardware numbers, with data being gathered between 10/4 and 10/31:

  • Wii – 506,900
  • Nintendo DS – 457,600
  • PlayStation 3 – 320,600
  • Xbox 360 – 249,700
  • PSP – 174,600
  • PlayStation 2 – 117,800

The Wii sold only 462,800 units in September, while the PS3 sold 491,800. Fairly drastic month-on-month drop for the PS3, but I imagine we’ll see a similar drop for the Wii this month. As for December? That’s anyone’s ball game.

popUbisoft Claims that Prince of Persia Could Surpass Pirates of the Caribbean

Here’s a classic example of a corporate figure promising too much: Ubisoft CEO Yves Guilmont also spoke at the aforementioned BMO Capital Markets Digital Entertainment Conference. Unsurprisingly, he mentioned the upcoming Prince of Persia movie. Here’s what he had to say:

“What we hear is that I could be stronger than Pirates (of the Caribbean), which did $2.7 billion dollars. I think this will really help our brand to become a major brand in this industry.”

Yeah… while I’m fairly sure at this point that Bruckheimer’s vision for the Prince will be a profitable one, I can’t quite see the movie bringing in over two billion dollars. Perhaps he was referring to the inevitable film franchise as a whole? Who knows, but anyway around it, he’s talking out of his ass.

That’s all for now, folks! Have a lovely evening, and don’t count Modern Warfare 2 Week out yet. I have an editorial brewing that I’m dying to share with you, and word on the street is that Ethos now has his hands on the game.

‘Till next time!

Hey! Look! Listen!

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

HLLfinal

There’s no way in hell I was going to let Ethos one-up me on this one

I couldn’t take it anymore, Ladies and Gentlemen, so I took the path of least resistance/most money, and picked up a copy of Dragon Age: Origins. It’s installing as we speak, so I can offer no impressions beyond this series of text messages between me and Ethos:

Riddles: So HOW IS IT?
Ethos: Still creating character. Install took forever. Sweet character creation, though!
Riddles: Well shyit. About to go grab it before GameStop closes. I’ll let it install while writing HLL.
Ethos: Werd! Good week this week!
Riddles: I agree, sir. Let’s not let it die over the weekend ;) DA installing now.
Ethos: God my character is hot.
Riddles: Betcha mine’ll be hotter.
Ethos: Yours will just look like Cokey
Riddles: Exactly. What’s hotter than a cracked-out amazonian swordfighter?
Ethos: A cute red-haired elf with a bad-ass face tattoo!

Ahem. More thorough impressions to come later, presumably. In any case, I can tell you now that a PS3 install takes MAYBE 10 minutes, so I’m not sure what he was bitching about.

On to the news!

Check Out This Awesome Modern Warfare 2 Launch Trailer

Yes, it has an Eminem song in it. But for some odd reason, I find it fitting, and the trailer is AWESOME regardless of the music. Anticipation = off the fucking charts.

Test Audiences Rate Prince of Persia Movie HighlyPrince of Persia Movie

In an interview with Latino Review, Prince of Persia producer Jerry Bruckheimer had this to say:

What we found when we tested the movie a few weeks ago, and it tested extraordinarily high which surprised me because I always think these things are going to fail but this one turned out great; the women were a surprise because I thought we made a terrific movie for the boys because the girl is beautiful but the women flipped over this film. I’ve never had a score where the parents, there is violence, too, because it’s PG-13, but the parents rated the film a hundred percent with an excellent or very good which has never happened before. So it’s one of these movies that we know they’ll take their children to go see it which is a huge advantage for a film, that parents can say, ‘Hey, it’s cool. My kid can see it.’

I’m borderline loathe to say this, but… I’m getting pretty damn excited for this movie. There, I said it. Yes, I know I’ve always bashed game-to-film adaptations on principle. But hey, I never said somebody shouldn’t try to change my mind. And it looks to me like Bruckheimer & Co are set out to do just that. By the by, I highly suggest you hit the above link and give the full interview a read. It’s quite good, and features Prince of Persia creator Jordan Mechner as well as Mr. Bruckheimer.

nintendo-logoNintendo Discusses its High-Definition Future… Kinda

Or DO they? It’s never easy to tell with them. Anyway, a bunch of big-name Nintendo execs have spoken publicly about their supposed eventual step into HD. By a bunch I mean six, and among these six were Shigeru Miyamoto and some dude name Genyo Takeda. He’s, uh… the general manager of Nintendo’s Integrated Research and Development Division. Or something. Anyway. Here’s a few select pieces of the text wall:

Takeda – “Since an increasing number of the TV sets at home around the world are becoming HD today, it will be natural for a machine to be able to generate graphics that people will be accustomed to see on HD televisions. Since the ordinary TV programs are now shifting to HD, moving to HD appears to me a natural flow.”

Miyamoto – “Regarding the question of SD or HD, it must depend on each software. For example, we have to ask ourselves if HD is really necessary to develop Wii Fit. Won’t HD be better for the games like Pikmin? The developers should choose the most appropriate graphical format depending on the software they make. To Nintendo, our theme is how we can prepare the SDK library to cater to the needs of the developers, with which the developers can more easily develop their games. In fact, Nintendo has been working with such mission.”

Those two quotes are among the few that make, y’know… sense. Click here to subject yourself to the full thing.

Check Out This Sweet-Ass Mass Effect 2 Collector’s Edition Box
I usually don’t give collector’s editions a second thought, but Mass Effect 2 already has my attention. For a mere $10 more, you’ll receive a fancy tin case, a 48-page hardcover art book, issue 1 of the Mass Effect: Redemption comic series, and a bonus DVD with behind-the-scenes features.

Do want.

Do want.

Asassin’s Creed II Will Kick the Original’s AssAC2logo

Hoo boy. Strangely, I haven’t been freaking out in anticipation for Assassin’s Creed II. It remains my most anticipated title of the year, but I’ve kept my fanboyism under control for the most part. However, when I read articles like this one from IGN, I start to feel the tingle. The article is entitled “Five Ways Assassin’s Creed Has Improved,” and it’s a good read for anyone with even a passing interest in the game.

Aaaand that’s a wrap, folks. I’m off to play me some Dragon Age. Expect to hear from me again shortly.

Hey! Look! Listen!

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

hllvideo

Well, it seems we have yet another slow day on our hands, ladies and gents.

Regardless, welcome to the Tuesday edition of Hey! Look! Listen! I’m your host Oliver “Riddles” Motok, and I really, really, REALLY want Dragon Age. I was initially okay with the fact that I didn’t have the financial means to purchase it, but after reading/watching a few reviews, I’m practically lusting for it.

With that, let us segway into our first item of the day.

dragon_age_cover-shotBioWare’s Dragon Age Takes World by Storm, Riddles and Ethos Can’t Buy it.

The title says it all. At long last, Dragon Age: Origins has been released for PC, Xbox 360, and PS3. It’s a game I’ve always kept my eye on, but I’ve never really wanted it quite as badly as I do today.

Why? Well, first and foremost, take a look at its aggregate rating on GameRankings. While the console versions score slightly lower, it’s clear that the critics love this one. Allow me to reference you to Kotaku’s written review. Why Kotaku? Because they actually use the phrase “swords and sorcery” in it, which made me glee.

Still not sold? Check out the very lengthy, very awesome video review from GameTrailers.com below.

I want it… I want it so badly. Curse fate.

Check Out the Prince of Persia Movie Trailer in Higher Quality

You already saw the crappy version, now check it out in glorious hi-definition, courtesy of IGN. I must say, I’m impressed with what I’m seeing here. When I saw the Dark Prince from Two Thrones, I was pretty much sold. Jerry Bruckheimer, work your magic… you just might get me in the door on opening night.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time at IGN.com

What the Hell is American McGee’s Alice?

What the hell, let’s just turn this into Hey! Look! Listen: Video Edition. I’ve never heard of American McGee’s Alice before in my life, but people were making a big deal over this newly-released trailer for the sequel, aptly titled The Return of American McGee’s Alice. So I took a look. And, uh… it disturbed me.

Done watching? Apparently, the original American McGee’s Alice was a PC game developed by Rogue and published by EA games waayy back in the year 2000. After reading IGN’s review, I’m more than a little intrigued. I’ll be sure to keep my eye on this one, but we’ve got a long wait… the trailer says 2011, after all.

And there’s your Hey! Look! Listen: ADD Edition. Er, Video Edition, I apologize. I think it’s a good alternative when actual news stories are in short supply. Have a good evening, folks; I’m certainly going to try to.