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by Ethos

Hey! Look! Listen!

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010



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.



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.


Hey! Look! Listen!

Friday, March 12th, 2010


Why is it that every time we have a theme week devoted to a specific game, I can’t seem to get the Tuesday edition of HLL written?

Ah well. Half is better than nothing. And it’s Final Fantasy XIII Week! You should all be playing it non-stop, just like I haven’t been doing!

Seriously, I have like twelve hours. And God of War III comes out this Tuesday. I’m fucked.

BioShock2-1Ruh Roh: 2k Released BioShock 2 DLC That Was… On the Disc Already?

2K Marin recently released the first DLC pack for BioShock 2, entitled “Sinclair Solutions Tester Pack.” It included all sorts of fun stuff for multiplayer, including new weapons, characters, trials, and so forth. Not bad for $3.99, since, as we’ve already established, BioShock 2’s multiplayer doesn’t suck. (In fact, it’s pretty darned fun.)

But wait! Sharp-eyed gamers have noted the fact that the pack is a mere 24k in size on the PC version, and 108k on the 360. So. Either 2K Marin has come up with TEH BEST COMPRESSION EVAR or… the content was already on the disc, and the “DLC pack” was merely an unlock key.

Mull that over in your head for a moment. 2K Marin wants you to pay for what’s already on the disc.

I mean, I doubt they’re breaking any laws or anything, but the ethics of the thing are pretty sketch. Remember that long article I wrote last Sunday about DRM and piracy? Yeah, this is the sort of thing that encourages that. (VG247)

uncharted2Naughty Dog Thinks Uncharted on the PSP Would Be “Fantastic”

Speaking to Joystiq, Naughty Dog’s co-president Evan Wells said he thought Uncharted on sony’s handheld would be “fantastic.”

“I think it would be fantastic to see the game (move) onto a handheld system,” said Wells.  ”If we can find a partner to work with, I’d love to do that … we definitely wouldn’t do it ourselves. We’re trying to just focus on the PS3 technology and platform right now.”

Really? Would it really be fantastic? Because I don’t think so. I hate to sound like a graphics-whore, but the last thing I want to see is Uncharted 2’s ground-breaking visuals and technology watered-down for the small screen. The fact is that the visual aspect of Uncharted is a huge, huge part of the experience – take that away, and I’m not sure I want to see what the results would be. (VG247)

QUICKIE: Splinter Cell Conviction Demo Coming

In a recent developer diary for Splinter Cell: Conviction, creative director Max Beland confirmed that a demo will be available to the public sometime before the game’s release in April.

“Yes, there will be one. I can’t tell you what map or when it’s going to be released yet, my lips are sealed.”

And… that’s all. It’s interesting to note that Ubisoft already told us back in February that there wouldn’t be one. Guess they changed their minds? (VG247)

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Valve’s Gabe Newell on DRM

Speaking at GDC, Gabe Newell had this to say about DRM:

“One thing that you hear us talk a lot about is entertainment as a service,” he said. “It’s an attitude that says ‘what have I done for my customers today?’

“It informs all the decisions we make, and once you get into that mindset it helps you avoid things like some of the Digital Rights Management problems that actually make your entertainment products worth less by wrapping those negatives around them.”

Ride on, Mr. Newell. (VG247. Again.)

That’s all. There’s no more. Goodbye now. Go play Final Fantasy XIII.

TGS 2009: Hey! Look! Listen!

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Day two of the Tokyo Game Show is upon us, and there’s yet to be an announcement that even remotely interests me. Where’s the Kingdom Hearts III news? Where’s a North American FFXIII release date? Where’s a new Zelda announcement? Oh wait, that’s right, Nintendo doesn’t even attend TGS. Even if they were there, they’d just announce another fat people game. BAH.

Ah well, I suppose I’ll fill you in on the few things worth discussing.

Yeah, I think that's pre-rendered.

Yeah, I think that's pre-rendered.

Let’s start with the most worthwhile thing to come out of the show: A new Final Fantasy XIV trailer! It’s really quite pretty. I want this game. A lot. And I didn’t even like Final Fantasy XI that much. Unfortunately, GameTrailers resident HaloWars298 doesn’t seem to share my opinion:

“Will turn out to be crap, just like WoW. Epic needs to show these scrubs how it’s done, I think a Gears TPS MMO could be much better than this stinky.”

I really need to stop giving random internet morons the proverbial 15 seconds of fame…

NEW FOOTAGE WATCH: The Last Guardian
Okay, so Ethos already mentioned this in his most recent issue of Scatter Storming. And it’s not that exciting anyway; Fumito Ueda waxes artsy for a bit, and then shows off about a minute of new “footage.” Still, if you’re prematurely ejaculating over the game like I am, you’ll likely enjoy it. This GameTrailers video is much better quality than the shit Ethos linked you to yesterday.



RELEASE DATE/TRAILER WATCH: Splinter Cell: Conviction
Gah, I don’t care about Splinter Cell! But it’s a big game, and it finally has a release date. That release date is February 23, 2010. Which, incidentally, is two weeks after BioShock 2 is set for release. What significance does that fact hold? None. None whatsoever. Anyway, if you’re interested, check out this shiny new “release date announcement trailer” that premiered at TGS.

White Knight Chronicles 2 Announced
Well, isn’t this exciting. A sequel to a kinda-sorta-popular JRPG that hasn’t yet been released outside of Japan. The only reason I consider this news at all is because SUPPOSEDLY, we Americans will receive a localized version of the original White Knight Chronicles someday. And if I were to buy, play, and enjoy White Knight Chronicles, then I’d likely be interested in the sequel. But I doubt I’ll even buy WKC, and if I do, I probably won’t play it. So why the hell am I even wasting my time talking about the sequel? Don’t ask me. It’s been a slow TGS so far. (Kotaku).

Well folks, I must admit, I’m not impressed. I think I said that already, but I’ll say it again. I’m not impressed, and I won’t be until The Legend of Zelda: Not a Gimmicky DS Game is announced. OH WAIT THAT WON’T HAPPEN.