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

Hey! Look! Listen! #58 – I Don’t Get No Respect

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Holy shit, mono fucking sucks.

And damn, has this website ever gone to hell. Just look at that banner up there.

Normally I’d apologize to you all, but this time I’m  not going to, because I honestly feel like the universe needs to do some serious apologizing to me. These last few weeks have sucked an unholy dick, and I really don’t feel like I deserved all the pain and suffering that I’ve been unceremoniously gifted with.

However, as you may have gathered by the fact that I’m here right now, I’m feeling better. And I felt the hankering to write something. Before we begin, I should note the fact that, upon having finally given it a try, I think Left 4 Dead is a damn fun game. And also, Netflix on the 360 is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

That’s right, I bought three months of Xbox Live Gold. On impulse. I feel slightly dirty, but… it’s the only console that lets you stream Netflix without a stupid-ass disc. And it was only $9.99 for three months.

ON TO THE TOPICS OF INTEREST

Batman: Arkham City Officially Revealed in Game Informer, First Details Rumored

I know Ethos already touched on this in his latest TTKL, and I don’t mean to upstage him; but I’m totally geeking out over this, and there have been some new rumors abroad, so I figured I’d go ahead and take a stab at the story as well.

Ah, who am I kidding, I totally mean to upstage him.

First, just take a look at this concept art/Game Informer covers. Are they not beautiful?

As you can see, DCs infamous femme fatale Catwoman is prominently featured, indicating that she’ll have a prominent role in the game. Co-op play, perhaps? Or maybe an ICO-esque team gameplay mechanic? Personally I’m hoping for the latter, seeing that co-op play tends to come at the expense of a focused narrative – and that would just be a shame, given how strong the storyline behind Arkham Asylum was.

As the title “Arkham City” implies, Batman will be taking down crime in the streets of Gotham this time around. Perhaps you recall the teaser trailer shown at the Spike VGAs, which showed a walled-off portion of the city, and an ending tagline that said “Arkham Has Moved.”

A hastily thrown-together site called Arkham.co.uk claims to have the first details on the game from Game Informer. Supposedly, Quincy Sharp, the man who was running for Mayor in the original game bought off a part of the Gotham slums and walled it off, making it the new detainment facility for Gotham’s colorful inmates. Why? Well, supposedly both Arkham Asylum and Blackgate Prison were deemed “unfit” to hold said inmates. Why a walled-off slum could do the job when two maximum security detention facilities couldn’t is well beyond me, but hey, it provides the necessary fresh setting.

As far as actual storyline goes, it’s rumored that the infamous Two-Face has plans to execute Catwoman in order to gain respect of the Arkham City inmates. The Joker, of course, is still kicking around – but there’s something distinctly wrong with him. You might recall that the teaser showed him in pretty rough shape. One would assume that it’s due to the overdose of Venom that he took at the end of Arkham Asylum, but the GI article hints that this might not be the sole factor.

As far as gameplay changes, Batman is now able to counter two attacks at once, and he’ll be able to use his trusty smoke bombs. Arkham City will feature side missions, unlike the original game. There will also be more puzzles, criminal gangs to take down, and more riddler challenges. It’s too early to say, but it almost sounds like Rocksteady might be focusing Arkham City into a more sandbox-esque experience, which could be pretty damn cool if done right.

Anyway. Keep in mind that the above details are technically rumors; the source is hardly anything credible. Just be on the lookout for the upcoming issue of Game Informer for confirmation. What I can tell you in confidence is that we won’t be seeing Arkham City on store shelves until Fall of 2011. So. It’s time to play the waiting game. (IGN)

Nomura Provides Versus XIII/Agito XIII Updates

Woo. For those of you who are still waiting with bated breath for every Final Fantasy XIII-related piece of news, today is a happy day! Apparently both Agito and Versus XIII are currently undergoing the voice casting process. Which means they must be getting somewhere, right? If you don’t believe me, then believe Mr. Nomura. Here’s what he tweeted the other day: “Agito and Versus have different production styles and progress states, but they’re both presently undergoing voice casting. The 3rd Birthday’s recording will end shortly. Next up is Agito.”

He did go on to say a little more about Versus XIII. Apparently there’s a lot he could announce about the game, but due to Square Enix’s policies he cannot. However, he did comment on the nature of Versus XIII’s world map: “There have been many questions regarding fields. It’s not a completely open world. It’s like the 2D FF games in HD. Although, in terms of looks, it’s not a top-down view, it’s like the screenshots that have been released. You’ll move through the world from that view.”

Hm. Vague as that is, it already sounds more promising than Final Fantasy XIII’s abominable tunnels. In truth, I am still holding out for Versus XIII simply because it has the chance to be the game that Final Fantasy XIII failed to be. Obviously I have absolutely no reason to believe that it will be, but hope springs eternal. (IGN)

Please God Yes: Splinter Cell, Prince of Persia HD Collections Rumored

Oh man. I could care less about Splinter Cell, but an HD collection of the Sands of Time trilogy would be a literal dream come true. According to Joystiq, Amazon France is listing – or listed – trilogy collections for two classic Ubisoft franchises: Splinter Cell and Prince of Persia, both set for release in November. Below is visual evidence.

Obviously there’s no way of knowing if this is true or not. I’d like to say that Riddlethos has contacted Ubisoft for comment and will be back with you shortly, but we haven’t, because we don’t have any PR contacts with Ubisoft. Or anyone.

I can assure you, though, that we’ll be doing everything in our power to ensure that this is true. And by that I mean I’ll be kneeling at my bedside every night and offering up a prayer to whatever deities care to listen.

Well, that’s a wrap. Seeing that I’m still recovering from the dread mono, I have all of today off work. And tomorrow. Thursday, I believe, I make my return. In any case, I have some time to play games. Will I play anything aside from Modern Warfare 2? That’s yet to be seen, but for the record, I have been planning to re-start and finish Dragon Age: Origins. Also, I’ve been feeling an intense desire of late to re-visit an old friend, Ocarina of Time.

‘Till next time, you hateful creeps!

P.S, what the hell is a Scott Pilgrim Week?

Hey! Look! Listen! #55

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

There’s a lot of stuff in my RSS reader today. Way too much for me to process right now, in fact; though I’ll do my best to touch on the more relevant news items.

Anyway, ah. Welcome to another edition of Hey! Look! Listen! I’m your host Oliver “Riddles” Motok, and there WILL be a happy ending this time!

Ahem. So. Let’s get to it.

RUMOR: Sony to Reveal “PSN+” at E3?

Okay, I like the sound of this. If it’s true, Sony has the right idea about premium online services, unlike Microsoft.

According to one of Joystiq’s sources, Sony is prepping to reveal a service called “PSN+” at their 2010 E3 Media Briefing. The rumored benefits of a PSN+ subscriber are as follows:

-Free access to a “rotating list” of PSP Minis and PSone classics. That’s pretty damn sweet.

-”Exclusive in-game DLC. Eh, that’s something I suppose.

-”First Hour” demo access to full retail titles. Unfortunately, to access the hour demo, you have to download the full game file. Still, you don’t pay unless you choose to purchase full access.

-Free “PlayStation Protection Plan” access. Yeah, that’s pretty nice.

-Cross-game voice chat. Ehh… well, I suppose that’ll excite other people.

-Cloud-based game saves. Meaning… you could access them anywhere, I suppose? Sweet.

-Some kinda auto-patching system.

All that extra goodness for PSN+ subscribers. However, online play will remain available to everyone. That’s the big difference between PSN+ and Xbox Live.

It’s rumored that the price would be in the range of $9.99 per month. Seems a bit high, though – Sony must know that it’s a bit pretentious price their service the same as Netflix. In any case, this is currently just a rumor. Frankly, though, I hope it’s true. It might encourage Microsoft to follow suit.

(Joystiq via Gizmodo)

Speaking of PSN: Modern Warfare 2 Doling Double XP This Weekend

That’s right! See, there’s this American holiday called Memorial Day that takes place this Monday the 31st. It’s a day that honors those who died in service of our military, and it’s most often celebrated with wings and beer. But me? Well, I’ll be MW2ing it up the entiiiire weekend. And I’ll have beer. And hell, maybe I’ll pick up some wings. Sounds like a damn fine weekend to me. Except for the part where I’ll suck at Modern Warfare 2 because I haven’t played it in two months. (VG247)

Insomniac Games Signs Deal with EA Partners

While I have no real experience with Insomniac Games’ work (never played Resistance, never played Ratchet and Clank) this is still an interesting bit of news; Insomniac Games has only ever made games for Sony platforms. But now, in wake of a deal with EA Partners, they’re working on a game for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

The days of platform loyalty really are dead. And no, I don’t necessarily view that as a bad thing. I’m just stating an increasingly apparent fact.

Anyway. Insomniac Games will continue to work with Sony, so don’t fret, Resistance 3 is still in the works. Absolutely no details were offered on what kind of game they’re developing for EA, or when it will be released. If you want the full story, check out VG247’s interview with Insomniac’s Ted Price.

Mass Effect is Being Made Into a Movie

Yeah… I suppose it was just a matter of time.

Legendary Pictures, the studio behind films such as The Dark Knight and 300, have reportedly snapped up the film rights to Mass Effect. BioWare co-founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk will serve as executive producers, along with series producer Casey Hudson. I Am Legend screenwriter Mark Protosevich is supposedly interest in working on the film, and it will be produced by Avi and Ari Arad, as well as Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni.

Sound great, right? Meh. Not to me. The Mass Effect franchise represents a narrative experience that can only be achieved through an interactive media like a videogame. To make it into a film would be to cheapen it. It just wouldn’t be Mass Effect as Mass Effect was meant to be experienced. (VG247)

QUICKIES:

Ubisoft Toronto Working on New Splinter Cell Game - Yay, Toronto! That’s where Ethos lives!

RUMOR: Killzone 3 Coming May 2011, Features 4-Player Co-op - Okay. I mean, again, I really don’t care much about Killzone. But for those of you who do, have some rumor stew!

Alright. Well, that’s it. We’re done. Goodbye now!