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by Ethos

Hey! Look! Listen! #54

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Oh, hey! It’s this column!

I know I only missed a week, but it feels… longer. But, then again, last week felt like it lasted for 327 years, so that might be why. In any case, I’m back, and sincerely happy to be here. I have seen the world outside, and it’s a far less pleasant place than Riddlethos.

Generally speaking.

I actually *don’t* have Alan Wake at this exact moment, but that’s only because I rushed home to begin work on this very article. Still grabbing it tonight, and I’ll have impressions up by tomorrow evening at the latest. Or, if I’m feeling crazy enough, tonight. (Don’t count on that one, though. Just throwing it out there. To torture you.)

Final Fantasy XIII Sells 5.5 Million, Square Enix Has Record Year

I didn’t realize until now, but during its 2009-2010 fiscal year, Square Enix released a numbered Dragon Quest, a numbered Final Fantasy, and two Kingdom Hearts games. The result? Money, and lots of it.

In an earnings report today, Square Enix announced that their games division had seen a 128.4 % increase in sales over the previous year, to 109,949 million yen. Operating income went up 254% over the previous year to 23,814 million yen. All considered, it’s the best fiscal year they’ve had since the Square and Enix merger in 2003.

Impressive, eh? You can thank Final Fantasy XIII, sad as that is to say. It’s sold a combined 5.55 million units since its release in Japan last year. Perhaps even more absurd, though, is the four million strong that Dragon Quest IX pushed – seeing that it was only released in Japan.

So, despite the apparent loss of their ability to make good RPGs, Square Enix isn’t going anywhere. And that’s all I’m really taking away from this. (IGN)

Square Enix “Looking Into” Releasing Vs. XIII on 360

Totally called this. Not that it’s much of a “call” these days. Publishers tend to release games on multiple platforms. It makes sense, and it’s not as difficult to do as it (apparently) once was.

During an investor meeting, in which financial matters (such as those in the story above) were being discussed, Square Enix’s president Yoichi Wada had this to say concerning Final Fantasy Vs. XIII’s multiplatform-ness:

“We’ll be looking into it internally until right before the formal announcement.”

Looking into it. Alrighty then. You know what I’d like to see, now that I think about it? A breakdown of how many copies that Final Fantasy XIII sold on the 360. I have a feeling that, if I could see one, I might be able to predict their decision. (VG247)

Aggregate Ranking Roundup: Alan Wake, Prince of Persia, Red Dead Redemption

As you’ve likely gathered, it’s Alan Wake Week here at Riddlethos. But, Alan wasn’t the only contender for the “honor” – a certain Prince and an assortment of outlaws from the Old West made fine arguments in their favor. Now that the week is here, how exactly are the three games faring in the critical realm?

Sitting comfortably on the first place position is Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption. It’s currently holding down a 95.79% aggregate score on GameRankings. (It’s worth noting, I suppose, that the PS3 version only has a 93.36%). Impressive. Most impressive. Only based on twelve reviews at this point, but still. Maybe we should have made this Red Dead Week. Oh well.

Coming in at number two is our very own Alan Wake, with an aggregate score of 84.40% And that’s based on 40 reviews. Solid. Quite solid. I’m excited to judge for myself.

And, at number three, everyone’s favorite Prince of Persia: Forgotten Sands with a 76.00%. That’s only based on five reviews, yes, but… disappointing? The reviews are actually largely positive. But, frankly, when I play Prince of Persia, I’m expecting a masterpiece. Then again, after 2008’s rather underwhelming reboot, maybe I… shouldn’t. Ah well. I’ll buy it and play for myself eventually; frankly, I’m hoping it drops in price as quickly as the last game did.

Aw, C’mon: Mass Effect 2’s Mining Streamlined

I didn’t do a whole lot of mining in Mass Effect 2, which I know did me no favors. (You gotta do it if you want to get higher-level weapon upgrades.) However, the reason I didn’t do much mining in Mass Effect 2 is because it was slow. Very. Very. Slow. It was actually kinda fun in an odd way, but god damn… was it ever slow.

Anyway. I think you catch my drift. The reason I’m writing this story is because BioWare released a patch for the 360 version of Mass Effect 2 (PC patch coming soon, supposedly) that addresses this exact issue. And according to Gaming Today’s Phil Owen, “The scanner now moves very quickly, and the scanner itself is much larger… talk about streamlining.”

Well fuck. That would have been nice four months ago, BioWare. Then, maybe then, I could have acquired that awesome [insert high level something or other here] that I always fucking wanted. (Gaming Today)

Oh, For Fuck’s Sake: Nintendo Attempting to Make New Zelda “Easier to Play”

I haven’t been reminded of this fact terribly often lately, but it remains: I hate, hate, hate, hate Nintendo. So much. So much. So. Much. It started with childish gimmicks like motion controls. Then it was instructional DVDs teaching us how to play games. And now? Well, now they’re taking my once-favorite franchise of all time and… doing god-knows-what. Whatever it is, it can’t be good.

Shigeru Miyamoto, the man who created Zelda, was recently speaking with a German gaming site Gaming Media about the illustrious, unreleased Zelda title for the Wii. (1UP transcribes). During said interview, he claimed that Nintendo was “creating a new way to play the game.” Excitement? No. Definitely not excitement. Why? Here’s why:

“We are trying to make Zelda, which has become very complicated, easier to play.”

Complicated? Complicated?! Complicated?!

Pardon me while my mind explodes.

Ahh, that’s better.

Okay, maybe I’m thinking of the wrong Zelda here. You know, the fucking bread-and-butter of action-adventure games? Crawl dungeons, fight baddies solve puzzles? Again: bread-and-butter. BREAD AND FUCKING BUTTER.

BREAD AND BUTTER IS NOT COMPLICATED.

Oh man. I just… have no words. Link… what are they doing to you over there?

It’s just… I have these awful mental images of everyone’s favorite Hero of Time being chronically sodomized by grinning, aging Japanese businessmen. For a while, I imagined Miyamoto merely sitting on the sidelines and watching; perhaps with a sort of subdued distaste. But now? Well, now’s he’s part of the action. And I just can’t handle that.

…and now that I have concluded the most disgusting tangent ever written on Riddlethos.com, I will take my leave. Goodnight, everyone. Enjoy the mental imagery.

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!

Sunday Soapbox: Where does Final Fantasy XIII fit now?

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

For clarification, this Sunday Soapbox editorial has Riddles opening, and then Ethos responding to Riddles in the same article. Enjoy.

Riddles –

Beautiful FFVI-inspired art.

Beautiful FFVI-inspired art.

There was a time when Square Enix’s Final Fantasy series was the definitive console RPG experience.

There was a time when a new Final Fantasy meant a new landmark in the RPG landscape. Final Fantasy VI encapsulates the 2D RPG experience to the button. Final Fantasies VII-IX not only defined the RPG experience for the PlayStation generation, but for the entire genre. Final Fantasy XII, in my opinion at least, is the definitive RPG of the previous console generation.

But my, how the times change.

Final Fantasy XIII represents a big change for the series in more ways than one. We’ve already been over the drastic changes that have been made to the battle system, the world design, et cet – but in truth, that’s only half the story.

Final Fantasy XIII is a very good game. Few people are denying that. I’m certainly not denying that – sure, I’m only twelve hours in, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t having a ton of fun with the game. But Final Fantasy XIII isn’t that definitive RPG experience any more. The king has been dethroned, and Final Fantasy XIII feels more like an experience specifically tailored to series fans, rather than an all-encompassing, definitive RPG.

So, why is this? Why has Final Fantasy lost the potency it once held?

Poor Serah.

Poor Serah.

There are a few reasons. First and foremost, we’ve already seen a lot of RPGs this generation – Square Enix was a little late to the ballgame. Just to cite a few examples, BioWare has already given us three fully-featured role playing games – Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and Mass Effect 2. It’s a bit too early to start handing out awards for this generation, but in my eyes, those three games define the role-playing experience of the generation. The worlds are huge, detailed, and steeped in pages and pages of lore. The battle systems are both deep and accessible, appealing to the new generation of gamers while avoiding ditching RPG combat conventions entirely. The storylines are epic, emotionally charged, and incredibly well-written.

Three years later, along comes Final Fantasy XIII. The world isn’t huge and sprawling. The level of input from the player is minimal.  The writing really isn’t that impressive, and neither is the storyline.

One word I would use to describe Final Fantasy XIII is “safe.” Despite the many changes that have been made, many of them – if not all of them – have been made in the interest of remaining “safe.” The game focuses exclusively on what Final Fantasy has always done right: the battle system.

In fact, it’s the only aspect of the game that doesn’t hold the player’s hand. I wouldn’t go so far as to call Final Fantasy XIII dumbed down – but it doesn’t take the risks that, say, Mass Effect does. It tries too hard not to frustrate the player. And, in doing so, it removes nearly every vestige of actual role-playing.

It’s a bit of a disappointment, to say the least. I won’t lie: as much as I’m enjoying Final Fantasy XIII, every time I play, I’m struck with an odd desire to play it’s predecessor – Final Fantasy XII.

Take it from here, buddy.

Ethos –

Finally got it right! ...except the theme song.

Finally got it right! ...except his theme song.

Y’know, it’s interesting, Riddles. I would actually say that this game is the best written of the series while at the same time agreeing with you completely in saying that it’s not that well-written. Final Fantasy has never had fantastic writing, Bioware just exposed that with sensational writing that was previously uncharacteristic in the industry. Final Fantasy was always able to draw people in with rare character focus and the pure depth of the worlds.

Now, I have a slightly different perspective than you because I’m farther in. The game world has opened up, and there have been some incredibly intriguing plot twists. This is actually the most I’ve been into a Final Fantasy story since IX. Something just clicked in me very recently that has endeared me to Final Fantasy XIII more than I expected with the opening – oh y’know – 30 hours, but that’s not what we’re talking about.

What we are talking about is how the trail-blazer is now behind the pace. I think some of that has to do with the perspective of Square Enix in general recently. They’ve had so many flops this generation that I truly don’t think anybody was taking Final Fantasy XIII as seriously as they would have otherwise. And as much as it maybe shouldn’t, that makes a big difference. Trying to look at the game objectively at this point in the adventure, I’d actually like to take a more positive stance.

Gorgeous.

Gorgeous.

I don’t think Final Fantasy XIII is as behind the curve as the company’s reputation dictates. There has been some very questionable choices regarding (lack of) exploration and stopping to smell the roses, but there are other areas where I don’t think any other game this generation compares. While not technically the best, Final Fantasy XIII is my favourite looking game, hands down. Everything is intricate, varied, and often beautiful. There is a lot more that could be done in the first half to connect you to the world, but the art style did a damn good job. Enemy design is unrivaled, character design is on par with the best of the series, and once you get to Pulse, even some enemy pop-in won’t stop you from being completely blown away by what you see.

And I guess that’s the moment where everything changes for this title and its place in this generation. Should you not be too bitter from the linearity of the first half, Final Fantasy XIII is an experience that cannot be found in any other recent RPG. The world is the sprawling size of the lands explored in XII, the fully opened up menu system blows the watered down RPG mechanics of Mass Effect 2 away, and the excitement of the pure fantasy world to be explored will bring back nostalgic feelings of Final Fantasy at its best.

Yes, Square Enix is still a little confused, and that shows in a lot of the decisions in this highly scrutinized game, but factor reputation out, and play all the way through, and I think Final Fantasy XIII has a legitimately earned place in the top RPGs of this generation. And this is coming from a huge Mass Effect fan.

Still, while the characters and story are great, it would be nice for Square Enix to get some Bioware caliber writers and to stray from the melodrama just a little bit. It gets to be too much; ruining some perfectly good scenes.

This has gone on way too long, what do you all think? Is Square Enix setting the pace? Just keeping up? Way behind?

Hey! Look! Listen!

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

HLLfinal

Hello again, and welcome to the Tuesday edition of Hey! Look! Listen!

I know it’s technically Wednesday, but oh well. I’m your host Oliver Motok, and I’ve already pumped ten hours into Assassin’s Creed II. It is just that good. Impressions forthcoming.

For now, you’ll have to settle for a small dose of news.

mw2bannedModern Warfare 2 Banned in Russia… Or Not

A few days ago, reports that Modern Warfare 2 had been banned in Russia surfaced. Apparently, and unsurprisingly, they got pissed over the now-infamous terrorist airport scene, (seeing that it takes place in Russia, and is perpetrated by Russian terrorists) and called for a full-on national ban. All copies of the game were yanked from shelves, and Activision reportedly was told that they had to remove the level from the game before sales could resume.

Anyway. It WAS a juicy story, until Activision stepped forward and claimed that the decision to recall and modify their game was an internal decision. Bah, how anti-climactic. (MTV Multiplayer).

Check Out BioShock 2’s Boxart

That last story was pretty lame, and in my opinion, so is the boxart for BioShock 2:

That is so... not badass.

That is so... not badass.

Seriously? Seriously? Does anyone disagree with me here? It looks like a cartoon. I am not impressed. (Kotaku).

deadspaceDead Space 2 To Have Multiplayer?

Seems that way, if this job listing is to be believed. Here’s the description:

Seeking a highly motivated Senior Online Level Designer for the Dead Space franchise on Xbox360 and PS3. This is a major opportunity to contribute creatively to an exciting new franchise.

Responsibilities:

• Conceptualize, script, direct, and build online levels for the game.
• Own the level design for the online game, be able to work collaboratively with Creative Director and Online Producer to create extremely fun, satisfying and polished multiplayer levels.
• Drive online design by taking the initiative to bring all parties together to execute on the overall vision for the levels.
• Be a collaborative member of the design team, and contribute to reviews, feedback, and playtest sessions.
• Hands on contributor

That makes it clear enough to me, and it certainly comes as no surprise. BioShock did it, Uncharted did it, and now Visceral has decided that Dead Space has to follow the trend and take on a completely superfluous multiplayer mode.

Uncharted didn’t suffer for it. BioShock 2 is yet to be seen. If Dead Space 2 suffers for it, I will seek revenge. (Kotaku).

ps33.10PS3 Firmware 3.10 Coming This Week

That’s right! Soon after its existence was leaked to the internet, Sony has officially confirmed that PS3 firmware 3.10 will be released this WEEK. Why should you care? Because this one integrates Facebook. How AWESOME is that? Well, for all you facebook stalkers at least.

But it’s actually more than just a Facebook app on your PS3. According to network operation director Eric Lempel, players will be able to share trophy updates on Facebook, for all their friends to see and laugh at. Also, future games will feature the ability to update your facebook.

Again, just so everyone who isn’t as nerdy as you are can have a hearty chuckle.

As you can tell, I’m not super-excited for this. Who knows, it could be neat; I just really have no need to use Facebook on anything other than my computer. And I have no desire to broadcast my trophy acquisitions to the world. (1UP).

square_enix_logoSquare Enix Collaborating with Eidos Montreal on New Game

The headline is essentially the news story, but this is interesting enough to bring up. This marks the first time Square Enix has worked together with someone in their own holding group to produce a game. (Remember, Square Enix acquired Eidos some time ago.)

Speaking at the Montreal Games Summit, Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada said that the project would be the company’s first “truly global game.” Absolutely no other information was released. I’ll be on the lookout for it, though. Interest = piqued. (1UP).

Man, I would really love to play some more Assassin’s Creed II. Sleep? Who needs sleep? Seriously though, it really is a fantastic game. I’d love to say more, but it would ruin my forthcoming impressions!

‘Till then, readers!

Hey! Look! Listen!

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Hello, hello, hello, and welcome to Monday. With Ethan gone I’ve been having a good ol’ time re-acquainting myself with… myself. And no, I don’t mean that way, so get your mind out of the gutter. Charlie, (who, in case you didn’t know, happens to be my roomate) is at work, along with every other friend I have. Works out perfectly, since Monday is generally the one day per week I have off. Sooo, the situation being as it is, I’ve spent practically the entire day in front of this computer, while listening to the sonorous croonings of Billie Joe Armstrong. Oh, internets; will you ever loosen the iron grip you have on my soul?

In any case, this post is entitled HEY, LOOK, LISTEN! for a reason. Because much like Navi, I have things I want you to HEY LOOK LISTEN to, and they are as follows:

Oh, you tease
Square Enix is teasing us again, with an entirely non-sensical teaser site for God-knows-what. Reportedly it launched with “VII days” burned into the middle of the page, which sent the you-know-what fanboys into a frenzy. Then it promptly changed to “VI days.” And now, it has no days, just a countdown timer that has a little less than 18 hours left on it at the time of writing. Take a look here, but it isn’t much to see.

Holy Heart Failure!
For you Batman fans out there praying to God that Eidos somehow manages to change the Caped Crusader’s fortunes (or lack thereof) in the world of interactive entertainment, a demo for Arkham Asylum will be available through Xbox Live and PlayStation Network on August 25. Oh, and check out the new trailer, (GameTrailers) complete with music that sounds all but identical to that of The Dark Knight.

Just because I know you’re not stoked enough at this point…
Square Enix just released some gorgeous new screens for Final Fantasy XIII, including plenty of sweet battle shots. Take a look at your own risk; if you’re like me, your anticipation for the game has already reached a critical mass. (GameSpot.)

Annnd that was your Monday, August 3rd edition of Hey! Look! Listen! Will I be doing that again? Iunno, if I feel like it I guess. Do you WANT me to do it again? Let me know at riddles@riddlethos.com.

Now I must figure out what I will do with the remainder of my lonely Monday night.