Nick's Gaming Blog

The Primer #1

It’s the end of August, and you know what that means, a few decent games are haphazardly released amidst the otherwise ghost town of the game industry (Summer) in hopes to rack up some sales before the fall blockbusters (Fable 2, Fallout 3, The Force Unleashed, amidst others) destroy any chance of publicity or recognition. With that in mind, take a few moments to sit back, grab a beer (Oberon, if possible) and skim through my enumerated ramblings (1-10) of the latest goings on in the gaming industry.

#1 Too Human debuts

So I’m messing around with a new Microsoft Paint-esque alternative for Mac, bear with it, as I attempt to learn all of this.

That’s right, Too Human, the latest offering from Silicon Knights, hit most store shelves a little over a week ago, in America. The consensus, at least from the first wave of reviews is that the game is bearable, scoring roughly a composite 6.9 on Metacritic and a 69% percent on Gamerankings, while the scores might seem redundant, 99% of the time the two sites do not cite the exact same list of sources, or weigh them equally. Apparently, if you enjoy dungeon-crawling, sitting around comparing the defense power of armors, poor camera controls, and a vague story, it might be your thing. Gamespot, however, decided that they were going to be a little less kind, and toss Dennis Dyack’s Norse epic a 5.5 out of 10. Click here to read the details.

2. The game tie-in for Batman: The Dark Knight has apparently been given the big thumbs down by either the higher-ups at developer Pandemic Studios or publisher EA. Apparently, according to Australian Gamer, too many deadlines weren’t met, and someone decided to, as Kotaku wrote “cut their losses.” Check out the story link here at Kotaku, but keep in mind, this is still just a rumor. Some thought that the delay was so that it could be a tie-in for when the film hit DVD, but perhaps that was wrong as well.

Why…So…CANCELED?

3. Gears of War II exclusivity

Apparently Gears of War II is now going to be, in the immortal words of the scuzzbag lead designer of the Gears of War series, Cliffy B, that the next game will NOT be coming to PC. Of course, those of us that have seen the exclusivity rights of games trampled on quicker than a morbidly obese man in the “Running of the Bulls,” and the fact that any popular game on 360 has inevitably ended up on PC, know that Cliffy B is a liar. And a douchebag. And, in my opinion, an emotionally retarded freak with ADHD that was somehow trusted with a large amount of money. But, mostly, a douchebag. And, if you don’t believe me (about the exclusivity rights, not the douchebag part) check this out.

And…for those of you that were unconvinced about the “Cliffy B being a douchebag” statement…I offer “exhibit A.”

4. Ghost…Busted?

According to Kotaku and those who happened to have pre-ordered Ghostbusters at Gamestops across the nation, apparently the pre-orders have been canceled. For those of you who remember the whole Sierra debacle from a few months ago (and for those of you who don’t, just play along convincingly, nod your head and whatnot) a large amount of Sierra titles got nixed in the Activision/Blizzard merger. This included Brutal Legend, Bourne games, and, of course, Ghostbusters. Developer Terminal Reality claims that they were going to have the game published.

Please, of course note, that this is not the same thing as actually having a publisher. And while neither Sierra or Terminal Reality have commented on this yet, one can only assume that the pulling of the pre-orders is not a good thing. Seeing that they already put Brutal Legend, the brainchild of Tim Schafer (the genius behind Grim Fandango and Psychonauts) out on the street, forced to fend for its own in the proverbial dumpster bins of second-rate publishers, doing the same to Ghostbusters would likely make me put Blizzvision, Actizzard or whatever you want to call the Blizzard/Activision merger third on the “sheer evil” list behind Hitler and Satan.

It goes without mentioning that Ghostbusters is not a strong advocate of literacy

5. Chrono Trigger for the DS coming to America FIRST?

Other than the Final Fantasy games where the protagonist looks like he’s about to audition for a cameo on The Hills and uses more makeup than a Cher revival tour, Chrono Trigger is one of the most beloved RPGs for the SNES, as well as overall. And…it’s also debuting for the DS on September 25th…two days before Japan. Now…listen…if America has fond memories of this game, and possibly has it framed on their wall, had their senior pictures taken with it, the Japanese have set up a pagan shrine to honor Squaresoft’s other series. This is not going to go over well, considering, unless I’m drastically wrong, it was a Japanese branch of Square Enix that made the port.

That being said, expect Pearl Harbor II to also debut by the end of the year.

Yes…I know it violates the laws of physics to have hair like that…and I’m aware that evolution has not yet gotten to a point where an anthropomorphic frog learns the ways of the sword, and I understand that people don’t have flamethrowers concealed in their fingertips…but it’s a game, roll with it.

6. Castle Crashers FINALLY shows up

Castle Crashers, the game from artsy indie studio The Behemoth, best known for their previous title Alien Hominid, which premered on Newgrounds and later on the Gamecube, finally decided to show up on Xbox Live. Imagine this, multiplayer mayhem meets a franetic Saturday morning cartoon visual style meets copious amounts of pixelated blood and destruction. And…for those of you that are “visual learners”:

Here’s a close-up at one of the knights you can control with some sort of ice-powers…I would presume, using my detective skills I gleaned from Encyclopedia Brown novels

Anytime cuteness and over-the-top violence are combined with such a wonderful artistic flair, well, I kinda tear up

7. Viva Pinata 3 is BUSTED!!!

(I can’t think of many jokes about Pinatas, other than that they encourage children to commit acts of brutality against animal shaped organisms, thereby unconsciously conditioning them to the act of animal abuse, albeit, in a children’s party scenario.)

According to the lead designer of Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise, a third installment in the series, is not going to happen anytime soon. Check out the article on Destructoid right here. Personally, I think it’s probably a good idea. It was game, meant for children, that in order to really progress, could not be played by a child. I mean, in order to get one species, you had to attract two of another species, get them to mate, then get one to be eaten by the primary species you want to attract, while still leaving enough of them to continue breeding them as well. Like I said, for an ADHD riddled four-year-old, it ain’t going to fly.

Rare says they’ll be working on something “new.” “New” will hopefully not mean a Grabbed by the Ghoulies sequel, or another broken Perfect Dark follow-up.

*Sigh* The box art says it all…it really doesn’t need anything else said.

8. Brett Ratner returns…sadly

Brett Ratner, the director that has already ruined the X-Men films (he directed the third one) and is on his way to ruining the Beverely Hills Cop series (as he is directing the third installment) has decided that he wants to make another film…based upon…ready…ready…GUITAR HERO.

*Collective sigh*

here’s what he wrote

“I’m trying to convince them…It could be about a kid from a small town who dreams of being a rock star and he wins the Guitar Hero competition. One of these dreams-[come-true] kind of concepts.”

While the rest of the article at Gamespot can be found here, does anyone think this could even be bearable? Like, I don’t think it even has a sliver of a chance. Then again, I’m not super keen on Guitar Hero, so at least it won’t hit too “close to home” like when he did X-men, provided that the film industry gives him the “green light” to film it.

Which…they’re stupid…so they will.

If seeing this promotional poster doesn’t make your blood boil…well…then good day to you, sir. Not even the fact that it’s in some eastern European language can ameliorate the hatred I have for Brett RATner.

9. Ninja Millions 2

According to Microsoft, Ninja Gaiden II, the most recent installment in the Gaiden series, has now sold over a million copies.

In my opinion, this also makes it the most purchased game that was successfully completed by under a dozen of its purchasers.

And…with this picture, I have now reached the mandated limit of “no more than two screenshots of overmasculated protagonists sporting claw-like features” for a blog entry

10. Viral Marketing at its Finest

So, here’s one of the more notable things that went down at Penny Arcade’s Expo: Shave your head, have “HELL” spraypainted on the back of it, and the developers of Brother in Arms: Hell’s Highway, will send you a real copy of the game. Like, a retail 60 dollar game that isn’t out yet…so would you do it? Sadly, I would…at least for a while. I don’t mind being a corporate pawn for what will likely be a good title.

60 Dollar Game for free vs. possibly thought to be a skinhead?

Well, those are your ten points for the weekend, hope this somewhat keeps you up to date with the goings-on in the gaming world.

–Nick

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