Script for Haze longer than the script for MGS4?

•March 15, 2008 • Leave a Comment

In a recent interview conducted by Sci Fi channel with Free Radical’s Rob Yascombe, an interesting little tidbit was released. Yascombe, the writer for Haze, mentioned that the screenplay of Haze was around 120 pages long, and that the actual script was 1000 pages long. This seems like a bit of an overkill for a FPS like Haze… Comparatively, David Hayter has mentioned several times on his IMDB page that the script for MGS4 is “roughly 800 pages”. Is Haze in store for a peculiarly epic plot? Or perhaps Hayter wasn’t including side conversations and those in-game “Whose footprints are these!?” one liners?

At any rate, its something interesting to note. Free Radical’s Haze is due out exclusively for the PS3 on May 20th.

Reviews are just opinions, grow up people

•March 4, 2008 • 1 Comment
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This is something I’ve had bottled up for a long time.

Reviews have become the word of God as of late. The reviewers themselves, Gods of the industry. With each review posted, hundreds of fanboys gather like vultures to fresh giblet of road kill under the high noon sun. They analyze every sentence, every word, every piece of punctuation, leaving no stone unturned. They arm themselves with every pro and con, and then head out to duke it out on their favorite message board. When a game is released and a major publication doesn’t give it the score its supposed to get, World War III erupts. Out of every crevice comes a fanboy, each with his own two cents to add. Message boards turn into warzones, and intelligent conversation into a casualty.

Unfortunately, the publications don’t help the matter either. Its not unusual for a lesser known publication to post a bad review of a good game to get a few more hits. Even the game developers have become more proactive in the situation – now some developers threaten to pull advertising revenue if their games receive negative reviews, tarnishing the bias of reviews(check out some issues GameSpot and EGM have run in to).

Fact of the matter is, however, that reviewers are not Gods, and their reviews are not the gospel. They are simply people, like you and I. Granted, they have played A LOT of games, but so have many of us as well. Their rantings and ravings have no more weight then the dribble of your resident message board troll(well, provided the troll has actually played the game in question, which is not the case most of the time). In fact, with some hardcore genres, like fighters, they have even less bearing – how is a writer that has to review X amount of games a week ever going to have enough time to figure out the ins and outs that make or break the system in games like Marvel VS Capcom 2?

So the next time you read a review, before you waste your time dissecting it line by line and articulating how inaccurate it is about your favorite game, step back. Read the main points, think about the audience the review is written for, and the motive behind it. Ignore the numbers, even. Then remember that its someones opinion. Be an adult, be rational. Reviews are just opinions, and everyone is entitled to their own.

And Smash fans, 9.5 is good, shut the fuck up.

80GB PS3 bundle to be discontinued?

•January 25, 2008 • 1 Comment

After rumors popped up last Monday that the PS3 may be in store for a new price cut, Sony was quick to shoot it down. However, more reports have been coming in that indicate Sony is doing SOMETHING funky with their PS3 lineup. Major retailers across the country have reportedly been receiving notices from Sony to discontinue selling the 80GB model. BestBuy.com has even removed the 80GB PS3 from their website, listing only the 40GB PS3. Target.com has changed the 80GB PS3 to ‘available in stores only’.

This leads to two situations – either the 80GB bundle is being revamped or its being discontinued altogether. The 80GB bundle with Motorstorm was originally supposed to be a ‘limited time offer’. Also, in both Europe and Japan, the 40GB model is the only model actively produced. Making only one PS3 model would go the long way in simplifying the PS3 lineup, which has confused consumers to no end.

Many have argued that Sony would be stupid to do this, as then there would not be a PS3 with PS2 compatibility(all PS3s can play PS1 games). However, as stated before, the US is the only market where a PS3 with PS2 compatibility is still actively produced. Sony has indicated that the majority of its consumers were least interested in a function that allowed them to play PS2 games. Going by sales numbers of Motorstorm, this may be correct – the 40GB PS3 regularly outsold the 80GB PS3 all throughout the holiday months, perhaps indicating that the majority of the consumers are buying the PS3 for PS3 games or Blu Ray playback, not PS2 games. Additionally, Kotaku reported that Sony is still looking to implement PS2 compatibility in the 40GB PS3 through software emulation, which means that the 40GB could possibly be able to play PS2 games at some point.

Expect to here further news about this later on down the line.

First look at Team ICO’s latest project

•January 25, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Sony Computer Entertainment Japan updated their career section with an interesting tidbit today – they added what appears to be a screenshot of the latest game coming from Team ICO. The picture shows simply a chain descending into a dark hole, with shadows surrounding area. The text on the website just describes the open positions in the team.

Team ICO announced its currently working on two PS3 titles, although information has been extremely sparse surrounding them. Outside of a rumor released last fall that one of the games would heavily emphasize the use of a hang glider, nothing has been said about either title. Regardless, the two titles are heavily anticipated. Team ICO and Fumito Ueda, the ones behind the PS2 classics Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, are known for pushing the boundaries of games and art, with captivating environments and innovative gameplay.

Hopefully more will be announced soon. Until then, keep your eye on Sony’s career section.

Guitar Healer

•January 23, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Sure, we all love playing Guitar Hero. Nothing beats a wild night of staying up ’til dawn, whaling along to “Through the Fire and the Flame” on your plastic Gibson with a few friends and a few beers. Its a fun, innovative game. But now, according to an article posted at ShackNews, Guitar Hero may also be a great tool in aiding physical rehabilitation.

One patient, for example, was told he would never regain full flexibility and rotation of his arm after an injury. However, with regular physical therapy, supplemented with playing Guitar Hero(which relies heavily on the aforementioned flexibility and rotation), the patient made a rapid and astonishing recovery.

Doctors further say that Guitar Hero could be used in physical therapy to include improved abdominal, lower back, and wrist strength, sitting balance, fine motor skills, and general endurance.

Check out the full article at ShackNews.com!

Final Roster for Super Smash Bros. Brawl revealed?

•January 23, 2008 • 4 Comments

A screenshot has emerged recently that supposedly shows the final character select screen of SSBB, revealing the entire roster of characters. Behold:

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However, theres a few things that make me question the validity of this screenshot. First, the profile pictures don’t seem to match up, in terms of art direction. Some seem to be in game models while others look they were taken from elsewhere. Second, Jigglypuff’s ear seems to overlap her picture’s boundary, which doesn’t happen anywhere else. Finally – wheres Zero Suit Samus, a character confirmed to be in it since day one?

Still, if this picture is real, I’m content with the roster. Its freakin’ huge! Good representation from all the different series too. Although I’m a bit disappointed that theres no Megaman or Bomberman, two 3rd party characters I was hoping they could acquire. Thank God they brought Ness back, though! OK!

Sony squashes PS3 price cut rumors

•January 22, 2008 • 1 Comment

Reportedly, Kaz “Ridge Racer” Hirai, President of Sony Computer Entertainment, addressed recent rumors of a Playstation 3 price cut towards the end of January in the Japanese Bloomberg. As expected, he said that there were no plans for a price cut in any region, Japan, USA or Europe. Kaz insisted that anything reported was just mere speculation.

Of course, the week before E3 2007, when Target released its flier showing a $499 PS3, the price cut was also denied, as was the creation of the $399 40GB model. For the moment, however, Sony has made it clear: No PS3 price cut in the immediate future.