IGN doesn’t like Assassin’s Creed?

•November 12, 2007 • 1 Comment

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Although no official review has been posted yet, it seems IGN’s initial impressions of Assassin’s Creed are not very good. In their weekly podcast, they gave pick of the week to Smackdown VS Raw and Medal of Honor: Airborne. When asked about which game had the best graphics, they gave the response “Ass Creed”. They are not allowed to post a review of Ubisoft’s game until tomorrow, but if the podcast is anything to go by, do not expect a 10. Check IGN tomorrow for the full review.

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PS3 reclaims top spot in Japan

•November 12, 2007 • 1 Comment

The 40GB PS3 went on sale in Japan yesterday, and as expected, the console saw a huge boost in sales. The 40GB PS3 was bundled with the Dual Shock 3, and came in two different color options, black and white. Initial reports suggest that 31,000 white units were sold and 5,000 black units were sold. Also assisting the sales was Shin Sangoku Musou 5(known as Dynasty Warriors 6 in the States). The Shin Sangoku Musou series has traditionally been a huge selling game in Japan, with Gundam Musou(Dynasty Warriors: Gundam) being the best selling PS3 game in Japan thus far. Reports are indicating that upwards of 250,000 copies of the game were sold on the PS3, and about 15,000 – 20,000 copies were sold for the 360. Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction also went on sale yesterday as well, although no sales figures have been released for it at this time. Also, no numbers were released in regards to the sales of the other PS3 SKUs.

This is a much need boost for the PS3. Last week was a huge blow to Playstation 3 – it marked the first week in which its foreign competitor, Microsoft’s XBox 360, outsold it in its home territory. The PS3’s other competitor, the Nintendo Wii, has routinely outsold the PS3 by at least 2:1 every week for months now, despite its own numbers slipping as well. This week is a do or die week for Sony, with the new SKU, Shin Sangoku Musou 5, and Ratchet and Clank all releasing. So far, it looks as if Sony will win this week in Japan. However, will it continue to sell this well? Can Sony break Japan out of the home console slump its fell into over the past few months? Only time will tell.

Major Capcom announcements this week – Street Fighter 4?

•October 11, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Capcom is set to release a series of major announcements at their Gamers Day event on 10/17(next Wednesday). They also hinted, however, that some of the announcements would go public as early as 10/15(Monday) and more would continue to come out before the Gamers Day event. Capcom also updated their company blog with a very cryptic message, titled “Prepare Yourself”, with a message that was no more then a series of question marks.

Speculation runs wild as to what possible announcements could come. According to the Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix producer, “… what’s coming is a megaton bomb! You will not be dissappointed”. Expect at least one announcement to be in regards to Monster Hunter 3 on the Wii, and maybe some new details about Resident Evil 5 and Devil May Cry 4 as well.

However, what really has my interest piqued is a comment made by Capcom employee Brian Dunn. In regards, to the event, he said “everyone at Capcom knows all the fans are extremely anxious for a NEW SF game, believe me. That’s about all I can say about that…”. After a nearly 10 year hiatus, could the series be in for a new addition? I certainly hope so!

Sonic confirmed to be in Super Smash Brothers Brawl!

•October 10, 2007 • Leave a Comment

The Nintendo Conference held earlier today unveiled a few new interesting tidbits – they showed off the Wii Fit a bit more, they announced Monster Hunter 3 would come exclusively to the Wii, and they insisted they would be making more use of the Wii’s internet capabilities.

One of the biggest announcements, however, was in regards to Super Smash Brothers Brawl. A new playable character was announced – it was none other then Mario’s long time rival, Sonic the Hedgehog! After long last, we can finally play out the heated rival between the two mascots. Sonic was shown transforming into super Sonic and duking it out with the other Brawl contestants.

The inclusion of Sonic has come at a price though. The game has been delayed until January 2008 in Japan. There were no announcements as to whether this would effect the US version at all, though. Lets keep our fingers crossed that its still right on target for its December release in the US.

Bungie to continue making Halo games, despite split with MS

•October 9, 2007 • 1 Comment

All good things come to an end: the Roman Empire, all you can eat pizza Tuesday nights at Pizza Hut, and most recently, Bungie’s 7 year partnership with Microsoft. Rumors of a split first came the day after the release of Halo 3, and was made public on October 1. As a result of the split, Microsoft retained full ownership of the Halo intellectual property as well as a small stake in ownership

The split between the two was not hostile, Bungie president Harold Ryan said he just did not like the big corporation atmosphere that had developed in the studio after their partnership began. Many speculate that Microsoft was also pressuring Bungie to make a Halo 4, which Bungie did not want to do. However, while Bungie claimed they did not want to make a Halo 4, they did say they were interested in making more games that take place in the Halo universe. Frank O’Conor, content manager at Bungie Studios, even went on to say “If we ever return to the Halo universe, I’m sure we’d have cool stories to tell”.

Also, while the split means that Bungie could make games for the Sony PS3 or Nintendo Wii, they insist that, for the moment, they are only interested in making XBox 360/PC games.

BBFC holds its ban on Rockstar’s Manhunt 2

•October 8, 2007 • 2 Comments

Manhunt 2, the latest title from the creators of the Grand Theft Auto series, has once again failed to meet the British Board of Film Classification’s standards of acceptability, and the BBFC therefore refuses to rate it. Without a rating, Manhunt 2 will not be allowed to be sold in the UK.

Originally, Manhunt 2 was due out in July, but the game was denied a rating by the BBFC in the UK, and given Adults Only rating by the ESRB in the US. In both countries, those measures would prevent the games from being sold(Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo both prohibit AO titles from being sold on their home consoles). The reason for the harsh ratings stems from the bleak and morbid nature of the game, and the graphic execution attacks. The Wii version, in which the player had to make stabbing motions with the Wiimote, pushed the line even further. Rockstar edited some of the more extreme content and even added an alternate ending depending on how the player chose to play through the game. The edited version was deemed acceptable by the ESRB and gave the game a Mature rating, however, it did not pass through the BBFC.

The BBFC acknowledges that Rockstar did edit some of the content. However, they insist that Rockstar did not go far enough. The BBFC did not change its decision because Rockstar left many of the graphic execution attacks in the game, and the story was still very morbid and bleak.

Rockstar said they will continue to fight the ban, saying that “… the changes necessary in order to publish the game in Britain are unacceptable to us” and that the ban “represents a setback for video games”.

Manhunt 2 will release in the US on the PS2, PSP and Wii later this month on October 29th. You can pre-order it now at PlayAsia.com!

Is the PS3 really a failure? – After word

•October 8, 2007 • 2 Comments

pswii60pic.jpgI awoke this morning to see my small video game blog had about 4000 hits(10 times the amount it usually gets) in the last 12 hours, the bulk of which came from N4G.com. After reading all the forum debates the article I wrote last night caused, I feel obligated to post a bit of an after word.

I realize now that it may seem like I was discounting the 360 and Wii – I did compare the 360 to the Dreamcast, and hardly even mentioned the Wii at all. I don’t think these are bad systems, quite the opposite actually. They both have their fair share of exclusive A titles coming out in the next few months – the 360 with Mass Effect, Ace Combat 6, Fable 2, Too Human, the Wii with SMG, SSBB, Mario Kart Wii, Wii Fit, etc. As it stands right now, the PS3 has a very long way to go to catch up.

At the moment, the PS3 can’t even begin to compete with the Wii, and, even though the PS3 is selling the same as the 360 did in the first 10 months – thats not something Sony should be proud of. I doubt when Sony released the PS3, their goal was to sell ‘as well’ as the 360. Sony really needs to push forward now, because even if they continue to sell ‘as well’ as the 360, that means they will always be behind it. Now with some of its competitors biggest titles out of the way, we will see what Sony can do. With the 40GB PS3 essentially confirmed, and the PS3’s line up of quality exclusives coming out in the next 6 months, this is Sony’s time to shine. Like the I said, the PS3 isn’t a failure – not yet at least. Now we see what Sony is made of.