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ATLUS photo
ATLUS

Etrian Odyssey Untold rated for release in Germany


NIS America likely to publish Atlus RPG in Europe
Oct 13
// Kyle MacGregor
Perpetually angry European Atlus fans needn't worry too much about Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennim Girl. The Nintendo 3DS dungeon crawler has been processed by the USK, Germany's software ratings board, in...
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Dead Rising 3 won't be released in Germany


No zombies for the Germans
Oct 10
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Germany's rating board, the Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle, has denied Dead Rising 3 for the country. The news was revealed by Games Welt, and we've since confirmed it with Microsoft. "Dead Rising 3 will not be re...
eBay Germany <3 Wii U photo
eBay Germany <3 Wii U

eBay Germany supports Wii U's lack of restrictions


It's a deep burn
May 27
// Tony Ponce
Whoever manages eBay Germany's Facebook page must be a huge Nintendo fan -- or at least is a master at capitalizing on current gamer worries and frustrations. It's apparent that Xbox One is charting a dark path, and the jury'...
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Microsoft returns to gamescom this year


With new Xbox, we're sure
May 08
// Dale North
I'm still kind of mad about Microsoft not showing up to gamescom or Tokyo Game Show last year. It was like going to a party where you expected one of the regulars to show up, but the whole experience just ended up being awkwa...
eShop After Dark photo
eShop After Dark

Nintendo of Europe's 18+ eShop restriction is no more


Come one! Come all! To Nintendo's House of Smut and Sadism!
Mar 21
// Tony Ponce
Nintendo has been trying its best to prove that its hardware is not just for children, but then things happen and it's back to the kiddie corner. The most recent roadblock has been a nonsensical eShop restriction that prevent...
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Nintendo blames Germany for dumb Wii U eShop restrictions


18-rated games locked until 11pm each night
Dec 10
// Jim Sterling
Nintendo has confirmed German law as the reason for a stupid restriction that stops European eShop customers buying 18-rated games like ZombiU during the day. Because Nintendo of Europe is based in Germany, all of Europe is l...
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Europe: 18-rated Wii U eShop games locked until 11pm


Adults forced to wait up to buy games
Dec 07
// Jim Sterling
Reports around the Internet, including NeoGAF, have revealed an irritating age restriction on the European Wii U eShop. Regardless of whether you have a child account or not, you're unable to purchase 18-rated games until 11p...
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Soundtrack Cologne bringing the VGM party to Germany


To health and game music, prost!
Oct 28
// Audun Sorlie
You can be sure a lot of beer will be consumed as Soundtrack Cologne 9.0 is preparing to bring some esteemed videogame music legends together for a round of panels and an exclusive concert over the weekend of November 15-18 a...

Review: Deponia

Aug 06 // Allistair Pinsof
[embed]231979:44497[/embed] Deponia (PC) Developer: Daedalic Entertainment Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment, Lace Mamba Released: August 7, 2012 MRSP: $19.99 Deponia smells like garbage, because it’s a planet made of garbage. Its citizens have made this supposedly uninhabitable junkyard of a planet into their home. Everyone except Rufus. Deponia to him is nothing more than the planet that his father abandoned him on. Now, he wants to return to his birthplace far away in the sky. Deponia (the game) is a lot of things: It’s an adventure, romance, and comedy all wrapped up into one goofy story. Rufus is a confident dope who bears much in common with Secret of Monkey Island’s Guybrush Threepwood. While his ambitions are a bit less, he possesses a similar wit and cluelessness in any given situation. He describes himself as “a cool version of herpes” but his friends and neighbors on Deponia would leave out the cool part. Though he is sympathetic, it took me some time to become attached to him. The same can be said about the game as a whole. Deponia has a lot more in common with Secret of Monkey Island than just sharing a similar lead character. Everything from the dialog to the comically-driven puzzles recalls LucasArts’s classic. As a result, Deponia doesn’t feel all that fresh. It doesn’t help that the game has serious problems with pacing and puzzle design in its first act (the lengthiest of the three). Things are slow-going at first. The game soon gives you a lot of ground to cover in a large city hub, but you’ll run into some obtuse puzzles that won’t make much more sense once you stumble upon the solution. The logic behind some puzzles relies too heavily on a comedic mindset rather than that of a sensible human being. LucasArts perfected their craft over the years, learning when to leave comedy out of the picture for playability. Deponia isn’t quite so discerning in its use of comedy nor is its comedic chops quite as cutting. The game prolongs dialog with bad joke after bad joke, at times. I can appreciate the spirit but I expect an adventure game to be more sparing in its humor. When every dialog option with a character doesn’t tell me anything about the game’s plot or characters, I start to become disinterested. I can’t stress enough though that these problems are mostly restricted to the first act. Even the comedy becomes stronger in the following acts -- it’s a very odd thing that makes me wonder what the production process was like behind the game. Rufus’ life becomes complicated once his plans to escape Deponia end up with him becoming responsible for a girl named Goal. He accidentally incapacitates her and decides to find a way to make her regain consciousness, hoping that she’ll help bring him back to his father’s home planet. While Rufus has some depth, he is a self-serving character that is hard to root for until the game’s second half. The main reason the first half sags, however, is that Deponia is kind of a miserable place. Rufus’ neighbors, ex-girlfriend, and even his best friend are all mean to Rufus and not very interesting characters. Despite Deponia being a rather nasty place, it's brought to life through a gorgeous hand-drawn aesthetic that recalls Curse of Monkey Island. The animation is very sub-par, with characters and backgrounds barely moving, but the design and art of the game’s locales are consistently interesting and eye-catching. Though the game is nice to look at, the dull animation is a constant reminder that this is developed by an indie with a modest budget. The same can be said of the English version’s hit-and-miss voice cast -- the game was originally voiced in German but there is no option to change to it. Thankfully Rufus sounds good and there are some quality performances later in the game, but it’s not top-caliber stuff. The grating voice effect on the game’s stormtrooper-esque Organon troopers is another chink in the game’s presentation. Despite a poor beginning and ending, I can’t shake off the warm feeling Deponia left me with. It’s a game with a big heart and some clever puzzles that recall a special time in the history of adventure games. The game lacks the consistency, quality animation, and hilarity of Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert’s work, but Deponia is a charming and creative adventure that stands above many of its contemporaries. You can deduce the game to being a tribute to the golden years of LucasArts, but isn’t that exactly what so many want right now?
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LucasArts or Sierra: You could like both, but, more often than not, people tended to prefer one over the other in the golden age of adventure games. Though King’s Quest VI was my introduction to the genre (and the Windo...

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German group threatens to sue over Diablo III's DRM


Jul 24
// Jim Sterling
A German advocacy group, the Federation of Consumer Organisations, is threatening legal action against Activision-Blizzard over the "always-on" DRM requirements in Diablo III.  The group demands that Diablo III's pa...
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Some German politicians want their own version of SOPA


Jan 31
// Sven Wohl
Members of the Christian Democratic Union and Christian Social Union, which form one of the ruling parties in the German government right now, like SOPA so much that they want their own version of it for Germany. While they a...

Offbeat Hall of Fame: The bizarre Mega Man TV soundtracks

Dec 11 // Tony Ponce
Well, that's not entirely true -- the songs were featured on the show very briefly. During the first season, the end credits theme was just an instrumental version of the title theme. During the second season, songs from various artists of the time played instread. It was these credits themes, which had no connection to the show whatsoever aside from these brief appearances, that were compiled for the official soundtrack. Yeah, it's one of those "inspired by" deals that a lot of record labels love to shove onto folks to squeeze them out of their hard-earned money. Whether the music is good or not is irrelevant when the publishers are obviously trying to cash in on a popular name, and this practice needs to stop. They are glorified mixtapes, the kind that teenagers would make to remind themselves of a particularly uneventful summer or to impress their latest high school fling. [embed]217605:42039:0[/embed] The Mega Man soundtrack, released in April 1996, consists mostly of rock and is rounded out by a hip hop joint, a couple of house tracks, and one hilariously out-of-place reggae number. (Someone explain to me exactly what element of the show that was inspired by. Rasta Man? I must have missed that episode.) I would be seriously impressed if anyone could recognize half the artists represented. The biggest name on the list is probably Skid Row, contributing "Eilieen" as heard above. Beyond that, though? Pfft. [embed]217605:42031:0[/embed] Good gracious, this CD is strange. Listen to the lead track "Driver" by The Hollowbodies. There was that one episode where Mega drove a sports car; I guess that counts as an inspiration. He was escorting a trio of high school troublemakers to their community service assignments, so his actions don't quite synch up with the themes from the song. Doesn't matter. Whatever tenuous connection I can make, I'll make! [embed]217605:42032:0[/embed] Here's "Sinnerman" by Extra Fancy. Remember that Robot Master? From that one game? Sinner Man gave Mega the Debauchery Cannon and was weak against Bible Man's Hail Mary Shield. Or am I remembering things incorrectly? Yes, I probably am. I don't know why, but this song reminds me of Ghost Rider for some reason. Since Ghost Rider is in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Mega Man's face is on a poster in one of the levels, they totally were in the same game together. By that logic, "Sinnerman" is three degrees from Mega Man, and that's close enough for me! [embed]217605:42033:0[/embed] Let's talk about that hip hop track, "Realms of Junior M.A.F.I.A. Pt. 2" by Junior M.A.F.I.A. Ever heard one of the group's cuts? They aren't exactly family-friendly. For this album, every other word got bleeped out, yet the record label still botched the job by missing key phrases like "blunt," "dick," "getting high," and "your girl's slobbing me." Wouldn't make a difference anyway -- the song is about dealing drugs. The only way to properly sanitize it would be to not include it on a friggin' kids' album in the first place. Maybe this song was included to serve as an allusion to Dr. Wily's gritty lifestyle. He's gotta make the money to maintain his Skull Fortress and all his equipment after all, and I highly doubt any legitimate business would accept his resume. His only option is to deal on the streets. Dude is straight thuggin'. [embed]217605:42034:0[/embed] Oh goodie! The "Mega Man Theme" is the closing track! The album is redeemed! Ha. No. This is misdirection at its finest. You think you are getting a full version of the show's opening theme song, but instead you get kicked in the nuts. Fifteen seconds in, you hear some deep-voiced brute speak "Mega Man," then He repeats that one line throughout the six-minute runtime. Congratulations on making a "theme song" with even fewer lyrics than the original theme. Really, you guys should be proud. I'm super grateful that I picked this album up as an adult, because I can only imagine how heartbroken 10-year-old me would have been had I received it when it first came out. At least now I can laugh at its absurdity and novelty, but I feel bad for kids who were duped into thinking a Mega Man CD would actually have anything to do with Mega Man. You may be wondering why I wrote "soundtracks," plural, up in the header as if to insinuate that there was more than one of these accursed relics in existence. Well, have I got a surprise for you! While the self-titled Mega Man album is already fairly obscure, Mega Man Dance is even lesser known. I only discovered it by chance one day way while browsing the music section on Amazon. Being the crazy Mega Man collector that I am, I had to order it and give it a listen. The reason you probably never heard of Mega Man Dance is that it was only available in Germany. Released in March 1996, it is even less of a soundtrack than the American album -- none of the songs with one exception are heard on the show, not even during the credits, at least to my knowledge. As its name implies, it is a compilation of dance and club music that was latched onto the hottest cartoon on the airwaves at the time. Despite being similarly detached to the source material, I think it's much better package than the American CD. [embed]217605:42036:0[/embed] Why is it better? Because I'm a sucker for Eurodance, for one. Better still, the "Mega Man" theme on this album is the actual theme from the show. It's not the "Super Fighting Robot" rock anthem we remember but instead the electro-charged version from the German dub. It's not as endearing to one groomed on the original, but I like it a lot. No matter which flavor you prefer, however, the dance album automatically wins for actually giving the fans what they expect. [embed]217605:42037:0[/embed] The remainder of the album is an acid trip like none other. There's an extremely hillbilly remix of "American Pie" by Just Luis, as heard above. I get flashbacks to "Cotton Eye Joe" by Rednex, and I'm reminded of how hilarious foreign stereotypes of America can be. Then we got a butchered version of "Aquarius," a contribution by Bemani regular Captain Jack, Mission: Impossible techno, and just a train of the most curious musical oddities around. [embed]217605:42038:0[/embed] My favorite track has to be "King of the Ring" for the fact that it's a Sonic the Hedgehog song on a Mega Man album. Sonic and Mega Man together, how mind-blowing is that? The song is off a Sonic the Hedgehog dance CD that coincidentally happened to be released by the same music publisher in the same month as Mega Man Dance. I guess somebody in marketing was really gunning for those cross-promotion sales. Either that or the person figured, since Sonic and Mega Man are both blue, no one would be able to distinguish between the two characters. If you had to pick one Mega Man album of the two, try to track down the German release. It consists of 38 tracks versus the American album's 12, so you easily get more for your buck. On top of that, since no effort was made to tie the musical selections to the TV show in even the slightest, Mega Man Dance is free to be as off-the-wall and insane as it wants to be; there are no expectations attached. Buy it for the laughs, but only buy the American CD if you are a masochist who enjoys having their childhood dreams reamed deep within their ear canals. I'm resigned to the truth that a true Mega Man cartoon soundtrack will never be never happen. At least I can always count on the geek music community to give me what I want to hear.
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[Offbeat Hall of Fame is a showcase of the cool, often bizarre products and media from years past that celebrate videogames and gamer culture.] I love videogame soundtracks. Audio is such an integral part of the gameplay expe...

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Shock: Dead Island banned in Germany at last


Nov 29
// Jim Sterling
In news that will surprise only people who have never heard of Germany before, it has come to light that Dead Island's been banned ... in Germany!  Deep Silver is not surprised, gamers are not surprised, and I doubt the ...
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German gamers returning Battlefield 3 over spying concern


Nov 01
// Dale North
It seems that German gamers are returning copies of Battlefield 3 to stores. They're concerned that required download software Origin enables EA to spy on users' activities. Eurogamer reports that German retailers Media ...
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Guess which games were banned in Germany in October


Oct 29
// Sven Wohl
When it comes to banning videogames or at least restricting their sales, there just is no country quite like Germany! There are several lists to take into consideration, so I'll try to make things simple and clear for you, de...
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The difficulties of creating a game in four days


Sep 22
// Sven Wohl
This video gives you some insight into how the BigJam that took place in St. Oberholz, Berlin, went along. Here, the programmers gathered in a café in order to create a game, from scratch, in only four days. The video...
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DOOM and DOOM 2 are no longer pornography in Germany


Aug 31
// Jim Sterling
Today is a very special day, for it is the day that Germans are legally allowed to buy DOOM and DOOM 2 in common high street stores. The two games were previously filed under Media Harmful to Young Persons, which placed ...
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Study says gamers play less videogames than expected


Aug 31
// Sven Wohl
According to a poll done by the association BITCOM in Germany, gamers seem to be pretty sensible about the amount of time they spend with their favorite hobby. While 62% of those asked play videogames on a daily base, most of...
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The first two Gears of War games might come to Germany


Aug 18
// Sven Wohl
After the pretty much unexpected "OK" from the German ratings board USK for the third Gears of War, there now seems to be a possibility to bring the first two games of the popular franchise to Germany too. According to the Ep...
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'Killerspiele' do not make war sexy to gamers


Aug 15
// Sven Wohl
The university of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, has made public the results of one of its latest studies: Players of so-called 'Killerspiele' like Counter-Strike actually don't like the military or war more than those who don't....
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Half of Germany's adult population plays videogames


Aug 11
// Sven Wohl
According to research done by Newzoo, half of the adult population of Germany plays videogames on a regular basis. The same applies to France and the United Kingdom, as all three countries combined have a total market of 153 ...
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German TV channel to broadcast ESL Pro Series start


Aug 10
// Sven Wohl
ZDFkultur, a German digital TV channel, will broadcast the start of the ESL Pro Series on August 20. The season start will take place at gamescom and if the pilot is successful enough, the channel's administrators will consid...
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Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood wins big at BIU Awards


Aug 09
// Sven Wohl
The "Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware" (or "Federal Association of interactive Entertainment Software") has a yearly award for the best selling games on the German market of the past 12 months. The awards are s...
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Epic is happy with Gears of War 3 being rated in Germany


Jul 22
// Maurice Tan
Gears of War 3 has received an official USK 18 rating in Germany, meaning Germans won't have to go across the border and import a copy of Zahnräder des Krieges 3 this time around. Epic Games president Mike Capps told Joy...
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Amazon Germany gets Ocarina of Time 3D bonus Zelda bag


May 02
// Dale North
Pre-order customers on Amazon Germany for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D will get a fancy Zelda-themed Nintendo 3DS bag with their order when it ships on June 17. So far it seems like Amazon.de is the only one throwi...
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Sony sues PS3 hacker for 1,000,000 euros, hacker defiant


Feb 26
// Jim Sterling
Alexander "graf_chokolo" Egorenkov has his home raided by German police this past week, after Sony demanded the seizure of his PS3 hacking equipment. It has been subsequently revealed that Sony plans to sue Egorenkov for 1,00...
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Sony sends police to raid PS3 hacker's house


Feb 24
// Jim Sterling
The next round of Sony vs. The World continues with news that the company sent German police to the home of Graf_chokolo, a well known contributor to the PS3 hacking scene. The cops took everything related to console hac...
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Bulletstorm gets heavily censored German version


Feb 09
// Jim Sterling
Those dicktits at the Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle have rated a heavily censored version of Bulletstorm, a variant that more or less loses the entire point of the game.  The German edition will not feature ...
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Dead Space 2 delayed in Germany due to censorship


Jan 18
// Jim Sterling
Oh Germany, you so censorship! The German release of Dead Space 2 has been delayed due to the country's ever-vigilant social nannies getting upset again. The inclusion of a "friendly fire" multiplayer option has caused the st...
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Captain Obvious: Splatterhouse denied rating in Germany


Nov 16
// Conrad Zimmerman
Game Captain is reporting that the gore-soaked Splatterhouse has been denied classification by the German classification board and, thus, will not be published in Germany. Hard to imagine that what is being marketed as o...

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