...Well now that we've broken the ice, I've got some good news. The oh-so-cute avatars that will be making an appearance on our Xbox 360's in the coming fall update will only be featured in games that are rated by the ESRB as E10+ and below. Eric Kilgorn of Microsoft stated that avatars will not be appearing in games that are marked as violent, innapropriate, or otherwise Teen, Mature, and Adult games.
I'd say this is good and bad news. The good, is that the hardcore fans won't have to see their avatars as much, but on the other hand, we can't be taking our anger out in GTA IV by shooting our friend's avatars with RPGs. It's too bad.
This isn't the first time I've expressed my hatred for avatars and I wish they would not exist entirely. But, it is good to see that I can ignore my avatar on my 360 just a little bit more by buying much more innapropriate games.
I've just returned home from work, knowing little about what was announced as of the first official day of E3. But I was able to fully take in all of Microsoft's juicy announcements and other gameplay debuts at their press conference yesterday. All in all, I think Micrsoft did a great job yesterday. Sure the new Peter Moore replacement isn't Peter Moore, but I'm sure I'll get over it soon enough.
What I'd like to talk about is what was more surprising to me than it may have been for others. It is of course, this entirely revamped New Dashboard Update coming this fall, featuring Avatars. Avatars (as Microsoft says) are a means to make gamers feel they can be more connected to their console and feel like it's a lot more welcoming. You don't have to hear me say that they're clearly going for a Mii-esque look to their console. I understand that, Microsoft. The competition is rough, but seroiusly, you MUST stick to your own audience.
Microsoft clearly has been taking aim at family oriented play in such upcoming games like "Scene it!" or "You're in the Movies," but you know what Microsoft? I've been a fan of you since the Xbox and I have to say that when I saw the demonstration of "You're in the Movies," I felt like you were completely wasting my time. You started out great, featuring two highly anticipated titles with their debut gameplay on your very own stage! But why, why must you try to connect yourself with an audience that most defintely has already attached itself to another system.
I own Xbox 360, PS3, and the Wii. And I'll tell you why. Each one offers a different experience. While the Xbox 360 and PS3 are mainly used for my action and more hardcore games, my Wii is used for casual fun and when I have friends over or if I want to play with my family, were definietly going to pull out the Wii. What I'm saying is, family fun and casual gaming is not your strong suit. I bought the Xbox 360 because I know it's going to offer the hottest titles, the most exciting titles, and the games that I want to play. Don't get me wrong, I can always go for some Wii Sports, but I'm a hardcore gamer, and I'm always looking to my Xbox 360 and my PS3 for that type of satisfaction.
Your main competitor is the PS3. And by the way, the last thing I want to do is start a fanboy war here, but it's true. Xbox 360 and PS3 are offering the same sort of hardcore entertainment for the hardcore gamers. So Microsoft, I really need you to just focus on competing with the PS3 and leave the casual gaming to the Wii. I understand, the Wii is making incredible ammounts of money by doing what they're doing and you want in on that! I get it! But I'm really just trying to help you realize that you've lost that battle. Wii wins for the casual gamers. Wii is getting publicity because it can be fun for everyone, and the Xbox 360 will never achieve such satisfaction for casual gamers.
Additionally, the new Dashboard update is whack, apart from your new deal with Netflix and Live Party, the whole new interface is crap. It's plain. It's boring. Way too much white space. I love the dashboard the way it is, and yes, I know it's still going to be around when you press the Guide button in the game, but the new main Dashboard design is far from acceptable. You have turned my happiness of turning on my hardcore gaming machine, into a system where I have to be greeted with a fake image of myself standing next to my gamertag.
I love you Microsoft. But this whole thing is just letting me down.
Due to some hardcore matlocking skills (well not really...), gamers finally believe they have a month in which Lionhead has decided to release their game Fable 2. In the latest Lionhead Studios Video Diary (which can be viewed at the end of this post), Molyneux can be seen sitting at his desk, boxing in and, well, doodling around the word "October."
Personally, when I watched the video diary yesterday, I was paying close attention at what he was writing and, due to his poor penmenship, I thought nothing of it. But when Eurogamer asked Lionhead to comment on this "hint" that was given out during the video, they had no comment.
Well in all honesty, it could be Molyneux just messing with our heads and just boxing in the month in which he's going golf with Santa Claus. We'll never know, E3 is write around the corner and we might even see an official announcment about it's release then.
Fun Tidbit: Peter Molyneux and Geoff Keighly have a $100 bet where Keighly believes Fable 2 will not release this year.
For the past few days, I’ve been completely inactive on Destructoid for two simple reasons: Lost Odyssey, and my love for a new Nintendo 64 Emulator I found. I’m not here to talk about the fact that emulators are the greatest thing ever (which they are) but that I have been replaying my childhood for the past few days on this emulator. I’m just going to go through a few games that I’ve really been playing, my impressions/reviews of them, and how fantastical they are. But first, let me quickly sum up what the Nintendo 64 means to me.
The Nintendo 64 was the very first system I actually owned. I played the shit out of my babysitter’s Super Nintendo but I never owned it, no matter how many countless hours I spent playing it. My dad got me and my brother the Nintendo 64 for the Holidays in 1996 when I was just six years old, but I remember bringing it home and playing a helluva lot of games. I wouldn’t say my “Start of the Affair” would be a Nintendo 64 game (that honor goes to Wolfenstein 3D) but it was definitely the system that introduced me to the idea, “I’m going to be playing video games for a very long time.”
That quick summary doesn’t even cover how much I love to have the sudden urge to whip out my Nintendo 64 from my basement and play some Goldeneye or anything else. But since my recent discovery of a fantastic N64 emulator, I’ve been able to play it comfortably from my computer whenever I want (as well as play games I never owned). I just plug in my USB Xbox 360 controllers and get to work. Here’s a few games that I’ve been playing the most out of all of the ones I have on here, and my thoughts on them.
Winback: Covert Operations Developed by Koei
In my opinion, one of the most underrated games of all time. This game was hard. And while the emulation was pretty shitty, (large blue boxes would float across the screen very slowly) I still managed to enjoy myself and get the gist of the entire experience.
You play Jean-Luc Cougar, a secret agent who’s sent on a mission with a team to infiltrate a laser satellites command center which, to no one’s surprise, threatens the entire world. In the first minute of the game, the helicopter that is going to take you to the landing point is shot down, forcing your team to jump out of the plane, separating everyone. Throughout the game your meeting up with your other team members, who usually die a few minutes later (I’m not kidding, you practically witness your entire team die in the game).
The gameplay is fantastic. It’s the first game that allowed the player to have the whole hide and shoot gunplay. Hide behind and object, pop up, shoot, come back down. I should probably mention I found this game to be very difficult with its lack of checkpoints and sometimes clunky controls. The game is really great which offers a pretty solid storyline, and one of the first games that actually made me feel sad when I saw a team member of mine standing next to me get shot in the head.
Here’s a piece of trivia I just read on Wikipedia:
“As a homage to the game, one of the dog tags that can be obtained in Metal Gear Solid 2 is of Jean Luc Cougar's. Cougar’s dog tags can only be found in the original version of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, not Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance. His dog tags can be collected while playing the Plant Level on very easy. His tag ID number is 26.”
Blitz 2000 Developed by Midway
You’ve played this game. Why am I talking about it? Because it’s fucking awesome. The late hits, the insane catches, and the fact that the computer player intercepts your passes 2938 times in one game just adds together to make one bitching (and frustrating) game.
I always enjoy a good game of competitive Madden, but I would prefer a game of Blitz any day. The pace of it is so fast and perfect that after you finish one game, you want to play another. The thing that pisses me off is that the computer is so fucking hard to beat. No matter how hard I try, they always seem to intercept my throws at least twice a game.
Did anyone play Blitz: The League? I played the demo on XBLM and it was complete shit. I couldn’t stand playing it.
Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire Developed by Lucas Arts
One of my favorite Star Wars games to date. If any people with epilepsy want to try this game on their emulator, don’t bother. I’m positive you’ll have a seizure because I have two ROMs and they both constantly are blinking while the game is going on. But I digress, this game is fucking awesome.
The story pretty much follows a bounty hunter named Dash Rendar, who’s slightly less badass than Han Solo. To be honest, I don’t really understand the story. I get how it’s going on parallel to the episodes 4, 5, and 6 but frankly, there are missions that almost seem completely unrelated to each other that I just don’t really know. What I’ve figured out is that there’s a guy who’s trying to get rid of Darth Vader as well as destroy the rebellion and Rendar kills him in the end. It sounds awesome when I say it, right?
What matters most is the gameplay, which is awesome. There’s pretty much three different types of levels. One is aerial where you’ll be placed in the Hoth Battle, in the middle of an asteroid field, or at the end of the game, destroying this huge clusterfuck of a machine that (like I said) I have no idea what it’s going to do. The second is on a swoop bike slamming into enemies that are on their way to kill Luke Skywalker (note that this is just one level in the game). And the other is in 3rd person killing bitches, which is used throughout most of the game.
The gameplay is a lot of fun, allowing multiple weapons, crazy boss fights (including a HUGE squid monster underwater) and even giving you the power of having a jetpack. You’ll see some familiar faces, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Leia, and even a boss fight against Boba Fett and Slave 1.
This emulator is awesome, and the fact that I can actually play it on a Xbox 360 controller is really easy to handle. Hope you enjoyed the read, I’m going to go play Diddy Kong Racing.
According to an article at IGN, at a recent financial conference, Take-Two's chairman Strauss Zelnick states that there are already plans for Bioshock 3...before there has been any info or content released for Bioshock 2.
Furthermore, Zelnick stated that the 3rd game in the series would be released alongside the movie based on the franchise directed by Pirates of the Carribean director, Gore Verbinski.
That's a long ways away. Now if I do the math right, Bioshock came out in August of 2007. So there would be about 2 years in between the original and the sequel. If we project the same amount of time in between Bioshock 2 and 3, we should expect to see some screenshots around the time of the Mayan predicted apocolypse.
I'm actually excited to hear news about the Bioshock movie because it sounds like it has got some heavy hitters backing the project. Nontheless, I'm prepared to be dissapoitned because well...I'd rather not talk about movie based games.
To be honest, with the new physics engine in GTA IV I really thought that it'd be much more difficult to pull off insane stunts in the game. I couldn't have been more wrong. The above video is by far the best stunt video I've ever seen in the GTA series.
The more incredible stunts in the video are when the guy jumps out of helicopter, seemingly about to fall to his death, only to fall into a very small pond or pool in the middle of a suburban area. Insane.