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8:36 PM on 10.27.2008

My Fallout 3 CE Unboxing




I got my meaty hands on the Fallout 3 Collector's Edition earlier this afternoon, and figured I snap a few shots
of the totally awesome package. My apologies for the blurriness but my camera broke awhile back and all I
had was my cell phone.


The package




Sliding off the transparent slip cover, exposing the tin lunch box




The lunch box in all its glory




Opening up the lunch box, revealing the game itself
[/img]


The making of DVD



The art of Fallout 3



The glorious Vault-Boy bobblehead



The complete contents of the Collector's Edition


Vault-Boy will eat your soul




Its the 28th somewhere in the world, right?



The part of this package that matters most



Vault-Boy takes his place on my shelf



Blockbuster video is giving out these wall stickers with a Fallout 3 purchase
  read


4:17 AM on 08.21.2008

Force Unleashed Demo Now Up On XBL Marketplace (Now updated with impressions!)




Weighs in at 904MB. The demo features a Tie Fighter construction facility, The Apprentice's first mission in the game. You're given full authority by Vader to take out any and all Storm Troopers that stand in your way.

As of the time of this post, the demo is not yet up on the PlayStation Store.

EDIT: I just finished the demo and figured I'd post a few impressions. POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD!



Right away, the control you have over The Force is is wonderful. It is better than I imagined it would be. As the level starts, you're given a brief on-screen tutorial, and a set of corridors to test your Force Grab powers before you encounter any enemies. I tossed an explosive barrel of some sort through a window, which caused many items around the area to be sucked into the vacuum of space before an emergency hatch closed it off.

The lightsaber combos are a lot deeper and brutal than I expect as well. For a bit I found myself more interested in finding new combos than actually using The Force. You come to a large hangar with several docked Tie Fighters, which can actually be Force grabbed and tossed at enemies. There were also large crossbeams that I could bend (but not throw), and further on in the demo one of these beams could be moved to essentially clothesline incoming Tie Fighters trying to take you out.


The demo concludes as you fight a group of Storm Troopers and a MOTHER FUCKING AT-ST on a landing pad. I won't spoil this part, but suffice to say, the AT-ST fight has me counting the days until this game is released.

I am officially more excited for this game than any other game to be released this year.   read


7:25 PM on 03.16.2008

Happy Birthday Niero: The "Everyone's Doing It" edition

Figured I'd take my turn in wishing Niero and Destructoid a very happy birthday. I truly struggled to come up with an adequate present. After hours of deliberation, I finally came up with the perfect gift.





With all the fellatio you're getting today, they'll probably come in handy.   read


9:38 PM on 02.26.2008

Wii Fit a Blockbuster Video Exclusive?



As A few people here at Destructoid know, I'm an employee of Blockbuster Video. Glamorous, I know. Anyone who's been at a Blockbuster lately has probably noticed a window poster for the upcoming Wii title Super Smash Bros. Brawl. You may have even been offered a pre-order for the game. Pre-orders are nothing new for Blockbuster. But pre-orders for games have never been our top priority. But about a month ago, that all changed. Promotional materials for Brawl started to come in, and we were told to ask any customer renting a game (Wii or otherwise) if they wanted to pre-order a copy.

The emphasis on this particular sales drive was sort of odd, but I continued on doing the best I could. However, today was the day our corporate overlords would be in town to visit. During their visit, the subject of the Brawl pre-order drive came up, and the motivation behind the drive was revealed.

It seems Blockbuster went to Nintendo to discuss exclusive rights to sell the upcoming Wii Fit. The corporate suit didn't say it, but it's safe to assume Nintendo's response was that of bellowing laughter. When they caught their breath, they told Blockbuster to go out and get 125,000 pre-orders (about 7-10 per store) for Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and then maybe Nintendo would consider it.

My first thought was "Well, there's no way we're hitting that number". Even though my district is on track, my particular store only has 2 of the expected 7 pre-orders. Our district is only on track because a few of the busier stores in well-off areas of town are doubling the expectation.

My second thought was "Blockbuster is being used by Nintendo big time". Getting 125,000 pre-orders for Brawl isn't going to guarantee Blockbuster anything but a face to face meeting to discuss the possibility to carry Wii Fit exclusively. Even if we hit the mark, Nintendo could just tell us to go fuck ourselves.

But on the flip side, a game like Wii Fit being a Blockbuster exclusive is a big deal if you're Blockbuster. This is a company that is struggling to compete with NetFlix and iTunes, as well as the growing popularity of ONDemand and the XBL Video Marketplace. Blockbuster's Total Access online service looked to be on the right track, but when the new CEO took over and saw how much money was being lost on it, he raised prices and removed several of the benefits that made it better then NetFlix. The direction Blockbuster is going under new CEO Jim Keyes is of a retail emphasis. The rental side of things is being slowly minimized, and the focus is being shifted to new retail, games, and novelty items like movie-related posters and toys.

Wii Fit exclusivity could be the shot in the arm that Blockbuster needs to push that retail-first agenda. Personally, I feel it's the right move. The rental business is dying, and by the time Blu-Ray becomes affordable enough to become the norm, digital distribution could be the true format of choice.

What do you think, Dtoiders?

P.S. - Late fees are coming back this August. Have fun with that.   read


4:21 AM on 01.22.2008

1up's Sam Kennedy takes on GameSpot




Over at 1up, editor Sam Kennedy has blogged his thoughts on the GameSpot/Jeff Gerstmann drama.

The post goes beyond just skewering the CNet management, however. Kennedy goes into deep historical detail, chronicling a series events that led to GameSpot's increased dedication to advertising. He also touches on the unprecedented community reaction and support for Gerstmann. He includes Dtoid's CashWh0re review of Kane & Lynch as an example.

I won't copy-pasta the whole thing, but here are a few choice quotes:

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"On the surface, it's harmless tool that's great for advertisers to obtain valuable data surrounding its products and purchasers. But it had the potential to be abused. Here's a little primer on how it works: as a visitor to Gamespot, everything you do gets tracked. Every story you read, every screenshot you view, every video you download -- it's all followed by the system and compiled into behavioral data. It's kind of like Amazon, except instead of showcasing stuff you might like on your homepage, your behavioral data is being sent on to marketers.

And while that might sound very big brother to some, the program itself wasn't the problem -- again, on the surface it's a rather useful tool -- it's what could be done to influence it. Retailers would pay attention to the "buzz" a title was seeing on GameSpot and, in theory, place unit orders based off of that data -- after all, the retailer could potentially sell more units of a title seeing increased momentum online. But by spending money with Gamespot, it was possible for game publishers to raise the buzz ranking of their titles; publishers could make it appear as though there was a larger interest in their product than there perhaps really was.

Essentially, the thing was designed to be gamed."
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Running this whole GameTrax operation was a guy named Josh Larson. But after Broady, Kasavin, and others left GameSpot, Larson took over the editorial aspect of the site as well. So here you had Josh Larson -- the man behind selling sponsorships of editorial -- now placed directly in charge of the editorial itself. You tell me if you see any potential conflict of interest there.

Around the same time, Steven Colvin, known for having launched such publications as Stuff magazine, took over CNET's entertainment and lifestyle group, of which GameSpot is a part of. I don't know what his editorial influence has been on GameSpot, if any, but his track record didn't exactly point to editorial integrity as one of his prime values. Stuff magazine, for example, used to run game reviews that were written based off of screenshots and fact sheets, before the games were even playable to the press (I knew several freelancers who made lots of easy money from this). So yeah, you had the guy in charge of GameTrax and the guy who launched Stuff overseeing all editorial on GameSpot.

And so the stage was set for the events of last November to unfold. Eidos paid a substantial amount of money to have its ads point to the GameSpot review of Kane & Lynch. The Kane & Lynch review wasn't very favorable. Eidos freaked. GameSpot caved. Internet exploded."
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------





I know this issue has been discussed to death, and the blog is a fairly long read. But it is well worth your time. Read the full article here.


Edit: Apparently arktherobot had already covered this story with a lengthy writeup of his own.   read


2:25 AM on 12.27.2007

News in Film: Neil Patrick Harris riding a unicorn

(yeah I'm totally stealing the film news from Snaileb)


BEHOLD!





The Harold and Kumar 2 teaser has been out for awhile, but the theatrical trailer is now live and glorious.


HAROLD AND KUMAR ESCAPE FROM GUANTANAMO BAY


NPH on a unicorn. Doesn't really get much better than that.


Protip: Rollover the gray unicorn icon on the bottom of the page for a NPH on the Unicorn wallpaper.   read


3:44 PM on 12.25.2007

Mandatory Christmas Post

Merry Christmas to all my fellow Dtoiders. Hope your Christmas has been great and only gets better.


And I'd rather not see anymore bellyaching about how shitty your gifts were. It's free shit, be happy with what you get. Besides, if anyone has room to complain, it's me...


...my stepfather is Jewish.   read


9:31 PM on 12.23.2007

"Look, I Drink" - Ron Workman Sighting

Apparently, our local PR Nightmare grew a mullet and co-starred in a drunk driving PSA that is currently airing in various states across the country.


[embed]61108:6252[/embed]










Drive Hammered, Get Nailed.





Happy Holidays, Destructoid.   read


4:07 AM on 12.02.2007

Destructoid Reviews (Or How To Make An Enemy Out Of Aaron Linde)

Destructoid Reviews are serious business.


As I promised in comment #142 (a comment I was subsequently mocked for making), here I am blogging my little heart out about the Destructoid Reviews system.

Let me go ahead and list a few things I feel are worth knowing prior to reading the meat of the post:


1) I have read the manifesto.

2) I HAVE NOT played Naruto: Rise of the Ninja

3) I HAVE played Mass Effect

4) This post IS NOT meant to debate the numerical scores given to any game by a Destructoid reviewer

5) This post IS NOT meant to preach about how awesome Mass Effect is.

6) Finally, I DO have experience reviewing video games for a professional website. Back before GameBattles.com was purchased my Major League Gaming, we had a news and reviews channel. I was one of the first writers hired. I worked with about eight or so other writers. Out of those, two of them were what I would consider true gamers. I had to deal with a scale that included a perfect score for Ghost Recon 2: Summit Strike, and a 7.6 score for Devil May Cry 3, which was followed a week later by an 8.8 score for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. I clashed with my editor frequently, and as a result, I was tasked with reviewing such gems as Fantastic Four and the original Untold Legends for PSP. I was heavily criticized for giving glowing reviews to games like Psychonauts and Indigo Prophecy. I fought an uphill battle for two and a half years before MLG mercifully swooped in and purchased the site, which led to a redesign and the termination of our pathetic news and reviews section.



Now that I have all of that out of the way...


I didn't agree with the Mass Effect score. I did, however, agree with the most of the things written within the review. This is usually the same with most of Reverend Anthony's reviews. All the pretty words leave me in total agreement, but then I spot the score at the bottom of the page and an unnecessarily angry comment spews forth from my fingertips.

Now perhaps my gripe is not with the system, but with Rev's ability to turn negligible annoyances into massive, game-ruining flaws. But since the Destructoid scale is based on one of Rev's features, I believe I'm directing my opinions in the right place.

The first problem is the scale itself. I've never been a huge fan of the 1-10 scale, and I'm in agreement with Rev, for the most part, on the way it is most commonly used in the gaming media. However, my main gripe is that the 1-10 scale is too intricate. On the Dtoid Scale, a score of 3 is "Bad". A score of 4 is "Poor". These two words mean essentially the same thing. And let's be honest, very few of us are going to want to play a game considered bad or poor, no matter what numbers are associated with those descriptives. The same can be said for games that are "Awful" or "Unbearable". These are games you simply will not enjoy.

You enter that rental gray area when you hit the 5-8 range. The word "decent" is used to describe a game given a 6. A game that warrants a 7 is considered "Good". Again, these two words are incredibly similar in meaning. So much so that, in my opinion, they negate each other. A score of 6 and a score of 7 might as well be the same thing, especially when they're both branded with the "Rent It" icon.

But rather than attempting to redefine the 1-10 scale itself, a different or brand new scale could be used.

As I proposed in the comments of the Mass Effect review, an A-to-F grade scale could work. No "A+" or "C-" scores either. Here's what I propose:


A - BUY IT.
The best score a game can be given, period. A must-buy game. Recent Example: BioShock

B - Rent It First/Buy If You Must.
This score is given to a game that shouldn't be missed, but isn't necessarily a "Must Buy" title. It might not be worth the full retail price, but it is worth the $40 pre-played price at Gamestop. Recent Example: Mass Effect

C - Rent It
A game worth giving a look, but not worth owning. Recent Example: Assassin's Creed

D - Play At Your Own Risk
It's not bottom of the barrel, but it's damn close. Recent Example: Soldier of Fortune: Payback

F - DO NOT WANT
Don't play it. Don't even look at the fucking box. Recent Example: Two Worlds




This scale is nothing revolutionary, obviously. But it is more streamlined, which I feel is the way to go. Using this scale, Mass Effect and Naruto would be given the same score, while Assassin's Creed would be just a step below. The current 1-10 scale, there are a potential of 19 number scores (including the .5s). The grade scaled brings that number down to 5.

Yeah, we're all gamers. But in the end, our options when obtaining games (legally) are the same: Rent or Buy. The only other option is to not play them at all. 19 score options is too many.


I know Linde mentioned that it's not currently possible to have multiple staff review a game, but perhaps a community rating system could be implemented, similar to other sites.



Any and all feedback is welcome. I know Linde was at least a little pissed at my unfairly harsh statements about the manifesto, and after having some time to calm down and think about it all, I felt this would be a more productive use of my emotions.   read


4:49 PM on 11.19.2007

GameInformer Ghostbusters pics and tidbits *UPDATED and REPOSTED*

I just yanked the latest GameInformer issue out of my mailbox, and as expected, I was met with this cover:




**UPDATED**


There's a lot of info we already know inside the mag. Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, Harlod Ramis and Ernie Hudson will all be coming back to reprise their respective roles from the first two films. Annie Potts will also be back as Janine, and the awesome William Atherton is back to portray the EPA slimeball Walter Peck from the first Ghostbusters.

The game is a direct sequel to Ghostbusters 2. It takes places in 1991, 2 years after Ghostbusters 2. As a matter of fact, they're currently talking about actually calling the game Ghostbusters 3. At the start of this game, the Ghostbusters are loved by the city of new York. "Business is going so well, in fact, that the Ghostbusters want to start franchising so they can cut back on the 60-hour work weeks." However, they must be granted a franchising license before opening any other branches. Before the new Mayor will grant their request, he institutes a "paranormal oversight commission" to help better understand how the Ghostbusters conduct business. The man appointed to run this commission is none other than former EPA agent Walter Peck.

The Elmer Bernstein score from the original movies will be used, but no news yet if any of the other songs from the movies will appear.

Players do not play as one of the original four Ghostbusters, but as a "recruit hired as an 'experimental weapons technician', which basically means they'll be a guinea pig for for all of Ray and Egon's new inventions."

The game kicks off with the protagonist being hired by the Ghostbusters. Shortly after, "an ancient evil envelops the city, causing a massive surge in ghost activity." This surge "not only prompts a wave of entirely new ghosts, but a few old rivals as well." That explains the screens of Slimer and the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. Old locations return as well, as Slimer's first appearance in the game will actually take you back to the Sedgwick Hotel.






I took a few quick pics of the mag with my shitty camera:
























I'll update this post soon with some grabs from the GameInformer Unlimited site and some interesting bits from the article.


**UPDATE**


Here are some grabs from the GameInformer Unlimited site:













**UPDATED AGAIN!**

More GI Unlimited screens:












  read


3:00 PM on 11.19.2007

GameInformer Ghostbusters pics and tidbits *UPDATED*

I just yanked the latest GameInformer issue out of my mailbox, and as expected, I was met with this cover:




**UPDATED**


There's a lot of info we already know inside the mag. Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, Harlod Ramis and Ernie Hudson will all be coming back to reprise their respective roles from the first two films. Annie Potts will also be back as Janine, and the awesome William Atherton is back to portray the EPA slimeball Walter Peck from the first Ghostbusters.

The game is a direct sequel to Ghostbusters 2. It takes places in 1991, 2 years after Ghostbusters 2. As a matter of fact, they're currently talking about actually calling the game Ghostbusters 3. At the start of this game, the Ghostbusters are loved by the city of new York. "Business is going so well, in fact, that the Ghostbusters want to start franchising so they can cut back on the 60-hour work weeks." However, they must be granted a franchising license before opening any other branches. Before the new Mayor will grant their request, he institutes a "paranormal oversight commission" to help better understand how the Ghostbusters conduct business. The man appointed to run this commission is none other than former EPA agent Walter Peck.

The Elmer Bernstein score from the original movies will be used, but no news yet if any of the other songs from the movies will appear.

Players do not play as one of the original four Ghostbusters, but as a "recruit hired as an 'experimental weapons technician', which basically means they'll be a guinea pig for for all of Ray and Egon's new inventions."

The game kicks off with the protagonist being hired by the Ghostbusters. Shortly after, "an ancient evil envelops the city, causing a massive surge in ghost activity." This surge "not only prompts a wave of entirely new ghosts, but a few old rivals as well." That explains the screens of Slimer and the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. Old locations return as well, as Slimer's first appearance in the game will actually take you back to the Sedgwick Hotel.






I took a few quick pics of the mag with my shitty camera:
























I'll update this post soon with some grabs from the GameInformer Unlimited site and some interesting bits from the article.


**UPDATE**


Here are some grabs from the GameInformer Unlimited site:












Those appear to be the only in-game screenshots on the GI site. The rest is a lot of concept art, which I'll work on getting up soon.   read


1:33 PM on 11.17.2007

Super Mario Galaxy Takes GameRankings and Metacritic Top Spots

Super Mario Galaxy has not only taken over the mighty Bioshock as the top rated game of 2007 on Metacritic, it is currently the best reviewed game EVER on GameRankings.









GameRankings

Metacritic


Now granted, there are only 30 reviews in so far, and one would assume more will trickle in over the next few weeks. Just imagine if those averages go up.

Now, I don't own a Wii. I haven't laid a finger on Super Mario Galaxy yet. But to those of you who have played it, and assuming these scores stay the same, are we really looking at one of the greatest games of all time?   read


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