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Samit Sarkar's blog

5:05 PM on 02.21.2008

Click here if you’re going to buy GT 5: Prologue.

Since my last Sony/Amazon coupon contest was a rousing success, I figured I’d do the same thing again the next time I received a coupon for a game that I wasn’t planning on buying. Well, friends, that time is here: I just got an email from the PlayStation Underground with another e-coupon; this time, it’s for Gran Turismo 5: Prologue.

Go figure...the one time I get a coupon for a game that’s actually on a system that I own, it’s for a game that I’m not going to buy. The coupon is, as usual, good for $5 off a pre-order of GT 5: Prologue, if you make that pre-order at ($39.99 is the game’s regular price). Here’s a quick refresher on the guidelines for the contest:

Pick ONE number from 1 to 100, and put it in the comments below. At midnight EST, which is in less than six hours, the contest will end, and the person who has posted the number that is closest to (or exactly) the one I have in my head will win. Guess more than once, or guess more than one number, and you will be disqualified. Sadly, the contest is only open to U.S. residents — Amazon says that the game “can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses.”

That’s about as simple as contests can get, so if you’re thinking of picking up this game (*cough* Y0j1mb0), there’s no reason not to enter. Of course, we’re working on the honor system here — I’m going to take it on faith that you’ll actually use the coupon code, and aren’t simply entering to prevent someone who genuinely wants to buy the game from getting it for five dollars cheaper. In other words, don’t be a total fuckwad. And now that we have those unpleasantries out of the way, get guessing!


6:31 PM on 02.14.2008

My thoughts on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is the stupidest “Hallmark holiday” anyone could have come up with. Oh, let’s take a day out of the year to celebrate love! What kind of sappy bullshit is that? Actually, forget the sappy qualities of the day. This day just makes me realize even more how money makes the world go ’round. How many corporations (candy & card companies, along with restaurants) make millions of dollars on February 14th each year? It’s yet another example of the endless mass marketing of every semi-celebrated day out of the year. But Valentine’s Day is one of the biggest — you hear about these famed “romantic” restaurants where people reserve tables a year in advance, among all kinds of other absurd situations. (The underside of a Snapple cap once provided me with “Real Fact” #369: On Valentine’s Day, there is no charge to get married in the Empire State Building’s wedding chapel...the more you know, eh?) Corporate America has attempted (and it’s succeeding more and more each year) to equate this “holiday” with celebrations of equally abstract, yet immensely more significant concepts and events such as the birth and rebirth of Jesus (Christmas/Easter), being thankful for life (Thanksgiving), the birthday of arguably this country’s greatest civil rights leader (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), and our freedom (Memorial Day/Veterans Day). Am I saying that love is inconsequential? Hardly, though I’ve been accused of it before. My quarrel is not with celebrating love; it is with the bastardization and commercialization of that celebration. The whole thing just doesn’t make sense to me.

Wikipedia’s article on Valentine’s Day says this: “The Greeting Card Association estimates that, world-wide, approximately one billion valentine cards are sent each year, making the day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year behind Christmas. The association also estimates that women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.” Yuh-huh. And there you have it.

This doesn’t represent how I feel; I’m perfectly happy being single!Oh, god...I’m living a lie...the pain is too much to bear...

I can understand doing something nice for your significant other (in fact, I’m all for it), but the idea of this holiday has formalized “doing something nice” and turned it into this huge spectacle. Now, there’s this image of what girls expect on Valentine’s Day: stuff like a nice romantic dinner, a box of chocolates, a bouquet of roses, yada, yada, yada. I mean, it’s so cookie-cutter, so ordinary, so...unspectacular. If I was a girl and I had a special someone, I’d want something special. I mean, anyone can go out and buy a $4.99 box of Russell Stover chocolates from Rite-Aid or order roses from 1-800-Flowers, and while that’s all well and good, I’d want that guy to go above and beyond. You know, surprise me...skip the flowers and truffles and get me my favorite romantic comedy on DVD or something. OK, so that’s not exactly you see part of the reasons I don’t have a valentine. I think you get the idea, though...I ask people what they’re doing today, and they all say stuff like, “I’m going out to dinner with my boyfriend,” or “I’m taking her to the boardwalk,” or something along those lines. I mean, I’d like to hear someone say, “My boyfriend invited me over for some chips, some salsa, and a night of Audrey Hepburn flicks.” See, that’s at least semi-original...and because of that, it’s commendable. It shouldn’t be about how much money you spend, but how much thought you put in.

All I’m saying is this: there’s no reason not to do nice things for your girlfriend/significant other/wife/hooker on all the other 364 days of the year (or 365, as 2008 is a leap year) — this “holiday” seems to exist solely for people to spend money in ways they otherwise wouldn’t, and who ends up winning? Corporate America. Sure, some of the people end up winning as well (see: Y0j1mb0, Eschatos), and that’s great. But all in all, there really is no logical reason why anyone should be marking this day off on their calendar. Either way, if you do have someone to celebrate the day with, do something special with him/ playing some video games together.

In closing, I’d like to leave you with something I found on my homepage, the “Top ‘I Hate Love’ Songs of All Time”. Most of the songs on there are crappy, but I like a few of them. So break out your iPods and cry yourselves to sleep, friends; tomorrow is a new day, and there’s someone for everyone...right?

Disclaimer: This may just be my opinion because I don’t, you know, have a girlfriend at the moment or anything...but I suppose that’s what forms my views. At any rate, that fact shouldn’t invalidate my views or reduce their credibility at all...

P.S. Another interesting point to ponder, also courtesy of Wikipedia: according to the Roman calendar, the thirteenth of February would have been called the “ides of February.” if Valentine’s Day was just a day earlier, it would have another name (along with, of course, Singles Awareness Day, or “SAD”) that would bring much more negative things to mind, simply because of the word “ides”...

P.P.S. Oh yeah, for all you guys tryin’ to get some tonight...remember: No glove, no love.   read

11:03 PM on 02.12.2008

And the GoW: CoO coupon winrar is...


Congratulations! I happened to be thinking of Mariano Rivera, so the number in my head was 42, which he (she? I don’t want to be presumptuous...) guessed exactly. Please send me a PM or email (my address is in my profile sidebar), and I’ll pass along the coupon code.

To everyone else: thanks for playing — especially Genfuyung; you were so close! — and better luck next time. (Knowing Sony and their spamming of my inbox, there will definitely be a next time.)   read

6:45 PM on 02.12.2008

Raise your hand if you’re interested in God of War: Chains of Olympus.

The few of you who caught my previous post in this vein already pretty much know what I’m going to say, but I’ll introduce my situation again for the newcomers. Sony likes to send me coupons for PSP-related purchases; they seem to think I have a PSP, which isn’t true. Last time, they mailed one to me for $5 off any PSP game from Best Buy, but this time, they went the electronic route.

I got an email a few days ago from Sony that contains a coupon code for $5 off a copy of God of War: Chains of Olympus — if you pre-order it from ($39.99 is the regular price). There’s an additional special offer attached to the deal: if you pre-order the game with the coupon code, you’ll get “free exclusive tracks from the God of War: Chains of Olympus soundtrack”. You won’t get them immediately; once the game ships, Amazon will send the songs to your Amazon account’s “digital locker”. All told, that doesn’t sound like a bad deal to me, but again, I don’t own a PSP, so I have no use for the coupon.

Since I tried to hold a contest for my last PSP game coupon, and that contest failed miserably, I’m not even going to bother with something as complicated this time. Here’s what you have to do:

Pick ONE number from 1 to 100, and put it in the comments below. At midnight EST, which is in about four hours, the “contest” will end, and the person who has posted the number that is closest to (or exactly) the one I have in my head will win. Guess more than once, or guess more than one number, and you will be disqualified.

Of course, we’re working on the honor system here — I’m going to take it on faith that you’ll actually make use of coupon code and aren’t simply preventing someone who genuinely wants to buy the game from getting it for five dollars cheaper. In other words, don’t be a total fuckwad. And now that we have those unpleasantries out of the way, get guessing!   read

2:25 PM on 02.12.2008

Sports games and exclusivity deals: a different take

As fellow c-blogger B-Radicate reported earlier, EA has extended their video game exclusivity agreement with the NFL by three years. It was originally slated to expire in 2009, but now, EA has locked up the license through 2012. Most people seem to think that this deal means that the apocalypse is imminent, but I don’t necessarily agree. Read on, friends, read on...

No, this is not what Madden NFL 09 will look like

I’ve always been a fan of EA Sports titles over 2K Sports games — I just like the way they “feel” and control. In general, however, I hate the idea of exclusivity; it stifles creativity and allows developers to rest on their laurels, year after year. (Aside: I was thinking of doing a “Good Idea, Bad Idea” on exclusivity agreements, but I realized that I couldn’t find anything good to say about them.) 2K Sports owns the baseball license, and I really didn’t like Major League Baseball 2K7 (in fact, I’m much more interested in Sony’s MLB 08: The Show this year). But I absolutely loved EA’s last baseball game, MVP Baseball 2005 on the PS2, and it’s a damn shame that they can’t make them anymore.

Now, it’s important to note something that Peter Moore mentioned in his interview with IGN: he said that it was the NFL who originally looked into having an exclusive deal with a publisher, and EA just turned out to be the highest bidder. Is that their fault? No. That’s capitalism, and there’s nothing wrong with it. Much of the blame should be placed on the sports themselves — that is, the NFL and the MLB — for offering an exclusivity deal in the first place. But EA’s not innocent, of course; what is wrong with EA is the Madden games that they’ve put out since the deal went into effect, which have all been largely lackluster titles compared to the pre-exclusivity games.

Of course, I’m at a special disadvantage as a PS3 owner; the 360 versions of Madden games have been serviceable, but the PS3 ports have been a different story altogether. The week before Madden NFL 08 came out on August 14, 2007, Best Buy was offering a deal: pre-order Madden, and get $10 off any other regularly-priced game. So I pre-ordered it and got Warhawk (which wasn’t to be released for another two weeks) for $49.99. But I saw the error of my ways (or rather, EA’s ways) after I had the game in my hands. IGN gave the 360 version an 8.7 in their review, but the PS3 version of the game was scored a full point lower, a 7.7 out of 10. I read through both reviews in their entirety, and the only difference between them was the mention of the graphical shortcomings of the PS3 version of the game. After playing the game myself a few times and being disgusted, I put it aside on my shelf, and in December, I got rid of it for a measly 650 Goozex points.

So what I’m essentially saying is this: I wouldn’t fault EA and 2K Sports as much for their respective exclusivity deals if they just made good games. Is that so much to ask? And if you have to, use the PS3 as the lead platform for development (or at least start development on the PS3 version earlier). There’s absolutely no excuse at this point for either of the versions to have any major graphical or gameplay inadequacies, and that was the case with both Madden NFL 08 and MLB 2K7. In any case, at least I have an alternative for baseball: 2K Sports’ exclusivity deal only covers third-party games, so SCEA is free to develop their own baseball video game. I eagerly anticipate MLB 08: The Show, and I definitely have some interest in Madden NFL 09, though after last year’s shenanigans, that interest is lukewarm. Make me believe again, EA...that’s all I want...   read

4:55 PM on 02.09.2008

Insomniac interview: Resistance 2


On Thursday, IGN put up this four-and-a-half-minute-long video interview with Ted Price, the President and CEO of Insomniac Games. It doesn’t reveal a whole lot more than we already know about Resistance 2, but the few of you out there who are interested in the game may find this interesting.

Price acknowledges a few failings of Resistance: Fall of Man, such as the method in which the story was told — personally, I wasn’t a fan of the female narrator (Parker, if I remember correctly) recounting Hale’s tale — and he also mentions that Insomniac “got lots of complaints” because the first game had no online co-op play. It’ll be there in the sequel; however, as is usually the case with Insomniac, they’re doing it in their own way: apparently, the online co-op in Resistance 2 will have its own story that “parallels the story in the single-player campaign,” and it will feature three classes, ŕ la Team Fortress 2 — a powerful soldier, a ranged special ops combatant, and a medic, each with their own unique qualities.

At this point, I wouldn’t say I’m psyched for this game — hell, I still have to go back and beat the original — but my interest is piqued, to be sure. Check out the video and let me know what you think!   read

7:04 PM on 02.08.2008

Well, that’s just excessive...

Inspired by dvddesign’s recent blog entry on a guy with a 2400-sq.-ft. arcade in his house, I decided to post something similar that I saw over on CNET’s Crave blog, which often features all manner of ostentatiously extravagant gadgets, gear, and the like.

What would you pay for the most insane home theater you could possibly imagine?

How about, oh...six million dollars?

Some of you may be familiar with IGN Gear’s “Ultimate Setup” feature (they’ve done over fifty of them), but this trumps them all, no sweat. Essentially, this guy Jeremy Kipnis, a record engineer/producer, has been engrossed in A/V equipment from a very young age, and he was inspired “to design a home theater with the absolute best picture and sound” — once he could afford it, I guess. The ridiculous room in his home in Redding, Connecticut, which is 26.5 feet wide by 33 feet long, features an 18-foot projection screen. The image that is displayed on it comes from a Sony SRX-S110 digital projector, which features an insane native resolution of 4096 × 2160 (that’s over 8.8 million pixels, more than four times the amount found in a 1080p image). Unfortunately, it doesn’t have an HDCP-compliant HDMI input, so he’s stuck feeding it 1080i video over component connections from his Sony Blu-ray player, Toshiba HD DVD player, and PS3, which the projector upscales to 2160p. But it still looks plenty spectacular, as you can see from the above image, which shows a shot from Ratatouille on Blu-ray Disc. According to the author of the article, Kipnis’ “ultimate goal is to produce a picture that’s an open window to the world.”

Of course, those numbers are fine, but what really blew me away was the audio setup in the KSS (“Kipnis Studio Standard”). What do you guys have in your own homes, 5.1-channel systems? Perhaps even 6.1 or 7.1 setups? Yeah, well, this guy went over the top, and his speaker setup delivers 8.8-channel audio via a wide variety of sound equipment, including three center speakers, eight tower speakers, and sixteen 18-inch subwoofers! I’m sure that Al Gore would want this guy dead; all together, the KSS features 11,315 watts of power!

So what’s the point of all this? Kipnis says he wants to market this kind of setup to those who can afford it (he’s hoping to be able to demo it to some of Hollywood’s top directors, like Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and George Lucas). It’s about advancing the state of the art, according to Kipnis; the idea is to create an immersive home theater experience using the best-of-the-best in equipment and design. For more information, you can check out the summary on CNET’s Crave blog; the original article, which appears in the Audio Video Interiors section of the February issue of Home Theater magazine; and Kipnis’ KSS website. Oh, and here’s a picture from the front facing towards the back, just for good measure:


10:45 PM on 02.06.2008

Well, that’s quite a milestone...

Wow. That sure is a lot of comments, isn’t it?

Because I’m a science guy, and I like to do some calculations to show cool stuff, I’m gonna go for it. I started reading Destructoid sometime in August of 2006, so if we start from the middle of that month — as in, August 15, 2006 — and count to today, that’s 540 days. In other words, if we assume that I began commenting here on that day, in a week, it’ll be exactly a year and a half since I started reading the site. So...

2500 comments ÷ 540 days = 4.63 comments/day

While I don’t have some sort of graph that shows my number of comments from month to month or anything, I know that the average must’ve shot up during last summer, when I was reading Dtoid any chance I got while at work, and I also started reading lots more of the c-blogs around that time as well (I mean, they’ve only been around since what, like, last June?) Hell, the average most likely peaked in the past two months or so, as evinced by the following snapshot:

Hey, my Destructoid score (whatever that means) went up by over 1.68 million! That screencap was taken on December 2, 2007; 66 days have passed since then, so bear with me while I do some math once again:

2500 comments – 1111 comments = 1389 comments
1389 comments ÷ 66 days = 21.05 comments/day

Holy crap! Do I really comment on over twenty front-page stories and c-blogs a day? God damn. I guess when you think about it, it doesn’t seem like all that much — each day, I probably comment on ten main-page stories alone, and it obviously doesn’t take too many more c-blog comments to push that number up. Anyway, I’d like to thank all of you guys and gals here: from Reverend Anthony to Ron Workman, and from bhive01 down to WiiSucks (well, I can’t very well link to his blog, now can I?). I don’t usually comment on something unless it catches my eye in some way, and generally, that means being thought-provoking as opposed to just attention-getting — although there’s nothing wrong with the occasional LATENITELULZ™, to be sure. Then again, a quarter of those 2500 comments probably consist of me correcting people, so I suppose making mistakes in English usage also has to qualify as something that I notice and comment on across the site. Either way...I salute you all, Dtoiders, and here’s to 2500 more comments, which should be made in...

2500 comments ÷ 21.05 comments/day ≈ 119 days   read

7:30 PM on 02.06.2008

The 80 GB PS3 is no more...

The demise of the 80 GB PlayStation 3 has been reported on before, most notably by c-bloggers/matlockers liqideos and Y0j1mb0. But I’m here to give you proof besides “scans” of “emails” and so-called “insider information”. Nothing official, of course — Sony hasn’t commented on any of these rumors — but it’s pretty solid evidence in my book. Listen closely, and you shall hear...a tale of woe like few others this year...

I’ve been successful in getting a few of my friends IRL to read Destructoid, and one of them is MasterMS (that’s a link to his profile because he’s never blogged, but you still might recognize his Big Boss avatar). MasterMS is a fellow PS3 owner — in fact, we both stood outside Best Buy for four hours in the cold on December 31, 2006, to get 60 GB PS3s. Even though he takes good care of his stuff, he isn’t the luckiest person in the world when it comes to the console’s reliability. My friend’s original PS3 was bricked by the v1.92 software update, which came out on September 4, 2007. By “bricked”, I mean that it stopped reading Blu-ray Discs and DVDs — and any games on those media. Since it was still under Sony’s one-year warranty, they sent him a coffin, and shipped out his replacement unit on September 19th.

That replacement 60 GB unit worked just fine until Super Bowl Sunday, when it stopped reading PS3 games. It still reads DVDs and PS2 games, just not Blu-ray games (he couldn’t try it with any Blu-ray movies because he doesn’t own any). At this point, my friend was understandably aggravated. Upon calling Sony, he was told that the one-year warranty period on PS3s purchased in 2006 had been extended to February 26th of this year (as a “gesture of good will,” said the Sony rep on the phone), so my friend could obtain a second replacement for free. This time, though, he declined — you see, he had bought a two-year extended warranty from Best Buy. (Aside: “Extended warranty? How can I lose?”) They offered to give him a gift card with the full value of the 60 GB PS3 + tax (obviously, they don’t have any more of them on hand). He has also been planning to buy an HDTV recently, so he figured he’d just buy an 80 GB PS3 and put the $650 or so from the gift card towards a $750 TV. Simple, right?

[Charlie Murphy voice]: Wrong.

My buddy went to the local Best Buy to try and buy an 80 GB PS3; he knew of the rumors that it had been discontinued as of January 28th, but he figured they’d still have some stock on hand. Nope...a sales associate confirmed the discontinuation rumor, and in a rather interesting additional tidbit, he also said that a new SKU with a 160 GB hard drive was forthcoming — this summer! But until then, said the associate, the only PS3 that Best Buy will be selling is the 40 GB model. In fact, if you go to, they don’t even show the 80 GB model anymore — just the 40 GB version.

But my friend is not a man who gives up easily. He called me on his way out of Best Buy to give me the news, but mentioned that he was going to check out some other places to see if they had any 80 GB models remaining. He IMed me a little over an hour ago (I’ve replaced his screen name with “MasterMS”):

MasterMS: Yo you there?
BrOnXbOmBr21: yeah
BrOnXbOmBr21: i was just about to call you, actually
MasterMS: Well after going to bestbuy, target, circuit city, Walmart, gamestop, and calling two other gamestops I got nothing
BrOnXbOmBr21: really
BrOnXbOmBr21: i'm shocked
MasterMS: Me too
MasterMS: Apparently they have all be out of stock for awhile
BrOnXbOmBr21: you mean forever
BrOnXbOmBr21: if it's discontinued, anyway
MasterMS: And everywere gave the same response. Discontinued, new SKUs wil be in the summer
BrOnXbOmBr21: yeah ok
BrOnXbOmBr21: summer?!?!
MasterMS: Yeah
MasterMS: They all said the summer
MasterMS: Like every store was told what to say by someone

Currently, the 80 GB PS3 is available on (in fact, that’s where my friend ended up buying it from), but is showing that it is “Out of stock online”, and says it’s in “stores only”. On the other hand, you can still buy the 80 GB model online from Wal-Mart and GameStop. You better get ’em while you can, folks... After all, who knows? The new SKU may not have backwards compatibility at all, dumb as that would be. And what would you do then?   read

7:57 PM on 02.04.2008


I’m well aware that many Dtoiders probably have little to no interest in sports and thus don’t care about the content of this blog post. But I’m going to go ahead with it anyway.

Last night, the New York Giants pulled off the third-greatest upset in Super Bowl history (by betting spread, that is) by defeating the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII — that’s 42, for the Roman numeral-challenged. Going into the game, the Giants were 12-point underdogs, and the only two more significant surprises came in 2002 and 1969. In Super Bowl XXXVI, the St. Louis Rams were beaten 20-17 by the 14-point underdog Patriots. In Super Bowl III (1969), the Baltimore Colts were favored by 17 points over the AFL’s New York Jets, who shocked the world by winning 16-7. (The Jets’ quarterback, Joe Namath, had famously guaranteed a win prior to the game.)

As the above image of ESPN’s homepage (three and a half hours after the end of the game) shows, they thought it couldn’t be done. Most analysts were picking scores like 42-10, 31-17, and the like (in favor of the Patriots, of course). Either way, everybody expected a high-scoring game; when these two teams met in Week 17, the Patriots eked out a 38-35 win, and the over/under in the Super Bowl was 53 points. Instead, what we got was a tight defensive battle that turned out to be one of the best Super Bowls in recent memory. The three lead changes in the fourth quarter set a new Super Bowl record, and this nailbiter came right down to the wire.

While it was the Giants (especially WR Plaxico Burress) who came under fire during the past week for talking trash, the Patriots were patronizing the Giants before and during the game: Giants WR Amani Toomer mentioned that members of the Pats were inviting the Giants to their celebratory postgame parties, and that Richard Seymour taunted, “Get ready to go home,” during the now-famous last touchdown drive. But I knew all along that the Giants had a legitimate shot, especially when they got the ball back with 2:39 to go, down 14-10. That’s plenty of time in football, especially when you have all three of your timeouts and the two-minute warning. And Eli Manning got it done. Finally stepping out from his older brother’s shadow, he engineered a fantastic 12-play, 83-yard touchdown drive, capped by a floating touchdown pass to a wide-open Plaxico Burress. But the drive may have been stopped in its tracks were it not for a play that may come to be known as “The Catch II” or “The Catch, Jr.” On third-and-5 from the Giants’ 44, Manning somehow evaded a sure sack and threw a lob to David Tyree, who leaped and snagged the ball out of the air, Rodney Harrison be damned. Tyree trapped the ball against his helmet at one point, and the amazing 32-yard pass play continued the drive.

The Giants were able to overcome incredible odds because of a great team effort — their offense wasn’t spectacular, but it got the job done in the clutch, and their special teams play held up. But it was the defense that was the heart of this upset victory. Against a Patriots offensive line with three Pro Bowlers, the Giants sacked Tom Brady five times and hit him 18 times, not including the sacks. The Giants’ D kept them in the game, and then it was up to Eli. What a game, what a win, what a season. I’m still amazed, and you know what the best part is? Most sports video games use the previous season’s championship contenders as their default opponents, especially in demos. It’s going to be a great feeling to see the Giants and Patriots at the team select screen for Madden NFL 09...

I’ll leave you all with one last image of the Giant upset:


12:11 PM on 01.24.2008

And the 22nd Bond film will be called...[NVGR, obviously]

Quantum of Solace.

It’s a rather dumb name, if you ask me. According to Producer Michael G. Wilson, the title was only picked a few days ago, and it was taken from the title of a story by Ian Fleming in the collection “For Your Eyes Only”. I guess they anticipated a backlash from fans regarding the nature of the title, as Wilson also said, “We thought it was an intriguing title and referenced what happened to Bond and what is happening in the film.”

Filming commenced earlier this month; the movie will shoot on-location in Austria, Italy, and Panama (I wonder if the trailer will feature Van Halen, ŕ la Superbad). Currently, the release date is set for Friday, November 7, in the US and Britain. Other than the questionable title, though, I’m stoked! I absolutely loved Casino Royale, and I eagerly await the post-Election Day weekend!

[mostly copypasta from Yahoo! News]   read

9:13 AM on 01.24.2008

[update] New details emerge on GTA IV

Fellow c-blogger Kryptinite beat me to part of what I was going to post, so I’ll just summarize his post by saying that Rockstar sent out an email this morning confirming that the official release date for Grand Theft Auto IV has been set for Tuesday, April 29, 2008. In other words, we’ll all be able to get our grubby paws on the game in 96 days, or just under 14 weeks. I still haven’t decided whether or not I’ll be picking up the tricked-out special edition, which will retail for a 50% premium over the cost of the game itself (for those of you who are mathematically challenged, that’s $90 as opposed to $60). I’m not sure that I’d ever use the safe deposit box — though I suppose that a duffel bag is always useful, and that an art book would be a nice collectible to show off. What sayeth you, Dtoiders?

The safe deposit box and duffel bag just seem extraneous and excessive, don’t they?

I also wanted to alert you all to some new coverage of the game, courtesy of IGN. Along with ten new screenshots, a three-page preview of a new build of the game was posted yesterday. Yes, I said yesterday, but I’m sure there are plenty of you who haven’t seen it yet, so don’t bother posting “old news is old” in the comments. Written up by Chris Roper, the feature discussed footage of the game that was demoed to IGN (apparently, the game was running on a 360). I won’t bore you guys with copypasta; instead, I’ll just give you the gist of the updated look at the game. According to the article, three different missions were shown: “Search and Delete”, “Deconstruction for Beginners”, and “Truck Hustle”. Lastly, Roper got a look at a portion of another mission that sounded somewhat similar to “Boomshine Saigon” from GTA: Vice City.

Flaming group sex under the Brooklyn Bridge? I’m so there.

The first mission was a “find and take out one guy” excursion; the second had Niko cajole a group of union leaders into resuming work; and the last one required stealing a truck. Roper wrote that the game “looks to be just about done,” and in line with that, he mentioned that framerate issues from prior builds were nowhere to be seen. Also, the full missions were shown, so Rockstar didn’t pick select footage to display to IGN. Roper commented repeatedly on the NaturalMotion physics engine and the lack of canned animations in the game. He also had a chance to see the overhauled combat system in action: Niko took cover, as did his enemies; and to me, the new targeting system that he detailed sounds a lot like the one in the True Crime games. Overall, I was very impressed with what Roper talked about in the preview, and it really served to whet my appetite for the game (I was already going to buy it as soon as it came out anyway, but I just get more excited with more information on it). Check out the full preview over at IGN, and let me know what you guys think by hitting up the comments below.

Update: I didn’t notice this before, but IGN UK put up its own preview of the new build of the game, penned by Martin Robinson. Check it out for a different take.   read

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