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11:22 PM on 02.04.2008  

EA Double-Speak

During an earnings call EA boss, John Riccitello, said the company wasn't satisfied with its overall sales performance for 2007.

Riccitello said that while 2008 looks promising, EA will continue to focus less on sequels and on more original content to be successful.

Riccitello then went on to discuss new titles in the Lord of the Rings and Battlefield series.... and touted FIFA 08, Madden 08 and Need for Speed were top performers in '07-- with Burnout Paradise doing well so far in 2008.

Wait... what?

GRR! EA Hates Sequels!
YAY! My Sequels, Let Me Show You Them!   read


12:30 PM on 01.27.2008  

Humber College?

Quick show of hands. Do any of you C-Bloggers go to Humber College in Toronto (either North or Lakeshore campus)?

There are a few events coming up you might want to look at.

Deets Later.   read


2:54 PM on 01.25.2008  

Dark Sector (PS3) Hands-on Preview



Way back when we still referred to the Xbox 360 as Xbox 2 and the new PlayStation as PS3 (we totally called it btw!) the development house behind Unreal Tournament 2003 showed off the first game for the next generation. That game was the sci-fi based Dark Sector.

Since the original trailer in April 2004 Digital Extremes has shifted the entire story of Dark Sector from a sci-fi stealth-action game to a more traditional third-person action-shooter. Why the change of heart? “After doing research and testing we found out people didn’t want a sci-fi storyline, but after we changed it people wanted it back” later adding that the team felt they wanted to tell more of a character based story than an environmental one.

In the game you play as Hayden Tenno, a covert operative sent to investigate strange happenings in an Eastern European city. While investigating the city of Lasria, Hayden becomes infected with the Technocyte virus — a brutal bio-weapon that turns the infected into killing machines.



Miraculously Hayden survives the attack but soon discovers his exposure to the Technocyte virus has given him inhuman abilities that he must use to investigate the bio-weapon and become the hero he was destined to become.

Built on its own engine specifically for the next-generation, Dark Sector, is a technically impressive game. While indoor environments had a basic hallways-with-water-damage look to them, the outdoor areas we saw were beautiful. In one of the missions Hayden was infiltrating, what appeared to be a castle, at dusk during a rainstorm. Hayden’s character model, two-part CIA black-op and one-part inhumanly enhanced, is well animated and very impressive. While the standard soldiers were carbon-copies of each other, later levels pit you against infected humans to change the pace of the action.



In keeping with their truly next-gen aesthetic, Dark Sector does not have any initial Heads-Up Display (HUD). Instead, a targeting reticle only appears when a weapon is being aimed and you can catch a quick glance of your ammunition when you reload. There were two core weapons in the Dark Sector demo. The first is your standard shooter fare; pistols, shotguns, machine guns and the second is the Glave.

The glave is one of the first abilities the Technocyte infection gives you. Acting as both a long range weapon and a brutal melee attack, the bladed disc shaped weapon is a devastating addition to your arsenal. While other abilities will aide Hayden in his quest, and the rep from D3 was tight lipped as to what they will be, the glave will be your primary go-to weapon.

Pressing the L2 button brings up the targeting reticle for your standard weapons and shifts the camera to an over-the-shoulder view while R1 fires the weapon. Pressing and holding the R2 button readies Hayden for a glave throw, where the harder you hold down the button the further the glave soars.



There were rumblings that the ESRB had D3 remove multiple trailers for graphic content related to the game, and its evident why there were concerns. While the game is not overly violent, a well calibrated glave toss can tear enemies into two neatly sheared pieced. And by getting in close and performing melee attacks to an enemy can result in a graphic finishing move that varies based on which enemy you face. Battles were intense and moody, perfectly in line with the feel of the game. While some A.I. and collision was apparent in the demo the game has quite some time before it releases.

While the glave can be used to dole out punishment it can also be used to solve environment puzzles and interact with the world in different ways. Reaching a locked door we realized the power was knocked out rendering the electronic locks inoperable, by tossing the glave into a nearby breaker box it electrocuted our bladed-boomerang and allowed us to restore power to progress through the mission. Using the same technique you can shock enemies who stick to water for a quick zap of electricity that ends their rampage.

The only issue we had when play it was running out of ammo. While you can pickup any fallen enemies weapons the games health system, similar to that of Call of Duty where coming closer to death will fill the screen read and wait for you to retreat to regenerate, seemed to work against us as the enemies were relentless in their pursuit to end our mission. The level we played, which was the third in the game, focuses on a sticky-cover system and firing around cover to survive– but we just wanted to watch the devastating finishing moves again and again.



While Dark Sector promises specifically designed next-gen gaming in its single-player campaign we were told to expect some exciting announcements for its multiplayer components. When we asked if we’d see the traditional deathmatch, capture the flag affair we were treated with a smile and a wait and see what we’re doing.

While the game mechanics don’t stray from those found in today’s popular titles; the story, controls and compelling lead character are original and warrant your attention.

Dark Sector looks and plays superbly in its current state and we’re happy to say that the first game to ever be announced for the next-generation should be on your radar in early 2008.

Dark Sector is hitting the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 later this year.

[Originally posted by Xav de Matos on THEBBPS]   read


3:34 AM on 01.24.2008  

Wanted: Fanboys/Girls

I'm working on a story right now on the current state of the consoles and what the hardcore gamers are looking forward to in 2008.

I need any and all rabid Microsoft/Nintendo/Sony fanboys to come forward if they want to volunteer to answer a few questions about their favorite console and the games they're dying to play in '08.

Also, for the sake of this story... flame wars are a go.

Bash the shit outta the other guy, but bring your talking points to the match.

If you're interested please private message me and l'll contact you within the next few weeks.   read


11:05 AM on 01.22.2008  

Ferguson Fired, Maurice Might Go Too; Happiness Injected into Leaf Nation



I'm not saying this will solve any of the problems the Leafs have this season, but this will be a definite positive change for the future of the team.

Hopefully interim general manager, Cliff Fletcher, will be able to make some moves at the deadline that can add a good sense of security for Leaf fans in the coming years.

Via TSN.ca   read


8:37 PM on 01.21.2008  

Too Many To Count... Mutha Ucka's!

[embed]65998:7159[/embed]

Flight of the Conchords is one of the best shows left on television.
Period.   read


11:55 AM on 01.20.2008  

Avatar: The GamerScore Bender

I feel like a douche for caring but I love Achievement Points.

There I said it, it's out there and now we have to deal with it.

Last night this love came into play when I was walking through the aisles of my BlockBuster and noticed a copy of 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' available for rent. Let me tell you, I snatched it up faster then Pam Anderson's lawyers can draw up divorce paperwork.

Yeah. Avatar. Remember months ago when Dtoid reported you can claim all 1000GS points in about two minutes?

Donzos.

I've done a lot of things I'm not proud of to build my fake gaming rating.

Playing TMNT to completion.
Spending a week on exclusively with PREY.
Beating HITMAN all four times.
Playing FUZION FRENZY 2 at all.

Renting Avatar to use it for that 2 minutes is probably the lowest of the low...

But at least I haven't simulated 40 years of football in Madden '06 to get those points.

It's on the TO DO list.

[Here's the video of Avatar in action for those who haven't seen this ancient trick.]

[embed]65766:7118[/embed]   read


2:15 AM on 01.19.2008  

Gamecock Head Tears into Romero, Romero on Suicide Watch

After John (please still pay attention to me) Romero threw some harsh language at Gamecock CEO, and former business partner, Mike Wilson it seemed like the battle had ended.

Romero called Wilson out for his jackass stunts today as more of the same from his days with Ion Storm citing Wilson "partied all the time."

Wilson replied with a friendly letter, sent to Kotaku, that can only be comparable to pitting Mike Tyson in a bare knuckle-boxing match against that slow kid, Corky, from Life Goes On.

Wilson threw punch after punch in Romero's direction, with an exceptionally devastating ending-right hook, when he says to Romero:

"your unparalleled work ethic and strong character has [...] left only a bloody trail of ex-wives, fatherless kids, and ill advised breast implants strewn across this fair nation."

DIP!

Wow John. Let this go to show you, you should never get into a battle of wits with someone unless you pack some ammunition-- then again, you made Daikatana... so what the fuck do you know about planning!

Now Wilson was mighty harsh, so just in case you decide to do anything rash I thought I'd remind you... when you're holding the blade to your forearm; going up the street is the right way, across the hall doesn't do a thing.

Oh and Wilson, release a game already.

Via Kotaku   read


12:20 AM on 01.17.2008  

I Caved or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Rock Band



After seeing, and covering, Rock Band at a few industry events and never being tempted to play the damn game I thought there would be no chance for the title to sneak its way into my collection.

I was wrong.

After watching drones of my friends list flock to the game I became more and more tempted to check it out. The initial song list for the game isn't terribly exciting.

While they have a few staples (for me at least) Weezer, Queens, The Who... good tracks to rock out to- it wasn't enough for me to throw down the $170.

Also, another reason? I'm not very good at these fucking games... I admit it. I play the guitar for reals and Guitar games (Guitar Hero specifically) always made me feel like a chooch.

I can play the shit in real life, why can't I figure it out in the game?! I used to be a pretty proficient drummer too... so you'd see why I would be worried about throwing another $170 into the fire.

So why did I pick it up?

It's the downloadable content that sealed the deal for me.

As promised during an interview I conducted with a Harmonix rep back in October, the track list has DOUBLED since the games release with fresh and fairly priced content.

Wolfmother? CCR (albiet fake CCR)? I'm gonna go with HELLS YEAH.

Having sat down with the guys at Harmonix and hearing them pitch these grand plans for new content and actually seeing it happen has made them one of the most respectable devs in the industry (in my eyes).

Having the game for one night, and only playing guitar and vocals, has already got me excited to delve deeper into the action.

Also, it affords me the rare chance to use the band name I've been keeping under my sleeve for a rainy day:

NOTES ON YOUR FACE.

Rock on bitches and/or pimps.

(Ed. Note: I really hit the hot button topic of November 2007 with this post)
[Aforementioned Rock Band Interview: LINK]   read


11:27 PM on 01.15.2008  

The Leafs... won?



Hey look at that. The Toronto Maple Leafs won a game.

Now all they need to do is fire John Ferguson Jr. and they can go from steaming-piles-of-shit to a nice neat pile-of-shit.

It pains me to love this team to death.

Eff you, I know they suck.

[EA makes a hockey game... so I'm calling this gaming related.]   read


9:56 PM on 01.15.2008  

The Fall of HD-DVD

Even though this format "war" is silly I thought this was funny and a good remake of the Xbox Live Banning video from a while back.

[embed]64994:6975[/embed]

Sorry if this is a repost. Thanks for the pro-tip on the embed.   read


6:18 PM on 01.15.2008  

Pour One Out for Journeyman [Update]

The writers strike is still ongoing and I'm all for the writers getting their due... but I'm a little angry.

Okay, not angry exactly. As a member of CPRS (Canadian Public Relations Society), IABC (International Association of Business Communicators) and WEN (Writers and Editors Network) I understand that standards need to be set in the industry so everyone can live adequately in the areas where work exists and the cost-of-living rarely goes down.

I'm disappointed that due to the strike NBC has decided to save some coin by shit canning a few of their new shows. One of those shows seems to be Journeyman.

It was a great show, and I urge you all to check it out sometime.

Hope something happens to bring it back.

Also, I blame Heroes for sucking this year for its demise.

Good luck to the cast and crew and stay tuned to see (Journeyman star) Kevin McKidd wield the Hammer as Thor next year on the big screen (at least that's the rumor).

[From Journeyman's official NBC.com Blog: http://blog.nbc.com/journeyman]   read







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