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Funny how i was just randomly on this Amiga fansite that has all these different trailers from games a lot of us have long forgotten and many more have never even heard of... Well, after i watched all the Psygnosis glory i could handle for 20 minutes or so I noticed an entry for a game called Another World... font... strangely familiar... colors... curiously nostalgic. NO WAY! Instantly i am transported back to the day that i walk into my local Egghead Software store and see the most engaging display of cinematic gameplay ever witnessed by my 16 year old eyes.... Out of this world... yeah, exactly what i was thinking...

If anybody reading this remembers playing the very early Sierra text adventures that barely had 16 colors on screen at a time and later replayed the same game with eye-popping 256 color VGA artwork... you can understand the unexpected wash of joy and renewed wonderment that i just experienced. Eric Chahi has done the completely unbelievable... updated his classic in such a way that we can not only replay the game, but relive that feeling of seeing rotoscoped animation for the first time just like all of us did at some point in front of our dinky (by today's standards) 15 inch vga monitors... Yeah, i love this game... even as mind numbingly frustrated as it made me, the game made you feel that you were that red haired polygonal version of rick astley running for his life from some undefinable mass of black racing after you with saliva flying in gobs of his elongated fangs... okay maybe there wasn't exactly that much detail but that may also be one the best parts of this game, like a great novel that keeps you turning page after page, Out of this World gave you just enough meat in story, gameplay, mood, etc that your imagination would very often take over and try to create it's own version of just what the hell was going on, and more importantly what would be lying ahead....

Polygon particle physics never looked so good! So here's the stuff... The animated portion can be rendered all the way up to 1920x1200, HA! take that 1080p HD!!! While the backgrounds are redone in full color showing off subtle details that if you played the original, more or less make you feel that you've been wearing glasses with permanent smudges. Yeah, it's subtle, but at 9 bucks it's just enough to make you wanna take another ride...

Fans will love it, noobs to the game hopefully will appreciate what a milestone this game was in the action adventure genre.

Whats next? Flashback redux? mmmmm.....
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Cruising around on QJ looking for the latest way to make my psp new again, i came across this "flip of the coin" explanation from the devs side about their justification for pressuring game reviewers...

Originally from a Sore Thumbs Blog article by "anonymous guy from big publisher":
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As someone who has worked on the marketing and PR for game publishers for many years, it’s fascinating to read Shoe and Crispin’s perspective on PR for games, and how publishers try to manipulate them to get big previews and good reviews. I have been one of those people, doing everything I can to get try game journalists to place my games on the cover of their magazines, extended previews, assets posted online and the scores as high as possible. I have pulled ad buys in protest of what I felt were unfair review scores. I have spoken to the “boss” of publications before, and complained about certain journalists. I have “banned” certain media outlets from getting pre-release access to games, because of previous unfavorable coverage.

OK, I can already hear the people posting in comments below. “Typical publisher scumbag! How dare you try to interfere with truth!”, they will cry. And they have a point. But the strategy behind a publisher’s efforts to pressure publications in the interest of a game does make sense in certain instances. Sometimes the efforts to control the message of a game comes from the most hardcore of gamers – the developers.

Right off the bat, it needs to be remembered that most serious games are projects that have involved dozens, if not hundreds of people for years (not talking about the licensed crap). The developer, in most cases, kills itself to get a game completed. Any good PR people working for a game publisher understand what a developer goes through, and should fight hard to get the game looked at by journalists fairly. This is not to say a bad game should get a free pass, but every game should be given a fair appraisal, with considerations made for target market and price.

What many gamers don’t understand is how busy journalists can be – and also how lazy. Lets say you have a game that takes 30 hours to complete, and reviewer plays 2 hours of it and gives it mediocre review based on the first few levels, just because he has 10 other games to review and can’t put in 20 hours. Or when seeing a game pre-release, the journalist complains about things in the game that are obviously work in progress. Or when an editor of a big games website gives his FPS guy a sim racing game to review. Or when someone looks at all the other reviews online for a game, and just follows the crowd by posting a similar review (look at what’s happening to Too Human right now… does that game deserve scores that bad?). These things happen all the time.

Now, good game journalists don’t do any of these things, but truth be told, there aren’t that many good game journalists. The most reputable ones (like Shoe and Crispin) are so inundated with requests from game publishers, that its inevitable that a publisher/developer will have to deal with the B (or C) team. And if they don’t act professionally, who can blame a publisher for fighting back with any means necessary? Wouldn’t you try to protect a game you care about, and feel is being slighted unfairly? The game journalist’s word means more than anything in terms of a game’s chance of success.

I think many people at developers believe that most game journalists know little about games (though to be fair, most PR people in games know even less). But people at game developers constantly complain about game journalists offering “ideas” in previews and reviews for how games should be improved, when they have no sense of how that is done. A great unspoken truth is that those involved in games development and publishing feel that many journalists feel a sense of entitlement – that they deserve to have their asses kissed because of the power they wield over the sell-in (convincing retail buyer to take a game) and the final sell through of games to gamers. The fact is game journalists – of which there are hundreds at the moment – are living off the blood sweat and tears of creative people who love games and regularly work 100 hours weeks. The fact they casually rip on a game gives others involved in the development and marketing process good reason to pissed.

The industry has been crying out for “real” journalism for a long time now. What this means to me is not harsher reviews, but thoughtful analysis about games, real knowledge of game development, and a deep history of playing games. And ultimately, gauging who the game would be fun for, and scoring it accordingly. I think today it requires a specialty – if you are a hardcore RTS players, look at only those kinds of games. If you are an editor-in-chief, find the right journalists and manage them properly. But no one expects this to happen any times soon – there is no journalism school for videogames, and the Internet will breed more and more amateurs. So the battles will rage on!

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THATS IT?! Thats the grand end-all-be-all argument from the "big publisher" I think the chewbacca defense would have worked better...
So if i like chocolate and strawberry, but favor chocolate more, this means my opinion of the shitty throat burning strawberry shake i drank the other night is invalid? Good games attract gamers because they are fun to play. I'm more of a platform and wipeout XL gamer, first RPG I ever played was Y's for the sega master system, guess what? After a month of no progress and continually dying, i wanted to break it into little pieces that I prayed in some alternate universe could be traded for Phantasy Star. Does this mean i don't like RPGs? Well considering the fact that the 1 game i have been playing almost non-stop with the little free time i have is Disgeaa.... Another example is my friend chad(not concelmo) who is not a gamer, has never been a gamer, BUT! i show him the official trailer for Spore and he immediately gets interested and says that it looks like alot of fun. So it would seem that game genre has nothing to do with how someone will feel about the game as long as the game is fun and engaging. Besides, shouldn't it be the developer and/or publisher's job to seek out the reviewer that they feel is best qualified in the first place?

Pretty weak final statement for sure. I admit i don't cruise around gaming sites like gamespot(ca$hwhore to the staff) and ign to see the point he's trying to make about what the majority of devs opinions of game journalists are, probably because i either don't care for their style in reviews or I'm just totally spoiled by what i consider assessments that are very close to how i would feel after playing said games, but really? should devs be allowed to complain at all? Ok, if there are grounds that a shitty review for game A was given by a journalist after being bribed by the publisher from competing game B, i can see where devs can start bitching.

But even publishers should know that by exiling the very reason why they choose the sites their ad dollars go into, they eventually will see diminishing returns due to the credibility of that site going down the toilet. Or maybe I'm just thinking unrealistically and forgot about the bottom line. Kids, THIS is why non-dtoiders can't have nice things.

All said, i really feel this argument is moot and the brass tacks are for the most part, dropped by QJ's commenters. Feel free to drop your own...

-gg








From my ritualistic tendency to check both dtoid and qj.net out several times everyday, i came across the words PSP and than Homebrew and Idol and Competition, and started digging deeper...
Apparently PSP Hacks has the official* story on this one and i was a little surprised that i wasn't able to find anything about it on dtoid...

As far as i can tell... well they have the banner, thats about as official as it gets right?*

All officialness aside, i think alot of psp owners who have made the necessary modifications to their firmware (I take NO responsibility if you brick your otherwise 300 buck brick) will freak out when they notice what the homebrew community has been up to when given proper motivation... still not entirely sure what that could be.

I myself, really enjoyed playing Stacker which is kinda like Jenga but with rubber blocks or whatever material forces the little bastards to bounce but not really bounce off each other... The game utilizes the Chipmunk Physics Engine to great effect, whatever that means. I think most will compare it as a free 2D version of Spielberg's Boomblox which came out not too long ago on the wii.

The "competition," i guess, seems fierce. But with no discernible categories for winning, it's really hard to tell whats "going" on in that regard let alone if anybody will actually win anything at all.

But as with all things vg related, its the guy or gal on the other side of the screen who ultimately comes out victorious in the end until they end up having to buy a new psp.

An interesting twist on the situation is that the authors for the most part seem pretty open to criticisms / suggestions, so if you try out any homebrews and actually have some kind of meaningful input to offer, who knows, maybe your dreams will come true. Your sick, sick dreams.

enjoy!

-gg








went to check out maceo parker tonight, that was a great time... even with my totally thrashed inner feet balls (you know like the "balls" of your feet,.. uhm that doesn't sound too good either.. ) Yeah i think wearing bandaids all night is a very bad idea, your skin seems to accept the bandage as a substitute scab of sorts...and than the fun ... yeah, i'll spare ya the nuances of how it feels to separate... ok ok i'm really done this time...

I don't go to alot of jazz shows, which i find kinda odd, since i don't ever seem to have one moment when i'm not gyratin my booty around like olivia munn in the hawaii chair... meh look it up yourself, it's on g4's website somewhere... if you really need a visual... My girlfriend is probably going to shit a mochi ball when i tell her, cuz she's in japan right now (no, really, she is in japan...) and weird as it is everytime, she leaves, there is just a ton of cool shit going on that she misses out on... Well maybe just being in japan automatically makes up for it, than again she did see the pillows last year while out....... it's a delicate balance i guess...

Oh well, yes, as i mentioned before the night was a blast.... not as many people shakin their groove thang but i guess hollywood really is a tough scene. Funny how when one person finally breaks out of there "i feel it, but i'm too cool to show it" stance, it's directly caused by someone in his cone of vision that started dancing 5 minutes prior... And now, it's either "on" or "well i guess i can do it too..." But the greatest part about the whole thing is that 70 percent of the time when it finally is "on", it's usually a really bad impression of what got him started in the first place... what happens next is pretty formulaic as well. I don't think women really have this issue as much...








Ninja Day er night was fun, went to the el rey theatre to see Ask a Ninja Live...
All was awesome until the ninja got confronted with some 'hard' questions and showed
the ever diminishing limits of comedic value that guy on screen can provide...

Audience member from the front row
"How much of my 15 dollars ACTUALLY goes to you, and more importantly how do i get it
back?"

Shitty G4 host guy:
"Looks like we have an asshole in the crowd ninja, he didn't like your show!"

Ninja:
"I told you NOT to insult my audience! This is THE LAST TIME!"

Ninja than leaps out from behind the giant screen and 'kills' shitty G4 host guy

Olivia Munn:
"I'm not sure what to do now, i was supposed to say goodnight with him but he's dead now"

and 8 dollar crack-cup jack and cokes = not worth it

luv = hacked psp phat + bionic commando using analog on overhead

-gg

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