you actually enjoyed Advent Rising or if you were one of the three
people who purchased Psychonauts (sadly, I am still in the majority
on this and need to correct that) and enjoyed it, there's some not
so good news for Majesco.
On one hand, the NASDAQ exchange is getting ready to pull Majesco
from the market, since it just doesn't have the investor equity
required...big surprise, especially after last year's complete
bitch-slap of the company in all possible forms, right?
the other hand, the interim CEO, Morris Sutton, is supposedly ready
to walk if certain relations are fired/dismissed/laid-off/whatever.
That's never a good sign. While Mr. Sutton may be a good CEO (I
wouldn't know, since I never follow the business side of things too
much), but anytime a CEO may walk just for a family member being let
go, it's not a good sign. In fact, that's usually a sign, when
combined with the NASDAQ deal, that it might be time for one of the
big boys to buy out Majesco's library of licenses, or to take over
the entire company.
this has been in the works for a good long time (ever since Advent
Rising bombed on it's release), it's pretty safe to say that Majesco
will probably be the next company to go the way of Acclaim. It's
over for them, and the real question is which properties will be
bought by which mega-company.
other news of things going away without much noise, Arrested
Development may finally be done. The final 2 hours of episodes aired
on Friday, with no real warning, advertising, or fanfare. It's sad
when FOX doesn't know how to handle a great show when they have one.
They did it with Futurama, The Tick, Firefly, the first run of
Family Guy, and a few dozen other great shows. Between changing time
slots, little publicity, and the fact that the last season was often
pre-empted or would disappear for months at a stretch, it was safe
to say that FOX's last chance season for Arrested Development never
had a real chance.
final few episodes (the 2 hour final shot was actually several
episodes), not to mention the final season, was some of the best for
this show. I know I
won't be alone in hoping that someone with the intelligence to
properly handle a good TV show will step up and buy the thing from
FOX...and if it's a premium channel, I hope it's HBO so I can still
round out the day, and to end with some less stupid of news, Peter
addressing DICE, made some interesting announcements. Mainly,
Moore went on to say that Microsoft is going back to it's roots.
When Windows Vista (still, I must say, this is a stupid name for an
OS...it's almost as bad as ME) launches (supposedly later this
year), Microsoft will be more ready to look at PC gaming. This will
include a bunch of almost worthless features for the dedicated
gamer. There will be a "My Games" style folder in the
Start menu, more parental controls (which most parents will probably
not use or not even know of), easier access for casual gamers (read:
solitaire will be back with a vengeance...yippee...?), and there
will be more stability. That last one should be taken with a grain
of salt, since "Windows" and "stability" go
together like "Barbie Horse Adventure" and "Best
Selling XBox Games".
I didn't get any sleep last night, thanks to a neighbor who apparently
cannot think of a better time to play with his/her dog than around
It's one of those
days of "too little too late". On one hand, Square Enix is
finally giving a release date for the US for FF:
Advent Children. I honestly don't know if anyone even cares
anymore. For one thing, the buzz and hype around this
"movie" (I use that term lightly for this thing) has come
and gone. Maybe if this announcement was made about 6 months ago,
some more people would care. However, by now, all of the people who
were ready to freak out and buy a PSP to get this UMD have already
seen it via bit torrent. When the thing (that term fits Advent
Children far better than movie) was launched in Japan, it became an
overnight star of the bit torrent world.
On the other hand,
those who were stupid enough to buy a PSP for this UMD exclusive
must be kicking themselves. After all, there is now a planned DVD
release in April (which is the UMD launch date as well), which will
include a bunch of bonus material for those who can't pull their
heads out of the asses long enough to see that FFVII is not the
actual ultimate RPG of all time. It's not like I'm saying FFVII is
bad, but there were awesome RPGs before FFVII and there were many
after. It was another pleasant chapter in RPG history...but it did
not redefine RPGs as a genre like so many seem to think from their
emo-inspired fanboy worlds.
On that same
"too little too late" note, the
King Kong demo is finally on Live. Wow. I assumed when Microsoft
said this would launch with the 360 Live Marketplace, they meant it
would be the first demo. I didn't think they meant it would arive
long after either the game or movie had left the common lexicon of
the day. In other words, this game which is probably close to being
on of the first budget titles for the 360 is no longer worthy of
affection and attention in the form of a demo. The game is old news,
and anyone who wanted it would have already bought/rented it months
There's some other
downloadable goodies. However, since all of the new content is only
either themes/pictures or content packs, it barely warrents a
mention. In all honesty, if you have $2 for a new theme or to change
the look for your pieces in Bejeweled 2, then I think you'd be far
better off just giving me that money. You'd get the same final
feeling...that you threw out $2 for nothing. The only difference is
that I'd be happy for the money, while Microsoft doesn't care too
much one way or another for a single gamers $2. Yes...I was being
sarcastic about it being better to send me your money...or
Also, on a
brighter side of things, Grandia
3 should be out (or being shipped, or whatever). While the IGN
review doesn't sound overly favorable to the game, it sounds an
awful lot like the good old original Grandia games. That is also to
be read: Doesn't include a lame title to sound hip, like "Xtreme".
To my eyes, it looks a lot like the good old Grandia style game has
returned with a major visual overhaul and not much else of a change.
That is not as bad as the IGN review makes it sound.
The only part of
the game that sounds like it's lacking is the side quests. While
Grandia 1 and 2 offered a good number of bonus areas to explore,
Grandia 3 sounds like it's a little too linear. On one hand, it
might mean less of a reason to try out every possible path and
option in a dungeon or on the world map, but on the other hand it
might keep the game a bit more focused. I just hope the hidden
spells and abilities that one would have to look very carefully for
in Grandia 1 and 2 are still hidden away and remain a good reason to
stretch what little bonus material there may be.
I honestly had
kept this game off my radar for a good long time. I didn't do it on
purpose, and have long awaited a Grandia that was not Xtreme!!!111!!!!!
Sorry, the "!" and "1" are required with such an
awesome title (I love sarcasm). However, I think this game evaded
all of my notice for one simple reason; Square Enix. They are the
publisher for this game, and I honestly try to ignore them. While
Square Enix once gave us some of the best games from RPG history,
they have recently felt so stale and uninspired (with the exception
of DQ8). Sadly, while this should only be an excuse if they
developed the game, as well as publishing it, but it seems that the
developer of a game just doesn't really matter.
For example, look
listing at EB for Grandia 3. I ask you, who published it? It's
pretty obvious. Now, who developed it? I'll give you a second to
look at the listing. Give up? Game Arts.
The reason I bring
this up is quite important. On one hand, the individual development
studios are what really matters with a game. For example, a good
number of developers have folded recently, but their staff and
properties are often acquired by new companies. So, while a game's
publisher can remain constant (although Square Enix is new to
publishing Grandia games) or not, the actual importance is who
developed the game. A great example is with KOTOR versus KOTOR 2.
Both were great games, but it's obvious, once you've played both,
that the developer for KOTOR2 was not the same developer as KOTOR.
In all honesty,
the publisher of a game means almost nothing. Hell. Valve taught us
this lesson when they published Half Life 2 online and VU published
it for offline. There was no honest difference in the game, except
that one could be listed as published by VU and the other was a
Steam game. Phantom Brave, Disgaea, and La Pucelle Tactics were all
published by completely different companies in the US, yet it
becomes obvious, once played, that they were all developed by
Sorry, I'm sorta
going off on some random rant. I just think, in a world where
developers make the game while publishers get the credit, something
is just a little wrong. It's part of the reason why I like Game
FAQs so much. They show both sets of data, and thus one is free
to freak out, if they chose, over the worthless publisher, while
those of us who want to better understand the nature of a game can
see who did the dirty work.
I'm so tired of
hearing about this group or that group talking about censoring GTA.
First it was Jack Thompson, then it was the National Institute on
Media and the Family (via David Walsh), then it's some other parent
group, then it's congress, then comes...who even cares anymore?
Well, for once, I do. Not because a new group has come forward with
how much of a problem GTA is, and not because some new reason is
stated. Those types of things just don't matter anymore.
However, when it's
a sex industry (prostitution friendly is how that is read) group comes
forward to complain, that is when I'll pay attention again. This
group, SWOP (Sex Workers Outreach Project USA), is worried about
children imitating a biased view of what is in the content of GTA.
They are worried about children imitating rape and murder on
On one hand, and
let's all say this together, lol. LOL!!11!! This is just freakin'
ridiculous on so many levels. I could name them, but do you honestly
need help in seeing the massive humor of this? No, I didn't think
Secondly, I would
like to see where in any GTA that rape is included. I don't mean
potential possible themes that may slightly ultimately point to a
rape. No. I mean a solid instance of something. I could just say the
game has a very rich city-like environment, so I can find examples
of how, in theory, someone in that city, who is never seen on the
streets, looks like me and how that person got murdered, behind the
scenes, in a brutal and horrific fashion. Therefore I could say that
Rockstar wants children to murder me. OMG!!!111!!! They teh hatezor
me!!11!! Seriously...just one example is all I ask for.
there's another fact. This series is always rated M or AO (for the
first GTA:SA release), and therefore is not supposed to be played by
children without parental consent and parental supervision. If
you're afraid of children imitating GTA, maybe you should be more
afraid of stupid adults who view this game appropriate for 12 year
olds, and go after them.
Last of all, you
can kill prostitutes. You can also kill anyone else (with a few
exceptions. This game series doesn't single out whores anymore than
it singles out any other group of professionals or ethnicity or
whatever. The only people honestly targeted in GTA games are police.
That's it. Other people exist, and other people are killed by the
player (as he or she decides), but only police are a constant
target. In fact, do you know how many prostitutes I've picked up in
GTA games? Around 6. That's in all three GTA PS2 games. Beyond the
first one for my own self discovery, the next four were only to show
people what happens when you pick them up. The last one was only
because I just finished a mission with 1 health left and didn't know
anywhere good to go for some life, and then a prostitute jumped in
front of my car...problem solved (until the car I was in fell off a
cliff, landed in the San Fierro PD secured parking lot and I got 4
stars for being there...but that, my friend, is a different
Anyway, like I
said, there is a M rating on this game. If you think children will
imitate a game, then those children obviously need some parental
supervision (if not some psychological assistance). Maybe, if you
really have a fear or problem related to kids playing GTA, you
should consider going after the parents who buy this type of game
for their kids and then think of it as a digital babysitter.
To shift gears,
but to remain on the topic of stupidity; Full
Auto is out. The reason I say this is stupid news is because
this is the first real 360 release since DoA4 (in December). Also,
if the demo is any indication of the real game, this game is crap.
It makes me think of how arcade-style racing games would be if Need
For Speed and Burnout never existed. It's like imagining an extreme
sports title that would exist today if THPS never was made. In other
words, to put this in an evolution standpoint; Full Auto had a
divergent evolution from the rest of the racing world, and the last
common ancestor of Full Auto and the good games (Burnout 3, NFS:MW)
would be RoadBlasters
(Lynx). In other words, the last time a game was like Full Auto
and it wasn't considered obsolete, the year was 1990, the Internet
was little known to the average person, email wasn't a common thing,
BBS services were still in their infancy, and four presidential
terms of office did not happen yet. True, you could count Smashing
Drive (Arcade, 2000), but it didn't have a lot of weapons...and
it was also considered crap by many.
Also, before I
forget...a friend of mine pointed out some falseness to my claims
that a publisher means next to nothing for a final game (see
yesterday's post). What I should have said, and will now say,
is that I mean this from a gamers' perspective. A publisher
does mean a lot for a game's development (they usually finance the
game, it's distribution, and it's advertising). I simply meant
that having a publisher's name on the from of a game, while the
developer is relegated to the back (and not even on a product
listing) will rarely, if ever, help a purchaser determine if a game
is worth their money. For example, check out the product
listings at EB for Zelda:
The Minish Cap and Metroid
Prime 2: Echos. Tell me who developed the games. If
you say Nintendo, you are horribly wrong. It also may explain
why some people don't understand why Nintendo would so change their
beloved franchises without any reason. In reality, Capcom made
that Zelda title (and the two crappy Gameboy Color ones; Seasons and
Time), and Retro Studios made the two Metroid GCN games.
However, you will be hard pressed to see that on the product
listings. So, in a nut-shell, I was simply saying that the
publisher of a game doesn't mean much to a game buyer when a
developer will mean a hell of a lot more.
Anyway, my Mario
and Luigi 2 review is underway. It'll finally see the light of day,
and soon...probably tomorrow.
It's nice that the
GBA has no region lockout...now if only I could read Japanese, I
would seriously think about importing Mother
3 (the third "Earthbound" game as we Americans called
one of them). Sadly, Nintendo has no plans, as of now, to release
this game in the US. However, considering the fame that Ness has
gotten in the last 10 years, thanks to Smash, and the amount of
tolerance and acceptance that has formed in the US for RPGs, I hope
Nintendo does the right thing. The right thing being the release of
this game in America.
few quality old-school styled RPGs have been released in the States
recently, the choice to keep the game only in Japan seems a bit...ummm...retarded
(as in the choice seems to be delayed and not current...damned PC
word choices). At the very least, when Nintendo is fine with
releasing multiple Fire Emblem games in the US, the release of
something far more palatable to American tastes, like Mother 3,
should be a complete no-brainer.
If you've been on
a PS3 or 360 message board recently, you've probably seen the crazy
talk and flame wars that are exploding over the potential PS3
online service. I feel like, with the amount of flames that have
begun, that the obvious needs to be stated.
considering Nintendo has an online service forming with the DS, and
definite plans for it to be Revolution compatible, plus with
Microsoft's long-lived Live service, it's obvious that Sony will try
to do something. They cannot afford to remain in the past any
longer. Ironically, I always figured Nintendo would be the last
console maker to have solid online plans...
As for the news of
how XBox people
are afraid of this service...I'd take it with one hell of a big
grain of salt. This is one editorialist's thoughts, and while some
make sense, a lot of this editorial (which has been the sole source
of info for most fanboys on the "Playstation HUD" service)
sounds like confused double-talk. Hell, consider this line
"With Blu-ray Disc and HD-DVD players costing as much as
$1,000". Blu-ray players will actually, according to
presentations at the CES, cost far more. The basic models will cost
about $1000, while the upper level models will easily break the
$2000 mark. At least that's what the Blu-ray player makers were
saying, and I'd happily take their word on this matter over an
editorialist at Team XBox.
In reality, Sony
will have a service, it will probably cost money (they are one of
the founders of pay-for-play MMORPGs with games like Everquest and
EQ2), and it will be a usable option for PS3 online games. Hell, it
will be better than the patch of random networks that made up any
semblance of a PS2 online community. However, given the fact that
Sony has not yet shown that they can handle an online service across
many games (and no, the PSP does not have a real unified network),
it will probably be buggy and full of hacking.
It took Microsoft
some time to get their Live service to the quality it is today.
Nintendo has had some problems with their still small DS network.
Plain and simple, an online service of this size takes time to
establish, time to get working, and time to remove the bugs. It will
be bad to start with, and there will probably be some interesting
hack jobs. That's not to say it won't be good. It just won't be good
for the first few months.
In the end, the
only real difference between the potential HUD service, Live, and
the Nintendo service will be minor. Nintendo will offer, in theory,
every single Nintendo console game made for emulation on the
Revolution. Other than that, the Sony and Microsoft services will be
nearly identical, but with potentially easier or more challenging of
layouts to navigate.
In the end, the
console wars will not come down to online. It simply wont. If that
was the case, then the PS2 would have been a distant 2nd behind the
XBox and the GCN would have never sold a single unit. The real truth
of all of this is quite simple; all three consoles will sell, they
will all be popular enough to remain afloat (and have sequel systems
in about 4-6 years), and the only thing that should matter is your
own personal taste on if the games justify the price. Nothing else
should matter...and to the consumer, little else, beyond some fanboy
loyalties, will matter.
Enough of this
crap. I am completely sick of it. All three consoles will have
strengths (Rev: backwards compatibility, PS3: large third party
support, 360: new found third party support), and a lot of
weaknesses (Rev: no HD support and little third party support, PS3:
price and lack of innovation and no HDD out of box, 360: perceived
as a poor launch and too much emphasis on online). It's simply how
these things happen. The reality is I'm just sick of being fed
stupid crap. I want some hard facts, or nothing at all. I don't want
editorials, opinions, rumors, myths, legends, or any other crap that
will not effect the final systems. I want a release date, a price
point, accessory prices (how much, in particular, will those
Revolution controllers cost), and game line-ups.
Anyway, that long
overdue Mario and Luigi 2: Partners in Time
review is up! Viva me...or something. Anyway, check it out, and
It used to be a
little less frequent, but here I go saying it again...I
told you so. When the PSP launched, many people immediately,
when they had a PSP in their hands, wanted to jump right in to the
only thing that got released for the system. I don't mean games.
After all, we are all still waiting for games to come along (hence,
I'll be selling my worthless bundle of crap as soon as something
worth the trade in credit comes out). No, I mean UMD movies.
Initially the UMDs
sold rather well. The main reason was that people didn't realize
what they were doing. People didn't see how you could buy a 1GB
memory duo pro, and with a DVD drive on their computer, they could
rip a movie to the PSP with almost no real knowledge of what they
were doing. People also didn't see that a UMD movie is not only
nearly worthless (if you don't have a PSP, you cannot use this disk,
at all), but it has far lower quality than a DVD and it lacks any
bonus features. When you throw in the extra fact that a lot of UMD
movies sell for the same price, or more, than a DVD, there's an
obvious problem. I won't even mention how if you aim to watch a
movie with a friend or two, then the UMD simply won't work.
So, finally, after
a good year of stupidity, people are wising up about it. UMD sales
are declining. So, when the initial boom started in sales, too many
production studios jumped into the fray like madmen. Finally, they
are seeing the light of sanity. Development and production is soon
to be limited, and the UMD might finally be doing what I have been
predicting for the last year or so...they may be heading to the
great Sony media graveyard (which is home to beta and
The only smart
thing about all of this is that Sony may finally be making an
adapter to let people watch UMDs on their TVs via a PSP. That's
great...only 6 or so months after the first set of homebrew hardware
has been out to do the same exact thing.
However, if you
own a PSP, and you are still a rabid fan (their are two
people...rabid PSP fans, and those who see it as what it is;
expensive and useless), I have a suggestion. Before you buy whatever
adapter Sony launches (that will probably sell for a good amount of
cash), remember that the UMD holds far less data than a DVD. So,
while the HD-TV people already feel that DVDs are a little
underpowered, you won't even need a HD-TV to see that the UMD is
even worse off. The video quality is poor, the audio is horrible,
and if you miss the bonus features, this adapter won't do shit for
you. Your best option is to simply buy a big memory duo card (1GB
should be fine), get a DVD ripper for your PC (free downloads are
out there), and then download a media converter to set it up as a
PSP friendly MP4. Problem solved. Better yet, sell your PSP while
it's still worth something, and invest in a DS...at least the DS has
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