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Finished Metal Gear Solid 4? - Time To Look Forward To Number 5…

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Metal Gear Solid 4 Contains 90 Minute Cut Scenes!

Metal Gear Solid 4 is now upon us, and it has been widely greeted as the best game ever to appear on any machine ever, which I think means it’s quite good. However, it is also relatively short, with many lucky PS3 owners having already finished it after clocking in 20 hours or so gameplay. While the more hardcore amongst you may be starting it all over again, many will now box up Hideo Kojima’s latest masterpiece and start looking to the future instead.

Luckily for those people, Metal Gear Solid 5 has already been mooted, although not officially announced by Kojima. Even though this fourth instalment is the last chapter in the Solid Snake story, it’s not the end of the franchise, or even the end of Big Boss.

In an interview with 1UP, MGS4 assistant producer Ryan Payton revealed some tidbits about the future of the franchise, and the possibility that the next game could well take the form of a prequel.


The Power Of Video Games - Motley Crue Sell More Copies Of New Single On Rock Band Than iTunes

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Music and video games have been awkward bed buddies in the past, with artists not often being happy to have their songs license for use in titles in case they are somehow cheapened. However, this all changed last generation with games such as Grand Theft Auto using official tracks from established artists to add credibility and realism to the game.

Then along came Guitar Hero and Singstar and the friendship fully blossomed in to a symbiotic relationship where both parties began to benefit greatly. In an article on another site, I argued the case for Guitar Hero having helped the music industry more than the RIAA and other such organisations ever could, as the game actively got me in to a few bands that I had never even heard of before.

Rock Band was then shown to have massively increased digital music sales after fans downloaded songs by the featured artists after falling in love with the tracks from the game. And now that trend has been shown to be continuing with rock band Motley Crue having reportedly sold more copies of their new single through Rock Band than they have done so far on iTunes.


Metal Gear Solid 4 Contains 90 Minute Cut Scenes!

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Metal Gear Solid 4 Contains 90 Minute Cut Scenes!

The Metal Gear Solid games have always been shall we say a bit long-winded, with long cut scenes and FMV sequences which go on for ages with no interaction from the player, but it seems that Metal gear Solid 4 is ramping that up even more.

CVG is reporting that after playing through the review copy of the game they managed to lay their hands on, they found that some cut scenes lasted as long as 90 minutes. This outdoes the previous instalments by quite a margin, with the longest reported before this being a 45-minute long scene during Metal Gear Solid 2.

We all expected there to be long cut scenes included in the game as the series has a history of them and Hideo Kojima, the game’s creator is renowned for them, but is one lasting 90 minutes really necessary? I personally baulk at going to see a movie at the cinema if it goes far beyond that as I know I’d start to get bored and have a sore butt by the end of it, so I really don’t want my video games to start going that way as well.


Wii Fit Released In USA - Obesity Experts Unhappy

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

Wii Fit is due to be released in the USA this week, first in the Nintendo World Store on May 19th before being available everywhere on May 21st. The game, which is already available in Europe and Asia ships with a balance board peripheral which allows gamers to do exercises, and yoga, and even weight themselves using the software.

The game, or lifestyle device as some are more accurately calling it has already divided opinion. Hardcore gamers more in to their first person shooters and RPGs have written it off as not even a game, and the Wii itself as not a true player in this generation’s console war. While others thinks the Wii and games such as Wii Fit are bringing more people in to gaming, and opening up the hobby to a more diverse range of people.

Wal-Mart were even marketing the game as the perfect Mother’s Day gift by offering $10 gift card to anyone who pre-ordered the game by May 10th. A Teacher in Canada even tested the game out as a possible alternative to more traditional forms of exercise, with surprising results.


Shocker - GTA IV Didn’t Kill ‘Iron Man’ Movie Opening

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

Shocker - GTA IV Didn’t Kill ‘Iron Man’ Movie Opening

Last week saw various media types getting themselves in a tizzy over the so-called clash between the release of Grand Theft Auto IV last Tuesday, and the long awaited Iron Man movie starring Robert Downey Jr. The argument was that the timing of the multi-format GTA 4 coming out was going to play havoc with the box office takings for the film, as millions of gamers would be too busy indoors playing the game to venture out to the cinema to see the film.

And surprise surprise, here we are the week after, and as well as GTA 4 selling in phenomenal numbers, the Iron Man movie did spectacularly well, taking $100 million in the States, and $200 million elsewhere in the world. The movie also ended up being the 10th largest opening movie ever, and the second biggest ever original (non-sequel) film, just behind the first Spider-Man movie.


Grand Theft Auto IV Causes Outrage Before Release

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

Grand Theft Auto IV is still three days away from release, and the vast majority of people won’t have yet had the chance to sample the game. But that doesn’t seem to be stopping no-nothing do-gooders from calling for the game to be banned, before it even hits the streets, and before any of them have even played it.

We’ve already seen adverts for the game being pulled off buses in Chicago due to a biased piece of reporting from Fox News, and now more opinionated people have decided to butt in.

Parents Television Council president Tim Winter started the invented outrage by declaring:

“This brutally violent videogame must be kept out of the hands of children, and we are calling on all major retailers to reconsider any decisions to sell this game.”

The next day, California state senator Leland Yee sent a message to parent urging them to “avoid (the) latest ultraviolent videogame.”

Now hang on a minute Mr. Winter and Mr. Yee, how do you know the game is going to be brutally or ultra violent? You haven’t played it, so you are just guessing based on the old iterations. Now okay, GTA IV is going to have some scenes of violence in it, but then it is a game about criminality, and violence is an unfortunate part of that. We all wish it wasn’t obviously, but life is unfair.


Nintendo Profits Rise Massively On Strength Of Wii & DS Sales | Upping Production To Stop Shortages

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Nintendo are having a good year. That’s a slight understatement but it’s the main thrust of the latest press release to come from the company’s headquarters, as it reports a massive surge in profits for the last twelve months.

Net profit rose 47.7% to a record high over the last fiscal year, after the phenomenal success of the Wii and DS, both of which have exceeded expectations, and beaten all rivals in their field.

The net profit for the Nintendo group as a whole was ¥257.34 billion, or $2.5 billion. So just a slightly successful year for the Kyoto, Japan based company then.


Grand Theft Auto IV Adverts Pulled After Fox Affiliate Links Them To Violence In Chicago

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

There is currently a spate of violence occurring in Chicago which has seen 37 people shot, 2 stabbed and 7 dead according to CBS News. Why is this happening? Well, who knows, maybe maybe its gang violence, the weather, or just a spate of unconnected crimes. Or maybe its because some poster adverts for Grand Theft Auto IV have started appearing on the sides of buses in the city to promote the Rockstar game due out next week?

Now, of course, I don’t believe for a minute that the last option has anything to do with the violence, as tragic and depressing as it is, is occurring, but that’s because I’m someone who has two brain cells. Unfortunately, Fox News doesn’t, and the local affiliate in Chicago brought up the adverts during a report in to the violence.

Instead of ignoring the scaremongering, the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) decided to remove all of the adverts. Just like that, they gave in, over one ludicrous claim as to the effect they were having on the city.


Ricky Gervais To Appear In Grand Theft Auto IV

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

We already know that the next instalment of Grand Theft Auto is going to be the biggest, the most graphically impressive, and probably the most violent to date. But it also looks set to be the funniest, as British comedian, star and writer of The Office and Extras has revealed he’s got a part in the game.

He recently spoke to Shortlist magazine, and told them how he’ll appear in the game as himself, performing at a stand up comedy club in down town Liberty City.

“It’s a first - which always interests me. It was shot in New York, my favourite place in the world, and I got to wear a tight lycra suit as part of the digital process. No, hold on, that wasn’t so good.”

“Unfortunately they captured the whole horror, except I look slightly tougher. It’s seriously a big deal, though. Games have outsold Hollywood for the past few years so it’s nice to be a small part of that.”

Which sort of gives it away a little that the only reason Gervais said yes to what must have been an odd approach from Rockstar was because he realised how much impact games now have on popular culture, and wanted a piece of the action. Hell, he’s got himself on or in every other type of medium over the past few years, including a particularly unmemorable part on The Simpsons.

His stand up is brilliant though, so the chance to watch never seen before rants from Gervais is yet another reason to buy the game when it comes out on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 next week.


Why Is Rock Band Double The Price In Europe?

Friday, April 11th, 2008

Why Is Rock Band Double The Price In Europe?

As a gamer living in the UK I’m used to being treated as a second class citizen by games companies.

We in Europe tend to be the last to get consoles released, with the possible exception of Australia, and some games don’t even ever make it here. If they do, they tend to be priced extortionately higher than they are in Japan and America.

So it is with Rock Band. It’s taken six months to get here, it’s only initially being released on the Xbox 360, with PS2, PS3, and Wii owners having to wait until summer at the earliest, and it’s going to cost an absolute fortune.

Harmonix has made the ludicrous decision to up the retail price of the full package, that’s a copy of the game, a microphone, a guitar and drums, from the $169 it sold for in North America to £180. That’s the equivalent of $330, or double the price.

The company has spent the last few days trying to justify and explain the decision, but whatever excuses they may come out with, I just can’t see how such a differential in price can ever be justified.


Are Microsoft Trying To Turn The Xbox In To A Wii?

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

Are Microsoft Trying To Turn The Xbox In To A Wii?

Microsoft has seen sales of the Xbox 360 falling badly over the last few months, with 2008 proving so far to be the year of the PS3, and the Wii of course. So what to do? Why, try and steal your competitor’s market of course.

We’ve already seen the Xbox 360 getting dropped in price, and the Arcade pack released in order to cater to the less well off consumers who snapped up the Wii in droves.

Now, according to a company source talking to MTV, Microsoft are also going to muscle in on the motion control elements of the Wii and are busy developing a Wii Remote style controller for the Xbox 360.


Gran Turismo 5 May Feature Car Damage | GT5 Still A Year Away - But Is Prologue Worth Buying?

Monday, March 31st, 2008

Gran Turismo 5 May Feature Car Damage

I’m a huge fan of the Gran Turismo series of games, starting with the first version on the original Playstation, and the revolutionary 3 and 4 on the PS2. So as you’d expect, I can’t wait until the fifth game, and first on the PS3 gets released. Unfortunately I may have to wait some time.

SCEA associate producer Chris Hinojosa-Miranda spoke last week on the Official Playstation Blog about the series, and about a mixtape which they’d put together for the US version of GT5: Prologue.

In the comments under the article, a reader asked if it’s actually worth buying Prologue now, only to have to shell out more money for the full version of the game a few months later. This elicited the following response from Hinojosa-Miranda:

“GT5 is still about a year away. You should just decide now to buy it, enjoy it, go online and race against anyone and everyone, rank number one worldwide, get the girl (or guy) and become the most popular kid in town. The end.”

About a year away? Man, that’s disappointing, and I can’t really see why there’s that much of a delay between Prologue coming out (in Europe last week, and North America on April 17th) and the full version. What are they going to do in those 12 months?

Unless they are finally going to put car damage in to the game, something which the fans have been calling for right from day one.


Wii Will Attempt to Rock You - Rock Band coming June 22

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

rockbandwiibox.jpgThe Wii version of Rock Band has finally been confirmed as well as given a release date of June 22nd. The game will feature five more tracks than the current Rock Band, however the fact that Wii does not currently have downloadable content as of now should be enough to persuade buyers into rethinking their purchase or at least hold it off until the inclusion of this feature. Those five unannounced tracks have not been specified and I would not be surprised if they are songs already offered as DLC for the PS3 and Xbox 360 version of the game.

In an interesting twist, the Rock Band guitar will be a stand alone controller and not using the Wiimote to be plugged in it to work. Having played the Wii version of Guitar Hero III for almost a full day, the small details like hearing the guitar strings pluck when hitting a wrong note and being wireless right off the bat seemed like something EA/Harmonix would take advantage of on the Wii.

On top of the lack of downloadable content, other disadvantages include a lack of online play. The game is being ported by the same group that ported the Playstation 2 version of the game, so one can easily speculate that the game will also feature gimped versions of the world tour mode and character customizations.

I have no doubts that Rock Band on Wii will sell well, but had this version come along at the same time the 360 and PS3 versions of the game were out, I think it would have been a million times easier to look past the flaws that will come with the Wii edition and gobble this baby up (keeping in mind it would have been holiday season as well). I wish I knew who to blame for this lack of DLC and online play, but I hate EA way more than Nintendo, so I’ll say EA for now (as Smash Bros does have online play, so at the least Rock Band should of had that).


Full press release after the break:


‘Guitar Hero: On Tour’ For Nintendo DS Revealed | New Guitar Grip Peripheral Looks Awkward

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

‘Guitar Hero: On Tour’ For Nintendo DS Revealed

A couple of weeks ago, rumours were abound of a version of Guitar Hero being made for the Nintendo DS. They came about after Australia’s Office of Film & Literature Classification, gave Guitar Hero: On Tour a ‘G’ rating on March 4th, effectively letting the cat out of the bag.

Now, we have proof of the existence of the game after Activision officially announced the game through a press release.

The game is scheduled for release this summer, and will work by way of a new peripheral, called the Guitar Hero Guitar Grip, which slips over the back of your DS (as seen in the picture above) to turn it in to an electric guitar, as well as top selling portable games machine.

The game will also come with a Guitar Hero pick stylus enabling DS owners to strum their way to fame and fortune, at least in terms of a Guitar Hero career.


Tetris - Tournament and Lottery

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

If you have not caught on, I have sort of a fetish for Tetris (seriously).

Well a couple of Tetris related happenings have come crossed my path recently, the first being something I hope to see you all in (then CRUSH YOU!).. a Tetris Splash Tournament being held on Xbox 360. This is the second one to be created and held just by other Tetris lovers on the official forums. User ‘cyno‘ has posted the information in a post here.

The long and short of it is, send him a PM that you would like to be in the tournament by March 12 (tomorrow) at 5:00pm. On the 14th, check the Tetris Splash forums and see the brackets.. easy enough? Well sign up and get to practicing! Want to see the best of the best from the last tournament, check this video below so you know what you are getting yourself into:


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