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Grand Theft Auto IV Causes Outrage Before Release

by Dave Parrack

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.

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Operation Darkness Thoughts and a Rant

by Paul

I don’t know how this game passed by my attention thus far, but when my roommate downloaded the demo to Operation Darkness I thought, “Hey, a turned based 3D game based on WII that’s cool.” Sure, it was populated by douschebaggy looking anime characters, but I’ll take it because I have no other choice (check out my side rant below). What sold me though was that some of your soldiers are WEREWOLVES. It was like there was a scientific think tank put together to come up with a game idea that would make my head explode. I love me some werewolves, I love turn based strategy, and I love alternate history, but I love werewolves even more. The game seems to be pretty decent, but even if it turns out to be kind of sucky I’ll have to purchase it on principle alone. I need to encourage the development of more turn based strategy games that take place in significant times in history that features monsters of lore.

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Def Leppard’s Coming to Guitar Hero III, BUT…

by Paul

One of my favorite rock bands is Def Leppard and when I mean rock bands, I mean a fun band to sing along with when you’re drunk. There’s few bands that make me rock out with my cock out, but Def Leppard is one of those bands. Oh yeah, you don’t want to be anywhere near me for any reason if there’s the chance of Def Leppard in the air. In fact there’s not one band that I really want more on Rock Band than Def Leppard and the fact that they are going to have a few songs on Guitar Hero III as downloadable content gives me a little hope… except for the fact that two of their best songs, “Rock of Ages” and “Photograph” are live versions of the songs. I’m not a fan of live versions of songs unless they are significantly different than the masters and even then I only want to listen to them occasionally, not play them in a game. Live versions of songs on Guitar Hero or Rock Band are one slight step above cover songs.

Why are Guitar Hero fans stuck with live versions? Well, there’s no answer right now. My crazy theory is that they wanted to emulate Rock Band where the crowd sings along with certain songs, but then again that’s only my crazy conspiracy theory. It was probably something more mundane like a legal issue with the record company.

Source: Filefront’s Gaming Today

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

by Dave Parrack

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.

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Do 360 Achievements Need Fixing?

by Paul

No reason for this other than I like chicks.

Over on Gametap there’s a great article that delves into how achievements work and how they could be fixed. At first I thought the idea was silly, why would Xbox 360 achievements need to be fixed at all, they didn’t seem broken in the first place? However, the answer is that there is room for improvement and I’ve gathered my responses here. So here’s how it works, go there and read the article and come back here to read what I think and post your own thoughts. Got it? Good.

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Iron Man Demo Impressions

by Paul

When Tony Stark started drinking, that’s when things got really weird.

Normally, I avoid almost all super hero related games since traditionally 99% of them have sucked major balls. Worse than the superhero game however, is the movie tie-in game. Through logical reasoning then, a superhero movie game is the ultimate in total garbage with a few exceptions. For some reason that I can’t explain, the Iron Man movie screenshots I’d seen had gotten me a little more excited about the game than I’d normally be. I guess it helps that the game is being produced by Sega. While Sega has had a questionable track record over the years, the name equates a little more in terms of quality than EA does with its usually horrendous licensed games.

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

by Dave Parrack

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.

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Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Heroes - A Fan Rants…

by Paul

As mentioned previously on 1pstart Mortal Kombat is it going to make it’s first leap onto “next gen” consoles and it’s going to feature heroes from the DC Comics universe. In addition to the announced characters of Scorpian and Sub-Zero making their way onto the next game, comic book nerds will get to play as Batman and Superman in the Mortal Kombat universe.

More details and ranting after the break:

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Sonic Cigarettes

by Paul

Over on File Front I saw an interesting post pointing out some candy cigarettes that have Sega’s mascot Sonic the Hedgehog on the package.

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Rock Band DLC Update: Week of 04-20-08

by Paul


This week’s Rock Band DLC marks a big first for the game, an entire album that’s available for download. It also marks the first tracks from Judas Priest with their 1982 album, Screaming For Vengeance! The songs will be offered individually for $1.99 (160 Microsoft Pretend Points) or as the full album for $14.99 (1200 Microsoft Screw You Out of Your Change Points).

The songs are as follows:

* “The Hellion/Electric Eye”

* “Riding on the Wind”

* “Bloodstone”

* “(Take These) Chains”

* “Pain and Pleasure”

* “Screaming for Vengeance”

* “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’”

* “Fever”

* “Devil’s Child”

Videos and ranting after the break.

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Ricky Gervais To Appear In Grand Theft Auto IV

by Dave Parrack

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.

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Mortal Kombat vs DC Comics Preview - No Fatalities!

by Dave Parrack

Mortal Kombat vs DC Comics Preview - No Fatalities!

Wow, this is a game I never expected to see happen. Imagine all your favourite Mortal Kombat characters, my personal favourite was always Raiden, going up against all your favourite DC Comics characters, you can’t beat Batman for a dark superhero. Now put that all in a video game and watch the results… pretty awesome huh?

Well, it’s happening, and Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Comics will be coming to a Playstation 3 or Xbox 360 near you this Fall after Midway officially announced the game in Las Vegas this week. They also issued a press release, and some early preview game footage that you can see embedded below:

As excited as I am at the prospect of this game, and I am, honest, I’m also pretty disappointed by that footage, as it looks ropey at best. Superhero games are notoriously difficult to get right, and it doesn’t look like Midway are anywhere near achieving a good result at this point in time. Let’s hope the three months of development time they have left improves the feel of the game.

I’m also disappointed by the rumours circulating which indicate that there will be “no fatalities and little-to-no blood” in the game. That’s not me saying it, but rather a former Midway employee who decided to leak the info to Kotaku.

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Boobs + Atari = Awesome

by Paul

I’m a huge fan of boobs. If you don’t love boobs, there’s something wrong with you. Hell, even gay dudes appreciate boobs! That’s why when I read that Atari was using boobs to sell a crossword puzzle game for the Nintendo DS called The Sun Crossword Challenge I thought, now that’s a company that knows what it’s doing. No, I’m not being sarcastic. I’m much rather see boobs than any other method of advertisement. If you’re lucky enough to live in London and have time to ogle hot women, then you’re in luck. This Friday (April 16th) page 3 girls Vikki Blows and Sam Cooke will be at London Victoria Station to help people solve a giant crossword puzzle. The Atari crossword puzzle game they are promoting will be available to play as well, but really who cares about that?

If you don’t know what a Page 3 girl is, then let me educate you. You see in Europe they aren’t so uptight about the human form and in England they have a newspaper called the Sun that has topless models. Talk about a utopia.


Xbox 360 Backwards Compatibility

by Paul

If you’re like me and you still like playing Xbox games and either don’t have the original Xbox or your old one is broke then the limited amount of games available to play on the 360 is rather disappointing. The backwards compatibilty feature is underused, but at least they occasionally trickle updates for it. This round they added quite a few with the list following the break.

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Game Ads From the Days of Yore: McMario

by Paul


Another week and another look at Game Ads from days gone by. This week the game is Super Mario Bothers 3 for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

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