Mistakes and Regrets at Electronic Three

July 19, 2008 at 13:57 (Books, Horror, Hype, News, Rants, Reviews, Video Games) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

My apologies, dear uncertainites, for the downtime these past few days.  Excuses include: I’m nowhere near E3, but I’ve been covering the convention from afar on the Ace Gamez blog.  And I totally called itAnimal Crossing on the Wii; lots of Little Big Planet; downloadable Ratchet and Clank episodes; and more besides.  But the point isn’t to boast – I have no particular insight, yet the only real surprise of the electronic three was Final Fantasy XIII on the Xbox 360.  And that, in itself, makes perfect sense.  Squeenix have a history of platform loyalties that aren’t loyalties at all, but canny decisions.  This is just the next decision.

For all that could have been, then, a toast.

If there’s a conference next year – and sadly, it really is a case of if and not when – I think I might make the trip.  I’d get press credentials, but I’d need a laptop, airfare, commitment.  In the twilight years of E3, I’m certainly not alone in wondering: is it still worth it?

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Crisis on Uncertain Earths

June 30, 2008 at 11:13 (Hype, News, Rants, Video Games) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Well, they’ve only gone and done it.  Kotaku are reporting that Rock Band 2 has been announced – officially this time.  And it’s coming sooner than you might think – sometime in September, which, would you believe it, is less than three months from now.  On the bright side, Harmonix have already sworn that it’ll be the first game “to support fully fuctional cross-title DLC”, and that’s a relief to say the least.

Still.  This wasn’t supposed to be a cash cow.  The dev team are the very best at what they do, and they’re perfectly entitled to roll in the profits of their efforts, but you just know there’s going to be a new set of instruments – sure, you’ll be able to use your old guitars and drums, but the new ones will be better put together; they’ll offer extra functionality, new knobs and waggly bits only true Spartans could resist.  I fear I’m not up to the task.

Just as well I hadn’t gotten around to getting the original Band in a Box, then.  Kiss your £100 goodbye Harmonix.  Admittedly you can probably have it this holiday anyhow, but I won’t take any pleasure in giving it to you.  Oh no!

The Sequel Cometh

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The Last Remnants of Hope: Japan and the 360 RPG

June 12, 2008 at 8:06 (News, Rants, Reviews, Video Games) (, , , , , , , , )

I try to write a news story and this is what I come up with:


I’m not going to cross post because wordpress won’t let me embed trailers from gamevideos, and I gah at the thought of wading through the Web 2.0 filth to source them elsewhere – but do check it out.

In other news I’ve been assigned the Ace Gamez review of Final Fantasy: Crisis Core on the PSP, which means, at the least, that I’ll play a game that otherwise I probably couldn’t condone spending much time with at all.  Here’s to new experiences – like 40 hours spent squinting at a tiny screen with persistent earbud-ache!

40 hours, I should add, that I won’t be spending finishing up GTA IV or getting started on Snake’s final mission: Guns of the Patriots.

Wait, is that a 6′ Solid Snake figurine I see in the post this morning?

Old Snake

Oh yes, yes indeed.

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Excuse Me, Mr. Clancy: A Review of Rainbow Six – Vegas 2 for the Xbox 360

March 30, 2008 at 22:55 (Rants, Reviews, Video Games) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

For a so-so author of throwaway airport thrillers, Tom Clancy has done alright for himself.  I don’t mean to slight the man – in my younger years I read and enjoyed at least one of his novels – but consider this: from the variously successful big-screen adaptations of his Jack Ryan books to the outright novelty of several series of novels ‘inspired’ by his intellectual property, not to mention a trio of board games, Clancy seems quite content to sit back on his billfold bed and let the royalties roll in.  In fact, the latest licensing deal to have arisen from his empire involved nothing less than the sale of his own name to Ubisoft, the French development studio behind such torrid mini-game fare as the irrepressible rabbids of Rayman fame are wont to inflict and the thematically daring but otherwise by-the-numbers Assassin’s Creed – oh, and something like thirty Tom Clancy Presents games.  In the last decade.  It wouldn’t be unreasonable, then, to expect that the maintenance of any kind of quality bar through such an overwhelming mass of quick-fire development cycles might prove, well… taxing, to put it lightly.  There have certainly been some disappointing Clancy games; there have, indeed, been some downright awful entries in the each of three franchises that have spearheaded Clancy’s involvement in video-games.  And yet.

R6V2 Screen (Purple)

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