Microsoft have bought indie developer Twisted Pixel, who brought us XBLA games The Maw, ‘Splosion Man and Missus as well as Comic Jumper. They’ve recently released Kinect title The Gunstringer but we can’t garner any sort of enthusiasm for that nonsense.
No doubt they’ll continue to do much the same thing in a similar vein to Lionhead & Rare post-assimilation, but an (admittedly talented) XBLA dev is hardly on the magnitude of Bungie is it now?
In other news, Sony have announced yet another security breach. Granted it’s on a much smaller scale than the 75m accounts potentially compromised earlier in the year, but it’s yet another reason why we’re loathe to input any sensitive information on to a Sony console or website. Besides the online component being largely blaverage. And the games leaving us cold for the most part. Ian
Perusing a list of forthcoming 360 release dates it transpires that among the usual suspects, THQ have pencilled in a European release for previously unavailable outside the US 360 title, You Don’t Know Jack. We guess the achievements will be the same, although where we’ll stand with this one remains to be seen.
This is great news because the original UK version from back when Windows 95 was still installed on your PC, featured the sublime voice talents of Paul Kaye AKA Mike Strutter AKA Dennis Pennis in fantastically sneering sarcastic form. It was possibly the most fun three people could have around a keyboard without needing to wipe it down afterwards.
Hopefully THQ have managed to secure his voice talents again as he’s not been particularly visible since that film in which he played a hard partying DJ that goes deaf. It’s All Gone Pete Tong, that’s it. In the event they’ve not managed to lock him in a soundproof booth for a recording session, might we suggest Rich Hall, Doug Stanhope or another comedian we like. Just not David Mitchell or Robert Webb. Ta.
In other news, the Windows7 Phone team have announced the forthcoming ability to control what marketplace content you’re watching on your 360 via your W7 phone. Good idea there lads, especially when the media remote does the trick just as well and costs the fraction of one of your handsets. Ian
Electronic Arts Europe’s head Jens Uwe Intat (sounds like a character from Dune) has stressed that the relationship between EA and Valve hasn’t been damaged. The perceived bone of contention being the upstart rival Origin digital content delivery system to Valve’s longstanding Steam.
In this gamesindustry.biz article , he said he sees no reason for the existing boxed retail distribution arrangement to not continue. The way we see it, EA have filled a bag full of dogshit, set it on fire and when they’re rumbled before ringing Valve’s doorbell, have tried to act like nothing’s happened.
How can the very fact they’ve pulled various products from Steam and subsequently hosted them on Origin not have damaged the relationship between the two companies? EA citing patching issues is just bullshit of the highest order. You managed just fine before Origin came out, how come it’s a problem now?
Anyway, all the name Origin serves to evoke in this correspondent’s psyche is the halcyon days of Ultima Underworld, Wing Commander and System Shock back in the early ’90s. Ian
- Peoww News
In an interview with gamesindustry.biz, creative director of id Software Tim Willits has as good as confirmed a sequel to forthcoming post-apocalypse-em-up Rage.
This is all well and good, but given the game hasn’t even shipped yet isn’t it a little premature to proclaim that a sequel is on the cards? Faith in your new IP is admirable, but it brings to mind the high profile failure of notorious FPS clusterfuck Daikatana by id co-founder John Romero.
We hope Rage turns out to be more than the apparent sum of its parts, but evidence glimpsed at Eurogamer doesn’t instil confidence, our very own Richie referring to it as two parts Borderlands and three parts Metro 2033 but less fun than the two of them.
It could just be a case of an engine looking for a game, just as was the case with Doom 3 with its delightful torch based gameplay… Ian
- Peoww News
Reflecting the global economic downturn, GAME Group’s financial results to the end of June 2011 show a net increase in loss to £51m for the first half of the year.
Quoting the CEO statement on the same page:
“Very few major software titles launched in the period, with only LA Noire achieving sales in excess of £20m in the UK.”
If it shows anything, it’s how dependent the sector is on so-called AAA titles and the months leading up to Christmas. Although if this is the state of the elephant in the room of highstreet game retail, it must be even bleaker for the smaller groups like CEX, Grainger Games and the independent retailers out there (although to be fair GAME are fucking shit – Ed).
Though the last time this correspondent bought a game at launch in one of their stores at anything approaching full price must’ve been this time last year when Dead Rising 2 came out. Ian
- Peoww News
Sega have announced the release date for Space Channel 5: Part 2 and Sega Bass Fishing. They’ll hit PSN and XBLA on October 4th & 5th respectively for £6.29/800MSP.
Both a little late, given they were both included in the Dreamcast Collection on 360 back in February. No doubt they won’t differ from the previous versions, but since the PSN port has Move support tacked on, don’t be too surprised if Kinect is added to the XBLA incarnation.
Somewhat pointless if you own a 360 as you can pick up the DC collection disc for less than a tenner now and since it also includes Sonic Adventure & Craaaazy Taxi it’s a better proposition. Although we live in a world where you can buy Driver San Fran for £57.99 on PSN, so dropping 3200 MSP on all four individually is probably better value than that super deal. Ian
Spooky online game service, OnLive, launched today in the UK. The service is a cloud gaming platform that allows you to play games on your PC, Mac or the OnLive micro console without you having to install them. That’s right: they just fucking turn up. It’s quite remarkable starting up a game that you haven’t installed and it loading instantly. Also, thanks to the cross-platform cloudiness of the whole thing, your in-game progress is always saved so you can bug out whenever you want and resume play later on whatever device is handy.
We tried out Borderlands and Red Faction: Armageddon and both performed very well on our 50mb connection. Input lag was barely noticeable and graphically both games looked pretty decent. However, (let’s drop the royal ‘we’ for a second) it did make me feel a bit ‘odd’ afterwards, an odd mix of eye-strain and motion sickness (similar to when I tried out a 3DS), but that could just be me.
Anyway, OnLive are celebrating the launch of the service by giving you your first game for a quid which sounds fair enough to us but you can download thirty minute trials of the games on there so you’ve not got anything to lose. Give it a go. Rich
Take-Two have announced that GTAIV has sold 22 million copies since it’s April 2008 release, bringing sales of the GTA series on the whole to 114 million since the original top down incarnation in 1997. If you ask us, the series peaked at Vice City and it’s been downhill since. GTA2 wasn’t a patch on the original either.
In other Rockstar shenanigans, they’ve also announced a forthcoming goatee edition of horse-em-up Red Dead Redemption including all the DLC (including some never seen before on tree sixty) and that bloody zombie nightmare tacked on too. It’ll be available on October 11th in the US, no doubt following here on the next Friday. Ian
It seems Quantic Dream have convinced themselves that they missed out on €10m worth of Heavy Rain revenue due to the second-hand market.
In this interview with gamesindustry.biz, QD co-founder Guillaume de Fondaumiere, gripes that sales of 2m to date aren’t reflected by the 3m unique PS3 trophy unlocks.
His scribblings on the back of a Gauloises pack fail to grasp that people do tend to rent or borrow games too. Having a high-concept game of this sort be a PS3 exclusive can hardly have helped matters either. Either way, 2m sales for a brand new IP is hardly shabby is it? Ian
We don’t need to be persuadatroned in order to pledge our very lives to the original Syndicate game. With it’s mix of action, strategy and cyberpunk, it was one of the best games of the 16-bit era. Syndicate Wars only floated some of our boats though, lacking some of the cohesion and style of its predecessor.
There have been rumours of a sequel in the works for a while now and EA have finally confirmed this and, as in the fucking norm for this generation, it’s going to be a fucking FPS. The game has been entrusted to Riddick and The Darkness developers, Starbreeze, and they’ve been making all the usual noises about how it’ll stay true to the originals (ie: they’ll put in a gauss gun) but there will be none of the corporation building of the first game and instead we can expect “a challenging action shooter for today’s gamers as well as fans of the original.”
Oh God… most of today’s gamers are cocksuckers. They also describe the game as a mix of “fast-paced, futuristic, action shooter”, with a setting and story combined designed to “immerse players in a unique digital world”. What’s unique about it looking like Bladerunner (you know it will).
Still we remain hopeful. Not because of this shit but rather the maybe EA will port the original Syndicate over to XBLA. Or at least make it work on Windows 7.
In the meantime, here’s the best review of Syndicate you’ve ever read. PWOPA! Rich