Archive for December, 2005

Is the upcoming GameCube Zelda Revolution Compatible?

Source: videogamesblogger.com

Updated: An official quote from Nintendo: “What the magazine has done is imagine how existing franchises would work with the Revolution controller, rather than actually seeing anything… It’s all still speculation.” So it’s not confirmed nor denied *sigh*

European GameCube magazine NGC says they have confirmed that Nintendo’s newest upcoming Zelda game, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, which is scheduled for release next-year on the GameCube, will be compatible with Nintendo’s upcoming next-gen system; still code-named the Nintendo Revolution.

While it is no suprise that Zelda will be playable on the Revolution, as the system is backwards compatible to play all GameCube games, NGC says they have learned that Zelda won’t just be playable on the system, but that it will actually have exclusive features and upgrades that take advantage of the Revolution’s unique controller and features if you play the game on the upcoming system.

1Up.com quotes NGC as saying, “Back in September, Nintendo announced: “Our development team has decided to take extra time to add some incredible elements.” These were elements that Miyamoto and Zelda director Aonuma said were “simply far too good to leave out.” And they weren’t wrong.

NGC can exclusively reveal that Twilight Princess will be playable on the forthcoming Revolution using the upcoming console’s unique controller…

…However, when you insert the disc into your Revolution, you’ll be given the option to use the Revolution’s controller, with all the advantages this will bring.

Although no real details on what these extra features will be are revealed in the article, it is easy to come-up with some ideas based on what Nintendo has already revealed regarding the system and it’s unique, remote-shaped controller. First of, it would be disappointing if the new Zelda game didn’t recieve at least some kind of graphical boost when played on the Revolution. While it already looks beautiful on the GameCube, and no one’s complaining, a graphical boost will be expected from a game that supports features and additions that only the Revolution can bring. So let’s hope that it looks even prettier upon release (If it could get up to Kameo standards that would be awesome).

The more likely scenario though is that the new Zelda will use the Revolution controllers unique motion-controls to change the way you play mini-games, interact with the game world, and hopefully how you control combat as well (among other things, whatever else Nintendo can dream up).

The new interface of the controller allows you to use hand-motions by swinging or moving the controller in certain directions to emulate whatever it is you are doing in the game, be it fishing or sword-swinging, via sensors you place on your TV. Thus, the new Zelda could take advantage of this by actually having you “swing” the controller like you would a fishing rod in the new Zelda’s fishing mini-game (which it should include since previous Zelda’s, including the highly acclaimed N64 hit, Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the game which Twilight Princess imitates most, included a fishing mini-game) as well as have you swinging the controller like a sword (and yes, this means literally) to do slashes at enemies, as was demonstrated in Nintendo’s Revolution Teaser Video, which you can download if you haven’t seen it here.

These, of course, are just examples and speculation runs rampant as to what Nintendo intends to include if Twilight Princess does indeed support the many features of the Revolution. Fishing and swordfighting are really only two very logical parts of Zelda that could use the motion-controls of the controller, I’m sure Nintendo could come up with many more cool, inventive ideas.

Although Nintendo hasn’t confirmed themselves whether Twilight Princess will have exlusive features when played on Revolution, it is highly likely given that the game is coming out near the very end of the GameCube’s lifespan (which is already in a dying state, due to lack of big game releases and very few third-party games being ported over), since Revolution support would not only improve the game, but give gamers and Zelda fans that much more of a reason to go out and buy a Revolution. Since they’ll need one if they want to experience all of what Twilight Princess offers.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess does not yet have a release date, and it’s been rumored that the game may be moved to Revolution completely, but that is unlikely as Nintendo has poured many resources into the game and built it from the ground up to take advantage of the graphical power of the GameCube, and it’s been in development for several years, so it would take that much more time to move the game and update it completely for Revolution.

This means that there is probably an over 90% chance that Twilight Princess will have Revolution support, so all you Zelda fans out there can look forward to giving Link’s sword an actual swing! We will keep you posted on Twilight Princess as the game continues development and as the full unveiling of the Nintendo Revolution approaches, which is scheduled for this year’s Electronic Enteratinment Exposition (E3) event in May.

[Note: According to IGN who chatted with developers that are currently involved in creating games for the Revolutio, the system may not be much more powerful than the GameCube, at least not up to Xbox 360 standards graphics-wise, as Nintendo is focusing more on the controller and what unique gameplay opportunities it opens up, and also on making the system less expensive than competing platforms. Let’s hope this doesn’t backfire on Nintendo, I would say that many people went for the original Xbox over GameCube cause they felt it was more powerful and thus a better deal . . . . but we’ll see come May. I personally can’t wait!]

Published on December 30th, 2005 under

Video games led sales on Amazon.com

Source: videogamesblogger.com

Although Amazon itself has yet to release sales data for the holiday season, Bloomberg is reporting that video games, along with ipods, has helped Amazon.com to have it’s busiest and apparently best selling, holiday season yet, with over 108 million items sold between November 1st and Christmas Day. The sales of video games and ipods topped the list for most sold items at the online retailer for holiday gifts. Amazon’s busiest sales day was on Monday, December 12 with costumers odering a whopping 3.6 million items.

Published on December 30th, 2005 under

A mainstream newspaper giving a pro-gaming article?

Source: videogamesblogger.com

Some of you may find this Washington Post article interesting. It was written by Sebastian Mallaby and has him discussing the positive impact that certain computer games have had on his 11 year-old son; Games for which he approves as they deal with intelligent subjects and require some skill with numbers and reasoning, as well as historical and economical aspects in regard to real-time strategy titles like Age of Empires III, a game which the father sites in the article. While it’s readily apparent to any true video game fan that the father doesn’t know much about video games or the gaming industry, and he admits that he hasn’t played many, or any, games, the article still provides a lot of insight into the positive-side of video games and what they teach kids, as the kids learn how to play the games, and he informs parents that not all video games are “bad” or “evil”, which is a breath of fresh air to hear from the downright ignorant press.

I suggest that any parents of video game playing children read the article, and it’s an interesting read nonetheless even for us gamers who already know what skills video games help to develop. You can check the article out by clicking here.

Published on December 30th, 2005 under

Upcoming video game-related flicks

Source: videogamesblogger.com

Bloodrayne (Widescreen Edition)If you are a video game fan, then you will have noticed that so far Hollywood hasn’t been very kind to movies that are based on video games. Many of them have been absolutely terrible by anyone’s standards of “good” or “must-see”, these films include such titles as: Double Dragon, Super Mario Bros., Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, as well as every movie released by universally despised (by video game fans at least) German-born director Uwe Boll, who has released two insanely bad video game movies so far — The House of the Dead and Alone in the Dark — that did nothing to help the status of video game movies as legitimate entertainment.

Unfortunately, Uwe Boll has much more to offer us, with several movies in the works. BloodRayne will be releasing to theaters soon, and upcoming games based on films include: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (set for 2006 and in post-production), Hunter the Reckoning (2006, pre-production), and three more announced films: Far Cry (2006), Postal (2007) and Fear Effect (2008).

Fortunately, there is a bright side to this picture (pun-intended) . . . .

Thanks to the success of the Tomb Raider and Resident Evil films, as well as the first Mortal Kombat movie and Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (and the upcoming Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, which is coming direct to DVD and UMD), publishers realized that there is a demand for game based movies and that if done reasonably well, they can reach a wide audience and become a success. While the aforementioned movies were not the greatest movies ever, they were far from terrible and certainly serviceable, as well as close-enough to their source material to not completely abandon fans.

The most recent flick to hit theaters based on a game was Doom, starring The Rock. While the movie apparently wasn’t great (I haven’t seen it yet) and sales were below expectations, I’ve heard that it is far from a terrible movie. The Rock will also be starring in an upcoming movie based on Midway’s Spyhunter series (The Rock will also play the main character in the upcoming game).

And that’s just the beginning of what is quickly becoming a video-game movie avalanche. The most high-profile video game based movie is definitely Halo, which will be executive produced by Peter Jackson, who will oversee the movie to make sure the standards are high. In addition, his companies, the same ones that worked on The Lord of the Rings and King Kong, to bring them to life, will be helping to create Halo. The Halo movie will no doubt be of very high caliber, and here’s to hoping that the film will obliterate the thought that no good video game based movie can exist.

Other video game films that are either already in production or have been announced include: God of War, Castlevania, Pac-Man, The Suffering, Tekken (which may include martial arts superstar Jet Li), Splinter Cell, Dead or Alive, Silent Hill, Kameo: Elements of Power, Hitman (which will star Van Diesel as Agent 47), Fatal Frame and Max Payne, as well as two more Resident Evil films, the third of which is being dubbed Resident Evil: Afterlife, and a third Mortal Kombat movie is also on the way. A sequel to Doom is also likely, and Uwe Boll’s latest movie (which he is actually collaborating with Hero director to help direct the film . . . hope against hope that this means the movie may actually be good . . . at least serviceable . . . . please Uwe, spare-us!) will be split into two parts, the first being the aforementioned Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale.

And that’s really only the beginning, there are several other games that may get movie adaptations, including several properties from Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. Nintendo’s is the most surprising, right now infamous action-director John Woo owns the rights to the Metroid movie-license, although it’s still up in-the-air as to whether the movie will ever actually get made, but beyond that Nintendo has expressed interest in entering the movie market-place, and it’s repertoire is rife with games that could be turned into movies including the Zelda series, Mario, Kirby, Fire Emblem, Donkey Kong, Star Fox and F-Zero. Although the majority would probably work best as animated or CG films.

But no matter what happens, movie adaptations of games are here to stay, and many of the upcoming movies could turn out to be very good movies, and if that happens there will no doubt be even more game-based films coming our way, even as Hollywood right now continues to scoop up the licenses to create video game films, and there are still many games out there that would make great movies. And that can only be a good thing, as good movies based on video games will go very far in legitimizing games as an art form to be respected.

Published on December 30th, 2005 under

Play Wolfenstein 3d in your browser

Source: videogamesblogger.com

I’m sure a lot of you will remember the 1993 first person shooter hit Wolfenstein 3D. I believe it’s been freeware for a while. You can now play Wolfenstein 3D in your browser on this page! It’s supposed to be a tech demo for Flash 8.

Wolftenstein 3D in mini size

If you want to try out a miniaturized version of Wolftenstein 3D, you can play it here. It’s actually a mere 5K in size, it was created for a 5K contest, hence it being in black & white, but that doesn’t take away from the feat one bit.

Published on December 30th, 2005 under

Dead or Alive 4 shipping on December 29th!

Source: videogamesblogger.com

XB360 Dead or Alive 4Tecmo has just announced that the much delayed next installment in the Xbox’s flagship fighting series will, as promised, make release within 2005, squeeking by with a release of Dec. 29, and that’s final! The game was originally supposed to release at the launch of the system in America and Japan, but it ended up missing both dates as it kept getting pushed back another week for final tweaking. It’s still to be seen though whether this will boost the flogging sales of the 360 in Japan or not, but it’s good news for gamers with a newfangled 360 looking for some high quality fighting.

Published on December 29th, 2005 under

California Game Restriction Law deemed unconstitutional

Source: videogamesblogger.com

For the sixth time in no less than five years, a law restricting the sale of violent video games to minors has been struck down by a judge. Judge Ronald Whyte of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California prevented the new law that was signed by California Governor (Or “governator”) Arnold Schwarzenegger from going into effect, ruling that “games are protected by the First Amendment”–worthy of the same protection of free expression as books, films, television, or the press.

He granted the preliminary injunction on the grounds that the terms of the law, which would include mandatory labeling of games deemed unsuitable for minors, would “likely” be ruled unconstitutional. The law was slated to go into effect on January 1, 2006.

The motion for the injunction was requested by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) game-industry lobby and Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA), a game-retailer trade association.

This “win” by the game industry comes on the heels of increasing alarm among the federal government. Particularly in Congress where Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Senator Joe Lieberman (a long time critic of the game industry in regards of adult material being displayed in video games) have issued a joint bill to Congress that could have severe implications in the gaming industry and which was the result of RockStar’s GTA: SA “Hot Coffee” debacle, which you can read about here. And check our previous reporting here for info on the bill.

Published on December 29th, 2005 under

Halo 3 still set for a 2006 release

Source: videogamesblogger.com

It’d seem that Halo 3 might be closer than expected, with several stores, opening pre-order channels in the USA for the still-unannounced Xbox 360 update. Bungie has been coy when it comes to detailing what it is working on right now. The project is merely referred to as ‘next-project’. Hence the pre-orders might be nothing more than cash-ins, not surprising considering many of the same stores also carry Playstation 3 pre-orders.

Earlier reports quote Bill Gates saying Halo 3 will launch the day the Playstation 3 launches, to steal its thunder. Whatever the case may be, it’s good to know in 2006 we’ll see a new Halo game. In the same year it’s also expected that an all-new Bungie game to precede Halo 3 will be unveiled. This strategy would have the benefit of netting vast sales while fledging an all-new franchise, enabling Microsoft to roll out two games from its first-part studio.

Published on December 28th, 2005 under

Microsoft loses $300 on each Xbox 360 sold

Source: videogamesblogger.com

Bummers… I mean… Numbers by Business Week may have reported that Microsoft is losing $126 on every Xbox 360 sold. That figure is now believed to be a bit higher by some. According to Insider Scoop, the world’s largest software maker is losing upwards of $300 per console sold. From the article: “A high ranking friend at IBM, one that worked on the Xbox 360 chip design, tipped us regarding the real expenses involved in manufacturing the Xbox 360… ‘It costs Microsoft approximately $715 to make, the manufacturing costs are still too high, another reason why they’re producing relatively small quantities’.â€

Published on December 28th, 2005 under

Fully integrated Video Game Car announced

Source: videogamesblogger.com

Microsoft and Nissan have teamed up for the first ever car to include a “fully integrated video game system”. While this might at first sound like it’s just going to be another car with a PS2 or Xbox inserted, it goes well beyond that.

“Conceived by Nissan Design America Inc. (NDA) and equipped with the Xbox 360 next-generation video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the Nissan URGE concept car allows drivers (while parked) to play ‘Project Gotham Racing 3′ using the car’s own steering wheel, gas pedal and brake pedal while viewing the game on a flip-down seven-inch LCD screen,” Nissan and Microsoft said in a statement.

The car will be shown at the upcoming 2006 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Jan. 6th.

I say . . . great, that’s just what we need, a car full of teens driving WHILE they are playing a game . . . . you know it will happen . . . . wonder what the politicians will do when they hear about that . . . . . that’s assuming this car even gets made.

Though I’m sure it will be amazing the first time you try it . . . . a car that doubles as a sort of real-life arcade cabinet . . . why didn’t they think of this sooner!

Published on December 28th, 2005 under

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