In this post I will post everything that impressed me that didn’t come from the Big 3 conferences. So this includes EA, UbiSoft and of course the various booths throughout the floor.
Let’s dive right in!
Star Wars: The Old Republic
OMG!!!!!! As soon as i saw all the Jedi walk in I knew it. But still the trailer blew me away. It is as high quality as a Blizzard trailer would be and that is the biggest praise I can give it. Watch and rewatch it!
The Secret of Monkey Island – Special Edition
Yes Yes Yes!! This looks and sounds amazing!!!!!! I’m a huge LucasArts and adventure games fan so this is just amazing. The instant switch between classic and special edition is truly impressive
Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box
Sweet trailer. I loved the first one and have been expecting this ever since so this is great news!
Final Fantasy IV: The After Years
Sequel to FF IV available through nine episodes on WiiWare
Castlevania: Lord of Shadows
Amazing trailer!! Potentially a great 3D Castlevania at last. Kojima Productions is working on it. It looks really polished and the gameplay looks nice.
Academy of Champions
This trailer caught my eye. I’m not a big sports fan but I like the Harry Potter meets Captain Tsubasa feel of the game.
Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine
Another Warhammer 40,000 another great trailer! And this game is an action-RPG so it’s more up my alley.
The world premiere of the trailer aired during the 2008 Video Game Awards which showed us that the game will be based on the famous first part of the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri.
In the game the player will go through the 9 circles of Hell which are limbo, lust, gluttony, greed, wrath, heresy, violence, fraud, and treachery. Not much else has been revealed by now but the game is being developed by EA Redwood Shores, the studio who created Dead Space.
This is a great period for Electronic Arts which reminds me of 2001 when the studio released a lot of great new IPs such as American McGee’s Alice and Clive Barker’s Undying.
Be sure to check out the creepy trailer here.
One of the best games of the moment is EA‘s Dead Space and the developers know this since they already have a tie-in 6-issue comic book and an anime movie (Dead Space: Downfall) which is a prequel to the game. Right after game launch and upon seeing the great reception from critics and fans alike, EA wasted no time in announcing a sequel.
In the meantime they have just announced some downloadable content for the immersive FPS which consists mostly of new skins and weapons. The PS3 and 360 will have some exclusive content of their own.
Both consoles will have:
- The Big Gun Pack, which includes the Steam Punk Force Gun for 80 MS points ($1.00)
- The Hot Rock Pack, which adds new visual effects for the flamethrower and pulse rifle which will cost 80 MS points ($1.00)
The 360 (out November 13) will get:
- The Pedestrian Pack, which includes new skins for the contact beam, plasma cutter, and ripper for 120 MS points ($1.50)
- The Scorpion and Speed Killer Packs which will make the plasma cutter, line gun, and force gun shoot faster for 180 MS points ($2.25)
- The Astronaut Pack, which includes an astronaut suit and weapon skins for 240 MS points ($3.00)
- The Heavy Damage Pack, which gives new looks and enhanced power for various weapons for 240 MS points ($3.00)
- Military Pack, Scorpion Pack, and Tank Pack (which offers better damage and new skins for suit and weapons) for 320 Ms points ($4.00)
- A set similar to the Obsidian Packs for PS3 but in 360 colors for similar prices (120 and 240 Ms points)
Meanwhile the PS3 (out November 20) gets:
- The Obsidian Weapon Skin Pack, which makes the game’s weapons black (woot!) for for $1.50
- The Obsidian Pack similar to the Weapon Skin Pack but also for the suit for $3.00
Now don’t feel bad, if you feel like this is a retarded, studid and shameful rip-off, you are not alone.
Last week EA went through some tough moments. First they announced a $310 million quarterly loss which closely resulted in a layoff of 6% of its workforce. This again had a result all too familiar these days, their stock fell more than $3 a share.
Martin Peers, columnist for the famous financial newspaper, said that the game publisher’s market capitalization fell to $7.2 billion, down from $19 billion “a few years ago.” which makes it a great deal because it is very likely to regain value in the future.
Also the Disney-owned ESPN is a good fit for the numerous sports titles EA develops. It could also potentially save Disney Interactive “$200 million it spends annually to develop its own games”.
Not to mention the intellectual properties from EA games like Dead Space and Mirror’s Edge which could potentially be adapted to movies.
RetroBeats Session 14 is Out!
This week I select my favorite songs taken from video game intros.
Be sure to check it out if you enjoy games.
E3 May Be Back
After the controversial 2007 and 2008 versions of what used to be the biggest show for the video game industry, it was clear that the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) had to figure something out.
Today we have two somewhat different reports.
On the one hand is G4′s X-Play which has said that the show will be from Tuesday June 2 to Thursday June 4 and that while it will have a much wider range of guests it still won’t be open to the public.
On the other hand N’Gai Croal (from Newsweek) got from an ‘inside source‘ that the show will be limited to the press from Tuesday through Thursday but will be open to the public on Friday and Saturday. Although the ESA plans to cap the limit to 40,000 persons.
The ESA is supposed to make a formal announcement tomorrow.
What is clear is that whether or not E3 is coming back in full swing, it is clearly on the move.
Rumors are afloat on the web that Electronic Arts and Starbreeze (Escape from Butcher Bay, The Darkness…) are currently working on a new game for the great Syndicate series (made by Bullfrog in 1993 and 1996). Even if it is still just word of mouth so far, considering the success of the first two games and how long it has been, we can be excited about this.
New Alan Wake Trailer!!
Big news today. Check it out here.
The project from Remedy has a lot of potential but we can see the game is starting to show its age a little so they better either release it fast or rework it a bit…. Mostly release it fast.
Xbox Live Insult Censorship?
Microsoft is trying to implement a system that will censor words in real time on Live. Live has long been known for its slew of stupid teenagers who curse left and right and sometimes harass players, you can report them and have them banned but there is little anyone can do to really stop them from ever coming back.
In any case Microsoft is trying to become more family-friendly but aside from the technical difficulty of this endeavor I doubt a system will be able to differentiate between tens of different languages.
for example I am French. What would the system do if I said “Il faut que je retourne a la base” (I have to return to base)?? “faut que” can sound a lot like “f*ck” so then what?
I will leave you to ponder this.
KotOR MMORPG Confirmed!!!
Everyone had suspicions it was coming but it was confirmed today by LucasArts and BioWare during a special interview with Gamespot.
The game will be called Star Wars: The Old Republic and have two factions, the Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire. Within each faction you can verge between the Light and Dark side. The game will take place 300 years after the KotOR games which is 3600 years before the movies.
Not much info has filtered yet but BioWare is saying they want to make the most story/character driven MMO out there and we certainly hope they hold true to this.
In any case I suggest you head over to Gamespot to check out the lengthy article and the 10 minute video that goes with it.
RetroBeats Session 13 Out!
Well I’m back so with me comes a new RetroBeats on RetroWare TV.
This time I’m putting some of Mega Man‘s best tunes across various series in honor of the release of Mega Man 9.
Thank you Capcom!
TGS 2008 Tops Attendance
This year 194,288 people showed up at the show up from 193,040 last year. Maybe it’s time the people who organize E3 stopped their BS and paid a little attention.
Far Cry 2 and Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 have both gone gold.
The UbiSoft title will be released on PC, PS3 and 360 October 21 while the EA title is a bit more messy. It will be released on PC October 28, on 360 November 11 and on the PS3….whenever, the game is on indefinite hiatus on the Sony console.
BlizzCon 08 Media Blowout!
You all really need to check out the footage from the convention featuring the two upcoming blockbusters from Blizzard. If you just woke up from a 25 year slumber I’m talking about StarCraft II and Diablo III.
I’m not an RTS fan but I have to say I wish I were because the sequel to the 1998 game simply looks stunning. The in-game off-map footage looks just like a cinematic it’s scary, the ambiance and lore look amazing and make me hope for a StarCraft MMO someday.
On the other hand I’m a huge, HUGE Diablo fan and the Wizard trailer made me cry just a little. The game is going to kill.
Anyway go here to check the footage, courtesy of GameTrailers.
Game of the Moment (for me)
I don’t know if this will be an ongoing thing but I wanted to speak it this time.
I wasn’t overly excited at first since I much prefer the FPS kind where you fight humans but now that I’m seeing reviews and such I am getting very excited. This feels like a very claustrophobic game not unlike the great Sci-Fi movies like Alien or Sunshine. The sound design sounds plain superb with the muffled deafness of space. The integrated menu which keeps you immersed is genius.
Bottom line this looks like….the Game of the Moment!
Check out the GameSpot review here.
Former Flagship Members Head to Turbine
Back in July when Flagship Studios shut down and a lot of people had to leave ship and went to create new studio Runic Games.
Today Turbine announced that they will open a new branch called Turbine West and that former Flagship Studios members Dave Brevik and Jeff Lind will be joining the West branch.
Specific details about the projects they will work on have not been announced.
Starcraft II Is a….Trilogy?
When Rob Pardo said that StarCraft II was going to be a big game he wasn’t kidding. It’s so big in fact that the game will be released in three parts, each focusing on one faction of the game and each having close to 30 missions.
The first game will focus on the Humans and be called Wings of Liberty. The second will focus on the Zerg and be called Heart of the Swarm and finally the last one will focus on the Protoss and be named Legacy of the Void.
Now let’s hope they don’t price each at $60 because that would be pushing it… just a bit.
FIFA 09 Is Rocking Europe
We all know soccer is much more appreciated in Europe but can’t deny the quality of this new EA game. FIFA 09 sold more than 1.2 million copies in just a week.
With Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 coming out we can expect some good times for soccer fans this year.
Command & Conquer: Red Alert Free!
All you RTS players need to go this site and download the game. With Red Alert 3 coming out in October Electronic Arts has decided to make the first episode, released in 1996 (12 years ago!!!!), available for free.
Also anyone who preorders Red Alert 3 will get Red Alert 2 for free also.
Wow EA is turning into Santa Claus!
2 New PS3 Bundles for Europe
Sony will release two new PS3 bundles on October 29:
- LittleBigPlanet, 80G console and a Dualshock 3 pad for €399
- Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, 80G console and 2 Dualshock 3 pads for €449
360 Cheaper than Wii in Japan
Microsoft is going all out to help push its console into Japanese homes. The recent release of Tales of Vesperia helped but this can’t hurt either. The Redmond firm announced yesterday in Tokyo that it will cut the price of all its consoles fairly significantly starting September 11.
The biggest psychological drop comes for the Arcade version which drops to ¥19,800 ($183) which is ¥5,200 ($48) cheaper than the Wii.
Meanwhile the Elite will drop from ¥47,800 ($440) to ¥39,800 ($368) and the Pro model will go on sale for ¥29,800 ($275) which is ¥5,000 ($46) cheaper than its 20G predecessor.
Phew! Good deals all around.
Tenchu 4 Trailer and screens
I loved Tenchu for its ambiance and great soundtrack but the sequels were just OK. My main complaint being the lack of Japanese voices with English subtitles.
Anyway Tenchu 4 is coming out in Japan on the Wii on October 23 and today we get some yummy screens and a pretty nice trailer.
Please give me Japanese voices with subs!
Guitar Hero Strikes Back
Last week Harmonix announced a bunch of albums for their Rock Band 2 and today Activision announced they signed a deal with many…MANY instrument manufacturers. here’s the list: Ampeg, Audio-Technica, EMG Pickups, Ernie Ball, Evans Drumheads, Guitar Center, Krank Amplification, Mackie, Marshall, Orange County Drum & Percussion, Pork Pie Percussion, Regal Tip, Sabian cymbals, Vox and Zildjian drumsticks. Wow!
They also announced today that World Tour will feature exclusively the new Smashing Pumpkins single named G.L.O.W. along with 1979 and The Everlasting Gaze in a pack. Today will be featured on the main Guitar Hero: World Tour disc.