Ubisoft Sues Contractor for Leaked Game
The French studio contracted a company to print the PC version of Assassin’s Creed and the game was subsequently downloaded more than 700,000 times six weeks before the game’s release.
Sales of the game on the PC barely reached 40,000 units as of June according to the NPD whereas the 360 and PS3 version has sold more than a million copies.
Screens for Heavy Rain
Quantic Dream is a somewhat lesser known (and French!! Yay!) company that keeps putting out very high quality titles. The company was founded in 1997 and their first game was Omikron: The Nomad Soul which was released in 1999 for the Dreamcast. The game had an amazing ambiance and soundtrack with some help from David Bowie himself!
Their next game is called Fahrenheit (known in the U.S. and Canada as Indigo Prophecy) which received worldwide critical acclaim even before it came out in 2005.
Since then they have been working on Heavy Rain (as well as Omikron 2!) which garnered interest with an amazing trailer that aired at E3 2006. It has been 2 years and we finally get a few screenshots with updated graphics (courtesy of Ripten) that simply look stunning.
The game was set to be released on 360 and PC at first but seems to now be a PS3 exclusive.
Dates, Dates and Dates
- GTA IV for the PC on November 18 in the U.S. and the 21st in Europe. The game will feature expanded multiplayer mode.
- Fable II confirmed for October 21 in North America and November 24 in Europe.
Grim for Grimm
So I recently reviewed episode 1 of the American McGee’s Grimm and said that each episode would be free on the day of its release. Well there’s a catch, I was going to play episode 2 (The Little Red Riding Hood) today but I found out that the free version is only for the online, Gametap hosted, version of the game. You cannot download the stand-alone at all for free. Now this would be fine if Gametap was compatible with Vista 64 but it simply isn’t.
So I will wait for a potential shelf release next year…or not. As a result I won’t be reviewing the following episodes. Sorry.
August 7, 2008 Posted by nostalgeek | 360 News, Industry News, PC News, PS3 News, Video Game News, Wii News | american mcgee, american mcgee's grimm, assassin's creed, david bowie, fable 2, Fable II, fahrenheit, gametap, grand theft auto, gta iv, heavy rain, indigo prophecy, NPD, omikron, quantic dream, ripten, the nomad soul, ubis | Leave a comment
American McGee first worked as a designer for id Software on games like Doom II and Quake but his big breakthrough was when he released Alice in 2000. The is one of my favorite games of all times mixing a gritty ambiance, enthralling soundtrack and characters out of this world. The take on Alice in Wonderland was genius and the voice acting is one of the best ever put in a game.
But I digress, since then there were plans to give similar treatment to Oz, which sadly still hasn’t been done, and I discovered recently that he produced two other games with various results, Scrapland and Bad Day L.A.. The first one was pretty well received but the latter was destroyed by critics as one of the worst games ever. I haven’t played either but they weren’t created by him (only produces) so I don’t take it into too much account.
Now along comes Grimm, an episodic game that retraces the famous tales from the two brothers, reminds you of the Alice premise? Let’s hope so.
Is the first episode: A Boy Learns What Fear Is the long awaited new masterpiece of American or will we have to wait for a hypothetical Oz?
Grimm uses the Unreal 3 engine but it’s really not the type of game that is going to make you realize this. The graphics are overall pretty basic but very enjoyable. The original world is pretty colorful pastel and patchy while Grimm’s version is still patchy but darker and grittier.
In the gallery mode, which you need to unlock, you can see every item from the game and switch them from regular to dark mode, back and forth, which is a pretty nice feature since sometimes in the game you don’t see all the transformations.
The style somewhat reminded me of a pop-up book for children, which seems appropriate for this game.
As with Alice the sound is a big part of the ambiance of the game. The theme of episode 1 is really nice and “catchy” in a dark way, after i finished the episode I found myself humming the tune for a while. As far as I can remember it’s the same tune throughout the whole game which isn’t really a problem since it’s only about 30-45 minutes long.
The voices are also good although not as perfect as Alice was. Grimm’s voice is mostly the only one we here throughout the game and it’s pretty solid work. Some classic lines like “buttstomp away” and “Make it stinky” are, if not a bit repetitive, somewhat catchy.
The gameplay is ever so basic, you move around and sometimes have to jump to darken some bigger objects such as buildings or gates. You are in a colorful town and your goal is to tun everything to darkness. As you transform the village you fill a Dark-O-Meter which, when full enough, allows you to move to the next area. You do not have to darken everything to progress but I find I like the dark version of the worlds much nicer so I always turn everything to gloom 🙂
The ‘goal’ is do this in as little time as possible (think Time Attack Mode) in order to be on the leaderboard at Gametap but you have to play online through Gametap in order for your records to be kept, if you play the offline stand alone version it’s just a personal affair.
Throughout out the game there are also a few hidden coins which, if all collected, unlock the gallery mode.
There isn’t much more to it than this really, simple yet effective gameplay. The only thing I would have liked is the ability to take the camera back for a wider view of the world and the transformations since sometimes you’re a bit too close to really see them.
As the premise states each episode is based on one of the Brothers Grimm’s tale so I will venture a will guess that you can greatly increase your enjoyment by spending 5 minutes reading the original tale before playing.
For this episode we are following a boy who has never known fear and it is Grimm goal to change this and ruins everything around him. A feature I really enjoyed is the retelling of the story. When you start the game there is an introduction sequence which tells the setting of the tale in a somewhat regular tone, but when you finish the game you gain access to the dark version of the tale which is pretty fun. Of course if you’re like me and love American McGee’s style you’ll enjoy the darker version of things much more.
So overall it’s a very enjoyable game, especially since the first episode is free. I am not sure is it is really worth $4 which is the price for the following episodes. With 24 episodes that is a potential price tag of $92 ( the first one being free) which is a bit of a hefty sum. Now keep in mind that each episode will be free on the day of release (which is weekly) so potentially you could also get the whole game for free if you pay attention. But overall I’d be more than willing (pending quality of future episodes of course) to pay about $30 box for a retail box of the game because I think it’s worth it.
The bottom line is if you liked Alice, if you like gritty retelling of fairy tales and want to have a short and sweet time then you should try it out. Plus the first episode is free so no excuse.
SquareEnix Continues to Make Noise
They already made the biggest announcement of this year’s E3 revealing that Final Fantasy XIII would be released on the Xbox 360 but today they said something that is sure to annoy a lot of PS3 anew.
Apparently development of the game on the Microsoft console hasn’t even started since they haven’t received the dev kits yet. This should be good news for Sony fans no? Well not at all. While the Playstation will have a timed exclusivity in Japan, SquareEnix has announced that the game would be released on both consoles simultaneously in the U.S.. This means that even if the PS3 version is finished, users may have to wait months for the 360 version to come out before they can play the game.
As Will Smith used to say in Bad Boys : “I’d be….pissed!”
Call of Duty 6 Developed by Infinity Ward?
Activision is set to try and release a CoD game every year but in order to achieve this they need to have 2 studios working at the same time on different games. Currently Treyarch is working on Call of Duty 5: World at War so when Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick confirmed that another CoD title was planned for 2009 it set ablaze rumors that Infinity Ward, who developed the hit Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, was working on the title.
It hasn’t been confirmed yet but the studio said they were working on a new title for Activison so it looks like it is a strong possibility.
American McGee Is Back!!!!!!
After the amazing American McGee’s Alice, which is one of my all-time favorite games and holds one of my top 10 favorite soundtracks ever thanks to Chris Vrenna, and the very sad cancellation of American McGee’s Oz (please please please! make it!), the infamous guy went underground for a while. But now he is back with a gritty adaptation of the Brother’s Grimm tales.
The game will be released in 24 episodes available through Gametap and it’s all free so you have no excuse. The first episode was released last Thursday, the 31.
I haven’t tried the game yet but I intend to soon and will try to make a quick review.
Nintendo and the Rumor Mill
A bunch of rumors went through the web today after some fans saw RSS feeds mentioning the Wii 2 and Shigeru Miyamoto‘s ‘last’ project. The whole thing emerged from a Wall Street Journal talking about the company trying to keep its momentum.
In the end it turns out it’s just some very basic info that was overblown. Nintendo is indeed working on the Wii 2….since the Wii launched. Just as Sony has been working on the PS4 and Microsoft has been working on the Xbox 720.
As far as Miyamoto’s last project, they simply meant “the last project that he had in mind when they launched the Wii (almost 2 years ago). So he is now brainstorming hard to find new original and exciting (hopefuly more so then Wii Music) for our pleasure.
In the end, nothing to write home about.
August 4, 2008 Posted by nostalgeek | 360 News, Industry News, PC News, PS3 News, Tech News, Video Game News, Wii News | activision, american mcgee, bobby kotick, call of duty, chris vrenna, Final fantasy XIII, gametap, grimm, infinity ward, modern warfare, nintendo, ps4, shigeru miyamoto, squareenix, treyarch, wall street journal, world at war, xbox 720 | 1 Comment
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