PSP Price Drop (Sales were over), Interviewing a WOW addict (his life is over), and Guitar Hero 2(my life is over) – Welcome to the little addiction that meetings won’t cure known as Dare to Play the Game.
Welcome to another edition of Dare to Play the Game. Sorry for the late start this week, it is not intentional. I just feel kinda out of it. I’ve been dealing with my water heater this week; I finally got a new one but it was leaking gas in the control knob. The guy …ame and fixed that and the water pressure as well. *fingers crossed* Outside of that, I might or might not be going out with a girl I really like for the first time since my ex-wife left me seven months ago. There is something really special about her; she’s a wonderful person and I hope I get the chance to know her.
Ode To Morgan Webb
Yeah, Morgan Webb might be on MySpace, but nobody is sure of the real page since there are really so many posers out there. Heck it might not even be me on my MySpace page. She also might have been on there and then just abandoned it which happens to a lot of people (especially those who change their email address at the drop of the hat). MySpace is nice, I do appreciate it since it has got me in touch with a lot of old friends. But to be truthful outside of a few exceptions (and they know who they are); the new people I’ve tried to be friends with on there have been mostly jerks.
Quick news stories of interest
Sony has shown great reluctance to drop the price of the PSP. Untilnow, it was perched at the $199.99 price-point, and may have turned offsome potential customers. Today, photos of Gamestop POPs sprung up onseveral gaming blogs claiming that starting Tuesday, April 3, all ofthis would change.
The displays in question indicated that from April 3 onward, the PSPCore Pack would be sold at the reduced price of $169.99. Accompanyingthese adverts were instructions with how to handle the promotion ofthis cost reduction. Not surprisingly, the whole thing was supposed tobe kept a secret, although apparently no one got the memo.
Those of you planning on picking up a PSP today had better holster yourcredit cards for the next 24 hours. The price drop should leave youwith just enough money to pick up a copy of Puzzle Questwhen you snag yourself a PSP tomorrow. Although the ghost of AprilFools is lingering in the air, rest assured that this is not a prank.IGN contacted several EB Games and Gamestop retail outlets in the areawho confirmed the price drop. Sony representatives declined to comment.
About time, though in all honesty $149.99 would have been the correct price point. PSP really does not hold a candle to the Nintendo juggernauts of DS and GBA in terms of pure pick up and play. I’ve still want a GBA as I feel I’m missing a part of gaming history since those play all of the old carts (GB, GBC, GBA)(my eyes are probably the only limiting factor). $169.99 seems like a push off price, sure to get a few people off their feet and purchase a PSP but more than likely just an old fashioned stall tactic for everybody who was complaining that the $199.99 was simply too high. However, this might trigger a DS price drop which would be very cool and awfully tempting to most of us who do not possess one.
Harmonix’s Next Game Revealed
Harmonix is planning to take the virtual videogame group genre a step further with its latest release, Rock Band. The game, revealed earlier by USA Today, sees developer Harmonix, along with its owner MTV, teaming up with Electronic Arts to offer budding musicians the chance to create their own rock group. We’re talking the shebang too, because the game will support four instrument controllers including lead guitar, bass, drums and a microphone for the leadsinger.
Scheduled for release on PS3 and Xbox 360 this Christmas, Rock Bandpromises a wealth of online features, including the chance to team upwith musicians in other countries and the ability to download songs.
Although a track listing has yet to be announced, EA has revealed thatseveral major music publishers are involved with the project. EMI MusicPublishing and Warner/Chappell Music are allowing “unrivaled access totheir catalogues of incredible songs”. These mega-publishers houselabels including EMI Music, Hollywood Records, Sony BMG MusicEntertainment, Universal Music Group’s Universal Music Enterprises andWarner Music Group’s Rhino Entertainment, which have all agreed tosupply master recordings by their artists for use in the game.
With such a healthy list of labels backing its play, Rock Band will beable to offer music that spans all genres of rock, from classic tometal to punk. And the music won’t stop with the release of the gamethis holiday. During a conference call with the press, Alex Rigopulos,co-founder and CEO of Harmonix promised that downloadable content wouldbe a key part of Rock Band’s success. “We have very, very ambitiousplans in the area [of downloadable content],” Rigopulos said, addingthat Harmonix has “big plans [for] building an online library.”
Jeff Yapp, Executive Vice President of MTV Program Enterprises saidRock Band is a “completely new model that gives labels a way to promoteartists” and opens a new revenue stream. No specifics aboutdownloadable content were revealed during the call.
Rigopulos called Rock Band the game Hamonix has been “literallydreaming of for years and years.” Along with plans for downloadablecontent, Rock Band enables up to four players to get online and rockout with one another. According to Rigopulos, Harmonix has created a”brilliant technical solution to latency problems,” though specificswere not discussed. Both PS3 and 360 have camera peripherals andHarmonix is considering options to allow these so that friends can seeone another rock out from one living room to another. There is alsopotential for user-generated content to make its way online.
One area of concern is the cost for a game that uses four proprietarycontrollers. Rock Band’s publisher, EA, has not yet decided how it willpackage the game. EA Vice President David DeMartini acknowledged thatpricing is a concern and that EA was looking at a variety of packages.Rock Band may ship in a four-in-one massive box and/or as separateunits. One thing is certain, if you are about to buy Guitar Hero II onXbox 360, the Red Octane instrument will not work with Rock Band. Theperipherals for Rock Band are being created by Harmonix and will not beidentical to the guitar recently released by Activision for 360.
Despite the potential high cost of a four-instrument music game, RockBand has incredible potential. No one seems more excited thanRigopulos, who said: “Rock Band is Harmonix’s most ambitious project todate, and it will take music gameplay to an entirely new level. MTV hasgiven us the freedom and the resources to really swing for the fencesand make the game we’ve always wanted to make.
Sitting in the back of my mind (a scary place for sure), I always thought that this type of game would come to existence. Once I knew about Guitar Hero, it was inevitable. But there are a few cons that need to be brought up. First and foremost, this is a great idea. However, here are the problems, the 4 different peripherals for a game is bound to make the game have close to Steel Battalion pricing. Who the heck bought that game anyway? (Would you 13 people stop raising your hands already?). You can trim down the two guitars into one feasibly but I just don’t understand why there can’t be some deal made with the Guitar Hero 2 people to let the guitars be compatible. The best bet for releasing this game would be in two versions, one with all 3-4 instruments and one with just a mic and then selling the other 2-3 instruments by themselves when people want to add on. The other big problem would be those who play online. Think of a real band and how many people always want to be the lead singer or the lead guitarist. Some people would be the bass if you forced them too but almost nobody would bother with drumming. Then those who think they can sing but are more often than not, completely tone deaf. I do karaoke, but I’m by no means something fantastic (except for my renditions of Life is a Highway and Once Bitten, Twice Shy) so I would even be worried by others “hearing my voice”. I’m split on this for right now. It’s a fantastic concept, but the price does worry me (and the lack of compatibility with the GH2 guitar). In the meantime I’m sure I’ll have my hands full with GH2.
The WoW Interview
This is the first part of an interview I conducted with my friend Gary about WOW, hope you guys enjoy it for humor and for info about the grand game it is.
1: So when exactly did you start playing World of Warcraft and when was your first WOW addiction meeting?
I started playing WoW in the spring of 2005. I was forced to stop playing just after about a year of play. I picked it up again the beginning of this year, and reactivated my old account. Got my old character’s back, and had enough “rest” to go through from level 46 to 53. Which is quite a bit. I do not have a WoW addiction (there are meetings?). I only play for an hour a night, and 2 or 3 on the weekends. Well that depends on what is going on. Sometimes I will play 5 or 6 hours.
2. Meetings run from 7 to 9 on Thursday nights, they run parallel to redheads anonymous, not that I would know anything about that. So, you’ve mentioned to me before that 10g is a lot of gold in WoW. If that is so, explain the currency system; how do you buy new weapons, new armor and all the little things needed for your game to game stuff?
10 gold is a lot to me. At low levels have that much gold means the difference between a new armor set that makes you a kick ass twink (PVP). When you are high level and play a far amount of time. 10 gold isn’t anything, considering weapons can sell for 500 gold or higher. Heck, a flying mount and training can cost you literally in the multi thousand gold range. You can buy WoW gold for real money, usually $5 for 50 gold. When I talk about weapons or armor selling for 500 gold, there is an auction house in every major city. They are all tied together. So if you put a pair of enchanted boots for sale in Under City. They can be bought in Silvermoon City. You can sell everything but soul bound equipment at the auction house. Trade good, such as leather, or cloth you pick up or make from your chosen professions. By the way, are there females at the red head meetings? I might have to get them to switch my WoW to Wednesdays
3. No, no women, just men who keep talking about how cherry is their favorite life saver and that auburn is better than strawberry blonde. Anyhow; you’ve mentioned before that you play with your wife on WoW. What has been the hardest part about that? The easiest? (this won’t land you in divorce court, don’t worry).
*BLECH* Who wants to go to a meeting with just men. ANYWAYS yes I play WoW with my wife. The only draw back is sharing found money, and shared experience. But then, I can send us gold at anytime from my 59 Mage. Finally got him over the 200 gold mark. Other then that, it makes things so much easier. Instead of sitting around trying to find a group, you have two people who can head out right away and find others through the Group Searching Engine. When questing, and grinding, I use my Troll hunter, and can fight two mobs at the same time, while my wife fights one herself. And as long as one of us hits the mob my raptor is fighting, we get the loot and experience from it. So three mobs at once, instead of 1 at a time, really helps you level quickly. Plus if one of us needs help, the other is there, such as healing, or when one of us agro’s another outside mob, we can just band together in one spot and clean house.
4. Mobs, Trolls, & Raptors; oh my! So let’s explore everybody’s favorite problem with WoW. It is subscription based; it costs much money. What kinda payment plans does WoW offer for those less fortunate? Do they have plans that include offering a first born or blood donations?
You caught me on this one, cause frankly, I don’t care what it costs. But from what I remember, it costs $15 a month when paying monthly. Depending on the plan you get into 3 month I believe is $13 a month, and a 6 month, is like $10 a month. And when you have to buy a second game, and subscription if you want to play with someone else in the house hold. But if I could give blood to play I would. First born is going a bit to far. Maybe second or third… Naw, I need them to support my ass when I get to old to bathe myself.
5. I’ll have to rely on a nurse named Tracy most likely; which sounds appetizing until you realize she’s in her fifties and has warts. So we bring up blood; some games in the MMO world are overrun by kids who are wasting their parent’s money. What would you say is the ratio of adults to kids and what do you think is the appropriate age for kids who want to play this game considering the fair amount of bloodshed involved?
Tracy sounds like she would be a lot of fun after a 24 pack and some Mary Jane. But anyways, There is no blood in the game. Yes there is violence, but when you kill something, it doesn’t bleed on the screen, or leave bloody foot prints. There are no gurgling death screams. Heck, if doesn’t show the arrows protruding from the body. As for allowing kids to play, I know a few under 15 in the game. Their parents make them do chores around the house, and use part of their allowance to pay for it. The parents are able to turn on a profanity filter, which knocks out A LOT of the swearing. Half the teenagers on there swear worse then I do. But as a parent, I block out the chat windows, because Barrens chat can get nasty and disgusting fast. There are more adults and teens then children playing, I let my 8 year old play, he likes to wonder around the world exploring, and trying to kill different things. He loves going to level 20 areas, and one spell killing the mobs. He isn’t allowed to talk to anyone I don’t approve of, and I watch him. But I think anyone who can play, should, with the proper supervision. Parents need to be apart of their Childs gaming, or bad things can happen.
Arcade Classic of the Week
This is the cute little game where a police mouse jumps on trampolines to retrieve stolen goods. But don’t get touched by the cats while on the ground or you will lose a life. This was a very cool game which probably still holds the title as my favorite Namco made game (though Rolling Thunder comes a close second). This was put on the same arcade cabinet as those sporting Super Pac Man which was a good game in its own right. I know I hold the record for score in the game at one of my college friend’s loft who happened to own the cabinet (not sure where he got it). But I think I played it for roughly two hours on the same quarter one night. This game among many others can be found on the most recent Namco 50th anniversary compilation for PS2, XBOX and other fine systems. Also of note, with the PacMans, Dig Dug, and even the silly Rally – X all up on XBOX Live, one would think Namco would release Mappy eventually.
Brave: The Search for Spirit Dancer
World Championship Cards
Pimp My Ride
Prince of Persia: Rival Swords
Guitar Hero 2
XBOX 360 MC 512MB
Prince of Persia: Rival Swords
Konami Classics: Arcade Hits
Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales
Big news this week is Guitar Hero 2 for 360. I have been playing it some already and like it very much. Its pricetag is a bit of a minus but isn’t bad considering. I’m more interested to see the download content that should be appearing on marketplace within the next couple of weeks. The half gig memory card for XBOX is also of interest only because it’s finally big enough to hold some actual stuff. I just don’t understand why they don’t give a gig for a memory card and 250gb for the eventual new hard drive. The technology is there but it seems like they would rather nickel and dime us along the way.
Some Final Thoughts and Mutterings
As mentioned I did get Guitar Hero 2 for 360; I will probably end up selling my GH1 Bundle & 2 for PS2 on Ebay (though if anybody is interested they can email me) since it is kinda redundant and I can’t say I will ever play it again especially when marketplace starts offering games from the first GH. I will also review the in the upcoming week. To give it a fresh review for the new system will be hard (since I’ve done two GH reviews for PS2 already on here); but I’ll get it done. The other game I’ve been playing with a lot is Gun for 360. This is a fun, fun game; I really like how it’s done and if they eventually announced a sequel I would pick it up. Quick draw is so nasty that you have to mess with it for half the game to really appreciate it. You can take out 5 guys in 5 shots in a matter of seconds. It is the best cheap game you can get on 360. Have fun kiddoes.
Kedrix of Aldrianian
(*The Forgotten One*)