No more farming, No 360 Port for Ninja Gaiden & No sense in Zelda II – Welcome to the column that refuses to take no for an answer (but gets it anyway) known as Dare to Play the Game.
Welcome to another edition of Dare to Play the Game. I’m kinda in limbo this week. I feel I’m on the verge of something but I’m not sure what the heck it is. Work is going okay for the most part but I still don’t have anything resembling a social life. I would j…st mainly like to figure out if I’m coming or going; that would make things so much easier. I did go ahead and decide not to deal with my flakey home computer monitor anymore. I went and bought a 20″ LCD Widescreen monitor over at Buy.com. Should be here in about a week. I was really sick of giving my old CRT the wham bam treatment. Which reminds me, does anybody know of a service in Houston that will take dead monitors? I have 2-3 of these puppies collecting dust and should be able to dispose of them in an eco-friendly manner.
Ode To Morgan Webb
Morgan in a very nice pink outfit. It’s pictures like this that keep me searching every week. Week after week even. Tireless time after tireless time. I put it all out on the line to appease you the audience. And what do I get? Nothing, nothing! *weep weep* I need Morgan to console me. So very much.
News of All Types
Ninja Gaiden Sigma Demo & no 360 Port(from ign.com)
As further proof of their infinite rockingness, Team Ninja and Tecmo have announced a way to extend the life of the Ninja Gaiden Sigma demo that’s now available for download via the PlayStation Store.
The final version of the game will be able to detect how much of the demo you’ve played, and will reward you with an appropriate amount of Yellow Essence. This in-game form of currency can be used to purchase items and power-up your weapons, possibly making your first play-through of the full game a bit easier. Given the difficulty level we’ve come to expect from a Team Ninja title, this sounds like a good deal.Those who want to get a head start on their fellow players prior to Sigma’s release in a few weeks should start by downloading the free demo.
…Team Ninja has already completed work on Ninja Gaiden Sigma for the PS3, well in advance of the game’s July release date. Of course, the big question on the minds of Xbox 360 owners everywhere is, will they have to shell out half a grand to play the game? The answer seems to be yes.In his monthly Team Ninja Freaks interview with Japan’s Famitsu Xbox 360, Team Ninja leader Tomonobu Itagaki had this to say about the possibility of an Xbox 360 port for the game: “We’re getting requests to port Sigma to the Xbox 360, but we currently have no such plans.”
Itadaki seems to feel that Sigma was created for players who’ve only ever had PlayStation consoles and thus weren’t able to enjoy Ninja Gaiden. “This is why we’re not considering porting Sigma to the Xbox 360.”But no worries, 360 owners! Team Ninja is still supporting your platform. Continued Itagaki, “We’re taking new challenges on the Nintendo DS, and the same is true for the Xbox 360. In order to respond to our fans’ expectations, we’re always making sequels and new games.”
Demos with a point? So they don’t just put demos out there to show us pretty graphics and promise us things that never appear in the final version? This actually is kinda cool because you get to play the game early and actually get rewarded for it.
Hear that sound? Nope neither do I. That’s the sound of no cash registers. Seriously, do you think people will view Ninja Gaiden as a system seller and go oh wait I have to drop 600 dollars. Please rape me now! They’ll change their tune anyhow, anybody remember a little game called Resident Evil 4? How many systems is that on now? or Assassin’s Creed? As soon as they see first week sales #’s, they’ll be wondering how they can port it over to at least the 360 if not the Wii as well. For now 360 owners can go get Ninja Gaiden Black for the original XBOX (360 Compatible) and play an extremely hard and fun game. And at $40 less.
World of Warcraft – The Gold Hits the Fan (from ign.com)
As reported on over at Gamasutra, there has been some recent – but separate – movement by both Blizzard and by players to try and put a stop to systematic gold farming and its illegal real money sale in World of Warcraft.
Blizzard struck first, including “technical counter-measures designed to combat in-game gold spamming” in the latest WoW content patch, as well as filing a lawsuit against ‘Peons4hire’ – an organization that offers gold for sale, as well as ‘power leveling’ services. Via a post on the official forums, a Blizzard employee stated that “As part of the lawsuit, the operators of Peons4hire have been asked to immediately cease all in-game spamming efforts by all entities and websites under their control.” While this post was made over a week ago, Peons4hire’s site still seems to be in operation, which will no doubt draw the ire of Blizzard, and as noted in the forum post: “If this organization refuses to act accordingly, further legal action will be taken.”
In a separate action – unrelated to Blizzard – a class action lawsuit has been filed in Florida against IGE, the self-styled “Leading MMORPG Services Company”, which also sells WoW gold, items and accounts. The suit alleges that “IGE’s gold farming activities not only substantially diminish the enjoyment and satisfaction customers obtain by earning, through the expenditure of vast amounts of time and energy, virtual assets within World of Warcraft, they also violate the express terms of agreements Subscribers enter into to participate in World of Warcraft.” The document goes on to itemize the damages that mass gold-farming and mass gold-selling have on the in-game economy, as well as to the experience of players.
While both cases could be important litmus tests for the future of unsanctioned exploitations of in-game economies, we’re particularly interested in following the class action lawsuit, as it’s a great example of gamers taking matters into their own hands and attempting to regulate the virtual worlds in which they have so much invested, themselves. Plus, we just can’t help but love the impassioned indignity evident in some of the text. Think of Seinfeld’s Jackie Chiles as you read it, because it’s “unlawful, unfair, unconscionable.”
Here, here. I always thought the idea of selling your items or gold for real life money was a bunch of bull. Mainly cause the person is profiting off something in a negative way that would have never existed if somebody else didn’t create it. Like those Harry Potter books that expose Harry Potter and the secrets behind the 7th book. Go find something else to do. Warcraft gold-farming spam has gotten so bad that a few weeks I had an interview with one of the people who play WoW and on the comments there was some loon trying to sell their wares right there. Here I thought nobody even reads this column :). However, it’s good to see both creators and individuals coming together (but kinda separate) to combat the issue.
Lost Planet Battleground Screens (from ign.com)
As reported on by our UK brethren only days ago, Lost Planet: Extreme Condition players are getting a free download on June 7, comprised of the formerly-only-available-to- Collector’s-Edition-owners multiplayer map ‘Battleground’.
Brilliant. XBOX Marketplace has been doing more of this lately. Making people pay when the content is initially released and then making it free down the road to everybody. Brilliant cause I’m a cheapo and I’m willing to wait. Of course this just creates a ripple effect where everybody starts to wait for the free & the company balks at releasing anything that is free. Some content I really wonder why they have a pricetag. Example, last night I finally put in my copy of Links 2004 for the old XBOX, it actually has content to download. Well that’s cool. Oh look, a free course *download*. Here are two more courses; nice…*click, what?* $5 each? I paid $5 for the game. The game actually comes with 10 courses, am I really going to triple my cost for two more courses? *forces his hand away from the controller* Seriously though, it makes no sense after a while for certain things to cost money or points in the marketplace. Especially those *beeping* themes and picture packs.
Releases for the week of June 5th, 2007
XBOX Live Arcade
Pac-Man Championship Edition
XBLA is offering Pac-Man Championship Edition this Wednesday for 800 points. This is the edition that they used specifically for the championship round of the Xbox 360 Pac-Man World Championship with a few extra modes thrown in. The mazes are redesigned, fit our widescreen tv’s and give us a time limit. Here are a rundown of the modes:
The Championship Mode. This is the main game mode designed by NAMCO BANDAI Games and Iwatani specifically for the championship round of the Xbox 360 Pac-Man World Championship. Timed limit of five minutes.
Challenge Mode 1 (Patience and Reward Course). This mode is an evolution of the Championship Mode. Patience mazes strategically offer fewer Power Pellets and Reward mazes provide a large number of Power Pellets – providing unique challenges and rewards for the player. Timed limit of 10 minutes.
Challenge Mode 2 (The Darkness Course). In this mode, only the area directly around Pac-Man and the Ghosts is visible and the maze walls are completely hidden. Timed limit of 10 minutes.
Extra Mode 1 (The Freeway Course). An extremely high-speed mode for advanced players, this mode features warp-speed Pac-Man and Ghosts and plenty of tunnels. Timed limit of five minutes.
Extra Mode 2 (The Manhattan Course). A mode inspired by the streets of Manhattan — the home for the first-ever Xbox 360 Pac-Man World Championship. Timed limit of five minutes.
Extra Mode 3 (The Overall Course). A mix of all other modes resulting in extreme mazes for the most devout Pac-Man fans. Timed limit of 10 minutes.
So, essentially they are taking a game I already suck at, make it ridiculously hard and charge $10 for it (and don’t include the original game either). Let me run out and get that. Besides when I hear the words Championship Edition I think of Street Fighter, and last time I checked you don’t get to play as the ghosts. Besides, I want Super Pac-Man, you know the Pac Man game where he like grew by about 10 and ate the whole board. Now that was fun. *looks around to see curious faces*, I’m not strange, it’s just you.
Wii Virtual Console
Milon’s Secret Castle (NES-500 Points), Toe Jam & Earl: Panic on Funkotron (Genesis-800 Points), Dead Moon (Turbo Graphix-600 Points), & Zelda II – Adventure of Link (NES-500 Points)
Well to celebrate the release of the 100th title on VC, the fine people at Nintendo decided to release 4 games, one of which is very special to Zelda fans. Yes, Zelda II – Adventure of Link. Very special because it is probably the worst Zelda of all time (not counting the Zelda title on the CD-I interface). I am sure somebody will flame it but it’s oh so true. I can’t tell you how many hours I wasted away trying to just get through the first few sections of that game. I have no problem with hard games, I love them. However, I have a huge problem with confusing games, and Zelda II was confusing all over the place. Of course confusing fits the rest of the releases this week. In a decent but confusing platformer, Milon’s Secret Castle also hits this week. This game had a horrible manual and each level could only be beat by beating the boss; however the boss could not be beat until you found all of these secrets and hidden items. Equally puzzling is Dead Moon, one of the most obscure Turbo releases and yes it is another shooter. Finally we have Toe Jam & Earl, the second incantation. Utteringly baffling since the first was such an underground hit and the second was such a pile of poop. So celebrate the 100th title on VC by downloading one of these games or looking at a frozen can of orange juice and concentrate.
Tomb Raider Anniversary
Shrek the 3rd
Call of Juarez
DS Lite Web Browser
Planet Puzzle League
Dragon Ball Z: Harukanaru Densetsu
Only two titles even worth mentioning this week. The first being Tomb Raider Anniversary which is a remake of the first offering on PS1 for $30 retail. It is $20 this week at Best Buy, but you got to think they are going to be pretty disappointed at sales for this one. No matter how pretty they make the game, it still is a remake. However, since there were no decent Tomb Raider games on the PS2, a few people might take a stab at it. The only other title worth mentioning is Call of Juarez for the 360. Looks to be a Gun clone with multiplayer and some other improvements. However, they are charging $60 for a game that has already been on the pc over 6 months. While it might be interesting, I would say wait on this one. Give it six more months and find it in the bargain bin. (but hey if Ubisoft wants to send me a copy, I’ll give it a fair review :-P)
Some Final Thoughts and Mutterings
Gaming was interesting for me this week. I still play MKA from time to time and unlocking things in the Krypt. I’ve put Guild Wars aside for a little bit and been playing a lot of Catan on 360(up to 5 of the 12 achievements). I haven’t ventured into the multiplayer except once in which my connection croaked. Then all the players dropped and then I got massacred by the computer. Nice ain’t it? I also picked up Guitar Hero 2 again for the 360. I had dropped to third on the my friends list (out of 8). However, I was in striking distance of 2nd. So I did just that, played it for a few hours and got back to 2nd. 1st is a long shot (Jeff, I bow to you :-P) since he’s about 250k points away. I just wish I could do half of what I’m able to do in medium in hard. Adding that 5th finger and a crapload of speed just messes up my time and I just scramble for notes no matter how much I practice. But probably by the time I get back to decent (I hope I at least 5 star Hangar 18 first though), Guitar Hero Encore – Rocks the 80’s for PS2 will come out (July 17th). However, it will be nice to spend some real time with a PS2 game again.
Kedrix of Aldrianian
(*The Forgotten One*)