Metroid – VC, XBLA – The Reality, & Halo 3: the Box Office Smash – Welcome to the column that lives in the dream and only participates in the reality as needed known as Dare to Play the Game.
Welcome to another edition of Dare to Play the Game. Gaming, well I fired back up Rainbow Six this weekend; I did make it to First Sergeant (the one after Master) and played it for a good long while. Of course this was Saturday morning or whereabouts where my connection does nothing but good things. I played a ton of the Stranglehold demo and to be honest I’ve very impressed. Outside of that, I won a poker tournament online that I should never have. Competitive tournament, one bad beat later I’m left with $4. Somehow, I scrape on; thick and thin until it is me with about $150-$200 and this other guy with $900+. I win the next seven hands to beat him, climaxing with a Queen High flush. Get the achievement as well which was nice. I even played some Guitar Hero 2/80’s to pass the time. Got 230k on Message in a Bottle, my hands hurt very badly. I think once the last Lost Planet pack goes free on August 16th, I will start playing that. But anyway, we dispense and move straight into:
I mentioned that Morgan had a Webb blog last week and asked you peasants to go forth and get this site or me mentioned. What do I get? Not a blasted thing. Do I not provide you pictures; do I not provide you morsels for which to feast upon of Morgan delight? So you had to perform one little favor of distaste in the name of Adam Sessler. Don’t act like you are the first. In fact, being the one time co-host with Morgan Webb grants him a lot of favors that he wouldn’t normally accept. Gives “Wax On, Wax Off” a whole new meaning.
More news from Gamerfest 2007: Microsoft announced that 7.1 million Live users have downloaded 45 million…things…from XBL. With that level of user base, that puts the download average of everything—from games to themes—at an average of 6-7 per person.
Given that they also said the attachment rate is reaching an average of 6-7 XBLA titles per user, we’re a bit confused by all the numbers at the moment. Either those 45 million downloads are arcade title exclusive, or that 6-7 title figure is inflated and based upon only the most current users. We have an email out to Microsoft and will let you know if the numbers start making more sense.
The article had originally stated 25 million downloads and then upon talking to Microsoft officials was increased to 45 million downloads. Hrmmm, I sense some number manipulation going on. True, I probably have downloaded about 30-40 things (13 arcade titles, maybe a dozen content type items, half a dozen demos and a couple of other odds and ends). I even have 5700 points sitting around, waiting for a rainy day; or something. But I know I’m the exception, not the norm. In fact, there came out another study that suggested they didn’t even know how to download UNO or any other XBox Live game. However, given Xbox Live’s menus up until the last Dashboard update; it was pretty easy to get lost in the sea of never ending themes and gamer pics and other useless things for 150 points. Good stuff like Rainbow Six Vegas packs or the latest arcade title from Konami gets lost in the shuffle.
Delivering a keynote speech today at the Edinburgh Interactive Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot called for a focus on user-created content in the gaming industry, declaring that the gaming industry needs to “make sure that our consumers are the stars.” He then of course revealed that Ubisoft is working on a top secret next-generation title that features that self-same focus. He went on to state that in order for user created content to work, developers would have to make a shift towards increasing customer support.
“If the creator only has an Xbox 360 then we will help him port [content] to another console. Although some users will be happy to see their creation just on one console. The goal is to make sure that users can show their friends that they are capable of creating content and prove it to themselves.”
Guillemot went on to explore how to get lapsed and new players interested in the daunting task of creating content that will ultimately be judged by their peers and laughed at in internet forums and blog comment sections. On top of making sure the tools that come with UCC games are easy to use, he also details a mentoring system that Ubisoft will include in their games, where more experienced players are rewarded with points or free games for helping the more novice users along.
Here, here. Back in the pc days, I can’t tell you how many things I created and posted around the net. And not just lewd fake nudes either. (I was a whiz with Photoshop, let me tell you). Things like real text adventure games (AGT, look it up), levels to a certain game (Wolf 3d maps, back when you could create FPS maps without a degree in CAD), or heck golf courses (Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf). I did it all, I also bought RPG Maker 2 and 3 to the old PS2 but alas never got the time to throw it out there. Not to mention, the keyboard support for the PS2 wasn’t always consistent. But Microsoft tends to bleed this monopoly over all content that exists on XBL when they should just appreciate the extra attention. I applaud Ubisoft for going the other way and encouraging content. Here is hope that Microsoft plays along and nicely.
Microsoft doesn’t just want to top Halo 2’s first day sales record with the
sequel, it wants to blow it out of the water. Variety reports that
Microsoft has its eye set on topping the opening weekend box office
record of $151 million set by Spider-Man 3, raking in $155 million in a
In its first 24 hours of release in 2004, the second installment of the
sci-fi shooter earned $125 million. That number forced many nongamers
to take the vidgame biz seriously for the first time.
With “Halo 3,” Microsoft’s Xbox unit wants not only to top the 2004
figure but to reach $155 million in a single day — besting the $151
million opening weekend for “Spider-Man 3,” the current record holder
for a pic at the box office.
“We did $125 million last time,” said Microsoft director of creative
marketing Chris Di Cesare, who oversaw much of the second installment’s
launch. “We’re confident we can do better.”
This might sound far fetched but it really isn’t. When people who had never even owned a 360 before are considering buying one for the title alone and it’s getting sold in everywhere from 7-11’s to your local massage parlor (a friend told me), you can kinda see where they are getting this from. I still haven’t pulled the trigger on the pre-order, and last I hear pre-orders were well over 1 million. That’s a lot of cash right there. Not to mention people will be buying extra controllers, accessories and anything else they think they need to play Halo 3 with. Just don’t be buying them at Best Buy. Another report mentions that Best Buy will be placing a $3 surcharge of sorts on many 360 accessories by the time September 25th rolls around. If true, Best Buy would be partaking in price gouging activities not seen since Scrooge McDuck decided to tax his nephews on the birthday money he gave them.
Remember when Sega wanted to be cute and create a title that not only had parents going awwww but had gamers plunged into a sea of interesting level design and revolutionary graphics? Well neither do I. Anyhow, Ecco the Dolphin has found a home at Xbox Live for the cheapie price of 400 Points. At what point do you go oh I wonder how it would be to play with a dolphin? What are you, three? Or some miserable snake that works at the tuna factory? Okay, okay; it might be interesting but wake me up when we get to the Shinobis.
The sequel to the free game that almost everybody plays once (I think I’m still second on my friends list). Problem is the sequel costs 800 points. Well it is an original game, not a remake and apparently a lot of work went into the production of it. This time around Hexic has new blocks, multiplayer modes and all sorts of little things that make you more addicted than that time crack was introduced to you at your 16th birthday. Or at least more than whips and chains on a saturday night (again my friend told me). Okay, well perhaps it is still worth the $10 anyhow.
Normally, it would be hard for me to list a single title as a must have. Especially in VC world when a lot of the must have titles were released in a short time frame. However, there is certainly one shining gem in the bunch. Metroid, one of the greatest games ever made. One of those few games where you simply lose track of how much time you would spend on a boss or certain level trying to get past it. And the best part; not caring! It was crazy fun. Jumping here, jumping there, shooting missiles at doors; freezing creatures to get across a crevice, you just lost yourself in the quest to defeat Mother Brain. If the only other VC games you have downloaded to this point include Zelda or Mario in the title, here is one more to add to your mix.
This was the game that started the Shining series which eventually led to Shining Force and the many incantations after that. However, Shining in the Darkness while a good game was a slightly different premise. It was mostly a dungeon crawler. You went into this dark labyrinth, collected weapons and killing tons and tons of monsters. It had a nice 3d perspective and some good puzzles along the way. A good study in the evolution of a sometimes forgotten rpg series.
To be perfectly honest with you despite my vast knowledge of the Turbo machine, I don’t even remember Cratermaze. (I’m sure somebody will write and go that was my favorite game…shut up, please) So I had to do a little bit of research (I know, you must think that most of my articles I just ramble for 3 or 4 sentences, not true!). Apparently it’s a redo of a game on the old Famicom called Booby Kids (ha Booby!). It’s a maze game where you collect treasure to open doors to the next area and rescuing friends by beating bad guys. So there you go. Excited? Yeah go get Metroid.
Call of Duty 3 Enhanced GH
Marvel Ultimate Alliance Enhanced GH
Madden NFL 08
Fatal Fury Battle Archives Volume 1
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3
Dungeons & Dragons: Tactics
Madden NFL 08
Madden NFL 08
Madden NFL 08
Madden NFL 08
Madden NFL 08
Madden NFL 08
Madden NFL 08
High School Musical: Makin’ the Cut
Heroes of Mana
Rune Factory: Fantasy Harvest Moon
Well its Madden time! Pick your system of choice and go young one. Me, I’ll be waiting for All-Pro football to get lost in the shuffle and pick it up at a bargain price. Honestly, I played Madden from its inception up until I discovered NFL 2k5 for the PS2. I played John Madden on the 3d freaking-O. Sometimes however, you just find something better. Also of interest this week for PS2, we get a history of Fatal Fury (good times, good times), the sequel to a game that I bought once and never played (Metropolismania), and Persona 3 which should shape to be an excellent RPG effort. Also on the RPG front, Heroes of Mana makes it to the DS; consider this a good waste of time. But truth be told and I even have to admit this, Madden is the title this week, everything else will get way overshadowed.
I never ended up going to the baseball game on last friday. Actually, something had happened to prevent that. But the “girl” spent some time hanging out with me on that friday. She actually went to the trouble of visiting me at my house. We had a really good time and I hope to see her again but honestly I don’t know. It’s a weird world; nobody ever knows what somebody else is thinking unless they come out and say it. Even then, it can lead to confusion. Needless to say I’ve been in that state since then, hoping for a star to shine bright. Nature always opens minds indeed. By the way, my birthday is on August 19th. I don’t want cards, presents, or even Happy Birthdays. Here is what I want. (no, not Morgan Webb even) If I’m your friend, take 5 minutes out of your day and call me. Or write me, just see how I’m doing. Or if you can’t do that, take the time to wish upon a star and hope that this tired writer gets a crack at something that he truly wants and feels right being around. Thank you for listening and have fun kiddoes.
Kedrix of Aldrianian
(*The Forgotten One*)