GPS on the PSP, DTV on the Xbox 360, and Provo gone? – Welcome to the column that recommends you take heavy doses of LSD and PCP to enjoy the sarcasm to its full extent known as Dare to Play the Game.
Welcome to another edition of Dare to Play the Game. All Pro Football 2k8 is a mother. Well the season mode is, I’m currently trying to beat the Legends squad which is just as bad as it sounds. John Elway at QB, James Lofton at WR and a whole list of defensive squad all-stars guaranteed to make sure they score often and you score close to never. My team’s gold players consist of Walter Payton and Jerry Rice. My QB is Randall Cunningham. I actually used my own likeness as a Bronze Tight End. I should have a lot easier time on offense but for the most part my defense does better which is anchored by DE Too Tall Jones and MLB Karl Mecklenberg. But you know what kills me in this game. The short pass. Screen passes murder me and there is no good package I can find to combat it. Not to mention they do it constantly. I also made a team to resemble the ’85 Chicago Bears since the game seems fit to include 6 Bears already that played on that team. It was just a matter of creating five more. I chose Jim McMahon (QB), Kevin Butler (K), Steve McMichael (DT, but I had to put him as a DE since they list Dan Hampton already in the game as a DT and William Perry is the other DT), Richard Dent at DE and Jim Covert as OT. Four starred defensive linemen. Quarterbacks are going to run in terror. I really love creating teams & players, I just wish they didn’t have a cap of twenty players which I will max out when I’m done with the current Philadelphia Eagles squad.
Another one from FHM, this time from a long lost brief promo video that she did. That’s certainly more of her model look. Though I still prefer her fun looks. Like when she wants to dress like Princess Leia or some other fabled female. Personally, I think they should model Samus after her, but that’s probably just weird. Yeah strike that, and enjoy Morgan anyway.
PlayStation boss Kaz Hirai has had just about enough of the PS3 posting a loss. He’s sick of it! So sick that he’s hoping to have the console turning a profit soonish. And by soonish, he means during the next financial year:
We want to get to the positive side of the equation as quickly as possible…The next fiscal year starts in April and if we can try to achieve that in the next fiscal year that would be a great thing. We are going through the budgets right now. That (profitability) is not a definite commitment, but that is what I would like to try to shoot for.
And I would like to star in porn films with my girlfriend, Morgan Webb, Christy Hemme and Mickie James. I see that happening about as likely as the PS3 turning a profit in fiscal year 08. It is still the #3 console. Mind you, the PS3 did have a little bit of a turn around in 07 with a new model, price decrease for the entry model, some actual titles resembling real video games, etc. However, they will need to get a few more games that make people turn away from the Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii and move to the PS3 side. Nintendo has the casual market cornered and arguably Xbox 360 has the hardcore market cornered. Sony needs to find the happy harmony sector and corner that. The PS1 and PS2 were such big successes due to marketing and zillions of titles. If you don’t own a PS3, go ahead and name 10 or more titles for the system that doesn’t involve sports games. I dare you. PS1/PS2; we could go on all day long. In the event that PS3 does turn a profit for fiscal 08, I’ll be ready in my blue Incredible Hulk boxers.
Microsoft has revealed it is partnering with British Telecom to bring BT Vision to the Xbox 360, a Freeview TV service that grants users access to digital television and will enable the 360 consoles to operate as a set-top box.
The partnership was unveiled in Bill Gates’ final Consumer Electronics Show keynote and while it wasn’t quite the big story everyone was anticipating, it’s fairly big news for Xbox 360 users in the UK. BT Vision is already powered by the Microsoft Mediaroom Internet Protocol TV and the intention is to integrate the service with Xbox Live, allowing Xbox 360 users access to both digital television and the gaming services already on offer.
Dan Marks, CEO of BT Vision, trumpeted: “…for the first time consumers in the UK will be able to experience the advantages of an advanced TV service together with the benefits of next-generation gaming…”. Meanwhile, Enrique Rodriguez, corporate vice president of the Connected Television Division at Microsoft, chimed “…this is an exciting moment in home entertainment.”
Neat! As the Xbox 360 moves more and more towards being a true media center, this is the next logical step. Unfortunately it is limited to the UK market for now. It would be nice for them to sign this kinda agreement with Dish Network or DirecTV. Preferably Dish (who needs to come on already with HD programming including USA and SciFi in HD) but either one would be a very awesome step. Heck, by the looks of it, I’m surprised my Dish box doesn’t play games already. The HD one is not a small beast. Of course, I’m the guy who used to use his VCR to tape Press Your Luck just so I could play along. Gaming and Digital Television mix beautifully, we just need everybody to play nice.
That Japan only GPS add-on for the PSP doesn’t look so Japan only anymore. Sony’s CES page lists the GPS system, leading most to believe the peripheral, already out in Japan, will get a Western release. Here’s how the Sony site describes it:
Explore the world with GPS on your PSP. Utilizing the GPS peripheral and the latest mapping software on UMD, your PSP will provide 2D/3D locations, driving directions, POI’s, and even downloadable city guides. With an easy search feature and customizable settings, GPS on PSP is the easiest way to navigate new areas and cities.
Well I was always looking for a reason to buy a PSP, and I think I might have found it. Considering the size of the screen on the PSP and the technology of GPS, it is a great fit. When you need a mobile gaming solution you can use the PSP, when you need to navigate your car to the nearest Dunkin Donuts and out of traffic’s way, use your PSP once again. My only question is if I have one of those Star Wars White PSPs, can I get directions to Tattooine and avoid the Death Star? Chewy was curious.
Gamespot loses another one
It’s true, I’m no longer contributing to GameSpot.
I believe CNet management let Jeff go for all the wrong reasons. I believe CNet intends to soften the site’s tone and push for higher scores to make advertisers happy.
I won’t lie to people and tell them a game is good when it isn’t. I won’t downplay negatives that readers have a right to know about.
And so, the “Frank Provo era” at GameSpot ends after nearly 8 years of contributions. March 2000 through December 2007. It was a nice run.
I feel sorry for the GameSpot staff that have to continue to work there because they have no choice if they want to be able to pay bills and feed their families. For such upstanding people, the CNet overloads have created the ultimate soul-crushing work environment.
Well I included a fourth story this week since it is somewhat close to my heart. Frank Provo is a friend of mine, we aren’t like best buds or anything but I follow his career and ask him to read my stuff from time to time. His significant other posts in our forum and I hope to exchange christmas cards someday. You get the gist. This is of course relating to the incident involving Gertsmann and the Kane-Lynch review. Sure, he is a free-lancer and has freedom to pick and choose but I would reckon he is not going to be the last to do so. It is also interesting that he points the finger at C-Net rather than Gamespot. CNet is kinda like the Clear Channel of the various news sites. Clear Channels sits over all of the radio stations and even though there is a manager at a given station, they have the power of whether or not they are going to change you into a Hispanic pop station at the end of the day (I’m still bitter over 101 KLOL). The same can be said CNet as they try to hold court over sites such as Gamespot and dictate their content. I wish the best of luck to Frank; I wish I could do what he does sometimes but instead you guys get the benefit of the best “hack” in the gaming community.
Two releases this week, I always appreciate when they double up. The first is a high def shooter in Omega Five. The graphics appear to be gorgeous and promise lightening fast action. Enemies look like they will come from all sides and the characters have different attacks to destroy the enemy. With local co-op, I just might have found another shooter to try out. (Hint to Microsoft, make this the free title to compensate for Live outage, please!)
Tron, geezus. Was Pong or Breakout not available? The sad part is I’m actually old enough to remember this game and the movie for that manner. I’m all for retro releases (holding out for Mappy!) but some games seriously do not improve with age. It does have enhanced graphics I suppose and CD quality sound, but it is still Tron folks. If they wanted to make this a true bargain, they would have included Discs of Tron which was a much more fun experience. Save the points, go buy a DVD copy of Tron the movie instead.
Only two games, but very good ones at that. Star Tropics is arguably the best NES action-rpg that isn’t named Zelda. It was only intended as an American release and never was made for the japanese audience. This was quite rare for any RPG since over there they gobble that stuff up like rice and sake. The story centered around Mike Jones, a teenage baseball pitcher who goes to visit his famous uncle in the tropics. Once there, the uncle predictably gets abducted and Mike begins his quest armed with only a yo-yo (at first) and has to save the world. For those who remember, there was a famous physical letter that was included with the game. You had to dip the letter in water to reveal the mysterious “747” code which was needed at a certain point. The virtual console copy of this game corrects this by putting a digital copy of the letter in the game that can be immersed into water. I happen to own the original cartridge but no letter as I like many got this game second-hand. It is a very fun game and highly recommended.
Arguably the best fighter from the Neo-Geo side of the house; King of Fighters 94 makes an appearance on the VC. This game featured fighters primarily from Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting. However, it also included guys from Ikari Warriors & Psycho Soldier (it was supposed to include World Heroes but never did). They paired off in teams of three as they took on each other in best of 5 competitions. Strong engine and plenty of challenges. If you don’t happen to own a Wii or have access to VC, there is a very nice KOF ’94 Remake (Rebout) on the Playstation 2.
World Champion Paintball
Yu-Gi-Oh! The Beginning of Destiny
Dance Dance Revolution: Disney Channel
Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity
Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom
Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity
Luxor: Pharaoh’s Challenge
Kidz Sports: Ice Hockey
Jackass: The Game
Well a few more titles at least this week. Widest release this week: Harvey Birdman. I wish I was kidding. A freaking character on Adult Swim. *sigh* Maybe it will be decent. Maybe pigs will fly. NFL Tour proves that EA will milk the license for all that it is worth. (didn’t they learn from that Head Coach game on the PS2?, I swear I saw it in the dump bin at Circuit City for $5). Kingdom Under Fire is probably the standout title this week. The 4th title in the series (which was virtually unknown to me) mixes Dynasty Warriors with RPG elements and a little strategy thrown in to balance it all out. Might just be worth a look. If you are unsure; Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders for the original Xbox is a backwards compatible title and can be had for $15-$20.
As I am writing this, I am gearing up to write the NeoGeo Battle Coliseum review for PS2. I would say you will see that review on Wednesday or Thursday. In addition to those two, I’ve been playing Marvel Ultimate Alliance as we inch closer to the end of Act One. Quite fun, I wish we had more time to play it together. But no matter how many times either of us die, we keep on trucking. Not to mention, portals are an extremely useful thing; especially before a boss fight. We managed to unlock all costumes for Venom (already had unlocked all costumes for Wolverine) and I imagine Dr. Doom will follow shortly (we tend to trade Moon Knight in and out with others so he’ll lag behind). I really love the fact that you can play around with characters and trade in and out with little penalty. Also, for those who are curious head on over to your local Circuit City for their clearance sale. Many titles going for $8.96. I picked up Bullet Witch for the Xbox 360. I know, I know. But hey, a girl who uses a broom as a gun and dresses in interesting attire such as a school girl’s outfit can’t be an entirely bad thing. Have fun kiddoes and remember to tip your columnist on the way out.
Kedrix of Aldrianian
(*The Forgotten One*)