Saw gets axed, No Aliens for Sigourney Weaver, and Age of Conan tanking – Welcome to the column that is considering slicing its wrists if it has to do any more writeups on remakes of Nintendo 64 games known as Dare to Play the Game.
Finally, I got my 120gb hard drive for my 360 on Monday night. There were a few messups in communication between the third party seller and myself but everything was resolved when I received the package. It was opened, however the hard drive, transfer kit, cd and manual all looked brand new as described on Amazon. I hooked it up to my 360 and started to transfer my files. Took about a little over half an hour. Then when it was finished, it said the curious message of “Some files were not transferred…they have been deleted”. Oh lord. So I replace the old hard drive with the new and power it on.
First, it had to re-download the system update. However, after that I was able to go right into my profile. I checked my memory and everything looked okay with the exception of no full version of Geometry Wars since there was a trial of it already on board. See the Elite hard drive comes with a lot of junk preloaded on. Videos and demos of retail and XBLA games mostly. So, that went off my system real quick. Then I took the time to install 5 games to hard drive: Fable 2, Fallout 3, Rockband, Lego Star Wars and Lego Batman. I didn’t get to test anything else but I feel good about the purchase. A lot more space and hopefully not having to wait eons for Fable II to load the city of Bowerstone.
The queen of Resident Evil herself. Did you know how hard it is to find a somewhat normal picture of Milla? Go do a Google or Yahoo search and get back to me. She’s a beauty for sure (definitely one of those true nerd crushes) but she does like to get all wild and freaky with her photos. Here is a nice and pretty pose of the girl known as Alice kickbutt sci-fi queen in some good old fashioned jeans, enjoy.
Sigourney Weaver talks about participating in video game film adaptations with MTV’s Josh Horowitz, revealing that she once asked to appear in an unnamed Aliens video game, but turned it down due to character inaccuracy.
“They wanted me to do Ripley and I said, Well you have Ripley killing aliens but also sick people and other marines! And every other word out of my mouth was a curse word. I’m not a nun or anything, but I said, ‘This is not true to the character.’ And they also showed me six video games and said it was going to be made by this company. There was one called ‘Rednecks’ where they shoot animals. The whole thing was so ridiculous.”
The developer in question remains a mystery, seeing as the only game that fits – Redneck Rampage – was developed by Xatrix Entertainment, who never worked on an Aliens title. Perhaps we’re now finding out why they never worked on the Aliens franchise.
As for participating in Atari’s upcoming Ghostbusters games, Weaver claimed she was either never contacted, or was simply too busy to respond at the time and forgot it ever happened. I’d say this was a loss for Ghostbusters fans, but I never really liked her character in the series in the first place. As far as I am concerned, Weaver should be required to shave her head and wield a futuristic weapon in every movie she appears in.
I feel like I’ve lost something I’ve never had. A true Alien or Aliens game? With Sigourney Weaver involvement? That would have been five shades of awesome. However, the company that asked for Weaver’s involvement probably even hadn’t secured the license to the movie and was more concerned with dueling banjos. A true Aliens game would certainly have Sigourney’s involvement but also have something akin to a cross between Silent Hill and Resident Evil. You would have a survival horror game that goes out of its way to scare you and never show you the Aliens until it was absolutely necessary and crucial to the plot. Furthermore, guns should be scarce and only be used for key situations. The Aliens series is one of the few that I would actually be interested to see a video game after all of these years. But only if they did it right. And only if the only hairstyle that was selectable was bald. Cause that’s how Sigourney rolls.
Lays Offs and Bankruptcy
Last month, Brash Entertainment laid off 20 workers and axed some projects, but pointedly remained committed to publishing a game based on the film SAW. Now that has been cut loose.
The blog Bloody Disgusting, quoting unidentified sources, says SAW is seeking a new home. The project was near completion and voiceover work had already begun.
Of course, this is similar to how Ghostbusters bounced about when Sierra bit the dust — movie IP, nearly finished game — and maybe that bodes well for SAW’s survival. But they’re also completely different films, with different fan bases, so who knows.
When last heard from, SAW was a third-person survival horror game, produced by David S. Cohen and powered by Unreal Engine 3. Decent credentials, so if you were at all curious about this game, there’s a reasonable shot you could see it.
Tough times, tough times. While I can’t stand the idea of another Saw movie (seriously, are we up to what 337?), the idea of a survival horror game in the Saw environment is one rich for the taking. Perhaps something akin to Myst, where you have to decipher 50,000 clues in order to get anywhere. You would however have to tack on the penalty of death or dismemberment if you made a wrong choice. Death or dismemberment. Hey that sounds like my first marriage. *rim shot*.
However, little houses such as Brash aren’t the only ones who are cutting projects. Midway is actually less than 50 days away from bankruptcy according to an article. I would love to tell you to go buy MK vs DC since the game is actually a lot better than what a lot of people thought it was going to be. However, that’s not going to help (but you should still buy it if you like fighting games). Midway has been losing money forever. The once legendary arcade company has nothing more than a few brand names keeping it from closing shop. I won’t be surprised to see them bankrupt in the near future. MK will appear somewhere (Capcom should be the first to snap it up) but there will be tragedies in this too. TNA Impact came out this year and did rather poorly. It had a solid wrestling engine, but the game behind it was rather bland. A sequel was forthcoming but now may never see the light of day. Hopefully, Midway is able to salvage the company and continue developing some really good games.
With Wrath of the Lich King out, everyone’s forgotten Age of Conan ever existed. But Funcom’s level design gave its own title a head start to the trash can.
Writer Nelson Williams over at Vox ex Machina gives a detailed takedown of how an MMO goes from 700,000 subscribers to nearly zilch in six months. The short answer, after level 20, everything becomes visually dead and unfun, catering only to those who enjoy antisocial MMO behavior and all of the genre’s most tedious tasks. [Edit: I changed the headline, perhaps a bit late, because it suggested this MMO was dead and no longer being played. It is, they’re just not having much fun.]
When you first login to Age of Conan, you’ll wake up on the shores of a lush island, overflowing with quests, voice actors, plotlines, and wonderful vistas. Even bitter veterans who wouldn’t piss out Funcom if the entire company were on fire admit that this starting zone, Tortage, is a great experience. Tortage lasts for about twenty levels out of eighty. Then, you step away from the jungle harbours and into the wide world, and that’s when Funcom shouts “Sucker!” in your face before running off laughing into the night with your money. They give you the finger the whole time.
Funcom’s made an effort to shore up these problems and spiffy the experience. But the article points out the game’s producer and director, Gaute Godager, left his 16-year career with the company over how the game was handled after its release. That absence further hurt efforts to save the franchise.
In the end, all that is left are guilds of gankers, hiding in grinding caves and waiting for someone to unstealth. What began among the jeweled towers of Aquilonia ends then, here in caves and dirt. And brown. Lots and lots of brown.
I really wanted Age of Conan to do well. Think about it, the idea of Savages, Wenches, Blood, Guts and Mayhem. What a great idea! I was heavily interested in the game until all of these reports started to come out about the experience coming to an absolute halt once you hit the 20-40 range and beyond. They wanted to hook people in and then just hope by luck or circumstance that they stick around. Doesn’t work like that.
See what people that make MMOs don’t realize (outside of Blizzard apparently) is that you have to make a game that keeps going. Level 1 needs to be as fun as Level 20 as Level 40 and so forth. There needs to be a reason we want a level 50 fighter rather than a level 15 instead of a different digit number. It also doesn’t help when one of the main fixtures of the game just books and leaves over the company’s inability to supporting the product. Age of Conan was even rumored at one time to come to Xbox 360. I guess I’ll have to keep waiting by Crom to get a game that gets the character Robert E. Howard created somewhat close to right.
If you like shoot em ups, then you’ll love Powerup Forever. The idea behind this one is that your ship has to destroy plenty of enemies. Some of these enemies will allow you to absorb their energy which will transform your ship’s size, shape and power. Soon those enemies will seem insignificant and the game will reveal larger ships that you couldn’t see before. Hence the name of the game actually makes a lick of sense. Powerups have always been at the core of any shoot em up, and this one server to become the king of that concept.
This game was actually first on the DS, about three years ago (without the Wars). Blocks or Meteos fall down from the top of the screen and start to form stacks. The player is trying to match three or more matching blocks. When a horizontal or vertical row of at least three blocks is formed, then they ignite and turn into some sort of rocket engine. The rocket pushes the blocks above it towards the top of the screen. To lift a large amount of blocks, additional rows must be done in quick succession. These blocks reach the top part of the screen and get vaporized into space. For a puzzle hound, this sounds like an easy purchase. Assumingly Wars will probably bring in multiplayer over Xbox Live (and hopefully local) as well.
Bruiser & Scratch are a dog and cat combination. They have been stranded in a strange world and they have a dark secret (I think we know what that is *wink wink, nudge nudge*). In this family game *caugh*, the only way they are getting home is to unravel the mystery, one oversized puzzle at a time. There are forty eight puzzles over six landscapes. Challenge mode is also included with 75 more puzzles that range from the ridiculous easy to superhuman intelligence.
Those wishing for a real hockey experience, need to go buy NHL 09, not this. This is simply the act of a shootout. You against the goalie in a variety of modes. Head to Head takes your guy with a mean stick and trying to get the puck past a bunch of goalies. Sharp Shooter allows you to break targets with the puck and Power Shot measures the speed of your puck. Cheap fun or for those who need a time waster. I miss fun hockey games. (like the NHL series in the 90’s, any recommendations of more recent titles (360)?)
Yes, they are running out of titles for Virtual Console. This is only further proof. Next thing you know they will be releasing the game gear version of Columns. The only significance of this title was that it was the true first appearance of Tails. Sonic 2 was faster and more advanced than the first game while keeping all of the things that actually made the little blue guy fun. For 500 points, it is hard to argue against it especially when it is not part of the Sonic Mega Collection. (it was part of the Sonic Gems collection that was released here for the Gamecube though)
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
Dungeon Maker II: The Hidden War
Winter Sports 2: The Ultimate Challenge
Word Jong Party
Story Hour: Fairy Tales
Story Hour: Adventures
Left Brain Right Brain 2
Build A Lot
Drivers’ Ed Portable
Welp, the major weeks before Christmas are done with and that we means we get nothing for the rest of the year. Or pretty close to nothing. Okay, PS2 owners get Persona 4. That’s it and I wish I was making it up. There are a few titles that keep getting pushed back (Winter Sports and Slingo Quest) and the rest is schlock. Okay, maybe Dungeon Maker II or Sonic Unleashed are decent but there aren’t exactly any kids out there who are going OMG, get me that instead of Gears of War 2. Come back next week to the release column when I think of something more clever to say.
WoW time. 58/57/41/30/18. To be honest, I only played my rogue and my death knight. On my rogue, I got him to 57 via Winterspring and started the line of blacksmith quests (Thorium Brotherhood) that gets me the plans to make the Imperial Plate Armor set. About three stacks of Thorium left to collect before I can finish that. The only thing I did with my death knight was pickup his two professions: skinning and herbalism. I also got asked about 10 times if I wanted to run a dungeon or two. Where the heck are these people when I’m on my rogue? Rogues get shat on so much.
The rest of my playing time was spent with Fable 2. I have amassed over half of the achievements and finished the second Hero quest. Spoilers, spoilers (don’t keep reading if you don’t want to know). But I got kinda peeved after I won the Crucible and they sent me on the boat. They strip you of all your weapons, items and your dog. They did this same crap in the first one (minus the dog). Then you have to go through some tedious questlines to get a couple of weapons back before you can do anything. However, the ending sequence is the coolest I have encountered so far. I won’t spoil that part because it is quite the treat. I’m pretty confident I will be able to finish the game and get 75% of the achievements. Welp, kiddoes I’m out until next week. Have fun and play like nothing else matters.
Kedrix of Aldrianian
(*The Forgotten One*)