Death to the Clamshell, Guitar Hero: Metallica Edition & Breath of Fire dismissed? – Welcome to the column that Santa Claus brought three non-working N64’s, two suspended WoW accounts and no Morgan Webb in a pear tree known as Dare to Play the Game.
This weekend I beat Fable II. Now, many beat this game a long time ago but I was taking my time. I wanted to be in line for certain achievements and my hard work payed off. As a result of buying Giles’ farm, I found myself to be the recipient of a wonderful weapon. Ever see Army of Darkness? I got me what can only be described as a boomstick. The thing has a short range but does double the damage of any normal gun. I figured I would take the thing into the Crucible for a little test. Twenty minutes and eight perfect rounds later I had me another legendary weapon, the Chopper. However, for melee I stuck to my master cleaver with an augment that gave me health back for everytime I sliced and diced. Level 5 Inferno didn’t hurt either.
The ending sequences were pretty good. I don’t want to give too much away but the single best sequence is perhaps the one called Perfect World. It starts out rather odd but the ending which bridges into the final battle is one of the most bone chilling things you could imagine. Pure perfection. However, the boss battle at the end was kinda of a let down. I guess I was expecting more. As for the choice at the end, I went with love. You really can’t go wrong with that. I am currently up to 820 achievement points and I have about 3 or 4 achievements left I can reasonably get. I will also play around with an evil character and see how far I can get (at least long enough to get the Temple of Shadows achievement). Awesome game though and I still stand by my score I gave a while back.
It’s funny, why as fellow nerds do we all think that girls who work at an EB Games or Gamestop are automatically hot? A good example is the girl above. She probably makes $7 an hour, goes to a community college and even though she is very attractive you probably would not give her a second look until you walked into the gaming store. Then you would see her there and be falling over yourself to get to talk to her. So my question for those chickies working gamestop or eb this week if they read this column: How often do you get hit on? And where do you work? (I need like exact location and times you actually work…for research)
Breath of Fire
What’s that? You say you wanted a new Breath of Fire game? Well, it seems like you’ll be waiting even longer now that Capcom decided the genre isn’t a real moneymaker for them anymore.
Keiji Inafune, head of research and development at Capcom, was recently asked in an interview with 1up.com about the possibility of a new Breath of Fire game being released in the future. It turns out that not only is entire series being shelved, but it may never see the light again.
“There are currently no plans on making a new Breath of Fire game. Apart from that, regarding RPG titles, they are very popular in Japan, but only certain RPG titles sell so Capcom doesn’t really need to even consider making these titles as an option.”
Inafune would continue on to say that while the opportunity to revive the series later on might be possible, he says the trouble has to do with the size of the team compared to the other heavy hitters, like Square-Enix and Namco Bandai.
“There’s a low possibility that we’ll be making one in the near future. But, I realize that there are fans of the series, and we have staff who are interested so it’s not out of the question. We actually have a lot of titles in a similar situation, where there’s an interest by users and our staff, but where we just don’t have the resources. Square Enix and Namco Bandai have 1,200 development staff but we only have 600. There’s a lot more that we want to do, titles that would probably sell well if we made them, but we just don’t have enough staff.”
Breath of Fire has been with us from Super Nintendo to Playstation 1 to Playstation 2. There were also a few remakes on the Gameboy Advance and the PSP. The best titles were arguably on the first playstation and most of us would rather forget about the mess that appeared on the PS2. Hence, that is where Capcom left it. As a mess instead of the first four installments which were all pretty awesome. It’s a shame because Capcom is probably basing most of its decision on the woeful fifth game. But how can you give up on a franchise with rich characters, good storytelling, some imaginative puzzles and a whole lot of fishing? The music is pretty wonderful too come to think of it. Maybe, just maybe we’ll get a compilation of the first four titles. They would fit rather nicely on a dvd-rom and could retail for $30-$40. I’d buy it. There you go Capcom, now go and make me happy (one can wish anyway).
Who gets the exclusive first trailer for Guitar Hero: Metallica? Well, Metallica does. The band revealed the game in motion via its official site, with a guest appearance from… Ennio Morricone?
No, we don’t think the score from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly will be playable, but it sets the mood [and commenter FarmboyInJapan informs us the song is played prior to each of the band’s shows – Ed.]. Perhaps it’s Metallica’s subtle way of saying that James Hetfield’s in-game character model is downright hideous? I mean, I know the dude’s not exactly oozing handsome in real life, but he looks goddamn scary in Guitar Hero: Metallica.
The rest of the trailer is all about “Master of Puppets” and self-promotion, touting 20 of the band’s “fiercest songs” and guitar or full band gameplay. I’m a little excited! I just hope we can revert to Garage Days Revisited skins and that Activision nixes any plans for a Cliff Burton zombie mode.
The trailer can be found here. Good stuff and I’m glad that they are going the full band route. Cause while Metallica is known for their speed guitar and bumping bass, the vocals of James Hetfield also warrant attention. The game will actually have 45 songs supposedly, 28 by Metallica, 17 by “other bands” who have either played with or inspired by Metallica. Also, while it won’t detect Guitar Hero WT DLC, it will detect the Death Magnetic DLC album that showed up not too long ago.
I only see two levels of frustration here. The first frustration is that this will probably show up at full price. To be honest, this should be a first week special of $49.99/$39.99 and you would get a lot more biters. The second thing? Guitar Hero: Aerosmith falls by the wasteside due to poor planning. Great band, great music but this only showed us half of the experience. Steven Tyler is a legend on vocals and even though most of us would have landed flat on our faces, we should have been given the chance. As you can tell, I am biased towards vocals due to my karaoke background but I even more appreciate the full band experience. GH: Aerosmith flopped and can now be found most places close to $25. Nevertheless, I am excited about GH: Metallica and will look for a sale come next year.
I swear, if there’s a Retail Packagers’ Association, its mission statement must be: “Forcing You to Use Something Other than Your Bare Hands, Preferably a Steak Knife, to Open the Shit You Just Bought.”
It’s like this for everything from video games to video tape to this brand of potato chips, which come in a bag I swear was sealed with a mfing hot melt glue gun. But Sony, in a gesture that I could never cover with enough praise, has said enough is enough: Death to clamshell packaging.
About a month ago, Sony said it was teaming up with Best Buy and Walmart to offer more convenient packaging that still provided enough anti-shoplifting security. Now, in a post on its electronics blog last week, it has said definitively the clamshell is finished.
I know consumers, including myself, get annoyed about how difficult they are to open. In fact, they typically can’t be opened without the use of a sharp device of some kind. Sony is working on the matter and I expect we will have a new alternative to announce soon.
Amazon announced a”frustration-free” packaging initiative for certain products back in November. Even then, a DualShock controller (not in the program) arrived in its standard plastic fortress that I still had to ginsu open. Sony throwing its weight behind this consumer-friendly initiative is very commendable and should motivate others in the industry to join up as well.
Thank goodness and pass the biscuits. First order of business? Clean up all of those Xbox Live Point cards. If I have to risk injury one more time for a measly 1600 points, I’m going to come at somebody with a butcher knife that has a part of my finger still on it from trying to cut up the packaging. Seriously, scissors do work best but even that can troublesome on your precious fingers. Even then you are wondering if you should be wearing protective eye gear. Who am I kidding? Most of us wear glasses anyway. But in a rare move where I’m actually praising Sony, thank you for leading the way.
One question I have though. Why does Amazon or anybody who sells electronics online need to have this type of packaging anyway? Who are they protecting themselves from? That guy who decides to break into an Amazon warehouse at midnight and decides against taking any of these packages with the clamshell protection? I can see it now.
Robber 1: Hey Frank, you got the infrared cameras turned off and the security card to get into this place?
Robber 2: Sure do. One flick here and presto, the Amazon warehouse is yours. Get in there, Johnny.
Robber 1: You start on the right and I’ll start on the left. Stick to electronics and we will get out of here a lot faster.
Robber 2: Alright, lcd high def televisions, dvds and ipods. Fantastic. Heck I think I’ll even grab a copy of Brittany Spears’ new cd: Circus. That girl has pipes.
Robber 1: That’s not the only thing she has if you know what I mean. *pause* I think I’ll grab some video games and this xbox 360 here. And a few more things.
This continues for several minutes and they come back to the security door with their loot.
Robber 2: Let me see what you got there. Oh crap, you’re going to have to put those back.
Robber 1: What? They are just some Live cards. We have accounts they can’t trace back to us anyhow.
Robber 2: No it’s the packaging man. You see this missing finger here man? And my broken tooth here? I got it from using a knife on this stuff. It’s bad man, super bad. Put it back.
Robber 1: Alright, alright.
Robber 2: *looks thru bag some more* And would you put back the Bea Arthur: On Top of the Golden Girls on dvd, you really have no idea where that’s been.
In time for Christmas here is an assortment of jigsaw puzzles. Yes, you bought this $300 piece of machinery plus spent $10 in points to put together jigsaw puzzles. Woohoo! There are two modes, classic which has no time limit and turbo mode which is timed. In addition, there are promises of more puzzle packs as time goes on. The most exciting feature, well that would have to be the Xbox Live Vision mode which will let you take a picture and make it into a puzzle. Hrmm, this could be the most fun with the camera since well Uno. A million puzzles of weed and naughty bits. They probably won’t be sharable. I still think this is way more fun on a card table with all of the pieces spread out. Even if you are missing a few pieces it actually feels like you accomplished something.
To be truthful, I don’t know much about Tiki Towers. But it does have one thing that will delight many people: monkeys. There are also some puzzles too. You must reclaim the islands of your tribe by defeating the evil enemy chiefs. This is done by building towers out of bamboo, coconuts and vines with your monkey friends. The chiefs will do everything they can to destroy those structures and keep you from reclaiming the island. Single and Multi Player cooperative modes are available.
Miniature golf from your living room! Here you use your Wiimote to simulate your putting stroke and compete among 27 holes divided into three courses. The game has many different environments across America, Asia and Europe. Up to four people can play and apparently this is the ultimate party game. If they don’t have at least one windmill hole, they are so wrong.
Before Phantasy Star went online and most of us didn’t feel like paying $15 a month anymore to play it, the game had quite the following on the Sega Genesis system. One of the best in the series, IV: End of the Millennium is now on your virtual console. This one takes place about 1,000 years after the events of Phantasy Star 2 in the year AW 2284. Chaz Ashley, a young bounty hunter with tons of friends to match must save the Algo solar system. You must find out where Zio the dark wizard is hiding and destroy him. However, he might not be the true threat. Oh, I so love old school Phantasy Star! Good pickup for 800 points or feel free to grab the Genesis Collection for PS2 or the re-release for the 360 coming next year. RPG’s don’t get much better than this.
Story Hour: Fairy Tales
You thought last week was bad? It’s the week of Christmas and a couple of miniscule titles are all we get. Seriously a game that is a glorified electronic reader and a game about constructing things from matchsticks. Was anybody actually expecting something? Instead of actually linking something from Amazon that released this week, I’m linking my favorite gummy snack. Enjoy! One is much better waiting for Christmas day when hopefully that special somebody brings you an A title that you have forgot about over the holidays. Or at least a B title. Okay, perhaps they will be smart enough to give you a giftcard where you can select your own darn games. I swear people are so fickle.
WoW time. 59/58/43/30/18. The rogue is up to 59 and still isn’t in Outlands. I know, I know. I got caught up in the Plaguelands. I finished the decent quests in the Eastern section and I’m now sitting at the Light Hope’s Chapel. Furthermore, one of the major goals I set for myself when I started playing my rogue is complete. I am exalted with Undercity. At 60, I will go get myself a spiffy undead horsey. Provided I have enough money by then. As a result of having to give 200 gold to an idiot who shall remain nameless, I’m about 200 short of my epic mount. I wish I was kidding. I think I will continue with some of the Plagueland quests, at least enough to get some money and make 60. Then perhaps Outlands, but honestly I’m not in a hurry and now that I’m finally spacing out my sessions, I find myself enjoying the game a little more. Anyhow, in this season of giving and receiving just be sure to give a little more than you receive. It makes the heart feel good and keeps you warm this holiday season. If nothing else, your favorite columnist (no, the other one) would certainly benefit from a little more heat on these cold holidays. Merry Christmas kiddoes!
Kedrix of Aldrianian
(*The Forgotten One*)