Take-Two Shareholder Lawsuits, More Fable II DLC, & Nintendo weakening? – Welcome to the column that can predict to absolute certainty that the sun will set tonight (as long as they don’t have to prove it) known as Dare to Play the Game.
I would describe the last week as preparation for something better. I really didn’t play any games. Sure I did the usual World Series of Poker 2k8, Rock Band and even some Rocket Bowl but I didn’t really start anything. I decided to purchase a couple of budget games last week. The first one was actually a new release and goes by the name of Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust. I know what you are thinking. Why would I play such a crap game? It’s been panned by critics and it is just for teenagers who need to see boobies. Probably for the same reasons I picked up Rumble Roses for the 360 (to see boobies?). Besides that! Truth is I grew up with Leisure Suit Larry (yes, I was playing LSL games when I was a teenager) and part of me wants to see a good LSL game which I haven’t seen since they started making console games. So for $20, I’ll give it a whirl and hope at least the achievements are fairly easy.
The second game I picked up is Dark Messiah: Might & Magic Elements. Found it for $12 shipped off NewEgg.com. More groans? Tough crowd, tough crowd. But I think my reasons are very similar. I grew up playing Might & Magic on the PC and I even played the PS1 game: Crusaders of Might & Magic (and found it somewhat enjoyable). This game is kinda like Hexen as it is a FPS trying to moonlight as an RPG game and only succeeding on the base level. However, this also seems to be one of those games where if you accept some faults, you can find a very entertaining game. From reading the reviews, the main argument just seems to be too linear and complete lack of people to play with. Then again, unless you are new, one of the populars (Halo, Call of Duty, Rainbow Six, Gears of War, etc), or some kinda card game, it is more likely than not; dead. We’ll give them a shot and see what they have to offer.
This is Radha Mitchell. You might know her from her starring role in the Silent Hill movie which I found to be very entertaining. As far as Video Game movies go, I would put it in the top three. This fall, we actually get a re-do of the original Silent Hill game in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories for the Wii, PS2 and PSP. Naturally, they will have some new features with the WiiMote being the star of the show. But also there will be a psyche profile element which will monitor the player’s behavior – where they explore, the dialogue they choose and modify visuals and reactions as the game goes on. It has the potential so that no two game players have the same experience. Call me interested for a PS2 copy as I played a great deal of the PS1 original and subsequent sequels.
Closing one of the last doors left over from last year’s EA takeover bid, Take-Two Interactive has entered into an agreement to settle a shareholder lawsuit stemming from their failure to consider EA’s offer.
The lawsuit was filed by Prickett, Jones & Elliott on behalf of Take-Two shareholder Patrick Solomon on Friday, March 7th of 2008, naming both Take-Two Executive Chairman Strauss Zelnick and Chief Executive Benjamin Feder. Solomon objected to the company’s unwillingness to consider EA’s $26 per share offer, which at the time (and currently) was much more than the company’s shares were trading for.
The settlement agreement grants additional disclosure to Solomon, but does not include any monetary damages. Take-Two plans to oppose any request for fees and legal expenses, which its insurance will cover if they are indeed awarded.
So let’s hear it for a big old waste of time and money!
Most of you might remember that I was one of the many people who thought that Take-Two shareholders should deny EA’s bid to take over the company. Here is a case where a lawsuit has been filed because Take-Two should have considered and taken the bid. Admittedly, the shareholders would have benefited greatly; especially in the current environment where the shareholder price is still under $10 last time I checked. (The bid was more than 2 ½ times that amount). However, even with the sound of money coming in like a slot machine at Vegas; I would have made the same choice. Ultimately, they would have lost some creative freedom and possibly even their own jobs given the current environment. Sure, they have to answer to a few shareholders and some executives, but can you really put a value on the cost of your soul when you are selling to the devil himself? I don’t think so. (but apparently shareholders do)
I would like to think that this is the face of true evil: Monkeys with mustaches. (provided by Bloom Box, an EA Game)
The next major content release for Fable II will be entitled “See the Future”, and is
expected to be released in May. In it players will have to lift the curses off items in the possession of Murgo the Trader. If they are successful in their quests, they will see a vision of the future of Albion. The quests include:
The Ghosts of the Snowglobe Quest: Holding a disturbing secret,
the small model village inside it was once a real town in Albion. The
people who once inhabited it are now ghosts condemned to endless
torment until the shadowy threat that cursed them is defeated.
The Cursed Knight Quest: Forever banished to a land beyond the
dead, the Cursed Knight awaits a hero who has the strength and will to
dress up in convincing costumes, even imitating a hobbe or balverine,
to save him from his fate.
The Colosseum: The Colosseum puts even the Crucible to shame.
Only the greatest heroes have triumphed here. Players’ abilities will
be put to the test to prove themselves in combat once and for all, to
win the ultimate in prizes.
The expanded content also includes a bevy of new items including: Welley’s soldier helmet,
a braided ponytail, psycho Jester make-up, potions that turn your dog
into a different species, and more. See the Future will cost 560
I didn’t purchase the first DLC packet. I found it to be too rich with too little content. Fable II has certainly been one of my favorite games, but DLC that costs anything above a couple hundred points is kryptonite to me. This one seems to be more within my range. The quests seem interesting as you free a bunch of ghosts and compete in a new & improved Crucible (renamed Colosseum) which was one of the best times in the regular game. I do wonder if it will be similar to the layout in the first Fable which was a lot more open spaced. In this pack of DLC you also have some new items including the one that will get most attention: potions that will turn your dog into a different species. Now, I’ve seen this in a few other places and it said different breeds. So, I’m not sure if it is going to be different dogs (I vote for Dalmatian or a Chihuahua) or different species altogether. I want a pet moose. Okay not really, but a wolf or a boar would make it somewhat more interesting. 560 points is $7 and not too shabby, but I keep wondering if we will see a greatest hits version with all of the DLC (which I would actually buy since the LE was one excuses for extra content I have ever seen). Anybody know the over/under on that?
As long as the future doesn’t involve me trying to find a mate for a teenage boy who is a bit flaming or going down in pitch black dungeons underneath farmhouses, I don’t mind seeing it one bit.
With the PlayStation 3 outselling the Wii in Japan for the month of March, one might think that Nintendo executives are in a panic, concerned this whole motion control thing is a fad. Not so!
Nintendo seems rather nonplussed by the monthly change in console domination on its home turf, which by Enterbrain’s figures meant 146,948 PlayStation 3s sold in the five weeks to March 29 versus 99,335 Wii units sold.
Enterbrain’s figures are a little different from the Media Create hardware sales data we regularly follow. We have PS3 sales at 116,000 for March, with Wii sales just under 70,000, looking at a four-week period.
“It is still the first few months of the year when sales are slow for the industry, so we are not particularly concerned,” Nintendo said.
Nintendo says that the current software slump affecting Wii sales overseas isn’t cause for worry, as it hopes “to line up strong software to support hardware sales in the second half of the year”. With Wii Sports Resort coming at some unknown point this year, we’d imagine that’d do the trick!
I would say this news rests somewhere between surprising and saw it coming from a mile away. I really didn’t think Nintendo would keep up customer share due to the fact that if the game wasn’t made by Nintendo, there was hardly anything to keep consumers interested for the Wii (No More Heroes, Madworld were cult exceptions). In addition, Playstation 3 has slowly done some things right. They have had better games like Killzone or Resistance. They have almost as good third party support as the 360, a price cut and Blu-Ray support. As a result, Japan has taken notice and been buying PS3’s. I expect this to honestly continue. Wii Sports Resort is not going to stop the decline even if it does well. In the US, PS3 will continue to remain third. For now. The Xbox 360 still beats the PS3 in third party support and the Wii still has a better fan base. But you can only sell so many systems before people turn their heads towards another platform. Especially one that has more bells and whistles than what they are working with.
The original Puzzle Quest was one of my favorite Xbox Live Arcade games and one of the very few that I have earned all of the achievements for (not including the overpriced DLC that added a few more). Here comes the much delayed sequel and the increase in price to $20 spacebucks. *sigh*. There is some variation in combat which can change where the tiles come from as well as the playing field which has changed from fantasy based to sci-fi based. But for some reason, it just doesn’t appeal to me. I played the demo on the web and found it rather dull and uninteresting (and I tried it several times). I will probably download the demo on Xbox and see if anything has changed but I’m doubting it at this point.
At slightly less spacebucks is this little title published by Capcom. Here you control a UFO that has to herd animals whether it be sheep, cows, chickens or pigs and get it back to the mothership, the Mother Flocker. /facepalm. There are hazardous environments and you must guard the flock against hungry predators, pits of death and catapults. Of course, what the mothership might end up doing with the herd afterwards might not be a pretty picture either. There are over 50 single player levels and supposedly a map editor (check to see if this feature made it to the XBLA or just PC/PSN) where you can also share levels with others. This might make this one the more attractive release for the week. I’m interested, especially for the shareable maps.
This week is the same week that a bunch of Dsi downloadable games get released (I don’t really see the need to cover those unless you enjoy me making bad jokes) so don’t expect the WiiWare release to be that strong. In this cheapo, you are trying to move a ball toward the exit by tilting the WiiMote to tilt the playfield. You can also use the Wii Balance Board. Pure time waster, but there might be somebody out there looking for this type of game.
This is the sequel to Nes original. You are still a captain and you are still managing a fleet to participate in trading, treasure hunting and even a little bit of piracy. This time you have six different people to choose from who have different careers and life paths. Some are pirates, some are explorers, some are even teachers. The game is a lot more open ended this time but you must develop your characters to advance the plot. At 800 points, it might be worth a shot.
Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus
Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus
The Godfather II
The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena
The Godfather II
The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena
Samurai Showdown Anthology
Hannah Montana the Movie
Party Pigs Farmyard Games
Escape the Museum
Hannah Montana the Movie
Crazy Chicken – Star Karts
The biggest game without a doubt this week has to be…Hannah Montana. It is after all the only game to be hitting all three major systems. *snore*. I’m sure however, somebody will be writing in remarking how easy it is to get achievements and trophies for. But could you really live with that title on your gamercard? I think not. The major titles this week have to be the Chronicles of Riddick remake and the Godfather II. I am interested in the Riddick remake since that’s been one of the titles I wanted the Xbox to go backwards compatible on. Godfather II also holds interest as it apparently involves some real time strategy elements due to running your mob. Heck, I’ve seen my girlfriend play Mobsters on the web. If it is an advanced graphical representation of that, I’m all in. A new Guilty Gear game (for PS2/PSP) is also worth some mention even though I’ll be sticking to my copy on the Xbox (that is backwards compatible). Hopefully we will get some more mainstream titles next week.
You might think that this journalist is above simple gamer mistakes. You would be wrong. I went to Hastings the other night and saw that Deus Ex for the Xbox was a mere $5 in new, but opened condition. I thought, hey I had some fun with that game for PS2, this could be a decent pickup. *sigh*. I should have thought, this isn’t backwards compatible, dumb a$$. Somehow, I don’t see myself buying an Xbox just so I can play one game (well there are maybe half a dozen others but still). Of course, this is the same person who owns a 3do, Sega Saturn and a Sega Master System and still isn’t sure why he bought any of them (but won’t part with them either). I’m a collector, I can’t help it. It’s the same reasons why I buy 360 games that I never pop in my console. It’s why I own roughly 500 dvds. Most of us have hobbies where we just collect things and sometimes we don’t know why. To be honest, half the time I write this column to keep tabs on myself and get myself to enjoy the things I love. A lot of the time, I get caught up in life which isn’t bad but it can take you away from things you hold dear. So this week, whether you spend time with your loved ones or spend time with your game system, at least spend it with something you care about. You’ll feel better about yourself and enjoy the world around you. Life shouldn’t be a chore, it should be something that you have fun at. Go for it. Take care kiddoes.
Kedrix of Aldrianian
(*The Forgotten One*)