EA vs UFC, New Michael Jackson Game and Am I a journalist or not? – Welcome to the column that has a job title that roughly translates into video game hack known as Dare to Play the Game.
Remember that whole spiel about how I was going to pick a new 360 game and play that instead of World of Warcraft? Hahaha, fooled you. Actually, more accurately I fooled myself. If you remember, I was working on my ambassador’s title and blacksmithing. Well, I did get exalted with Darkspear Trolls, giving me 3 out of the 5 home factions to reach that level. The remaining two did see a lot of growth. Silvermoon is now within 44 measly points of the goal (down from about 5k) and Thunder Bluff is 4300 away (down from nearly 14k). I’d say considering my progress over last week, I should have the title this weekend.
In blacksmithing, I finally eclipsed the 300 barrier and then zoomed as I predicted well into the 300’s. I now stand at 334, capable of making weapons and mail/plate armor in the mid 60’s. I want to reach 350, so I can make weapons at my own level. There is an epic level 70 one handed sword I am eyeing for my off-hand (most WoW purists know which one I’m referring to) that I would like to make. I’m taking my leveling slow and have only eclipsed 1/3 of the bar to 71. If I could go slower, I would.
So where does this leave my 360? I have a plan. I’ll detail it below in Mutterings, but I’ve already put the first piece in motion. Truth be told, I even had a copy of Too Human sitting on my TV stand, but it never got opened. I’ve also taken the comments regarding Oblivion and Mass Effect into consideration but I’m not done with that bridge just yet.
This is Talisa Soto. She was Kitana from the second Mortal Kombat movie. She was also in a very bad adaptation of Vampriella. I’ve seen it. Sure she’s hot and she runs around in spandex but it is so darn cheesy that it is hard to watch. Anyhow, there is a new Mortal Kombat movie that should start to film in September with release in 2010. Former “Mortal Kombat” actor Chris Casamassa who played Scorpion has confirmed this so to speak. We’ll see, I liked the two movies but think that the third could benefit from a reboot. Just not a reboot like the Street Fighter series. Something decent, please?
UFC president Dana White has gone on an expletive-fuelled tirade against EA Sports, lashing out at not only the publishing powerhouse, but at any UFC fighter that agrees to appear in EA’s upcoming mixed martial arts title as well.
White (pictured) says that back in the early days of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, EA were dismissive of the fledgling competition, telling him “You’re not a real sport. We wouldn’t touch this thing. We want nothing to do with this”.
Now, though? Now that the UFC is raking in the TV ratings and the mega bucks? “We put our asses on the line, THQ and the UFC, to make a video-game deal in the worst economy in the world,” he says. “We go out there and do this thing, and it’s successful, and now [expletive] EA Sports wants to do a video game. Really? That’s not what you told us a year-and-a-half ago.”
In order to compete with THQ’s smash hit title, EA will release their own mixed martial arts title, albeit one without the official blessing of the UFC. And in putting this game together, are looking to license real-world fighters, something that’s going to have consequences not just on the battle between these two MMA video games, but for the UFC itself.
Why? Because the UFC boss says he has a clear message to any of his fighters looking to make a buck by appearing in EA’s game: “You won’t be in the UFC”.
“I’m not tap-dancing around this thing or whatever,” White says. “I’m telling you straight-up, I’m at war with [EA] right now. That’s how I look at it”.
“EA doesn’t give a [expletive] about mixed martial arts. They made that very clear.”
I watched some of the highlights of UFC 100 through youtube and various other outlets. Brock Lesnar might be cocky, but he’s clearly the best thing the UFC has got going. Built like a mac truck and punches like he has a cinderblock strapped to each hand. His mouth is pure heel antics but absolutely hilarious to listen to at the same time. He might have been a bit reckless but UFC has a real villain. People will pay good money to see him fight (and they want to see him lose). The only problem is that they need to go find a hero that can beat this guy. Currently that guy doesn’t exist in the UFC heavyweights.
Anyway, Dana White has been trying to get a game published for quite sometime. The first time he went to EA, they figuratively spat in his face and told him no. Finally, THQ and the UFC made a deal and it is working out very well for them. Of course, now comes the time when EA wants to cash in and do their own game with real fighters. Except that most of the real fighters that are worth anything are signed with UFC. Dana has took it one step farther and basically threatened to fire anybody who even thinks of signing with EA that is currently employed with the UFC.
This doesn’t leave EA with many avenues to get fighters. I’ve suggested a few options to EA before, there are other leagues but unfortunately none of them have the namesake popularity as the UFC does. EA’s best bet after getting whoever they can to sign on? An in-depth create a MMA’er. That way, even though they aren’t playing a UFC game, at least they can make it seem like they are playing a UFC game. BTW, expect EA to ignore anything I’ve said but still sell a lot of copies. I really can’t stand EA.
If EA acts up again, I suggest sending in Brock. I’m pretty sure he can politely suggest EA to back off…with his fists.
There have been rumors swirling that Michael Jackson was at work on a new view game before he passed away. Those rumors appear confirmed.
MJJ Productions, Jackson’s production company, has apparently been working on this unannounced home console title for “several months”. Word has it that the game features both Jackson’s likeness and his recorded speech as well as many of his hit songs.
“I am sure it will still be released,” a MJJ Productions rep is quoted as saying. “Michael loved games.” The title is supposedly scheduled for this Holiday season.
I have very fond memories of playing the Michael Jackson Moonwalker games (both arcade and genesis), I actually finished the Sega Genesis one. The spaceship level was just odd. Anyhow, I’m a fairly decent Michael Jackson fan for a white guy. I own the Essentials cd, have the Thriller LP on my wall and have the moonwalk down to a science. Okay, I have the moonwalk down as well as a guy with no rhythm would.
I would be very happy if they decide to release another Michael Jackson game. Only problem is, that his music is owned by Sony which means that this game stands a good chance of only being released on the PS2, PS3 and PSP. Certainly, I would buy a PS2 copy, especially if it included a copy of the old Sega Genesis game as a bonus or extra. Michael Jackson was in love with video games and if one of his lasting legacies is to be the focus of one last game, then all the better.
Michael Jackson had 100’s of arcade machines, these were a few of his favorites. People ridicule the guy, but deep down I’ll miss him and his fantastic contribution to the world of music and gaming. RIP.
The Federal Trade Commission, it seems, has determined that bloggers aren’t journalists, or should at least be treated differently.
The commission, in the process of reexamining the disclosure rules for their truth-in-advertising guides, are now calling out bloggers as a potential issue. The commission says it is looking into the legitimacy of blogger opinion and whether access to review product influences their write-ups. They don’t, however, seem to be concerned over similar practices in the print and mainstream media.
Instead of relying on specific rules, the FTC’s guides use a set of examples to lay out issues that they have identified. In talking about the importance of disclosure of material connections between the endorser and the seller, the guide uses an example aimed directly at online video game journalism:
Example 7: A college student who has earned a reputation as a video game expert maintains a personal weblog or “blog” where he posts entries about his gaming experiences. Readers of his blog frequently seek his opinions about video game hardware and software. As it has done in the past, the manufacturer of a newly released video game system sends the student a free copy of the system and asks him to write about it on his blog. He tests the new gaming system and writes a favorable review. The readers of his blog are unlikely to expect that he has received the video game system free of charge in exchange for his review of the product, and given the value of the video game system, this fact would likely materially affect the credibility they attach to his endorsement. Accordingly, the blogger should clearly and conspicuously disclose that he received the gaming system free of charge.
While this example is talking about free consoles, what about free games or free movies or free books?
Most newspapers allow their critics to go to free screenings of movies so they can write a movie review. Most newspapers, in my experience, also allow critics to receive game code in one form or another and even retain loaner consoles so they can review games. Certainly every major gaming website, from GameSpot to IGN take free copies of games for review.
What’s troubling about this FTC example isn’t the expectation that the blogger should disclose that they received a free console, but that the rule seems to single out bloggers.
In seeking to delineate between a professional writer and a blogger, the FTC approaches a slippery slope that could very easily end with the government deciding who is and who isn’t a journalist.
Equally troubling is the coverage of this issue by the New York Times, which seems to almost deliberately not get it. In a Sunday story entitled “When a Blogger Voices Approval, a Sponsor May Be Lurking”, the New York Times reports on the issue making it clear that unlike journalists, some bloggers are for sale:
“But unlike postings in most journalism outlets or independent review sites, most companies can be assured that there will not be a negative review: if she does not like a product, she simply does not post anything about it.”
I do like some of the ideas spelled out in the document, in particular the notion of advertising and marketing folks not being allowed to flood a message board with false praise for their product without identifying themselves. But who is going to differentiate between “most journalism outlets” and “independent review sites” and bloggers? And how will they do so?
When the government gets in the business of identifying journalists and setting up a separate set of rules for those that don’t make the cut, it’s more than a little troubling.
Last time I checked I was a journalist. Sure, I don’t get paid like one (or at all) but I write fair & honest literature about games every week. Actually, it’s probably because I am so bloody honest, that I don’t get free games. I’ve received one free console game since I’ve been here and that was Viva Pinata. I disclosed very publicly that I received that game free but my review (which was favorable) would have been the same had I went out and bought it.
This column is basically a spawn of my blogging about video games for years. I was just eventually given a much better place to put my thoughts and ideas about what I hold so dear. As many of you know, I have done over 100 dvd reviews also for this site. Most of those dvds were received free (I did pick up a few on my own) and guess what the reviews are still un-biased. Sometimes I will admit I’m probably not the best choice to review a given title (like Chipmunks cartoons or season sets from the Here! Network), but I am honest about that.
In the same breath and what this editorial goes into, a lot of journalists get that same free pass to a movie, or a copy of the dvd or to play the video game. But for some reason, they don’t have to disclose that? Why, cause they are paid employees who swear some BS oath of journalism to be fair and honest when a lot of them are just as crooked as the college kid who accepted the free system?
The truth is a lot of journalists and bloggers are lured by the perks and write their reviews or critiques favorably to gain access to those perks. For the New York Times to suggest that journalists are not for sale and somehow bloggers are is a joke and merely an attempt to steer people away from blogs and instead reading their paper. As the “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase used to say, “Everybody has got a price…”. The journalist is no different from the blogger, except one gets paid and one doesn’t. We are all one simple thing: Writers. What we decide to do with our position is what distinguishes us from being honest and being corrupt.
Some remakes you just never expect. This is one of them but it is most welcome. This was a fantastic PC adventure game full of wit and action. You play as Guybrush Threepwood, a youth who wants to become a pirate. When he gets washed up on shore on an island inhabited by pirates, he might just get his wish. This special edition has enhanced graphics & an updated hint system. The voices have been re-recorded and even Spiffy, the dog that was deleted from original versions due to space limitations is back. You can also switch between the enhanced & 256 color versions seamlessly. Sounds like a bargain at 800 points.
Madballs? Seriously?! This was a very brief fad in the 80’s and it reared its head a couple of years ago. I think I had one or two of them like Hornhead, Crack Head or something. (yes Crack Head was a real Mad Ball, it was later changed to Bash Brain). The Madballs in this game will be carrying large weaponry and causing chaos. It will have 4 player co-op and a bunch of other features. It will also sell very few copies. With the lineup coming out in the following weeks & Monkey Island this week, I can’t see many people spending 1200 points for this.
A very odd game that takes you on the journey of the history of video games. There are 4-bit dungeons, 8 bit caves, 16-bit strongholds, 32-bit labyrinths, 64-bit arenas and 128-bit worlds to rescue Bit Boy’s friends. As expected, the graphics range from the bane of my youth to today’s standards. I’m not sure how it plays out exactly, but it is worth a look.
Incoming is a game where you have to destroy tanks by using your own tank and an array of weapons which become more advanced as the game goes on. There are powerups and the ability to play competitively. I guess if you have ever needed a tank game, here you go.
Ever wanted your own ant colony? Here is your chance without your mom going crazy when it gets spilled on the kitchen floor. You must train your colony of Super Ants to get through numerous challenges. There are devices of torture at your finger tips as you try to build them into a strong fighting army. Lasers, lightning and the trusty magnifying glass are at your disposal. You will also battle spiders and ladybugs and 100 missions full of tasks. There is going to be some kid who is going to be found outside with a magnifying glass over an ant hill and a parent who tries to stop them and gets bit in the process. Just like the good ole days *tear*.
This game was released here as Rambo, First Blood Part 2. However, for obvious reasons they decided to use the European release named Secret Command (and charge a 100 extra points because it is an “import”). Instead of Rambo, we have Ashura. It’s a shoot em up in the vein of Ikari Warriors and Commando. Nothing fancy here, but probably some of you are curious anyway.
This game was released in Japan in 1994. It is one of the best looking games for the console even outmatching games like Gunstar Heroes. It has a lot of links to the Pokemon series since their character designer and composer both went on to do work on Pikachu and many others. In this game, Pulseman uses electricity to shoot and roll into a ball to create an exciting attack called Volteccer. He is taking on Doc Waruyama and his band of robots. A little similar to Mega Man but there are differences.
NCAA Football 10
NCAA Football 10
NCAA Football 10
NCAA Football 10
Birthday Party Bash
Sherlock Holmes: The Mystery of the Mummy
My Dress Up
And you thought last week was bad. NCAA Football is about the only title to stand out this week. There is an all new Season Showdown this year which is a career mode with Web-Based games and trivia challenges. *raise hand*, will you be able to Twitter to all your peeps about your leet Fighting Irish? /facepalm. Can’t we just keep some games on the console? Anyhow, there is a cool Teambuilder option which will allow you to build your favorite team, historical or fictional. And you can share them with others. Nice way to skirt around copyright issues, have other people do the work for you. Genius. New Playcalling systems says it should be the most accessible ever. Did they go back and use the John Madden system from the 90’s? Anyhow, there is always next week. It couldn’t possibly get worse, right? *runs and hides*
As mentioned in the introduction, I have a plan to steer me away from World of Warcraft. At least temporarily. Don’t give me that look. I know that look. Alright, there is two parts to my plan. Coming out next week is Rock Band – Country Track Pack. Yes, I listen to 80’s Hair Rock but I’m going to give this a shot. Of course, in picking that up, I will make myself do a review for your viewing pleasure. This means I play it more, because I want to write a quality review.
Part two, I have purchased a 4000 Microsoft Points card from Ebay. I paid a measly $39 for it which is pretty good when that’s roughly the retail cost of 2 1600 point cards. Then you might ask yourself what I plan to do with those points. Well, there are a couple of 1200 point games on the horizon. In 2 weeks, Marvel vs Capcom 2 will be released. Suffice to say, I’ve been waiting to play this again for a while now. *caugh* Gambit rules *caugh*. Another review.
Then on my birthday, (August 19th, thanks for asking), out comes Shadow Complex. This game has heavy influences from Super Metroid & Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and has had already a great showing at E3. One more review. Whew. Three game reviews in a month’s time…hold me back! That’ll get me off World of Warcraft. Okay, probably not but at the very least I’ll be diversified. Have fun kiddoes.
Kedrix of Aldrianian
(*The Forgotten One*)