Tag Archive | microsoft

Word On The Street: A Banjo-Kazooie/Banjo-Tooie spiritual successor drumming up support

Everybody, my day has come. Many a project have come by and I’ve praised its potential through the roof, but nothing quite like this. Banjo-Kazooie could quite well be one of my favorite games of all time. Its up there with Ocarina of Time and Half-Life as one of the games I’ve replayed the most. So let me just say that when talk of a spiritual successor to Banjo-Tooie, the 2nd game in the seminal duo of N64 classics, may be looking for some support, I’m right there. I’m all over that like a Jinjo on Mumbo’s Mountain.

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Silly gamers, Fable: The Journey is “core”

Its core.

Why? Well…it just is.

Hey I don’t question when marketing teams tell me what something is. Usually. Alright maybe I do.

Fable: The Journey is one of those games nobody wants to talk about. I think in a weird way many of us want to pretend like Fable is still a thing. But we probably need to realize at this point that while it is a thing, its not the thing we want it to be. Its something else. Fable: The Journey is nothing more than an on-rails shooter with magic powers and a Kinect interface. Yet the marketing team at Microsoft really wants us to believe that its something much more than that. That its core. Core right down to its core. So core you couldn’t believe its core.

But…its not.

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How to tell when a video game company knows absolutely nothing about video games

Not every idea is a good one. Furbies, the Resident Evil movie series, and Snooki are all prime examples of this. Unfortunately, the video game industry is just as susceptible to terrible ideas as everything else; I mean, look at Superman 64. What the hell was that? 

This past Tuesday was the release of new game NBA Baller Beats from Majesco Games; a Kinect exclusive that is half music game, half sports game, and one giant disaster waiting to happen. The basic concept of the game is to dribble a basketball (bundled with the game) to the beat of various songs, which I assume is supposed to help with control of the ball as well as…keeping time to music, I suspect.

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Back to video! Janessa and Ryan discuss this year’s E3

Feels like its been forever since I’ve clicked that “Upload Video” button on youtube, but today we return to form.  Janessa was in Portland over the weekend, so we got together to put on a short webcam discussion about all of our thoughts on E3.  I actually thought it went really well and I’m hoping we can figure out how to do it more in the future.

Today’s vlog is all about our impressions of the Big Three at E3 as well as what we thought were the best and worst things on the show floor.

What the heck is the point of these E3 press conferences anyway?

Do all good things have to come to a crash and burn ending?  At one time I used to be extremely excited for all of the big publisher press conferences at E3.  They were easy to stream and digest, one could extract quite a few nuggets of greatness from them and in a way they gave E3 a very official air, but this year proved that the format has become extremely stale.

Sure, part of the problem might be playing to the lowest common denominator, a great deal of the games shown were gritty first-person shooters, but I have a hard time knocking on that as I enjoy a lot of those games.  A lot of the press doesn’t though (apparently), so I can understand why many are frustrated with this year’s big conferences.

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Deadlight: If the prince met a horde of zombies

What’s in a name anyway?  I’m not really sure, but all I know is that when I heard a passive mention of the name “Deadlight” from E3 this week, I looked it up and was immediately taken in by a game that looks like it “gets it” when it comes to the fine line between innovation while still feeling familiar.

As far as I can tell from demo videos, Deadlight is a zombie apocalypse game (whoa now everybody, don’t leave just yet!) on a 2D, Prince of Persia-inspired space.  The game looks very devoid of guns and ammunition and it looks like you will need to use your wits and the environment around you to survive.

The game also doesn’t look totally unlike another Metroidvania rip that I absolutely loved: Shadow Complex.  In fact the engine looks like a direct port, so I was a little surprised to hear the game wasn’t from Epic Games and Chair, but from good old Microsoft Game Studios with a new developer called Tequila Works.  Gameplay itself looks like it is much more akin to the classic Prince of Persia style with lots of acrobatic puzzlers.

Right now I’m just straight-up impressed with what I see and I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the sleeper-hit of the summer.  The game is rumored to be featured on Microsoft’s annual Xbox Live Summer of Arcade.  Hit the jump for some video footage!

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Why this year’s E3 is so important

There is a hush amongst the crowds right now.  A quiet before the storm.  Something is coming next week, but we don’t know what it is.  This is the nail-biting feeling that I have and I’m sure many others in the community have.  E3 is now just around the corner and as is the case with every year, there will be many big reveals, many surprises and a lot of big marketing money thrown around.

But this year is a little different.  Its clear that the industry is at an impasse and the reveals at this year’s E3 will probably be very telling about where things go in gaming for the rest of this decade.  Even worse, it could be another year to parlay the important decisions and leave things to chance.  So what’s going on behind the scenes?  Why is this year’s E3 so important?

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Infamous game maker Peter Molyneux leaves Microsoft and Lionhead Studios

The man of many wild promises and many more unfulfilled ones has decided to leave Microsoft and Lionhead, the studio he co-founded back in 1997.  Its probably not the last we’ve seen of the man, who is moving on to a new “independent venture”.  He leaves behind a legacy of bombastic statements and some pretty great games.

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Valve may be attempting to make their own console

There is no universal law that there must be only a few console manufactures, that we must always have a Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft console.  Things change, drastically.  It used to be Nintendo, SEGA and Sony and long before that it was Coleco and Atari.  Perhaps we’re long overdue for a new contender in the market.

It looks like that’s where Valve may step in.

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Listen up gaming industry: We still need controllers

The writing does appear to be on the wall at this point.  The next wave of consoles is on its way and we will probably see what they all look like this year.  The Wii-U has already been unveiled.  Its concept is the controller.  But I still fear for where the industry is trying to take us.  Controllers, as we’ve always known them, the two-handed pieces of hardware with an array of inputs meant for ease of use and precision are still desperately needed for the next generations of games, but the industry would like to get rid of them.