Archive for August, 2009
Monday, August 31st, 2009
If you look up Awesome in the dictionary, you probably won’t see Got Game as the definition; but we are working on that. Until then please enjoy our FAN EXPO special edition of the Got Game show for Sunday, August 30th, 2009. You can find it in the audio file below this sentence.
After 3 days of hard work we are proud to bring you this audio tour of the FAN EXPO. Highlights of our trip through the looking glass include:
- a Got Game only special edition of Reviews on the Run with Victor Lucas and Scott Jones
- a 1 v 1 between Zack Cooper and World’s youngest pro-gamer Lil Poison
- a break down of this year’s FAN EXPO
- we continue the saga of introducing Momin and Bryan to the world of PS3
- and much much more
Also, as Zack mentioned in his parting shot you can find his interview with Erick Boenisch, NBA 2k10′s lead features designer, in the audio file below.
Also, if you haven’t seen them yet, check out some of our favorite costumes and moments from this year’s FANEXPO in our special photo journal blog post.
Sunday, August 30th, 2009
So we at Got Game had tons of fun this weekend at The Fan Expo.We got to shake some hands and meet some of you fine folk who listen to the show, which is obviously nice. We also got to play some games that have yet to be released (we’re talking about you, God of War III, Uncharted 2, Ratchet and Clank: Crack in Time, and Forza 3).
We break down all that jazz in the show… but we wanted to share some pics of our favourite costumes from Friday and Saturday.
And here are some of our favorite FAN EXPO moments, like everytime we saw Madden10.
Bryan certainly loved seeing Steve “Master Chief” Downes at this year’s EXPO.
Here is a view that many of you didn’t get a chance to see. Man there were a lot of people there.
Here is Zack playing Lil’ Poison. I believe it took about 10 seconds for Lil’Poison to rack up 5 kills against Zack.
Friday, August 28th, 2009
Today we received a press release from Xbox Canada about a new price drop and I have to wonder if they’re doing the right thing. My problem is not that they want to drop the price of the Elite, but that they may not be dropping it enough; and to make things more confusing the Arcade version of the system is increasing in price. The release says that, “the price of an Xbox 360 Elite console will drop by $70 to $329 CDN. On top of that, the Xbox 360 Pro console will now be priced at $279 CDN, reflecting a price reduction of $20 while supplies last. In addition, for $229 CDN you can get into the game with the purchase of the Xbox 360 Arcade console.”
Now I will fully admit to the fact that I have never had the chance to run a video game corporation, so take this all with a grain of salt, but as a gamer I have to wonder when someone in the gaming industry will learn from the mistakes of the past.
We can go back further if you want, but I think my point can be proven by starting my example in the 3rd console generation with the NES. After the North American video game industry crashed in 1983, Nintendo put the NES onto the market and pretty much dominated the industry over night. They held that dominance until the 5th generation when Nintendo refused to follow the rest of the industry as companies switched from the old cartridges to using the newer compact discs. By the start of the 6th generation most 3rd party developers had flocked to Sony’s side because those discs could hold more information and were far cheaper to produce. During the 6th generation Nintendo finally released a console that used compact discs, the GameCube, but by that point they had lost most of their 3rd party support to the well entrenched Sony corporation. As of today the Playstation 2 had sold over 140 million consoles, it can still be found in big box stores today, and Sony promised around 100 new games will be released for it in roughly the next year or so. The GameCube was only able to sell 22 million units during its lifespan, and support for it was pulled a few years ago.
Sony had dominance over the industry for almost a decade. Then the 7th (and current) generation of consoles were released. Microsoft started it off by releasing a powerful, somewhat fragile, and relatively cheaper Xbox360. A few years later Nintendo would release the Wii. It received no respect from the hardcore gaming crowd, but found its place by completely capturing the casual gaming market. However, when it was Sony’s chance to launch the PlayStation 3, they refused to follow the rest of the industry. Sony released their black monoliths at a price between $500 and $600 and said, “(that they want) consumers to think to themselves ‘I will work more hours to buy one’. We want people to feel that they want it, irrespective of anything else“; so consumers collectively did their best Rorschach impressions and whispered back “no.” Thus, Sony has lost its dominance over the industry in recent years.
In the present, the Wii has put up a good fight, but recently I would say that the 360 is winning this generation of the console war. But how will Microsoft do in the future now that they refuse to follow the rest of the industry? While the competition of previous generations were decided by compact discs and 3rd party developers, it looks like this generation may be decided by price. Which makes their choice of adding Wi-Fi and selling the Elite for $329 a strange one to me. I know that $30 is not a huge amount of money, but being the cheapest will automatically earn you serious consideration in any situation; and that consideration could cost Microsoft more than a few sales.
And speaking of being cheapest, the cheapest Xbox360 on the market (the Xbox360 Arcade) is getting an increased price tag. A console that you can still find in places like Future Shop and EB Games for $200 is now going to cost $229 CDN . Now there was nothing in the press release we got, but by doing a little research I can say that it looks like the main difference between the old $200 version and the new expensive one is that the $229 version of the Xbox360 Arcade will come with HDMI outputs for HD gaming, a wireless controller will replace the old wired one that use to come with the system, and the system will now have 512 MB of memory instead of the 256 MB that the older $200 version had.
In the end, the players of the console wars have finally made their moves. Sony thinks the console war can be won with a price cut. Microsoft is betting on the Wireless Networks across the country. Which choice is better? Only time can truly answer that question, but as we wait we do have a few things to ponder. The first is that Microsoft has managed to beat Sony in sales for the past 3 years without bundling a Wi-Fi adapters to their system; also, until now Wi-Fi was never been more than a footnote in Sony’s promotional material (instead they focused on improving their library and the capabilities of Blue-Ray players).
So is this the best future for the 360? Or has Microsoft come so close only to land so far away from their goal of winning this generation of the console wars?
Monday, August 24th, 2009
This would have been prime content for this week’s show… or next week’s for that matter… but by then, it would be out-dated, and this Sunday we’re going to be all Fan Expo all the time.
The NBA 2K10 Draft Combine is available for download on XBox Live on Wednesday… and on the Playstation Network the following Thursday (Sept. 3).
If you’re a basketball fan, and a fan of basketball gaming, you don’t need to be convinced that the 2K series has dominated the court for the last few years.
This year Live looks to have stepped it up… but 2K gets the first step, satisfying your summer hunger with this uber-deep player creation/player-importing mini-game.
This is an interview I did with Erick Boenisch, the game’s lead features designer:
…and here is what you can expect it all to look like.
NBA 2K10 comes out October 6th
Monday, August 24th, 2009
How’s it going my fellow gamers?
This week it is my pleasure to introduce the dark knight of the video game radio world; the Got Game podcast for Sunday, August 28th, 2009 (which you can find right below this sentence).
This week we are trying and to recover from the jaw dropping news that Sony announced this past week. That’s right I am talking about the new PS3 “Slim” and it’s price drop; and to bring us up to speed, Matt Levitan from Sony Canada, was nice enough to drop by and give us all the juicy details about this new 120 gig model, and some other big Sony news.
And because a console is nothing without great games to play it on, Eidos’ own Mike Oldman joined us to talk about the upcoming blockbuster Batman: Arkham Asylum.
Also, as Microsoft’s Summer of Arcade comes to an end, we review Shadow Complex for your Xbox360…
And NFL 2010 for your iPhone. It is the only licensed football game to ever legally get past EA’s stranglehold on the NFL license.
And considering we’ve talked about football games so much in these past weeks, I thought this would be an interesting article to share with you. If you haven’t seen this interview yet, the L.A. Times interviewed John Madden about Madden 10, and his thoughts regarding the EA Football curse that bares his name.
Tuesday, August 18th, 2009
This is a day that we’ve known would be coming for a while, and even with all the evidence of its existance, it’s hard to believe that this day is really here. Yes, today is the day that Sony Computer Entertainment unveiled their new 120GB PS3 slim.
A lot has been changed for this new model. The black shiney body from the old PS3 has been replaced by a charcoal black finish that barely shines at all. The Slim’s demensions have been reduced. Sony said in their press release that, “(the Slim) is approximately two-thirds smallers than the original”; with the specific dimensions being 290 × 65 × 290 mm (width × height × length). A few internal changes have also been made, and by a few I mean that they’ve completely redesigned the guts of this machine, and in the process a lot of extra features have been changed. The Install Other Operating System feature has been removed completely, so there is now no way to install Lynx or any other operating system on this machine. Also, a BRAVIA® Sync™ feature was added. This allows BRAVIA TV owners to directly operate the PS3′s Xross Media Bar using their TV remotes. And in the press release we recieved today Sony says, “(that they) will modify the PS3 brand name from “PLAYSTATION 3” to “PlayStation 3”, and introduce a new logo, which is engraved on the surface of the new PS3 system.”
Here is that logo.
This smaller system also comes with that price cut we’ve been expecting for a while. This new slimmer system is going to hit stores on September 1st of this year for the lower price of $299 Canadian. On top of that Sony has also decided to cut the price of current PS3 TODAY! If you can’t wait for the slim, then you can grab the 80GB version of the PS3 that is currently on the market for $299 Canadian, and the 160GB model is now priced at $399 Canadian.
And don’t worry, because this new PS3 Slim will play all the Blue-Ray movies that you want. This new system also comes with:
- a single dual shock controller
- the ability to read Blue Ray movies, DVDs and CDs
- a power cord
- a USB cable
- audio video cables
- 2 USB slots
- actual physical power and eject buttons instead of the old touch sensitive ones on the old PS3s
And sold seperately for roughly $24 dollars (press release only listed this price in US dollars) will be a new “Vertical Stand” specifically made for the Slim.
So there you have it. A smaller price for a smaller system, but the big question that still needs to be answered is, will this new package be enough to attract the hordes of games that Sony wants? To be honest, signs point to yes; so how about it? Is this new PS3 enough reason for you to grab one?
Tuesday, August 18th, 2009
This week’s show blog is a little late, and I am sorry about that. The problems that were keeping us from posting it have been fixed, so here is the Got Game Podcast for Sunday, August 16th, 2009.
This week we kept it simple and cold… ice cold that is. We strapped on our virtual skates and took indepth lookings at NHL2K10.
And EA’s NHL 10.
After that we tossed the pig skin around as Ken Rodney reviewed MADDEN 10.
And I’ll tell you if the newest vido game based on a movie, based on a toyline from the 80′s is a G.I. Joe, or a G.I. No.
All that and more on this week’s Got Game!
Thursday, August 13th, 2009
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – August 13, 2009 – The Street Fighter™ II global legacy continues! ZEN Studios, the definitive leader in arcade-style pinball videogames in partnership with Capcom®, announced today that the hard hitting ZEN Pinball Street Fighter II Tribute table is confirmed to be released on August 20, 2009 as the first expansion table for ZEN Pinball, and will be available for PlayStation®Network.
“This is our first expansion table for ZEN Pinball and we couldn’t be happier to bring this amazing franchise of Capcom’s over to PSN,” said Zsolt Kigyossy, managing director of ZEN Studios. “The Street Fighter II Tribute table for Pinball FX was one of the most popular XBLA downloads of all time, and with new gameplay features and enhancements we’re confident that we’ll achieve similar if not more success for ZEN Pinball.”
Loaded with the iconic characters that revolutionized the fighting genre, “Street Fighter II” comes alive in ZEN Pinball. With this new table, players will experience the legendary Street Fighter™ franchise combined with the arcade thrills of traditional pinball employing cutting-edge visuals, true-to-life ball and table physics and new innovative features not found in any other pinball game.
ZEN Pinball Street Fighter II Tribute Table Features:
Enter the World Warrior Championship fighting as Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, and Guile and battle against Sagat, Evil Ryu, Vega, and Balrog, then win the final round of the championship against M. Bison!
Discover combo shots, animated punches, kicks and special moves as you fight against opponents using ramps and a variety of orbit shot
Multiple in-game challenges featuring objects, art and memorable items from Street Fighter™ II
Table soundtrack, sound effects and voices from the original Street Fighter II
Wednesday, August 12th, 2009
Last night, while the majority of us were sleeping, Microsoft finally released part of the update that they’ve been chatting about since E3; and to be honest I am less than impressed by it. I will give them credit for putting in effort, but just like with the G.I. Joe video game I have to ask the question, ’what’s the point?”
And just like that game, the point is obviously to make money. Which is something that Microsoft will do hand over fist with their new Avatar Marketplace. Now, if you are having problems imaging what an Avatar Marketplace would look like, then imagine a virtual shopping mall for your little digital-selves. Virtual clothing stores full of brands like Adidas, Quiksilver, Roxy, and tokidoki are there to serve you; or if you’re like me, you can shop for clothing by style. To kick off the launch of the Avatar Marketplace, Microsoft is pimping full wardrobes inspired by the Steampunk and Recessionista styles.
You can also pick up clothing and props (like radio control cars or light-sabers for your Avatar) based on:
- BioShock 2
- Halo 3
- Halo: ODST
- Gears of War 2
- Fable II
- The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition
- Splinter Cell Conviction
- Star Wars Clone The Wars: Republic Heroes
For around 400 Microsoft points you can even dress your avatars up as a supporting character from your favorite games. Some examples of this are below; on the left is a female COG from Gears of War, and on the right is an male ODST from Halo.
And if 400 Microsoft points is too steep of a price for virtual clothing, then you can pick up virtual shirts, shorts and hats (branded with makers from your favorite video games) for a lot less.
However, clothing from games are not the only things you can now buy in the new Marketplace. For the first time ever, full Xbox360 games are available for download. As of today, Canadian can buy and download:
- Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed – released November 14, 2007
- LucasArts’ LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga – released November 6, 2007
- Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six Vegas – released November 12, 2006
- 2K Games’ BioShock – released August 21, 200
- Microsoft’s Mass Effect – released November 20, 2007
- Namco’s Ridge Racer 6 – released November 17, 2005
- EA’s Burnout Paradise – released January 22, 2008
- Disney’s Meet The Robinsons – released March 27, 2007
- Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis – released May 23, 2006
- Activision’s Call of Duty® 2 – released November 22, 2005
- THQ’s MX vs. ATV Untamed – released December 17, 2007
- SEGA’s SONIC THE HEDGEHOG – released November 14, 2006
- Microsoft’s Viva Piñata 2: Trouble in Paradise – released September 2, 2008
- EA’s Need for Speed Carbon – released October 31, 2006
- Atari’s TEST DRIVE: UNLIMITED – released September 5, 2006
- EA’s Fight Night Round 3 – released February 20, 2006
- EA’s Need for Speed: Most Wanted – released November 11, 2005
- Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion – released March 20, 2006
- 2K’s Prey – released July 11, 2006
- Microsoft’s Viva Piñata – released November 9, 2006
Note: The prices of these games range from $20 – $30 a piece, and all release dates listed are the original North American release dates of the Xbox360 version of the game.
Another new feature of this update is that the movie section of Xbox Live has a little virtual movie theater for your avatars to sit and watch films in. The avatars will get the first row and you get the second. The hook of the theater is that your avatars can interact in it in the same way they would in something like 1 vs 100 Live. Now their emotional range may be as small as their tiny digital hearts, but they can toss popcorn at the screen; and we all have fond memories of doing that in our youth.
On the other hand, now that I’ve grown up, and as Ken Rodney pointed out on last week’s show now that I “am dead inside”; I have to wonder if putting a bunch of avatars in front of a film is a good idea? This is mostly because I would want to watch that film; and having people moving around or toss popcorn at a screen is just as annoying now as it was last Monday while people were walking up and down the theater isles during the viewing of G.I. Joe that I went to.
The final new feature is organization, and in my opinion it’s the most useful thing in this update. You can now sort your friends list by Gamertag, status and activity; making it easier to find the friends you want at the time you want. There are also new options for viewing your Achievements and progress, improved matchmaking capabilities, and user ratings were also added. User ratings allow anyone to award content on XBL with a score out of 5. That rating is then added to a communal score to create user generated content reviews. This in theory can make it easier to find the cooler things on XBL that can sometimes get lost among the ocean of content.
Oh and in case you’re wondering, Microsoft hasn’t forgotten about adding Last.fm, facebook, and twitter to your Xbox360. Those should come in the next update scheduled for sometime later this fall, and according to Craig Flanagan of Xbox Canada (during our June 7th Show/E3 wrap up show) we Canadians should be able to download full TV shows around the same time.
In the end, I am not going to give this a rating because this is not the finished product. This is simply the first phase of a long update process that will continue in the fall. However, I am obviously not that impressed with what I have seen so far. I feel no demand for the Games on Demand. The movie theater is just a bad idea in my mind. The organization is a nice addition, but I have never found it that hard to find stuff on XBL before. And finally the Avatar Marketplace is just there to make Microsoft more money, but I can’t fault them for that one. If they can provide digital clothing for the avatars, and people are willing to pay money for it, then who am I to boo that? Heck, I predict that the Avatar Marketplace will see the heaviest traffic of any feature in this update.
But what about you guys? How do you like these new changes?