Monday, June 16, 2008

Incredible where?

What's Incredible about this?

The world is endanger, we're all going to die! Hulk will save us! Hulk needs to get mad to become strong! What does Hulk do? How about playing his own game. Guh, Where to start. Ok right, it's a bad game.

Think GTA3 (not 4, but old school liberty city 3) without the fun or unique missions. Ever thing is the same. Hulk smash, Hulk breaks building, Hulk kills this, Hulk does it again. There are a few unique moments, a smashing mini game or a time trial like event, but for the most part, you've seen this done better in so many other games. Right out past the intro level, you're bored with the game.While you do get the feel of what it is like to be a overpowered monster.

Trees and cars smash as you run past them. The ground quakes and shudders, it gets old very quick after seeing the exact same animation for the 10th time.The sound doesn't add anything the voice actors are terrible and very soft. The Hulk smashing noises feel like they came from a N64 title.

Snooze fest and a waste of my 5.1 system.But in the end, even the hardcore Hulk fans should simply boot up there own Xbox and play Ultimate Destruction.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Project time!

Alright boys and girls and those somewhere inbetween. As promissed, we're not dead.

As many know, this is a furry 'themed' gaming blog. So what I'm going to try to do now is two things.

One, a fellow aproached me, asked if he could contribute content here. Of course! Have you seen how little I have done already? I'm not even sure anyone is reading -this-.

So he's gonna help us out a bit

Second? I'm doing a sort of gamers introspective on Second Life. Second life is a visual MUD. A world where furries are seeming to thrive and gain exposure. As a gamer and a furry, I'll take my view and offer some introspective on it all.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Fighting a Giant: Take-Two’s defense of EA.

Fighting a Giant: Take-Two’s defense of EA.

"We, in many ways, represent a white knight." - EA Chief Exec. John Riccitiello

Simple analogy of medieval times or a hinting business message?

One has the most sold series in the US under its wing; the other is debatably the late 90's Microsoft, of the Gaming world, buying companies up left and right. Now unless you've been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you know damn well that EA, Electronic Arts has been trying to buy fame Grand Thief Auto company Take-Two Entertainment. The game that they are playing has only one life and no continues. It is tactical game of survival.

While EA has been causing up a storm of attention, attempting to put pressure on TT's Shareholders to sue. They've also attempted to bought flat buyout TT's stock with a cool 2 billion Dollar deal. Again Take-Two is saying /no. They've made it clear they do not want to be bought out at the current time, flatly denying and not even bothering to come to the bargaining table. They refuse to even talk about the incident until that little ace in the sleeve mega hit known as Grand Theft Auto 4 is released later this month.

Why? Because GTA4 is one of the best selling and most well known series. It's over taken Mario as the title of the 21st century. It broke the mold in 2001 when it smashed all expectations with its free form sandbox action genre. It has dwarfed even the most lofty expectations and has spawned more clones then Star Wars. Unlike EA's Madden series, ever successful new title gets significantly better and better. GTA: San Andreas is commonly called one of the best games on the PlayStation 2, arguable the best console system to date. It is no wonder why EA wants this crown jewel of an IP. So EA sets forth the hordes, they've launched a massive campaign to lure TT's shareholders. There latest offering at $26 per share to any and all shareholders. Since then TT's stock has been trading higher and higher and currently resides at around that price level on the open market.

This isn't the first time EA has tried to take over a major game company just before a triple A title comes out. Cue back to Q4 2007 when Mass Effect was set to hit the market. In the coming weeks to the release, Bioware was snatched up by EA. The result? The Market loved it. EA was trading at a then 52-week high of $61.28.

Take-two is not without its cheat codes to dodge EA’s attacks. As under any hostile attack, they have there own arsenal of defenses, some we're already seeing.

The first has already been put into place. A massive Golden Parachute program in the event that they are stolen up by EA and fired as a result. That package for once doesn't just apply to the brass at the top. According to Reuters, the deal is as defined as "will give executives up to 1.5 times their salary and bonus for up to 18 months if they are fired without cause within a year of a change in control. Non-executive employees will receive up to six months' in salary, it said."

This makes any massive payout done by EA just that much more painful. A company that wants to be bought out doesn't do this so directly. It is also playing the waiting game. Passively delaying and stalling for as long as it can til GTA4 comes out. The game is expected to dwarf Halo 3's monster of a launch, and some experts are worried it will once again cut into the movie industry's weekend box off hits. Given some of the expectations of this game, TT could reasonable buy back enough of its own shares to take it self off the market from anything hostile from EA.

So what else can TT do? A passive little defense of themselves becoming hunters. Possibly taking up the prowl to snag new companies on there own? Possible suggestions include Telltale Games, famed creator of the hit Sam and Max content. The company has recently looked to expand into the Wii market and is a prime choice if TT can muster the capital. Another could be S2 games. The makers of the Savage series who are enjoying a moderate success with the Q1 release of there second game, Savage 2. Both companies added to TT would not only increase its potential market worth through goodwill and new IP benefits, but it would fall hundreds of new employees under the above Golden Parachute. Potentially sending EA's costs for TT in a spiral that might put it beyond reach.

Lastly, and most importantly, Take-Two could do the most devastating act by the most unconventional means. It could go to the gamers. Gamers in themselves are not big fans of company EA. Sure they'll buy EA’s games, because they buy games because they are enjoyable, generally not because they are made by a certain developer. But the mass view has become that EA is the big dog. They are Yankees, they are the USSR Hockey team, they are the New England Patriots. It becomes harder and harder to actively root for the big guy taking advantage of the little guy.

EA has also 'stuck it' to the gamers so many little times, it's not even funny. EA has been accused of putting out a less then quality product time and time again with there fames series, most notably the pro-Sports market in which that they have a licensed exclusivity monopoly upon several pro markets (which has as a result devastated Take-Two's sports division above anyone else.)

They've recently pissed off the community by now asking for micro transactions for things that were once free. EA's football hit Madden for example, has been charging for little extras like tutorial videos. EA’s Tiger Woods' golf game and Need for Speed Carbon have been charging money simply to allow unlockable content. What happened to cheat codes that open the entire game up? Finally, and perhaps most threateningly, to buying up companies like Bioware and Pandemic, worrying fans about the outcome of there beloved series.

These don't sit well with gamers, and they don't want to see this happen to Take-Two. They don't want GTA to become a yearly rehash of the same game over and over again.

So what is Take-Two could respond by going to the fans, those who buy the games and create the news. To level with their fan base and say they don't want to be taken over. To create a viral like effect that creates buzz and so much attention that EA is forced to simply withdraw. EA has been known to react strongly to fan base pressure before, as seen with the most recent move with Battlefield: Bad Company. Originally planned to have buyable extra weapons as buyable downloadable content and once again with EA considering downloadable alternative jerseys for its sports series. An outcry like protest struck through the online gaming community, calls to boycott and overall displeasure at EA's consideration. What happened next was EA quickly reversed their policy and offered the weapons as unlockables and the jerseys for free. With enough attention and enough potential push, EA might quickly realize that buying Take-Two would result in a significant backlash that might cost EA far more then the monetary cost. While actual expectations are impossible to predict, if EA gets into a messy, bloody hostile takeover with Take-Two, they might come out in the end owning the IP, but will be bitten hard by the resulting lost from the fans. Rule of thumb, in any entertainment industry, you don't bite the hand that feeds you.

We live in strange times when in the industry of gaming when the plot line of the year won’t be about an underwater dystopia or a ancient ruin being plundered, but of real world politics and big business.



Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Second Life's Great Depression?

It might be a second life, but our first life is causing it problems. Real world banks seem to be offering their own forms of monetary policy in the virtual world, and are then defaulting upon it. This along with unrealistic interest return rates is destabilizing the Second Life's economy. The Fed, I mean, Linden Lab to the rescue! Demanding any and all Second Life banks get government approval before conducting operations.

Not to start a panic, but if I were finding my bank was 'unregulated' to a near useless state. I'd demand my money out of there. The bank, having thousands of customers all do this at once is what happened in the great depression. Too many withdrawals, not enough money and the market crashes.

To make matters worse, the regulations are expected to start in less then a week, on the 21st. Making getting any sort of accreditation in such little time laughable.

Some banks have already folded, popular bank Ginko Financial folded with Second Life's recent ban on gambling. They responded by holding accounts and transferring from a bank, to a bond like fund for its customers traded on the world exchange.

With Linden Labs being firm to not 'bail' any these banks out, it shall be interesting to see what the fall out shall be, or if a free market alternative with some regulation arises.

It is an interesting case, showing what happens when MMO's start hitting the real world.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Rumor update. Sam and Max to Wii!

It has been mentioned a few times, and at this point, This is pretty much a slam dunk.

Telltale Games, the makers of Sam and Max, have been rumored to be hunting for an experienced Wii developer. Of course, what game could this be? Everyone's favorite Rabbit and Dog team?

The rumor has been around the gaming community for months now, and it looks a little clearer now due to a translation slip.

"“One of the next projects: Sam & Max. The Adventure of the year, as chosen by the readers of the German ‘PC Games’ (2/2008 issue), Sam & Max will soon be hunting criminals on the Nintendo Wii.”"

A season one port? I'd rate it as likely now. Given the point and click like properties of the Wii already, this is a slam dunk. Hopefully we'll be getting some updates and not just a direct port. I can only imagine what the S&M comedy team will do with 'Wii' jokes.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Review: Brutal: Paws of Fury

It was 1994, and the world was changing. We saw an end to Nirvana, and a start to Greenday. There was OJ and his Bronco, and the King of the theaters was a mighty animated Lion,

There was also a little known fighter game by the title of Brutal: Paws of Fury. The game was released to the Sega Genesis, and then soon after on the Super Nintendo system. It also saw ports to the Sega-CD as well as a semi sequel to Sega’s 32x. It featured a flurry of anthropomorphic animals from your mighty lion to your little rat, each with his or her own special abilities and traits. We have a lion that summons an amp and strums on a guitar on it to stun his foe, to large body but slow bear that has a belly dash attack.

We also have bunny, a cheetah, a coyote, and a vixen rounding out the crew.

The game featured your typical fighter plot; this grand martial arts tournament where fighters gathered to prove who the best is, stop me if you’ve heard this before. But no worries, even if you don’t get the plot, there is really no mention of it between fights to add to the game play.

And there is the biggest problem, the game play. The fighting consists of a light-medium-heavy punch kick system (for the SNES controller at least) The game it self is flawed. Balance between fighters is lacking with some characters being able to endlessly attack and dominate the fight, while others fall into the why bother category. All fighting games have this quality to a point, but it makes it so that even a small cast of characters feels even smaller. The difficulty scaling is terrible. Even on the lowest settings, after the third or forth fight, the game seems to become impossible.

The controls are jerky at best. Trying to pull off one of the quarter rotation attacks feels like a chance at best. Meanwhile, the computer, seems to be able to endlessly attack in a flurry of these, to the point where a corner combo can ruin you in seconds. Even simple fighting concepts such as blocking feel like a risk when you are under a barrage of attacks.

If anything, the game does have few high points in areas that are easily overlooked. The sound for it’s time, admittedly outdated, fits the mood and with a eastern feel to the game. It is simple, and doesn’t get on your nerves.

Artistically, the game is impressive for its time. Lush peaks and detailed beaches stretch wonderfully produced background, complete with lavish details that subtly add to the game. Waterfalls spring blue fluid down to a large lake green foliage grows in the foreground accurately obstruct the fighters from view. A dark storm over head darkens the fighter’s pallet, but they suddenly light up as lightning strikes in the distance. Even in current day fighting games rarely have backgrounds that look this good.

While static backgrounds are one thing, the animated characters themselves, have issues. Some hardly resemble the animal in which they represent, and some look like they were animated with a crayon. The rat, for example, looks like a reject from the blueman group. Heck take a look for your self.

Modern examples of furry art huh? Yeah right. Keep trying. Even as a ‘furry’ game, this hardly makes up for the lackluster combat and failure to match up to rival fighters of the day such as Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat. In the end, even if you can pick up this bargain basement title at your local EB for a few bucks, stay away. I can’t even recommend this game to the newest

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Fast & The Furriest

file this under 'Are you kidding me'

I've heard of games having a furry flare to them, but this might take the cake and then some.

Rare currently is annoucing that they shall be making an XBLA Camera mini game. Similar to the Eye-toy series of the PS2, the game is expected to run upon the player's movements. Mini-games such as running, hurdles, and looking like an utter idiot shall translate to our own screen avatar doing the responding actions, and scoring you points.

So what makes this game 'furry' Well.. I'll let xbox 360 explain

Each player will be able choose a character like Conker or Banjo which will actually be a "suit" (think mascot suits). Players will then be able to scan their face using the Vision camera to skin the face opening of the character suit.

Guh.... say What? So it's effective virtual fursuiting without the hours of glue and sewing?

We'll keep you posted on this one.