GAMING UPDATE September 2010 GAMING UPDATE // SEPTEMBER 2010 //
September UPDATE GAMING UPDATE // SEPTEMBER 2010 // September. Back to school. The first leaves falling and the evenings getting a bit colder. Beach gear has been pushed to the back of the closet and the sand on those sandals you bought in Brazil is falling off. Time to prepare for autumn. Time to scavenge for new games or hardware to get you through those rainy nights. But don’t worry, it looks like you won’t be bored as Autumn closes in.
GAMING UPDATE // SEPTEMBER 2010 // HELLO KITTY ONLINE //PINK IS BEAUTIFUL On August 24th, Europe and North America turned a little pink. Sweet and girlie Hello Kitty Online finally came to this side of the world. The massively multiplayer online game takes you to dreamy versions of some of the world’s most wonderful cities. Tokyo to Paris would take you a whole day in the real world, but with Hello Kitty and her friends everything is just an adventure away. Apart from all the in-game jetsetting, you will be farming, taking care of your pets, decorating your home and playing some mini-games along the way. Your avatar can be upgraded with all things pink and light blue from the item mall, just make sure to keep your credit card ready. If you want to share your sweetest experiences, you can. Integrated blogging, video sharing and email will push some extra sugar to your unexpecting friends. TRAILER www.hellokittyonline.com
GAMING UPDATE // SEPTEMBER 2010 // EA SPORTS MMA //AGAINST DANISH LAW EA’s new martial arts game will not be on the shelves in Denmark. Too much violence? Bad language? No, it’s all down to energy drinks. The Danish law does not allow the advertising of energy drinks. A big problem in the world of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), where almost every garment sports an energy drink logo. EA could have changed the logos, but instead they decided to stay true to the MMA experience. The Danish MMA gamers will have to go and get their fighting kicks somewhere else. ” We are adhering to laws in Denmark that restrict the use of energy drink product placement in-game, and therefore are not shipping EA Sports MMA in that region. Our game authentically recreates the sport of MMA in every facet, including energy drink in-game sponsorships on fighter shorts, gear, and in fight venues.” Case closed. No second round. TRAILER www.easports.com/mma image: www.easports.com/mma
GAMING UPDATE // SEPTEMBER 2010 // THE BIBLE ONLINE MMO //DIVINE STRATEGY And on the 8th day, God created video games. A couple of years later, he asked Abraham to guide his people to the promised land, and that is exactly your task in this massively multiplayer online game. You are one of the heroes of Genesis (the first book of the Bible), in charge of building villages, making sure your brothers and sisters have enough to eat and once in a while going to war with other tribes. Don’t expect to build immense cities; your task is to lead the tribe from Ur to Haran and finally to Canaan. Only then will you reach your divine goal. The game looks a bit like Age of Empires, but while AoE is very good for weekdays, The Bible Online will be particularly rewarding on Sundays. Sign up now for the beta version. www.bibleonlinegame.com image: www.bibleonlinegame.com
GAMING UPDATE // SEPTEMBER 2010 // GRAN TURISMO 5 //HIDE THE FLAG In-game advertising was all the rage during the 2008 American presidential elections. Barack Obama on a virtual billboard in a racing game? It only gave him extra edge on Election Day. But the Italians don’t seem to be big fans, even if it comes for free. The medieval walled city of Siena is getting its lawyers ready to make some noise in opposition to Gran Turismo. Not because the beautiful city will be the backdrop to a kart race in the game, but because of some apparently very important flags. Since 1656, every year the center of Siena turns into a horse track. 17 districts participate in what is called the Palio di Siena and you guessed it right, these districts all have their own flag. The developers at Gran Turismo thought waving flags in the wind would give some nice visuals, but the Consortium of the Protection of the Palio obviously thinks differently. We will have to wait until the European release on November 3rd to see what replaced the flags, or if they were even replaced at all. TRAILER www.gran-turismo.com image: Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
GAMING UPDATE // SEPTEMBER 2010 // IHOBO FOR IPHONE //GAMING FOR CHARITY Remember the Tamagotchi? That little keychain toy with a needy creature inside. When you forgot to feed him or play with him, bad things happened. Over a decade later and the low-resolution Tamagotchi has turned into a live action iPhone application. Depaul, a British charity organization that stands on the barricades for youth homelessness, took the Tamagotchi-idea a whole step further. Their donor base is getting older and older and they have a hard time attracting a younger crowd. Which is why they turned to the hottest gadget in town, the iPhone. With the iHobo application you can now take care of a young homeless guy who will live on your phone for three days. You better take good care of him or he might end up selling his sleeping bag to buy drugs and end up overdosing. It’s your responsibility to help him survive. At the end of the game, you will be asked to make a small donation towards Depaul UK. Having spent three days with your homeless virtual buddy, you might just do that. TRAILER www.ihobo.org image: www.itunes.apple.com
GAMING UPDATE // SEPTEMBER 2010 // PLAYBOY LAUNCHES NEW GAME LABEL //LET THERE BE… SOCIAL FEATURES No, it is not what you think. You don’t have to keep this information from your kids or from your spouse. Playboy wants to do what everyone else seems to do: get into social gaming. As the first game for the new game label, Poisonville MMO will make you fight crime and corruption. Nothing new under the sun, but we have a slight suspicion that you could run into some Playboy babe around every corner. We decided to write a little less text, and leave a bit more space for the background… Launch: Winter 2010 TRAILER www.poisonville.com
GAMING UPDATE // SEPTEMBER 2010 // MODERN WARFARE //THE PACIFIST WAY Glen McCracken. Remember that name, he is the world’s first in-game pacifist. Having finished Modern Warfare five times, he needed a new challenge. Instead of buying another game, he decided he would try to reach the maximum score in multiplayer without killing any of the other players. McCracken just runs around with a shield, trying to capture flags and getting points. He gets killed sometimes, but this great heart won’t answer violence with more violence. A great example for the gaming world. We salute you, Glen McCracken! www.modernwarfare2.infinityward.com image: www.modernwarfare2.com
GAMING UPDATE // SEPTEMBER 2010 // MICROSOFT AVATARS //THE KINECT UPDATE Life as a bobblehead will never be the same. The beloved Xbox 360 Avatars will be upgraded to their 2.0. version. That means they will be more realistic with less head and more body. The change will be made to support the launch of the Kinect motion control camera. Hand-eye coordination is an issue with the currently disproportional avatars. Wearing a big helmet could have been a solution, but Microsoft decided to go for the hard cut. Ouch, my head! www.xbox.com image: Microsoft
GAMING UPDATE // SEPTEMBER 2010 // RED DEAD REDEMPTION //HUNT THE HACKERS You just don’t mess in the ’wild wild west’. A dishonest cowboy gets the bullet or if he’s lucky, a man-to-man duel. The same rules go up for the virtual wild west, better known as the world of Red Dead Redemption. Hackers and cheaters of all sorts will be put on the most wanted list and will be hunted down like beasts. They can beg on their knees in front of the Red Dead Redemption sheriff, but the only thing that will save their dishonest *ss is deleting every hacked multiplayer game saved on their hard disk. The Sheriff’s statement: ” Starting on Tuesday, August 24th – we will be swiftly and indefinitely banishing from the world of Red Dead Redemption multiplayer all Gamertags and PSN IDs we’ve detected with hacked game saves. Such cheating is a clear violation of our code of conduct, and punishable at our sole discretion.” It’s a tough world out there. www.reddeadredemption.com image: www.rockstargames.com
GAMING UPDATE // SEPTEMBER 2010 // PLAYSTATION’S BUTTONS //WHAT DO THEY MEAN? ‘ Circle, cross, cross, triangle, circle, square’. It could be a cheat for one of your favorite PlayStation games. But where do those legendary symbols on your controller actually come from? What do they mean? Playstation designer Teiyu Goto gave the answers in an interview with Japanese magazine Famitsu. In a time when other companies used colours and letters, Playstation wanted to keep it simple. Goto came up with symbols that are easy to remember, with their own individual meaning and colour. The triangle: viewpoint Someone’s head or direction. The square: piece of paper Menus or documents The circle and X: ‘yes’ and ‘no’ Decision-making So now you know. You’ll never have a sleepless night over it again. image: wikipedia creative commons
GAMING UPDATE // SEPTEMBER 2010 // XBOX LIVE //PLATINUM RUMOURS We all like to be special. Golden card here, silver card there, VIP membership everywhere. For Xbox Live users this translates into a silver or a golden membership. The first is for free but the latter will set you back $50.00 a year (a 10 dollar price rase is expected for November). Golden membership comes with video chat, Facebook, Twitter, last.fm and Netflix just to name a couple of membership benefits. But that might not be enough for some. Michael Pachter, an industry analyst, is expecting a $100 platinum service in the future, providing members with even more advantages. The extra revenue could be greatly used in extending the Xbox Live experience and growing the business. The possibilities seem endless, our pockets bottomless. www.xbox.com/live Well, that will make me feel even more special…
GAMING UPDATE // SEPTEMBER 2010 // UK GAME DOWNLOADS //TOPPING MUSIC AND FILM UK communications regulator Ofcom presented its Communications Market Report 2010 last month. According to their survey, 39% of the respondents played online games, compared to 38% who downloaded music and film. “ This shows that the popularity of games continues to increase. It also shows that consoles are providing a door to the Internet: ten per cent of those surveyed used their PS3 or Nintendo Wii to watch programmes on the iPlayer.” said Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA, representing the games industry. These results also show the importance of digital distribution of games. Why run to the store if you can just grab that cool new game from your couch? www.ofcom.org.uk
GAMING UPDATE // SEPTEMBER 2010 // UBISOFT’S MOVIE PARODIES //AIMING FOR HOLLYWOOD? Nobody is quite sure what to think of the four movie parody posters sent out by Ubisoft last week. The only extra information given was: ”You may not know it.. but everyone can make it big in Hollywood.. with a glimpse of cruelty!”. Scary stuff, we suspect it might have something to do with the upcoming release of Bloody Good Time. Hollywood, here we come! TRAILER www.bloody-good-time.ubi.com