Tag: News

Navigating streets of NYC easier when they resemble “Halo”

Jack Schulze and Matt Webb's Here and There mapWho could have imagined that the next evolution or revolution in maps would have been influenced by videogames?

We could, actually.

Of course, ours involved three-dimensional, cybernetic, holographic overlays ala Dead Space or Grand Theft Auto.

Jack Schulze and Matt Webb, creators of the "Here and There" map, were indeed influenced by games—even some not so obvious ones—but games were just one of many influences. (This is probably a good thing given how limited most in-game maps actually are.)

So far it is simply available in poster form, but a 3D-perspective melded with a top down view would seem to have profound applications outside of gaming. Not that gaming wouldn't see a benefit. Gaming worlds are getting bigger and navigating them can be as daunting as navigating the streets of Manhattan for some of us. A "Here and There"-influenced map would be a godsend.

Duke Nukem Never?

Duke Nukem Forever Screenshot

Over one decade after announcing Duke Nukem Forever, 3D Realms has to close its doors taking the industry's most famous piece of vaporware with it.

In a prepared statement, Take-Two VP of communications Alan Lewis said:

"We can confirm that our relationship with 3D Realms for Duke Nukem Forever was a publishing arrangement, which did not include ongoing funds for development of the title. In addition, Take-Two continues to retain the publishing rights to Duke Nukem Forever."

A representative for Deep Silver and Apogee Software said they "are not affected by the situation at 3D Realms. Development on the Duke Nukem Trilogy is continuing as planned."

Duke Nukem Forever was not the only project that 3D Realms had worked on, but it was probably the one that the developer was most known for.

Given these tough economic times, the performance of titles like Prey and ongoing development costs, 3D Realms finally had to lay off its entire staff.

The Witcher becomes one of the top selling PC games of all time

The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf Screenshot

This week, Polish developer CDProjekt announced, boastfully, that their 2007 role-playing fantasy game The Witcher had cracked the top 100 of the all-time best-selling PC games, having sold around 1.2 million copies. A reworked version of the game, called The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf, is on its way to consoles this Fall as well.

I had actually intended to do a review for The Witcher long ago when I first bought the game shortly after its release in October of '07. Unfortunately, after spending many, many hours with the game, I re-installed my operating system and accidentally deleted all my save games. I shelved the game for a long time, as it's tough to find the motivation to re-start such a deep and complex game, but CDProjekt's release of the "Enhanced Edition" content—which was a free download for all owners and is now the de facto version of the game—provided a nice incentive to do just that. But unfortunately, by that time I was quite backlogged with numerous other totally new games that I wanted to play. I've plowed through most of that now, and have been re-playing The Witcher with the new enhanced content. I may still do a comprehensive review one of these days, but for now this humble little blog will have to suffice.

The Horror Geek presents: Saw videogame rises from the grave

billy-saw

Variety is reporting that the video game version of the Saw films isn’t as dead as we thought it was.

Brash Entertainment had been originally handling Jigsaw’s first foray into the digital universe when the company abruptly closed up shop a few months back. The game appeared all but dead at that point, with the rights winding up in Lionsgate’s hands. Things have now changed though, with Lionsgate teaming up with Konami to resurrect the title. The game is still slated for a fall release (keeping it in line to appear around the same time as the sixth film in the franchise).

I wasn’t particularly interested in a Saw game prior to this point (it seems like its ripe with the potential to suck balls), but Konami stepping in gives me a slightly more positive outlook. Konami has a decent track record with horror games (they’re the guys behind Silent Hill and Castlevania) and maybe they can bring some interesting elements to the project. My area of concern, though, remains the fact that the release date is still this fall–meaning they’re probably taking what Brash had already created and just finishing the project as opposed to building a game from the ground up.

I guess we’ll all find out if the game is worth playing before the end of 2009.

Video: Final Fantasy XIII delayed until next year, new game trailer released in its place

When will Final Fantasy XIII ever be released?

It's not a good sign when a 2008 release date, slips to 2009 and now 2010. Making things worse is the exclusivity deal Square-Enix struck with Microsoft—FFXIII would be released simultaneously on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 outside of Japan—Square-Enix has announced that development wouldn't even begin on the 360 version until the PS3 version was finished. How much does that add to development time?

2010 sounds optimistic.

Video: Mirror’s Edge modded to play in third-person perspective

Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should. Someone or someones decided he or she or they didn't like playing Mirror's Edge in the first-person and hacked the game (PC version) so that it could be played from an over-the-shoulder viewpoint. That's all well and good as long additional steps were taken to fix any side-effects of the switch. But none were. Instead, we see a character model that was never made to be seen during normal gameplay instances and as a result looks pretty laughable.

1UP.com sold, EGM Magazine closes, staff laid off

What a way to start the new year. EGM Magazine closes, 1UP Network bought by UGO.com

1UP.com was a very popular gaming website, full of veteran and new gaming journalists and home to my favorite audio podcasts and video podcasts. It was one of the few online gaming sites that managed to flourish after the dot com debacle of the 1990s—some will remember that it was born from much of the remains of Gamers.com. It was under the umbrella of magazine publisher Ziff-Davis, a publisher that at one time published almost every magazine that I bothered to read.

But 1UP.com wasn't making money. Or least it wasn't making the kind of money that Ziff-Davis needed to keep the network and all of its sister websites up and running. Rumors had been swirling for years that Ziff-Davis was in financial trouble, but nothing ever came of them. In fact, many just believed it was the print magazines that would take the fall. And they did, but as we now know, the online outlets would not be spared.

Word dropped yesterday, but the aftershocks are still resonating in game journalism circles. And it is interesting to watch because though from competing outlets, many of the 1UP Network staff had close relationships, both working and personal, with other writers. While reading the coverage from these writers, you can't help but feel their pain and anger while writing about their peers and friends who are now out of work.

New screens of Kristen Kreuk in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li Kristin Kreuk

New images have emerged from the upcoming videogame adaptation: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. Starring Smallville's Kristen Kreuk as Chun-Li, it also features Michael Clarke Duncan as Balrog, Neal McDonough as M. Bison, Chris Klein as Charlie Nash, Moon Bloodgood as Detective Maya Sunee, Taboo as Vega among many others.

The Legend of Chun-Li is directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak for 20th Century Fox and is due in theaters on February 27, 2009.

Racial slur found in press copy of Animal Crossing

This is ironic and funny to us, but no doubt embarrassing for Nintendo. Here is a company that limits its games by way of complicated friend codes, weak online features and even its hardware like Wii Speak so as to keep the horrible realities of the online world away from its (apparently) fragile and corruptible userbase. But within one of the special press-only Animal Crossing: Wild World (NDS) cards, you find a racial slur… created by one of the people (its unclear who) hired to play the DS game.

Animal Crossing Wild World sports N-word

A pre-played version of 2005's Animal Crossing: Wild World for DS, sent out to media outlets to encourage connectivity with the recent Animal Crossing release for Wii, contains at least one shocking addition, reports MTV Multiplayer. Importing the saved data from the DS cartridge sent by Nintendo into Animal Crossing: City Folk introduces a host of changes into the game, including one, suddenly no longer E-rated character, Baabara, who now greets players with: "How are you, Ñ—á?"