Saturday, June 23, 2007

Role-Playing Game Starring Sonic the Hedgehog in the Works

Chalk this up as something new, folks. No, this is not an early April fool's joke - Bioware, talented developer of many well known RPG's such as the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic series, Baulder's Gate, and Jade Empire is creating a role playing game starring Sega's beloved mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog.
This bizarre, unexpected title will appear exclusively on the Nintendo DS. It is set in the Sonic world, and how the combat system will handle at this point is unknown. However, it will be set in the Sonic universe and feature many familiar characters.
Will this translate to a quality role-playing experience, though? Hmmm... while the vast majority of gamers, like me, are highly skeptical of this oddball idea, Bioware has an excellent track record, so you'd have to be a little dim to think that this is going to just be a half-hearted cash-in. At least it's something... unique, right?

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Microsoft Shells Out $50 Million For Exclusive GTA IV Episodic Content

The Xbox 360 version of Grand Theft Auto IV was always supposed to have “exclusive” major episodic downloadable content via Xbox Live. To make sure it stays exclusive to Microsoft’s shiny white (well, black if you’re one of the few that has an Elite console) they spent a few bucks so the content will only see release on the Xbox 360. How much of their enormous budget did they spend exactly? According to Take Two Software, Microsoft spent a staggering $50 million dollars to make sure this content won’t see release on the Playstation 3.

Microsoft desperately wants to outsell Sony’s Playstation 3 in the long run (It’s performing better on the market now, but Microsoft knows that you can’t just rest on your laurels). Whether or not the episodic content via Xbox Live will be worth it is unknown at this point, and how much it will be has not been decided yet, but we can tell that Microsoft will be using some industrious tactics in order to make sure that the Xbox 360 it outselling Sony’s black box.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Stare in Awe At the Games That Broke the Million Mark

Many of the best-selling games deserve their great success, while others sell strictly off of hype or are part of a licensed property. Whatever the case may be, I am going to present you how many games broke the million mark per console and the top selling game for each game console. If you want a more in-depth look at this (alas a very plain one with an over abundance of text) click on the ‘source’ link at the bottom of this page, which was compiled by the good folks over at Wikipedia. Until then, enjoy the article and marvel at the best selling games of all time.

I have arranged them by putting the system first, number of games that broke the million mark, and the top selling game for that console.

46 games sold one million or more

Top seller: Super Mario Bros. 3 (18 million)

SNES 40 games sold one million copies or more
Top seller: Donkey Kong Country (8.30 million)

Sega Genesis

8 games sold one million copies or more

Top Seller: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (6 million)

Sega Saturn

2 Games Sold one million copies or more
Top Seller: Virtua Fighter 2 (1.7 Million)


57 games sold one million copies or more
Top seller: Gran Turismo (10.5 million)


37 games sold one million or more
Top Seller: Super Mario 64 (11 million)


6 games sold one million copies or more
Top seller: Sonic Adventure (2.5 million)

73 games sold one million copies or more
Top seller: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
(13 million)

6 games sold one million copies or more
Top seller: Halo 2 (8 million)

22 games sold 1 million copies or more
Top seller: Super Smash Bros. Melee (6 million)

Xbox 360

10 games sold one million copies or more
Top seller: Gears of War (3.7 million)


(Wii sports and Wii play excluded)

3 games sold one million copies or more
Top seller: Zelda: Twilight Princess (2.6 million)

Playstation 3
1 game sold one million copies or more
Top seller: Resistance: Fall of Man (1 million)

And that should do it. Handheld systems and PC games were not included.


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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Review: Starfox Asasult (Gamecube)

Platform: Gamecube
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Namco
Release: February 2005

While it’s probably not the best game in the series, Starfox Assault delivers a great experience that is worthy of the Starfox legacy.

It’s been a long time coming, but Starfox Assault finally continues the tradition of the legendary series (The 2002 release, ‘Starfox Adventures’, was a standard Rare platformer with Starfox characters tacked on to it). Combining the talents of two of the best game developers in the biz, Namco and Nintendo teamed up to create an adventure that not only delivers the tried-and-true aerial battles the series is known for but some new on-foot battles as well. The result? As expected, spectacular, though it does fall a wee-bit shy of greatness.

The storyline is the same ol’ inanity the series is known for, and while it was entertaining in some parts, I mostly found myself skipping through the storyline and cut-scenes. Because of this I’m not going to go deep into this aspect of the release. However, the classic, well-known characters such as Falco, Slippy, and others are still here and as charming as ever, (though you’d have to play prior releases in the series to appreciate their presence). Some new characters have been added as well, but me not remembering their names is evidence that they are forgettable and worthless. The dialogue is humorous and fits each character’s personality well.

When you first start up the game you’ll be immediately put into some intense aerial battles. They’re reminiscent of Star Fox 64, and just before you know it you’re put into an on-foot battle. These battles have been catching much criticism from die-hard fans who are scared of change, and in truth, they are flawed (and by the last one, you’ll be finding them a bit repetitive). However, they’re mighty fun, and add variety to an already impressive package.

The visuals are decent during on-foot battles but during aerial battles they are simply majestic. The variety of colors, the effects… they all show that the Gamecube is capable of providing some truly fantastic graphics. Sound-wise, this game has the best soundtrack of any game in the series, and the soundtrack and effects are absorbing and original.

The controls get the job done as well, and if the default controls aren’t to your liking, there are two other schemes to chose from that will suit your fancy.

With all of this goodness, there has to be something wrong with Starfox Assault right? Well, it does have a few problems that prevent it from reaching the legendary status it could have had like Starfox 64 before it. While it doesn’t quite live up to that release in every way, it nearly does, though I was hoping that this game would be longer that it would. I completed all ten missions in a mere six hours, though you’ll probably feel compelled to play the exciting and fun missions over again to gain high scores and new medals. Even so, the game felt only half as long as it should have, and while I enjoyed the on-foot battles, more aerial ones would have been nice.

While it’s probably not the best game in the series, Starfox Assault delivers a great experience that is worthy of the Starfox legacy. Since it has been recently added to the Gamecube value line of games (known as Players’ Choice releases), you have no excuse not to play through Fox Mccloud’s most recent console adventure.

Rating: 8.7 (out of 10)

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots - Xbox 360 Bound?

One thing that has been greatly debated by video game fanboys across numerous gaming forums as of late is Metal Gear Solid 4. Will it remain a Playstation 3 exclusive or will it become another multiplatform title like the numerous other supposed Playstation 3 “exclusives” (Virtua Fighter 5, Assassin’s Creed, Devil May Cry 4, Ace Combat 5, etc.)? Only time will tell, but here’s some details that may prove that Solid Snake will be making an appearance on Microsoft’s shiny white box…

While Hideo Kojima himself said that Metal Gear Solid 3 will remain a Playstation 3 exclusive, it might be Konami that ultimately makes the decision on this matter. It’s no secret that the Playstation 3 sales have been highly disappointing up to this point, and a title with such high production values and development costs would not recoup a large amount of money with release on one lone console. Also, game news site recently posted news that Metal Gear Solid 4 will indeed be making the jump to the Xbox 360. This supposedly “ground-breaking” news was followed by a cease and desist letter from Konami. Hmmm…. could the fact that Konami threatened this popular website with a lawsuit mean it’s, in fact, true? As already mentioned, only time will tell. It would make financial sense for the company to bring this blockbuster release to another platform though.

That is to say, I haven’t enjoyed a Metal Gear Solid game since the groundbreaking original classic on the Playstation. I doubt that Metal Gear Solid 4 will bring back the magic of that release back to the series, whether it’s available on more than one console or not.


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