Monday, July 31, 2006

Paradise Exclusive: 10 Greatest Games of Last Gen

Well Last Gen is coming to an end and what better way to end it than with the best games. Now I know we still have titles like God of War 2 and Legend of Zelda: TP to come out but I think Zelda TP is more of a next generation title. But I have compiled my top 10 games of all time for last generation and I'm here to show them to you and why. It's going to be an interesting list cause do remember I am a NIntendo fan but I'll be as little biased as possible cause I've played most of the good games on all systems except for a few PS2 titles. But anyways let's go. 10. Timesplitters 2

Timesplitters series is one of the most incredible shooters in the FPS genre ever created. When it released on the PS2, GC, and Xbox it was just a big hit. This game came out with great visuals for it's time and just an interesting setting. Timesplitters has never been known necessarily for it's single player excellence but still the fun in doing it with the different kinds of weapons, different time periods, and different characters was all the better. But the game got it's 10 start ratings from it's multiplayer. With being probably one of the best multiplayer games of all time it gave depth like none other. Ranging from 100 unlockable characters with about 20 levels and 20 weapons it was sheerly amazing. The fun in playing a splitscreen game hadn't been this incredible since the days of Goldeneye 007. And when the box says the heir to Goldeneye 007 it was joking. This game earns out 10 spot easily as for the uniqueness and innovations and depth it game in all areas earns it a high mention. Free Radical couldn't have done anything better cause this was amazing. 9. ICO

ICO brought early to the PS2 something that hadn't been seen before. When games were starting to get repetive it brought this entirely new distinct storyline and game that was like any other. For graphics it had some of the most impressive visuals of it's time which gave you a clear view of the world inside. The game controls were smooth, easy, and intutive. Although simple it made it fun and easy to just play the game. The game just presents something undescriable such as the feel you get from the game. This puzzle adventure game is just a good fun game to play and just didn't necessarily get the recognition it deserved. But it is one of the best games to hit last generation giving us an entirely new world with a different feel than you would get from any other game. 8. Halo

Halo is the bomb that exploded the Xbox everywhere. This FPS shooter came in like no other in the single player field. When FPS were nothing but the same thing on the PC and consoles as being mostly for multiplayer Halo comes out and introduces a world like none other. With a different setting similar to the explosion Star Wars gave it gives a new list of characters, worlds, races, weapons, ect. The game provides you with an in depth storyline that no other FPS was giving of it's time. It game a deep, interesting main character that had a deep history himeself as him and his marines set to save the world from ultimate destruction of a very religions group of Aliens called the Covenant. The originality that spawned from this game is none the less what earns it a top 10 spot as it is unlike any other FPS you ever played. 7. Super Smash Bros Melee

The game that defined the GC console is none other than Super Smash Bros. Melee. Although not known for it's singleplayer it brought something different to the fighting genre. With for once the 1st diverse set of characters ranging from animals to humans to fantasy to science fiction characters that only Nintendo could give. The depth of the multiplayer with the items, levels, characters, ect made the fighting all the better. And if didn't have any friends put on som AI who were still pretty good for early games on the last generation. But it's defiently the depth of this game that makes it one of the best. Most fighting games are short and quick but not this game. The amount of characters, levels, events, storylines, and trophies is enough to make you total time played on this game peak months. And with the visuals being good enough for a fighting game there is nothing else you would ever want in this game. Super Smash Bros Melee earns a top 10 spot cause it brought something new that fighting genres dont' normally get and that is diversity and depth. And with a multiplayer like none other and only comparable to the popularity as Halo 2 gets this is a definet amazing game. 6. Burnout 3: Takedown

Burnout 3 is the essence of action racers. There are posers such as Full Auto and Flatout but Burnout is the heart of it. When Burnout 3 came out the series was all about crashes but Burnout 3 gave the game a new idea: takedowns. Now with this new way of taking out your enemy the fun and strategy in the game became even bigger. With over a 150 missions, 67 cars, and 20 sets of levels Burnout 3 earns to be one of the best racers of all times. And with the added online mode you can battle it up to with 6 friends in one race. The multiplayer is where this game is at. It is so addictive that it's insane. It's for once not some game that everyone can be good at from the start but takes experience to learn how to best win races and takedown opposing players. With that makes it one of the most sophisticated kind of game. And with a single player to keep you going for a long while to get all those cars this game is definetly one of the best. Burnout 3 is just a game that is a mjust by for anyone who likes to rage the streets with terror and wants a good challenge in doing it. 5. Kingdom Hearts

With the most unlikely set of character combination from Square Enix's characters to Disney characters the game gets an amazing hit from. The character depth in this game is what makes it so interesting when combining the 2. With the game having so many and such an interesting storyline it was unlike any other game at it's time. Giving it a gameplay feel that was intutive and easy along with good graphics it was amazing. With being one of the best PS2 games released on the system there is just solely nothing of it's kind created to this day. 4. Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem

Maybe the most overshadowed game last gen this game is definetly maybe the greatest of them all. With this Silicon Knight's exclusive GC game gave us soemthing you've never seen before. As you went back into historical times playing different characters that were all apart of a giant conspiracy. As you play the latest in the line of this long lasting conspiracy you read through this book that details all of them and that's when you play them. The entire conspiracy, storyline, and characters is one of the best ever created. ANd the all new sanity effects in there are so new and origianl that it will scare the living shit out of you. This game scared the best of us and we know it. The graphics for the game were quite incredible for it's time but it's not about that for this game. This game was all about the storyline and it gave the best of the best. With it's psychological horror setting and historical conspiracy backgrounds this game is one of the best we've ever seen all together. 3. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

When I started getting down to the bottom 3 it became even harder choices but KOTOR takes the 3 spot and well deserved. This exclusive Xbox game gave something that the Star Wars franchise had never seen. A game that every star wars fan wanted. The RPG depth allowed in this game of planets, characters, races, weapons, items, ect is what makes this gam an RPG and Star Wars fan paradise. The different moves for the jedis along with the force is somthing that only this game could give. With a killer storyline giving something original from the STar Wars trilogies it goes over 3000 years before the trilogies started. And with that gave a totally original storyline about the fighting of Jedi and Sith but gave twists in there that some of use would have never expected. With you controlling how you become later on it's nothing short of incredible. Evil or good it's your choice. This game was nothing short of amazing and Bioware let it's heart out on this game. The best RPG of last generation is a must buy for any fan. 2. Resident Evil 4

If there was a game last gen that defied the rules of last generation then this game was it. RE4 came out for the GC then PS2 but it's mainly the GC version. The GC version came out with stunning visuals that were like none other. With beatuiful enviroments, character models, and physical effects this game could have easily been taken as a next generation game. But it was more than the most graphically good looking games to hit the shelves. The RE series had the same throughout the first 3 where you survive zombies the entire time. Well not RE4. There were no zombies. Just one of the best storylines every created. The game puts you as Leon Kennedy who is out to rescue the president's daughter who has been kidnapped in a foreign area. But you soon start to find out these people are ordinary but a cult village that have been overtaken by a parasite. This cult village brings the beauty of the horrific. The sure in depth detail of these people and what is going on is none the less one of the best ever to date. RE4 sported some new controls from the old game that weren't necessarily easier but realistic. This game has many twists and turns and interesting characters and gives you one of the most incredible games last gen. RE4 shows off one of the greatest accomplishments in gaming history in gameplay and graphics. 1. Metroid Prime

The #1 spot was maybe the hardest ever to pick but the spot is well deserved by Nintendo and Retro Studio's massive hit and reinvention of Samus Aran in Metroid Prime. Metroid has never been so amazing until it makes it's jump into the 3d world of FPS. The game sports and all new Samus Aran with the same stuff from her old games but with an amazing new look. The beauty of this game for an early GC game is one of the best ever created. But it's definetly the world this game is in that gives it the gold. The levels, enemies, and more important the story. This game will keep you in it til the last minute with it's stunning plot. With different enemies and creatures that you can all scan to keep in a large database this game will have you going back again and again to rescan everything. But for an FPS this evolved something. It for the 1st time made an FPS that was more than just run and gun. You had to execute strategy when fighting and solve puzzles to get to new info and upgrades. Something that no other FPS has accomplished so thoroughly even til now. Metroid Prime revolutinized the way we look at how an FPS plays as more than just a run and gun. Metroid Prime's controls may have not been the best but still enough to get you through. But it was all about the strategy, plot, and levels for this game. The transfer for Metroid from 2-D to 3-D was one of the best ever. And Retro Studios accomplishment on it is nothing less than perfection. Metroid Prime defined the last generation consoles. It's these kinds of games that make gaming the best form of entertainment of the industry. Metroid Prime was perfection from Retro Studios in everyway making it the best game of last gen. Zucas

Ubisoft's Ninendo Lineup for LGC

Ubisoft has released what they are going to show at the upcoming German Gaming Convention in Leipzig. Glad to see they will have hopefully their final builds off so we can see all their upcoming games. Check out their list: GameCube: Splinter Cell Doubles Agent Wii: Red Steel Rayman Raving Rabbids Nintendo DS: The Settlers Ah can't wait to see the 2 Wii games and of course Splinter Cell. One of the last few GC games to come in it's time so definitly a last pick up for any GC owners. Plus curious about the Settlers game as I've been following that game and is pretty interesting. All and all LGC is turning out to be an extremely big event for Nintendo and 3rd party supporters. Zucas

E3 2007 Not Cancelled But Never the Same

Well the official report is in and E3 2007 will still be held in Los Angeles next year. Sadly though the event has been sized down dramatically making it just another gaming event. It will be for press events and meeting with the media and retail department. No longer this big game show with all this fancy stuff. Well E3 will never be the same indeed. This is a big arrow in the heart of the gaming industry especially the American gaming industry. What effects will this have. Well it will be that America will no longer have an extroadinarily big event with this gone. So now it's going to be a little harder to get out new gaming info to the American public. So damn those people but I guess it had to be done. E3 was a big event but also extremely expensive for the lack of viewing and press it got from the mainstream public. So I guess the big events now are the German Gaming Conventions and TGS. Those are the 2 new E3's cause those are the only other extroardinarly big events. But none are quite as big as E3. Farewell E3 we new the well. Zucas

Nintendo To Show Off 5 New Wii Titles at LGC

Oh man for Nintendo the German Gaming Convention in Leipzig is starting to turn out really big. According to the Official Nintendo Magazine of France Nintendo will be showing 5 new Nintendo 1st party Wii titles. That's just insane. So they have been witholding a lot of info from us from E3 and we all knew it. 5 new 1st party titles is just insane. I can't wait to see what they are. I bet at least one has to be a Miyamota IP so that already gets me pyched. Gosh that's just incredible. Can't wait fro LGC and don't forget they are holding a keynote speech at 10:15-11:15 am local time. Or at the dead of night over here at about 3:15-4:15 am. This will occur on August 23, 2006 so a definete something to tune in for. Zucas

Day of Paradise: Sunday, July 30, 2006

Ah and as a not so slow Sunday passes by we are soon going to be hitting August on Tuesday where we hope to start seeing a boost of gaming news all around. But today wasn't so bad for a Sunday. Anyways some good stuff so make sure to check it out: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption Multiplayer Downloadable? Crossbeam Studios Interview Free Radical's David Doak Talks Wii Most Games Played By Region Developer Leaks Wii Specs? E3 2007 Cancelled? New Sadness Info Zucas

Sunday, July 30, 2006

New Sadness Info

Well a lot of Sadness stuff has ariven lately from the IGN exclusive details to the recent interview. But to top that all off another site has gotten some info on 2 of the enemies: the wearwolves and the Likho. check out their description:

Werewolves Appearance: Usually born as normal people; until full adolescence there are no differences between them and children fortunate enough to be born humans. Only at certain age, at full moon, they gain their dangerous identity. They still move on two legs but look like a cross-breed of a human and a wolf. The whole body is covered with wolf’s hair, the head changes into wolf’s face, instead of arms they have paws with claws. The next day they return to their human identity not remembering anything from the night’s events; during the transformation they lose human consciousness and behave like hungry wolves. It can be explained by the fact hat a sudden increase in body build demands large amounts of food, and the werewolf, according to its instinct, tears apart into pieces everything which can serve as a source of proteins. All werewolves stem from an ancient tribe of Neur, which were already described by a Roman chronicler Herodot. This tribe used to change into wolves every day but it happened more rarely once they started to mix with other tribes and people. Behaviour These monsters behave similarly to hungry wolves. They attack suddenly and their sole purpose is finding food, therefore they attack not only people but also animals. When they have no choice they just attack the closest victim. Usually, however, they come back to their homes and stat with their families. The next day, such person can even look for alleged murderers of their parents, and when a werewolf gets to know the truth it usually commits a suicide. Level of danger One should not forget that werewolves are not monsters just by a mere affection for evil. Simply a sudden body build makes them need a lot of food. They want nothing but satisfy their hunger. The danger of meeting a hungry wolf is obvious. A werewolf is just more dangerous because it is bigger and more hungry. Defeating tactics A recognised means of defeating a werewolf is a silver ball; just as vampires are afraid of Bible verses and garlic. Moreover, one do not have to cut off a head of a killed werewolf because they do not have the power of revival.

Likho, liho (Russian: Лихо, Belarusian: лі́ха, Polish: licho) is an embodiment of evil fate and misfortune in Slavic mythology, a creature with one eye, usually depicted as an old person. Ah don't you just love those pics of the 2 monsters. Sadness is really starting to turn out into a AAA psychological horror game. I'm extremely pschyed about this game and can't wait to see the 1st gameplay videos of it. Let's hope they'll keep letting out more info concerning info and characters and storyline. I like the werewolf description. Seems like they'll be a big part of this game. I'm just so curious to see what is going on with this game. It's extremely mysterious to me about basically what it's going to be about. More on Sadness soon. Zucas

E3 2007 Cancelled?

Now this sounds shocking to most but to me sounds overly and horrificly possible. Rumor has it that in an announcement tomorrow concerning E3 events that they will either cancel the event or make it into a much smaller event. Personally I see this all as very possible. I mean E3 is a big publicity event but really is not as big to the overall general public cause it's gaming. And with gaming not being extroardinarily and ungodly big it's hard to get a large amount of interest into it. Personally I would love if they make it a smaller event. You know make it the size of the German Gaming Convention and TGS. That would work out quite nicely. But let's hope that it's not cancelled cause that's the big American gaming event and nothing else comes close to tounching it. Zucas

Developer Leaks Wii Specs?

Even though most people have given up on anyone guessing the actual Wii specs til revealed from Nintendo it seems that another person is giving it a shot. This one is supposedly a developer leaked the Wii specs to the public. As always take with a grain of salt: The Wii Hardware - Nintendo Wii’s ‘Broadway’ CPU operates at 729MHZ with a maximum bandwith of 1.9gbyte/sec. - Nintendo Wii’s ‘HollyWood’ GPU is clocked at 243MHZ, the internal memory of it includes 3mb of embedded graphics memory and 24megabytes of high speed main memory. - 64megabytes of GDDR3 (MEM2) as the external main memory. Just like the internal memory, it can be accessed from the CPU and GPU with a maximum bandwidth of 4gbytes/sec and can also store programs in the MEM2. - The GPU of the Wii is identical to the GC’s but it is on average 1.5X faster. Wii’s Optical Disc Drive - Opitcal Disc Drive (ODD) supports single and dual layer Wii disks, discs eject with software or button and the maximum read speed is the equivalent of DVDx6. - Two main disc types supported - the single sided 12cm single sided 4.7gb and the double sided 8.51 GB. Nintendo GC discs also supported. Some of the capacity of the discs are used by the system and games can not use full disc space. - Inserting a disc will start the Wii console, even if it was already in an off state. Pressing the eject button will change the console to an on state to take out the disc also. General Overview - An optional wired LAN adapter that connects to a USB port is in the pipeline for users who do not possess a wireless LAN set-up currently. - Internal non-removable 512MB flash memory used to storage game save data and downloadable content thus eliminating the need for a memory card. - Both Wii discs and Gamecube discs can be played via an intelligent mode swap. When running in GC mode, the Wii’s CPU and GPU will lower to the respective speeds of the GC and some of the MEM2 functions as ARAM. - Software development environment is an upgrade to the ‘Dolphin SDK’ used with the GC; the same libraries are used so developers can get up to scratch easily as well as the possibility of ports being easier. - The following interfaces are included with the Wii; SD card slot, Wireless controller, two USB 2.0 ports, wireless LAN, 4x GC controller ports, 2x GC memory card slots and an AV multi output jack (only an analog jack). - Supports Wii disks (one sided 12cm) and GC discs (one sided 8cm) and console auto switches depends on what disk is inserted. - More than just the Nunchaku is planned as an extension. GC peripherals such as DK bongos can be used in both Wii and GC modes. - Three power status, on, off and unplugged. To prevent mistaken turn offs, the power button must be held for about a second. The Wii Control System - The Wii controller features; Direct Pointing Device, Three axis accelerometer, Wii power button (remotely turn console on/off), buttons, wireless connectivity, indicator LED’s, rumble, battery powered (two AA alkaline batteries) and ability to connect extension unit. - The Wii controller supports three types of operations; by itself, with a nunchuk extension or with a classic controller. Classic controllers will ship to developers during August 2006. - The SYNCHRO button on the Wii controller exchanges wireless ID numbers when pressed at the same time as SYNCRHO on the Wii console. Wireless communications are only possible with consoles which have been authenticated. - The rumble motor can be turned on and off and the intensity can be changed. - The Wii remote has a pointer for fine movements as well as a Motion Sensor +/- 3.4G suitable for larger body movements, the nunchuk attachment has a Sensor of +/- 2G. - The sensor bar must be placed above or below a TV set, the pointer measures coordinates between the ends of the bar which are about 20cm apart. - The Wii remote has four status, disconnected, communicating, establishing connection and pairing wait status. - The pointer can measure co-ordinates within bounds of rectangle centered upon the sensor bar, thus it can also measure points beyond the screen. It also responds to strong light sources, windows, fluorescent lamps, fireplaces, mirrors etc. - Due to players hands shaking while holding the controller, a ring buffer allows a precise direction to be created to hold and average accelerator samples. Well I'd take this one with even a more grain of salt cause these are about the same specs IGN gave back in March and ATI has openly come out and stated that their GPU is better than that. So really I don't think this is the real ones but rumors nonetheless. Just doesn't seem logical from things said by ATI.

Most Played Games by Region

These stats are based roughly on about 300,000 players

Free Radical's David Doak Talks Wii

Well yesterday Free Radical came out and said that they didn't think that Haze would be making a Wii appearance due to the lack of power. Yet today a whole new brightness has emerged from them in this little part of a video interview. He talks about how he loves the Wii and how he wants to make an FPS for it. And tells a little joke from the older days with Martin Hollis. Check this video:

Ah so maybe Free Radical will put Haze or other games over to the Wii. Or maybe they'll just make a less powerful engine to fully exploit the FPS capabilities of the Wii. All in all I hope they do make a Wii FPS like Timesplitters 4 or something else. More on Free Radical soon.


Crossbeam Studios Interview

Been saving this interview for the weekend especially Sunday to have a little news haha. But this is a really good interview and a good read for weekend slowness. Check it out. First of all, could you please introduce yourselves and give us some general information about Crossbeam? Greg Szemiot: My name is Greg Szemiot, I am the director for two projects at CSE, Orb and Thorn, and part of the design team for Darkness. You are currently working on three different projects for Wii. Could you tell us what they are all about? Why exactly did you choose the new Nintendo platform, though you actually wanted to develop PC-games? Greg Szemiot: During the second half of 2005 we started hearing from friends in the industry some bits of information regarding the then Revolution... we started to think about supporting something that had such a unique control system, and then when TGS showed us the controller in full, we knew, after a little bit of shock, that this was going to be big, and it would allow us freedom we would not have on any other platform. Are all three projects developed at the same time, or are you concentrating on one certain project? Greg Szemiot: We are concentrating our development team on Orb, while the design team and concept art teams are spread across all three projects. Each of the titles has its own special aspects and clearly stands out against similar games for Nintendo systems. What kind of philosophy are you following while developing your games, and what is it, that makes them so unique? Greg Szemiot: The three founders of CSE are big fans of deep storylines. We wanted to push the medium away from the standard 'point a to point b' storyline that almost all games have. I think that focus on emotion and atmosphere separates us from much of the gaming norm. Are there already plans, where and when you are going to show us some new material of your games and how the games will be constructed in terms of gameplay, graphics and so on? Greg Szemiot: There are plans for when new material will be shown, as for how the games perform graphically, that is up to our programmers and artists once we obtain a Wii dev-kit. Nintendo tries (with Wii ) to make the access to this industry for young developers as easy and simple as possible. In what way do you benefit from this strategy? Greg Szemiot: Our relationship with Nintendo has been great so far, they have expressed great interest in our titles, are constantly in contact with us, and in general are a great group to work with. I mean, we're still very early in development, working on the prototype version on PC, and it is obvious they are willing to help us when the time comes or us to shift to Wii. How is the search for a publisher going on? Have you already found one and thus have access to Wii-SDKs? Greg Szemiot: We have had a lot of interest from publishers, we have been in a lot of negotiations, and we are still in talks with many of them on a title by title basis. The Wii-SDK is getting closer, but we don't have it yet. By looking around on your website, one can notice that you have a very close connection to your fans, for exapmle via the message boards. What does your community mean to you? Are there changes supposed to be made? A lot of publishers are giving strict guidelines concerning the providing of information to fans. Greg Szemiot: I think our fans will agree with this statement, we don't give away a lot of information. Our forums are there for fans to talk to each other, theorize about storylines, take part of CSE contests, and so on. For instance, we asked for fans to give us weapons for Orb that would be on shop walls, or in cutscenes and such, we picked the best, and they will be in the game once our artists polish them up. During Nintendo´s E3 media briefing, two new features of the Wii have been revealed. The built-in speaker as well as WiiConnect24. In which way do you want to make use of Wii´s special possibilities while developing your games and what do you think about the two new features? Greg Szemiot: The speaker caught us of guard a little, not a lot, as it does make sense, and we will be using it in Orb for magic and such, and in Thorn for item interaction and other aspects of the game world. WiiConnect24 is planned to be used for all of our games as a way to expand the game universe as time goes by, meaning more NPCs, areas, etc. Before we say goodbye, is there anything you really want to tell us that hasn´t been asked yet? Greg Szemiot: Well, it was a pleasure to answer your questions, and I think gamers will be very excited over the next few months as more info, art, screens etc. is released. Ah another good interview. Glad to see that they want to incorporate the speaker and WiiConnect24 which are really good new things that the Wii has. Can't wait for their 3 titles and hope they find a publisher cause they have extremely good ideas. Source Zucas

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption Multiplayer Downloadable?

MP3: C has been one of those games all Nintendo fans want to see have multiplayer. Yet Retro Studios has been really lay back and saying that they don't have any multiplayer planned. But they have said that they want to use WiiConnect24 to it's fullest extent. With that said look at this pic and read what it says. This comes from NGamer magazine as one of the lower captions and this will really get people happy:

Ah very nice that would be so sweet. Mr. Iwata has said that he wants the Wii to be the console that changes everyday. So one night you go to sleep after beating MP3 on single player. Next morning you wake up it has an extensive multiplayer online. This would give developers a lot of freedom to continously mak their games new and fresh everday like the customer had just bought a new game. WiiConnect24 is definetly a wonderful idea and let's hope this all is true.


Day of Paradise: Saturday, July 29, 2006

With July almost to an end we'll be hitting the biggest month of gaming news I think this year come August. Just what I predict. Anyways a slow Saturday with a lot of my staff on "vacation" so to speak haha but 5 updates for any week day is good too me. Anyways Sunday will be even slower so let's hope we can get some special stuff in on that day. Anyways here's today's stuff: Top Xbox Live Games for the Week of 7/24 Japanese Hardware and Software Sales for July 17-23 Hideo Kojima Making Snake's Level in SSBB? Nintendo Giving Away Free Dev Kits? Free Radical Says No Haze For Wii Zucas

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Free Radical Says No Haze For Wii

Free Radical has created their new engine which they will want to incorporate in all their next gen games. They are most known for their Timesplitters series and we can definetly expect to see a next gen version. But they say no to a Wii version cause that they don't think that Haze would fit it: Is there going to be a Wii version? There are currently no plans for a Wii version of Haze. Sadly, the cutting-edge technology we're using requires more power than the Wii has available. If we could, we would. So Wii just doesn't have the horsepower to be able to take it. Well maybe they'll use an older engine to support their games for Wii or maybe they haven't gotten final dev kits. Maybe they are keeping things secret. Who knows but as of now according to Free Radical it can't support Haze so possibly supporting the old rumors that Wii is nothing but an upgraded GC. But still with rumors everywhere saying Wii is more powerful and that it isn't more powerful who knows what could really be going on. Source Zucas

Nintendo Giving Away Free Dev Kits?

Rumor has it that Nintendo are shipping free dev kits out to all developers to get them interested in the Wii. Now this would be very strange as Nintendo has never been known for being to 3rd party supporting but this would be a great way to get all developers interested in the Wii and free dev kits are a big one. Now I don't know about this as it would come at a big loss to Nintendo in those areas but it still would probably help then out in the long run. But as always treat this as soley a rumor and let's hope to hear about this soon. Zucas

Hideo Kojima Making Snake's Level in SSBB?

It's already wonderful that Snake is going to be a third party game in the hit 3rd game in the ever popular Super Smash Bros series. But is it possible that the game legend and Snake creator himself is developing for the game also. Check out this that came from in Nintendo Power way hidden in it: Chris H: “If you want to talk about something big, how about the news Hideo Kojima, Snake’s creator, is designing Snake’s level in Brawl? Snake’s inclusion means we’re not only getting one of the best characters in gaming, but one of the best developers as well.” Now that would be crazy. Having Mr. Kojima design a level and maybe other things for Super Smash Bros Brawl. OH man I hope this is true. More on this hopefully soon. Zucas

Japanese Hardware and Software Sales for July 17-23

Japan had a pretty good last week especially with the boost in sales for the DS. But there is one more interesting thing that happened and I don't think I've ever seen this happen ever before. Check out hardware sales in Japan for last week: Nintendo DS Lite - 262,453 PSP - 35,938 PS2 - 22,288 Nintendo DS - 6,344 Game Boy Advance SP - 2,953 X360 - 1,472 Game Boy Micro - 1,410 GameCube - 1,076 Game Boy Advance - 20 Xbox - 0 Haha laughing my ass off at the Xbox. Haha not one person or MS employee to give Xbox some kinda sales bought it last week. This is a 1st anywhere for any console when it is supposedly still supposed to be selling. A big shoutout for the Xbox who sold 0 consoles in one week in Japan. Haha those crazy Japanese and their hate for the Xbox. With that shoutout DS Lite had an enormouse amount of sales probably due to a new game release which you'll see in the softwware. While everything else sold like they should. On to Software: 1. New Super Mario Bros. - NDS - 145.095 - (2.401.965) 2. Nintendo DS Talking Cooking Navi - NDS - 126.530 - (126.530) 3. More DS Brain Training - NDS - 72.327 - (2.824.538) 4. Battle Stadium D.O.N - PS2 - 49.085 - (49.085) 5. Program Cerebral Training of Dr. Kawashima: how old is your brain? - NDS - 44.499 - (2.584.420) 6. Jikkyou Powerful Pro Baseball - PS2 - 44.242 - (196.148) 7. Bleach Heat The Soul 3 - PSP - 35.476 - (35.476) 8. Battle Stadium D.O.N - NGC - 35.399 - (35.399) 9. Crossing Animal: Wild World - NDS - 35.121 - (2.972.162) 10 English DS Training - NDS - 28.905 - (1.289.633) Ah and there was the source of the sales. The new cooking game obviously let out some more sales and pickups for the DS along with New Super Mario Bros. Plus all the same old same old in there except for one. Am I going blind or do I see a Gamecube game in there. No I'm not a gamecube game actually made it in the Top 10. Incredible eh. Well definetly a week for 1st. Hopefully some good sales will start coming out in August when some more games hit. Also we still got the lookout as Animal Crossing is about to go over the 3 million mark. Zucas

Top Xbox Live Games for the Week of 7/24

Note: Halo 2 still qualifies as the #1 Xbox 360 Live game because it is still mostly played by Xbox 360 owners. Xbox 360 Top Live Games 1 Call of Duty 2 2 Ghost Recon 3 3 Chromehounds 4 NCAA 07 5 Oblivion 6 Final Fantasy XI 7 BFMC 8 Lord of the Rings: BFME2 9 PGR3 10 EA SPORTS™ Fight Night Round 3 Original Xbox Top Live Games 1 Halo 2 2 Battlefield 2: MC 3 Counter-Strike 4 Splinter Cell Chaos 5 Rainbow Six 3 BA 6 Pro Evolution Soccer 5 7 Star Wars: Battlfrnt 2 8 Madden NFL 2006 9 Forza Motorsport 10 Rainbow Six 3

Day of Paradise: Friday, July 28, 2006

For a Friday quite a busy day but sometimes Friday's have a good lot of info. But Saturday's and Sunday's are always pretty dry so we'll be sure to have some special stuff for those days. Anyways lots of good news throughout all 3 companies so a good look at all the stuff that happened today. Too much too miss out on: PS3Land Interviews Fantasy Lab Sony Back In The black As Electronics Division Turns A Profit PS3 And Wii Main Priority For UK Retailers IBM Claims Cell Production Is Now Going Well Microsoft Going To Surprise Sony and Nintendo Xbox 360 Going to Profit in 2008 THQ Believes in Wii Ninety Nine Nights Demo on Live Leon Kennedy in Super Smash Bros Brawl NGamer Says Wii Info at German Gaming Convention Part 2 of the Red Steel Info Blowout Head MS Dude Takes Blind Shot at Wii Relic Talks Wii and Dawn of War 360? Ubisoft Showing Off 2 Wii games at Leipzig Another Red Steel Update Another Orb Screenshot Updates Bungie After Halo Zucas

Friday, July 28, 2006

Bungie After Halo

Very little right now is known about Halo 3, with a trailer shown this year at E3 2006 and not much said about the game. Halo 3 is the final chapter in an epic trilogy, and will not ruin itself through games like Halo Tennis or Halo Party 47. But what comes after Halo 3, which is sure to be a great success. Rumors have been flying around the internet that Bungie is already in preproduction of a new IP, which is possibly the third or Forerunner to the Marathon and Halo games, making three epic trilogies into one story the gaming world will never forget. Nylund, a mind behind Gears of War, is planning on making a new IP exclusively for the Xbox 360, but will it be associated with Bungie? Bungie denied Nylund's rumors, and Nylund himself said that he was sorry for the confusion. So this means two seperate and new IPs, from the best game creators in the industy, only on the Xbox 360. Nylund's Game: "After talking a bit about his current project, the eagerly anticipated Gears of War, Nylund talks about his forthcoming project. "What am I working on next? Well, if you took all the best parts of your favorite games, and smashed them together at light speed with your favorite movies and books, you'd get something close to this," he said. "It's not announced yet, but as soon as Microsoft does, I can at least tell you the title, genre, and what particular thing makes this game goose-bump worthy. So stay tuned." And now for Bungie:

Nylund's comments and his Halo connection helped resurrect rumors that Bungie is working on a project called "Forerunner," a free-roaming action game set in the Halo universe before the events of Halo. Further weight was thrown behind the theory by an article on the less-than-reputable-but-often-accurate UK gaming site SPOnG. The site's editors claim to have learned that Bungie will be announcing a new IP at X06, its forthcoming European Xbox expo.

"Speaking to a Microsoft source close to the management of the entire Xbox 360 project today, we were told that, 'As far as things stand, Halo 3 is the last game [in the series].' ... A new game from Bungie, not Halo 4, will be announced soon and pre-production has begun." According to SPOnG, "Another trilogy, likely a prequel, will be announced at some point in the next 12 months."

Very interesting. I sure can't wait for Bungie's next game, as they are an awesome team that could make another killer app maybe later in the Xbox 360's lifespan. Also Nylund's project sounds interesting, especially since he is behind Gears of War, a key Xbox 360 game. I look forward to X06 in late September to hear Nylund's official announcement and hopefully some more information about Halo 3 and Bungie's future project. Source


I updated the Logo and Banner. These updates are reversable! If you think my logo is trash and want me to create new designs let me know. I was going for a city themed design. -Journey

Another Orb Screenshot

For anyone following the small, new developers, Crossbeam Studios, they've let out another screen for their upcoming Wii title, Orb. This pic is set 500 years before the Orb game is set and the woman is Miya, standing with her husband:

Ah what a beautiful concept art. This game is supposed to have a deep history involved in it so that is why they showed a picture of one set 500 years before the course of the events of the game. The game is very unique and I hope it turns out great. Let's hope Crossbeam finds a publisher cause I really want to see their 3 games come out on the Wii. They have some really good ideas for games. This game is supposed to hit somewhere in Late 2007.


Another Red Steel Update

Good lord Ubisoft and especially the Red Steel team have been working overtime these last few days. Red Steel press releases and info. Well now the Red Steel blog staff have talked about the graphical updates. And to everyone's excitement have even given pics of their progress thus far from E3. A guy named Stephane is the one talking about the graphic improvements. Ah the French are weird but love the dude for this info: Hello everyone! This is Stephane, the Bachelor from the Red Steel team. I’m here today to let you know a bit more about the improvements and new graphic directions we have made since E3. In May, the graphics of the E3 demo were a work in progress. Remember, we are working on a console that is also currently in development. The console's calendar therefore conditions our own calendar. We received the Wii kit one month prior E3. It was just too short to implement the style we had in mind in the E3 version at that time. Also E3 was a major work step for us, as it was the first time we could see people on a grand scale playing the Wii games and especially Red Steel. It was indeed very rich in terms of feedback! Now, we're working on developing our unique style specific to Red Steel – one that will not only be a great support to the scenario and the gameplay, but also be the visual identity and signature for this new game. We also keep working a lot on the impact of the graphics and on the way the player plays as well. To tell you, in few words, more about this style, I would say that it is visually really representative of a cultural shock of a US guy arriving in Japan. I mean, we focused a lot on all the differences that make a Japanese environment unique through occidental eyes. Also 70s' "film noirs" are another source of inspiration. It sticks well to our scenario and the gangster and mafia atmosphere you’ll discover while playing Red Steel. So, this style is one of our big focuses, among many other ones, since we couldn’t make it for E3. We’ve reworked the lighting system, improve textures and added even more breakable elements. I’m happy let you have today a first look! Ah very interesting. So the game is starting to progress a lot graphically. His info about receiving the dev kits about a month before E3 fits Falfelkid's story so now I believe what he said but that's another story. Anyways glad to see them making graphical updates from E3 cause as he said E3 was about the gameplay not the graphics. But just as a token he gave us all a first look at their hardwork from E3 to now to show us the graphical progress with 2 pics: Screenshot #1 Screenshot #2 Ah really really beautiful. That is a huge step up from the E3 versions as for one the AI don't look like cutouts and the lighting looks great. And in the second one even has particle effects. And this isn't even the final build so even more to come. Though I don't think this game was ever supposed to be this stunningly good looking photorealistic game as he explained with the style but still looks quite impressive for a launch game. Gamecube graphics my ass I say haha. If anymore on Red Steel today I might explode but let's hope for more anyways. Source Zucas

Ubisoft Showing Off 2 Wii games at Leipzig

And the German Gaming Convention continues to be hitting off with more and more Wii stuff starting to arise. Ubisoft announced today that 2 games of theirs will be showing off there for the Wii. Those being Red Steel and Rayman: Raving Rabbids. Ah nice that we'll get to see the final versions of both games to finally see how these games will turn out. I'm very interested in both games and will be picking up both sooner or later in the Wii life cycle. Probably Red Steel on the 1st day and Rayman when I find the money haha cause I'm a big Rayman dude. But let's also hope that Ubisoft reveals some new games for the Wii also. Games rumored such as Price of Persia and Farcry. These are said to be in development for the Wii and I wouldn't be surprised to see them there. More on Leipzig gaming convention soon. Zucas

Relic Talks Wii and Dawn of War 360?

Relic talked for the 1st time about the Wii and rather or not they would be supporting them or not. They seem to although be one of the few companies that it's just not the same route they seem to want to go down: “We make more mature-rated games, and more high-end graphical games, and the Wii is going in a little bit of a different direction; they’re not going to play the same game as the 360 and the PS3. You never know - if we came up with something cool we could do it, but right now our plan is not to… You can’t do the same types of games on the Wii because the power is a lot different. It’s a different type of technology. I think it was really smart for Nintendo to break out on their own and do their own thing. The platform’s going to be really successful.” Well ya can't please everyone but who says that Wii won't support M rated games. All ya have to do is put them up there and hey M rated games haha. And so far I don't think they have Wii dev kits so they really have no idea what the Wii can really produce so a lot of preemptive judgements. I think if they see Wii takeoff at launch they'll jump right in on the fun and look to make something new or port the same game over. But I do agree with them that the Wii going different will make it extremely sucessful. As for the Dawn of War they speak about maybe a console version of Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War. About that they had this to say: "We're keeping a close eye on it. We've done a lot of work to see how we would do it, and we same to the same conclusion as I think the Lord of the Rings guys did; we're watching Lord of the Rings going to 360 very closely. If it's successful, I think there's a good chance we could bring Company of Heroes and even Dawn of War over." So seems like a possibility of it coming over. As far as I know the 360 version of LOTR: BFME 2 is doing ok but not great. I mean nowhere near the same sucess that the PC version got. Although the controls did work just didn't seem like RTS are big for console gamers. Anyways still a possiblity and let's hope it does go to the 360 or even the PS3. Source Zucas

Head MS Dude Takes Blind Shot at Wii

MS's Richard Teversham talked today about MS and the competition. You saw in earlier news from Fox that he said that MS would surprise Nintendo and Sony and come out higher than expected. Well just while he was on a roll he took quite a blind shot at the Wii that really I think someone should say something back: “And although Wii is almost a GameCube with a DVD drive, is Nintendo going to have enough quantity to satisfy the demand?” Wii almost a gamecube with a DVD drive. I think not. For one this system has enhanced power for better visuals, an all new controller for better precision and control and immersion when playing games, an online mode that allows you to play region free against gamers all around, and a Virtual console for downloading old and new games to feel your game heaven. It's the most ignorant statement ever to call this console just a GC that plays DVD. And of course it will have enough quality to satisfy the consumers. Look at the diverse launch titles to figure out how many gamers and ages and people it supports. Can't say that same thing about the X360 launch lineup. Pluse something the Wii won't have that the X360 suffered threw is shortages as Nintendo is already starting production. I think this dude needs to stop being so ignorant cause these are shots that aren't even right. I mean I can't even call them cheap shots cause I mean for all I know he could be referring to the Pansonic version of the GC. I mean this dude knows apsolutely nothing about the Wii and had no grounds to make those statements. Not to be a little hostile but that's just how it goes. Ignorance just needs to be pointed out in my terms. Let's hope Mr. Teversham changes his thoughts on the Wii come the launch day. Source Zucas

Part 2 of the Red Steel Info Blowout

The second press release in as many days from Ubisoft has arrived. It talks more about the Yakuza and the characters. Definete good read for anyone who is planning to buy this game. Otori (the hero’s Japanese mentor)The hero’s first contact in Japan, Otori, will become a veritable mentor. An ex-Yakuza who left the organization for moral reasons and to protect his daughter, Mariko, he owns a Dojo. The hero spends a lot of time with him. Along with other traditional martial arts, he is a sword master and will share his wealth of knowledge with the hero. For him, the sword is not a weapon, but a necessary tool in learning self-mastery. The reasons for using it must be noble and justified. Having already been involved with the Japanese mafia, he refuses to help the hero directly, by implicating himself in that world. Isao Sato (Miyu’s father, an important Oyabun saved by the hero in the first sequence)Isao Sato is the father of Miyu, the hero’s fiancé. During a meeting in a Los Angeles restaurant, you are going to prevent an attempt to assassinate him. He is Oyabun to one of the most important Tokyo families and, for the last several years, he has attempted to carry out his business dealings in a more legal fashion. His sword, the Katana Giri, is the traditional symbol of Oyabun’s power in his family. The attackers fail at their attempt and kidnap Miyu, with hopes of putting pressure on him. Wounded during the attack and dying, Sato gives his sword to the hero who promises to save his daughter. Tokai (main enemy)Tokai is the main bad guy in Red Steel. A young Yakuza godfather (Oyabun), he is driven by a thirst for power and the desire to tear apart the Yakuza system. He is a brilliant archetype of modern change and wants, above all, to bring about the downfall of traditional constraints in order to rise to power through illegal activities in all possible markets. Despite his goals, his official stance is one of respect towards tradition. His attempt to take power hides a strong personal ambition and an implacable obsessive desire for revenge. To achieve his desires, he must have the Sato sword. Harry Tanner (boss of the club)Tanner is the hero’s first real link with the Japanese underworld. He runs a club in which the Yakuzas spend a lot of time and has quite a few connections with them. Because he is a victim of Tokai’s campaign and is friends with Sato, he agrees to help the hero in his quest. Tanner organizes a meeting with the distressed Yakuzas. The hero will often return to see him in the night club, to obtain information and for weapons training. His club attracts not only the Yakuzas, but also members of the jet set, who enjoy slumming it in a decor which contrasts modern Japanese design with the by-gone charm of the American gangster era. The main attraction is a private shooting range where VIPs come to have fun and test any weapon they like, with the advice of the revered Kajima. Mother Reiko (legitimate geisha boss)Mother Reiko is one of the Yakuzas who the hero meets in Harry’s club. Shocked by the disappearance of Sato, she comes to ask the player to free the Geisha neighbourhoods from the clutches of “Mama-san” and Tokai’s pimps. Kenzo (financial clan boss)Kenzo is the boss of the Shiba Financial Group bank. Although he is powerful, he is very cowardly, even paranoid, and easily falls into Tokai’s clutches after Sato’s disappearance. The player will have to get to his office, fending off Tokai’s men along the way, to convince him to join in his effort. As he is powerful but handicapped, Kenzo has a lieutenant and many Yakuzas working for him. Ah just more Red Steel goodness. This game seems to get even deeper with the characters and the setting. I can't wait for this game. It's turning out to be an amazing game with a load of diverse, original characters, revolutionary gameplay, and stunning visuals. Zucas

NGamer Says Wii Info at German Gaming Convention

The most recent issue of NGamer has had something interesting to say about when the next Wii info will be revealed. Check this line: “The big question is: when will we be able to get our hands on it (the Wii)? We won’t know for certain until the Leipzig expo at the end of August, when the launch details will be revealed in all their flippery.” Well don't know what to think of this. I mean we all know that more info will have to be revaled at Leipzig. But I think Nintendo then needs to reveal price and launch dates because I mean any later and your pushing it way too much. But I can definetly say that something new will be revealed about the Wii at Leipzig and I'll be here to give you the coverage of it. The event starts on Aug 24 and and ends on Aug 27. Zucas

Leon Kennedy in Super Smash Bros Brawl

This rumor is very very light and take it with a huge grain of salt but some people have speculated that in the last OMN issue it showed that they would reveal more info on RE Wii and then they showed the silohuette of Leon Kennedy. Well someone has speculated that they may not show info on RE Wii but announce that Leon Kennedy will be a third party character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. This is very unlikely of being what the silohuette was for but always a possibility of Mr. Leon being in the game. He'd fit the game quite well but always a rumor until announced otherwise. I hope this turns out true though. Zucas

Ninety Nine Nights Demo on Live

Today on Xbox Live you can go to Marketplaces and download the demo for Ninety Nine Nights, which will be released in Mid August. The game is hack and slash and very similar to Dynasty Warriors. Go get it now.

THQ Believes In Wii

THQ has been a strong believer of Wii for the longest time being one of the 1st companies to say they support the Wii. They have said some interesting things about how they think the Wii is going to do in compared to the PS3 in their Q3 Fiscal year or our Q4 2006: “Four kids titles (SpongeBob, Avatar, Barnyard, Cars) will ship in Q3 (based on THQ’s fiscal year) for the Wii, which should outsell the PS3 in Q3 due to more units available at launch.” That's great to see them bringing out 4 kids titles to get the younger population of gamers excited about the Wii giving it an overall good variety of games. But what they seem to be saying here is that the Wii will either be out before the PS3 or that the Wii is shipping out before launch. I'm thinking that it's that they are shipping earlier so obviously by the time the PS3 will come out then they will have more of a userbase. So THQ seems to be going full blast with the Wii and let's hope they have a good launch with their 4 games. Zucas

Xbox 360 Going to Profit in 2008

The Microsoft Xbox 360 was the first entirely custom Microsoft hardware ever made. Many people have blaimed the 4 billion dollar loss on the Xbox due to the 3rd party companies controlling the costs. The Xbox continues to lose money on every unit sold. Fortunately for Microsoft, the Xbox 360's build cost has been lowered dramatically already, with Premium units losing $126 per console at launch now down to about $90 just a few months later. Microsoft is already making plans with Taiwan manufacturers to cut about 20% of the cost, making the Xbox lose only a few dollars per console, before the GPU and CPU are switched to 65nm manufacturing process. Robbie Bach has stated that although he expects the Xbox 360 to lose money through 2007 but that the console and games division should be profitable from early 2008 on.

Microsoft Going To Surprise Sony and Nintendo

In a recent article on Gamespot, Microsoft's European Head of Marketing stated in MCV, a British publication, that Microsoft has a few secrets that it is waiting to unveil right before the PS3 and Wii launch. He also stated that he wants games and the console to be a good value, which could be suggestive of pricedrop for games, console, or possibly a console bundle. He refused to go into greater details of the "surprises" Microsoft was going to dish out this fall.

IBM Claims Cell Production Is Now Going Well.

The CELL PROCESSOR is steadily being shoved out the door of IBM plants, despite reports of poor yields. Sources have informed the Inq that IBM executives have told employees within the firm, that yields are "on or above" targets. Yields for a large, complex part like the Cell are expected to be low at the start of production and improve steadily thereafter - if IBM had allowed for a very low yield to start with, its plausible that the rumours of bad yields were entirely accurate and this is what IBM was expecting all along. The exec also said IBM had shipped the first full allotment to Sony under a 'take or pay' arrangement (whereby Sony has the obligation of either taking delivery of the goods or paying a specified amount), and that Sony must have "quite a stockpile of the processors in a warehouse somewhere". Presumably the warehouse has close links to Asustek, where recently other sources released details of Asustek plans to deliver 4 million units of the PS3 console to Sony this month.

PS3 And Wii Main Priority For UK Retailers.

As we all are aware this holiday season see's the introduction of the Sony's PS3 and Nintendo's Wii, into the gaming market.Nintendo has already held a conference for the retail industry outlining launch preperations etc. (MCV magazine broke the news a few weeks back). As we speak Sony are currently in meetings with retail bigwigs outlining stage 2 for official pre order preperations.During the event GAME, GAMESTATION and VIRGIN megastore have informed Nintendo and Microsoft that the section 1 floor space instores are for Sony's PS3. (MCV to publish story this week or next). What this means is when you walk into a store the first format you will see is the PLAYSTATION brand. In a further blow to Microsoft, GAME (the biggest games outlet in europe) have stated that Nintendo will have first option to purchase section 2, which means 360 sections will be moving to the back of there retail stores. If that wasnt bad enough, Game will announce that Xbox 1 software will be slowly phased out by summer next year, due to abysmal sales since the launch of 360 and the increase of handheld sales. In one final blow to Microsoft, The retailer have cut there ordering shipments of 360 down by a third due to increase of traded in 360 units. What this means is instead of ordering 1 million units, they will order 660,000 roughly. (All details will published by MCV magazine in the next few weeks).

Sony Back In The black As Electronics Division Turns A Profit.

But videogames sector reports major loss as PS3 costs mount Japanese electronics and entertainment giant Sony has announced a 32.3 billion Yen (219 million Euro) profit for the quarter ended June 30th, thanks to a resurgence in profitability at its consumer electronics division. The firm, in the same period last year recorded a 7.3 billion Yen (50 million Euro) loss, also saw revenues in the quarter leap by 11 per cent year on year to 1.74 trillion Yen (11.8 billion Euro) as sales surged in both the electronics and the Sony Pictures movie divisions. However, the videogames division of the firm recorded an operating loss for the quarter as revenues plummeted by some 30 per cent and the costs of developing the PlayStation 3 continued to mount. Sales of the PS2 hardware and software were down for the quarter - as, disappointingly, were sales of the PSP. The results have spurred speculation that Sony may be about to turn its fortunes around after several years of weak financial results and painful restructuring efforts. The firm's British chief executive Howard Stringer - who became the firm's first non-Japanese CEO when he was appointed a year ago - has continued the firm's restructuring efforts, and now appears to be reaping the rewards. As well as announcing its first quarter results, Sony also took the opportunity to update its forecasts for the full year - maintaining its profit target of 130 billion Yen (881 million Euro), but raising its revenue target marginally from 8.20 trillion Yen (55.6 billion Euro) to 8.23 trillion Yen (55.8 billion Euro).

PS3Land Interviews Fantasy Lab.

Fantasy Lab is one of the newest next gen development studios bringing to life an engine with the power of Global Illumination and amazing displaced subdivision surfaces technologies for the PS3. Recently had a chance to talk with Michael Bunnell, the President of Fantasy Lab. Here is what we discussed: PS3Land: How long has Fantasy Lab been around? Fantasy Lab was founded about a year ago. PS3Land: How long has the Fantasy Engine been in the works? The Fantasy Engine was begun when the company was founded a year ago. PS3Land: What will the Fantasy Engine include? Anything new that has not been seen in any other game engine besides Global Illumination? I think our combination of subdivision surfaces with displacement mapping is unique. It lets us render very complex geometry in a realistic way from any viewpoint. Computer graphics is about creating an illusion. If you see an object up close and it is obvious that it is rendered with normal-mapped polygons then you lose the illusion. Thereafter the viewer knows that the object is just some normal-mapped polygons and it no longer seems as real. PS3Land: I hear you currently have a PS3 title in the works. Now I understand releasing details on the title are strict, but will it be PS3 exclusive or are there any details you are allowed to provide? Yes, we are working on a PS3 title, but we are not providing any more information other than it will have an “E” rating. PS3Land: Global Illumination, what is it? Global Illumination is a method of lighting geometry in computer graphics in which the light that reaches a surface is calculated using both direct light from light sources and indirect reflecting off other surfaces. The result is more realistic and natural looking images. Global illumination complex to compute since light can come from any surface in the virtual world, and any surface can occlude (block) light. PS3Land: What makes Global Illumination any better than the shading techniques developers are using for todays games? Are there any noticable differences? The most noticeable difference between global illumination renders and typical lighting techniques used for games is the diffuse inter-reflections. It allows for soft, natural-looking lighting that makes images look realistic and objects really “pop” no matter what materials are rendered. As I see it there are three alternatives to global illumination.One approach is to use point and directional lights only and ignore inter-reflections. The result is harsh, unnatural lighting as in the Doom 3 engine. Another approach is to use lots of area lights. This is the approach taken by Pixar in many of there earlier films and Dreamworks in the movie Shrek. The results can look very good as long as the area lights are properly shadowed. However, it requires placing a lot of lights, and area lights take a lot more computation power to use than point lights, so this technique is not used for real-time applications. Dreamworks added a bounce of indirect lighting in Shrek 2 so they did not need to place so many lights. New films, like Monster House, are using full global illumination. A third approach is environment lighting, using environment maps or spherical harmonic lighting. Environment lighting is a natural choice for real-time rendering since its predecessor, environment mapping, has been used for years to render shiny materials in real-time. However, diffuse materials need self-shadowing or they look flat and seem to glow in all the wrong places (like in the Jimmy Neutron TV show). Calculating the shadowing (and ideally, diffuse inter-reflections) requires basically the same amount of work as global illumination and is often computed using the same techniques. Therefore, environment lighting is typically only used for real-time applications if radiance transfer information is pre-computed, which is only practical for static scenes. Another problem with environment lighting is that it is only correct at a single point. It takes a lot of environment maps rendered at different locations (or groups of spherical harmonic coefficients computed from different locations) to properly render objects in a complex scene or game level. Note that all the environment lighting information needs to be re-computed each frame for dynamic environments. PS3Land: How will the PS3 be able to handle something like GI? We are well aware that conventional methods for computing global illumination can take hours for typical scenes, even on hardware as powerful as the PS3. However, our technique is extremely efficient and ideal for running on parallel computing hardware. The PS3 is plenty powerful enough to render complex scenes in real-time with global illumination using our technique. PS3Land: Any personal comments about the Cell processor or RSX graphics Card? I love the Cell processor. The SPUs are ideal for running our global illumination code, which can also run on the RSX. Having both Cell and RSX gives us a lot of power and flexibility. PS3Land: Will Fantasy Lab license the Fantasy Engine or Global illumination technology to other game studios or perhaps Sony to use as a middleware program in their line up of dev tools? We would love to offer our global illumination technology as middleware on the PS3. We are actively looking into that. PS3Land: In relation to #8, to what extent will the global illumination go on the PS3 hardware? Would something like a high end PC or perhaps the Xbox 360 run GI? I can say that the PS3 is the very attractive to us, because it is the most powerful hardware that the target audience for our game is likely to own. PS3Land: Any other words you would like to add whether its about your company or the Fantasy Engine or GI or PS3? We are very excited about the combination of the PlayStation 3 and our rendering technology. Our artists are able to create game characters and environments that match, and even exceed, their vision of what the character should look like. What we have shown so far is just the tip of the iceberg. Just wait until you see our game!

Day of Paradise: Thursday, July 27, 2006

Ah sadly not too much today as really didn't see a lot of MS or Sony news cause kinda lacking today on posts there but that's cool. Tomorrow we start the weekend updates so let's hope that we can find other stuff to get in here to get everyone some updates. Should have Japanese Weekly sales so there's something haha. Cross-Platform Game Selection Problem = Market Share Worldwide Hardware Sales Up to June 30,2006 Zoonami Wants to Develop for the DS Red Steel Press Release Leading Analyst Predicts PS3 Winner IGN Gets Sadness Update Sony Claims 208 Devs Support PS3? Ready to Rumble 3 Wii? Nintendo to Hold Wii Tour? Nintendo DS Headset Revealed Zucas

Nintendo DS Headset Revealed

Ah and finally Nintendo joins the Headset era haha. After announcing that they would have one for the DS they finally show the 1st pic for it.

It seems that Nintendo wants to keep that White Apple look as they do with their Wii, DS Lite, and now the headset. Looks quite fancy but reminds me a lot of the 360 wireless headset which I really didn't like that much. Just not into that kinda look. Looks ugly to me but I guess both will do for me sooner or later haha. As long as no one takes a picture of me I'm fine. Anyways this baby will be hitting stores in Japan on September 14. For everyone else I believe you can probably by it off the internet until an official release


Nintendo to Hold Wii Tour?

If it wasn't just everyone around making up their own little rumors it seems that the guys over at Kotaku have come up with their own Wii rumor. But this one is a lot more believable. He says that Nintendo will be holding a Wii tour so that they can give people all around a chance to interact with the Wii. Here's what he says: Sources tell me that Nintendo is planning on showing the Wii around in the time leading up to the launch of the next-gen console. Rumor has it that the console will be launching on a big-ass, cross-country tour this fall, pre-launch, to bring Nintendo's flavor of games to the people. The goal, I think, is for Nintendo to get the console in the hands of as many people as possible, because they believe once people try it, they'll buy it. Once again another rumor about the Wii but as I said I can definetly see this happening. This will give a lot of new people a chance before and during the Wii launch to interact with the system and be able to get the feel to better enable them to want the Wii. I hope an announcement on this game comes in shortly. Thx Brian Crecente for the 10 millionth Wii rumor over the year. You win a cookie haha. Source Zucas

Ready to Rumble 3 Wii?

If anyone ever remembers the Dreamcast they remember the hit series Ready to Rumble. After a good 2 of it showing it was a big title but just kinda went down the drain just as the Dreamcast did. Well the game may be rising up again and on the Nintendo Wii. A site claims to have inside info of the upcoming game, Ready to Rumble 3, and it will be exclusive on the Nintend Wii. Check what they said: Good news since according to our sources, Ready To Rumble should go up soon on the boxing ring! According to our information, Ready To Rumble 3 would be under development exclusively on Wii for the account of a large American editor. Very inspired by the capacities of the console, the developers should be useful of both pads (Nunchaku and remote control) for mimer of the virtual fists. One imagines already the intensity of the engagements, especially as a multijouor. Ready To Rumble 3 should be revealed soon for an exit not before the next year. One keeps you informed. Ah extremely interesting. Would be great to see this series rise again as it was a big game on the Dreamcast. Just the Wii hopefully getting another big game. Let's hope this turns out true. And a boxing game is going to be so awesome. I mean may get tired after constant punching but will make you feel the moment more than ever. Who needs on screen sweat when you'll be sweating yourself. Source Zucas

Sony Claims 208 Devs Support PS3?

Now if more bullshit couldn't possibly be thrown by Sony I think this happens to be the biggest ever. In a recent report Sony said that they had shiped 10,000 dev kits to 208 companies from a 11 different companies. Check what PR Manager Brian Howling said: “To date we have shipped more than 10,000 development systems to 208 companies in 11 countries, the largest number ever for a PlayStation platform.” Now right off the back I smell bullshit. If they shipped to that many individual companies at least one of them had to be a small time company. And based on how expensive those dev kits are some of them would be impossible to buy. I think this number is utter bullshit personally and I really don't believe a word of it. I mean I think this is Sony trying to get it some good numbers in for once and have resorted to lying. Wouldn't be the 1st time eh. Now this could be correct I mean maybe Sony is trying to be truthful for once but I really don't see that happening. Just doesn't seem logical. More on this as it comes: Source Zucas

Thursday, July 27, 2006

IGN Gets Sadness Update

The fellows over at Nibris have really been busy with their 2 titles for the Wii, Raid Over the River and Sadness. With Raid Over the River to be the 1st out they are also working hard at the other title, Sadness. For those not familiar with Sadness it is a pschological horror. It's proclaimed to be some pretty scary shit and that will literally have you scared to move. The game will also be in Black and White which will mark a 1st. IGN just got an exclusive on the game. You can read about that here: Very interesting. Well 1st they talk about how the Publishers are Majesco or Atlus to clear up old rumors. They also tell why they can't share info cause their publisher doesn't want them too. But we'll see some soon hopefully. But they did give some info to help out. They wanted to create a game that almost perfectly depicted the Victorian era and to give a creepy, eerie feel. To dot that they needed to put it all in black and white to give it a look like nothing else ever seen. Also with that it should better enable them to reach almost close to photorealism. Although I don't think they could hit close but without having the color it will definelty free up a lot of space. Also they are getting a lot of help from others. Frontline Studios will be helpiong with programming the game. Digital Amigos will be responsible for the graphics. Finally they state that this game will be one of the few games to not have a HUD or in game system. So not little health bars at the top no nothing. You'll be seeing exactly as if that were your arms stretched out. Also every choice or scare you get will affect you as if you were a real human. If you see a scary moment then you'll really feel that scare later on. Kinda like how the Sanity Meter works in Eternal Darkness. Finally he says that everything will be intuitive and interactive. If an umbrella is sitting on the ground you have to physically with the controller go and pick it up. And thne you can use it do things as if you really had an umbrella. This game seems to be turning out great. I'm so pschyed about this game. Like a cross between Eternal Darkness and Condemned. It's going to be eerie and psychologically terrifying. Too bad it won't come out til Q4 2007 at the earliest but I'll give more info on Sadness when it comes. Zucas

Leading Analyst Predicts PS3 Winner

A leading analyst, Yuta Sakurai, has stated his thoughts on the console wars yet has left the X360 out of this talk. He states he sees by 2011 he sees the PS3 selling 71 million units compared to what he believes the Wii will sell 40 million units by that time. Even though he sees the Wii not selling as much as the PS3 he still has good things to say about it such as, "Software developers are increasingly interested in creating games for these Nintendo platforms." He stated that hardcore gamers would prefer the raw power that the PS3 could produce and even though all the positive stuff about the Wii it would still lose to the PS3. Source Now where the X360 fits in this equation but with both the Wii and PS3 taking up 111 million of the sales in his prediction obviously he's not seeing good stuff from the 360. Really this is a good analysis of what could happen. Will it? No clue. But curious to see what he thinks about the 360 as right now seems like he's seeing people buying a Wii and a PS3 which would go against the whole Wii60 ideal. Obviously he thinks that there are plenty of hardcore and casual gamers willing to pay the $600 just to get that slight advantage over the 360 while they'll get the Wii for the unique games it'll offer due to the control. Personally I don't think this will happen but this dude is a very well respected analyst so always got to take his opinion highly. But analysts are wrong all the time so I guess we'll find out sooner or later. But I definetly do think no matter what the Wii does that if it doesn't take first it will take a second just cause people are going to feel they need the uniquness from it. But if it can take hardcore gamers that it has, new and casual gamers, and all the other games who have a PS3 or X360 then it would be completely unstoppable. As for the 360 in this scenario if the PS3 price turns out to not be too expensive and people start buying the PS3 and a Wii which goes to the whole PSWii thing after a mockup of Wii60 then I smell doom for the 360 cause there would be no point in getting it. They'd get the PS3 for the power and blu ray player and the Wii for the uniqueness. But this can also happen the other way around with the PS3 on the bottom. Either way it'll be interesting to see what happens. Zucas

Red Steel Press Release

Ubisoft bears all today about their upcoming Wii launch game Red Steel. They give an ultimate preveiw on everything concerning the storyline, the characters, and events occuring in the game. It's a must read by anyone that wants this game which I have a feeling most people want to pick up with their Wii this Q4 2006. Anyways it's really long so I'll post the 1st parts then you go to link to read the rest of it: How do you discover the Japanese mafia in Red Steel? To save his fiancée caught in the middle of a war between two generations of Yakuzas, ancestral and modern Yakuzas, the player will have to fly to Japan and fight his way through the Tokyo Mafia. During his journey he will come face to face with their codes, have to learn Asiatic fighting techniques and understand their ethics. Is it a game about the Japanese mafia? The setting of the game is Japan. But the goal is not to make a realistic Japanese game. This will be perfectly done by Japanese people. As we were an occidental team, the goal was more to work on the occidental perception of Japan, the Japanese clichés, and how a "gaijin" (meaning stranger in Japanese) is immersed in a new Japanese universe and must adapt himself to the "local rules." This will bring more fun as we are not Japan experts, anyway. We want to put the player in the same situation as the character, asking him, "why is this happening to me?" and having to learn skills and rules
A very good read indeed. I get more pschyed over this game everyday. The depth of this game seems to be getting larger and larger everyday and more that just an FPS that uses the amazing wiimote. Obviously this is going to be a big game. But did anyone notice that once again Multiplayer is being avoided by Red Steel even though we know it will have online play. Why so much secrecy with the Wii online by even the 3rd party. What is it about Wii's online that Nintendo and devs don't want us to know til a certain date. Guess we'll learn soon enough.