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Archive For November, 2005

From Killer Cop To Cop Killer?

November 24, 2005 2:29 AM | Simon Carless

badlt.jpg The ever-perceptive Clive Thompson's latest Wired News column on games finds him asking: "Why are the most violent, brutal figures in video games usually police officers and soldiers?"

Thompson cannily points out: "In Doom, the game that began it all, you were a Marine. Then came a ceaseless parade of patriotic, heart-in-hand World War II games, in which you merrily blow the skulls off Japanese and German soldiers under the explicit authority of the U.S. of A. Yet anti-gaming critics didn't really explode with indignation until Grand Theft Auto 3 came along -- the first massively popular modern game where the tables turned, and you finally played as a cop-killing thug." What else do we have to add? Maybe this McSweeney's primer will calm you all down a little bit - games are just, well, games? Thompson concludes by pointing out: "Maybe our power fantasies are best kept where they belong -- on the console."

Gogol gets 2D adventurous

November 23, 2005 11:59 PM | Simon Carless

gogol.jpg Russian developer Step Creative Group seems to be a fan of seminal 19th century Russian author Nikolai Gogol - so much so that they made Evenings On A Farm Near Dikanka, a 2D adventure game for PC based on one of Gogol's (handily out-of-copyright) novels, and currently nearing completion.

The plot: "The protagonist of the game - rural smith Vakula - is enamored with Oksana, the first beauty of Dikanka. But Oksana presents an apparently impossible requirement: she wants Vacula to bring her shoes that the tsarina wears. Vakula’s adventures begin when the habitual rural life suddenly turns magical." It's a bit like 'Bewitched' meets 'Monkey Island' in the 18th century Ukraine, then? Please sign us up for "the world where miracles and habitual fancifully intertwine", forthwith.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden... Treasure Game?

November 23, 2005 11:34 PM | Simon Carless

tinytoonsl.jpg
Ex-GameSpy staffer Ben '222b' Turner has an eye for the obscure, and is a particular fan of cult Japanese developer Treasure, having written an excellent retrospective of the Gunstar Heroes creators for 1UP.com recently.

So, imagine his surprise when some eagle-eyed forumites pointed out to him Tiny Toon Adventures: Scary Dreams, a Conspiracy-published Treasure title for Game Boy Advance, believed to be a Europe-only release under a different name, but currently available on eBay in largish amounts from a liquidator. Unfortunately, Ben notes: "All told, it's fast, it's chaotic, it's mildly entertaining. It feels very much like a prototype of Astro Boy: Omega Factor, which it probably is. But where Astro Boy is refined and beautiful, TTA: Scary Dreams is simplistic in gameplay and barebones in presentation." So... hardly a slamdunk, but collectors had better get in fast, before the inevitable price gouging starts.

Second Life Attack Gets Real-Life 'Firewall'

November 23, 2005 7:43 PM | Simon Carless

sl.jpg The ever-informed Clickable Culture has the latest details on a major hacking attack in blue-sky 'virtual world' Second Life, this time successfully foiled by admins for the popular (and seedier than one might expect) world.

According to the blog, a "denial-of-service (DOS) attack employing malicious 3D objects", intended to flood the world with so many polygons that it was impossible to move, was well-handled this time out, since: "The company deployed spectacular counter-measures within 45 minutes in the form of a massive virtual-reality firewall--literally a vast line of protected land separating the malicious objects from the rest of their cyberspace grid." All spectacularly Gibson-esque, eh?

Metal Slug 6: The Sluggening

November 23, 2005 5:09 PM | Simon Carless

ms6.jpg Over at the Metal Slug Database, they've posted an in-depth look at Metal Slug 6, the latest in the classic SNK series, complete with screenshots and plenty of spoilers.

Apparently, we can expect multiple alien races and some pretty nifty new vehicles, including a donkey carrying a howitzer and an underground drilling machine - maybe this is a cut above the other recent Metal Slugs? But... the 'Days Of Our Lives'-style plot tragedy? Sadly, 'much-loved' character Allen O'Neil won't be returning to the series: "The fact that Allen has been revealed as a cyborg in Metal Slug 4 will not allow him to appear any more on other new Metal Slug games." Awwwww. (Via IC.)

'Tokyo Access' DVD Hits TGS 2005

November 23, 2005 5:09 PM | Simon Carless

tokyo-access.jpg The guys over at NextGen Productions have announced the release of the 'Tokyo Access' DVD, an official CESA-approved look at the Tokyo Game Show 2005. The single DVD, featuring nearly 3 hours of footage, and including an exclusive Peter Moore interview and other notable CESA-arranged interviews, retails for $12.95, and is apparently available via GameStop stores in the U.S., as well as via popular Asian retailer Lik-Sang.

The company's previous releases have included multi-DVD E3 documentaries, but this DVD promises, alongside all the sights and sounds of TGS, "bonus features including retro gaming in Japan, Two Ji live at TGS, interviews with developers and publishers, Hi-Def content and more." Rumors that 'Tokyo Access' includes certain Insert Credit-related co-editors of this blog waxing lyrical on Tokyo's game stores are yet to be confirmed - but could be dangerously true.

Xbox 360, In Public? Smash, Grab, Now!

November 23, 2005 4:49 PM | Simon Carless

x360.jpg There's a rather interesting photo over at Yahoo! News which shows "Microsoft's new Xbox 360 installed at a bus station in Paris during a promotion." Actually, it looks like a bus stop, and apparently Microsoft France decided to install an Xbox 360 (with slogan 'Jump In!') inside the stop's billboard, to lure hapless commuters.

Seriously, do they even realize how swiftly that glass would be smashed in America, given current Xbox 360 attempted sale prices? We guess this proves that the French are much more trusting - but the guy on the left is a Microsoft employee, judging by his shirt, so they'd have to get past him first. Possibly by sneering Gallically.

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