Hurrah! There’s plenty for me to get excited about this Monday in the gaming realm. I write better when excited, if you ignore the frequent bathroom breaks.
First off, a couple of interesting tidbits about the Blu-Ray format. The format wars don’t really concern gamers all that much; each console plays the game discs that are designed for it. But, tangentially at least, the duel between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray should be of interest to you. particularly when it comes to unconfirmed rumors of Blu-Ray discs rotting. Some isolated incidents seem to show a strange mutant fungus infecting the discs, beneath their polished surfaces, rendering them unplayable. Hey, it’s just like what was intended for the DivX discs! Clever, Sony. Clever. This is nothing to put knots in panties, though, and the only discs that seem to be affected are copies of The Prestige. So… it’s not a design flaw; it’s magic.
With a weight much greater than the content of Internet forums comes the confirmed reports that the Blockbuster rental chain has chosen Blu-Ray over HD-DVD for its brick-and-mortar stores. HD-DVDs will still be available over the company’s Netflix-a-like online rental service, but most of the shelf space in the real world will be reserved for Sony’s format. It can’t all be bad news for Sony, after all.
For Microsoft, on the other hand… Last week’s revelation of apparent design changes in faulty 360s seems to have lost the head of hopeful goodwill that built up behind it. Now, owners of (multiple) failed 360s are back to feeling as if the faceless corporation doesn’t love them or care about their needs as an individual. Joystiq reprints part of an interview between Dean Takahashi, who wrote a book called Xbox 360 Uncloaked, and Microsoft QA fellow Todd Holmdahl. The goal of the interview, for Takahashi, was to get soem answers for all the questions surrounding the apparent high failure rate of 360s. For Holmdahl, the goal seems to have been to see how long he could talk like a reticent computer before Takahashi’s eyes boiled red in frustration.
One-hit-wonder Orson Scott Card (it wasn’t Advent Rising) has given an interview to Gaming Today regarding, among other things, what he’d like to do with games based on his various properties. Destructoid highlights include this quote, which deserves some commenting: "Part of the deal with Warner Brothers was for them to develop the many videogames that are possible from the book, without waiting for the movie. They never fulfilled that – which was the only part of the deal with Warner Brothers that actually made me angry. Movies are hard to make – but to make many good, profitable Ender’s Game games is a no-brainer." I think he may be a little off base in his estimation of how easy it is to make good games, much less profitable ones. I really hope that no games based on Ender’s Game get made, actually. What a terrible idea that is, to reduce the depth of the book to a zero-G battle simulator, especially when the "game," and all it represents, in the book was such a reprehensible construct to the protagonist.
Maybe they will just make a Flash game in which you can choose which of the giant’s drinks you’d like to stick your head into.
The upcoming issue of Game Informer is going to have a huge cover story on Fallout 3 (as well as a feature on Rock Band, including mockups of the drum set, but that’s neither here nor there) which is sure to tantalize the faithful. CVG (via Slashdot) has a brief rundown of some of the info in the article, for those of us who can’t wait to get their grubby hands on the issue. The new combat system is described in minor detail, and it sounds… interesting, a sort of hybrid real-time and turn-based deal in first-person. What it reminds me of, actually, is bullet time as implemented in games like Max Payne; when you have the concentration, you can fall into a mode that gives you much greater accuracy and time to develop strategy.
Here’s an important question for Legendary Pictures and their pre-production Diablo movie: Can they get Sean Connery to do Deckard Cain’s voice?
It’s a handheld nation, yeah, yeah:
Guild 2: Pirates of the Seas, The
Sims: Pet Stories, The
Adventures of Darwin, The (four months of sailing, two weeks of tortoises?)
Resident Evil 4
Dungeon Maker: Hunting Ground (please be like Dungeon Keeper… please…)
Transformers: The Game
Brothers in Arms: DS
Fullmetal Alchemist: Trading Card Game