My earliest memory of the game of football is watching Chico and Harpo Marx play cards on the field in the middle of a huddle. Shortly after that, the chariot arrived, and my conception of the game was forever warped. I was further upset when I learned that football and Calvinball were two different sports. The final injury came when Electronic Arts signed a deal with the NFL and its players’ association, granting them the exclusive right to develop and publish games with the NFL license. Such corporate trickiness in a game that ought to feature banana peels and opposite zones! Though 2K Games’ 2KX series of NFL games were rendered impossible after EA’s agreement was signed, the publisher is now announcing a return to the market with an unlicensed game called All-Pro Football 2k8. With details still unclear, there are three things you can be sure of:
1) There will be no familiar names from the NFL appearing in the game.
2) It will play better than the Madden series.
3) It would be way cooler if everyone rode ponies.
Smaller-than-they-would-like publisher Majesco saw decent fiscal improvement over 2006 (meaning, of course, that losses were not so large as the previous year’s), and expects to continue the trend over 2007. These are the guys you have to love for picking up Psychonauts when Microsoft dropped it, and whom you have to regard skeptically for their massive, flubbed push for the Orson Scott Card-scripted Advent Rising. Apparently, their fiscal improvement can be chalked up to brisk sales of mass-market games like (um) Jaws: Unleashed and (whew) Cooking Mama, plus their agreement with Valve to deliver games via Steam, and a new distribution deal with Trymedia.
Microsoft has released a list of ten new titles you can expect to see on the Xbox Live Arcade in the future. No release dates have been set, so "the future" is an entirely too-large subset of time. I would also like to announce that, in the future, I will die, but details have yet to be finalized. The games include:
Alien Hominid HD
3D Ultra Minigolf Adventures
Band of Bugs
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Catan (please, future, come sooner)
Also related to the Live service, Gold subscribers of Microsoft’s little net-unto-itself can now download a demo for Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2, or GRAW 2. "GRAW" is such a good acronym, I don’t think we need the full title anymore. Like ADIDAS. Or CHUD.
Perennial hot-seller PlayStation 2 is getting some widely-spread love this week in the form of videos of gameplay from the upcoming God of War 2. Gamevideos.com has a solid five-and-a-half minute clip showing story elements and sequences of gameplay. (The clip has been floating around in a truncated form for a couple of weeks, now.) The game is expected to hit in March, and is also expected to feature a fucking rebellion of spinning blades.
It was a surprisingly dull day yesterday in gaming news, despite Microsoft VP Peter Moore’s claim that the release of Vista will mark "one of the most significant days in gaming." All else that really happened was Ken Levine of Irrational Games made a terribly frustrated and unuseful comment about creativity in game developers, somebody cracked open the new PSP firmware 3.10, and way too many people sat cramped in a convention hall for a LAN party. Also, I hit my wife in the face with a Wii remote because we stood too close playing tennis on Wii Sports.