To resurrect a dead horse for a moment, word is circulating around that Sony Pictures Entertainment has enforced a takedown of all media relating that that faux-Ghostbusters game that we (and everyone else) reported on last week. Developer Zootfly no longer mentions the game on its website, and the footage has been removed from YouTube. What does this mean? Absolutely nothing to those of us without the facts. Either Zootfly’s enthusiasm took them a bit further than they ought to have gone, or they’ve entered a deal with Sony which stipulates hush-hush environment. Or the real ghostbusters are performing a coverup. Or, really, anything. Time to stop caring.
Anybody out there got a Gametap subscription? Do you remember fondly Activision’s racing/combat game Interstate ’76? (If you remember it at all, you have to remember it fondly.) According to the Gametap interface design blog Angled Whiteboards, you can now roll with the funk, though you have to engage in a little officially-sanctioned subterfruge. See, the game isn’t actually listed in Gametap’s library. Instead, you need to go to the game search and type "Groove Champion". That’ll get you to the game, and before you know it you’ll be ignoring mission objectives and blowing up oil rigs to a soundtrack that was way ahead of (and before) its time.
Funcom’s Robert E. Howard MMO Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures has been delayed a further six months to allow developer Funcom more time to polish before market. I’m looking forward to trying this one out whenever it hits, because the setting is so perfect for hack-and-slash gameplay. I hear you might also be able to make characters with mommy-complexes who commit suicide, but treat that as a rumor. I’m also kind of keen on this game being a success, because I want Funcom to get the financing to finish the damn Longest Journey story. Then again, these are the folks that brought us Anarchy Online which had a wretched combat system. And what do you have if you take the combat out of Conan?
In other MMO news, LOTR Online: Shadows of Angmar has been given a release date of April 24. Pre-orders are now available from this page with a number of exclusive bonuses, both physical and ephemeral. Some of our chewers are in on the beta, so hang around our video games forum to snag some impressions.
PSP homebrew enthusiasts who were tricked into upgrading their firmware beyond version 2.80 can wipe the tears from their eyes. Coder-extraordinare Fanjita has demonstrated and released a brand new exploit that allows homebrew software be run on Sony’s portable all the way up through the latest firmware version 3.03. Two things to note: first is that right now it’s too difficult a trick for inexperienced users to pull off, so those of you hoping to play your PS1 library on Dark_Alex’s custom firmware ought to wait for a user-friendly downgrader. Secondly, this exploit makes use of a hole in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories which Sony had allegedly patched several months ago. Expect Sony to release another firmware update soon, and expect it to still not allow for PS1 emulation without a PS3!
The MPAA rating system has been in the news lately, so why not check in with the world of game rating? Hollywood Reporter is running an article by Paul Hyman, which you can read here. It’s a well-researched article, and covers a lot of territory, considering the challenges and implications of ratings systems in America, Australia, and various countries in Europe. Here’s a quote that I found interesting: "Last year, the ESRB rated almost 1,300 games, and [ESRB Pres] Vance believes it has the capacity to service as many additional games — including casual games — as is necessary." Mull that over. PC platforms offer a wealth of casual games, but parental locks can be set to disallow games that haven’t received an ESRB rating?
Somewhere between the land of film and gaming comes news from Microsoft’s Major Nelson that the Video Marketplace has been updated for Xbox Live users. Included in this update is Requiem for a Dream in high-definition. Because if I had the fortitude to watch that movie again, I’d certainly want to be able to see infected needle tracks as clearly as humanly possible.