Best VGM 488 – Catherine – Shepard’s Funeral March

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VGA Awards Airs Tonight & Official Nintendo Magazine Votes For The Best Wii Game Ever

Yesterday marked the point where I finished all my work for this semester…and you know what that means right? Plenty of free time until January to play games of course! Today I will be marking the great occasion with a quick roundup of important news from the past week. So as usual, prepare for the bullet points:

  • This weekend marks the start of the annual VGA awards hosted by Spike TV. It’s normally a pretty big event – for example, the likes of Mass Effect 3 and Skyrim got their first outings there last year. So what have we got to look forward to for this year? Well, Bioware and Epic Games are looking to announce new titles, Hideo Kojima is poised to give more information on the long awaited Metal Gear Solid: Rising, and we will learn more on the likes of the next Tony Hawk title, Mass Effect 3 and Bioshock Infinite amongst other things. Well worth watching then; coverage starts in the morning at 1pm in Britain
  • After a slight delay, Microsoft managed to roll out the latest Xbox dashboard earlier this week. Designed with Kinect integration in mind, it has received mixed reviews, with more than a fair share of consumers (myself included) complaining that it has become far too dominated by adverts and much more awkward to navigate – for example, why on earth would you swap the disc eject button from X to Y? Completely pointless. And we have to wait even longer in Britain before you get the good stuff like Youtube and the BBC Iplayer. At least it works I suppose.
  • The Wii is five years old this Christmas, and to celebrate (and no doubt increase the exposure of the console for its last Christmas as Nintendo’s premier console), the Official Nintendo Magazine has published a Top Ten List of the best games on the Wii, as voted for by readers of the magazine. It’s a pretty damn strong list, with a winner that you perhaps wouldn’t expect – click here for the full list. And in a week where lists have been popping up all over the place, IGN has produced another intriguing Top 100 list – the best moments in video games, which you can check out here.
  • A few eagerly anticipated Japanese games now have confirmed release dates for Europe – Deep Silver’s simulation cum puzzler Catherine will finally arrive on February 10th, while the last of the games requested by Operation Rainfall earlier this year, Mistwalker’s The Last Story, will arrive a bit later on February 24th.
  • Finally, if you are one of these trendy types who prefer Apple products, you can now purchase the legendary Chrono Trigger off of ITunes. Well worth a tenner methinks

That’s my take of some of the more interesting stories of the week. Aside from the news, I have had quite an interesting week. For example, I bought a pre-owned DS with Pokemon White the other day, making it my first Nintendo console that I have actually bought rather than been given, and meaning that after many years away from the franchise, I have finally got back into Pokemon. I’m not finding the game to have the same thrill as Red & Blue gave me over a decade ago, but its not a bad game nevertheless. I have also started up again in Skyrim, this time playing through as a Dark Elf. I might actually get round to completing more than 30% of the plot before getting distracted this time around. And as a fan of Japanese animation, I am looking forward to the upcoming fortnight of Studio Ghibli films being shown on Film 4. This Christmas period is shaping up quite nicely.

Hope you have a good week ahead of you all.

EA Buys Popcap Games, First FIFA 12 Career Mode Details & Kingdom Hearts 3 News

While we find ourselves deep within the summer lull of the games industry, where pretty much nothing gets released and Zumba Fitness gets to rule the roost as a result, there have been some quite interesting developments over the last two days or so. As ever, this is my quick roundup of all the big news.

Top billing for this week has to go to EA. Yesterday they announced the purchase of Popcap Games, the studio behind the massively successful Peggle & Plants And Zombies, for an eye watering amount of $750 million. This comes as part of EA’s drive to regain its mantle as the biggest games company in the world, following on from their acquisition of Bioware, the creators of Mass Effect and Dragon Age, for $860 million four years ago. However, one has to look at this deal and think that EA may have paid a bit too much; Popcap have admittedly tapped into everyone’s love for puzzle games and reaped success, but is a casual games company worth such a high investment? It seems others aren’t happy as well; EA’s stock experienced a small drop in the aftermath of the news breaking, and the internet has exploded with the usual ‘EA are killing originality’ and ‘screw you Popcap for selling out’ comments. On a personal note, I wish Popcap a good future working with EA, because I love Peggle. Simple as that. Continue reading