A few days ago, I completed my long belated playthrough of Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic (expect a review soon) and today while I had a free moment at work I found myself musing over which game from my rapidly expanding Steam library I should tackle next. As I considered this, another thought popped into my head; KOTOR is the third game that I’ve completed in the space of just under two months, the other two being The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time and Grand Theft Auto V. Each of these games have required a reasonable investment of anywhere between twelve to forty hours apiece to complete, and initially I couldn’t work out where I had managed to find the time alongside a six day working week. And then in a moment of genius, the answer hit me:
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 EA Buys Popcap Games, First FIFA 12 Career Mode Details & Kingdom Hearts 3 News→
There’s still two days or so until E3 kicks off with Microsoft’s press conference, but it seems that game developers across the globe have got impatient waiting, and the result is that over the last two days we have had a flood of news about new games. In this article I will try to cover as much of the headline news as possible. Continue reading E3 2011: Konami Presentation Roundup And Early News→
I must say that I am feeling pretty good at the moment. My university course has ended for the year, and I managed to survive the Rapture. All of this means that I have managed to spend a bit more time looking at some of the news in the games industry recently. It has been comparatively slow (I get the feeling everyone is waiting for E3 for announcements), but two bits of news have been of interest to me.
The first piece of news regards LA Noire. I wondered in my last news post whether or not it would have what it takes to be one of the games of the year, and it seems Rockstar’s relentless advertising push, combined with some excellent reviews, have done the trick. It topped the All Formats, Xbox 360 and PS3 charts this week (beating outing the likes of Brink and Lego: Pirates Of The Caribbean), and has been touted as the fastest selling new IP ever, certainly since Red Dead Redemption a year ago. Initial reports claim that about 900,000 copies were sold in the Americas in the space of five days, and 250,000 in the UK in roughly two days, with 55% of sales being the 360 version. Very impressive sales figures indeed.
The second bit of news to discuss is the recent leak of FIFA 12 details, in the form of screenshots and a video. The pictures are nothing special, doing the traditional ‘show a player controlling the ball at close range’ thing, but the video, which you can access here, displays a few of the new features, including a much more realistic system of defending where players actually contain the opposition rather than charging straight at them, and a few new examples of the collision system in action, with players flying off at all angles depending on the tackles. Some a bit more official from EA would be welcomed, but at the moment it looks to be coming along swimmingly.
Well that’s your lot for today, have a look around my blog for more reviews and features, and I’ll catch you all later.
UPDATE: It seems that EA has claimed copyright on that video, I apologise but there is nothing that I can do about it as it was an external Youtube video. I will leave the hyperlink in case it becomes available again
With so many great titles all scheduled to come out in one burst at the end of the year, I think it was inevitable that one or two would get pushed back for marketing reasons. However, I really didn’t expect that Mass Effect 3 would be one of them. And yet in the last few days, alongside some new screenshots of the game, Bioware have announced that the RPG title is being pushed back to the first three months of 2012 (Mass Effect 2 was released early on in 2010). Added to this is the news that Star Wars: The Old Republic, the MMO also made by Bioware, is to be pushed back to 2012 as well, having already been delayed three times. Now I can only assume there are two reasons for the delays; either they do not want to actively compete in the Christmas market against so many other big titles (Gears Of War 3, Battlefield 3, the next Call Of Duty and of course The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim), or they simply haven’t made the game properly yet. Given Bioware’s excellent track record of games, I would hate to think that it is the latter; whatever the case its now going to take a bit longer for gamers to complete the adventures of Shepard. I don’t mind, it gives me more time with Skyrim if anything.
More details have also been announced about FIFA 12 by the Official Xbox Magazine. The headline news is that the engine from FIFA 11 has been thrown out the window and replaced with a new, much tighter engine. A key feature of this is the new impact dynamics; where players will now react to tackles depending on whereabouts they are being tackled from. Players will also adapt to the pitch much more so then before by the way of a new ‘Pro Player Intelligence’ system which highlights the attributes of key players and ensures that players stay where their skills are best used: for example, a beanpole like Peter Crouch will hang around the area looking for crosses, whereas someone who can hit the ball from range like Lampard or Scholes will hover around the edge of the area. Tackling has also been changed so that holding down the A button no longer causes a player to home in and tackle, and the enhanced dribbling dynamic will also see an overhaul. It all sound rather intriguing; the new elements of FIFA 11 were relatively well implemented, so I would hope for more good work from EA. There has been no word on Career Mode or online matches/pro clubs, and until then I will be sceptical about paying £30 odd for an update. I’ll keep my eyes open for more details as they arrive.
Finally, Harmonix have announced today that we should not expect a Rock Band 4 any time soon. The company has said that they intend to keep supporting the vast DLC market for the game, which recently surpassed 100 million song downloads. Considering the recent demise of Activision’s ‘Hero’ franchises, this does not strike me as a surprising move, but its good to see that the DLC service will continue to provide songs for people to play.
That’s all for now, comments and subscriptions are welcomed, and ill be posting again in the near future.
Over the last few days, the internet has been pummelled with some excellent news on all sorts of stuff within the gaming industry. In the post I hope to give as good an overview of every possible that has caught my eye.
First of all then, Capcom. I really quite like them; there is little doubt of the quality of their franchises over the years (Resident Evil, Mega Man, Street Fighter etc.). This week they announced to the media the progress of several of their titles, including more details on the eagerly anticipated Street Fighter X Tekken (a crossover game based to be made by Capcom, whereas Namco will make Tekken X Street Fighter). Now this was announced almost a year ago, and it looked absolutely epic. Now, Capcom have given details on the roster to date (10 characters confirmed, including Ryu, Ken, Chun Li and Guile from Street Fighter, and Kazuya, Nina, Bob and King from Tekken), and included some trailers and gameplay videos, which frankly look absolutely gorgeous with the stylised visuals we have gotten used to with Street Fighter. I preferred Street Fighter 4 to Tekken 6, and I personally think that Capcom’s effort will crush Namco’s interpretation of the game when it comes to sales.
(First published on Gamepad Magazine, 25th January 2011)
Truth be told, I love football games. As appealing as a real life kick-about is, the football game on a console is a perfect retreat to play the game as you see fit (or if you have a distinct lack of talent like myself, pretend that you are a footballing god). As a result, football games have for a long time made up a sizeable number of my games collection. What I intend to do in this article is cover every football game that I have played, and come to an overall conclusion on how far the genre has improved. So without further ado, let me take you back in time to 1997… Continue reading Football Through The Ages→