Upon its release in 2005, Psychonauts was given great praise and several accolades from the gaming press – the most notable of these awards however were the ones deeming Psychonauts to be the ‘Best Game That No-One Played’. By the end of the year, less than 100,000 copies had been sold, and the publisher Majesco quietly withdraw from the market. Thus, the game earned a cult following and stayed quietly in the background…until it was included in the fifth Humble Indie Bundle and consequently sold more copies in a few hours digitally than it had done at retail. And it is through these means that I have recently been able to play what I consider to be one of the most well rounded platformers I have come across. Continue reading You’d Be Brainless To Miss It – Psychonauts Review→
Welcome to Part One of a new initiative on my blog – the introduction of guest writers! This initiative will be part of a small series looking back at some of the most pivotal games on all time, focusing on the efforts on Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft and PC gaming – if it proves to be popular, I may well extend the project to take in other great names such as Sega and Atari. The basic idea for this project came about because I wanted to take a look back of ten years of Microsoft in the games industry, and then thought that it would be a worthwhile effort to include the other major players in the industry. What you will be getting is a series of top ten lists looking at the games which have defined the companies and their consoles – not necessarily the best selling games, but those which the writers feel have had the biggest influence over time.
And so to the writers themselves – I will be looking back at 10 years of Microsoft, and I have enlisted some of my good friends to write the lists for Sony and Nintendo – they will be revealed in due course. You know, to make it more exciting when you read them.
And so without further ado, here is Part One:
Top 10…Most Important Games On Microsoft Consoles
When the 15th November 2011 marched by a month or so ago, it marked ten years since Microsoft decided to chance their hand at the games industry. Taking the fight to Sony’s PlayStation 2, Nintendo’s Gamecube and Sega’s Dreamcast with its powerful Xbox console (the first to have an in built hard drive), they enjoyed a great deal of success and with the introduction of Xbox Live in 2002, they created an early monopoly on online console gaming that remains strong to this day. The Xbox, despite being crushed by the PS2’s enormous sales figures, nevertheless came out of the sixth generation as ‘the best of the rest’ with 24 million sales, and Microsoft blinked first in the seventh generation of consoles by introducing the Xbox 360 in 2005. With the 360, Microsoft have continued to battle Sony and Nintendo on a level playing field, and the console remains strong to this day, shifting 57 million units – needless to say, Microsoft’s decision to take the plunge in the console wars has been a very lucrative effort. Continue reading Top 10…Most Important Games On Microsoft Consoles→
How does one follow up the most profitable week in the gaming industry ever in the UK? Near to £121,000,000 worth of games were sold last week – having six blockbuster games released this week, including The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Assassins Creed: Revelations and Saints Row: The Third, might just be able to make up for it methinks. It has been yet another glorious week for gaming, so let’s go right ahead and delve into the most interesting stories of the week.
So about those enormous sales figures…well, unsurprisingly a lot of that income was made up by Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 – a cool £83.1 million to be precise – and the game made over $400 million in just 24 hours across the world following its release, becoming the third game in consecutive years to have the ‘biggest entertainment launch ever’…..following Black Ops ($360 million) and Modern Warfare 2 ($310 million). The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim managed to make up a big chunk of the remaining money, shipping over 7 million units and become the highest played game on Steam, along with Battlefield 3 which continues to sell strong since its release. The releases haven’t been entirely successful however; owners of MW3 discs have been complained of disc read errors on the Xbox 360, and people looking to play Skyrim on the PS3 have found they get crippling lag if a save file goes over 5MB in size. Expect the issues to be resolved soon via patching.
This past Tuesday marked 10 years since the release of Microsoft’s original Xbox, and indeed the release of Halo: Combat Evolved. They have been celebrating in style (throwing in a free Avatar gift – get it while it lasts), and I hope to produce an editorial soon looking back at 10 years of Microsoft consoles in the industry, and the pivotal games that have helped it become a major player next to Sony and Nintendo
There has been a huge controversy surrounding Super Mario 3D Land this week, after PETA (People For Ethical Treatment Of Animals) criticised the game for its use of the famous Tanooki suit (the Tanuki being a real life dog that is skinned alive for its furs), and retaliated by released a Flash game on their website called ‘Super Tanooki Skin 2D’, where you play as a skinned Tanooki and try and catch Mario who is flying away with your skin. I find it utterly bizarre – for one thing, the flash game is actually quite playable, but why make a game that glorifies the thing you are campaigning against? Weird. PETA have since come out and told Mario fans to chill, but I get the feeling that Nintendo will be pretty pissed off with them
343 Industries have confirmed that Halo 4 will not be appearing on the next generation Xbox, and will be a purely Xbox 360 affair. This comes after rumours have intensified over the last week or two that Microsoft are preparing for the next generation console to be revealed at some point during early 2012.
That’s about it as far as headline news goes for this week. On a personal note, I’ve had another relatively successful week – all my work got handed in amongst furious Skyrim playtime, and I was invited to do a piece on gaming this Winter for the community radio station located on my University campus, Siren FM. It was nothing spectacular, but it was well received, and marks the first time I’ve done radio for years; I’ll try and get the audio off of the sound guys so you can all have a listen. I also managed to win the FIFA 12 Tournament we held at the Lincoln Gaming Society, keeping my good run of fortune with the game going.
Now then, run along young ones, and if you are settling down for a weekend with any new releases (or any game I suppose), I hope you have a blast.