critical-strike

TopWare Interactive Goes Over The Top

December 12th, 2006 . by Josh

Usually collectors edition means you get a dvd of in game footage or development videos. Generally a booklet of the game or even sometimes a little figurine of a character from the game.

But TopWare Interactive's collectors edition for their upcoming game Two Worlds has been stacked with lots of stuff. Our source QJ lists:

  • A 27.6 cm long miniature metal version of the fabulous Kilgorin sword that appears in the game
  • A t-shirt
  • A card game (55 sheets), both with the exclusive Two Worlds design
  • A double-sided poster in A2 format with a beautifully-worked map and some truly amazing artwork
  • And as always the making of DVD with soundtrack

Not a bad list of loot for a games collectors edition.

[Source: QJ

Santa Brings Red 5 $18.5 Mil

December 12th, 2006 . by Josh

Benchmark Capital and Sierra Ventures have given independent studio Red 5 $18.5 mil for "further expansion in the online game space". As the original article states Red 5 is a studio formed from original members of Blizzard's World of Warcraft development team.

Word has it Red 5 and now partner company Webzen will be developing a future mmorpg together. Is this some possible competition for World of Warcraft? Doubtful, but who knows.

[Source: Gamasutra, MMORPG.com]

Retailers Holding Off Digital Downloads

December 12th, 2006 . by Josh

GamesIndustry.biz reports that, Head of games at HMV Tim Ellis, had this to say in a recent interview:

"There's a lot of doom-mongering about downloading, but downloading audio has been big for quite a long time, and we're selling more music units than ever.

"You've got to be rational about it and think, 'Where will we be in five years' time?'. Yes, downloading will be an element of it, but can Microsoft do without retail partners? Can Nintendo? I don't think they really can, because they wouldn't get the standout," he continued.

"You need standout on the high street to get that perception out. If you're just relying on people sitting in bedrooms to buy your product, you're not going to get that excitement factor."

According to Ellis, HMV is "only seeing growth" for the games market at present – although, he conceded, things could change in the long term.

"In ten or fifteen years' time, will we come under pressure? Perhaps we might, but I don't think it's in the interest of publishers or platform holders to do away with retail, because they won't get the standout any more," he warned.

"So I think there will always be a retail element. Where we'll be in 20 years, who knows, but I think there will be a retail element to all the formats we currently sell."

Personally, I believe it will be a lot sooner than 10 or 15 years before digital downloads over take retail sales. Especially with how current-gen consoles are pushing demos, movies and now games on the Playstation 3 Network. 

[Source: GamesIndustry.biz

Next-Gen Aliens.. mmmmhmm

December 11th, 2006 . by Josh

Although I really should start saying "current-gen", I mean, all the consoles (Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii) are now out. But in other news, it seems Sega has secured the rights to create a first person shooter and role playing style Alien game based around the movie series.

Although these are not due anytime soon really, but at this rate they are expected in 2009. 

[Source: 1up

Left Handers WTFPWN At Gaming/Life

December 11th, 2006 . by jb

…at least that's what an Australian based study is showing. 

Lefties PWN!  Apparently...According to the tests conducted, it was concluded that information sharing between the hemispheres of the brain is more efficient in left handers.  The article even specifically calls out "fast computer games" as one of the activities that benefit.  The testing was done on 80 righties vs. 20 lefties.

My conclusion:  Bad…testing…practices

Only 20 lefties?  So just because you can't find droves of lefties, your "scientific" study has to be statistically flawed?

I know the study has little to do with gaming, but since the word "game" was mentioned, it's at least worth discussing.  I find it hard to believe that a lefty is able to game better then a righty, given that they are essentially playing everything in reverse (as just about everything assumes right-handedness by default).

So what do you think?  Lefties > Righties at gaming?

[Source: ABC via Eurogamer]

Square Enix Hammer Coming Down Again?

December 11th, 2006 . by Josh

Huey Lewis! EWAlrighty, I won't say it… eh I will, It's defiantly hip to be Square. After releasing bombs on us all year, what more could they have.

Well apparently a lot more, at least we think or hope but Square Enix will be announcing details for a new Dragon Quest game tomorrow.

[Source 1up

Game Releases 12/10 – 12/16

December 10th, 2006 . by Josh

Here is the list of games being released this week.

Playstation 3:

  • Blazing Angels
  • Sonic the Hedgehog

Playstation 2:

  • College Hoops 2k7

Playstation Portable:

  • Shrek Smash and Crash
  • Blitz: Overtime

Xbox 360:

  • Star Trek: Legacy
  • Rapala Trophies

Wii:

  • Chicken Little: Ace in Action
  • World Series of Poker: Tournament of Champs
  • Elebits
  • Far Cry: Vengance
  • Super Swing Golf
  • Metal Slug Anthology

DS:

  • Lionel Trains: On Track
  • Naruto 4 (Import)
  • Star Wars: Lethal Alliance
  • Jump! Super Stars (Import)

PC:

  • Rayman: Raving Rabbids
  • World War II Online: Battleground Europe
  • Rainbow Six: Vegas
  • Model Train 3D
  • Air Cargo Pilot
  • Hipsoft Puzzle Game Collection
  • Football Mogul 2007
  • Alexey's Dwice
  • Wizard's War Chest

Yeah, this is defiantly a crappy week for games unless you own a Nintendo Wii or even Playstation 3.

Counter-Strike 1.6 Meets Advertisment

December 8th, 2006 . by Josh

Yeah, you read it correctly, Valve has announced that they will be adding "tasteful" in game ads to the old school Counter-Strike 1.6.

Why you ask? Well Valve is clearly jealous of EA's "stupidity" factor and feel they need to copy it. No, not really, but when asked why in-game ads were a good idea in Valve's eyes Doug Lombardi had this to say:

"Advertising is a new and evolving part of the entire gaming industry. We’ve watched for the past few years as some of the biggest players in the software industry (Google, etc.,) have bootstrapped their efforts with advertising-supported business models on the Web. We felt that now is the right time to try advertising in one of our games."

That being said, it'll be interesting to see how the actual Counter-Strike community accepts this trial from Valve, but you can read the full interview here.

[Source: Kotaku, CSNation]

ESRB Gets Nod From Washington

December 8th, 2006 . by jb

Hilary Means Business!With the announcement that the ESRB is putting forth an ad campaign to better educate parents about videogame ratings, some people in Washington gave out some nods of approval.

Not just anyone in Washington, but Hilary (Rambo) Clinton and Joe (Cuddles the Bear) Liebermann.  Anyone who's been following political involvement would tell you that these two would eventually lead to the downfall of games.  With this notion of approval, perhaps this is a step towards Uncle Sam keeping his hands to himself?

I personally doubt it, but at least I had a reason to post this picture of Commando Clinton.

[Source: GamesIndustry.biz]

New Ritual Entertainment Studio Director

December 8th, 2006 . by Josh

Ritual Entertainment known for such titles as Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, Star Trek: Elite Force II have announced Ken Harward as the new Studio Head as of today.

"I'm really looking forward to helping guide Ritual," said Ken. "2007 looks to be a great year as we finish up our current projects and start some exciting new ones. I'm excited to have the opportunity to expand my leadership role within the company, and I'm flattered by the huge amount of support everyone in the tribe has shown. There's a ton of positive energy in the halls."

"I had the pleasure to work with Ken Harward for more than 5 years," said Steve Nix, who recently took over as Director of Business Development at id Software. "He always led by setting a great example for those around him."

"The new direction Ritual is taking will be great for the studio. It's something we've talked about for a long time, and now Ritual has a perfect opportunity to reach their goals," Steve said. "I'm excited for the company and look forward to seeing the great games they develop."

As always, a little shake up in any company can be a good thing, hopefully they will continue to work on good games and contribute to others as well like they have in the past with Quake 4 and Painkiller. Good luck Ken!

[Source: Ritual

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