Thursday, June 26, 2008

Microsoft finally fixes Xbox 360 DRM Issues

Microsoft has finally got around to fixing their crappy DRM on the Xbox 360. Well, they haven't fixed the DRM so much as given Xbox users a way to consolidate all of their licenses onto one Xbox. The reason this has been such a royal pain is that the content you download is tied to the specific console that you downloaded it to. So, if for example you're like me and your 360 broke and you had to go get a new one (with the warranty you're glad you purchased), you could access your paid-for content only while signed into Xbox Live (XBL). This is fine most of the time as my console is usually plugged into the internet 24/7, but occassionally when XBL is down, or my internet was down, I was unable to play games I had paid for! Well, now you can fix this dastardly issue, just go to Now my girlfriend can finally play Zuma again on her own account, thank the gods!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Smuggler = Chill Out = Cold Storage

If you understand the subject line, you're excited, if you don't understand it, you probably don't give a damn.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Parodies of Parodies

In late 2006 the game Gears of War premiered on the Xbox 360. Set in a war-torn futuristic world, Gears of War told the story of Marcus Fenix as he and his buddies fought back against the Locust horde. The game was pure machismo - the characters all looked and talked like football players, with huge, huge guns complete with chainsaw bayonets. It was a pretty violent game to say the least.

An interesting counterpoint to this violent image was the preview trailer for the game. It presented the game as this somber, moody piece, with the trailer set to the music of Gary Jules' cover of Tears for Fears' "Mad World" (originally featured in Donny Darko). You can watch this trailer here.

The videogame community reacted positively to this trailer. Soon, a few other games took this trailer and twisted it into a parody of their own. One parody of this trailer, comes from Battlefield: Bad Company with the appropriately titled "Bad World".

But the real cream of the crop comes from the Leisure Suit Larry series. In this video, Larry runs around to the same tune as the original Gears of War trailer, but finds something very different in the end. Watch the others first, then watch this.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Beastie Boys' Sabotage video recreated using Halo 3

Some clever folks in the Halo community remade the video for the Beastie Boys' Sabotage video. Find it here, and find a side-by-side comparison here. I recommend the side-by-side comparison, I can't imagine how many hours they put into making this!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

PS3 or not to PS3?

Metal Gear Solid 4 came out last Thursday and so far the critics have been raving. A brief view of metacritic yields such praise as:

"Is it possible to give a game an 11? If so, this would be the game that would merit that score."

"Hideo Kojima set out to move and excite people, to truly make a work of art, and not just a fun videogame. Metal Gear Solid 4 is an accomplishment like no other."

"A true masterpiece that will be revered for years to come like its predecessors, but one that will stand through the tests of time and will still be referred to as perhaps the pinnacle of storytelling in videogames."

All this praise has got me interested. What could be so amazing about this game to get such glowing reviews as this? I mean, "the pinnacle of storytelling in videogames"? Wow. I've never been interested in a Playstation before, but now, jeez, I think I'm ready to plunk down by $400 a give it a chance, just to play this freaking game.

One way to look at the current generation of gaming consoles is in how much potential each console has left. By potential I'm referring to how much uncertainty each console still has in its offerings. The Xbox 360, as far as I can tell, has a fairly certain future. At this point it's put most of it's big offerings onto the table, it doesn't have much of a hand left. Halo 3, Gears of War, Grand Theft Auto. After this past holiday season there's really not many surprises in store. Sure we'll have some milking of the Halo franchise, another Gears game, but I don't foresee anything as mega-selling as Halo 3 coming along.

Next up is the Wii. When the Wii was first announced it definitely had the greatest potential. The idea of motion-based controls just blew everyone's minds away. Unfortunately I don't think the Wii ever truly utilized those motion controls to the extent it could have. Instead it seems to have become a haven for mini-games and 'shovelware'. An interesting read on this lack of squandered potential is from MTV's Stephen Totilo with an article a while back called The Case of the Missing DS Drawing Games. Now that the Wii has got it's obligatory Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Kart, and Brawl games out of the way, I just don't see what big name items are left. Maybe another Zelda game before the current cycle is up, but even that's a bit of a guess. As far as I see it, though the Wii might continue to sell like hotcakes, there's really no more interesting games coming out for it.

And now we come to the Playstation 3. Usually I don't side with the PS3, but when it comes to remaining potential, this is where I think it's at. With pretty much nothing worth owning until now, the PS3 is still hiding its hand pretty well. Another Final Fantasy game, which is almost a certainty, hasn't even been announced as far as I know (correct me if I'm wrong). Blu-Ray being the winning format certainly works in Sony's favor, as does the price drop, which is right on the heels of the 360's current price. In terms of games, I think the 360 has the best selection right now, but in terms of potential, I think the PS3 has the most left.

So, is one game worth buying a Playstation 3 for? I'm not sure, that's probably why I'm writing this. The biggest thing that I have against the PS3 at the moment is that they dropped the backwards compatibilty, though the already-sold-out Metal Gear Solid bundle was backwards compatible, and just yesterday Sony said they were shipping more. If they do, I just might be tempted enough to buy me one.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

In a more perfect world

Check out this piece on (remember Cracked magazine, they're all digital now). It's a collage of videogame objects in the real world. I really enjoy the Donkey Kong one. Some are a bit obscure, even for me. Read it here.

Bungie announces new Halo 3 map

At the MLG tournament in San Diego this weekend, Bungie showed off a new map, 'Cold Storage'. It's supposed to be a remake of Chill Out from the original Halo, and it looks a lot like the area from the final cinematic of the game, the one where Master Chief is taking a snooze (probably where the name Cold Storage comes from, hint hint). I don't have much experience playing Chill Out but apparently it's a fan-favorite, especially among the competitive MLG types. It's also not certain whether Cold Storage is one of previously known new maps, codenamed Purple Reign, Moonbase Alpha, and the recently revealed 'the Smuggler' (complete with it's own mini-ARG ). I, for one, welcome our new Chill Out overlords.