Thursday, August 24, 2006

Rumor: Lumines Live will charge players to advance in the game?

Keep in mind that this is only a rumor, nothing has yet been confirmed.

According to gaming website Gaming Bits, upcoming Xbox Live Arcade game Lumines Live! will be charging gamers who advance far enough in the game.

From a review in OXM (rating Lumines Live 8.5):
"You'll be prompted to buy the Puzzle/Mission Pack (400 MS Points extra)" once you start "getting on a roll with Mission Mode".

Also, in the VS CPU mode, when you are "knee-deep" in the VS CPU mode, "you'll be blocked by signage declaring: 'You need the VS CPU Pack (300 Points)."

This is of course in addition to the 1200 Microsoft Points the full game costs. So wait, to get the full version of the game, I need to pay an additional 700 Microsoft points (around eight or nine dollars)? That's ridiculous. This is the first time I've ever seen a developer penalize a gamer for doing well in a game.

I haven't seen the official OXM review to confirm this for myself, so I'm going to reserve judgment on this until it's been confirmed one way or another.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Pretty in Pink

Sony has recetly unveiled a new color for the PS2. Pink.

According to Sony, the recolor was designed to symbolize the growing and diverse demographic the Playstation 2 has developed since its European launch in November of 2000.

“PlayStation 2 is the accessible, affordable way to enjoy new social, communal and interactive entertainment experiences, through software titles like SingStar, Buzz and EyeToy”, said Dan Hill, PlayStation 2 European Brand Manager. “The Pink PlayStation 2 is funky, fresh, and fashionable, and will further broaden the console’s continuing popularity and relevance with a fun new twist”.

As of now, The new Playstation 2 has only been announced for European customers looking to add a bit more "diversity" to their enterainment centers. The limited edition PS2 will come packed with two pink DualShock 2 controllers, a pink 8MB Memory card and will retail for €159.99. In the UK it will come bundled with Singstar Pop for £129.99 The new PS2 bundles are expected to go on sale on November 6, 2006, shortly before the release of the highly anticipated Playstation 3.

The new Pink PlayStation 2 will make its debut European appearance on the Sony Computer Entertainment Stand at the games convention, Leipzig, August 23 - 27th.

More to come as this story develops.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Snakes On A Motherf***in Plane

I saw it today. And it was awesome. Before I go into details, let me get one thing out there first. There are indeed Snakes on the Plane.

Okay, now that I’ve said that, I can begin to speak at length about how truly awesome this movie is. I have to admit, I went to see this mainly on the hype alone. Snakes on a Plane quickly became a cult favorite and an internet phenomenon long before its release.

The story begins in Hawaii. After local surfer Sean Jones witnessed the brutal murder of a Los Angeles prosecutor by a mobster named Eddie Kim, he is the target for assassination before he can get to LA and testify. He was attacked soon after in his home by two of Eddie Kim’s thugs, and was saved by Agent Neville Flynn. When it is discovered that he will be on a flight from Honolulu to LA (Pacific Air Flight 121), Eddie Kim arranges for the plane to be filled with venomous snakes. The leis, given to the passengers as they boarded the plane, were soaked in pheromones, which caused the normally calm snakes to become highly aggressive. Midway through the flight, the snakes were released, and were granted access to the cabin through a previously tampered with panel. As the passengers realize that the cabin is full of the poisonous snakes, panic ensues, as the snakes begin to attack.

The movie was great, as I said before. I was at least partially surprised that this was more of a thriller than a comedy after seeing the publicity (commercials and such) and the jump-out-of-your-seat moments were plentiful. I am usually not a fan of such movies, but I enjoyed this one.

The violence is pretty intense, as expected, and the after effects of some of the snake bites (swelling, foaming at the mouth, etc) look relatively graphic, but it wasn’t terrible, not nearly as bad as some of these horror/slasher flicks you see today.

A few of the funniest moments in the film weren’t exactly things people should be laughing at but still funny in a twisted sort of way. Actually, that’s a great way to summarize the comedy in the movie. Twisted humor.

When Sam Jackson uttered his famous line (seen in the video above), the whole theatre began to get excited.

Bottom line, it was a good film. Samuel L. Jackson was perfect for the role he was assigned to play. If you’re a fan of the thriller genre or you enjoy a bit of twisted humor, this is a good movie for you. It was funny, exciting and pretty much everything I expected from it and more.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The State of the Next Generation As I see It

The next generation of console gaming is upon us and once again, three consoles are competing for a spot in your home entertainment center. The three contenders, Microsoft's Xbox 360, Sony's Playstation 3 and Nintendo's Wii, have all just about shown their hand at E3 2006. The Sony Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii are both ready for their next gen debut this fall after the Microsoft Xbox 360 enjoyed a one year head start over the competition, they are well on their way to having a 10 million unit lead over the competition before consumers are given a choice of which next gen console to buy. Here's my brief summary on all three.

The Playstation 3, hot on the heels of the runaway hit Playstation 2 is once again the favorite to win the console wars. After the first Playstation, which upset fan favorite (prior to the release of the Playstation) Nintendo's N64 and Sega's Saturn to win the console war of that generation, the Playstation brand has been a household name. Both previous Playstation consoles, have sold over 100 million units worldwide, with the first Playstation becoming the first console to ever do so and Sony is hoping they can repeat that success with the Playstation 3. The Playstation 3 appears to be the most powerful of the three consoles and it shows in games such as Metal Gear Solid 4 and Heavenly Sword, two of the most visually impressive games I've seen so far. Its controller has also been confirmed to feature six-way tilt sensing. This was demoed at E3 in a tech demo and a short Warhawk gameplay session. The PS3 has a lot of potential, and it's up to developers to realize that potential.

The Xbox 360 is currently the only next gen console you can purchase and it is sitting pretty, using its head start over the competition to gain a sizeable lead and a huge library of titles to choose from once the competition does launch, giving the person shopping for a next gen console this holiday season, a choice of titles to choose from. With titles in the works such as Gears of War, Mass Effect, Bioshock, Forza Motorsport 2 and Splinter Cell Double Agent, they will have a very impressive and diverse selection of games to round out their library well into 2007. The announcement of the "Live Anywhere" service, which promises to unify PC's, the Xbox 360 and even Cellular phones, allowing for cross platform gaming in certain titles is one of the strong points of the Xbox 360's showing. Forza 2 was used as an example. Gamers will be able to upload their cars to Xbox Live, customize them on their PC or cellular phones when on the go and then send them back to the Xbox 360 game was impressive and shows a lot of potential.

The Nintendo Wii prides itself on being different from the competition. Nintendo has stated that they aren't trying to compete directly with the PS3 or Xbox 360, and is trying to expand the market to include people who are only casual gamers and those who don't play videogames at all. In terms of raw horesepower and graphical potential, the Wii cannot compete with either the Xbox 360 or PS3. According to Nintendo, this is intentional. Their main focus is on delivering stellar gameplay experiences via its innovative motion sensing controller. Based on games such as Wii Sports, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Excite Truck, Project H.A.M.M.E.R, and Super Mario Galaxy, it seems that it will deliver on its promises.

So far, the Xbox 360 is my favorite of the three, followed closely by the Wii and then the PS3. I'll post more on the subject later if I decide to elaborate on these points.