Amongst the milking, Ubisoft remembers the cream

Ubisoft has never been shy about milking their franchises. I mean, c’mon, how many Tom Clancy games can they put out per year? Anyway, one of the best new franchises of the past generation was Beyond Good and Evil. The game was amazing, and fans of the game have been clamoring for a sequel for quite some time. Sadly, the original didn’t sell well, and years passed by with fans having a pretty negative outlook on their chances. Well, just a couple of days ago (sorry I’m late, folks), Ubisoft showed the teaser trailer for Beyond Good and Evil 2. Yes, it’s really coming. Below is the teaser trailer that should get you all giddy.

For those of you that missed out on the original, tracking down a copy isn’t always so easy. The GameCube version is the best out there, but if you have to “settle” for the PS2, I still think you’ll be happy. I do kind of wish that the visual look from the original had carried over to the sequel, but I’m so happy right now that I’ll just take it any way it comes.

The NPD makes people stupid

Each month when the new sales figures come out fans of the “losing” console freak out. They lose their sense of reality and just start spamming message forums with damage control. This month Sony fans are in backpedal mode, and here are a few choice cuts. I plan on doing this each month, we’ll see if I can keep up the desire to do so. I’ve basically gone to a couple of forums and pulled random quotes that I felt were dumb. I’ve then added a response of my own that is debatable in its humor value. For the most part, the original comments speak for themselves.

—-

Damn close between 360 and ps3.

also, holy sh** at psp games in the top 10, and TWO OF THEM!

Snarky Response: Yes, ignore that the Wii was even on the charts. It will go away. The PSP taking 1/5th of the top ten is the only remarkable occurence of the month.

—-

(Quoted from another post) – “Damn, Guitar Hero III on the Wii just keeps trucking!”

good…maybe it will force nintendo to add a friggen harddrive

Snarky Response: Right, because GOOD sales typically force companies to change their strategies. Oh wait.

—-

Holy crap, are people on Wii just playing Smash and Guitar Hero?

Snarky Response: Yes, and PS3 owners are only playing Army of Two. The top 10 doesn’t account for all game sales, champ.

—-

(Quoted from another post) – “I wonder why the high def consoles dropped..kind of discouraging.”

state of economy?

Snarky Response: It must be! That’s why March was the biggest non-holiday month in the history of gaming (in regards to overall sales). This, my friends, is called grasping at straws.

—-

I think millions of hardcore gamers are going to cry out in pain the day WiiFit is released.

Snarky Response: Probably for two reasons this guy is correct. First, because it will be the first time they’ve ever done a push up, and secondly, once Wii Fit releases secret police forces will remove all “traditional” games from shelves and immediately shut down the production of any non-Wii waggle heavy title.

—-

The interesting thing about the Wii is that Smash Bro probably contributed very little to that number. Most of that are driven by Wii Sports.

Snarky Response: Yeah, I can’t see how a game moving 2.7 million copies could have an impact on sales at all.

—-

Are we going to consider the PS3 and 360 a tie since it is only 5k discrepancy? Since NPD does not get full report from all vedors, ie Toys R US, IE Amazon.

Snarky Response: Faulty logic. WOuldn’t you have to increase the 360 and Wii numbers as well? Oh wait, we only play this card when our system of choice is behind. I keep forgetting that.

—-

Wasn’t Easter in march? Isn’t that considered a mini Christmas? Could that explain the huge sales number of the Wii?

Snarky Response: Lucky for Nintendo Miyamoto is the Easter Bunny and he doesn’t support non-Nintendo products. Look, I have proof!

shiggybunny.jpg

—-

I love Metal Gear 4. I think it is the best online experience of any game ever. Same with the single player. Let me swim in the awesome Kojima.

Snarky Response: Nice time to talk about the sheer awesomeness of an unreleased game, huh? Hey buddy, that deflection tactic didn’t help sales any.

—-

I don’t get why so many say that the wii has won this generation. Sure the hardware sales are unprecedented for the wii but the hardware only exists to play the GAMES. Software is why we’re all here in the first place and software is where the money is made in this industry. The 360 is kicking huge amounts of ass when it comes to software sales and is the rightful winner of this generation at this point!

Snarky Response: Again, top 10 sales aren’t all the sales. The Wii, like the DS, has a massive userbase and their sales are spread out across a large library. Wii software sales have actually been higher than 360 sales 3 out of the past 4 months (overall).

—-

Guys debating Wii vs 360/Ps3 must be the same guys that like to debate ice cream flavors.

“Chocolate > strawberry, and it sells the most too, so there should be only chocolate.”

“But i want more than chocolate. I actually like to mix Chocolate with strawberry flavor”

“F*** you.”

…. Seriously people. Give it a rest.

Snarky Response: I can’t believe he took the time to come up with this analogy. Analogies are dumber than a gorilla in a snowstorm. I’d never use one.

—-

And who cares how well Wii sold? It’s not even competing with PS3 and 360 IMO.

Snarky Response: Adding “IMO” to the end of a post doesn’t give you immunity. What a stupid post. So can Pepsi just claim that they’re number one because they don’t consider Coke a competitor? If so, they should IMO.

Note: IMO is lazy forum speak for “in my opinion”. It’s often used when somebody knows they’re saying something stupid and they don’t want to take heat for it because they can’t back up their statement with any basis in reality.

—-

Mortal Kombat 8 to feature DC Comics characters

Yes, that’s right…Mortal Kombat 8 is going to feature DC Comics characters mixed in with traditional Mortal Kombat, er, Kombatants. Not much has been revealed yet, but I’m sure the stir that the first videos and screens cause will be truly amazing. Here’s the first teaser pic released.

MK8.jpg

So, it will be interesting to see if DC is comfortable with allowing Batman to have his spine ripped out or with Superman having his head sliced off. For gamers I guess it means that you can finally have Batman just obliterate Robin and finish him off with gory results. Yay? We’ll see.

BOHICA! Madden collector’s version priced at $90

C’mon, EA! This is ridiculous. In an official press release EA Sports announced the ship date and price for Madden 2009. Here are some cuts from the release (we’ll whine after the quotes):

Madden NFL 09 will be available in retail stores in North America on August 12, including a special collector’s edition in celebration of the 20th anniversary of one of the best-selling video games franchises of all time. The Madden NFL 09 20th Anniversary Collector’s Edition will be the ultimate interactive NFL experience – featuring full versions of both Madden NFL 09 and the all-new NFL Head Coach 09, exclusive classic Madden NFL gameplay, and an extensive library of bonus video content.

Additionally, gamers will be able to import their user-designed plays from NFL Head Coach 09 and put them into Madden NFL 09 to create customized playbooks for complete control on the field.

Madden NFL 09 will be available for the Xbox 360™ video game system from Microsoft, PlayStation®2 and PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment systems, Wii™, Nintendo DS™, PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system and is rated RP by the ESRB. At a suggested retail price of $89.99, Madden NFL 09 20th Anniversary Collector’s Edition will be available for the Xbox 360™ and PLAYSTATION®3.

So let’s look at this. The standard price for a collector’s edition this generation as been $70, a price that already feels way too high…so EA feels that somehow $90 is fair. Great. Oh, sure, you’re going to get NFL Head Coach with it, but who really wants that? It’s like Madden, but somebody takes the controller away from you when the game starts.

The most disturbing, however, is that you’ll need NFL Head Coach to be able to draw up your plays. Yes, if you don’t buy this inflated and ridiculous version of the game, you’ll no longer be able to draw up your own plays in Madden and use your own playbook. I’m tired of this crap, EA. Madden has been in a constant state of degeneration ever since 2005 (the last year NFL 2k was a competitor). Unless we see a HUGE leap forward in gameplay, I’m done with this series for good. After taking so much from gamers over the years, you’d think to celebrate 20 years of strong support from the gaming community that EA could give something back, rather than just screwing over their fan base once more. Guess not.

February 2008 NPD Sales

Some people love them, others simply tolerate them…it’s the NPDs. This month things are looking pretty similar to what happened last month, except for the PSP has fallen back a bit. Microsoft needs to get rid of the Arcade pack (new ‘tard pack?) and just get the version of the system out there that everybody wants (the Pro). Until they do that, they’re going to continue to limp in sales, because nobody is eager to pick up the lesser version of the 360 at this point. Software looked great on the 360, as always. Call of Duty 4 is just an absolute beats, kicking out almost another 300,000. After this long, it’s great to see that game continue to steamroll the charts. Anyway, here are the numbers:

Hardware
Nintendo DS – 587,600
Nintendo Wii – 432,000
PlayStation 2 – 351,800
PlayStation 3 – 280,800
Xbox 360 – 254,600
Sony PSP – 243,100

Top 10 Software
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (360) – 296,200
Devil May Cry 4 (360) – 295,200
Wii Play (Wii) – 289,700
Devil May Cry 4 (PS3) – 233,500
Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (Wii) – 222,900
Mario and Sonic: Olympic Games (DS) – 205,600
Lost Odyssey (360) – 203,600
Turok (360) – 197,700
Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (PS2) – 183,800
Rock Band (360) – 161,800

Battery life of Sony, MS, and Nintendo controllers compared

Gamepro compared the battery life of each of the major three console maker’s first party controllers, and they published their results this past weekend. Here’s a chart showing how the results played out:

gameprobatterylife.jpg

So the chart is showing the the 360 has by far the longest battery life, with the Wii in the middle, and the PS3 with a very disappointing showing. I kind of have to question this, because I’ve owned 5 (yeah, long story) 360 controllers and I’ve found that I can’t ever get more than 8-10 hours out of them before they need to be plugged in. With the PS3, however, I’m definitely getting at least 20. The Wii time shown there looks to be just about right. The big bonus with the 360 controller is that you can charge it with a reasonably long cable while you play. With the Wii you can’t charge and play at the same time. And with the PS3 the charge cable they give you is so short that the only way you could charge and play is if you’re willing to press your nose up against your TV set.

What does this all mean? Nothing really, but it’s interesting to see Gamepro’s results. Am I the only one that finds the 360 numbers extremely exaggerated? Have I just had a bad run of controllers?

UPDATE: Super cheap preorders at Wal-Mart.com

Update: The pricing has been changed back to regular MSRP. No word yet on whether or not Wal-Mart will honor the orders already placed.
This might be a pricing error, but many preorders at Wal-Mart.com are worth checking out. The most notable games are:

Wii – Super Smash Bros.: Brawl – $20:
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ…30411815755716

Xbox 360 – Devil May Cry 4 – $40:
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ…14903098620702

PlayStation 3 – Haze – $30:
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ…uct_id=6527031

Xbox 360 – Burnout Paradise – $40:
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ…uct_id=7080024

Xbox 360 – Turok – $30
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=5651618

Xbox 360 – Condemned 2: Bloodshot – $20
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=8217142

There are more games that are priced way below normal retail price. If it’s a mistake, there’s a chance that Wal-Mart will honor all orders that are placed before it gets corrected, and you could always cancel your order if they don’t honor the price. Who knows how long the prices will be active if it is an error…so be quick!

GameSpy’s Game of the Year Awards

These are pretty straightforward, so here they are:


PlayStation 3:
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
PC: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Xbox 360: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Nintendo DS: The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
GameBoy Advance: Final Fantasy VI Advance
PSP: Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions
PlayStation 2: God of War II
Nintendo Wii: Super Mario Galaxy

cod4.jpg

Call of Duty 4 dominated GameSpy’s 2007 awards.

Well, Call of Duty 4 did quite well with the GameSpy staff, and I can’t say that it isn’t a deserving title. Personally I’ve been glued to the game on the 360 since I got my grubby mitts on it last month. The online play is downright excellent and varied enough to keep you interested well beyond what is typical for an FPS game with online features. Obviously Super Mario Galaxy was the best Wii game of the year, so it’s no surprise there. The rest of the picks were predictable as well, but seeing Final Fantasy Tactics take the top honors for the PSP might be a tad surprising. Congrats to Infinity Ward for Call of Duty 4’s continued success.

The Edge Awards 2007

Edge, one of gaming’s most respected and trusted video game magazines has released their awards for 2007. As far as year-end awards go, so far Edge seems to be the most well-rounded in their selections and easily the most objective (take a note from this, Spike). Anyway, the awards are listed below:

Best Game

Super Mario Galaxy

Runners-Up
The Orange Box
Halo 3

Best Innovation

Halo 3

Runners-Up
Crysis
Portal

Best Visual Design

Bioshock

Runners-Up
Team Fortress 2
Super Mario Galaxy

Best Audio Design

Super Mario Galaxy

Runners-Up
Halo 3
Colin MCrae: Dirt

Best Online Experience

Halo 3

Runners-Up
Forza 2
Wii Channels

Best Hardware

Rock Band

Runners-Up
Nintendo DS
Nintendo Wii

Best Developer

Valve

Runners-Up
Bungie
Nintendo

Best Publisher

Nintendo

Runners-Up
Microsoft
EA

Maxim shows why they should stick to girly photos, not games

The Maxim top ten of 2007 is out…and, well, it’s about what we expected it would be. Sure, some picks are right, but others can’t be objectively justified at all. Here’s the list:

1. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
2. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
3. The Orange Box
4. BioShock
5.God of War II
6. Super Mario Galaxy
7. The Darkness
8. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
9. John Woo’s Stranglehold
10. Lost Planet: Extreme Condition

Yeah…I don’t think that The Darkness, Stranglehold, or Lost Planet should be anywhere on that list. It’s good to see Call of Duty 4, The Orange Box, Super Mario Galaxy, BioShock, and Prime 3 up there though. At least they got that right. Where’s Halo 3? Mass Effect? Rock Band? Odd. Anyway, here’s a bit more Mario love in “Maxim” style to commemorate his top ten selection.

mariokiss.jpg