Time Magazine awards Halo 3 Game of the Year

Time did a top ten games of the year, and they ultimately gave Halo 3 the nod as the overall pick. The top 10 are as follows:

1.Halo 3
2.The Orange Box
3.Rock Band
4.Super Mario Galaxy
5.BioShock
6.Call of Duty 4
7.Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
8.Mass Effect
9.Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation
10.God of War 2

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I agree with the top 10 (for the most part), but I think there needs to be a shift in the ordering. I think I’d swap Super Mario Galaxy and Halo 3, and bump BioShock to 3 and drop Rock Band down a bit. Oh, and I guess Ace Combat 6 should be taken out entirely.

I’ve got my own list coming up soon which is guaranteed to be better. If you don’t think it’s better, well, then you’re wrong…not me. Anyway, Congrats to Halo 3!

Rock Band shortages expected

As Guitar Hero continues to rack up big sales, the game has become pretty hard to come by. Apparently, those looking to snag Rock Band are going to face some difficulty tracking down the game unless they can manage to secure a preorder or luck into the game early on. Manufacturing limitations might keep the game in low supply throughout the holiday season and into early next year.

EA president, John Riccitello, while speaking to investors was recently quoted as saying, “We won’t be able to put up enough inventory to meet the demand of this fiscal or calendar year,” Riccitiello told the investors, adding that those who don’t buy at launch “won’t be getting one for Christmas, unless you know someone at one of our retailers.”

This kind of goes hand in hand with the announcement that there wouldn’t be any peripherals available for the game until early next year. It seems that the drums, guitars, and mic are proving to be a major manufacturing undertaking for EA, and production of the game is slower than expected. If you’re at all interested in owning Rock Band this year, you just might want to head down to *shudder* EB Games and throw down $20 on a preorder. I guess you could always camp out the night before release as well…just make sure to dress warm.

Rock Band Final Track Listing

In a recently released PR, the Rock Band final track listing (not including bonus tracks or DLC tracks) has been unveiled. They fine PR folks did us a service by breaking them down by decade. Here’s the list:

1960s

  • Rolling Stones “Gimme Shelter”

1970s

  • Aerosmith “Train Kept a Rollin'”*
  • The Who “Won’t Get Fooled Again”
  • Boston “Foreplay/Long Time”
  • Mountain “Mississippi Queen” (cover)
  • The Police “Next to You”
  • David Bowie “Suffragette City”
  • Black Sabbath “Paranoid” (cover)
  • Blue Oyster Cult “Don’t Fear the Reaper”
  • The Ramones “Blitzkrieg Bop”
  • Deep Purple “Highway Star”
  • KISS “Detroit Rock City”
  • Molly Hatchet “Flirtin’ With Disaster”
  • The Outlaws “Green Grass & High Tides” (cover)
  • Sweet “Ballroom Blitz” (cover)

1980s

  • Rush “Tom Sawyer”*
  • Bon Jovi “Wanted Dead or Alive”
  • The Clash “Should I Stay or Should I Go”
  • Faith No More “Epic”
  • Pixies “Wave of Mutilation”
  • R.E.M. “Orange Crush”
  • Iron Maiden “Run to the Hills” (cover)

1990s

  • Foo Fighters “Learn to Fly”
  • Metallica “Enter Sandman”
  • Nirvana “In Bloom”
  • Stone Temple Pilots “Vasoline”
  • Weezer “Say It Ain’t So”
  • Smashing Pumpkins “Cherub Rock”
  • Radiohead “Creep”
  • Beastie Boys “Sabotage”
  • Hole “Celebrity Skin”
  • Garbage “I Think I’m Paranoid”
  • Soundgarden “Black Hole Sun”

2000s

  • The Hives “Main Offender”
  • Queens of the Stone Age “Go With the Flow”
  • The Strokes “Reptilia”
  • Jet “Are You Gonna Be My Girl”
  • OK Go “Here It Goes Again”
  • Nine Inch Nails “The Hand That Feeds”
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs “Maps”
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers “Dani California”
  • Coheed & Cambria “Welcome Home”
  • Fallout Boy “Dead on Arrival”
  • The Killers “When You Were Young”
  • New Pornographers “Electric Version”

Unlockable Tracks

  • Bang Camaro “Pleasure (Pleasure)”
  • Twelve more yet to be revealed

TimeSplitters 4 announced

Free Radical Design has officially announced the development of TimeSplitters 4. Back when Rare was starting to hemorrhage talent in the latter days of the N64, many of them formed up the Free Radical studio. Since then Free Radical has put out three great shooters in the TimeSplitters franchise. There are many, myself included, that feel that TS2 and TS3 were among the best FPS games released last generation, so the announcement of a fourth installment is great news.

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Check out the company’s official web site for a humorous little teaser. You can find it here: Free Radical Design

Leaked Guitar Hero III setlist?

A post over at the ScoreHero forums lasted for about 2 minutes before getting yanked that claimed to have shown the complete setlist for GHIII. Here’s the post:

Tier 1:
Foghat- Slow Ride
Poison- Talk Dirty to Me
Pat Benatar- Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Social Distortion- Story of My Life

Encore: Kiss- Rock and Roll All Nite
Co-op Encore: Beastie Boys- Sabotage

Tier 2:
Mountain- Mississippi Queen
Alice Cooper- School’s Out
Cream- Sunshine of Your Life
Heart- Barracuda

Boss: Tom Morello- Guitar Battle
Encore: Rage Against the Machine- Bull’s on Parade
Co-op Encore: The Strokes- Reptilia

Tier 3:

The Killers- When You Were Young
AFI- Miss Murder
The Who- The Seeker
Priestess- Lay Down

Encore: Rolling Stones- Paint It Black
Co-op Encore: Red Hot Chili Peppers- Suck My Kiss

Tier 4:
Black Sabbath- Paranoid
The Sex Pistols- Anarchy in the UK
Sonic Youth- Kool Thing
Weezer- My Name Is Jonas

Encore: Pearl Jam- Evenflow
Co-op Encore: Blue Oyster Cult- Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll

Tier 5:
The Dead Kennedy’s- Holiday in Cambodia
Scorpions- Rock You Like a Hurricane
Aerosmith- Same Old Song and Dance
ZZ Top- La Grange

Boss: Slash- Guitar Battle
Encore: Guns N Roses- Welcome to the Jungle
Co-op Encore: Bloc Party- Hellicopter

Tier 6:
Santana- Black Magic Woman
Smashing Pumpkins- Cherub Rock
White Zombie- Black Sunshine
Tenacious D- The Metal

Encore: Stevie Ray Vaughn- Pride and Joy
Co-op Encore: Matchbook Romance- Monsters

Tier 7:
Slipknot- Before I Forget
Disturbed- Stricken
Queens of the Stone Age- 3’s and 7’s
Muse- Knights of Cydonia

Encore: Living Colour- Cult of Personality

Tier 8:
Slayer- Raining Blood
Eric Johnson- Cliffs of Dover
Iron Maiden- Number of the Beast
Metallica- One

Boss: Lou- Guitar Battle
Encore: The Devil Went Down to Georgia

Bonus Tracks:

An Endless Sporadic- Impulse
Backyard Babies- Minus Celsius
Bret Michaels Band- Go That Far
Die Toten Hosen- Hier Kommit Alex
Dragonforce- Through the Fire and the Flames
Fall of Troy- FCP Remix
Gallows- In the Belly of a Shark
The Hellacopters- I’m in the Band
Heroes del Silencio- Avalancha
In Flames- Take This Life
Kaiser Chiefs- Ruby
Killswitch Engage- My Curse
LA Slum Lords- Down N Dirty
Lacuna Coil- Closer
Lions- Metal Heavy Lady
NAAST- Mauvis Garcon
Prototype- The Way It Ends
Revolverhead- Generation Rock
Rise Against- Prayer of the Refugee
Scouts of St. Sebastian- In Love
Senses Fail- Can’t Be Saved
The Sleeping- Don’t Hold Back
The Stone Roses- She Bangs the Drums
Superbus- Radio Song

New Guitar Hero III tracks unveiled…who played what in the where now?

Coming right of an Activision press release, here’s the newest set of tracks unveiled for GHIII. All are master tracks, but they’re pretty obscure names for North Americans. The new songs include:

“Minus Celsius,” by Backyard Babies
“Hier Kommt Alex,” by Die Toten Hosen
“In the Belly of a Shark,” by Gallows
“I’m in the Band,” by The Hellacopters
“Avalancha,” by Heroes Del Silencio
“Take This Life,” by In Flames
“Ruby,” by Kaiser Chiefs
“Closer,” by Lacuna Coil
“Generation Rock,” by Revolverheld
“Mauvais Garcon,” by NAAST
“Radio Song,” by Superbus

If you’re curious, you can find versions of each song on YouTube. I really am not too enthused by any of them to tell the truth.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Every year at this time the kids are hitting up JC Penny, Wal-Mart, and local malls to get their back to school shopping completed. As the kids, teens, and college goers storm the retail outlets to pick up new shoes, shirts, pants, and supplies, they pass by the store windows of game stores scattered in strategic locations. These windows are full of adverts for Madden (which usually hails the return of great games), sequels to the biggest franchises in gaming, and what is being touted as the next big thing in gaming.

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From now until the end of the year the release schedule is packed solid with AAA titles on each and every platform out there. It’s that time of year that each Saturday morning you have to make the touch choice: do I watch the early college football games before my team takes the field, or do I frag some baddies and delve deeper into my growing pile of games? It’s that time when your backlog replenishes itself and you scramble to finish off what remains from last year’s slew of releases. It’s that time when you justify dropping hundreds of dollars on game after game. So, what exactly do we have to look forward to this year? What’s going to drive Visa balances through to their limits?

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BioShock – Releasing tomorrow, BioShock is a revolutionary take on the FPS genre. Coming out for both the 360 and PC, BioShock provides amazing visuals, creepy motifs, gorgeous art, and action-packed gameplay that varies every time you spin the disc.

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption – The largest title to hit the Wii since Twilight Princess, Prime 3 is Retro’s first release on Nintendo’s landmark console. Adding a new control scheme to the legendary series is proving to fuel hype and anticipation for next week when the game launches.

Blue Dragon – Also hitting store shelves next week is the newest RPG to hit the 360. Blue Dragon is best described as one part Dragon Quest (gameplay) and one part Dragon Ball Z (art style). While not the most revolutionary title, Blue Dragon is helping to diversify the 360 lineup and show gamers that Microsoft is committed to bringing a well-rounded library to the console.

Warhawk – Incognito’s final game is going to be made available on both retail shelves on via download through Sony’s PlayStation Network. The game boasts huge multiplayer battles and a great range of weapons and vehicles. Warhawk is going to give the PS3 this year’s first big online hit.

Heavenly Sword – This stunning action title from Ninja Theory is a great showcase for the PS3’s power and versatility. The game is sure to be a hit with action fans that are craving a good beat ’em up experience.

Halo 3 – Not much needs to be said here. Halo 2 had the biggest first day ever in regards to revenue and Microsoft expects Halo 3 to surpass it. Either way, the game is going to be one of the most talked about games from the day it releases (late September) all the way through the holidays.

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass – Easily the most anticipated game on portables this year is Nintendo’s newest Zelda adventure. Phantom Hourglass is already raising eyebrows for its unique control scheme, stunning visuals, and depth of gameplay. It should be the perfect title to bring along during holiday travels.

Mass Effect – BioWare’s epic sci-fi action/RPG title features branching storylines, great graphics, and some of the most realistic AI interactions ever seen in a game. Ever since its first showing at E3 last year, Mass Effect has been on just about every 360 owner’s wish list.

Super Mario Galaxy – My personal favorite in the avalanche of holiday hits is none other than Super Mario Galaxy. Every screen, video, or bit of info just oozes with style and charm. If you can’t get excited for this game, you need to re-evaluate why you play games in the first place.

Rock Band – Threatening to talk away Guitar Hero’s title as king of the music genre is EA’s Rock Band. The game is playable by up to 4 people at one time (a guitarist, bassist, drummer, and lead singer). Also, EA is promising to support the game with weekly downloadable content.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl – This game will probably end up being the Wii’s biggest title of the year, and it’s no mystery as to why. The Smash Bros. series has been a fan favorite for years, and Brawl is riding one of the biggest hype waves a Nintendo game has seen in quite some time.

Honorable Mentions – Lair, Medal of Honor: Airborne, Eternal Sonata, Sonic Rush Adventure, Lost Odyssey, Beautiful Katamari, Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure, Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trials and Tribulations, Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles, Virtua Fighter 5, Guitar Hero III, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Fire Emblem: Goddess of Dawn, Assassin’s Creed, Army of Two, Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune.

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I’m sure I missed a few titles, so feel free to let me know what else you might be looking for. Obviously it’s going to be a financial impossibility to buy all of these games, so getting picky is going to be a necessity. If a major drought should ever hit gaming, however, there’s enough here to revisit for countless hours of gaming.

Edge names the top ten games of all-time

Edge, the UK’s most famous gaming mag, has named their top ten videogames and the results are proving to be a tad bit controversial. Anyhow, here’s the list:

  1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
  2. Resident Evil 4
  3. Super Mario 64
  4. Half Life 2
  5. Super Mario World
  6. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  7. Halo: Combat Evolved
  8. Final Fantasy XII
  9. Tetris
  10. Super Metroid
I definitely agree with the inclusions of the Zeldas, Super Marios, Tetris, and Super Metroid, but I’m iffy on some of the others. Halo might belong for its impact on the industry, but Final Fantasy XII and Resident Evil 4 are a bit sketchy. Were they some of the best on their respective platforms? Sure they were. Were they some of the best games ever? That’s hard to say. I’m pretty surprised that Pong or Pac-Man missed the cut, as both were hugely important titles in their era.

Tim’s Custom Console Arcade Sticks

Every once in a while gamers have to take things into their own hands if they want to get the most out of their hobby. Timoe, of the BYOAC forums, is creating custom made arcade sticks for consoles, using only the highest quality authentic arcade hardware. In addition to quality components, Tim sports some solid construction and amazing style in his builds. You honestly aren’t going to find a better arcade stick out there.

You’ll have to contact Tim directly for a pricing quote as things are handled on a project by project basis. If you order more than one stick, I’m sure he’ll be willing to work out special pricing as well.

So far Tim has created sticks for the PC, PS2, Xbox, and Xbox 360. I personally am thinking of getting an Xbox 360 one built so I can finally stop screaming at my d-pad during Pac-Man: CE rounds. Also, a 360 compatible stick could be used on the PC via USB. See the pictures below for a look at his work:

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To contact Tim, register at the BYOAC forums (http://arcadecontrols.com) and shoot him a PM. He’s pretty quick at responding, and he’s easy to work with. I’ve worked with him in the past when building arcade control panels.

CNN’s Look at Parents and Gaming

Instead of calling out games for destroying our youth and causing spikes in violence, CNN has an article up that talks about how games are being used by parents as a way to spend time with their children and get a chance to talk to them in a comfortable environment. The article, as expected, is big on the Wii, but it’s pretty universal in its concept.

Take a look at the article here: Click