Tag Archives: Criterion Games

The Cutting Edge of Video Games…

Purple Box of Wonder…in 2001.

Yep, after fearing it lost forever in the great house cleaning of aught-11, the redoubtable Mrs Rolling Eyeballs managed to unearth Nintendo’s happy purple Gamecube from it’s most recent resting place and reinstate it to our lovely CRT telly, where it belongs.  The lesson to be drawn from this?  Tidying is for suckers – don’t do it, kids.

That golden era of titles like “Burnout 2: Point of Impact”, “Metroid: Prime” and “Zoocube” is even now being relived, via the medium of extended controller cables and an in-the-mail memory card from those nice folks at a popular online retailer.

Given that our platform-owning overlords are now seemingly bent on making us pay and re-pay to enjoy titles from back in the day by removing backwards-compatibility from video games consoles, my next course of action is to head into town and pick up a PS2 to enjoy some of the earlier Sony titles I missed first time around (and so that Mrs Rolling Eyeballs can enjoy other iterations of her beloved, Criterion Games-developed “Burnout” franchise).

Retro? No, I just love the classics…

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Filed under Gaming, Geekery

“Need for Speed” news blow-out


It’s been a busy weekend for the “Need for Speed” video games franchise.

As we await the release of a new entry in the franchise this year, “Need for Speed – Most Wanted”, peerless racing game developer Criterion’s VP Alex Ward indicated that the “Need for Speed” series is key to his company’s future.

This is news which will not please my wife, Mrs Rolling Eyeballs, who has completed Criterion’s Burnout Paradise at least 9 times on PS3 and Xbox 360 – it may be her favourite game of all time.

Would these game devs be half-as-eager to eulogize car thieves if they had their own motors nicked?

For the time being, it would seem, we won’t be getting any more “Burnout” games from the developer and will instead be getting the far less interesting “NFS” brand in yearly iterations – I just don’t care about running from cops and having to sit through cheesy, sub-DTV cut scenes with bored, CW show hotties feigning their best, “Maxim” approved sultry poses when I could racing at breakneck speeds around a city with hundreds of challenges to take on.

“Ah-ha!’, you might say, ‘Need For Speed: Most Wanted’ takes that template from the ‘Burnout’ franchise and applies it to the ‘NFS’ brand, making it the best of all possible racing worlds – everyone’s a winner!”  True enough, the E3 footage for the game did seem to suggest that Criterion were doing “Need for Speed” in an open-world city with challenges and the traditional, ‘run-from-the-cops’ gameplay mixed together.  But it wasn’t convincing to my wife or to a lot of “Burnout” fans – from the stuff that I’ve shown her, she feels that it’s neither fish nor avian, and that the hybrid of game styles isn’t something that she wants to play.

She played Criterion’s first “Need for Speed” game for around ten minutes before handing the controller to me and never picking it back up.  Game was traded swiftly thereafter.

In other “Need for Speed” news, DreamWorks have announced that they will be making the film version of the game series, with “Act of Valor” director Scott Waugh choreographing the vehicular mayhem for a 2014 release.  The only possible response to this news is to wonder how it took other studios four or five years to notice that the last few Fast & Furious movies have been getting progressively more popular and that they might like a cut of that action.

It’s almost as though folks in Hollywood wouldn’t know a cheap-to-make, action franchise if they saw one.  There’s none of the sci-fi or fantasy world-building that a “BioShock” or “Skyrim” movie would necessitate and a lot of metal-on-metal, car-flipping action with implausibly good-looking thieves flipping off The Man to appeal to young kids at the multiplex on date night.

Doesn’t that material kind of green-light itself?


Filed under Films, Gaming