Tag Archives: Game

Marcus In Chains? Now updated – it’s Baird and Cole!

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Ooh, look – the (slightly disappointing) third game in the “Gears of War” saga wasn’t the last word on DudeBros in Do-Rags saving the day and kerb-stomping monster men into oblivion.  Funny, I had a feeling that it wouldn’t be.

Eurogamer has a story – inspired by Game Informer’s cover above – which guesstimates a big reveal for a new game in the 360 signature FPS series in next week’s Xbox 360 press conference at E3 .  I’m thinking Kinect support with Baird and Anya dance-off mini-games and a sweet Kart Racing level (like “Joyride”! Only worse!)

See, this whole ‘Appealing to the Normals’ thing is easy…

Updated – Saturday 2 June 2012!

Cole Train, baby – Woo!

The other two “Game Informer” magazine covers have leaked prior to E3’s Monday kick-off and feature Baird and Cole from the other “Gears” games, with the frequently bickering odd couple leading a different squadron in a game said to offer a prequel side-story to the current trilogy.  It’s also supposed to be developed by People Will Fly, who brought you the excellent and underrated SF shooter, Bulletstorm.

The king of the frosted tip, the bard of bad attitude, the one-liner whiner – Damon Baird

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A week of Games.

It’s been a funny old week for gamers.

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We’ve lost and regained the loved/hated high street retailer Game in blink of an eye, with its future still uncertain.  Half the branches have been shuttered and the remaining portfolio is been split between the best performing locations of Gamestation and Game, with the business apparently being readied for a subsequent sale – prompting the return of GameStop to these shores?

In Sheffield, for example, we’ve gone from six stores to two – a branch of Game in the Crystal Peaks shopping centre and a Gamestation in the larger, presumably more expensive Meadowhall shopping mall.  What this means for me is that neither are now particularly near me and I’d have to make a special trip to two not-especially-pleasant shopping venues.  I see online and a couple of independent retailers in my future.  The Guardian‘s Keza McDonald has a great piece on Game, the market space now open for indy retailers and what it all means over at their Games blog.

The vultures, of course, have begun to circle…

On another note, embattled publisher THQ announced that they’ll be giving me what I wanted but in a totally roundabout way.  By all accounts, we will see another single-player action game in the “Warhammer 40K” universe but at the cost of their expensive and apparently too unwieldy 40K MMO, which has been shuttered. Developers Relic and Vigil are accordingly reducing headcount by over 100 staff – who would work in an industry that precarious?

Sony’s new console, meanwhile, may be called Orbis rather than PS4, will eschew any attempt to be backwards compatible and will eat any pre-owned disc that you attempt to put inside it’s ravenous, bio-mechanical, terrifying cyber-maw.

Or, if you want to be boring, the new console will lock games to PSN accounts, preventing trade-in and the second-user market which is even now destroying the video game business from within.  But I prefer my version.  It’s more Cyber.

Finally, in news which isn’t actually news to anybody who’s picked up a controller or installed a game to their hard drive in the last decade, EA are in the running for the coveted title of Worst Company In America…

Whatever you’re playing this weekend, you probably want to make sure it isn’t “Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City”…

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Picking over the wreckage at Game…

As previously noted on the blog, things have not been going brilliantly at UK video games retailer Game.

And now they’ve gotten worse.  Eek!

A ‘Spring Cleaning’ promotion slashing prices across the board is widely being interpreted as a ‘fire sale’ tactic to drive up much-needed profits before the chain heads into administration – a fate which could befall the retailer by the end of the week.

As to what would happen then,  a buy-out by US giant GameStop has been mooted, but gossip has it that they are looking at  Game’s locations in Spain and Portugal.  And they’ve recently reduced their tentative presence in the UK anyway – perhaps as a precursor to swooping down on the troubled nationwide chain and getting a larger foothold in the £2.52 billion games market in the United Kingdom?

My own take on this is that it will be sad to see the back of Game were it to go the way of other retailers like Virgin, Music Zone and Fopp – it’s fun to just go into a high street store which is dedicated to the stuff that you love, to go to midnight launches for blockbuster titles and to score somehow overlooked bargains in the pre-owned section.

To do my bit for their takings, I had a wander into town to Sheffield’s city centre branch and picked up a game I’ve been meaning to buy for ages…

A mysterious bag, possibly filled with delight and wonder...

But what could it be?  A barely played copy of that Black Eyed Peas Kinect tie-in (hell to the no)?  A “Call of Duty” game that I’m going to try to persevere with (I’m through with that series, I think)?  Nope, none of those…

Huzzah! It's "Castlevania: Lords of Shadow"!

I’ve been waiting to check out this game for ages but could never find a copy, so this opportunity wasn’t to be passed up.  Why, if you’re familiar with the series, this is almost fodder for another post in my “A Season of Vamps” series.  And, if memory serves, I ended up paying less for the game than the reduced sticker price shown above, so even at this point my transaction isn’t helping out as much as it could have done.  Sorry, Game.

I’m not sure that I want to keep gaming in a future where all titles end up being downloadable to console – but it appears that this is the direction that the industry wants to go in, if  only to end the scourge of cheapskates like me buying second-hand games.  Why, I’m clearly worse than Hitler.

 

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Game not selling “Mass Effect 3” – so, business as usual, then?

Hmm...sketchy...

It would be great to report that UK games retailer Game are on an upward curve, but today’s news that they won’t be stocking “Mass Effect 3” in store doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.  As doesn’t the news that future EA titles won’t be available in store once “SSX” comes out in March.

So, nothing at all to worry about and Game are definitely not in a bad way, at all.  Oh dear…

Game cite unacceptable credit issues with publishers and a desire to improve their currently challenging trading environment, but that really isn’t going to matter to people who’ve pre-ordered the game and now have to go elsewhere to try to get it.

If you’ve had this happen once to a pre-order, are you really likely to go back to the retailer or are you likely to go to Amazon and their ilk for your gaming pre-orders?

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Game to close 43 outlets.

Sad times for UK video games retailer Game, who’ve announced that they will be closing 43 outlets amidst tough trading conditions on the British high street.

Game. Use 'em whilst you've got them?

All of their Debenhams concessions are going, six Gamestation shops and 12 Game stores will close – Bitter Wallet’s story estimates that 247 people will be made redundant.

There are a lot of reasons which we can attribute for this – the UK high street is currently brutal, people are buying games online if they buy them at all, the ubiquity of Game and Gamestation stores in Britain is a factor (the branch of Gamestation in Sheffield city centre used to be a thirty-second walk from the Game concession which closed in Debenhams last year).  There’s that crappy global economy, too, which isn’t helping anybody.

Want to buy "The Last Story" at Game? There could be a problem or two with that...

In other news for the troubled retailer, following the news that Ubisoft‘s PS Vita games were not being stocked in the launch week for the Sony hand-held console (supplier credit issues have been cited) comes a Eurogamer story about pre-orders for Nintendo’s “The Last Story” being cancelled and pre-orders refunded to gamers.

Yep, things are looking positively blooming for the UK’s biggest video games retailer…

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“Dead Island” – today’s random controversy…

Polish developer Techland managed to raise awareness of their upcoming zombie RPG, “Dead Island”, to feverish levels of anticipation earlier this year when they released THAT trailer.

People with modern haircuts and designer glasses were falling over themselves to heap praise on Scottish animation studio Axis’ work on the teaser trailer, which managed to make an honest-to-goodness video game a topic of discussion for people who would never dream of picking up a controller and melee-attacking the undead in a balletic swirl of viscera.

Is there any such thing as bad press?

The odd whisper about how much the trailer represented the end content of the game has surfaced in the weeks preceding this Friday’s actual release of the game – not much, you’ll be staggered to learn – and today’s games blog Eurogamer is tracking a story about a line of code in the PC game uncovered by Steam users which referenced a now-deleted character attribute with the charming title ‘Feminist Whore‘ – which gave the game’s sole female character an added damage bonus when attacking male protagonists.

There are better package holidays available online...

Cue much predictable backtracking from the developer and much hand-wringing as to the inappropriate title and the line of code’s erroneous presence in the PC build – which, you may recall from stories earlier this week, has already been the source of forum ire when it turned out that Steam had been mistakenly presented with an Xbox 360 dev build by Techland in lieu of, you know, a PC version.

That storm in a teacup will be averted by a suitably huge patch on release this Friday but the frequency of stories relating to the game makes me wonder if controversy is being used to divert attention away from some not terribly brilliant review scores now online – the Xbox 360 Metacritic is currently 72, PC is 81 and PS3 stands at 73.

Not, then, necessarily a game experience which rivals “The Walking Dead” in telling a compelling tale about post-Zombie uprising survival but hopefully something which takes the eccentricities inherent in many European Dev houses and manages to port that off-kilter sensibility to a console game.  If any of the PC game weirdness has survived the trip to the home systems, I’ll be a happy gamer.

 

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