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Archive for June, 2011

CGW/GFW Radio Reunion Panel at PAX Prime 2011: Canceled

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

On the very day that the “CGW/GFW Radio Reunion: The Hopeful Return” was approved for PAX Prime 2011, it was decided to cancel the panel.

Just like the 2010 panel that was unfortunately ditched at the last minute, the reason for the move was the result of panel participants being unable to make it to Seattle for the event.

It was not for lack of trying! Maybe it will all work out next year. Or maybe it was destined to happen only once!

Dungeon Siege III Arrives (360, PC, PS3)

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Today Square Enix and Obsidian Entertainment (Fallout New Vegas)  announced that Dungeon Siege III is now available for PC; and Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, the first time the series has appeared on consoles.

In Dungeon Siege III, players assume the role of one of four heroes, fighting for the sake of their fallen comrades to restore the kingdom of Ehb.  Conflict is constant in this action-RPG and decisions have lasting consequences, allowing players to alter the epic storyline. Fight to restore the 10th Legion with up to three friends via online co-op play. Dungeon Siege III allows for two players to experience the story from start to finish in local co-op mode. Thanks to robust cooperative AI, Dungeon Siege III allows players to seamlessly drop in and out of battle without interrupting the action or impacting the campaign.”

NECA to Produce Collectibles Based on Valve Software Game Properties

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

With all of the Valve Software’s unique characters, it’s surprising that the company hasn’t done more to produce collectibles based on the Half-Life games, Left 4 Dead, Portal, and Team Fortress 2. Previously, there were limited runs of a handful of very high-end collectibles produced. And that was it.

Last week, NECA and Valve Software announced that they have entered a partnership to “produce consumer products based on all of Valve’s titles.” NECA is responsible for the recent Duke Nukem, Gears of War, and BioShock figures, which makes me anticipate the kind of quality that fans should expect and may finally fulfill my desire for a Gordon Freeman figure, which I’ve been waiting for since 2002.

“Merchandise will include action figures, toys, board games, accessories, and apparel for all Valve properties. “When Valve approached us to make their content, characters and art come alive in the physical world we were of course excited at the possibilities,” said Joel Weinshanker, President of NECA Games, “We quickly realized that our two companies have a similar view on how to ensure products exceed expectations of devoted fans and are thankful to be working with them”.

NPD: Boxed Video Game Sales Decline…

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Gamesindustry.biz is reporting that, “US boxed video game sales in May 2011 totalled $743.1 million, a 14 per cent decline on the same period in 2010 and the lowest since October 2006.”

It’s important to realize that those figures are for boxed video game sales just as NPD makes clear, noting that the numbers do not take into account “the growing portion of the industry that is comprised of digital format content distribution.”

Besides the (top ten) best sellers for May (see below), the NPD report also notes “that at the current rate of growth and decline, the Wii will still maintain the lead in the console space” and that “sales of the 3DS were light.”

  1. L.A. Noire (360, PS3)
  2. Brink (360, PS3, PC)
  3. LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean (Wii, 360, DS, 3DS, PS3, PSP, PC)
  4. Portal 2 (360, PS3, PC)
  5. Mortal Kombat (PS3, 360)
  6. Call of Duty: Black Ops (360, PS3, Wii, DS, PC)
  7. Zumba Fitness: Join the Party (Wii, 360, PS3)
  8. NBA 2K11 (360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, PC)
  9. Just Dance 2 (Wii)
  10. LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars (Wii, DS, 360, PS3, 3DS, PSP, PC)

E3 2011: Shorts – Part II

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

This will likely be the last “Shorts” update:

  • Titles seen in depth: F1 2011, Bodycount (Aug.30/11), Skyrim (Nov.11/11), COD: Modern Warfare 3, Batman: Arkham City (“it’s Arkham Asylum but it’s wide open, including side missions”), LOTR: War in the North (feels a lot like Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance), and a bunch of Disney titles.
  • Titles watched: Dead Island (guy playing could not figure out how to pick-up a paddle; eaten by zombies soon after) and Dead Rising 2: Off the Record (deliciously ridiculous). My criteria for standing watching someone elese play is simple: It must have “dead” in the title.
  • Nintendo Developer Roudtable (minus an actual table) was pretty good this year, even if there was no talk of “Wii U” other than Miyamoto indicating that Pikmin will be coming to the platform. Asking about Pikmin at this particular event is a running gag since he mentioned the game back in 2009. There was also an explaination of the evolution of Mario’s racoon suit. Live demos of Super Mario 3DS (working title) and Skyward Sword were given — both looked like fun to play.
  • Next Level Games (based in Vancouver, BC) are the developers behind Luigi’s Mansion 2 (3DS) ! Having worked with Nintendo on a number of titles (Super Mario Strikers, Mario Strikers Charged, Punch Out!!) Next Level Games is a really good fit.
  • I’m wondering if the model posing as BloodRayne knew there was a big tear in the seat of the costume.
  • By all accounts the Bethesda E3 party was a massive success (or “booze fest!” depending on how  you spell it). It wasn’t all booze though. A mechanical bull and karaoke were involved.

E3 2011: Shorts

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Point format for this edition of E3 2011: Shorts –

  • Nintendo’s announcement of “Wii U” was only halfway. The handheld controller, which includes a big touchscreen, and full Wii controls was shown but not the console hardware pushing it. A blurry, placeholder image was present in some of the slides. Arrival: 2012.
  • More classic Nintendo franchises on the way for 3DS: Mario Kart, Starfox, and a new Super Mario Bros. title.
  • Sony’s “PSVita” handheld will retail in two forms. The wi-fi version will retail for $249.99 and the 3G version will go for $299.99. Equipped with a camera in front and back, and a back touchscreen, there’s some potential for some interesting gameplay mechanics. And amazing graphics! Launch scheduled for later in 2012, though I think they forgot to say if that was Japan or North America.
  • “Jane’s Addiction” has nothing to do with flight simulators or strategic weapons (unless that includes “sound bombs”).
  • Kobe Bryant can’t play video games.
  • THQ’s “Welcome to Steelport” (Saints Row: The Third) parking lot has some really awesome cars.
  • “Resistance 3″ has an archaic health system. (i.e. health boxes instead of regenerating health) It always takes a little to get used to that again.
  • “Halo 4″ was announced (surprising no one)!
  • I’ve seen some of the fastest thumb-typing at this event…
  • StreetPass continues to rack up visitors.
  • Nintendo didn’t have breakfast at their press conference making me one hungry freeloa– journalist.

– Aaron Simmer