Alex's forum posts
So, this is news. Probably.
In a combination that can only be compared to infectiously bedazzled chocolate meeting peanut butter that only your weird Facebook friends eat, Zynga has announced that it has teamed up with Lady Gaga to help promote her new album, "Born This Way." How? By giving her her own damn in-game farm in the company's wildly successful casual game, FarmVille, appropriately titled "GagaVille."
Players who enter this burg of Gaga-ness are given specific tasks to complete, and as they do, they will be able to listen to singles from the new record.
Though the GagaVille farm will only exist in-game until May 26, players who decide to peruse the new area will discover such Gaga-related horrors as "magical unicorns" and "sheep on motorcycles."== TEASER ==
This isn't the first time Zynga and Gaga have combined their powers of nonsensical naming to better mankind, as they have previously worked together to raise money for Japan's earthquake disaster relief. This is...perhaps a bit more self-serving, but hey, when you can use the biggest pop star working today to help peddle your productivity-swallowing Facebook games, why not go for it, right?
It's actually a perfect match when you really think about it. FarmVille is kind of a rip-off of rival farming game, Farm Town--itself a kind of casual spin on the leisurely, plant-heavy play styles of Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing--and Gaga herself is pretty much just a hyper-modernized update of Madonna, so they've both got that whole shameless cloning thing going on. So, good for them, I guess?
And with that, this hereby concludes the only story anyone around here will be writing about FarmVille and/or Lady Gaga for the foreseeable future. You may now go on about your business, as if this nonsense never happened.
Right now I'm currently getting my footing on what my day-to-day schedule is going to be like on both sites. As some have suggested, there is a bit more going on in game news right now than movies and TV, but I'll still be writing news, reviews, and features for both sites once I'm permanently in NYC, which will start as of the end of this month.
Just thought I'd chime in and make sure everyone knew what was going on!
Based on Namco Bandai's super-helpful countdown clock teaser page that everyone seemed pretty sure was related to a new Soul Calibur game, we expected an announcement of the new title sometime around now-ish. And we certainly got one, though anyone who was glued to that page for the last several hours actually missed the first Soul Calibur V announcement, which happened like six hours ago.
At a press event held in Dubai (which we didn't go to, because Dubai is far), Namco Bandai officially released the first details on its new Soul Calibur sequel, which is coming next year for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The new game is set 17 years following the events of the last game, and focuses on a new character named Patroklos, who is the son of Sophitia. He has a moveset directly inspired by her play style.
Producer Hisaharu Tago was quoted as describing the new game as a "generational shift" for the series, with a number of new characters joining some old standbys. Though character lists are still currently under wraps, Siegfried and Nightmare have both been confirmed. Tago also said that some guest characters, in the vein of Star Wars (but probably not actually Star Wars) would likely appear. Create-a-character is back as well, so perhaps you can just make Darth Vader if you really feel like it.== TEASER ==
Soul Calibur V also marks a shift in gameplay style, with the two-handed swords of old being replaced by short swords. "The enigma as to why the swords have become short swords" will apparently be addressed in the game's story. So don't worry, you won't be left dangling with excruciating anticipation over the mystery behind that little detail.
The change in swords will have some impact on the pace of the game, which is described as "lighter, sharper, and more elegant." Tago stated this would lead to moves and combos that felt more continuous and easier to pull off, but was also quick to mention that the core gameplay would still feel appropriately like Soul Calibur.
No actual gameplay has been shown as of yet, but we expect we'll be seeing more of the title come this year's E3. In the meantime, feel free to start speculating wildly about who those guest characters will be. I'm going with the guys from The Knife Show.
I'm not sure exactly what it is about fighting games that seem to inspire Hollywood studios to make movies about them time and time again. I mean, yes, people kicking each other in the face and shooting inexplicable fireballs at one-another can be fun to watch, but considering that most fighting game fans will tell you that the vast majority of fighting games have terrible, terrible stories, it just seems an odd genre to plunder for a story-focused medium.
Then again, when has Hollywood ever done anything that made sense? This is the same industry that thinks having Brendan Fraser star in a 3D movie about William Tell is a great idea, and continuing to give Kate Hudson work on a regular basis seems totally reasonable. And now they've gone and made a Tekken movie, because seriously, why not?
Though it was originally released in Japan back in 2009, it's just now coming direct-to-Blu-ray and DVD--natch--in North America this July 19th. According to the press release, Tekken seeks to take the corporately-run future dystopia of the games and shoehorn it into something with a plot about Jin Kazama hunting the evil Tekken corporation (not Mishima Zaibatsu, because that's kinda hard to say out loud a lot) who killed his mother something something revenge whatever fighting dudes.
Directed by Dwight H. Little, whose previous credits include the abominable Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and some episodes of Bones, Tekken features a veritable who's who of "Oh, that guy!" cast members, including that one guy from The Event, the girl from The Ring Two, the bad guy from Blade II and Hellboy II, MMA fighter Cung Le, and Cary-Hiroyuki Togawa, who apparently didn't learn his lesson the first time around when he played Shang Tsung in Mortal Kombat. Jin, by the way, will be played by Jon Foo, who previously played Ryu in the Street Fighter: Legacy short film, and also has had a storied career getting beat up by the likes of both Tony Jaa and Batman in likely better movies.
The trailer for the movie can be seen below. Admittedly, its production values do look at least a cut above the glorious train wreck that was King of Fighters, though it seems lacking in the copious amounts of both boobs and Kevin Nash that so heavily factored into Dead or Alive. At the very least, it seems you'll have one more entry for your "Ironic appreciation of terrible fighting game movies" marathon night at next year's EVO tournament, Ryan has a new candidate for the next season of TANG, and I'm one step closer to that Time Killers movie I've dreamed about since the days of my misspent youth. I think Ryan Gosling would make a great Rancid.== TEASER ==
Yesterday, a number of sites (including us) reported on a resume listing that seemingly heralded the existence of Alan Wake 2, an as-of-then unannounced sequel to last year's psychological action horror game from Remedy Entertainment. This morning, Remedy responded to several of those reports (not ours...*sniff*...) with a confirmation of the game's existence... of sorts.
So reads Remedy's Statement:
Fans of the franchise will be excited to learn that yes, more Wake is coming! But to be absolutely certain to avoid confusion, this next Wake installment will not be Alan Wake 2. But neither will it be DLC. The rest we're saving for our official announcement when we'll actually SHOW YOU.We are really excited about this project which a slice of our team has been working on for the last months. It's something that'll definitely give more to the Wake fans out there, but just as importantly, this installment will also give an opportunity for players who aren't familiar with the franchise to finally jump on board.
Yes, confusion has most certainly been avoided here.
So, to recap: It is not an Alan Wake sequel, nor is it a DLC offering for the first game. Rather, it is something new for fans of the property, but also something that new players can "jump on board" with. Is it a prequel? A Dark Athena-esque updated repackaging of the first game? The Alan Wake/Max Payne crossover we've always dreamed about? Does it have four legs, yet only one foot? If I figure this out, will The Riddler spare Commissioner Gordon's life?
Cryptic language aside, Remedy seems supremely excited about what they're working on, and promises we won't have to wait too terribly long to find out more.
We can't wait to show you more, bear with us. Release dates, platforms and pricing are unconfirmed as of yet, but Fall 2011 is probably a good guess. More coming soon!
I hereby decree a bounty upon this puzzlement! I want someone to slice this Gordian knot before Remedy makes its (seemingly) inevitable E3 announcement. First person in the comments of this story to guess correctly gets some profile points, a Whiskey t-shirt of their choosing (based on whatever we have lying around), and I promise to finally talk to someone about getting rid of that damnedable "first comment" quest.
We've heard over and over again about the plight of the PlayStation 3 user in the weeks since the PlayStation Network was unceremoniously taken away from us. We have heard the screams of rage directed at the online brigands who robbed them of the ability to enjoy Mortal Kombat multiplayer and peruse PlayStation Store updates, their cries piercing the still air of the Internet's endless night like a mother whose child has been stolen by gypsies.
Speaking on the Capcom forums, Svensson replied to a user who asked about the company's stance on the matter. While he avoided taking a super-duper official company stance, Svenson expressed his own frustration and anger over the outage.
As for the ramifications of such an outage for the publisher's financials, Svensson minced few words. == TEASER ==
As a consumer, I also play games online on PS3, which I can't do... and likely my personal information is also compromised. Secondly I like to buy things in the PlayStation store and that I can't do right now.
It's something that's been alluded to by other developers and publishers since the outage's first week, but up until now, no one's put quite such a definitive stamp on exactly how badly this is messing with everyone else's bottom line. And while it's certainly been easy for people to express frustration at Sony directly over their handling of the PSN situation, Svensson made it clear that the hackers responsible for the original breach are ultimately the ones that have drawn his ire.
On a related note, as an executive responsible for running a business, the resulting outage obviously costing us hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars in revenue that were planned for within our budget. These are funds we rely on to bring new games to market for our fans.
In short, the hackers appear to be trying to "punish" Sony for some perceived injustice, and they've been effective in that I suppose. But they're also punishing millions of other consumers and businesses which makes it impossible to be sympathetic to their "cause".
Once again, a shining beacon of incandescent, game-related light has sprung forth from the black expanse of employment information that is LinkedIn. This time, it's in relation to a potential sequel to one of last year's best games.
Alan Wake's developer, Remedy Entertainment, has been on record as saying that they'd love to produce a sequel, though as of last year, they had yet to discuss the prospect with Microsoft. Eurogamer posits the notion that the alluded-to cinematic production could be related to some kind of E3 announcement from MS, but if Remedy wasn't even talking about a sequel as of last year, that might be a bit far-fetched. Still, I think it's safe to say everyone around here would love to see this sequel make some kind of E3 appearance--especially if we'll have to wait another five years for it to hit store shelves.
Venture Beat first broke the dispute, which we separately confirmed with Sony. It's suspected the confusion may have come from this line in the recent press conference: "We are aiming to restore full services including PlayStation Store and purchasing features for Qriocity services within May 2011."
Hey, remember last week, when Sony said that it planned to get the ball rolling with restoring its PlayStation Network services starting last week? Right, just a quick reminder that it's not last week anymore. It's this week now. So, to be clear, last week came and went, and now this is this week, and yes your PSN services still aren't up. I know, I was confused, too. Just trust me on this one.
Now, on the subject of the PSN and when-ish you might actually be able to get back online, the answer currently is: "Dunno?"
As of this morning, Sony does not have a firm timetable for getting PSN all the way back online, and is currently only stating that everything should be restored by the end of this month. This info comes from company spokesman Shigenori Yoshida, who told Bloomberg this morning that the company is currently uncertain exactly when everything will return to a live state, and that Sony has set a deadline of May 31 for all services to be restored.
Last week's plan to restore partial services fell by the wayside when Sony decided it needed to finalize testing to make sure its newly constructed system was operating correctly. So, until we get another projected time line from Sony, all we can do is sit, wait, and wonder which other version of Splash Damage's multiplayer shooter, Brink, to pick up tomorrow.