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How FUEL raised my spirits... and then crushed them.

While surfing my RSS feeds earlier today, I found that Eurogamer posted an article about Codemaster's newest game to be unveiled at Leipzig, a game called FUEL. As I read on, I became more and more intrigued. Yes, the story about an alternate present where climate change has ruined the world seems kind of lame, but there will supposedly be a 5,000 square-mile playing area with "no boundaries" and 16-player racing. Also, tuning is included in the game, as is a dynamic weather system featuring tornadoes, sandstorms, thunderstorms, lightning strikes and blizzards.

Awesome, I thought. I had loved DiRT and GRID, and the new Codemasters F1 title would probably be great. Getting two games from the DiRT/GRID team would be fantastic for a racing nut like myself.

Then, one particular line caught my attention:

"Developed by French outfit Asobo Studios, the game's due out on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC in 2009. "

Developed by French outfit Asobo Studios. Having never heard of them, I Googled them to find out what they had done in the past. The result: Wall-E for the Mac and PC, Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties, Super Farm, The Mummy: The Animated Series and Sitting Ducks. It was at that point my smile eroded as I stood up out of my chair, walked over to the corner, curled up in the fetal position, and wept tears of anguish.

Maybe these guys will prove me wrong, but the GRID team not working on this game leaves me wondering what kind of quality we will be getting. To be honest, I am doubtful this game will be any good now that I know who is behind the game and that Codemasters is taking a great idea and throwing it away. I'll hold off any further judgment until it is fully unveiled at Leipzig, but as for right now, I'm not positive I'll be playing this game at all.


Rumor: Jet Grinf Radio coming back?

I want to believe this is a true rumor. I want to believe that someone at Sega still has a semblance of what we call sanity. If this turns out to be true, then maybe

Kotaku is now reporting it after NeoGAF somehow picked up an interesting tidbit from the US Patent and Trademark Office. Seems Sega has decided to file a trademark on Jet Grind Radio, but not by renewing their Dreamcast-era claim to the name. This July 24 filing is a totally new one, and features language concerning "downloadable game programs", "game programs for use with mobile phones", and "game programs for use with hand-held game machines."

All of those combined lead me to believe the following:

- Sega plans to release the original Jet Grind Radio on XBLA and PSN
- Sega is working on a new Jet Grind Radio title for either the DS, PSP and/or iPhone
- Someone at Sega does have a shred of common sense and sanity in them.

You guys excited that Jet Grind Radio might be back? (Answer: YES.)


The one thing bothering me about Soulcalibur IV...

When Namco announced that Darth Vader and Yoda would be in Soulcalibur IV, I had mixed emotions. Yes, playing as the right hand man of Palpatine and the littlest Jedi was going to be fun... but how would they fit into the game? This question became even more of an issue for me when Vader's apprentice was announced

My biggest fear was that Namco was going to try and fit the Star Wars trio into the game's storyline somehow in a way that seemed ridiculous and unnecessary. I explicity remember them doing this in Soul Calibur II with Link, Heihachi and Spawn. Upon learning of how they're explained in the game - via reading the strategy guide that has been available at my local Best Buy for about 2 weeks now - I realized that they'd done it again.

The story is pretty simple: there's a hole in the time-space continuum in the Star Wars galaxy that leads to the world of Soul Calibur. Vader investigates this for the Empire and learns about Soul Edge and Soul Calibur, so he decides to get them both and use their power to rule the galaxy. Yoda follows to stop him. The apprentice... well, he's more or less in a similar situation to Vader, but he's really just kind of plunked down there with little explanation.

As a fan of both Star Wars and Soul Calibur, I'd rather they have not tried to somehow push these characters into the main storyline. Maybe they'll make it non-canon in SC5, but it still kinda feels... stupid. Yes, I probably won't care once I've got the game and I'm tearing through people as Voldo or Vader (when he comes to the 360 as DLC), but then again, I enjoyed SCIII's story a bit more than the one from SCII.

I don't know, maybe I'm overreacting. Is this an issue at all for any of you, or are you just so happy that the Star Wars characters are in SCIV that how they enter into the story doesn't matter?


Yes, I'm back on the Street Fighter IV bandwagon

This is pretty much how I feel right now.
This is pretty much how I feel right now.
Just a few weeks ago, had you asked me about Street Fighter IV, I might have been totally indifferent. Sure, the game looks great, but it was missing something important. I don't even really need to tell you people what was missing from the game, as you should all know by now.

When they unleashed the original sixteen-character roster for the arcades, I was disappointed by their "12 originals, 4 newbies" choice. Sure, I had Sagat and Vega to play around as, but a number of important characters from the series were missing. Specifically, three of them: Cammy, Fei Long and Dan. I was fans of the first two and felt the third should have been included for all the Dan fans out there. Over time, leaks and rumors persisted that Fei Long and Dan had somehow made the cut for the console version, but Cammy... surprisingly M.I.A.

Then that fan poll showed up on Capcom Unity. I voted, of course, and waited to see what the results were, suspecting that Sakura would probably win the thing, based on the legion of people who play as her. Secretly, though, I prayed Cammy might pull out a victory so I would have my three best characters all in the same game for the first time since Super Street Fighter II.

Tonight, those prayers came true. Yoshinori Ono took the stage at Comic Con and unveiled that the fan poll winner was indeed Cammy, likely propelled by a combination of the people who play as her and were upset she had been left out (including yours truly) and the people who just stare at her ass all day (including Foo, I assume). Ono said it doesn't mean she's in the console version for sure, but they showed off a new Street Fighter IV anime clip featuring Cammy, so I assume she's in if they went to that much effort. Judging from the purported content of the clip, this is probably going to be Cammy in her original Delta Red uniform, which makes sense given the time line. I would also have loved to see the Street Fighter II V design, which was a radical but awesome change for the character.

All this means is that I'm almost certainly back on the Street Fighter IV bandwagon and will be buying the console version the day it comes out.

Famicase Exhibition '08

I wish it were real...
I wish it were real...

Most of the time on the Internet, we see art as drawings and paintings, limited to the world of the canvas or whatever's been uploaded to Deviantart recently. Sometimes, we get some cool sculptures or custom toys people do, but as art goes, the Famicase Exhibition 08 takes the cake, at least in my book.

For the exhibition, artists from all over Japan were tasked with being creative on two different levels: first, creating an imaginary game of their choosing, and then creating the cover art for the Famicom case of that same imaginary game. The results really speak for themselves, as I wish all of these games were in fact real and not just created for art.

The whole collection of win can be found at the official Famicase Web site. Head on over and let me know which one is your favorite. :)

I accept Iwata's apology, but that doesn't let him off the hook

Today, we finally got recognition and an apology from Satoru Iwata, Nintendo head honcho, over their E3 presentation and how core gamers felt they were being ignored. And he is indeed sorry.

Here is what Mr. Iwata said:

If there is any perception that Nintendo is ignoring the core gamers, it's a misunderstanding and we really want to get rid of that misunderstanding by any means. We are sorry about [the E3] media briefings, specifically for those who were expecting to see Nintendo show something about 'Super Mario' or 'Legend of Zelda.'

Apparently, Nintendo's money pits have WiFi access because Iwata has heard the angry cries of the Internet over their E3 08 debacle. Do I believe him? The answer is yes. I don't think this is just some PR statement he put out to put out a few Internet fires. Perhaps they should have been more clear of their intentions earlier and we wouldn't have been upset, or maybe they should have announced Pikmin 3 at the conference.

This statement does not absolve the fact that they are playing their cards too close to their chest. They might have the games we want and might be developing them, but we'll never know because they don't like to talk about their projects in development until they're already on store shelves (better known as the Apple Strategy). It's a nice way to surprise your enemies... but it's also a nice way to irritate your fanbase. Steve Jobs is just lucky Apple fanboys eat up anything their company throws at them.

It's fine if Nintendo wants to court new gamers and bring in some new people to the gaming pool. Otherwise, that pool will shrink down to almost nothing. But for the love of God (or Will Wright, depending on your beliefs), throw us a bone every once in a while! At least let us know if you're thinking about Star Fox and F-Zero on the Wii. Let us know you're at least thinking of Kid Icarus if you don't want to confirm it. Just give us something to keep us complacent and wanting to keep Wii remotes in our hands. Especially F-Zero Wii. Your job's not safe until I get that, Iwata.

A formal introduction

Hello there, Giant Bomb community, and welcome to my humble blog. My name is Brian, I'm 22 years old, and as you might have guessed, I am indeed a gamer. What a shock.

As a gamer, you can say two things about me. #1, I've been at this a long time. By my own rough estimate, next year marks the 20th year I've been gaming in some capacity, whether it was on my dad's Apple IIe in 1989 or on my 360, DS, Wii (and eventually, my PSP and PS3) in 2008. I also love to research games and have been called a walking dictionary of gaming knowledge by some close friends.

#2, I am opinionated as hell. That doesn't mean I'm a fanboy, but I do tend to have some strong opinions, like Twilight Princess being the worst console Zelda game of all time or that BioShock was good but overrated or that some games people consider terrible - like Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City - are actually pretty good. But hey, what can I say - I like being a bit different than the mainstream gamer.

When I'm not browsing this wonderful new site, I'm performing any number of other jobs. I am the senior of the two Assistant Editors at Blogcritics Gaming, an associate editor at toy and collectibles blog Tomopop, and a frequent community blogger/tipster/commenter at Destructoid. I also lurk around IGN and Kotaku from time to time, so don't be surprised if I pop up there. As for GameSpot... well, I don't venture over there.

Anyways, I'll be blogging on a pretty regular basis both here and at Dtoid, so keep an eye out for my posts. It's nice to be here. ~(:D)