Unless you're living under a rock, you should know that today Apple announced their newest piece of hardware, the iPad. Resembling an oversided, ten-inch iPhone with a modified UI, Apple was quick to tout the device's functionality as a gaming platform, bringing both EA and Gameloft on stage at their keynote to show off modified versions of their existing iPhone games.
Ubisoft has stated with the release of upcoming title The Settlers 7, they will require online connectivity to activate and play their future games. Promising that the game won't have a set limit of activations (the direct quote from Brent Wilkinson, Director of Customer Service and Production Planning at Ubisoft, is, "If you own a hundred PCs, you can install your games on a hundred PCs.") and will allow gamers to sync their saved games onto the Ubisoft "cloud," letting them pick up from where they left off on any computer, the downside is that you will need constant connectivity to the internet to play your game.
When the OnLive service was announced last year it basically promised implausible miracles– if you had a crappy computer or a netbook, you wouldn't have to worry about upgrading your computer to something more promising in order to play Crysis on its highest settings. While beta testers are under a strict NDA not to tell anyone about their experiences, Ryan Shrout from PC Perspective obtained access through slightly illicit means and wrote a rather scathing critique of the service last week.
Given the organic, ever-evolving nature of MMOGs these days, the line between alpha, beta, open beta and release are blurring moreso than in usual titles. Even though Cryptic will be releasing its latest MMOG, Star Trek Online, in a bit over a week, the state it goes live in will likely not be representative of the game in a few months. As such it's difficult to give a really fair round-up of the game, or any MMOG in general, because they change so drastically in such a rapid space of time. Perhaps because I played the Champions Online beta, I am approaching Cryptic's latest offering with a bit of a raised eyebrow. In its current state, Star Trek Online is a rather buggy mess that shows great promise but feels rushed and unpolished.
When Half Life 2: Episode One was announced, it was with the promise of things will be different this time. Fans, many of whom remembered all too well the bizarre turmoil of delay after delay for Half Life 2, were afraid of waiting another six years for the third segment of the series, and the phrase 'Episode One' conjured with it all manner of ethereal promises: chief among them being "faster releases and cheaper games." In practice, however, this hasn't been the case, and increasingly, it's looking as if Half Life 2: 'Episodes' will have taken the same amount of time to go to shelves as it took for Half Life 2 in the first place, but with a total game playtime a fraction of the length of Half Life 2.
Bayonetta has rode at the front of a steady wave of hype for months; getting a prestigious 40/40 (at least for the Xbox 360 version) from Famitsu, it was intriguing to see if the game itself would really live up to the buzz perpetuated by its oversexed and over-the-top advertising budget. There's no denying that Bayonetta is a visual feast for any heterosexuals who have a fetish for Amazonian women with mismatched bodily proportions, but I was a little incredulous as to whether or not there would be any substance in the game itself for those of us who aren't playing it just to see Bayonetta take off her hair suit.
It's a little difficult to tell where the line between hyperbole and seriousness is, but in this piece on The Orange County Register, Marla Jo Fisher begins her story declaring, "I truly believe that video games were created by Satan to turn otherwise normal children into his drooling, glassy-eyed stooges."
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