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Archive for September, 2007

SUMODOWNLOAD EDITORIAL - Violence and a Fight: is there a difference between the two?

Friday, September 28th, 2007

By White-haired Journalist

(Is it already violence if Leon shoots the enemy trying to kidnap harmless Ashley?)

There are many people today who puts video games in the category of violence. Whenever they see blood, gore, and killing, their minds instantly tell them that “it’s violent.” With this kind of stereotype, extremists against violent video games asserts that it affects the minds of children. This is probably in reference of the saying “Whatever the kids see that are done by the adults, the kids immitate.” However, is the word “violent” really placed appropriately into such games? Are blood, gore and killing enough to label a video game violent?

My answer is no. Mere blood, gore and ruthless killing is not enough to call a game violent. Remember the incident where the Manchester Cathedral officials were furious with Sony when they found out that the cathedral was used as a setting in the game Resistance fall of Man? Seeing the game containing “violence”, the church officials demanded Sony to remove the game from store shelves if they won’t remove the church as a setting. Manchester Cathedral’s Dean very reverend Rogers Govender also wanted Sony to pay them money, for using the church as a setting without permission, as “donation money” for the church to be used in their “funds for the youth.” Well, I know you smell a huge, huge rat as much as I do in this case, but let’s get to the point now. We all know if this case pushed through, Manchester Cathedral would lose because the law would definitely say that Sony doesn’t even need to ask permission to Manchester Cathedral because it’s a public place and if it even had a patent, it’s already expired because the church was already there for a long, long, long time.

Thing is, they labeled the game as “violent.” I wish the church officials researched for the word violent and even played the game for a while to see what the game really depicted. Let’s summarize the game really, really short: Resistance Fall of man is a game where humans fight against human-turned-monsters (a.k.a. chimeras) to save humanity.

You see, there’s a huge difference between the words “violence” and “fight.”

Let’s say a game has lots of blood seen in it, lots of fighting, and the killing detail is very detailed. However the story of the game is that the main character is trying to save his kidnapped friend in the clutches of an evil warlord. The sidequests in his game include saving people out of a flaming building where people burned there can be seen realistically, nailing down rapists by using his samurai sword where he cleaves them so cleanly with the gore so vividly displayed. Is that already “violence?” Or is that a “fight?” I’d say it’s the latter.

Saving humanity in the brink of destruction brought by the chimeras is a fight that needs to be fought by humans. I don’t think saving your race is that violent. Yes, even if it’s inside a church. Besides, it’s not as if the protagonist of Resistance Fall of Man actually urinated inside the church walls, did he?

I wonder what will happen if a kidnapper helds all the priests inside Manchester Cathedral. Will the priests drive away the police that try to save them because the latter carry guns? Will they label the policemen blasphemers because they fired their guns inside the church?

(Monsters like that will try to kill you and you WON’T shoot it? Even if it is inside a church I won’t have second thoughts) 

Let’s look up the definition of violence. According to the American Heritage Dicitonary:

vi·o·lence - 4. Abusive or unjust exercise of power. 5. Abuse or injury to meaning, content, or intent: do violence to a text.

To quote that wonderful Japanese Live Action series “Gokusen,” the main character there Yamaguchi Kumiko said something like violence is when 10 people gang up on one person while a a fight is when someone defends someone dear to him or when is fighting honorably. This exactly nails the definition of violence and I believe that there’s such a difference between the two words depending on the situation. I don’t think the protagonist of Resistance Fall of Man actually abused his power unjustly by saving his race.

Now let’s name some games that have been labeled violent and I’ll give a brief description of them. You be the judge if its a fight or violence:

1. Resident Evil - A game where the Raccoon Police Department officers try to take down an organization guilty of making the a virus that makes the citizens zombies.

2. Metal Gear Solid - where Solid Snake, the game’s protagonist, tries to take down an organization that wants to bomb countries.

3. F.E.A.R. - Where special forces are trying to take down an extra terrestrial being that kills people.

(Snake: What it’s already violence if I defend myself? Self-defense is everyone’s right you know)

In my point of view, these games have been labeled poorly as violence just because their visuals have been either too scary or too much gore can be seen (sometimes both). I, however, like to call them “art in realism” and couldn’t find myself to label them as violence just because of the graphics they present. It’s like judging a book by its cover, debating if chicken tastes better than beef, or comparing Superman to a penguin: it’s completely pointless.

And if I’m going to be asked if these games affect the minds of children? I’d say it’s how their parents guide them. There are so many grown ups today who can’t be parents that’s why many children grow up very violent. Other things contribute to a child’s growth but I don’t really think violent video games are the primary cause of it. If it may be so, there’s no need to ban violent video games still, because it’s like deciding to shut down the rooftop doors of a 30 storey building because a person fell down there and died. Video games are harmless. It’s how people misinterpret realism and fantasy that’s scary.

 

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Obscure 2

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

(By White-haired Journalist)

Obscure 2 unexpectedly makes your heart pound faster every time you play it even if it’s not as scary as other horror-dedicated games. Why so? Well, it’s one of the wonders of this superb horror/suspense game, making even big budgeted horror games drop their jaws by the wit and psych war Obscure 2 has to offer.

The events in Leafmore High was a dark history the survivors want to forget. However, even if they already moved to Fallcreek University and start living normal lives as college students, the dark history repeated itself. A strange black flower was infecting the university and the students were having weird, disturbing dreams. And worse, when the seeds of the flowers started to germinate, strange creatures suddenly erupted and started slaying every living thing that gets in their way. Could this be another attempt of the Leafmore High principal who was trying to revive his brother in Obscure 1? What exactly will the perpetrator of this bizzare happening gain from doing this? There’s only one way to find out. And “they” have to rely on each other if they want to survive this nightmare.

Game Play:

I am so happy with Obscure 2’s game play and it really deserves to be called the sequel of it’s wonderful predecessor. The moment you play this game you know something’s wrong. The constant mysteries that shroud the whole university will keep you at the edge of your seat, trying to figure out what exactly is going on. And when you finally get close to the answer, it slips away, giving you more mysteries and puzzles to figure out.

(”Like dude, I can’t…figure out where the toilet is.)

The idea of having more than one protagonist with different personalities and mad skillz were brilliant. The fact that you have to rely on someone if you need to do something special was one of the things that kept me interested in playing this game non-stop. Let’s see your roster of people: 2 strong varsity players, a hacker that can hack almost any electronic gadget with her PDA, a girl that has amazing analyitcal skills, an acrobat that can reach hard to get areas, a guy adept in lockpicking and a mysterious girl that has a dark aura. Good team right? Now go out there and start grinding some monsters!

Umm…but it’s not gonna be that easy. Although there are a good number of firearms you can find scattered in the game, the bullets are scarce and the enemies won’t go down with a bullet or two. Most of the time you and your teammate will have to rely on fighting with melee (baseball bat, hockey stick, spiked club and the likes) or battery powered weapons. One good thing is that the melee weapons are indestructable so you don’t have to worry about not having any weapons at all.

(”I have to go wack that blob?!” “Yeah, we only have one shell left, sorry”)

Yes, you read that right: “you and your teammate.” If you have a friend, you can let him/her play as player 2 because throughout the game, you’ll be exploring places by twos. It’s definitely better to have a human player than playing with the AI for obvious reasons.

Game play tips: Keep exploring with different teams if you get a dead end while solving puzzles. The keys in staying alive here are to have good teamwork and conserve a lot of bullets. Make one the bait while the other attacks and unload your firearms only in boss fights.

Graphics:

The dark places, arrangement of things and disturbing enemies are the top reasons why the game is quite scary. The graphics coating them is good, making even make believe things like the deformed enemies seem very real. Nothing groundbreaking but its enough to compliment the game to make scenarios, places and enemies very dark.

Controls:

The controls are ok and the hotkeys are placed really well in the controller. Personally, I didn’t encounter much difficulty controlling the characters while playing the game. The auto aim feature is nice although the maneuvering of characters coudld’ve been improved as they somewhat tend to be slow in running away from enemies. Other than that, the controls are perfectly fine.

(”Alright, the toilet! Oh crap…another puzzle!”)

Sound:

Another one to be proud of in this game is the sound. Nice background music, nice sound effects, and fluid character conversations are definitely heard in this game. I like the way the characters talk with each other depending on the situation they’re in. You just have to love some of the jokes they throw at each other, sounding as if they’re not in a bad situation. Definitely one of the games I played that has the best sounds heard in game.

Overall:

An improved version of its predecessor, this Obscure game is one of the best games one should play before shelving their PS2s. Even if it’s quite short, the game play as a whole is fulfilling and the storyline is great. Personally, I’m very picky in playing horror games because I did kinda got tired with the idea of most games in the genre using disgusting stuff just to make a game look horror-ish. Obscure 2 proved that a game can be horror without that mainstream idea, delivering a well-packaged game that responds well to the idea of being unique and creative.

 

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Bill Gates in his best Halo 3 gimmick

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

By White-haired Journalist

(Photo by Seattlepi.com)

Micrsoft founder Bill Gates surprised people at Best Buy in Redmond, Washington when he appeared at the midnight launching of Halo 3 today.

His purpose? To personally give the first copy to the first person on the line.

The lucky one was 17-year-old Ritesh David who got his copy complete with the Richest man in America’s autograph.

“I felt like a billion bucks,” David said Cheerfully as he said his plans of skipping school tomorrow to play Halo 3. “Business professionals around the world won’t be going to work tomorrow, so why would I go to school? It brings me joy.”

As quoted/reported by Reuters, Gates in a not-so-serious-tone said this: “I gotta check your ID to see if you’re 17,” Gates said, in a joking reference to the game’s “mature” rating, meaning it is intended for customers 17 and older.

W-h J: Lucky guy that Ritesh David.  Not only did Bill Gates signed his copy, even the Musicians and designers of Bungie studios signed his Halo 3 posters and memorabilias. 

I wonder how much money the kid’ll make if he sells that on Ebay…

XD

(Sources: GamePolitics, seatlltepi.com)

 

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Master Chief visits Harvard

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

(News by White-haired Journalist)

Sorry, I just have to post this.

(On the back of the helmet: “Master Chief in Training”)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology hackers took the extra mile of advertising Halo 3 by putting the helmet of Master Chief on the head of the statue of Harvard’s founder himself, John P. Harvard, during the release day of Halo 3. The statue was also equipped with an assault rifle and a Beaver-emblem on the right shoulder.

W-h J: What a prank! I dunno if I should laugh or what but i really feel 50/50 here. Part of me thinks this is a nice, harmless prank and if I were a teacher there, I would probably just laugh at it (I may even take a picture of me standing beside the statue). But then again that’s the statue of Harvard’s founder…

Teacher: Give me a synonym of serene? Anyone? Hmm…Master Chief?

Master Chief: …

Teacher: Nice one!

XD

(Sources: GameSpot, The Tech)

 

Halo 3 bad packaging scratched CDs

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

(News by White-haired Journalist)

There have been reports that some people who ordered the $69.99 Limited Edition of the Halo 3 game came to their hands in bad condition as the game cd itself was scratched.

The problem seems to be on the packaging where the plastic nub on the side of the case holding the CD was not big enough to support the disc. As a result, little movement would result in the disc being misplaced in the spindle then eventually be scratched.

Even if the discs were a little scratched before it were even played by consumers, GameSpot reported that their Limited Edition copy was working well despite sharing the same fate as others. It’s still unknown, however, if this problem is also an issue with the $129.99 Legendary Edition of the game.

Microsoft, on the other hand, did not give any comments yet about this issue.

W-h J: Microsoft seems to be very prone with disc scratches these days. First, their Xbox 360 red rings of death issue, and now this. In my opinion, they should have double checked everything before shipping out a game as big as this. I mean, the advertising for the game was everywhere the only thing you haven’t seen is Master Chief appearing in a Naruto episode. Would Microsoft want their public to remember Halo 3 as “the scratched game?” I don’t think so. The game may work fine even if it’s scratched but for people who are “cd sensitive,” They sure don’t want their game discs scratched, even for a little, especially if they paid a big amount for it. After all, Halo 3 is a true collector’s item and $69.99 is no joke.

With all the hype and anticipation of Halo 3, it’s just unfair to receive the CD in a somewhat damaged condition. Unless of course this is another Halo 3 advertising?

XD

(Source: GameSpot)

 

TOKYO GAME SHOW ‘07: A record-breaking wrap up for this year’s game show

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

(News by White-haired Journalist)

This year’s Tokyo Game Show garnered the biggest crowd, having a total of 193,040 visitors from its 4 day run, breaking the record of TGS ’06’s 192,411 visitors and overtaking Leipzig ’07’s game conference that garnered a close total of 185,000. It also superseded all of the visitor records since TGS ‘98.

The organizers of this year’s Tokyo Game Show, Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association, plans that the TGS will be back at Chiba prefecture’s Makuhari Messe Convention Center next year and will start on October 9 or 10.

(Bomber Man: Oh yeah! Hu da bomb?!)

Here’s the breakdown of visitors from TGS ‘98-’07 from GameSpot:

TGS 2007
Day 1* - 29,783
Day 2** - 32,390
Day 3 - 64,795 (11,829 children)
Day 4 - 66,072 (15,347 children)
Total: 193,040

TGS 2006
Day 1** - 39,645
Day 2 - 84,823 (12,246 children)
Day 3 - 67,943 (10,637 children)
Total: 192,411

Total visitors for previous years:
2005 - 176,056
2004 - 160,096
2003 - 150,089
2002 - 134,042
2001 Fall - 129,626
2001 Spring - 118,080
2000 Fall - 137,400
2000 Spring - 131,708
1999 Fall - 163,866
1999 Spring - 163,448
1998 Fall - 156,455
1998 Spring - 147,913
*Press only
**Press and invitation only

(Source: GameSpot)

 

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TOKYO GAME SHOW ‘07: Liu Bei, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei teams up for the 6th time!

Monday, September 24th, 2007

(News by White-haired Journalist)

Koei seems to be one of the busiest booths seen at the game show and it wouldn’t take a while for one to find out. For the first time ever, Koei featured the 6th installment of one of the best mob action fighting game set in ancient China that ever landed on gaming consoles. Dynasty Warriors 6 was playable for both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and fans seems to keep swarming the place just to try the game that they’ve loved since ‘97.

(Zhao Yun: How many times have I told you?! WHITE SAUCE ON PASTAAAAAAA! Hayaaaaaa!)

Other games that were available for testing in their two level booth are Bladestorm: The Hundred Years’ War for the PS3 and 360, G1 Jockey 4 2007 for PS3, PS2 and Nintendo Wii,�Samurai Warriors: Katana for the Wii, Opoona for the Wii, Gabu Gabu Planet for the Nintendo DS, Dynasty Warriors BB for the PC (Online), and much more.

Dynasty Warriors is one of the longest running titles made by Koei. This game featured many historical figures from ancient China, particularly in the Three Kingdoms Era where the kingdoms of Shu, Wu and Wei battle against each other for total dominion over the land. Dominant figures from each kingdom like Liu Bei, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei from Shu; Cao Cao, Xiahou Dun and Sima Yi from Wu and Sun Jian, Lu Xun, and Gan Ning from Wei are present and the historical resemblance of each battle that took place in the past were either highly accurate or slightly tweaked for the sake of each kingdom’s point of view. Either way, the Dynasty Warriors series proved to pack quite a punch in the gaming industry with it’s 6th installment on the way to gaming consoles for the first quarter of 2008.

(Diao Chan is as lovely as ever and Lu Bu’s still as scary as calories)

W-h J: Woohoo! I can’t wait to play this title again. Koei is one of the best in making mob action games and they’re one of the developers that make their games stay in my console tray for a very, very long time. Oh and shameless plug: Fans of Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors, don’t miss out Warriors Orochi that Koei recently released for the PS2! From what I remember, this is the last title they will release for the console and it sure is a nice ender for their PS2 release! It’s a cross of Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors!

Imagine if Koei will make a Dynasty Warriors of Dragon Ball. Imagine the chaos if Son Goku is on Super Saiyan 4 then wrecks havoc with his musou…Uber madness!

XD

(Source: Gamespot)

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TOKYO GAME SHOW ‘07: Developer Titan Square Enix ultimately struts their stuff

Monday, September 24th, 2007

(News by White-haired Journalist)

Square Enix, the developer that made legendary games like the Final Fantasy series possbile, once again stormed an electronic gaming event by showing their fans what they have in store for the next generation gaming consoles and mobiles. Hold on to your seats because we too haven’t been surprised like this after finding out how big their upcoming projects are.

The mixed up world of KINGDOM HEARTS

First up is the revelation of three new titles for the Kingdom Hearts series. That’s right! Three new, whopping titles for the Kingdom Hearts series, an unexpected turn of events for the game. Square Enix seems to be betting big on this title as they want the game to swarm over different consoles. Aside from the first two previous releases for the PlayStation 2, the three new titles will be released for the Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, and mobile phones.

The first title named Kingdom Hearts Coded for mobile phones showed a trailer that featured both Sora, the protagonist of the first Kingdom Hearts, and Jiminy Cricket. In this game, it seems like Jiminy got curious while browsing through his journal when he saw a page that reads, “We must return to free them from their torment.” Confused, he consults King Mickey Mouse. Mickey then digitized Jiminy, marking the latter’s adventure from there.

The second title for the series is Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days for the Nintendo DS. This game is focused on the characters of Kingdom Hearts 2, particularly on Organization XIII and Roxas. What’s new in this game is that this is a multiplayer game where players can fight cooperatively againts enemies, although it still featured a single player game similar to the previous KH installments. Judging from the trailer, it seems that the game will take players deep inside Organization XIII, revealing its secrets and introducing a 14th member from the original 13. The KH world seems to be getting more and more interesting.

The third title for the PSP is Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, a way back prequel to KH 1. The story will focus on the Keyblade Masters around the world. The trailer introduced two characters, one of which stroke a very similar resemblance to Roxas.

More to come: FINAL FANTASY XIII, FINAL FANTASY VERSUS XIII and DISSIDIA: FINAL FANTASY

Lots of footages were seen for the FF XIII game. Some angles shown were places inside the game like the circular city called the Cocoon, a place protected by machines and monsters. A new twist to the series is that the main character seems to be an antagonist named Lightning, a chosen one to bring an end to mankind. Square Enix emphasized that this game is a PS3 exlusive, showing the words “For PlayStation 3 Only” at the end of the trailer.

Final Fantasy Versus XIII, also for the PS3, is the ultimate teaser as little is known what’s this game is going to be about. The trailer featured a black costumed protagoinist, a long haired bloned and a room of men in suits.

Dissidia: Final Fantasy for the PSP seems to be the interesting apple in the lot. The trailer showed Squall Leonhart, the “cold” protagonist of Final Fantasy VIII, and Firion, the fierce rebel commander from Final Fantasy II, fighting each other. Will this be a fighting game like Tekken Tag Tournament where all the Tekken characters, from 1 to 3, will be playable? It seems interesting to see a Bahamut versus Tonberry round.

The sexiest and most deadly NYPD Officer is back!

Remember this beauty? Do the words Mitochondria and Eve ring a bell? That’s right folks! Aya Brea is back! Aya will star in her latest prequel titled “Parasite Eve: The 3rd Birthday coming out for mobile phones. A trailer shows of a blonde girl inside a chapel (Probably Aya herself) wearing a wedding dress where she pulls out a gun the moment she sees a man in front of the chapel doors. Yikes! That’s Aya Brea for us!

W-h J: Being a big Square Enix fan…WOW! I cannot believe what I just heard! Three new Kingdom Hearts, Three new Final Fantasy XIII, and Aya Brea is back in action! Need I say more? XD

Tokyo Game Show ‘07 indeed is not an ordinary Electronic Gaming Event.  Be there and be SQUAREd (Enix)

XD 

(Source: Gamespot)

 

Nine year-old hero saves dad, rewarded with a PS3

Friday, September 21st, 2007

(News by White-haired Journalist) 

Matty Lovo, the mighty kid who performed a heroic act in Highway 30 near St. Helens, Oregon, finally got his PlayStation 3 reward for saving his father’s life last August 9 by taking the wheels of a 100,000 pound truck when his dad suddenly passed out while driving it.

Here’s what happened: When Matty’s dad passed out, the boy took control of the truck, drove it to the guard rail, and finally called for help using the radio. Such a heroic act for such a young age, don’t you agree?

W-h J: If I was that kid’s dad too, heck, I’d even buy him a Nintendo Wii and an Xbox 360. It’s rare to see children with wits and guts these days. Good job, kid! The Sumodownload team salutes you! XD

(Source: Gametrailers)

 

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TOKYO GAME SHOW ‘07: HOMEcoming still far for the PS3

Friday, September 21st, 2007

(News by White-haired Journalist)

At Tokyo Game Show, Sony President and COO Kaz Hirai said in his speech that plans for the PS3 Home’s release this fall has been delayed. This is because they wanted to be careful in developing it so that it would reach the satisfaction of consumers around the globe.  The new release date for Home would Spring next year.

“I’m sorry about the delay, but since we want this to be a worldwide service…Our territories all have their own wishes for it…it’s taking a bit longer for us to develop.” said Hirai. “We want Home to be satisfactory to all types of users around the world, so we decided to delay it.”

The PS3 home is like a massively multiplayer online lounge where players can chill out in their cyber houses, make new friends, discuss their favorite game etc. 

W-h J: Well, it’s just right that hypes of this kind should be tested over and over again before releasing it to avoid the tedious task of making gamers download the patch just to fix the developer’s mess. Madden ‘08 anyone?

Gamer: Yay! Champions of Norrath is out!
Game: *Crashes* *Glitches*
Gamer: Bummer

XD

(Sources: Gaming Today, 1UP)