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Archive for November, 2007

Popular New Zeland cop blames youth violence on video games

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

Let’s hear if he’s got a better reason than those people who claim to be “experts” in linking violent games to youth violence.

Superintendent Bill Harrison, one of New Zealand’s leading police and national manager of police youth services, has a theory on the connection between violent video games and youth violence. According to him, since the release of the Xbox 360 on June 2005, newspapers cited that a 25% increase of youth arrests in New Zealand occured.

But that’s not all. He has first hand data after watching his son play a specific game on the Xbox 360.

“It was desensitising him to violence. It was shifting his norm about how he would deal with conflict.”

“You see these kids - their hands are wringing wet with sweat because their bodies are taking in what’s going on on the screen and they are acting it out.”

In the end, Harisson called for a planned government study in including the effects of violent games to youth violence.

W-h J: Makes sense if you, as a parent, says to your 5 year old kid that killing cops in video games is the right thing to do while playing GTA. But knowing many people who grew up playing violent games while having a sound mind, “experts” need to try harder to prove there’s a real link between youth behavior to violent video games.

News: Dog raids petshop after watching Droopy, the Master Detective on Cartoon Network

Mom: Dang, I knew Droopy was a bad influence! Timmy, you won’t watch Cartoon Network now got it?

(Source: GamePolitics)

 

Final Fantasy XI developers developing new MMO

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

After Final Fantasy’s Fanfest at Anaheim Hilton, South California, Gamasutra got a nice scoop on the developers’ future plans on making an MMO.

Looks like they’re torn between making it the next Final Fantasy Online or a completely new one.

“As you might already know, members from the current FFXI team are working on a next generation MMO, but it still hasn’t been decided whether that’s going to be a game in the FF series, a continuation, or a totally new game. said Square Enix’s vice president and producer of Final Fantasy XI Hiromichi Tanaka. “We are working on it, but it hasn’t been decided that far yet.”

One of the interview’s highlights was when the FFXI team was asked if games like World of Warcraft affected the number of players of FFXI. It seems like they’re confident with the MMO they made.

“Actually, we haven’t been affected that much by WoW. When FFXI hit its peak users was about the time that WoW was released, and when it was released we didn’t see a big reduction in the players. It’s pretty much been about the same.”

More from the team: “We feel that with a lot of MMORPGs on the market, players have the choice of the one they want to go to and they’ll try them out and then they’ll stick with one — and we see that people who chose FFXI have stuck with it.”

Read the full interview here.

W-h J: I wonder what made them think twice in continuing their under development game in attaching it to the legendary Final Fantasy series? Unless it’s an original concept, I can’t help but wonder if they’re really unaffected by WoW’s popularity.

(Source: Gamasutra)

Now this is a gun replica!

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

 

Remember our last article about Nintendo’s Wii Zapper getting flamed by extreme conservatives?

What are they gonna say after seeing this newly released Nintendo Wii gun called “Perfect Shot” made by Nyko? Prolly something like this:

Let’s just forget about them and rejoice over this new paraphernalia for the Nintendo Wii. Just imagine playing House of the Dead with two Perfect shots. Sweeeeeet!

Perfect Shot won’t reach stores on the holidays though. Available for $12.99.

(Source: Engadget)

 

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Grand Theft Auto female edition coming to mobile phones

Monday, November 26th, 2007

You gotta be kidding me.

Noted as the “Grand Theft Auto” for girls by its publishers, “Coolest Girl in School” lets you experience the dark side activities in high school like stealing, drugs, spreading gossips, lies, cutting classes, flirt with guys, etc. in a girl’s point of view.

A lot of violent reactions are coming out from media watchdogs. Holly Owen, the creative director for Coolest Girl in School, beieves that her game is being “unfairly demonized.”

“We have had a lot of press and, unfortunately the game has been misrepresented in some articles.” said Owen. “It is … a very tongue-in-cheek look at the perils of the quest for cool in high school.”

Female gaming expert at Concordia University Christine Daviault wasn’t really happy with her reply though:

“I just don’t think most people will see it as tongue-in-cheek. (Youth players) are at a crossroads in the formation of their personalities and a game like this basically fosters a warped idea of what constitutes success and how to get it.”

“The tween and teen girls who don’t already engage in this type of behaviour may think it’s an interesting fantasy for a short period of time, but I don’t think it’ll keep their attention for very long,” she says. “For a fantasy to be successful, it needs to make you feel good. And I think this game is too corrosive to have that effect.”

Same with Anastasia Goodstein, a noted youth media consultant:

“Coolest Girl In School sounds a lot like high school. Do girls need to play a game to remind them of high school’s depressing social hierarchy?”

W-h J: This time, I gotta agree with those experts. The difference between Grand Theft Auto and The Coolest Girl in School is that Grand Theft Auto somehow still have censorship in it by being rated by the ESRB and can still be filtered by being sold to people below 17. On the other hand, almost everyone in this planet, including a 7 year old, has a mobile phone.  In other words, this game can be played by almost anyone. Yes, even by high school girls who’re having their lunch breaks at school.

Another thing is that Grand Theft Auto may be a game of violence but at least it doesn’t say that stealing cars is ok or killing cops are cool (though you can because of the freedom given by the game). But in this mobile game, you ARE cool when you do these dark activities in school. 

There are big differences between the two games. Don’t get confused just because both are controvercially connected.  If only this game was carried in a platform and not in a mobile phone, my opinion will be slightly different. 

(Sources: Canada.com, GamePolitics)

 

Hitman movie doing bad

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

(Agent 47: Tsk.  Should’ve stuck to games)

Usually, video games that are made movies (and vice versa) turn out bad.

Hitman is no exception.

According to Rotten Tomatoes, the movie site version of Gamespot, things don’t look really well with what the critics have to say.

Some words from veteran reviewers:

From Terry Lawson of the Detroit Free Press: “While Hitman is decidedly more watchable than Resident Evil and most previous video-game movies, it shares its forerunners’ lack of interest in storytelling or logic.”

From Brian Orndorf of Efilmcritic.com: “An overcooked time killer that finds bad acting, bad direction, bad cinematography, and bad screenwriting in a furious race to dominate the running time. I’d call it a four-way tie.”

From Kirk Honeycutt of Hollywoord Reporter: “The formula is not that far removed from James Bond except there’s a hole at its center. Agent 47, played by a virtually expressionless Timothy Olyphant, is a soulless, emotionally dead protagonist.”

From Jack Mathews of New York Daily News: “As cold as it is dumb.”

Overall ratings from Rotten Tomatoes look really bad. Only 6 out of the 48 noted critics gave it a fresh rating and as a whole, the site gave it a 3.7 out of 10.

W-h J: Aliens v.s Predator the movie, Spiderman 2 game, Transformers The Game, Street Fighter the movie, Street Fighter the game, Harry Potter gamess, Doom the movie, Tomb Raider the movie, Batman Begins the game, and the list goes on…When will they ever learn how Mortal Kombat pulled these things right?

(Sources: Gaming Today, Rotten Tomatoes)

 

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Castlevania the movie plot spilled

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

(Thanks to Sumodownload reader wereBear for this tip)

On October, it has been known that a Castlevania film would suffice under the supervision of veteran director Paul W.S. Anderson.

It is also known that the movie’s story would pick up from a Transylvanian knight holed up inside Dracula’s Castle in hiding from the Turkish Army.

However, as of today, that storyline is history.

Instead of creating an original storyline, the creators of the film decided to go with Castlevania’s storyline that includes the neverending, legendary battle between the Count Dracula and (drumroll) The Belmonts!

(Simon: Castlevania without the Belmonts?! What kinda Castlevania is THAT?!)

New plot of the story: The villagers in the land of Transylvania enjoyed years of peace after being detached from the clutches of the Prince of Darkness that once reigned terror to them.

However, some people are well aware that the Prince of Darkness returns after 100 years of his slumber. And so after 100 years of his sleep, he terrorizes the land of Transylvania once again with his fearsome army of the undead, feeding upon the flesh of innocent humans.

However, there is a glimmer of hope in the village as one family bloodline is dedicated into banishing the Prince of Darkness and its minions. Rising like a phoenix comes the generation’s hero of the Belmont, Simon Belmon, as he picks up the family’s legendary whip, the “Vampire Killer,” and sets out on a journey to seal the cursed creature.

W-h J: The story’s revamping is definitely good news! I can’t imagine a Castlevania game without the Belmonts as the protagonists.  Unless of course it’s gonna be Alucard (Castlevania: Symphony of the Night’s main protagonist and at the same time son of the Prince of Darkness), it’ll really be hard to pull off a good Castlevania movie.  After all, its the Belmonts and Alucard that people loved over the years.  Introducing a knight in hiding in the Castlevania film is just not a good idea. 

(Sources: QJ.net, QJ.net’s PSP updates)

 

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Teenager nabbed for stealing virtual items

Friday, November 16th, 2007

Online marauders, beware!

A Dutch teen was arrested by the police after stealing a “virtual furniture” from the 3D Social networking website, “Habbo Hotel.”

“It is a theft because the furniture is paid for with real money.” Habbo Hotel’s spokesman said.

Following the arrest, the police questioned five other 15-year-olds who were also allegedly suspected of theft.

More from the Sulake’s (Company operator of Habbo Hotel) Spokesperson:

“In Habbo, as in many other virtual worlds, scamming for other people’s personal information such as user names has been problematic for quite a while…We have had much of this scamming going on in many countries but this is the first case where the police have taken legal action.”

As of today, approximately six million people around the world play Habbo Hotel.

W-h J: Now this is what I call fantasy meets reality.   

(Sources: Gaming Today, BBC)

 

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RUMOR: Marvel Universe Online Cancelled?

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

(How can you cancel superheroes as cool as these?)

Just when you thought you could play online with your favorite Marvel Heroes then news like this came.

The shame, the horror, the utterly inexcusable!

Though it isn’t announced publicly yet, it seems like the MMO is in question of being cancelled since, according to an insider, it has “hit serious, potentially stalling, development troubles.”

He does have a point though. According to an interview with its developers, they seem to be ignoring questions that are related with the game. Here’s an example:

What about Marvel Universe Online, Mike? The studio’s own FAQ about transitioning City of Heroes from Cryptic to NCSoft strangely ignores the game.

“What’s next for Cryptic Studios? Cryptic is developing new titles and new IPs, as well as expanding its business interests. We have a talented team of game developers and technicians, and a large part of our motivatation [sic] for this move was to free up resources for our future projects. With these new projects we will challenge ourselves to make even better and more immersive MMO games. Stay tuned!”

Read the rest of the story here.

W-h J: Well that certainly is dissapointing. Usually, it’s correct that if a big project is under development, it’s only right that the people involved that are being interviewed would eventually give snippets of info about the game. Or if they can’t, they’d at least say, “It’s doing ok, we can’t really tell much about it as of now but all I can say is its gonna be big!”

Something like that.

Question: How’s Marvel Online doing?
Answer: Oh thanks, I’m fine.

(Sources: Gaming Today, 1up)

 

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EA obliterates C&C 3 cheaters

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

(Kane: Hack me and I’ll hack you!)

I hope this serves a lesson to every online game cheaters out there.

Apparently, EA has set an example to those who likes to cross over the border of the rules and regulations of Command and Conquer III by permanently banning and suspending accounts.

EA’s basis of banning them were excessive disconnecting, user reports on their cheating, lobby flood spamming, bad language used in the game or in the forums, using the “point pushing” method, etc.

75+ accounts were banned under EA’s announcement this time and noteable disqualification accounts belonged to two of the top ranking players of WoW.

Here’s the official statement from one of their moderators, “EA APOC (C&C)”

W-h J: Using a GameShark on consoles is one thing: the benefit is all yours. But use it on an online game, you’d definitely be pissing off a lot of players because of your selfish intentions. It’s like plagiarizing a good writer’s work.  You’re not writing to express but to impress.

(Sources: Gaming Today, EA Forums)

Is Sam Fisher a Bad Influence? No

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

Apparently, 5 teenagers from Washington misinterpreted Sam’s line of work.

Splinter Cell, an espionage game, lets you take on the role of Sam Fisher to thwart criminal activities and take down key opponents masterminding them. Never did the game intend to teach anyone do something as weird as the 5 teenagers who broke into a high school building to do some spy mission.

One of the teenager’s reason was pretty preposterous when she said that they were playing a spy video game called Splinter Cell before they decided to go break into the building and do a spy mission. Why preposterous? Because most of them were 18 year olds and it doesn’t take a genius to know that breaking into a building is bad. What more blame a video game for their actions.

Although the kids’ alibis were they never intended to steal anything from the building and just wanted to play with garbage cans by rolling on the floor inside them, they were booked at the Kitsap County Jail for second degree burglary and were charged with a bail of not less than $10,000.

W-h J: Was this an attempt made by the one pulling the strings on them to defame video games? I smell something fishy…

Breaking into a highschool building without taking anything with them, wearing black vests and a mask (a horrible way of portraying Splinter Cell), and the missing story of how the police busted them. It just doesn’t make any sense.

Failed your driving test? Blame Gran Turismo. Failed your cooking lessons? Blame Cooking Mama. Someone died while being operated? Blame Trauma Center. Killed someone? Blame FPS shooters. Is there anything you can’t blame to on video games? Yeah. Your decisions.