Ever hear of Video Games Live? It's a show created by veteran game composers Tommy Tallarico (Earthworm Jim series, Unreal, Maximo, Metroid Prime) and Jack Wall (Myst III/IV, Mass Effect series, Jade Empire) that features various video game music performed by a live orchestra along with solo peformers, guitarists, a choir, all synchronized to video, lighting effects, and more. The result is something truly astonishing and sure to be loved by anyone who enjoys video games or good music. I've never seen the show live, which is unfortunate. Thankfully, Video Games Live has teamed up with PBS to produce a TV special to bring the show to more people.
The show will premiere on Saturday, July 31st and will repeat on PBS stations throughout the month of August. I don't know any exact times since PBS stations are all different, so put a reminder in your calendar or something which will tell you to check the schedule on your local PBS station. Also, the press release from Video Games Live urges people to write their local PBS station to ensure they're airing it, so you might want to go ahead and do that.
Oh, as a bonus: if you happen to live in California and get KQED, you can see the special TONIGHT at 7:30pm or 1:30am! Almost 2 months before it premieres!
If you happen to miss it, don't worry. The special be released on Blu-ray and DVD later this year. Here's the trailer PBS has put up for the show:
(Be sure to turn on 720p HD)
If you want a taste of VGL now, they released a CD that you can buy in stores (might be hard to find in retail chains, check independent stores) or online at various places. It's also on iTunes and Amazon MP3 for $10.
I'll try and put out a small reminder post on the front page in a month and a half to remind you all to check out your local PBS station's schedule and see when the special is on. I'd hate for you to miss it.
So, Heavy Rain. Pretty awesome PS3 exclusive. One of the big memes it spawned was from the very early scenes in the game, when Ethan takes his family to a mall and hisson, Jason, gets lost. During this segment you have to run through the mall yelling for him: pressing X to Jason. Ethan's recorded line of him screaming Jason kind of caught on because, well it was amusing. First there was the flash game. Now there's the song/music video:
As I said, there's no spoilers in here. This happens in the first 15 minutes of the game. Enjoy!
OH GOD! SOUND THE FANBOY ALARMS! Insomniac Games, longtime developer of exclusive Sony properties like Spyro (before it got sold to Universal), Ratchet and Clank, and Resistance have sold their souls to the devil! They are teaming up with EA Partners and making a new IP that will appear on PS3 and 360! This is the first time Insomniac has made a game for anything other than a Sony platform, and Sony fanboys are going absolutely apeshit with negativity over the announcement. "RATCHET AND RESISTANCE ARE GOING TO EA! THEY SOLD THEMSELVES OUT TO THE DEVIL! THE WORLD'S ENDING! HAVING A GAME ON ANOTHER SYSTEM ONLY SPELLS DOOM!" hahaha no.
Insomniac has been never owned by anyone. They're independent and will remain so, but they still have strong ties to Sony. Sony still owns the big franchises, AND Insomniac is going to be doing further games in those series exclusively for Sony. As Insomniac's CEO Ted Price said, they will continue working on games with Sony. It's just this new IP that's going to be done with EA that will be on 360. However, some Sony fans can't really understand that and throwing huge fits about it. They just see the words "Insomniac making a 360 game" and go into instarage mode.
no see you just took a huge shit on sony so no-one who has a ps3 will like you no excuses sell outs
You money grabbing tossers. Im telling you now, if Ratchet and Clank standards continue to slip, and us PS3 owners get a WORSE game to conform to XBOX mechanics, i will never buy another Insomniac Game again.
i just wanted to say !!WHAT THE F***!! joining with EA that's one of the dumbest shit i ever heard in my gaming history. EA is going to f*** you over so bad i can't wait to see your faces and what you guys have to say. GOOD LUCK. the only thing that doesn't bother me is at least it's not with Activision and that it's going multiplatform.
you guys just lost alot of fans and respect for going multi!!! you aren't getting any money from me anymore jackass and trust me LOYALTY and RESPECT goes along way so f*** you Insomniac games!
Couldn't care less right now. I feel like your any other game studio out there and it's all about the $$$.
I will never buy an insomniac game ever again and I own every single one you have ever made. Congrates, your fan base that you have built on for over a decade is now gone and all the respect with it, have fun with those 360 fanboys
This deal is kinda unique though. As Kotaku said, there's never been a situation like this before. It's not really like Rare because Rare was owned by Nintendo then got sold to MS. Not really like Bungie because they still appear to be loyal to Sony and are willing to work on the franchises that made them a big name in the first place. It's not like Square because they aren't leaving one company to go to another (like they did with Nintendo to Sony). Not like Factor 5 or Sega either. It's a pretty unique deal and I'm excited to see what comes of it.
I wish the best of luck to Insomniac with their new IP, and hope it's a huge hit. They really deserve it. In the meantime, let's just laugh at all the fanboy hilarity that this move has generated.
Stupid decision Insomniac, Hope your new project fails!!!
Hey, remember this little game by the name of Portal? It came out just over two years ago to massive critical acclaim and gained tons of awards all the while spawningmemes all over the internet? Have you played that game yet? If not, what's wrong with you? Like really, you're missing out big time, buddy.
However, now's your chance to correct this issue. In celebration of Steam coming to the Mac after all these years as a Windows only affair, Valve has decided to offer up the full uncut version of their game Portal on both Windows and Mac as a gift to the masses (until May 24).
If you haven't played Portal, now's the time. It's a fairly short game (about 3 hours or so), but it's one of the more satisfying games I've ever played. It never overstays its welcome and is excellently paced. And of course, once you're done playing Portal, there are oodles of fan-made mods that you can partake in, such as Portal: Prelude, maps from Portal: The Flash Version, and many others.
So yeah, I haven't done a blog entry in quite some time, but I figured why not come back with a bang? Here's my yearly Black Friday deals post, a little early this time. As far as I know, everything on this post should be accurate. I used leaked scans from the ads found at blackfriday.info and some info from cheapassgamer.com. However, I did start working on this post about a week and half ago, so deals may have changed last minute. I'll review it on Thanksgiving day to check and see if what I have is correct. If you see any errors, please leave them in the comments.
Items in bold are ones that I think are pretty cool and worth checking out.
First things first: here's some notable deals I want to get out of the way from retailers that don't get a special spot in the listing:
Dualshock 3 for $30 at RadioShack Lego Rock Band FREE when you buy $20 of stuff at Old Navy
For PC gamers, Steam is having day long sales every day for the next five days. They have some GREAT deals right now, like Osmos for only $2 and Batman Arkham Asylum for $25. Check this page every day for new offers.
PS3 owners, Sony is having a sale on various PSN games this week.
$5: Bomberman Ultra Comet Crash Flower The Last Guy Prince of Persia Classic
$7.50 Invincible Tiger: The Legend of Han Tao Smash Cars
$15 Fate/Unlimited Codes (PSP)
Killzone 2 DLC sale: Flash and Thunder for $3, DLC Bundle for $10
Anyways, now on to the brick and mortar stores. Click on the link to skip directly to the store you want to see.
Hey you, yeah you, want some free DLC for LittleBigPlanet? Of course you do. All you gotta do is go to this website http://www.us.playstation...ywondergames/default.aspx, click the big green redeem button and you'll get a code that will net you a free download of the Nose Mythology Pack. The pack includes a few costumes and a bunch a bunch of create mode goodies. If the code doesn't work for you, try clearing your web browser's cookies and generating a new code, or just using a different browser. It took me two times to get a code that worked.
Today at the gamescom convention in Cologne, Germany, Sony finally confirmed alltherumors of the PS3 Slim. The new unit will be 33% smaller and 36% lighter than the existing models. Most importantly, it will launch on September 1st for $299. Can't wait that long? All PS3 systems are now $299, effective tomorrow.
Here's SCEI CEO Kaz Hari unveiling the new PS3 model at the gamescom press conference. It also gives you an idea just how much smaller it is when he holds the system in his hands.
I recently decided to get GameFly because I found that there were so many new games I wanted to try out, but not necessarily buy them. So far, i've been very impressed by the service. So much so that I thought I'd let you all know about my experiences so far. If you don't know, GameFly is a rental service, much like NetFlix, that allows you to rent games by mail.
First, let's talk about the main part of the service, renting. Their library of games is extensive. They have almost any game you could want for PS3, 360, Wii, PS2, Xbox, GameCube, DS, PSP, and GBA. So far it seems like most of the games I've wanted to rent are readily available, with the exception of brand new games, which tend to have Low to Very Low availability. But usually they'll be more available in a week or two once the initial renters have returned their copies.
The process of selected what games you want is fairly simple. You simply search the site for the game you want to rent and add it to your GameQ. Once you have titles in your GameQ, you can rearrange them to tell GameFly which you would like to have top priority. When you return a game, they will pick the next available game out of your GameQ and send it. Pretty simple.
You receive the game disc/cart only in an envelope that opens up into a pre-paid return envelope. Inside the envelope you'll find a protective cardboard sleeve with a paper sleeve inside that contains your game. You can keep any game as long as you want. Once you are done with a game, just put it back in the envelope, drop it in the mail and they'll take care of the rest. Once they receive your game, they'll ship out the next available game on your GameQ
In addition to offering rental services, GameFly also has an extensive library of used games for you to buy at a discounted price. Often times, their used game prices beat out GameStop. For example, I bought Prince of Persia for PS3 from them for only $22, whereas GameStop was charging $27 at the time I bought it. Another example: GameStop wants $55 for Red Faction: Guerilla whereas GameFly only wants $43 for it. Another nice thing about GameFly is that if you rent a game and you end up enjoying it, you can opt to keep the game without having to send it back. Oh, and all you CIB whores out there, don't worry, if you decide to keep the game, they will mail you the case and instructions for free. Since the case and instructions haven't been touched by anyone, they're in perfect condition. Oh yeah, I should also mention that all 6 games I've rented from GameFly so far have been in mint condition with no scratches or fingerprints of any kind.
Their shipping times are pretty good too. I live in Minnesota, and it usually takes three days for me to get a game from them or for them to receive a game I send back. However, sometimes when sending a game back, they will use something called fast return, where they ship your next game as soon as they get tracking confirmation from the post office that you put the game in the mail. I haven't figured out how that works yet, however.
Their plans are pretty well-priced too. $15.95 per month for one game out at a time, $22.95 for two games, $29.95 for three games, and $36.95 for four games.
GameFly offers a program called GameFly Rewards to all of its members at no charge. Every three months you are a member, you will get $5 GameFly Dollars to used in their used game store. Also, if you're a member for six months, you will get 5% all purchases from them, and if you're a member for a year, you'll get 10% off. So the longer you remain a member, the better of a deal you'll get if you buy games from them. Add that on top of the $5 they give you every three months, and the savings start to stack up pretty well.
Click here to give it a shot! They have a free trial, and your first month is discounted if you decide to keep going with them.
So, Pepsi is running a promotion right now where you buy a bottle of Pepsi and get a code to enter into a contest to win Rock Band related prizes or get a downloadable track for free. Now with the PS3 and 360 versions, it generates a code that you can use to download a track that you choose, however with the Wii version it spits out a code redeemable for 200 Nintendo points, regardless of which song you choose. These 200 points don't have to be used on Rock Band tracks, so you can use them to get Virtual Console, WiiWare, or DSiWare games! Let Current.com user PacoDG tell you how to do it:
Granted you're not saving a ton of money since the cost of a Pepsi is about $1.50, but hey, you still get a Pepsi out of the deal. I'm going to try this and go for Gradius Rebirth. What will you go for?
In case you've been living under a rock for the past two weeks, pop music legend, Michael Jackson, has passed away. One thing the Thriller superstar was known for was his giant Neverland Ranch, which was foreclosed and auctioned off last year. As part of the auctions, the arcade in Neverland Ranch was sold. The Orange County Pinball Lab website got a look inside and took several panoramic shots of the arcade. Check it out here: http://www.pinsane.com/pi.../events/MJ_09/index.shtml. Or if you prefer, you can view the arcade's contents in the auction catalogue here: http://www.juliensauction...el-jackson/icatalog4.html
Some of the highlights (for me) include:
Giant Lego Darth Vader
Darkstalkers arcade machine
Super Street Fighter II
Sega R360 (That thing looks freaking awesome)
NBA Hangtime (LOVED that game as a kid)
Galaxy Force (I remember playing that game in the arcade as a kid and how awesome it was that it spun and tilted)
Several kiosks including N64, 3DO, PS1, Virtual Boy, Saturn, SNES, Genesis, Dreamcast,
Mocap Boxing (It's like Project Natal!)
Neo Geo MVS
Marvel Vs Capcom
Quite the collection I must say. I don't know if he was a gamer, but I'm sure a lot of guests were. Creepy, no?
25 years ago, on June 6, 1984, the US was in the height of the Cold War with Russia and a Russian by the name of Alexey Pajitnov completed the first version of a time-sucking weapon known as Tetris, arguably the most successful puzzle game of all-time, and one of the best video games ever created.
Almost everything that can play games has received a version of Tetris: ranging from common systems like the NES, Game Boy, and Nintendo DS, to more obscure systems such as the Nuon and Virtual Boy. Of course, there are many ports to devices not normally intended for gaming, such as TI-83 calculators (Ztris got me through so many boring study hall sessions in high school) and just about every cell phone ever made (EA's iPhone version of Tetris is one of the best selling games in the Apple App Store).
So, I ask everyone, to spend some time today and celebrate the legacy of Tetris by playing a few rounds. Whether you play it on your NES, iPhone, or simply in your browser, just play it and remember why it's one of the greatest games ever.
Leave some of your memories of Tetris in the comments. Did it suck up your life? Do you remember playing it when it first came out? Do you think it sucks? Let us know!
In closing, here's a little tribute song to Tetris:
Hey you, random PlayStation 3 owner! I see you out there with your Dualshock 3 in hand thinking, "Hey I want a new game to play on here, but I'm cheap". Well, the good folks and Sony and Sprint have heard you and have decided to give you a FREE game for one week only.
That's right, Rag Doll Kung Fu: Fists of Plastic is free for all US Playstation Network members for this week. Why is it free? I guess it's because Sprint is sponsoring it.
If you feel bad for missing out on this because you don't have a US PSN account, well, there is a way you can make one if you live in another country, just Google around. Or what if you don't have a PS3 but want to add it to your collection, I'm sure there are people out there (HINT HINT) who might give you a helping hand in adding it to an account for future use.
Oh and, did I mention the game has trophies? So download it for free trophies!
A lot of us here collect games, I'm assuming. Since this is true, I know that every one of you here has a game backlog. You know, that pile of games sitting in the corner, unplayed, unloved for various reasons. Maybe you lost interest in the game, or there's a shiny new game that captured your attention, or you just never got around to playing it. Regardless of the reasons why your backlog grows, I want to know what your approach to solving this backlog dilemma is.
Do you: Play a game for a few hours and see if it's worth playing through? Tackle a few games at a time? Prioritize games by interest? Stare at it in shame?
Personally, I find that a game goes in my backlog when there's something new that comes along and steals interest away from another game. Good example of that: Dead Space. I bought that game on day one and played through the first few chapters, but then a few weeks later, LittleBigPlanet came out and I found myself with no time for Dead Space. Then of course there was the rest of the fall games that pushed their way into my library, and pushed others into the backlog. Also, I find that games I spend less money on, especially Dreamcast and older games, tend to more easily go to my backlog because they're old and no one is talking about them anymore.
When it comes time to tackle my backlog, I look at the pile of games and decide which sounds most interesting, or which one I enjoyed most before it went into the pile. Unlike many other gamers, I actually try every game I buy for at least an hour or two, so that helps in the future when making backlog related choices. I usually only play one backlog game at a time because I find that if I add any more, my gaming time becomes too diluted across not only my backlog games but my current staples.
Anyone else have an effective approach to solving the game backlog issue? Let me know.
Gamestop, we all love them and their whole LET'S SELL OPENED GAMES AS NEW thing they like to do. Taking a stance against that policy, a clever eBayer by the name of newyorkrarebooks has put a "Gamestop NEW" copy of Valkyria Chronicles up for sale at $4,995. What's so special about this copy? I'll let the seller exlplain:
This is extremely rare to find in this state considering most other "new" / "sealed" games don't have the scratches on the disc nor the fingerprint smudges nor the somehow missing instruction manual that this version has.
Kinda funny, isn't it? Well, at least I found it funny.
Also, here's a fun anecdote about Gamestop and Valkyria Chronicles. As you may know, VC was one of the games Gamestop had as part of the recent Gamer Days thing they had. They were selling it new for 30. Initially I was like "BAWWWW IT'S GAMESTOP NEW SCREW THIS". But then I looked over at the used games and saw they had Valkyria Chronicles used for 30 and immediately stopped my whining. I even thanked the friendly Gamestop associate for saving me the hassle of having to open up the game myself.