Around the Gaming World News Report 06.15.12
Posted by Chris Ferrell on 06.15.2012
News and thoughts on info for Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut's DLC leaking out, LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes having speaking characters, Microsoft's plans for Smart Glass, renewed expectations for the PS Vita, Nintendo's plans to remake a past Zelda game and more!
Hey everyone, welcome to the latest installment of Around The Gaming World. If this is your first time checking in I try to cover some of the major stories for each console in addition to news, which in my opinion, is the news of the week.
First, let's start with the comments from last week.
But I was disappointed Rockstar didn't show anything for GTAV. You would think that since their biggest franchise is releasing a new game within the next year and since the biggest gaming convention was taking place, naturally they'd show SOMETHING.
Posted By: Guest#7439 (Guest) on June 08, 2012 at 12:27 AM
I was very surprised not to see any GTA news as well. It makes me wonder if Rockstar is pushing off GTA V for the next round of consoles. I bet next year we will see more on GTA.
There was a lot of speculation over a new Super Smash Bros game or even a Zelda game but nothing was announced. Instead, we found out there was a new Mario game available at launch. That's something I'm pretty sure everyone could predict.
Actually, a Mario launch title is bigger news and not something everyone could necessarily predict - the last home console to have a Mario game in it's launch lineup was the N64.
Posted By: Guest#2525 (Guest) on June 08, 2012 at 01:22 AM
New Mario is always good, but there's only so many times I can get excited for Mario. I enjoy the games, but they really aren't anything new. That being said, Luigi's Mansion came out on the Gamecube at launch. That is sort of a Mario game, after all Luigi's last name is Mario.
If the Wii U wants to succeed and keep up with sony and microsoft's next gen's releases then at least keep up with today's smartphone and tablet touch screen based gaming market that eating its way in the portable gaming industry and make the Wii U's gamepad multi-touch functional. As far as I see, they haven't done that. I think it's time for Nintendo to stop being so arrogant for the sake of their own concept of innovation or there might not be a successor to the Wii U. As a lifelong Nintendo fan, this truly concerns me. I hope I'm wrong
Posted By: mblund (Guest) on June 08, 2012 at 02:35 AM
I'm not sure how useful multitouch would be on the WiiPad. Having to use multitouch on screen and buttons on the controller at the same time sounds near impossible. I agree that Nintendo is highly prioritizing their own innovation over competing, but to be fair the other companies are adopting their ideas. Both Sony and Microsoft adopted motion controls to compete with the Wii. Now, Microsoft has greatly embraced the second screen concept with Smart Glass.
I'd say FF7 being announced for the Vita was a surprise
Posted By: Guest#2237 (Guest) on June 08, 2012 at 07:25 AM
If it were a remake I would be surprised. But, it's a port so that's not super surprising. You've been able to play FF VII on the PS3 for ages already.
I'm concerned the Wii U games will be really overpriced. EB has all of the launch titles listed as $100. An Average New X-Box game costs 50-60 and Nintendo may have not noticed but the global economy isn't so great right now.
Posted By: WVW (Guest) on June 08, 2012 at 11:04 AM
My guess is that those prices are placeholders and they will drop closer to the console launch. Those prices would be ridiculous. As it is now, it's hard enough for gamers to pay 60 bucks for a new game. I'm more worried about the price of the WiiU at launch.
Finally, our good friend, Ric Flair's red pen has surfaced. I'm not quite sure how to take it so I figured I would share with you all then comment.
Our law offices have recently been hired by our client Ric Flair's Red Pen to get into contact with you about some legal matters. Our client says you are slandering his good name by making allegations against him that he was left in a Rent-A-Center. Rest assured our client would never associate with this company and by you spreading this false information are doing damage to his reputation and costing him money.
Secondly, it has come to our knowledge that our client has been posting comments on your web column for several weeks and they have not been published. You are suppressing our clients freedom of speech, and would like you to cease and desist on this.
Furthermore, our client would like a public apology for the treatment that he has received from you in recent weeks. Failure to do so will result in legal action against you.
Chris Jericho's WCW Legal Team
To begin my legal advisers have asked I not speak on this issue. However, I am not following that advice. Mr. Red Pen I have said nothing out of line, specifically nothing libelous or slanderous. Therefore I will continue to speak the truth regarding your origins at the Rent-A-Center. You cannot suppress the truth my friend. There will be no apology as I have always been taught to not apologize for telling the truth.
As for suppressing your freedom of speech, there is no expectation that all comments will be posted and made publicly viewable. If you are unable to follow simple rules of grammar and spelling you more than likely won't make the cut. This is the Internet, as much as you might wish everything you say can be made public it doesn't always work that way.
Feel free to commence your legal action, I'm sure my team can deal with Chris Jericho's WCW Legal Team.
And now, it's on to the news...
Smart Glass Comes to All MS Games - Microsoft Studios Corporate VP Phil Spencer told Joystiq that SmartGlass will be implemented in all first-party Microsoft games moving forward once the service is released in the fall. "It just makes so much sense for a developer who wants to supply, maybe not time-critical information, like 'that enemy is getting ready to shoot you,' but information that augments what's happening on screen," he said.
SmartGlass is a device-connecting service that will allow your tablets, PCs, phones and consoles to communicate with one another. You can start watching a movie on your tablet and resume it on your 360, access content on your phone that you've unlocked in a game, or view an interactive map on your PC for a show you're watching on HBO Go on another platform.
This is a smart move for Microsoft. By implementing Smart Glass support for all their first party games they are showing a serious commitment to making the Smart Glass platform work. The catch here is, to what degree will games make use of the technology? In many cases I'm guessing the second screen will function as a map or an inventory screen. Ideally Smart Glass would be used to augment a game with optional functionality versus requiring Smart Glass to play. Requiring Smart Glass would disadvantage some gamers who don't own a smartphone or tablet. I expect that Halo 4 will use Smart Glass to display the multiplayer map on screen and possibly mark objectives.
I am curious to see if the Smart Glass display changes based on what device a gamer uses. Obviously it will be easier for Microsoft to work with Windows Phone 7 to push content. But both Android and iOS are not Microsoft products, how easy will it be for the folks in Redmond to push the same Smart Glass functionality found in Windows Phone to these other devices? Also, it's worth considering if Smart Glass will scale properly between smartphones and tablets. By that I mean, there is a lot my screen real estate on my iPad than on my iPhone. Will Smart Glass on the iPad display more information and details than Smart Glass on the iPhone? It will be very interesting to see how Microsoft makes use of the different devices and screen sizes. Hell, I'm still shocked Smart Glass is coming to Android and iOS!
Lego Batman 2 Will Have Characters Who Speak! - the biggest talking point for Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes is that it will feature speaking characters. In the previous Lego titles, the little Lego people were silent and the player made assumptions as to how the character was feeling. I like the talking characters and I think this may make the series just a little cuter. Making Batman as this cranky, muffled sounding person and Superman as an "I'll save the day" hero is self-referential in a way, which is awesome.
All of the Lego games that have been released so far have told an incredible story without allowing any of the characters to talk. The Legend of Zelda games feature a protagonist that never talks but all of his supporting characters. Now, I'm not trying to say the Lego games are even in the same league as Zelda games but it's the closest comparison I can think of where no characters actually speak. Just think, there have been many Lego games released. Never in Lego Star Wars 1-3, both Lego Harry Potters, both Lego Indiana Jones, or any of the other games has a single character said a word. And despite that trait the games are able to do a good job in conveying the story of the game and give the meaning of a scene.
What surprises me, is that it has taken this long for Traveler's Tales to actually make a character speak in a Lego game. Supposedly Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes will feature talking characters. Is this a big deal, does it take away from the game? Not at all, I just think it's a remarkable achievement to tell so many stories without ever saying a word.
Sony Says PlayStation Vita Burials Were Premature - The headlines about the PlayStation Vita are often harsh these days, especially the headlines that deem the system is "almost D.O.A."
That's a brutal assessment of a machine that's been out for only about four months in America and is very likely the most impressive piece of portable gaming technology ever sold.
"I think, unfortunately, a lot of those stories were written before Vita even launched," John Koller, Sony's head of hardware marketing told me last week in Los Angeles.
The public sees that the Vita has sold about two million units worldwide this year and maybe thinks that's low. Koller and the Sony team see things that don't show up as clearly in sales charts, like the uptake on games downloaded to the Vita from Sony's online store. Sales of those, Koller said, are "several times higher than what we expected." (He declined to state actual sales numbers for the digital games.)
He says that a lot of PS3 owners who don't yet have a Vita say they're simply waiting for a big enough game on Vita to convince them to make the plunge. That's why, despite a lack of huge Sony-made Vita games this fall (there's no Vita-exclusive God of War, for example), Koller thinks that the original game Assassin's Creed: Liberation or the promised Call of Duty: Black Ops II spin-off will trigger those hold-out PS3 owners to buy Vita.
Koller is right, one of the biggest problems with the Vita was the lack of killer games. The hardware is incredible on the portable system, but awesome hardware alone does not sell systems. After E3 I think a lot more gamers will be willing to give the Vita a chance. It went from being a joke because there was nothing good, to an impressive system. The new Assassin's Creed alone will probably tempt some gamers to buy a Vita.
Personally, I think Sony needs to tread carefully. If they can't keep a steady flow of good games all of the E3 goodwill built up will soon evaporate. Sony needs to make a concerted effort to keep bringing and developing popular games for the Vita.
Time for a Zelda Remake? - In the weeks leading up to E3, a pair of very enticing Zelda-related rumors began to take spread on gaming forums: The first, that Nintendo was working on a full-blown recreation of Link's SNES adventure (and my personal favorite) A Link to the Past. The second, that a port of Majora's Mask, Link's second N64 game, was coming to the 3DS.
Now, after E3 has come and gone and neither rumor bore fruit, Nintendo mastermind Shigeru Miyamoto has come forward, confirming that the Zelda team has been considering both ideas, but hasn't decided which one they'll work on next.
"We haven't quite decided yet, whether we're going to do A Link to the Past, because there's also the possibility of doing a remake of Majora's Mask," Miyamoto told IGN. "This is something we've certainly been talking about and doing a little bit of experimenting with, to figure out which way we're going to go."
I really enjoy both of these Zelda games. However A Link to the Past is probably my favorite Zelda game of all time. I think it would be fantastic to see a full blown remake of A Link To The Past. This is arguably one of the most popular Zelda games to be made. In fact, the only Zelda game I like more is Ocarina of Time.
Majora's Mask was a fun game, but the two day cycle that continually repeats started to grate on me from time to time. I would argue this game would be a little harder for newcomers to the Zelda franchise to get used to. For that reason I hope and guess that Nintendo is looking at a remake of A Link to the Past.... maybe when they are done with that we can get an Ocarina of Time remake too!
Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut Info Leaks - Information regarding the widely anticipated Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut DLC, as well as a reportedly unrevealed multiplayer expansion was leaked online.
The product descriptions posted on Reddit by the same user who correctly leaked the Mass Effect multiplayer DLC Rebellion, state the upcoming "expanded ending" will offer further insight into Shepherd's influence on the universe.
"Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut: An expanded ending for Mass Effect 3. Additional scenes and an extended epilogue reveal the impact of Shepard's choices on the future of the galaxy."
In addition, an upcoming multiplayer pack is said to contain three new maps within an Earth-based setting as well as new weapons and classes.
"The fighting is fiercest when it's your home at stake! Mass Effect 3TM: Earth adds mods, gear, and new maps for Rio, Vancouver, and London. It features 3 new weapons: Piranha assault shotgun, Acolyte pistol, and Typhoon light machine gun. Six new human N7 classes are also available: Destroyer, Paladin, Demolisher, Slayer, Shadow, and Fury!"
It seems like each week more details leak out about the Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut DLC. This leak is courtesy of the same Reddit user that leaked the last DLC package. This user was proven to be surprisingly accurate with the information released then, so it stands to reason this leak is probably legit as well. To start with, it seems as though there will be another set of multiplayer DLC released allowing gamers to take their fights to Earth. The rumored maps supposedly take place on a beleaguered Earth during the Reaper invasion. There will also be even more character classes to unlock. While I think it's great to add more character classes, I have found it's really a pain to unlock these new characters. I still haven't unlocked a single character from the latest DLC pack. I don't intend to pay MS points to buy Spectre packs so I imagine it will take me quite a while to unlock all the new character classes.
But, I think the topic most everyone is interested in is the details coming out about the Extended Cut DLC. As I had feared it will not be adding any new gameplay to the ending. Instead it seems to be a series of cutscenes designed to show how the galaxy is changed as a result of Shepard's actions at the end. So, it looks like the SPACE MAGIC will still be happening. The fan favorite indoctrination theory seems to be something that BioWare is not adopting. I didn't think they would, but there was a part of me that really hoped BioWare would take the Indoctrination Theory and run with it.
Thanks for checking in for your weekly dose of gaming news. It should be interesting to see how some stories, such as the next version of the Xbox and PS3, progress over the next week. As always, please make use of the comments to let me know what you are thinking. Feedback is always welcomed.
I just wanted to let everyone know that I was one of the guests on this week's Games Fact of Fiction. Check it out and let us know if you agree with us.
If you find yourselves bored on Xbox Live, send me a message. I'm always looking to put together a good team on the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer to tackle some gold challenges. Without a good team you just get your ass kicked.