Games Roundup


Written by Chris Price
28 Monday 28th June 2010

So, post-E3-coital cigarette in hand, the gaming world stopped and took a breath, mainly to watch Germany jump on our collective heads in the football, and to attend this year's bakery-hot Glastonbury.  

Most Brit game-industry types returned back to their offices to find a. the economy is still fucked and b. the new Con-Dem government are pulling gaming industry tax breaks, as announced by the previous government. George Osborne's said Labour’s proposal to aid games was 'poorly targeted'. Despite also saying "I want a sign to go up above the British economy that says 'open for business’." Not for the gaming industry it seems. CVG reports that colossus Activision Blizzard (owners of World of Warcraft) have just joined TIGA's (the games industry trade association, not the DJ) to secure tax relief for UK game developers, saying that British game houses are now left at a "real disadvantage" compared to countries without the break.
Some people celebrated the onslaught of British summertime by queuing for the iPhone 4.0. Applemanics, tech nerds, and people with £400 plus the day off work were all drawn by the pulsating Apple logo to Regent Street, with some queuing overnight. Still, they got a Pret A Manger breakfast out of it, so it cant all be bad. Suffice to say, hackers have already managed to bust iOS open (see Pocketgamer).
Then everyone got them home. And lo and behold, there are problems with the aerial. ”You’re holding it wrong”, said Apple. The bit of metal that encases the outer edge of the phone acts as both a 3G and wi-fi receiver, so if you hold it like any NORMAL PERSON you can stifle the signal. Luckily, there is a £25 cover you can buy that will sort this out. Apple issued a press release stating:
“This is a fact of life for every wireless phone. If you ever experience this on your iPhone 4, avoid gripping it in the lower left corner in a way that covers both sides of the black strip in the metal band, or simply use one of many available cases.”
Way to pass the buck, Apple.
Silent Hill 8
New Silent Hill en route. This one looks like there’s a bit of a convict/sheriff chase dynamic going on. Now almost fully in the hands in the Americans, the franchise does look a like its almost entirely shuffled off the supernatural element of numbers one to three, and the immediate introduction of the gun looks like battle elements brought into the series in Silent Hill Homecoming (number six) are here to stay. Out with the unseen shocks and in with full monster hunting. I guess kids these days want to shoot creatures from another dimension, rather than run away from them.
Def Jam Rapstar
Konami has announced a November 5 release date for Def Jam Rapstar which will be available on Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii. Having one of the most iconic rap labels of all time on board is quite exiting – mainly as the last DJ license was Fight for New York – one of the greatest fighting games of all time and probably the best rap tie-up ever. Hopefully, middle class white kids will be shouting ‘motherfucker’ at each other during nationwide lunchtime rap battles. Developers 4mm have announced that this is the ‘most socially interactive’ game ever, a "constantly connected game". You’re encouraged to upload you own videos of you doing your rap thing, battle other people via the community, customize your own videos and basically, re-pra-sent. Interesting theory to take the social gaming experience online, and add in a grading system to eek a little bit of longevity out of the game. Seems all those dusty DJ Hero controllers languishing in the forgotten corners of the world have struck a chord.
Saying that though, from the radio edit of Kanye West’s Golddigger below, I don’t think that profanity bombs will be featuring big in this game.
El Shaddai
Ignition entertainment are probably best know for distributing the SNK Playmore King of Fighters franchise in the UK, but they managed to blindside everyone with the preview of the mildly stunning, El Shaddai. Developed by a team headed by Sawaki Takeyasu (Devil May Cry) and Masato Kimura (Okami, Viewtiful Joe) El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron (to give it its full title) is a game based on the Old Testament’s apocryphal Book of Enoch. The video below is the introduction to Lucifel, Enochs guide. The visual style echoes a combination of the Shin Megami Digital Devil saga cel-shading the the Ico pastel 3D

Twisted Metal

Finally this week, David Jaffe appeared at the end of E3. The man who created God of War signalled his return to the fold with his predecessor franchise, Twisted Metal. The original saw four appearances across the PS1/PS2, including one of the first games to wholeheartedly embrace the PS2 modem. “The PS2 had a modem??” I hear you cry. Hence why it didn’t catch on.
Twisted Metal was a moderately tongue in cheek action racer in the vein of Demolition Derby via Carmaggedon.
Jaffe is certainly a strong personality, and has the vision to pull off an excellent game. In an expletive-laden Q&A at E3, Jaffe said that he was “so fucking sick of artsy fartsy in this industry. Get fucking over yourselves bitches...’ He apparently then clarified ‘arty farty’ as ‘pretentious, dull, surface bullshit without really understanding the craft of game design or emotion/storytelling.'
All industries need heroes. 
Finally – in brief. Rock Band 3 lets you play A REAL FUCKING GUITAR. AND A KEYTAR. Guitar Hero, you REALLY need to step your shit up. Dead Rising 2 has been put back to 1st October launch date. This is news because I cannot wait to get my paws on it. There’s also a quite tantalizing film coming soon from Capcom to whet your appetite.

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