editorial | 01/05/07 | Chris Martin
Recently, in an interview with Ars Technica, Scott Henson, product unit manager for Microsoft's game technology group, made a statement regarding HD-DVD and Sony's defunct Betamax. Unfortunately for those of us who read only headlines and move on, the whole story is not being told. And now it's being spun by blogs with a hankering for a little more web traffic into a false statement. In this editorial, Chris Martin discusses the spin that blogs like to put on quotes and tries to understand just why blogs have no responsibility to report truth.
editorial | 12/14/06 | Aaron Stanton
The PS3 has not had an easy launch. While the mainstream media has been treating the system very MTV-like (with unquestioning adoration), Sony's street credit amongst the hardcore has been taking almost daily blows. From problems with HDTV support to shortages at launch, Sony just hasn't been getting the positive consumer response they probably wanted. Now, Joystiq.com is reporting on a YouTube video that highlights just how bad PS2 games look when run on the PS3's backwards compatibility. The side-by-side comparison video between a PS2 game running on the PS3 vs. an actual PS2 is really fairly stunning. The PS2 beats the PS3 hands down, and does so clearly enough that you don't have to be picky to notice the difference. Check out the article for more information.
editorial | 12/07/06 | Chris Martin
Microsoft's Gears of War gets lots of things right. It offers an intense single/co-op campaign, a "sweet-spot" versus multiplayer of 4v4, and some of the best presentation ever in a videogame. But it also fumbles here and there in ways we would have liked to see ironed out. In this editorial, we analyze what we would love to see kept or improved on in the sequel.
editorial | happening | 11/15/06 | Aaron Stanton
The PS3 has released in Japan, and the units were eaten up like candy. With 88,400 units sold, the search for second-hand PS3 units has begun. But reports of people buying the system just to resell it for profit have begun showing up all over the place, and 1up.com recently reported Sony sold almost 2,000 more hardware units than they did software titles. Is this indicative of rampant scalping at the PS3 launch? Aaron sits down to compare some of these numbers to the Xbox 360 launch in 2005 to see if he can draw any comparisons.
editorial | 11/12/06 | Chris Martin
Foot in the mouth? That's what we're thinking. When Alain Tascan, General Manager for EA Montreal, stated that Gears of War has "zero innovation," we guess that soon after he was either munching on a big bowl of "his own words" or the rubber of a Doc Marten. Either way: here's our take.
editorial | 11/06/06 | Aaron Stanton
The National Summit on Video Games, Youth and Public Policy was generally a successful and unbiased attempt to create a unified statement about the effects of violent video games. The participants were generally informed and open-minded, and the organizers promised to do their best to accurately represent what those present had to say. Unfortunately, the first press release from the summit, released by the National Institute on Media and the Family, drops the ball. It puts words in the mouth of those that participated, calling video games "devastating", and suggesting that was a unified perspective at the event. It wasn't. Read our take on the Summit's latest announcement.
editorial | 11/02/06 | Matt James
Matt James is back with another roundup of enlightening, provocative reader mail. We clear up the difference between Vin Diesel and The Rock, reiterate some of the features of the Xbox Live Vision Camera, and reveal a bit of our deepest insecurities to an ardent Jack Thompson defender. Sound fun? Then make with the clickity-click and check out the full story.
editorial | happening | 10/24/06 | Aaron Stanton
The National Summit on Video Games, Youth and Public Policy took place this weekend. Researchers from around the country attended to discuss everything from violent media to the legality of government regulation of game ratings. It was sponsored by one of the game industry's most politically powerful critics, the National Institute on Media and the Family, which has consistently given the game industry poor marks when it comes to video games and violence. But did anyone from the game media bother to show up? Nope. Aaron Stanton was the lone game journalist at an event that could have real impact on game legislation, and the lack of attention pissed him off. You should read more about it here.
feature | 10/13/06 | Chris Martin
Two of the most beloved aliens of all time - sorry E.T. - ToeJam and Earl have been through a lot together: two sequels, multiple planets, and a lot of tough criticism. But we cast all that aside and look to the past today with the original ToeJam and Earl. What made the game so great? The tunes? The attitude? The Coop play? Try all of the above. The funky beat-boxing aliens have had their fill of Earth, and so has Chris as he's guided Earl all the way to level 25, found all 10 spaceship pieces, and thrown tomatoes at Earthings until they pop in this week's That Retro Review!
feature | 10/07/06 | James Gardiner
RoboWarrior: a game with an unrecognizable title, perhaps, but a title of some great importance. For instance, RoboWarrior was partly responsible for the fall of the former Soviet Union; when Jaleco sent copies of it to civilians, there commenced massive riots and burnings of giant NES effigies in the streets! Don't bother looking that little tidbit of knowledge up in a history book, it's all part of a Soviet cover-up to keep it very hush hush. Today, the story of a man named ZED will be told!
feature | 09/22/06 | Chris Martin
Ninjas will be ninjas. That's the story from Ninja Gaiden III, the link between Ninja Gaiden and Ninja Gaiden II. In this week's edition of That Retro Review, Chris tackles the tough, nay, the nigh-impossible, Ninja Gaiden III: the Ancient Ship of Doom. He slaughtered Clancy, and took out the BIO-NOID trash. Come on in, it's ninja magic time, baby!
feature | 09/15/06 | Chris Martin
One of the most influential games of its era, Myst is a game where you can't die, you can't turn around (much) and you really can't walk away from its awesome puzzles. When it was released in 1993, it ushered in a new type of genre, the adventure-puzzle game, and became - for a time - the best selling game of all time! How does it stack up today? Has this adventure game aged like a fine Chardonnay or soured like milk? Chris has been to the Ages of Myst and back and has freed Atrus in this review of Myst!
editorial | industry | 09/12/06 | Chris Martin
In Part 2 of our two part "Response and Rebuttal," our two debaters, Chris Martin and Garrett G have been going at it over the function of videogame violence studies after Chris' post "Videogame Violence Causes Subdued Reactions."
In the premier part, Garrett had accused Chris of having the wrong target for his criticism. Here's how Chris responded...
editorial | industry | 09/11/06 | Chris Martin
Sometimes we recieve emails that lead to internal debates. Sometimes, those debates rage out of control; sometimes they become enlightening. After posting "Videogame Violence Causes Subdued Reactions"
we recieved feedback, some positive, some negative. But there was one response that needed to be shared with the gaming community because its outcome was more enlightening and honest than we had anticipated.
feature | 09/08/06 | Chris Martin
Ah, remember when games were games and gamers were gamers who loved graphical adventures! Trust us, it happened sometime in the early nineties. Graphical adventures have been gaining steam lately, what with the soon-to-be-gold "Sam & Max: Episode One" in October. And since we love retro games so much, we put two and two together and came out with GROG! In this new weekly column, we force Chris to play through one old-school game and write about it. He's currently recovering now that he's seen the ghost pirate LeChuck in "The Secret of Monkey Island."
Writers need food. Badly.