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Tai Chi Scooter Promises Fun and Falls 30

In a bold move for natural selection, a mechanical engineer at Purdue University has created a new take on the Segway. Removing pesky confusing handlebars, the new "Tai Chi Scooter" has an optical encoder that monitors the angular displacement of the electric motor, requiring you to manipulate your center of balance to drive the scooter. Unfortunately you will not be able to purchase this and begin breaking your own limbs anytime soon as the creator says he has no plans to market the scooter. Someone buy the rights to this and mass produce it quickly so we can thin the herd.
XBox (Games)

Submission + - Capcom's Gamble On 360 Over PS3 & Wii Pays Off (

adeelarshad82 writes: "Capcom is a true multiplatform developer but in recent past it has developed games which are only for Xbox 360. Capcom talisman Keiji Inafun said that "I really thought that the using the Xbox was only way to break into overseas markets, and I took that hypothesis all the way. In the end, I am very happy that I did so."
Both Dead Rising and Lost Planet sold over a million units and both were Capcom's first truly successful games aimed specifically at a non-Japanese audience."


Does a Game Have To Fail To Get a Real Ending? 178

After the closure of Tabula Rasa over the weekend, the Opposable Thumbs blog asks if that's what it takes for a game to have an actual ending these days. Quoting: "It's no surprise that most games hope for a sequel, as it's the easiest way to get some of that money back while taking advantage of the staff, engine, assets, and other advantages you've banked while creating the first title. The problem? This has lead to a generation of cliff-hangers at worst, and endings that hedge their bets at best. ... As all the game's characters die, as the servers are shut down, as the data is erased or backed up and then boxed or whatever happens to MMO data once the game is done, it's hard not to be a little sad. The sights and sounds of the world of Tabula Rasa are gone, forever. All the memories written into those ones and zeroes will quickly be forgotten, and no one will walk those grounds again." Massively put together a few screenshots and videos to commemorate the ending of the game.

Comment Re:Gameplay mechanics (Score 1) 129

Clock Tower for the PSX did this... You had no idea when Scissorman would show up. And if he did, you had two options: Run, or fight him. You had maybe a 1 in 4 chance of beating him in a straight-up fight. And even if you did "win", you'd just knock him over so you can run past him, and he'd be back on his feet in a few seconds. This led to an unexplainable fear of him in me. Yes, he was the silliest looking murderer ever, but what he could do to you was genuinely terrifying.

A short guy with a pair of huge garden shears doesn't sound scary; until you realize that he is, despite his appearance, very intelligent and skilled in combat. There is not a firearm or even melee weapon to be found in Clock Tower. All you can do is hope that you can trip him or kick him in the junk so you can get past him if you get stuck in a corner. And you can only do this three times before you get exhausted and get killed the fourth time you try.

If you took the "RUN!!!1" response, hiding from him wasn't exactly easy, either. You'd think that hiding in a bathroom stall would be enough; it isn't. In the time I spent with it, I'd usually get killed every time I hid, unless I put a significant amount of distance between the two of us before hiding. For example: I was being chased down a hallway, and stopped, because I couldn't decide if the stairs were a better idea than the bathroom. I went for the bathroom as he got closer and closer. Hiding in a stall, I waited. He came in, looked stumped, and walked around a bit. Then, he did something I hadn't thought of: He started forcing his scissors through each stall door. I died instantaneously with no chance of correcting my error. I never tried that again.

So, yes. Having enemies that are more than powerful enough to kill you, without you being able to fight back is terrifying. A non-horror game managed to pull this off, and I'm pretty sure that it wasn't their intent. Breakdown had non-human enemies that required a special power to kill, or even harm. Once you realize that every weapon in your arsenal is useless against them, and they can kill you in one or two hits, you experience pants-wetting fear of them. You're forced to crawl through fallen bookcases to get away from them, hoping they don't grab your leg and kill you quickly afterward. There's a segment where two of these guys are locked in separate rooms, divided by a glass door from each other, and a glass door between them and you. Your goal is the door behind them, a steel door opened by a wheel. Pressing the button next to the door, or inside of it, opens ALL of these doors. If you didn't think to trap them, you have to run for your life.

What makes something scary? The environment, the enemies, and your range of abilities. If any of these is out of balance, it ruins everything. Your death must be an easy thing for your enemies to achieve for a game to be truly scary, but you still have to be able to hold out long enough to stun the bigger guys or kill the smaller ones for it to still be playable. It's a fragile balance, sadly.

Comment Re:Call him Monkey Boy all you want (Score 1) 616

Never mind that Sony has been cutting features from the PS3 ever since launch, and the only thing MS has cut is the hard drive. While I'm sure that the PS3 is a nice console, and it does have some games I'd like to try (Killzone 2), I'm not willing to shell out all of that money for a crippled console compared to the launch version. If the fully-featured (read: backwards-compatible) version were still available at a competitive price, I'd probably have dropped the money on it by now. But every time I hear of a price drop being accompanied by a reduction in features, and the discontinuation of the models that have the features I want, I'm less likely to buy as it gets cheaper.

Resident Evil 5 Dev Talks Demo Feedback 114

MTV's Multiplayer blog sat down with Jun Takeuchi, producer for Capcom's Resident Evil 5, about the feedback they've gotten from the game's demo, which has been downloaded over 4 million times. He comments on the changed control scheme, which has generated a lot of discussion and criticism, by suggesting that their decision will become clear once the full game is out. "We understand that there are many people who want to run and shoot at the same time, but it's not the right alignment for the game." He also says the finished game will have shorter loading times, and he briefly discusses the media-fueled race controversy over the fact that Africa's zombies have dark skin. Takeuchi says, "People will be able to play the game and see what it is for themselves." Kotaku recently ran a preview of Resident Evil 5.

Comment Re:Multiple interpretations (Score 1) 542

The question is, what do you do when they actually give you the money you ask for? Do you go to the post office the following morning? If I have a need for something ASAP, I'll pay the extra money, and I'm sure that other people under pressure to get something before a certain date will do the same, or take their business somewhere else that can get the item to them by the time they need it.

Comment Re:I have (Score 1) 664

Some of us don't like having to buy a huge stack of CDs that we're just going to throw away afterward. Once you factor in the cost of CDs, you're paying more per track.

Let's see... 99 cents a track, 10.99 (approx.) for an album. For a stack of 100 CD-Rs of decent quality, it's an extra 14.99 (According to Newegg). That's an extra 15 cents per album. This doesn't sound like much, but what if you never use them all? Or if a couple of burns fail?

My point is that I should not have to buy anything extra to make my purchases work how I want them to. The inevitable car analogy: It's like buying a car for 10,000 and then being told you have to pay an extra thousand for the (now optional!) ignition system to be installed.

My music purchases shall continue to be secondhand CDs, or purchased directly from the artist.

Players Furious Over Buggy GTA IV PC Release 384

Jupix writes "It took Rockstar most of a year to port Grand Theft Auto IV to the PC, and while they claim this was because they wanted polish and quality with their PC release, it appears the result has been less than satisfactory. Players all over the internet are furious over numerous bugs in the release, ranging from nonfunctional internet registration and graphics glitches to completely inoperative installations. One of the game's largest retailers, Steam, has reportedly gone so far as to start handing out refunds to hordes of unsatisfied (and no doubt uncomfortably noisy) customers."
First Person Shooters (Games)

Black Mesa Nearing Completion, Trailer Released 103

Today, the Black Mesa Team released an impressive trailer for their remake of Half-Life . The remake is a total-conversion mod for Half-Life 2, bringing the updated graphics and AI of the Source engine to the original game. The team has been dropping hints lately that the project, which began in 2004, is almost done, and the trailer confirms that it will be out in 2009. They also recently announced that they've "dropped Counter-Strike: Source as a requirement for Black Mesa, and from now on, the only thing you'll need to play the mod is a Steam account with any Source engine game installed! Black Mesa is now running completely off of our own content and base Source shared content, and we felt the vastly increased user base more then [sic] justified creating all the extra assets needed to make this switch."

Circuit City Files For Bankruptcy 574

WillDraven is just one of many who writes to tell us that Circuit City, the United States' 2nd largest consumer electronics retailer, has filed for bankruptcy under chapter 11. This news comes as no surprise as the company has been in financial trouble, recently announcing that it will be closing over one fifth of its stores and laying off 17% of its US employees in the process. "Larger rival Best Buy, which is based in Minneapolis, has said it might take over stores that distressed rivals close. Yet a flood of discounted merchandise from liquidating Circuit City stores could hurt Best Buy during this holiday shopping season, said Jefferies & Co analyst Dan Binder."

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