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First Person Shooters (Games)

Submission + - Bioshock: did the reviewers mess up? (

mr_sifter writes: "With a whopping average review score of 96% it's clear that the press can't heap enough praise on Bioshock — yet some are beginning to wonder just how it managed to get such high scores. In this column one gamer argues that far from being a masterpiece, Bioshock is derivative stuff, and its high review scores represent a serious lapse by the games press. "The underwater city of Rapture is a thing of beauty, but most of the locations you actually see in the game are repetitive and dull. It's all dripping corridors and small, dark rooms, with only the occasional port hole to provide a view of some kelp and corpses to lighten things up. The enemies, aside from the Big Daddies are uninspiring. Mostly you've got a horde of maudlin zombie types, called Splicers, and gun turrets; pretty much the same sort of stuff anybody who played through System Shock 2 has killed enough of to last a lifetime.... the boring enemy design is further weakened by poor AI: the splicers' basic tactic is just to run at you, weaving around and cackling. You may recognise this behaviour from, ooh, most PC games of the past fifteen years, and also schoolchildren at playtime. "Then there are the game's primitive controls; Bioshock completely lacks modern innovations such as the ability to lean around corners or aim down the gun sights, and your character moves at a fixed pace — a pace more suited to viewing paintings in a gallery rather than evading gun turrets or, heaven forbid, fighting.""
XBox (Games)

Submission + - Halo 3 Cheaters to be Banned Till 9999 AD

Gary writes: "Anyone trying to sneak into the closed beta a few weeks before release will get slammed with the biggest ban hammer ever! Literally, they get there accounts banned till 9999 AD, some 7,447 years after the events of Halo 3 take place. This was discovered by a 17-year-old Minnesotan who goes by the name 'Scar' the hard way. An avid gamer with a GameScore of 61,000 got kicked because he got Epsilon from a friend's friend and tried to glitch it into his account using the two controller exploit."
First Person Shooters (Games)

Submission + - Sony caught editing Halo 3 Wikipedia entry (

An anonymous reader writes: Sony has been caught out editing the Wikipedia entry for Microsoft's highly anticipated shooter Halo 3.

The original entry stated: 'Halo 3, the third game in the best-selling Xbox game franchise Halo, is a highly anticipated first-person shooter video game under development by Bungie Studios for the Xbox 360 and is expected to "set a new high water mark" for next-generation games.'

However, a sentence had been added which reads: 'Although it won't look any better than Halo 2.


Videogames Really Are Linked to Violence 204

ahoehn writes "Amanda Schaffer has written a refreshingly balanced piece about the connection between video games and violence. Instead of regurgitating the typical reactionary voices in this debate, she looks at what scientific studies suggest about the issue. From the article: 'Pathological acts of course have multiple, complex causes and are terribly hard to predict. And clearly, millions of people play Counter-Strike, Halo, and Doom and never commit crimes. But the subtler question is whether exposure to video-game violence is one risk factor for increased aggression: Is it associated with shifts in attitudes or responses that may predispose kids to act out? A large body of evidence suggests that this may be so ... Given this, it makes sense to be specific about which games may be linked to harmful effects and which to neutral or good ones. Better research is also needed to understand whether some kids are more vulnerable to video-game violence, and how exposure interacts with other risk factors for aggression like poverty, psychological disorders, and a history of abuse.'"
Portables (Games)

The PSP - Sony's Missed Opportunity 157

C|Net passes on the words of Forrester analyst James McQuivey, who lambasts Sony for failing to live up to the opportunity the PSP presented. Though the handheld has certainly been doing better of late, it's hard not to point out that the PlayStation Portable's sales numbers flag in the face of the DS's incredible popularity. McQuivey also makes a point of stating how well the system could have done at taking a slice of Apple's death-grip on the downloadable media market. "'The thing is, Sony could have been all this,' McQuivey said. 'The Sony PSP is one of the best portable entertainment media devices that anyone has come up with in years. It has a relatively big screen, plays video beautifully, has good storage and audio. It could have been the first big mobile carrier for TV shows and movies.' Instead, the mobile-video play of one of the world's largest electronics companies is straggling behind Apple, has shaken the confidence of supporters--especially in Hollywood--and added to the woes of CEO Howard Stringer."
Classic Games (Games)

Submission + - Arcade Machine: 200 Titles, Joystick and Windows

mattnyc99 writes: Popular Mechanics has a nice video report on the Katana gaming table, a brand-new personal arcade that lets you play Pac-Man and 200 other classic 80s games, old-school style. From the article: "The Windows interface (you have to back out to the desktop to load certain games) feels clumsy, especially considering how much you're paying. Then again, free-standing, multi-player emulator cabinets can run $6000 or more, and avoiding Windows altogether would mean buying an even pricier vintage, single-game machine, complete with its own set of maintenance headaches. Plus, you can check your e-mail between games, which is nice."

Submission + - Second Life businesses voice instability concerns

strredwolf writes: "Over 1100+ individual business leaders in Second Life have joined together to send an open letter to Linden Labs. The letter tells of the game's instability on numerous levels, and questions Linden Labs' intentions in adding more functionality without addressing the stability issues. Additional coverage at Reuters and Metaverse Messenger's frontpage."

Mixed News for Nintendo, Microsoft 155

If you were to just look at downloadable content this week, Wii and 360 owners would have a lot to cheer about. Virtual Console downloads include the (under-appreciated) Legend of the Mystical Ninja and the original Castlevania. Xbox 360 owners can finally sink their teeth into the board-game spectacular that is Settlers of Catan. Classic titles Millipede and Centipede will also be on offer via Xbox Live Arcade. Unfortunately, there are some less cheery things to discuss as well. Virtual Console sales are down, apparently, and some analysts are questioning whether Nintendo's success may be bad for the industry overall. As for the 360 ... the Elite may be bringing back some old problems. 'Red Rings of Death' have already been reported with the just-released consoles, and DRM issues with Live Arcade titles on the 'upgraded' system are making some new owners frustrated.
Portables (Games)

20 Years of Handheld Console Evolution 74

marcellizot writes "It has taken a while for handheld consoles to crawl from the primordial 8-bit slime to today's apex predator polygon juggling brutes. To illustrate just how much things have advanced over the last 20 years, Pocket Gamer has pulled together a few facts and figures in pretty chart form. Pitting the vital statistics of the critical handhelds of today and yesteryear against one another, there are some interesting facts to be gleaned from this infotainment extravaganza."

Submission + - Holographic video game displays within 5 years

JamesO writes: "The 3D monitors revealed to the public last week could be in our living rooms by 2012.

High resolution holographic displays, suitable for console and PC gaming, were being developed at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology.

Speaking to Pro-G, V. Michael Bove Jr., the scientist leading the project, explained how long we may have to wait before we can expect to buy our own holographic display: "If people insist on HD resolution and a meter diagonal screen, it might be 10 years or more. If they're willing to accept something the size of a desktop monitor, it could be five to seven.""

More Than 1500 Schools To Deploy DDR By 2010 110

The New York Times is reporting on the popularity of Dance Dance Revolution in augmenting school gym programs. Adopted by educators as a way to fight obesity among young people and encourage participation, the article states that by the end of the decade some 1500 institutions will be using the game in classes. "As Leighton Nakamoto, a physical education teacher at Kalama Intermediate School in Makawao, Hawaii, put it: 'The new physical education is moving away from competitive team sports and is more about encouraging lifetime fitness, and D.D.R. is a part of that. They can do it on their own, and they don't have to compete with anyone else.' Mr. Nakamoto said that he had used the game in class for four years and that his school had also installed the game in its "Active Lifestyle" room, where students are allowed and encouraged to play in their free time."

Soldat 1.4 Released 78

FliesLikeABrick writes "Soldat 1.4 has finally been released. After 19 months since the announcement, this version adds multi-byte language support, many new features available to registered players, a ton of bugfixes, and a new lobby server and protocol. It took a lot of time and effort, but the largest update to Soldat has finally been posted and made available. While there are surely going to be some new bugs introduced, the new version is available for free at the game's site. From the site: 'Ladies and Gentlemen, I know you have all been (im)patiently waiting for Soldat 1.4. Thanks to all that contributed to this version. This version was a collaborative effort and it wouldn`t happen without you. ... So without further delay, it is with your encouragement, criticism and support from you all that I can happily release Soldat 1.4 to you all to enjoy. Please use the torrent link provided to help distribute Soldat 1.4 for others and ease server load, and seed for as long as you can.'"
First Person Shooters (Games)

Video Games with Shooting May Improve Eyesight 47

anthemaniac writes "Playing video games that involve firing guns (Gears of War, Halo, take your pick) can improve eyesight, according to a new study. From the article: 'People who started out as non-gamers and then received 30 hours of training on first-person action video games showed a substantial increase in their ability to see objects accurately in a cluttered space, compared to non-gamers given the same test.' The games push the brain to the limit, the thinking goes, and it adapts by developing better spatial resolution. The effect was not duplicated in more sedate games like Tetris."

Submission + - February Sees Sales of 335k Wiis Vs 127k PS3s

eldavojohn writes: "Both the PS3 & Wii debuted in November of this year and the console counts are in for the number of each sold in the United States in the entire month of February. While you may be able to claim the Wii is clearly more popular and that Nintendo won the month of February, please do note (as the article does not) that a Wii grosses $250 while a PS3 (on average) grosses $550 meaning that Nintendo grossed about $84 million while Sony grossed around $70 million on consoles — two numbers a bit closer revealing it may be too early yet to declare a victor. I hope I never see a victor declared & the price wars continue with added game innovation to utilize the power of the PS3 & the unique controls of the Wii."
XBox (Games)

Submission + - Xbox 360 Digital Rights Mismanagement

Divalent writes: "Parallax Abstraction, a frustrated user of the Xbox 360 Online service (Live) has gathered in one place information regarding a distressing flaw in the implementation of DRM by Microsoft with regards to their Marketplace downloaded content.

Digg Story

Anyone who has had the misfortune of needing to replace a console has the added insult of being locked out of previously downloaded content unless they are actively logged into the Xbox Live service on the new console. This makes arcade games and many full games with premium downloadable content (map packs, etc) completely inaccessible if you decide to take the box to the cabin or grandma's."

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