Архив: July, 2011


Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World has been selected as one of Joystiq’s E3 Standouts this year. It’s got everything an old school gamer could want: a 2D beat-em-up foundation, pixel art by Pirate Baby’s Cabana creator Paul Robertson and a chiptune soundtrack by Anamanaguchi — not to mention it’s based on Bryan Lee O’Malley’s seminal rock and roll Canadian comic. Can it get any more geek chic than that?

We spoke with Ubisoft production manager Marc-Andre Boivin to learn more about how this nugget of awesomeness came about, the PSN timed-exclusivity agreement and our one disappointment so far: the game’s lack of online co-op. The full interview follows.

Joystiq: This Scott Pilgrim game is sparkling with indie charm, and yet it’s being made by Ubisoft — a big company. How did this project come about at Ubisoft?

Marc-Andre Boivin: From my understanding, Universal first proposed a project to Ubisoft, and it was the vision of the initial director and the initial team. They worked with [Scott Pilgrim creator] Bryan Lee O’Malley, with the creative team in place, and they found that the beat-em-up style with the pixel art style was a good direction to go.

I think everyone agreed at that time that this could be interesting, and I think the creator of the books, Bryan Lee O’Malley, liked the genre as well. So they started the project that way. Since the beginning, that was the vision — a beat-em-up with the pixel art style that we have.

Continue reading Interview: Scott Pilgrim production manager Marc-Andre Boivin

JoystiqInterview: Scott Pilgrim production manager Marc-Andre Boivin originally appeared on Joystiq on Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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So what’s it gonna be this week? A strictly multiplayer first-person shooter or a strictly single-player third-person laugher? On the one hand there is Blacklight: Tango Down, an FPS that promises extensive customization player progression. On the other is Monkey Island 2: Special Edition, which comes packed with a new adventure for Guybrush Threepwood and, of course, yuks.

Blacklight will set you back 1200 MS Points ($15), while Monkey Island 2 costs 800 MS Points ($10, conveniently only half as much as you should ever pay for a computer game).

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There are new Xbox Live Arcade games released every week. We realize that our readers are busy, attractive people, and may not have time to download and examine each and every new XBLA game. You’ve got busy, attractive person stuff to do, after all. Not to worry though, because we’ve done the work for you, downloading every single trial game and giving you a taste of what to expect. Watch XBLA in Brief every week to see which games deserve a closer look. When you have the time, of course.

Continue reading XBLA in Brief — Blacklight: Tango Down, Monkey Island 2: Special Edition

JoystiqXBLA in Brief — Blacklight: Tango Down, Monkey Island 2: Special Edition originally appeared on Joystiq on Wed, 07 Jul 2010 19:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Preview: Mortal Kombat

While E3 attendees file out of a darkened room after a demonstration of the new Mortal Kombat, series co-creator Ed Boon is approached by a pair of enthusiastic fans. He gladly gives them a few autographs, and his face lights up in surprise when he learns that they’ve grown enamored with the fighting franchise in their 18 years of existence — despite being born well after its inception. Has Mortal Kombat really been around for almost 20 years?

Working from NetherRealm Studios — owned by Mortal Kombat‘s new custodian, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment — Ed Boon doesn’t limit his interaction with fans to chance encounters. The upcoming reboot is being driven by three major requests from series fans, which Boon calls his “marching orders.” They’ve suggested a return to the M-rated presentation following 2008′s Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe (check), a deeper fighting system (check) and, of course, a new set of outrageous fatalities (check out that perforated spleen).

Boon claims that every combatant’s interior, from the soon-to-be-shattered bones to the sickeningly squishy internal organs, has been modeled. It’s not often that you get to literally see an artist’s blood, sweat and tears in a game, but Boon assures me that when attacks find their mark, all “that shit pours out of them. “

Continue reading Preview: Mortal Kombat

JoystiqPreview: Mortal Kombat originally appeared on Joystiq on Sun, 20 Jun 2010 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rabbe said the issue, which began last Wednesday, started when a group of servers running offline instant messaging overloaded. A software glitch caused Skype’s major outage last week, the internet calling and messaging service said. This caused some computers to get delayed responses from those servers, and an older version of Skype’s Windows software improperly processed the responses, crashing Skype for about 20 per cent of users. In a blog post, chief information officer Lars Rabbe said the 24-hour outage that cut service for nearly all of Skype’s users stemmed from a problem in a version of Skype’s software for computers running Microsoft’s Windows operating system.

On average, 124 million people use Skype each month, though the total number of registered users is more than four times that. By Thursday afternoon, things had improved to the point where about 21 million users were logged in, said CEO Tony Bates. In a video posted on the Skype blog, Bates said the problems “completely took almost every user offline.”

The service went down for almost all of its users starting at midday Eastern time on Wednesday. Skype’s software offers a range of free services, including the ability to make voice or video calls and send instant messages to other Skype users. At that point, voice calling, video-chatting and text-based instant messaging were working for most users, Bates said, but other features, such as offline instant messaging and group video calls, were still down. A year ago, eBay sold its majority stake in the business for about $2 billion to an investor group that includes Skype’s founders. That was 10 per cent less than the usual traffic for the time of day, as some people still could not log on. Users pay for services such as making calls from a PC to a landline or cell phone. Subscribers will be credited with a week’s extra subscription service. Earlier this year, AT&T Inc.’s Internet-based “U-verse” phone system went down for several hours, affecting 1.15 million customers. Skype’s popularity around the globe stems in large part from the free or cheap calls it provides. The Luxembourg-based company said customers who pre-pay for service or are on pay-as-you-go plans will receive an e-mail with a voucher for 30 minutes of free calling to landlines anywhere in the world. AP Skype has since returned to operating normally. Skype has indicated that it wants to list its shares on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Computers that crashed included numerous “supernodes” – computers Skype likens to phone directories, helping users connect with each other – which resulted in a much larger outage as other available supernodes couldn’t handle all the user traffic. Other internet-based calling services that compete with the traditional phone system also have problems with consistent service.
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Preview: Mafia 2 (and Mafia 2 3D)

Mafia 2 feels, from the demo we played, like it could just as easily be called Grand Theft Auto: Godfather. If that’s what you’re looking for from the mob-o-rama sequel, then celebrate by throwing someone off a pier with cement shoes.

It’s actually pretty hard to note anything unexpected or different in the Mafia 2 demo. Almost everything you’d expect from a game that borrows heavily from the GTA IV template is there, both the good and the bad.

Gallery: Mafia II

Continue reading Preview: Mafia 2 (and Mafia 2 3D)

JoystiqPreview: Mafia 2 (and Mafia 2 3D) originally appeared on Joystiq on Sun, 20 Jun 2010 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Despite “generally favorable reviews,” there were quite a few people out there who had some serious problems with Fable 2. And to hear Lionhead’s Peter Molyneux talk at the Develop Conference in Brighton today, he’s one of them.

Molyneux’s hour long on-stage presentation of Fable 3 included a veritable smorgasbord of self-deprecating remarks about the problems in the first two Fable games that would be fixed or mitigated in the threequel. For instance, Molyneux lambasted his studio for throwing way too many unnecessary features into Fable 2, even citing a study showing that most people didn’t use more than 60% of the available features. Even when a feature was used, Molyneux said, it was often only used once and didn’t factor into the larger game enough. For example, “most people did get married, but it didn’t mean anything, it was just an excuse to have sex,” he said. At one point Molyneux likened Fable 2 to “designing a car with 300 buttons on dashboard when you only need a steering wheel.”

Gallery: Fable 3 (E3)

Continue reading Develop: Molyneux talks Fable 2 problems, Fable 3 fixes

JoystiqDevelop: Molyneux talks Fable 2 problems, Fable 3 fixes originally appeared on Joystiq on Thu, 15 Jul 2010 17:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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ONE in four Gen Yers expect to be self-employed at some time in their working life, according to independent research which has found an increasing number of under-25s are selling door-to-door style products such as Avon, Amway and Tupperware.   A social researcher, Mark McCrindle of McCrindle Research, which studied Australian entrepreneurial activities with 1000 Gen Yers aged between 18 and 25, found a quarter of them wanted to run their own business, which is much higher than the national rate across all age groups, which is not even one in 20. ”The whole future of online social media goes arm in arm with direct selling which is why it is popular with a younger tech-savvy sales force,” he said. Direct selling companies report an increasingly younger sales force and are changing their product range accordingly: Avon has introduced a skincare range for the under 20s to target university and high school student sellers and Amway has introduced protein shakes and vitamin supplements to attract a younger clientele. Scoring the job at the big Fortune 500 company is not the status symbol of success like it was in their parents’ day.”

John Holloway, the executive director of the Direct Sellers Association of Australia, whose members sell $1.6 billion worth of products annually in Australia, says a 12.5 per cent sales rise in the past three years has been driven largely by online sales in the under 25 age group. ”The heroes in the Gen Y world are the guys who start a small business in the garage or the friends who start an eBay-like business online. Tracy Pratt, of Tupperware Australia & New Zealand, says recent research found the bulk of its sales force (49 per cent) were under 34, making Australian Tupperware sellers the youngest in the 100 countries in which its products are sold. Gen Yers use their online social networks to sell Amway products and organise Tupperware parties. ”It’s not the old Amway of door-to-door sales – that’s not the model I am using,” she said. ”It’s not daggy like it was in the past to sell products such as Amway and Avon,” Mr McCrindle said. ”Our brand seems to be speaking to a younger age group again who are using the internet as a gathering tool,” she said. But instead of leaving the catalogue in the letterbox, it’s more likely to be in your email inbox. Mylie Dantier, 25, a former IT account manager living in Balmain, gave up her office job and now sells about $35,000 to $40,000 a month of Amway products to her online network of between 500 and 600 people, who come to her for recurring sales of toothpaste, protein shakes, vitamins and dishwashing liquid – products they would go to the supermarket to buy. The generational group portrait which paints Gen Y as having an increased sense of entitlement has a flip side that seems to be leading to increased entrepreneurial activity in this age bracket.

Preview: Mafia 2 (and Mafia 2 3D)

Mafia 2 feels, from the demo we played, like it could just as easily be called Grand Theft Auto: Godfather. If that’s what you’re looking for from the mob-o-rama sequel, then celebrate by throwing someone off a pier with cement shoes.

It’s actually pretty hard to note anything unexpected or different in the Mafia 2 demo. Almost everything you’d expect from a game that borrows heavily from the GTA IV template is there, both the good and the bad.

Gallery: Mafia II

Continue reading Preview: Mafia 2 (and Mafia 2 3D)

JoystiqPreview: Mafia 2 (and Mafia 2 3D) originally appeared on Joystiq on Sun, 20 Jun 2010 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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CVG is posting new footage of Metroid: Other M all week, starting with a weird cutscene depicting Samus as a space baby. We’re happy to see these videos now, but we’re also slightly hesitant, knowing that we’re going to see them again as unskippable in-game FMV.

Continue reading Metroid: Other M trailer features the ‘birth of Samus’

JoystiqMetroid: Other M trailer features the ‘birth of Samus’ originally appeared on Joystiq on Mon, 12 Jul 2010 12:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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All we’ve ever wanted from this humble weekly feature is for one reader — just one! — to react as passionately to our favorite comics as the now-infamous Hungrybear did to those full-on double rainbows. We’re not sure how to go about accomplishing this feat. We could try contacting each webcomic to ask if they’d turn up their color intensity, but that may be too much to ask. We’ll just have to hope that you guys are already in a really good mood, and are prone to spontaneous emotional breakdowns.

Check out our seven favorite gaming-centric comics from the past week below, then vote for your favorite in the poll posted after the jump!

Peace for Cybertron (Virtual Shackles)
The Grim Curriculum (Penny Arcade)
Voltorb (Brawl in the Family)
DLC Decisions (Extra Life)
Make the Kinection (Dueling Analogs)
See You in Ten to Twenty (No Cash Value)
ID, Please (Nerf Now)

Continue reading Weekly Webcomic Wrapup is so bright and vivid

JoystiqWeekly Webcomic Wrapup is so bright and vivid originally appeared on Joystiq on Sat, 10 Jul 2010 23:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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