idiosyncrasy Today

Scathing social commentary meets the gamer generation.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Akihabara on the down slope

In today's world of tourism and big business, the things that once made Akihabara, one of the great vestiges for Otaku in Japan, great are slowly turning the previous patrons away leaving it empty and "old news".

Full Depressing Article here

While I have never had the chance to travel to Akihabara yet, I have had friends who have, and it was always described as the proverbial "land of milk and honey" for people with my interests. (see: gaming, technology, anime, manga and maids) But now that golden land of opportunity and wonder may be quashed by "The Man" with police disrupting Otaku from gathering in the streets, preventing impromptu singing and dancing events and all sorts of other activities.

For an area trumped up as the "Otaku Mecca" things should be more geared towards them else they will find somewhere else to go, as will I.

/pout

\\drew

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Cut and Paste Press Releases!

Xbox 360 Exclusive “Halo 3” Registers Biggest Day in US Entertainment History with $170 Million in Sales

Microsoft today announced that the Xbox 360 exclusive game “Halo 3” has officially become the biggest entertainment launch in history, garnering an estimated $170 million in sales in the United States alone in the first 24 hours. The Xbox 360 title beat previous records set by blockbuster theatrical releases like “Spider-man 3” and novels such as “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”

“Halo 3” is the conclusion to the epic trilogy and picks up where “Halo 2” left off, answering questions around the fates of the beloved protagonist Master Chief and his artificial intelligence sidekick Cortana as they struggle to save humankind from destruction at the hands of the alien coalition known as the Covenant. In addition to the rich storyline, “Halo 3” continues the franchise’s grand tradition of delivering innovative online multiplayer experiences via Xbox LIVE, the world’s largest social network on TV.

“Halo 3 has become a pop-culture phenomenon,” said Shane Kim, corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios. “Not only is “Halo 3” setting sales records, it’s also redefining entertainment.

Within the first 20 hours alone, we’ve seen more than a million Xbox LIVE members come online to play Halo 3 – that makes September 25 the most active Xbox LIVE gaming day in history.”

Retailers have also expressed their excitement about the launch of “Halo 3.”

Bob McKenzie, Senior Vice President of Merchandising for GameStop Corp commented that, “With consumer demand for Halo 3 and related products, we expect it to be the biggest video game title generator in GameStop's history."

“The initial demand we’ve seen for ‘Halo 3’ has been astounding, and the game is on track to become the number one gaming title of all time. ‘Halo 3’ is a genuine entertainment phenomenon and our customers have responded very enthusiastically to the release,” said Jill Hamburger, vice president of movies and games at Best Buy.

Developed by Bungie Studios, the “Halo” franchise is exclusive to the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system and optimized for the Xbox LIVE® online entertainment network. The more than 7 million Xbox LIVE users will get a continually evolving gaming experience with “Halo 3.” Its online multiplayer and cooperative gameplay for Xbox LIVE Gold users, the much-talked-about Saved Films feature that enables players to capture and save their favorite moments on their hard drives, and Forge, an innovative map editor that enables infinite customization options are just some of the new features to experience.

More than 10,000 retailers hosted Midnight Madness events to celebrate the launch of this third installment in the billion-dollar franchise. In New York, Seattle, Miami and Los Angeles, Microsoft and retail partners hosted marquee launch events that featured contests and appearances by local celebrities and professional athletes who are fanatical about the “Halo” franchise, including Ludacris and Zac Efron and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates.

More than 1.7 million copies of “Halo 3” were preordered in the United States before a single store opened its doors at midnight, Sept. 25, making this the fasting pre-selling game in history, surpassing the previous record-setting pre-sales of “Halo 2.” Well beyond just a U.S. phenomenon, the launch of “Halo 3” was a worldwide celebration that released in 37 countries and available in 17 languages.

Good lord...

\\drew

Lucky Star Video Game

GTA with an anime flair, and by anime I mean little school girls shooting pikachus.

\\drew

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

MIT Prank

Apparently MIT students are known to be tricksters (see: MIT hack), and they were at it again to celebrate the release of Halo 3 for the XBOX360.

A group of MIT'ers snuck onto the Harvard campus and adorned the John P. Harvard statue in Harvard Yard with a Spartan Helmet (inscribed with "Master Chief in Training") and an assault rifle.

How fantastic would it be to wander out of your dorm to find a glowing symbol of your school's progenitor geared up to fight interstellar aliens bent on activating enormous ring-shaped space weapons?

I don't know about you, but I'd enlist, apparently my school was run by some hardcore SOB's.

\\drew

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Out Sick? Today?

As most people into gaming culture (and anyone who has access to a radio or TV) know, today is one of the most anticipated days for gaming in quite a while. The reason? Halo 3 for the XBOX360 lands on shelves for sale this morning.

According to XBOX Evolved, Halo 3 has over 4 million copies reserved just at Gamestops. This isn't even including larger market stores like Best Buy. While there is no guarantee all those reserved copies will be purchased it's likely given the frenzy related to the game's release. This will also gear the title to cap the highest number of sold boxes on opening day if the reserves hold true.

In turn in an article over on USA Today it seems that many places will be suffering from reduced workers and students as people "get sick" in time for the Halo release.

Sounds about right to me, though I'm at work.

Full Article Here

\\drew

Friday, September 21, 2007

12 Year Old Earns 6.5Mil

6th grader turned PlaySpan founder is raking in the cash thanks to funding from numerous companies.

PlaySpan is a networking company designed to the only "legitimate" online retailer of virtual goods. Currently it has seven MMOG's under its umbrella and thanks to the funding it will be steam rolling ahead as planned.

The company has changed management since its foundation, which is important given the history so far:

"PlaySpan is founded by Arjun Mehta, a 6th grader, passionate about gaming and software programming that can make game playing experience exciting and more importantly rewarding!

PlaySpan started in Arjun’s garage in Silicon Valley in 2006 and was incorporated with Arjun’s earnings from selling online game items won from quests he fought while attending 5th grade at Challenger School in San Jose."

Well damn, I don't think we had an internet when I was in 6th grade, I mean, it probably existed, but it was probably still the pet project of Al Gore or something. (see: Urban Legends)

Concerns have often been arisen because of virtual goods sales can dampen the experience for "real" players in MMOG's, it is successful if the games intend for this level of involvement right from the beginning. (see: Eve Online)

Arjun Mehta, we here in the internets salute you for your pioneering spirit and ability to make more than I will ever conceivably have prior to you graduating middle school.

\\drew

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Etch-A-Sketch of Bioshock

Simple, to the point, and utterly fantastic.

I wish I could etch-a-sketch :p

\\drew

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

57 Things We Know Because We Game

There's a fun article over on GamerHelp today that covers some very standard knowledge that all gamers are equipped with. It's truly a simple fact that "when you enter a town, the person closest to the entrance will welcome you to the town and tell you its name."

Another good one is that "
Female martial artists are either little girls in Japanese school clothes, or scantily clad vixens with ginormous boobies."

It's worth a read, I recommend taking the 3 minutes necessary to check it out.

Full Article Here

\\drew

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Words Meet Combat

For those interested in becoming better at typing, here's a great way! By killing things!

Typing Combat

\\drew

TF2 Beta hits

For those that have pre-ordered the full Orange Box coming out soon, you can now download the TF2 beta through Steam and begin fragging 15 year old kids.

We tried it out at work this morning and it looks fantastic.

I'm sad to see the ability for medics to poison enemies but overall the changes made to the classes seem to be well thought out and quite clever.

Oh, and there is still a 2Fort map....

Goodbye spare time.

Pre-Order and join in on the fun a bit earlier at Steam.

\\drew

Monday, September 17, 2007

This week in Games

September hopes to be a big month for gamers, including such highly anticipated titles as Halo 3 (25th).

This week alone has a fairly strong showing and people deserve a chance to check out some of the titles that may have fallen through their trackers.

Eternal Sonata (XBOX360)
In Eternal Sonata the player is engulfed in a dream story of Chopin on his deathbed, which the events of the dream being tied to actual events in the actual composer's life. The game has been getting quite good reviews and seems to be a quality addition to any RPG fan while also being accessible to new gamers.

Growlanser: Heritage of War (PS2)
The fifth iteration of the growlanser series, released in 2006 in Japan is finally making its way to the other side of the pond this week. The game trumps an impressive 70 hours of gameplay and given the $50 price tag it is an easy pick up for any RP'er.

MySims (Wii, DS)
The Sims series slams into current gen Nintendo hardware with this chibi version of the popular franchise. If you're a Sims fan these titles will be worth a pick up as the game seems quite polished. What seems odd is it doesn't look like the Wii version supports using the Nintendo Mii's in game.


There's plenty more coming out this week, but most seem either uninteresting to me or geared towards another audience (see: Another Iterative Digimon title). So keep your eyes peeled, with the coming of the Christmas season developers and publishers are cranking out their A titles and we as gamers need to check our change purses.

\\drew

Friday, September 14, 2007

HL 2 TF Mod

For those gamers biting at the bit for the orange box to hit shelves to play the new Team Fortress, a new Mod has been released for HL2 remaking the original Team Fortress game entitled "Fortress Forever".

It's running smooth and looks great, I highly recommend any TF fan to check this out.

Fortress Forever


\\drew

Sister site opened

With the coming and goings of this site, it has slowly veered away from the original intent. As such we now have a sister site based on political satire wrapped in the warm sugar coating of a web comic. Check it out!

idiosyncrasy Animated

\\drew

Thursday, September 13, 2007

John Stewart rips up Petraeus

For those that don't know, David Petraeus is a highly decorated soldier who the current administration has been heralding as the go to man. He knows everything. (aka they give no answers and say "wait for Petraeus to get back")

Well John Stewart goes through Petraeus' speech and proves why it's meaningless drivel. Much fun is had by all.

video
\\drew

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Team Fortress 2 Engineer

I'm especially partial to this little diddy concerning the new Team Fortress game, possibly because I was always an engineer player myself.

Love it!

He reminds me of Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs

\\drew

Lost Odyssey Trailer

A new trailer has been released for the new Lost Odyssey game being made by Mistwalker for the XBOX360.

Looks possibly sweet to me.

\\drew

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Nintendo Drops Info for Wii Zapper

It's official, the Wii Zapper will hit store shelves on November 19th and will rock the low price tag of $20. Though it should being that it's just a cradle for the Wii-mote.

The controller will come packaged with the title Link's Crossbow Training which is described as:

"Link's Crossbow Training drops players into a world in the style of The Legend of Zelda®: Twilight Princess. Players assume the identity of hero Link, who progresses through a series of tests to perfect his crossbow marksmanship. Start with stationary bull's-eyes and graduate to moving targets before defending Link against all kinds of enemies."

I'm curious if any games will assume the player will swap between controller setups during play. I'd rather pay more money and have a freestanding controller that way when I'm playing a Zelda game and I pull out my bow I actually pick up my gun and start blasting away. I know I will never mount the remote in this case while playing a game, I'll just point the remote. Maybe that's just me.

\\drew

Monday, September 10, 2007

Behind the curve

I've apparently been hanging out behind the curve all last week, because somehow I missed this thread over at Joystiq, namely a thread build around hacked Mario World levels. Something right up my alley. I have failed you all.

But better late then never, check out these awesome levels built.

All the levels were designed to be "played" with no controller input from start to finish. It's pretty insane.


Full list of videos over on Joystiq.

\\drew

Friday, September 07, 2007

Russians discover Radiation Absorbing Metal

Sorry, don't have time for a lengthy article today, so I'm linking to an interesting story I found about current events.

Russia Today

Seems like this could bode well for the world. Possibly a bit less fear from the aftermath of a nuclear attack.

*crosses fingers that magic metal can lower likelihood of nuclear war*

\\drew

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Lair Director Blames Others

With the media ferociously pouncing on the would-be best seller title Lair for the PS3, the game's director Julian Eggebrecht had some choice words of wisdom to explain. (see: points finger away from Factor 5)

The blame game starts simple, you know, standard Macbeth style ghosts in development.
"That was the start of one catastrophe after the other — deaths in the family at the worst time [and] sudden surgeries for key members, which bounced the technology off-track. And just in general, every single time there was a crucial delivery, something bizarre went wrong — all the way to power outages when writing the master disks."
Ok, so accidents happen, but I refuse to believe that because of these events the game's controls went from gold to garbage. Someone's "intelligent design" set this one up for failure, not the goblins in the closet.

Eggebrecht went further, backing off the ghost angle to blame Sony and their hardware.
"That is exactly the kick of creating a first-year game: exploring the not-yet-finished hardware and growing the technology while the hardware is coming together," Eggebrecht said. "I think both 'Rogue Leader' and 'Lair' gave a good stab at poking into the depths of the systems for such early titles, and from that you have a second-generation growth opportunity that surpasses most developers that jump onto the bandwagon later."
While I will admit that first gen titles for new consoles tend to be shakier as things aren't fully tested, there have been quality games shipped at release with new consoles *cough* Halo *cough* Mario 64. That being said, atleast here Eggebrecht states that this will give them some insight as to what to do better for their title on the platform.

While Lair may not be shaping up to be the must-buy game that will sell PS3's, it's a decent show of what not to do when a new system comes out. The developers saw that the system had SIXAXIS controller support and chose to use it because it was there, not because it made for a better control scheme. Having developed for consoles like the Wii and Nintendo DS I strongly encourage using the system's strengths when they strengthen the game, not when you need a bullet point on the back of the box. With that in mind, they could have used controller movement for something, but possibly not made it a crux of gameplay when they admit that moves like the 180 degree turn can only be performed 8 out of 10 times.

\\drew

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

MSNBC runs an interesting Live Vote

So, if you get your news at MSNBC you may want to convert to something like the BBC, as frankly, I can't believe they ran this mass-market appeal Vote to the internet masses. A vote that has no real value at all outside of feeding the viral frenzy of everyone's favorite Texas Ranger.

As an aside, my great grandfather was a Texas Ranger, and he did no round housing of evil-doers.

The actual article the vote was based on is actually fairly interesting, as it deals with non-mythical war masters, namely Ninjas and Monks.

My take on that debate? Well, while I enjoy the combative stylings of ninjas, most of that is as mythical as Chuck Norris. Sure I wouldn't want to me an angry ninja in a back alley, but I also wouldn't want to meet Chuck Norris in a back alley, he'd probably hit me up for cash to buy some smokes and a cheap prostitute. Monks however have lit themselves on fire. That's pretty hardcore. Then there was the sect of Monk that would self-mummify themselves by eat tree bark. I don't know about you, but the attunement between body and spirit is much more scary than a guy with a kama. Atleast you know what to expect from the kama.

Full Article Here
Random Live Vote Here

\\drew