Posts Tagged ‘Updates’

Continue Screen — 2Q2013

Continue-screen

An American woman in love with Japan

Lyndsey-101612-cutoutWhen I was in the seventh grade, in the heady days of 1993 and 1994, I fell in love with a nation. That’s not an easy feat, let me tell you. I am a red-blooded American woman who loves herself some of the good old U.S. of A, but my love for video games was unmatched, and it didn’t take long for me to figure out where they came from mostly.

In those halcyon days, I was an ignorant little wretch, playing what I could when I could with little money. All I could depend on was my mother getting paid every two weeks so that I could have a pittance of what she earned in the form of an allowance. I received $25, and the ink on the Treasury Department stacks was barely dry before I’d find a way to blow it on my favorite hobby/habit. Why, I could have saved millions by now probably if I hadn’t bought countless issues of GamePro and EGM that were summarily read at dinnertime from cover to cover. The gaming news of the day was most important for me, and I learned the behind-the-scenes nuts and bolts of the trade and gaming journalism all at once. Call it a supplementary education if you will.

While I received a quite proper game education and academic merits in Columbia, S.C.’s public institutions of learning, at the arcade I was becoming cultured in the ways of the people speak. And at home, I was learning subtly about a country I’d never seen and still haven’t ventured forth to in the ensuing 20 years: Japan. My first glancing blow with the Land of the Rising Sun was through Street Fighter. Now, I realize like most people who play the series that there are several nations represented in the World Warrior tournament. Japan is one of many. However, the primary language spoken among all of the characters in the original version of Street Fighter II — with the exception of Zangief, Dhalsim and Guile — is Japanese. And yes, even Ken Masters, who is half Japanese, speaks Japanese fluently.

So, when I booted up the game after ignoring it in favor of Mortal Kombat, I realized there was something going on there and it wasn’t the good old English I was used to hearing. The shock of hearing the language for the first time was akin to being set free to roam in the world for the first time: I didn’t know how to act. I soaked up the language, enthralled with E. Honda’s stage and the concept of sumo. I’d never even heard of sumo at that point, and though I was aware of China and some of the food that I thought came from there (Americanized Chinese food is among my favorites), I had no idea about the history, customs or culture of either China or Japan. All of that changed when I did a shoryuken for the first time.

I dove into the world of a land I didn’t know with abandon. By the time my eighth grade year rolled around, I knew more about samurai and sumo than most 13-year-olds and I finally understood that Japan, at that point, was the place I needed to be because every game that I’d ever played had come from there. And thus began my lifelong dream of traveling.

I also had to learn two concepts at that point: Cultural sensitivity and open-mindedness. As a black teenage girl and now as a black woman, I had to learn that there are other people in the world besides myself and my own race of people. At the same time, I realized that there are people out there in the world that have preconceived notions about who I am and what I love. While I have a deep appreciation for Japanese culture, it is impossible for me to ever become Japanese. I can’t think Japanese, I certainly can’t speak it and I would never claim in any way, shape or form to understand the country’s way of life. However, I can indulge myself in what it has to offer and open my mind to it as well. So, when I’ve heard someone say that I am trying to “turn Japanese” because I happen to love geisha or watch a lot of anime or play a lot of video games, I shut that nonsense down.

That’s what this entire issue of Gaming Insurrection is about this quarter: We appreciate.

Lyndsey Hicks is editor-in-chief of Gaming Insurrection. She can be reached by email at editor@gaminginsurrection.com

06

04 2013

New column: Continue Screen — 1Q2013

Editor’s note: Continue Screen is a new column written by various members of GI on a quarterly basis. It’s basically a rant about whatever they want to discuss in the gaming industry. In 1Q2013, Contributing Editor William Harrison starts things off with a discussion of THQ’s policies.

Why marketing games the right way can make, break you

By William Harrison

Hello everyone, and welcome to one of what I hope will be many a mix of factorial and some personal experience/opinion editorial reports to come; so, please,bear with me. There have been many games in the industry that have been made with great hype, interesting media campaigns, hell, even Super Bowl placement all to sell to the consumer at large as well as the gaming community. This is done all with the hopes that they will be able to fund their next big or, sometimes small, idea that balloons way the hell out of control and takes on a life of its own. That’s where some, but yet a small part, of the delays in release come from. Publisher THQ could have learned a lesson from this and known to delay the game Homefront until it was more than just a polished turd with a really good story.

I say this because I was one of the many people who bought this game from the now-defunct developer KAOS Studios only to discover that it wasn’t worth the multimillion-dollar ads that it was portrayed to be. What we (i.e. the gaming community) actually got was one part of a great and somewhat original story, and an underdeveloped multiplayer that was a badly cloned mix of Call of Duty and Battlefield.

OK, before I go any further, I feel I should explain the whole developer versus publisher relationship for those who aren’t too familiar with how it works, better known as the consumer at large. Why do you think developer/publisher Acclaim was in business for so long? Not because they made great games; it’s because their subsidiaries, or developers, made great games for them.

Acclaim is now no more for the most part because of the business practices that lead to some of the subsidiaries — well, all of them – to jump ship to different publishers. It was more or less because of the fact that as a developer/publisher, Acclaim could produce (develop) and distribute and then sell (publish) its own games under the label of Acclaim using a majority of the profits from the other developers that work for them. Of course, they didn’t tell their subsidiaries this; I’m guessing it was made to look like a fine print transaction or something similar. Hell, they might have had the balls to be like “Oh by the way, we’re raising the percentage rate we make off every game sold under our label. Tough shitzu and deal. Have a nice day.” But that is an investigative editorial for another time.

Hopefully, I explained the relationship well enough so that you get the fact that just because a game has the THQ label on it doesn’t mean that they made the game, per se; it just made it available for the public. They may have had very little to do with making the game except for putting money toward it getting made. That doesn’t mean that the publisher has all their money in the right place. Take the game Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine from Games Workshop (creator and co-developer) and Relic Studios (developer), which is a platformer for the consoles and PC. When they got together to make this game, it was one of the best platformers I’d played in a long time. Granted, my main love is fighting games and anything that takes longer than eight hours to beat total play time (cough, RPGs, cough),but I occasionally like to relax with a Devil May Cry or a Sonic Adventure-style game where exploration is as fun as mowing down the masses.

But I digress. The simple fact of the matter is that some companies like to hype games they believe will sell a lot of copies, regardless of the fact that it might not be finished or that it has a great multiplayer system. Well, yes, I know it has worked for a lot of first-person shooters like the Call of Duty series and Battlefield as well as helping the Medal of Honor series pick up where it left off and make a decent game again. Yeah, EA, that was a shot at you … because my wrath is next upon you.

Anyway, Homefront could have been a great game had THQ decided that the game was ultimately not ready for release and then pushed it back to make to make a really good game worthy of a good single-player and multiplayer mode that was worthwhile. Unfortunately, what we got was a shooter that was buggy, not very good in some aspects, and looked liked it should have been released on PlayStation 2 or maybe the first Xbox.

Then, you have Space Marine, which had little-to-no hype whatsoever and is a very solid platformer that offers the right amount of challenge for all players. I think the combat system is slightly the basis for future Darksiders titles, but I could be wrong. The bottom line is this: Don’t try and jump in with both feet expecting to knock it out of the park when there more established titles that raise the bar. In the very least, don’t phone it in and pour money at the problem hoping the ad campaign will make everyone not notice how much of a polished turd it is. Even if it is polished, it’s still a damn turd.

William Harrison is a contributing editor for Gaming Insurrection. He can be reached by email at editor@gaminginsurrection.com

 

05

01 2013

Animal Crossing Chronicles #08: 2Q2012

Animal Crossing ChroniclesTokyo resident Samus finds the landscape coming back to life as winter becomes spring again in her adopted hometown. Are there surprises left behind as the snow melts?

02

04 2012

Progress being made …

A short update:

Work is progressing on the Archives blog. It’s nearly complete and so
far, issues all the way through 1Q2011 are online and ready to go. Let
us know what you think of the new archives here in the comments section! — Lyndsey

11

10 2011

Animal Crossing Chronicles #06 – 4Q2011

Animal Crossing ChroniclesWe are trying a new format with Animal Crossing Chronicles. In this quarter’s issue, we presented a photo album of Samus’ exploits during the summer 2011. This choice was infinitely easier to produce and it’s easier to upload and implement on our blog. Let us know what you think!

01

10 2011

2Q2011 now online!

Gaming InsurrectionGaming Insurrection is proud to present the 2nd quarter 2011 issue!

In this issue:

1. Dreamcast fighting games – Gaming Insurrection examines the art of fighting games on Sega’s last scion, the Dreamcast. We discuss our favorite games and the peripherals we suggest to play them with in our quarterly features podcast.

2. Mortal Kombat II tournament – Our throwdown in the Midway fighting game classic continues with the second round of the winner’s bracket. Watch our tournament videos on YouTube and listen to our companion podcast!

3. Retrograde – We cover the following games: Chip N Dale Rescue Rangers (NES), Gauntlet II (NES), Bases Loaded (NES) and Donkey Kong (NES)

4. Ready, set, begin! – We review the following games: Crazy Taxi 2 (Dreamcast), Captain Commando (SNES), Mega Man IV (NES) and Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island (SNES)

5. The Strip – The Spirit is discussed in the comic property review and Lyndsey Mosley gives a rundown of what she needs for her comic book movies to succeed. The Top 5 list focuses on useless heroes and Brandon Beatty continues his look at Death Note with a review of Vol. 3 of the manga. Rogue is our Marvel character highlight for the quarter.

6. Retrogamecorner – Rumored Mortal Kombat HD remakes make the rounds, and we detail the moves of Charmander, Charmeleon and Charizard in the Pokemon Red and Blue Knowledge Center. Also, Jamie Mosley introduces a new column, Torture of the Quarter, with Silver Surfer for the NES as the first victim.

This quarter is also the first of our online redesign. We hope that a sprucing up of the site’s overall design will improve readability and usability. Let us know what you think! Register to leave a comment, drop us an e-mail or find us on Twitter and YouTube.

Play

02

04 2011

1st Quarter 2011 now online!

Gaming InsurrectionGaming Insurrection is proud to present the following content for the first quarter 2011:

  1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles awesomeness – Gaming Insurrection goes in-depth with maps and strategies for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time and reviews of the game and eight other classic TMNT game titles. Reviews for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES)*, TMNT II: The Arcade Game (XboFirst Quarter 2011 - Gaming Insurrectionx Live Arcade version)*, TMNT III: Manhattan Project (NES)*, TMNT: Hyperstone Heist (Genesis)*, TMNT: Tournament Fighters (SNES)* and the three Game Boy titles – Fall of the Foot Clan, Back from the Sewers and Radical Rescue – are the focus of coverage. Download the maps in a special pullout in the Special Section of gaminginsurrection.com.

2. Mortal Kombat II tournament – Gaming Insurrection begins its first tournament for the classic fighting game from Midway, Mortal Kombat II. We provide brackets, tournament rankings, match analysis and video.*

3. Ready, Set, Begin! – These TMNT games are covered: Turtles in Time, Tournament Fighters and Manhattan Project.

4. Retrograde – The following TMNT games are covered: TMNT, Hyperstone Heist, The Arcade Game, Fall of the Foot Clan, Back from the Sewers and Radical Rescue.

5. The Strip – GI jumps into the impact of the TMNT comics and 1987 TV show in Strip Talk, reviews the three live-action TMNT movies, highlights Colossus in the Marvel character highlight, reviews Tenchi Muyo’s latest manga in Otaku and takes a look at the five best quotes from TMNT villain Shredder.

As always, you can download the issue from the main site, if you like.

Gaming Insurrection is continuing with its visual update, which began last quarter. Typography and readability is important to us and we appreciate all comments and suggestions. Let us know what you think by e-mail (editor[at]gaminginsurrection.com or gaming_insurrection[at]gaminginsurrection.com) or by Twitter!

*= Video enabled!

01

01 2011

Editor’s Weekly Podcast episode #20: What we’ve been up to

Lyndsey Mosley

Lyndsey Mosley, editor

We’ve been out the game for a little bit but we’re back with a new episode for the Editor’s Weekly Podcast.

We talk about what we’ve been playing, what we’ve bought for various systems and ideas for various existing games such as Animal Crossing. Borderlands, a favorite with Gaming Insurrection, gets major air time as we discuss a little bit of the DLC that we’ve downloaded as well as the recent update to the game.

Keep an eye out for the upcoming podcast, Guns of Pandora, which will focus on Borderlands.

Play

07

12 2010

4th Quarter 2010 is now online!

Gaming Insurrection is proud to present the following content for the 4th Quarter 2010:

1. Video game fashion* – Editor Lyndsey Mosley takes a look at the wears and tears of the fashion industry within video games. GI also makes a trip to Nashicon 2010 to report on the cosplay side of things. Be on the lookout for embarrassing photos and a brand-new episodes of the GI Show!

2. Ready, set, begin! – The section that showcases titles we’re playing right now has received a new name. In this quarter, we talk about Soulcalibur II* (PS2 version), The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past*, Borderlands* (Xbox 360 version) and Super Street Fighter II X: For Matching Service*.

3. Retrograde – GI discusses Tekken Tag Tournament*, Killer Instinct* (Super NES version), Super Mario All-Stars* and F-Zero*.

4. The Strip – Join us on The Strip this quarter as we discuss the background of Marvel villain Juggernaut, the second reboot of The Punisher franchise – Punisher War Zone, the five best mutant powers in comics and Death Note Vol. 2.

5. Tech Geeks – We give the rundown on a carrying case for your Game Boy consoles, an HD camcorder and the updated Sony Walkman E-series mp3 player.

As always, you can download the issue from the main site.

Gaming Insurrection has also undergone a visual sprucing on the inside. We hope our readers will like the use of color and updated typography. Let us know what you think by e-mail (editor[at]gaminginsurrection.com or gaming_insurrection[at]gaminginsurrection.com) or by Twitter!

*= Video enabled!

02

10 2010

4Q2010 update

As some of our readers have seen, Gaming Insurrection recently picked up and moved to a new base of operations. We’re spread out over North Carolina and South Carolina so we mostly likely will stay in one of the two states. Our latest move has been good for several reasons:

1. More money. With better jobs, GI members can make more money to put toward newer gear for the magazine; and

2. More time. A change in schedule for GI’s main members — me and Jamie — means we have more time to get things done and to think of more features.

Aside from moving, we have all stepped up our writing and it’s going to show beginning with the next issue. We’re trying to get more stories in, reviews about games we loved, and have loved, to play and more videos and podcasts recorded.

I’m most proud of the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles special issue. It will kickoff what we are calling the “Classic Focus” series. Modeled after 1up.com’s Cover Stories section, we’re putting the focus on a particular series and blowing it out. We’re talking maps, columns on our experiences, in short, an entire issue primarily devoted to one series. Now, they won’t necessarily happen each quarter. But keep a look out for them. I have a feeling that the TMNT issue is going to rock.

On the subject of new gear: As I mentioned, before we’re looking to upgrade our systems and software at GI. Primarily, I use:

  • Microsoft Publisher: Magazine print version and website;
  • PDF Tools: Joining the individual pieces of the magazine together;
  • Sony Acid Music Studio and a voice recorder:  Podcasts; and
  • Sony Vegas Movie Studio: Video production
  • Nikon Coolpix L11: Pictures (stills and some video)

I’ve mentioned this in a previous post, but I’ve decided for sure what I’d like to work with:

  • Print design: Quark Express or Adobe Indesign (what professionals use in the newspaper industry and what I use everyday for work)
  • Adobe Acrobat 9 Standard or Professional: To join PDFs and reduce their size. This makes it far faster and easier for our readers to download issues . And it also saves on server space for GI.
  • Final Cut Pro: Video production. This is an industry standard as well.
  • Sony HD Handycam for videos

The magazine production equipment can be had in the Adobe Creative Suite Premium for about $1,899. Buying the programs separately can run for much more. As you can see, GI will be saving its newfound money.

Otherwise, keep reading our issues and watching our videos. Also, visit our affiliate PlayAsia.com through the search box on the front page for game deals. Every little bit you spend there at the fine establishment that is Play Asia actually helps us. We appreciate it.

Lyndsey M.

Editor, Gaming Insurrection

31

08 2010