Thursday, 1 April 2010

The News Today

As the new financial year starts, it's apt to start it off with a look to the future and to reflect a little on the here and now of today in gaming. What manner of surprises lie in store for this year? Read and find out, they probably won't be things that you would have predicted anyway, or at least not in the same capacity here. So, here are today's headlining gaming announcements and news all combined into one article for your reading pleasure. Read on and enjoy.

Nintendo Unveils the 4DS!

Yes, literally days after announcing the existence of the 3DS, the handheld console set to break the boundaries of handheld gaming via its 3D capabilities Nintendo have announced it's successor, the 4DS! The handheld console is said to be able to break the laws of time so that you can play games with your ancestors and with your descendants. The console itself will come with a whopping FIVE screens to play, two of which will be acting as wormholes so that you are able to communicate with others via the fourth dimension and the size of the handheld will be roughly three times the size of the newly released DSiXL handheld. Nintendo President Satoru Iwata stated at a specially organised press conference at Nintendo's Kyoto headquarters, "The Nintendo 4DS will revolutionise gaming as we know it. We are going to utilise the capabilites of the fourth dimension to bring fun to all of those who not only play games today but have never been given the opportunity to play them due to less advanced technological levels and those who have yet to play games in the future.". In addition to this will be a 1 megapixel camera (a new high for Nintendo's handheld range) fitted to an optical fibre, "We wanted to bring new experiences to the Nintendo range; cooking, dancing and dating have all been done multiple times on our previous consoles so we're looking to expand into more niche aspects of life such as voyeurism, colonoscopy procedures and hopefully a CCTV game with a lazy security guard as the main character.", says Iwata. Friend codes are unfortunately going to be returning though, Iwata states that "We are going to stick with the friend code system as we don't want to find people being uneccesarily trolled by Hitler and Oliver Cromwell". Announced games so far include a Mario title spanning all of time itself, the aforementioned unnamed voyeurism title and what we believe to be either 4D Tetris or 4D Picross. More to come soon!

An artist's impression of the 4DS, maybe.

New Sonic game!

Sonic Team yesterday announced that a new Sonic game would be coming to home consoles in the not-too-distant future. Building on the enormous popularity of the Werehog mechanic from that game that had the Werehog in it, the developers have taken this a step further with another creature transformation - this time a BADGER! Not just a badger but a badger pyromaniac! In yesterday's press release announcement Yuji Naka stated that such developments were natural for the evolution of Sonic games. When probed further about the game Naka replied that " 'Sonic and the Hot Badger' will make a leap bigger than any Sonic title so far. We believe that 2D environments aren't suited to Sonic so we are intending to create a full 3D arena for Sonic to set alight objects for when he transforms into the Badger. The core-structure of the game will be a full-3D action adventure with fully interactive trees, so far you can set fire to a few of the trees but we're planning on being able to set fire to Big the Cat at various points in the game too.". After a cry of joy, or perhaps a wince of disgust, from one of the journalists present Naka also confirmed Shadow, Amy and all of the other miscreants that consitute Sonic's friends as playable characters in a multiplayer mode that appeared to involve attempting to set fire to a lake, a task that Naka himself completed with great difficulty after a four hour demonstration. Expect further details and a release date soon!

Fable III to be released on time!

It's true! Fable III head honcho Peter Molyneux has categorically and unequivocally promised that Fable III WILL be released on time. Molyneux's blog included details of abiding to development schedules and the efficieny of their debug team as major contributors to this revelation. Molyneux later states, "Well if I'd had much more involvement with the game the bloody thing wouldn't be released until after Fable IV, which would be a massive cock up in terms of continuity... fuck, how do I get rid of that? No, there's no Fable IV, I made it up. Fuck fuck fuck.", Molyneux also made a bold promise that for every disappointed consumer expecting Fable III on it's proposed release date he would owe each and every one of them a dirty blow job subject to age-of-consent laws in different territories, "I have every bit of faith that Fable III will be released on time or my name's not Peter Molyneux!".

EDIT: Since this article was published Fable III has 320,000+ copies in it's first week of sale though this number was expected to be double but so many people didn't believe Molyneux's claim. Lucky for him that it was released on time as he'd be tasting salt in his mouth until 2013.

A capella Hero

Activision-Neversoft today announced the next step in their rhythm action Hero games. Following on from the successes of Guitar Hero and DJ Hero Activision have revealed plans to release an a capella version of the game. "We all know that singing in the Guitar Hero games is by far the most fun aspect of the game so we decided that we should make a game focussed entirely on vocally-exclusive music. A capella Hero will incorporate up to four microphones over local multiplayer and up to 108 players each singing over an online connection. Do I like singing? Hell yeah, I do! Anyone who says they don't is a poof.", said an anonymous Activision executive. The question of the distinct lack of well-known a capella is answered by the use of cover versions of songs such as KISS' "Crazy Nights", Blur's "Girls & Boys", Michael Jackson's "Black and White" and Men at Work's "Down Under" as performed by numerous Activision staff, "You wanna know why we make so much money? It's because of cost saving ideas like this, BWAHAHAHAHA!". Career mode is set to include over 150 a capella versions of songs with a promised 250 more songs available as DLC within the first three months of release. When asked about pricing Activision said "We expect that the Solus game to cost $80 on release. We believe our games are worth that so we're going to make everyone pay that much. For the full four microphones and game bundle we will be charging $200 on release, again as we think our games are worth that much unlike our cheap rivals, bastards. Oh, and Rock Band is totally gay too". Arriving some time in 2011 will A capella Hero light the fire as much as it's predecessors or will the slightly inflated price point put off consumers?

More Final Fantasy?

Square-Enix have announced the next addition to the Final Fantasy series, a sequel to the sequel Final Fantasy X-2, called, you guessed it, Final Fantasy X-3. In a web announcement yesterday Square-Enix President Yƍichi Wada described FFX-3 as a "revelation in story-telling in gaming" citing various reasons including "a strange desire to make a trilogy" after being influenced so heavily by "such great trilogies as Lord of the Rings, Back to the Future, Star Wars IV-VI and the Godfather.", he so crazy. Details of the game are thin on the ground but Wada could confirm that "Everyone will once again going to forget all of their abilities like last time. I don't know what the exact reasons are but I'm really pushing for amnesia from donkey punches.". Furhermore there will be several improvements to game thanks to the current generation of technology including shinier graphics, a new battle system and "literally a billion hours of gaming thanks to the overly large environments and more random battles than there are sperm currently swimming around my watermelon sized balls". So more of everything then which can not mean anything other than more fun, who can't resist all of those random battles? "Not I" said the cat and "not I" I say now.

Capcom announce more Street Fighter!

Fans of Street Fighter rejoice! Capcom yesterday announced the next arrival to the Street Fighter franchise with the title "Super Mega Excellent GRAAAGH Street Fighter IV Turbo Insane Total Whoooo Alpha Neo-Kaleidoscopic Edition" (SMEGSFIVTITWANK Edition for short), yes the name is a bit of a mouthful in more ways than one but the reason for this can be attributed to Capcom wanting to go the whole hog with their elaborate titles, "We realise that our Street Fighter games end up getting crazier and crazier with each iteration and we know that people make fun of it too so we just decided to call everyone's bluff and go all out with the craziness for our next game.", said a Capcom spokesperson. New features include a new mini game similar to bonus levels found in older Street Fighter games that involves punching dead animals in an abatoir, "We all love the Rocky films at Capcom so we decided to add a new mini game that pays homage to the Rocky films. The game is called 'Beat the Meat' and it's tough to find the right tactics to beat it off, I recommend using T. Hawk for the chicken as he has been given a new choke attack.". New characters include an Afghani called Obama who uses his beard to attack people and an Irish singer called Bonner who fights for the good of the impoverished. That's all we have for now but stay tuned for more information as it leaks.

Heavy Rain 2!

Sony Computer Entertainment today announced the existence of a sequel to smash hit game Heavy Rain currently titled Heavy Rain 2. The game that pushed the boundaries of video game cinematography has been granted a sequel after publisher SCE recently stated that it was "delighted" with the success of the first drama-game. Heavy Rain 2 will follow a similar structure to the original experience by expanding on the story and action branches, a spokesperson from SCE stated "Heavy Rain 2 will feature story arcs and outcomes that outnumber the first title ten-fold, we're looking at several million moral decisions to make here from. There's this one bit where you remember that you left the gas oven on and you're given the choice of going back to switch it off, asking two different associates to switch it off or leaving it on, I think it'll be pretty special. We hope that this will make consumers want to emerge themselves into the gaming / film crossover experience repeatedly to find the different endings available.". Heavy Rain 2 will present a new interactive cinema experience like no other say SCE, "We aim to achieve this with out stellar cast that currently consists of Al Pacino, Morgan Freeman, Meryl Streep and we're especially glad that we managed to get Nicholas Lyndhurst for some time outside of his exceptionally busy schedule.". When queried on the expected length of the film, SCE replied with "We expect that the viewing experience will last approximately two hours including the end credits but we hope that viewers will want to see the movie again and again to see what happens under different circumstances, I'm dead excited.". Heavy Rain 2 is expected to be released in cinemas in the summer of 2011.

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