Monthly Archives: October 2010

  • Critics outraged over Berlin Wall shooter game

    Games - Berlin Critics outraged by game.


    Germans are outraged over an "attempt to teach history" by means of a violent Berlin Wall themed video game, 1378, named after the 1378 kilometers of the wall. Set to release this Sunday, October 3, on the 20th anniversary of the reunification, the controversial game will allow players to take on the role of either an East German refugee or a border guard with the objective of stopping refugees, even by means of shooting unarmed civilians.

    Historically accurate as the game may be, does it cross a line? Jens Stober, the game's creator, toldBild daily his intention was to get young people interested in history, and that gaming was one of the best ways to do so. However, the nature of the game may be too violent and too honest, "appealing to the basest human instincts," as criticized by the head of victims of communist violence group, Rainer Wagner. As a refugee, the player must attempt to cross the wall, climbing over fences and barbed wire and avoiding the guards, facing death or arrest. However, the real issue lies in the role as a border guard. The game'sÂÂwebsite itself advertises the game as a dilemma of whether to shoot or to arrest As border guards, the player must stop potential escapees, armed or not (although there is a limit to how many they can kill due to "increased political pressure on East Germany"). Wagner says this makes the game far "worse than other shoot ‘em ups because normally in such games, one shoots at armed enemies here, it is unarmed civilians." Wagner called the game a "further contribution to the brutalization and the breaking down of society's inhibitions under the cover of historical reappraisal."

    What do you think, readers? The game is attempting to show historical fact, and violent crimes of this nature did happen in real life at the Berlin Wall. Furthermore, children and teens potentially do follow games much more than historical videos or readings, and could be used as tools for teaching. However, the violence in the game should probably not be marketed at youngsters to begin with, and players may not take the game for its historical value but rather just continue with the game objectives, believing that it is okay to shoot the unarmed if it adheres to a job. For Americans, for example, this could lead to disastrous desensitization in regards to our own border issues I don't think people here would be okay with a game about crossing the Mexican border (or maybe they would I'm just speculating!). As for Germany, clearly, they are not okay with it either.

    Written By Evil Ambassador Lindsey Olson

  • Bungie Swings The Ban Hammer

    Games - Banning in Halo

    Like a Covenant Brute with a Gravity Hammer, Bungie reset the credits of 15,000 users who were caught earning credits through disingenuous means. Apparently there was a challenge being completed over and over again through "intentional network manipulation," aka intentional Xbox Live disconnects. This allowed gamers to receive the credits awarded for this specific challenge 20+ times. The gamers caught having taken advantage of this exploit have found their credits reset.

    Bungie has been taking their online community seriously since day 1 and it's nice to see them continue doing so, but is it entirely fair to punish gamers for taking advantage of an exploit in their software? A lot of innocent gamers have claimed that they have been unfairly punished by having their hard earned credits removed, but Bungie responded by saying "Spot checks have revealed the telltale signature of this behavior on every denier so far, so don't be fooled by the protests of innocence. We aren't." With all of the statistics that Reach does keep track of, it's easy to believe Bungie when they say this.

    banhammer blog

    Ferrex, the Bungie moderator from the Halo: Reach boards that made this announcement warns, "A more comprehensive pass will be occurring in the coming week as our automated Banhammer mechanisms grow accurate enough to satisfy our high bar for burden of proof. If you are thinking about getting an easy 50k credits by using this exploit, I would strongly advise you to reconsider." So whether or not you think it's fair, you may not want to look up the exploit.

    Original Announcement:

    Written by: Evil Ambassador Carlos Reyes

  • Sonic 4: Episode 1

    Games: Previews of Sonic 4

    It's been a long time since Sega has made a respectable Sonic game. Some gamers argue that Sonic's foray into the third dimension was when it went down hill, but personally I'd say it started after Sonic Adventure 2, around the time Shadow the Hedgehog got his own game (2005). I'm not sure that we needed a game that was aesthetically Sonic meets Devil May Cry. Sega just continued to make bad decision after bad decision, failing to maintain the degree of polish a third party developer should have for their flagship series. Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 was a nest of bugs and glitches while offering nothing new. Maybe they thought they didn't need to do anything, but slap Sonic on a title's name. If that's the case they've learned their lesson the hard way.

    When Sonic Unleashed came out Sonic fans finally got a polished looking Sonic game and it made a lot of gamers wonder, is the Sonic gameplay just not relevant these days? Sonic Unleashed, werehog stages aside, was a decent product, but it just wasn't capturing our hearts like Mario Galaxy or the original Sonic games and no one could really figure out why. It had Sonic, it looked nice, the Sonic stages felt right-ish, and it lacked all of those obnoxious furry sidekicks that were multiplying every console and handheld generation. So what was the problem? I couldn't tell you and I'm sure Sega themselves couldn't tell you, but I can say with confidence that the werehog stages and God of War mechanics shamelessly inserted didn't help.

    Sonic 4 Episode 1 comes out on October 11th, the first episode of Sega's episodic Sonic game and it looks promising. Sonic games for the original genesis were always well paced. They had always been about speed and the stages themselves echoed the conceit constantly. The game mixed up high intensity speed segments with slow and calculated platforming. By doing so the players were always conscious of speed, conscious of whether or not they were going slow or fast and if they weren't going fast, you can make a bet that they wanted to go fast. So speed was always the name of the game. Watching some of the gameplay videos out there, it looks as though Sonic 4: Episode 1 understands that.

    I might be part of the problem when I buy Sonic 4: Episode 1 next week by giving Sega the benefit of the doubt, but I'll keep my fingers crossed that Sega's finally managed to do what many argued was impossible - make a relevant Sonic game in twenty-ten.

  • Two Awesome things in one awesome case = Awesome

    <h1>Console News - A PC with a Builty in XBOX 360</h1>

    As of September 7, PC customization company Origins PC announced of their newest model "The Big O" which combines both a high powered PC with an Xbox 360. The Big O model will come with a Xbox 360 'slim' model which can be played while the PC is running its normal tasks and processes. The PC portion of the model will feature the latest gaming specs that today's requirements. These specs include a 4.0GHz Intel Core i7 930 Processor, a liquid cooled Rampage III Extreme Motherboard, a dual NVIDIA GTX 480 GPUs, 6 gigabytes of memory, dual 50GB SSD drives, 2 terabyte hard drive, a Creative Fatal1ty sound card, and a Blu-ray burner. The total cost of this beast of a gaming PC hybrid that only the insanely genius minds of Origins PC could think of? Around $7,669 is their asking price.

    If you got a bit more of cash to spend on the Big O, the company also offers an upgraded configuration version that will include a set of overclocked to 4.3GHz dual Intel Xeon X5680 processors, EVGA S52 motherboard, liquid cooling, and much more.

    Despite of its high cost, a combination of a Xbox and PC magazine is something that hasn't been marketed ever. While there has a been a few splashes of self modifications of the Xbox into a PC (and many others console into unexpected places like the "Nin-toaster") this the first that it's being made into the modified PC market.

    You can check the Big O and its upgraded configurations as well as their other models at their website.



  • Kinect, Are You Excited?

    Console News - Kinect gathering attention.

    Since Microsoft's Kinect is new technology, it's hard for us here at Evil not to be excited, but as gamers are you guys?


    The Wii has definitely shown that motion controls can be successful, but part of their success should be attributed to the novelty of motion controls. People bought Wiis for two reason, one it was from Nintendo, and two we hadn't seen motion controls before, the novelty was intriguing. Sony and Microsoft don't have the luxury of being given the benefit of the doubt, we've seen what motion controls can do so it'll take a bit more to impress us.

    Microsoft has a slight advantage in that they can pitch Kinect as a new way to play, gaming without a controller, but their commercials do them no favors. They bring to mind the launch of the Wii and the excitement around experiencing something new with the whole family, as consumers we've felt that exact buzz before. If they have the confidence to sell their product as an entirely new method of gaming, why is their method of selling it so 2006. Sony at least has Kevin Butler and a self awareness about the whole thing that makes their commercials amusing.

    Microsoft and Sony have obviously invested a lot into these products, but they still haven't promised core gamers a reason to adopt them. How interested are you guys?

  • Blockbuster on the bankruptcy chopping block

    Games & Industry News - Blockbuster Facing Financial Troubles

    Blockbuster, the world's largest movie-rental company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to failing to meet with its competitors like Netflix. The company listed that its assets of $1.02 billion was up against its $1.46 billion in New York's U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The company said it will try to bounce back by working with bondholders to reorganize the company and attain loan of around $125 million in order to finance it's bouncing back operations.


    Blockbuster claims that it will retain all of their U.S. Operations such as their chain stores and their newly acquired DVD vending machines, their mail services, and all other parts.

    Now what does that have to do with video game news? Basically its a set of the trickle down effect. Most likely Blockbuster will cut back on certain expenses and we the consumers who still drive to the Blockbuster might suffer for it. It could mean that there could be less copies of video game rentals in the near future. Also it could mean a rise in rental prices of games which from I know from personal experience my last game rental of Red Dead Redemption was around nine dollars. Add that with the subtly brought back late fees, we video game renters might be suffering at the cash register a bit more

  • How Much Halo Do You Want?

    Games - Lots of lots of Halo Game Content


    It's no secret, sequels kill. On the business end, sequels just make sense; gamers want them and investors can have faith that a follow up to a successful game will be equally successful. Sequels get green lit on a regular basis, but how often is too often?

    Last week Phil Spencer, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft Game Studios, told IGN that, "There's no explicit strategy that says we're to ship a Halo game every year. I will say I think one Halo game every three years -- which was kind of our old cadence "€œ is probably not frequent enough."

    Spencer goes on to explain that the issue is staying relevant, staying on the mind of gamers. They want gamers engaged to their brand and their games, but at the same time, they need time to ship a quality product. Spencer cites Activision as being successful in this regard with Call of Duty. Activision has maintained the quality in Call of Duty game every year by breaking up the development of the titles in to two studios. Treyarch and Infinity Ward. But could the world handle a Halo every year?

    Halo games have always been monumental releases, The original Halo defined what we'd come to expect from a console shooter and Halo 2 expanded the multiplayer component by ridiculous degrees leaving the plot at a serious cliff hanger. Halo 3 concluded the plot and left us with a definitive version of Halo's multiplayer. Halo: Reach was an awesome game that improved multiplayer, but plot wise it simply expanded on cliff notes we already had.

    Tackling the Halo universe for a yearly release will be a difficult endeavor. As gamers we want to play as Master Chief, he's an all encompassing force, but we certainly don't want to be desensitized to his persona. On the other hand, who else could we play as that could be equally compelling? How many games can we play, like ODST and Reach, where we know the characters are screwed. If I were Microsoft I'd stick to Master Chief, but how much Master Chief is too much.

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