It Sure Ain’t “The Wizard”

Wired News has a new article up about Video Game characters making their way to the silver screen. Lara Croft, Duke Nukem, and many other games are being converted to movies to cash in on their popularity.

While interactive shorts inside games were popular, the gaming animations are being looked at as legitimate forms of entertainment themselves. No longer confined to Saturday morning cartoons and cable shows, GCI animations meld live-action with video.

With Final Fantasy, people will emulate their video game experience in the movie theater. Unlike Tomb Raider, which stars the svelte Angelina Jolie as hottie-explorer Lara Croft, Fantasy is total CGI creations ?- a meld between animation and live-action that gives movie-goers the feel of being in an intensely real, computer-generated world.

“The interesting thing in between is that you can look at convergence as computers and video games getting more realistic,” Jones said. “But as we spend more time in virtual worlds, we become accustomed to that being entertainment.”

I’m very anxious to see how Lara and Final Fantasy do this summer. Resident Evil is also being worked on, but has received a lot of flack due to its departure from the original storyline.

New Red Faction Trailer Up

Volition, Inc. has a new Red Faction trailer up on THQ.com. Red Faction is a FPS that is in developement for the PS2. It’s most unique feature is that it allows the players to destroy portions of a level. Someone on the other side of a wall? No longer must you walk around the wall. Just blow a hole in it and shot ’em.

The trailer is in 2 sizes. A High Res (71.5MB) version and a Low Res (25.8MB) version. They are both in a Bink format.

If you like what you see, head here to get a free Demo of Red Faction in the mail.

(Note: Bink format means that they are in a EXE format. This is not a virus. It allows you to play the video without requiring downloading or upgrading a movie player.)

Game Boy Games On Your PS2

I can think of a lot better things, but as popular as the Game Boy is, I”m assuming someone will want this. Daily Radar is reporting that Datel has a Game Boy Color Eumlator for your PS2. There are 8 games included that can be downloaded onto a reusable art for playing them on your GBC. I’m kinda curious to see how you get the Game Boy games to play on your PS2.

It’s currently only planned for a UK release.

Be Ben-Hur

GameSpot has some info on the new Kodiak Interactive game revealed at the 2001 Game Developers Conference. Circus Maximus is planned for the Xbox and PS2. The game is a chariot racing game set in anciet Rome and has been referred to as “Ben-Hur with combative elements.”

The competitors in these tournaments are from such varied locations as North Africa, Greece, and##of course##Rome. As such, each of the gladiators has his or her own specific strengths and weaknesses. For example, the Huns are more aggressive, while the Roman legionnaires are more methodical. Each team is made up of a driver and a warrior, and players will be to select which character they’d like to control. Simerman promised that, in the final game, each of the characters will be made up of 3,000 triangles. The version shown is early in development and is running at only 50 percent of the power of the final Xbox hardware.

Kodiak Interactive is planning to implement realistic physics and advanced AI attributes in the game. In fact, even the horses themselves will display realistic behavioral characteristics. For example, horses might slow down as they approach a battle. In the physics department, Simerman promised that the horses and chariots will have realistic weight. Going over a jump or a random log, the horses will leap in rhythm and the chariots will crash back on the course.

Gladiators in your living room. Gotta love that…

Halo footage

Microsoft has posted streaming versions of the Halo demo that was given to the press at the recent Gamestock event. This footage is all in-game.

These are direct links to the Hi-Res and the Low-Res. Media Player is required.

For more Halo info, head over to the official Xbox.com site or over to Bungie’s site. Bungie has downloadable versions of the footage on their site, but since the footage has been released, their site has been flooded.

New Term : Nerd Bird

Here’s a new term for you: Nerd Bird. According to an article on Wired News, it is the “unofficial term” for flights to and from high technology locations such as Silicon Valley.

The article refers to the Silicon Valley Slang Page which defines a Nerd Bird as “Any weekday direct airline flight between Austin, Texas and San Jose, California. There are many engineers and technical types regularly on this flight since there are so many hi-tech developments in both cities. It is also known that a good amount of job seeking and rumor milling occurs on this flight.”

TWINE isn’t enough

Another PS2 flagship title bites the dust. The All Powerful EA has reportedly pulled the plug on the PS2 FPS The World Is Not Enough, at least according to Video Business Online.

This game was heavy on the eye candy and was a cover story on NEXT-Gen pushing the power of the PS2. It was on my “watch” list since it was a indirect sequel to Goldeneye, but apparently EA has decided that they aren’t quite as good as they think they are and have shot this one. Oh well. Guess I’ll wait for my “unconfirmed Bond shooter” being developed for the Gamecube by Eurocom…

Capcom classics on GBA

Capcom has announced plans to release Final Fight and Street Fighter II on the Game Boy Advance in Japan. Hopefully a US release is planned as well.

Super Street Fighter II will include new pics ofthe fighters and link cable support, as well as a possible mission mode similar to Street Fighter Alpha 3.

Final Fight will be an arcade perfect conversion. Hit the streets with Guy, Cody, and Hagger.

Breath of Fire, one of Capcom’s RPGs, is also scheduled for a port to the handheld system and will include link support and some updated and added content.

Unreal Engine update

Epic Games is going crazy with the Unreal2 Engine. Facial expressions are their current big thing. Apparently the modeling uses sliders and numerical values to move the bones inside the model. For example, to close the left eye all that you would need to do is is move the slider labeled “Eye Open Left” to open or close the eye. Pretty nifty stuff. Check out the results.

Unreal Engine - Faces

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Gaming is getting really good. With these sorts of impovements, gaming is going to not only start looking better, but because of it, it will also be more immersive.

Amped to be filled with tunes

Looks like the SSX wanna be from Microsoft will be the first to use one of the most interesting new ideas on the XBox. Not only will Amped include 150 songs from indie labes, it will also allow gamers to record music to the hard drive to customize and create their own soundtrack. The title will feature 120 different runs (believed to be on one giant mountain) as well as the ability to taunt and throw snowballs at opponents during the freestyle multiplayer competitions.

Source : VideoGameSpot

XBox is in da Hizouse!!!

If you have any doubt in your mind that the XBox isn’t going to offer a little competition, then you might want to check the rest of this post out…

These are fresh off of the new improved XBox site. These are all in-game shots. If you even think gaming isn’t going to rock this fall, then get outta my way…

XBox - Amped

This is supposed to compete with 1080 and SSX. If they get the gameplay down, they should have quite a fight on their hands.

XBox - NFL Fever

At first glance this one looked a little rough, but the details in the faces and the fields kinda let you know the power the XBox has.

XBox - Nightcaster

This is supposed to be a Gauntlet style fighter with some RPG elements thrown in.

XBox - Halo

This is THE game that will be going home with me if I get only one (which I won’t). I’ve been waiting for this one for a long time. I’ve had the PC version ordered since 5.19.2000.

These shots are all from the new improved XBox.com in the Games section. If you check the community page, you will see X-Boxed.com listed. I’ve been helping Ged and company out for almost a month now. I’m doing general news posts now, but once the XBox train starts, I might be doing reviews, previews, and articles. Hit me up at my X-Boxed addy if you have any info.

What are they doing?

Sony, Toshiba, and IBM are spending $400 million dollars over the next 5 years on developing a microchip with the power of a super computer. GameSpot theorizes that one application of the chip could be to power the PS2. If you don’t think IBM would work on a gaming console, don’t forget that they designed the Gekko processor for the Gamecube.

Sega’s Wild Riders

Take the chaos of Crazy Taxi and add the cops and look of Jet Grind Radio and you come up with Wild Riders. Dreamcast.IGN has some first screens and some preview info on this interesting looking title. I just read about in the newest issue of NEXT-Gen last night and it seems to be a game to watch for. While initially planned as an arcade game, it will prolly be ported before to long.

The basis of the game is you are running from the cops on a motorcycle with the object being distancing yourself from your pursuers before they catch you. The look of the game is similar to JGR, but a little more gritty to reflect a comic book look. The steering is via handlebars, but pulling and pushing the bars will allow other maneuvers needed to avoid obsticles. I’ll be keeping an eye on this one also…