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draqq_zyxx The meaning of life is to be aware.
The breath of life is to remember.
-Self

Title: 10-Year Old Gamer Shot, Needs Our Help
Posted: February 08, 2008 (07:44 PM)

(Duke Ferris, Full Story on GameRevolution) 

"Chris Rodriguez, or Taj as he is known to his friends, was taking his piano lesson at the Harmony Road Music School. Meanwhile, across the street, some dirtbag was robbing the gas station. He fired off a few rounds, and one bullet went through the school wall and into Taj's spine.

I'm sorry, it simply does not get more messed up than that. Just sitting there taking a piano lesson, when "thud!" - bullet in the spine and almost certainly paralyzed for life."

Continued at GameRevolution's manifesto. There, you will receive instructions on how to help Taj by donating money or just contributing any old games that you might have. He has a PS3 (PS2 games will work as well), a DS, and a PSP. Any aid would be greatly appreciated.

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Title: Non-exclusive Freelance Opportunity @ GameRevolution.com
Posted: January 04, 2008 (01:51 AM)
[honestgamer approved.]

First, I need to say that this opportunity is for everyone - not just those in the Bay Area - and when I mean "everyone", I mean anyone who lives in the United States or not a place that doesn't cost a whole lot to ship to from Berkeley.

I finally convinced Duke Ferris, the head honcho of the site, to let me give some exceptional writers here a chance to freelance on our site: http://www.gamerevolution.com.

The freelance position at Game Revolution is essentially the same as it is on most sites. A review for a free game. If the GR staff believe your work to be solid, then once you have submitted consistent work on our site, the opportunity of a paid position can be requested - likely, a fixed amount for every review. (Note: Duke pays above industry standard.)

To be open-book about the position, the games that this position offers will likely be second-tier titles, at least at the beginning. GR prefers Berkeley locals that can come into our offices personally. However, if you're able to secure your own games, games which we have yet to assign to someone on our staff, then it's more than possible for you to review that game for GR as well. At the time of this writing, the following games are available for review:

The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night (PS2)
Sonic Rivals 2 (PSP)
Crash of the Titans (Xbox 360)
The History Channel: Battle for the Pacific (Xbox 360, PC)
Ultimate Mortal Kombat (Nintendo DS)

If you are interested in this freelance opportunity, please send me an HG mail with your top three (or fewer) picks from the list above. Also send - and this is important - a link to (at most, two) reviews you think show your writing abilities, and most importantly, fit the style of Game Revolution.

In case you are not familiar with our style, reviews on Game Revolution follow this mantra: “Be funny. Be right.” If GameSpot is CNN and IGN is Fox News, then Game Revolution is like The Daily Show. We don’t expect to be as large a site as GameSpot or IGN, but we tell it like it is with humor. Our reviews also tend to hit between the 800- and 1200-word mark, but as always, we look for quality over quantity. I suggest viewing reviews written by Duke_Ferris, JP_Hurh, Joe_Dodson, Chris_Hudak, or myself (Nick_Tan) for an idea of what we expect. In particular:

http://www.gamerevolution.com/review/pc/survivor
http://www.gamerevolution.com/review/xbox360/assassins_creed
http://www.gamerevolution.com/review/ps3/the_eye_of_judgement
http://www.gamerevolution.com/review/wii/zack_and_wiki_quest_for_barbaros_treasure

I hope to send each game on the list to someone, but space is limited. Further directions will be given to accepted entrants. Knowing where to mail these games is a good thing.
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Title: Rock Band Power
Posted: December 04, 2007 (09:47 PM)
It's been busy at the GameRevolution offices, but I somehow manage to find the time to rock out. It's been a challenge getting used to all three peripherals, and I'm almost completely satisfied with what I have accomplished so far. It's kept me musically well-rounded, for sure - and I like that.

On December 3rd, 12:01am:

- Guitar: #96 on Career Leaderboards (Personal Gamertag: Draqq)[Completed Expert Solo Tour]

- Drums: #21 on Career Leaderboards (GR Work Gamertag: Zombiebot) [Completed Hard Solo Tour]

- Vocals: #11 on Career Leaderboards (Personal Gamertag: Draqq) [Completed Expert Solo Tour]
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Title: Jeff Gerstmann, As A Fellow Critic
Posted: December 01, 2007 (02:11 AM)

I respect Jeff Gerstmann. Always have and always will. Sure, I may disagree with the styling of his (GameSpot's) reviews or his arguments, though I am one of the few that agrees with the 8.8 on Twilight Princess. But I never questioned his ability and integrity as a game critic. Jeff Gerstmann was true to himself, and that's all you can ask for.

His rather swift, unclean departure has been unnerving and only more so because I am a professional game critic myself. I would sit in my room, with its minimalist surroundings, and ponder about where I could be in the next ten years. Will I stay at GameRevolution or will I "move on" to something bigger and brighter? How big and bright could that be? I seriously considered GameSpot, because hey, I'm an oldie here. That Level 39 is my age, not my rank.

But now I find myself caught between the dim and thin line between business and objectivity, the two things that make a game site work. We all know that editorial reviews and pressure from advertisements should never mix. We know that this is ideal, but game criticism runs on ideals. I mean, have you seen our paychecks? It sure ain't running on that.

What's missing from the discussion is pressure from publishers and developers. Since I have been at GameRevolution, there always seems to be one particular PR person who is irritated with us, whether it's how Metacritic or GameRankings converts our letter grades to numerical ones, why there is no coverage for such and such, and why I gave Rock Band a B+.

And this trend has been escalating. According to Duke Ferris, my boss, publishers are inching ever closer to breaking that line between professionalism and just being plain obnoxious. Since until a month ago, it was a rare that any PR person would call us up over a grade, but something about these last six months (maybe holiday season or global warming or the rise in pirates) has made some publishers all uppity in their pants-ity. If you have all this time to call us for a grade that you think is unfair, why not ask the developers to just make a better game. Sure, free swag, free drinks, free dinners, and free trips are nice and all, but don't think for one second that I'm not going to bash your game if it deserves it. Don't give something we didn't ask for and expect critics to like you. We don't bark and we don't roll over.

This just makes it all the more surprising that this spiel with Eidos was the last nail in the coffin. I mean, Eidos? Really? I could understand if it was a major player like THQ, Nintendo, Capcom, or someone worth mentioning - but why a company whose most recent successful title was an anniversary of a long-since defunct boobed archaeologist? How much could Eidos really have spent on a Kane & Lynch advertisement compared to one for Final Fantasy XII or Rock Band or Call of Duty 4 or Bowflex?

Look, Kane & Lynch has about an average of 67 or so on GameRankings. It ain't good. And you, Eidos, know it ain't good. So please keep your public relations in line with your private opinions of the game. I know it's your job to be fake every once in a while, but I'm sure creating negative publicity isn't in your job description, either.

However, as much as I understand why Jeff got fired, it should never have happened. Go ahead and fire him if he's lazy, doesn't hand in reviews on time, or farts in closed spaces, but don't fire him for doing his job - the job he's been doing for about a third of his life.

Are critics supposed to be puppets from publishers now? Are we supposed to be tools for advertisers? Are we supposed to not have feelings like being mean or, I don't know, being critical? Are we not allowed to express feelings in a review? Should we just take the fact sheet and reprint it, and call it a review? Are we supposed to plaster on a smile and sugar-powder everything with five gold-star stickers and write a review in crayon?

No one likes a suck-up. Or a game site called SuckSpot. That's a name for a site that blows.

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Title: $870... Xbox 360!
Posted: November 19, 2007 (03:09 AM)
Wallet-sucking Shopping List:

Xbox 360 Premium
- Marvel Utlimate Alliance + Forza Motorsport 2 (included)
- 1 Wireless Controller
- Headset

1 Extra Wireless Controller
Plug & Play Charge Kit
512 MB Memory Card (for transfer between work and home)
Wireless Adapter
Xbox Live Gold (1-Year Subscription - Username: Draqq)

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - Game of the Year Edition
Fight Night Round 3
Bioshock
Dead Rising
Super Mario Galaxy (just because...)

Wallet-sucking On The Horizon:

Rock Band (Already reserved for Tuesday release)
Assassin's Creed (though my boss pretty much completed most of it in front of me)
WWE Smackdown vs RAW 2008 (maybe... I get addicted to Create-A-Wrestler)
Beautiful Katamari (love Katamari but there's not much new about it)
Pac-Man Championship Edition and Geometry Wars

Oh, and every FPS that's good right now. (that is, if I actually want to get into the FPS genre... what's Halo, again? *gasp*)
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Title: Capcom, Don't Screw Up SFIV
Posted: October 18, 2007 (07:14 PM)
I'm not a hardcore Street Fighter fan, but I have wants, needs, hopes, and wordly dreams that can be spread via Royal Rainbow. The Cosmos is pleased, I know. I'm sure you have been teased by the Street Fighter IV trailer - it was like watching a strip-tease to me. So let me tickle the fancy, so to speak:

1. 3D Graphics. And not in the Street Fighter Ex Alpha Beta Omega III Ultimate Polygon Fighter kind of way. I mean, like graphics similar to Virtua Fighter 5 or Tekken 5 or something even better than that. This doesn't mean that I want a 3D combat system, though I wouldn't mind sidestepping every now and then, but it should at least look as good as the recent 3D King of Fighters titles. In fact, if it looks anything like the trailer, I won't be disappointed. I just don't want to see any old sprites anymore. They all deserve special treatment.

2. Bring back some Street Fighter II characters. I don't care about continuity issues, even more so because it's Street Fighter. Trying to piece together Capcom's official plot of the entire SF world with what happens in the game requires a shelf of FAQs. I know there's probably a reason why Ryu, Ken, Akuma, and Chun-Li are the only SFII characters in SFIII, but can we have Guile, E. Honda, Blanka, Zangief, Bison, Sagat, Adon, Fei Long, Guy, Gen, and Vega (okay, maybe not Gen or Vega) back - you can toss in a few others as well. I don't mind SFIII characters that have their own style of fighting, such as Alex, Elena, Ibuki. Makoto, Urien, Q, Yang, and Yun. But we don't need another Guile (Remy), another Blanka and Dhalsim (Necro), another Dan (Sean, though I like his tackle), or another Balrog (though Dudley has far cooler moves). You can even say that Elena is like Cammy or that Alex is a mix between Sodom and Zangief.

Whatever happens, Capcom, please don't rip-off previous characters with new ones that are essentially the same with a few more "advanced" moves. Video game worlds are one where old dogs can definitely learn new tricks.

3. Keep the SFIII system. Parries, good. EX moves, cool. Watching someone parry every kick from Chun-Li super move, awesome. If anything, put a few tweaks and additions in there, but by and large, why change something that has arguably one of the best 2D fighting systems ever.

4. Make one sensible storyline. I know I'm retracting point #2 a bit, but if there's going to be a story (and there should be), then please stick to one storyline. I don't need Street Fighter Alpha 2 to replace Street Fighter Alpha, nor do I need Street Fighter III: Second Impact to replace Street Fighter III: A New Generation. Capcom, if you're going to make "Street Fighter IV: Second Serving of Whoop-Ass", please have it not replace anything.

(Possibly, more to come. I'm sure I'll get some more from you peoples.)
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Title: Game Revolution Freelance Opportunity
Posted: October 10, 2007 (07:23 PM)
[Approved by Venter]

First, I need to say that this opportunity is for locals in the Bay Area. Duke Ferris, the head honcho of the site, does not wish to mail games. If it were me, I would give some exceptional writers here a chance to have this opportunity as well. But if the boss says no, well that's that.

The freelance position at Game Revolution is essentially the same as it is on most sites. A review for a free game. The only exception is that you have to be able to come to the GR site at Berkeley, California in person to get the games. Duke wants to see all the freelancers upfront and personal. If the work is solid, then the opportunity of a paid position can be requested: either 10 cents per word or a fixed amount for every review.

I'm not sure how many people here are in the Bay area, but I just want to give some HG writers a chance to get into the biz.
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Title: First Guy In The World To Beat Most Difficult Song in Guitar Hero III
Posted: October 05, 2007 (05:34 PM)

Duke Ferris jammed out a manifesto on GameRevolution about it, so I'll just give some side commentary on the feat.

Activision held a press event for Guitar Hero III at the Clift Hotel in San Francisco, and being only three and a half weeks fresh in my editor shoes, I was still quite a n00b, though I tried not to let that get to me as much as it did at the EA Gamers Day event. In fact, I had a short chat with Brad Shoemaker from GameSpot, and so I felt redeemed from the awkward moment we had during the EA event.

The showcase was separated into two rooms: one for the Xbox 360 version and one for the Wii and PS3. I walked passed the open bar (free drinks!), went to the Xbox 360 room and every station was rightfully taken, so I walked past the bar again, and headed for the other room.

There, no one was playing at the very first station, so I decided to take up the spot. I immediately went into "Free Play" mode and tried my hand at the Expert songs on the last few tiers, just to see how much more difficult it was. I was able to four-star "3's and 7's" by Queens of the Stone Age and "The Number of the Beast" by Iron Maiden on my first try. Some people were watching me as I played it, commented on how crazy I was, and then challenged me to do "Raining Blood" by Slayer.

I failed, mostly because I activated star power in the wrong place. The small crowd left and I began to chill out on "One" by Metallica. Passed that quite calmly.

One thing you should note about me is that when I play Guitar Hero, I'm rather stoic - especially if I'm concentrating and totally in the zone. I don't even see what I'm doing as amazing, since I do it all the time, and I know I can improve. So whenever someone gives me praise, I'm respectful and humble about it. I play Guitar Hero to challenge myself, and though it's cool to impress people with it, I'm pretty zen about it. Besides, GameSpot's Slunks playing Jordan on Expert (pretty much) without looking at the freakin' screen is the most godly thing I've seen yet. One thing that sets me apart from most is that I can usually get through any song in one or two tries - which is good at events like these that last only for about three hours.

So let me not be modest on my achievement any more than it needs to be.

And before I go further, a note to whoever plans these Guitar Hero III events for Activision:

Please do not serve buttered popcorn. They are anti-fret.

After clearing most of the difficult Expert songs, including "Raining Blood", Mike C - the lead designer for the Wii - heard that I was pretty good and had me play an Wii-Fi face-off with another person. I said okay and just let things come, but I felt bad, because the other dude play was playing on Medium. Maybe Mike C saw that I wasn't comfortable with it. Whatever the case, I was challenged by him to get through the most difficult song in the game: "Through The Fire And Flames" by Dragonforce.

I tried it and failed twice. The beginning solo is ridiculous, consisting of just waves of two-note hammer-ons. Mike C tried to relieve me of some embarrassment, commenting that the beta testers had to use an elastic band around for the green button just to get through that section.

But I was determined. And so on the third try, I was able to get through the opener and tear my way through the song. Pull-offs and hammer-ons are easier in Guitar Hero III, which helped me get through the solos (wait... what am I talking about?... the entire song is a solo), but that only made RedOctane feel fine making the notes as insane as possible. As the crowd gathered around me, I got somewhat nervous, though truthfully, I was mostly angry with myself. Star power kept on activating when I didn't want it to, because I held the guitar a bit higher than I usually did. And thus, my downfall... only 90% complete.

Needless to say, I was steaming behind all the wows. Sure, completing 90% on Dragonforce is a feat in itself, but I knew I could, you know, beat the darn thing. I would not my ninja teachers down.

I went into the shadows and practiced on the PS3. And every time, I would get owned and re-owned by the opening section. The buttons aren't as snappy as the ones on the Wii, but I knew it wasn't a complaint that held much water. So I went back to the Wii version and started anew.

On my first try (fourth attempt), I got through the opener and felt like this was the one. The crowd started to gather around me again, and I got into the zone. I didn't care what barrage of shuriken-like notes came at me. I would complete it, and I did. At the end, I had the kind of moment which all Guitar Heroes dream about: praise on a job well done on a job you know is well done.

Here's proof.

So now, I wait for the next person to beat "Through The Fire And Flames" with four, no five, stars. If that person is not already a ScoreHero. As delivered by Neil Wood, Public Relations officer for Activison, I was honored to be (reportedly) challenged by one of the ScoreHeroes at the event. I declined the offer at the time, since I'm not a competitive person by nature. But until Slunks beats it backwards (no pressure, dude), I will be glad to accept it, if any such offer comes my way again.

I mean, just a little Guitar Hero never hurt anyone, right?

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Title: Was it bear or twinkie?
Posted: September 27, 2007 (07:38 PM)

Just in case you haven't heard yet, Jack Thompson submitted gay porn into public court records.

I wish I could say something, but I feel like something is caught in my mouth...

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Title: Judging The Online Experience Before The Release Date?
Posted: September 24, 2007 (01:07 PM)

Yep, one of the harsh realities of reviewing is that games with expansive online multiplayer experiences can't be comfortably reviewed in full before their release date. There just isn't enough of an online community yet to judge them, so most reviews that come out before that time will have to exclude it altogether or give it the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes, there are enough reviewers in the same boat or open multiplayer access, so that it's possible to play through each multiplayer mode until you're confident in your judgment, but many times, this just doesn't happen.

Just trying to get an online match for some games that are already out is hard... Hour of Victory...

Then there's the issue of putting out reviews early and getting content - especially hyped content - up as fast as possible. Publishers and developers already put embargoes on when coverage of their game can be put out, so journalists are already pressured to get work up faster than everyone else.

Speed = More Readership = Money = You Keep Your Job

In the best case scenario, a review copy would give a critic the full opportunity to go through the single-player experience, thereby saving time for when the game does come out and the critic then can pay full attention to the online part. It's really up to the site or publication to review their policy on this touchy subject as well as with respect to the game at hand. As a reader, I have learned to keep in mind that not all reviews are created under equal circumstances, and that any review caught in this sticky situation needs to have recognition of the online context for it to be useful. Certainly as a reviewer myself (and gamer, I might add), I wish this didn't have to happen, but it's a part of the business politic that just has to be accepted and dealt with carefully.

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Title: Bad games beware.
Posted: September 11, 2007 (10:26 PM)
I am ninja.

Shurikens rock.
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Title: EA Studio Showcase 07
Posted: September 07, 2007 (08:44 PM)

Now that I've broken into the journalism crowd, I saw myself calmly along the landscaped pathways at EA Studio Showcase 2007. I must say this was my first convention/get-together/event in many ways (noob!), as I don't think my experience at Digital Life in New York two years ago really counts. I wasn't really there to play games but to compete in a DDR competition. I was owned, by the way.

In any case, getting into a media-only event with Chris Hudak, Joe Accorsi, and Greg Damiano was indeed several notches higher than the everyday casual event. After signing in, wrapping the media badge around my neck, pinning my nametag on my jacket, and wolfing down a lunch and several EA-labelled spring water bottles (my straight-out-of-college instinct went all "Free Food!"), I was ready to take in all the sights. There were plenty of banners along the walls: Boogie, Madden NFL 08, Boogie, and whatever EA can put on its resume. Various memorabilia littered the tech-school-esque atmosphere - a motorcycle, some artwork, modern architecture all around us.

And I must say, there was also a Starbucks in the cafeteria. Yeah, a Starbucks.

The world is ending.

First up on the schedule was the press conference in the auditorium. Our group was kind of late getting in, but Joe and I were able to snatch a seat in the back row of the dimmed room. I didn't know what to expect seeing the conference live and all with other industry luminaries. In all honesty, the conference started a bit slow and I crossed my arms every now and then, nudging my head to the side.

Then came Peter Moore, second day on the job as president of EA Sports. And yes, he held a controller for the PS3, his "new favorite console", and the Wii, his "other new favorite console". And yes, he called the PS3 controller cute, smiling off what he said while walking back to the decked table on-stage. It seemed that Moore was truly in his element discussing sports titles and chatting with Alex Smith of the San Francisco 49ers on the ins and outs of all things foosball. Really, I was just glad that he wasn't a humdrum speaker or some representative sent from Britian just for the accent (sorry, but it's ture) - and that he hadn't tattooed himself with release dates or anything manly-fake.

Yet.

Despite an audio mix-up during Gameshow, it was one of the only games to catch my eye. As you can tell, I'm a hard guy to thrill - just who I am - and most of the what they showed was already at E3 and Leipzig. But back to the topic, whenever I'm on JetBlue, I play the trivia game with the rest of the passengers. It's an engrossing yet passive way to mingle with your fellow friendly fliers, and what sets Gameshow apart was that it had a live DJ. That means real-time trivia and (hopefully) updated questions - and the potential for a whole heck of a lot of online communal play.

A pretty entertaining display of skate by its chill developers, a comical skit with The Engineer in the trailer for Half-Life 2: The Orange Box, and the open-ended world of Burnout Paradise lit up the rest of the conference. The whole statement from EA this year seemed to setting games in a more life-like environment instead of set paths and goals. But perhaps the strongest statement came at the end of the conference, as the door swung open.

An assault helicopter was landing in the freshly mowed lawn at E3. Not many stayed at the end.

EA gots the cash.

After Chris and Joe took some pictures posing in the helicopter (I don't take pictures - I'm a ninja), I walked over to a few booths, catching a glimpse at The Sims (MySims, Castaway, Societies), the Simpsons spoof of a game, Burnout Paradise, and a whole gym full of hands-on demonstrations for Army of Two, Battlefield: Bad Company, Hellgate: London, EA Family Play, skate, and nearly everything else in the EA lineup. But best of all was walking back to the auditorium for some Rock Band.

There really is nothing like getting up on stage with lights and smoke to make people do absolutely whatever. Being well-versed at Guitar Hero, I tried my hand at the guitar sections on Hard and then Expert. It also helped that nearly every booth had a bar with alcohol, so I was already knocked up with some liquid courage. The buttons on the Rock Band guitar are depressed into the fretboard and the timing took a bit of practice to get right, but there was nothing that I couldn't figure out within a couple of run-throughs. Unfortunately, I wasn't all in charge - it is a band - and the random draw I got was horrible. The singer and drummer kept failing, and I just wanted to smack the plastic off on their skulls.

But I had my fix. I'm totally getting Rock Band.

A part of it was that Alex Navarro was watching me in spurts. I knew that if I hung around Rock Band long enough, he would eventually show up. There's a signal the game emits that only true drummers can hear.

But let's just say, it was weird. Especially since I saw Jeff, Alex, Joe Dodson, and Brad Shoemaker (and a few more GS staff people that I have forgotten in a haze) all over the place. I didn't want to act like one of those fanboys that come up to them and go all berserk when they have an assignment to complete. So I had to calm my inner urges and concentrate on being professional.

In any case, I didn't say hi to them except for Brad Shoemaker as he was playing guitar on-stage. I sort of said "Are you Brad Shoemaker?", since I couldn't really make out who "that guy" was, and without really knowing what to say, he just said "Yeah." This little, awkward escapade just made me keep my mouth shut for the rest of the day. But just for the record, Brad failed the guitar section once but then picked it up quickly on the next song. Nice job, dude.

Alex also failed at Rock Band on the drums. Not sure whether it was on Expert or Hard (I think Hard), and it was sad seeing him stare around for a while in low spirits, especially since he predicted that he would fail. But being who he is, he jammed it out on the next song - and it was awesome. Watching the GameSpot staff just be like all of us was a humbling experience - and I already know that, hey, they're human after all. But somehow, seeing people you respect throws what I know out the window for a minute. And it took awhile before I realized that which I already knew about them - just gamers that write and want to live the gamer life.

So I'll probably approach them more formally sooner or later. I mean, I'll be seeing them eventually at another conference. Once I'm comfortable in the media crowd, I'll feel ready to shake hands and exchange a few words.

You know, like a normal person named Nick.

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Title: SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters DS
Posted: August 31, 2007 (02:33 PM)

Through the editing process it has been wrung - my first staff review for GameRevolution!

Fold.

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Title: What I Can't Consume
Posted: August 25, 2007 (01:31 AM)

Is it wrong that I am more interested in what Rockstar cut from the original Manhunt 2 to have the ESRB finally slap an M rating on it instead of the fact that we "adults" can actually buy it in retail stores now?

To be released on October 31st in North America, Manhunt 2 will either be a trick or treat for me, as I ponder what the actual difference between "Mature" and "Adults Only" is. This once "unremittingly bleak" title that Sam Houser, founder and executive producer of Rockstar Games, now believes "horror fans will love" has a laundry list of descriptors under its fresh-ink 'M' rating:

Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, and Use of Drugs.

How much "callousness in tone" has really been removed after Rockstar Games "explored its options"? And by "explored its options," I mean, clicked and dragged the original content into the recycle bin.

Imagine what guts and innards we can find in there.

But I'm not the only one who is interested to see what has been censored for me, so that I don't become a mindless trigger-happy zombie with an anti-Jack Thompson desire to reinact Saw I, II, or III. Because we must all think of the toy-loving children, and that apparently includes me. Game developers are especially interested in what and what doesn't entail the kiss of death from the ESRB, BBFC, and whatever acronymed censoring agency you can think of. Since video games are now effectively bannable, which sends the message that they're more dangerous than alcohol and cigarettes, both game designers and shareholders must now tiptoe on the politically acceptable line.

How free is freedom of speech this time?

For now, we can only speculate about what gameplay experiences "Mature" conscious judgment is unable to defend against. And to put this question to rest, I wait and pray with foam and blood dripping from the edges of my mouth for Manhunt 2: Director's Cut.

Yum, man flesh.

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Title: Jacked Down
Posted: August 20, 2007 (06:29 PM)
According to Joystiq, Jack Thompson filed the following complaint against Bioshock ads: "Take-Two... is aggressively marketing its newest Mature-rated video game to kids under 17 years of age... On this Friday's night's 8 pm Eastern time airing of WWE's wrestling program "Smackdown," there were repeated ads for Take-Two/Rockstar Game's Mature-rated, incredibly violent BioShock".

Alexander Silwinski then writes: "Hey, we had no idea Rockstar had anything to do with BioShock ... oh wait, that's right, they didn't."

Good one, Jack. He needs a pail. To the head.
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