Shatner Vs. Gorn

You know if I’m a few steps behind I’m on time here on the Chomp.

This Easter morn I was scouring the web and found a video featuring William Shatner advertising the upcoming  Star Trek game.

For those who don’t know, this video is a parody of one of the classic fight scenes in Star Trek history, in which Captain Kirk (portrayed by Shatner of course) fights a Gorn warrior in a hilariously woeful  life or death struggle. Footage of that horribly awesome fight is seen below:

Shatner’s sense of humor is admirable here. This fight is decades old and yet he revisited it in perhaps the best and funniest way possible. Until next time.

Peace & Pixels

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Thanks for the memories David Hayter

If you’re a Metal Gear fan, chances are the past few days have had you talking. If it wasn’t the cryptic trailer for the recently announced Metal Gear Solid V, or the confusion over whether or not MGSV and the upcoming Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes are the same  game (or are they?), it was the news concerning voice actor and series mainstay David Hayter.

For the uninformed, Hayter has been the voice of Metal Gear protagonist Solid Snake since the title Metal Gear Solid, which was released in 1998. There had been talk that Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima had asked Hayter not to reprise his role as Snake, but nothing had really been confirmed. However, that talk has indeed been proven true. Hayter will no longer be the voice of Solid Snake.

In an interview with GameTrailers, Kojima explains his reasoning for not rehiring Hayter, stating that he and his team are trying “to recreate the Metal Gear series”, and that this recreation is to be “reflected in the voice actor as well”. Basically, there was a need to build a new foundation.

It’s an end of an era for sure. Hayter provided a gruff toughness to Snake, likely inspired by Kurt Russell’s portrayal of Snake Plissken in the classic film Escape From New York (which served as an inspiration to the Metal Gear series). Snake just sounded hard (not that type of hard for you guttered minded folks). Hayter made us believe that Snake was a battle-tested warrior, one capable of handling any mission regardless of the danger involved. Who can forget the intense way Snake said “Colonel” whenever addressing his superior Roy Campbell, or the terse way he spat “Metal Gear” whenever he mentioned the device by name? What about the time he told Meryl Silverburgh she had rookie eyes in the first MGS?

And things weren’t always so serious. There was Snake’s classic flirtation with colleague Mei Ling in the first MGS, or the exaggerated death yell Snake would bellow every time he was killed. All together, it were moments like those that made Hayter’s performance as Snake special and endearing.

Things change in life, though. That’s the one constant that always remains the same. I will miss Hayter’s performance, but I will also welcome the new voice actor and the new era of Metal Gear.  However, I will always cherish the old days and be appreciative of what (and who came before). Thanks for the memories Mr. Hayter.

Peace & Pixels

Starcraft Turns 15!

Three deep, fifteen strong.

Happy Birthday Starcraft!

Fifteen years ago to the day, the seminal military science fiction real-time strategy game Starcraft was first released for the personal computer. Developed by Blizzard Entertainment and published by Activision, Starcraft features three races– the human Terrans, the insectoid Zerg, and the humanoid Protoss– as they battle for for supremacy in the fictional Koprulu Sector of the Milky Way galaxy several centuries into the future. Starcraft is a highly rated game, posting high scores on both Metacritic and Game Rankings, as well as being heralded as one of the best games of all time by several publications like Empire and Gamespot.

Starcraft is renown for its incredibly balanced combat between its three races, its allowance for strategic depth, and it’s excellent online mulitplayer mode. The multiplayer especially has given the game incredible staying power. As of this day, Starcraft is still played online through Blizzard’s Battle.net service.

Starcraft was a hit upon its release, becoming the best selling PC game of 1998 with sales of 1. 5 million copies worldwide. Starcraft would eventually sell over 9 million copies worldwide, with 4.5 million of those sales coming in South Korea alone.

Due to its success, Starcraft would eventually receive some expansions, the first being Insurrection, which debuted in July of 1998. Insurrection was developed by Aztec New Media with approval by Blizzard. A second expansion, the Stardock developed and WizardWorks’ published Retribution, was also released in 1998 with Blizzard’s approval.  Later on 1998, Blizzard released its own expansion, titled Starcraft:Brood War.

In 2001, Starcraft was ported onto the Nintendo 64 console as Starcraft 64. This version of Starcraft features all of the missions from both PC versions of Starcraft and Brood War, as well as a few exclusive missions and a secret mission called “Resurrection IV”. Furthermore, Starcraft 64 features a two-player cooperative mode which allowed two players to play as the same race.

The legacy of Starcraft has branched out into the world of professional competitive gaming.  In South Korea,  professional Brood War tournaments were held for a number of years until finally ending last year in favor of Starcraft II. Over the course of the Brood War tournaments’ run, over $4 million of prize money had been awarded.

Starcraft‘s legacy now continues with its sequel Starcraft II, which has been divided into three parts. The first two parts, Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty and Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm, have been released, the latter last week. The third part, Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void, has yet to be released.

It’s been a great 15 years of Starcraft. Here’s looking forward to many more. Until next time.

Peace & Pixels

Edit: I hadn’t heard about this promotion from Activision in celebration of today, but its actually cool.

DuckTales Remastered

Woo-ooo!!

I’m admittedly late about things here on the Chomp, but this latest bit of tardiness is borderline criminal.

I just found out moments ago that Capcom is remastering its classic video game platformer DuckTales.

Why is this such a bad thing? First of all, I got this info nearly two days late; I’ve got to do better with this type of news. Secondly, I’m a big fan of DuckTales, so that makes my lateness on this topic even more damaging.

Whining aside, for those unfamiliar with DuckTales, it is a Disney cartoon that first aired on television in 1987. It stars Scrooge McDuck, the ridiculously wealthy (and hilariously thrifty) tycoon as he embarks on various wacky adventures. In 1990, the show got its own self-titled game for release on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

This summer, DuckTales Remastered will be released on Xbox Live, the Nintendo eShop, and the Playstation Network. Developed by WayForward, the game will feature many the original levels from the first game, this time redone with 3D backgrounds as well as hand drawn characters. Think that’s great? In a Q&A session on one of its online message boards, Capcom announced that it got all of the original voice cast from the cartoon to work on the game! What makes this even sweeter is that Alan Young (who voiced Scrooge McDuck) got in the studio even though he’s 94! Marvelous.

DuckTales is a favorite among many classic gamers (who are undoubtedly stoked like me) so the game will certainly have an audience when it is released this summer. I actually don’t own the original game, and only played it briefly once in a store (shame on me, but eBay awaits). Now, I have a chance to purchase the very promising looking remaster. I just have to get a current gen system first…

Until next time.

Peace & Pixels

It’s March Madness!

It’s the first day of March Madness, the basketball tournament extravaganza that sends every participating college hoops town into a frenzy. This year, 68 teams will compete in the NCAA Men’s Division I College Basketball Tournament (affectionately known as “The Big Dance”) for a chance to win the national title. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the tournament, and in celebration of that and the Madness in general, today’s post will focus on an old college basketball title from yesteryear that some of you may not remember: College Slam.

Developed by Iguana UK and published by Acclaim, College Slam was originally released on the Super NES and Sega Genesis in 1996, with later releases on the Game Boy, PC (DOS), Playstation, and Sega Saturn. College Slam features most of the major NCAA’s Men’s Division I teams (though some teams major schools, namely University of Tennessee, University of Notre Dame were missing) but none of those team’s actual players. Instead, the game features editable five man rosters of generic players (each with their own individual rating in skills like speed or 3 point shooting) with positional titles (like point guard and small forward) instead of actual names.

College Slam’s gameplay is similar to NBA Jam (which Acclaim also published for the home consoles), emphasizing acrobatic dunks and physical play. Players can choose one of 44 teams for competition in two-on-two matches played across two six minute halves. Game modes include a 20 game regular season, a 16 team tournament, a semi final, practice and multiplayer.

Characters are able to shoot, pass steal, block and dunk, although their ability to do so is determined by their skills ratings. In addition, players can use a turbo meter for an extra burst of speed and perform dunks. Fouls are not called, though goaltending (in this case, blocking a shot just before it enters the basket) is illegal. Like in NBA Jam, once a player makes three baskets in a row, he becomes “on fire”, giving him an unlimited turbo meter as well as better shot accuracy until the opposing team scores. Unique to College Slam are power-ups that can do wacky things such as turn players into tornadoes or blast the basket with a lighting bolt. How’s that for defense?!

I didn’t play College Slam much save for a rental back when it first came out. Although it was very similar to NBA Jam, it didn’t quite deliver the same excitement, even with the goofy power-ups. It’s not a terrible game, but it just isn’t very good either. Still, anyone who wants a different approach to college basketball video games might want to give it try.

The tournament will be starting up soon, so good luck to all the teams participating. University of Illinois is in this year so I’m hoping the local team has nice run. I’m a Duke fan as well, so hopefully they’ll have a good run too. Until next time.

Peace & Pixels

Pardon the Dust

It’s finally Spring, and although the weather is still a season behind, the air will (eventually) get warmer and the grass greener as the new season ages. In the spirit of new beginnings, I’ll be doing some cleaning here on the Chomp, refining some articles and doing some general proofing I admittedly should have done before. I’ll still be posting articles, but for a few days I’ll mostly be doing some general upkeep.

With Spring comes March Madness, and later today I’ll have a post on old college game from the Clinton years (before I had bills-sigh). Until next time.

Peace & Pixels

Resident Left 4Dead Evil Six 2

Post late, stay great as always on the Chomp.

A joint venture between Capcom and Valve will combine their two zombie blasting franchises—Resident Evil and Left 4 Dead respectively—into a free crossover special in the coming weeks. Earlier today Capcom announced that the PC version of Resident Evil 6 (slated for release on March 22), will include the exclusive No Mercy mode, which will feature the four heroes (Nick, Coach, Rochelle, and Ellis) as well as two monsters (the Witch and the Mini Tank) from Left 4 Dead 2.

On the other side, Capcom will contribute three monsters from Resident Evil 6 (Ogroman, Lepotitsa, and Napad) to Left 4 Dead 2. According to Capcom, some Valve developers recreated these characters for L4D2 using Steam Workshop tools.

Although Resident Evil 6 makes its PC debut later this month, the crossover content will not be available until April 5.

I’ve been on Resident Evil kick because earlier this week, I beat Resident Evil 4 for the first time. I haven’t played much of Resident Evil 6 nor have I played Left 4 Dead 2 at all, but this crossover sounds very promising. If I ever get a PC that can handle Resident Evil 6, I will certainly try this out.

Until next time.

Peace & Pixels