You in Control, Aiden?

The new trailer for the upcoming title Watch Dogs is on the web, and it’s great. If you haven’t seen it, here it is below.

I’m really excited about this game. There’s so much potential in being a character that has such powerful surveillance technology available to him. It has already been established that players can spy on other characters by accessing their personal information, which can range from their age to how much debt they may owe.

This article from Gamespot includes thoughts from Ubisoft Montreal’s creative director Jonathan Morin. It gives some insight into what the development team is trying to do (and what they’re trying not to do) with the game’s story and gameplay. Morin seems to want this title to be as open-ended as the team can make it, leaving much in the hands and minds of the player.

Between now and when the game is released in November, I might have to get a current gen system for this one. Until next time.

Peace & Pixels

A Link to the Present

Some big news came from the Mario Factory today. Gamers are getting a sequel to a classic title, as well as a digital release of an old favorite some gamers have long yearned for.

First, Nintendo announced that its 3DS handheld will be getting a sequel to the 1991 (1992 in North America) Super Nintendo classic The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past this holiday season. Secondly, the role playing game Earthbound (which also appeared on the Super Nintendo) will be headed to the Wii U eShop later on this year.

Classic gamers most likely are  thrilled about this news. A Link to the Past is one of Nintendo’s most beloved and successful titles; it  has sold well over 4 million copies worldwide and received numerous awards over its initial run. In 2002 (2003 in Japan and Europe), A Link to the Past was adapted into a Game Boy Advance title named The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Four Swords. This title added a four player multiplayer mode, a first for the Zelda series at the time. In 2011, an enhanced version of Four Swords was released on Nintendo’s DSiWare service as The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Four Swords Anniversary Edition in celebration of the Zelda series’ twenty-fifth anniversary.

Earthbound (known as Mother 2 in Japan) was released on the Super Nintendo in 1994 Japan and 1995 in North America. It was not a best seller in North America, selling about 140,000 copies here and twice that amount in Japan. Many gamers have longed for Earthbound to see some form of official digital release by Nintendo since the Virtual Console was created for the first Wii. And for good reason, too; If you ever tried to get Earthbound on ebay, you’re looking to shell out some of your rent money.

Before I forget, in Japan A Link to the Past had with one of the slickest video game commercials you will ever see. Dance number? Yes, indeed.

Peace & Pixels

On Boston

Today a horrible act of cruel and senseless violence was unleashed during the Boston Marathon, disrupting a day that was supposed to be about celebration and tradition. It was a reminder of the evil that lurks in the world, and the  inhumane actions some people are capable of.

But from the chaos came heroism. It was seen in the bravery of the first responders , the National Guardsmen and women who rushed to aid the victims, the dilligent doctors who were on scene and others who gave blood and just did whatever they could to come to someone’s rescue. Despite all the evil that occurred today, it didn’t quell the courage and selflessness of those who worked to save others.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of today’s attacks. Peace be with them, and to you all.

One Year and Counting…

Today marks the one year anniversary of ChompRetro. When I started this blog, I just wanted to investigate whether or not one could get good deals on eBay. Being the amateur collector that I was (and still am in many ways), the answer of course is yes. What followed was an education on how to be patient, how to be tactful, and perhaps most important, how to respectfully do business with others.

All of those things aside, I learned a lot about gaming and the gaming industry as a whole. Although I haven’t done many “Tuesday Treasures” posts, of the few that I have written I learned much about where the video gaming industry has been and how some choice video game titles have helped developed the industry into the multi-billion dollar enterprise it  is today.

To all those who have taken time to read this blog and have come back occasionally to see what’s happening, thank you. Your readership is, as always, much appreciated. I’m not sure what’s in store for this blog in the immediate future, but I’m looking forward to finding out with anyone who will join me (unless you’re doing a bad job of trolling of course). Until next time.

Peace & Pixels

Ubi Loves the 80s

Growing up in the later part of the 1980s, I saw my fair share of laser grids, neon everything, and mullets. All of those wonderful memories came back to me as I watched a trailer for Ubisoft’s Far 3: Blood Dragon (the DLC for Far Cry 3 to be released in May) earlier today.

If you’re an 80s baby, the VHS presentation of the trailer might possibly bring back fond memories of tape cleaners and the tracking button. The trailer delivers a mix of science fiction violence and cheeky humor worthy of Cannon Films.

The game’s story centers on Sergeant Rex Colt (voiced by veteran sci-fi actor Michael Biehn), a cyber commando on a mission to stop an army of cybernetic miscreants on a futuristic prehistoric island. Colt has all the bravado and brazenness of your typical grizzly action hero, even occasionally flipping his opponents the bird after destroying them.

The trailer is infused with a techno soundtrack, and even features some cartoonish animation worthy of a Saturday morning lineup (Focus on the Family will not be pleased) which is fitting considering the advert for the toys at the end. The biggest hooter for me though are the neon colored dinosaurs (or Tronosaurs as I call them) which shoot lasers, roar loudly, and are ridiculously awesome because they roar loudly and shoot lasers.

Not having anything I can actually play this game on at the moment, it’ll be a little while before I can experience it, but it at least looks like a winner. And remember, winners don’t use drugs!

Peace & Pixels

It Finally Settled In…

Yes, it’s been week ago that the news broke about the closing of LucasArts and only now I am getting to it. As always here on the Chomp (just as a heads-up to some new arrivals; thanks for your readership), we’re off schedule but still flexible.

Firstly, I hope that all those who lost their jobs because of this find work soon. The LucasArts crew was certainly talented, so hopefully it won’t take them long to find work. Secondly, the nostalgic in me feels (not considering the business side of things) saddened by this closing. A lot of video game history was created at LucasArts. More accurately, LucasArts itself was gaming history. LucasArts was one of the earliest examples of a person from the cinema foraying into video games. Before Fox had an interactive company, before Bruce Willis had Apocalypse and Vin Diesel founded Tigon Studios, there was LucasArts.

Let’s go back to 1982, a year where gaming was a promising but still relativity new medium for entertainment. Cinema icon George Lucas was looking for other forms of entertainment to branch out to and eventually decided video gaming was a good idea. The initial result was LucasFilm Games, which had its earliest releases such as the futuristic sports title Ballblazer and the first-person space shooter Rescue on Fractalus! released first on Atari hardware.

LucasFilm Games would eventually branch out and release titles on other systems, some of the earliest examples being Maniac Mansion which first appeared on the Commodore 64 and Labyrinth, which first appeared on Apple and Commodore hardware.During the early part of the 1990s, the Lucas companies were restructured, resulting in the creation of LucasArts Entertainment. The game division was eventually titled LucasArts, a title it held until its eventual closing.

For the younger generations who may be unfamiliar with LucasArts or its importance, just think about how many successful gaming studios are that are run by very successful people from the film industry? There’s the aforementioned Tigon Studios and Steven Spielberg got into the mix through DreamWorks Interactive, but nothing ever came close to what LucasArts accomplished overall.

LucasArts simply didn’t just make games. It made great contributions to game making as a whole. Who could forget the fear one felt not knowing if they were picking up an alien soldier or a human in Rescue on Fractalus!? What about the multiple endings in Maniac Mansion (before that practice was commonplace)? How about the inclusion of a sniper rifle (one of the first of its kind in gaming) in Outlaws? Kyle Katarn’s Force powers (well before plasmids) in Jedi Knight? That was just a sampling of some of the great things that LucasArts used in its games to enhance it gaming experience.

I wonder what Disney has in store for us gamers in the near future. By nature, I’m an optimist (despite my sometimes pessimistic ethos) so I’m going to hope for the best while being prepared to be unpleasantly surprised. If anything, hopefully Disney can give us some good original games, or at least salvage some promising projects that LucasArts worked on before its closing. We shall see.

Peace & Pixels

Blizzard Hasn’t Given Up the Ghost on Old Starcraft Title?

I don’t normally do news on the Chomp (unless it’s late) but since this long upcoming title is ten years in the making, I figured why not blog about a day after new news on dropped (consistency!)?

Yesterday I saw this snippet from an interview Official Playstation Magazine did with Blizzard Entertainment’s Matthew Burger which focuses on Starcraft: Ghost, the long invisible video game based on the Ghost character class from the game Starcraft. Apparently, Starcraft: Ghost has never been officially canceled, just… on hold.

When asked about the title, Burger said the game has never been officially canceled. When asked if the game will ever see release he responded, “Maybe.”

The funny thing about all this is that Nova, the protagonist of Starcraft: Ghost, has actually appeared in both Starcraft II titles while her own game is shelved for the moment.

Will this game ever see release? Who knows. Just tell me that as a gamer, the last lines of that interview didn’t give you chills. If not, you’re braver (or at least less worrisome) than me.

Until next time.

Peace and Pixels