Official Video Game & Pinball Book of World Records

Press release supplied by Games Press 16:42 02/06/2005
London, UK ; Jun 02 2005
From the ZX81 to the PSP, gamers of all ages and formats are invited to enter their names into the record books.
Since 1981, Twin Galaxies have been the world-wide authority on player rankings, gaming statistics and championship tournaments through its publication 'Official Video Game & Pinball Book of World Records', which is also recognised by the Guinness World of Records as the authoritative organisation for video gaming world records. In conjunction with Twin Galaxies, this years Classic Gaming Expo UK (CGEUK) are inviting games players on all formats to try and make it into the record books by providing proof of their highest scores.
Anyone interested in getting their name into the record books will need to provide proof of their highest score. To do this, they will need to video tape their entire game, and bring that video tape along to CGEUK on Saturday 13th August where it will be viewed and verified by officials from Twin Galaxies. This is open to all players of any age on all gaming machines from the classics to today's contemporary formats. For more details visit www.cgeuk.com, or contact chief organiser Chris Millard at info@cgeuk.com.
About the CGEUK
The Classic Gaming Expo UK (CGEUK) started in 2004 to bring together enthusiasts, traders, developers and special guests from gaming's past and the retro and classic computing scene. Backed by the UK's No. 1 dedicated magazine to classic games and gaming Retro Gamer, and leading internet retailers www.Retro-Trader.com and Console Passion, this annual gathering goes from strength to strength and has become a high point of the year for gamers new and old.
This years' event will be held on Saturday 13th August 2005 at the Fairfield Halls. Tickets and further information is available from our website.
Chris Millard - info@cgeuk.com
About Retro Bytes PR
Retro Bytes PR works with a growing number of small not-for-profit and co-operative software publishers and developers to ensure the best possible publicity for the increasing number of high-quality homebrew software titles released today.
Shaun Bebbington - retrobytespr@mail.com
Games Press is the leading online resource for games journalists. Used daily by magazines, newspapers, TV, radio, online media and retailers worldwide, it offers a vast, constantly updated archive of press releases and assets, and is the simplest and most cost-effective way for PR professionals to reach the widest possible audience. Registration for the site and the Games Press email digest is available, to the trade only, at www.gamespress.com.


Cell Phone Games Are A Welcome Distraction


Cell phones aren't just for calling anymore. You also can use them to play games.

First, let's take a look at the Nokia N-Gage QD, a phone made with gamers in mind. Admittedly, it's not the greatest phone in the world because of its clunky shape. But it sports a large screen and plays like a GameBoy. You play games with a plastic card that slips into a slot, just like a memory card for a digital camera. In addition to single-player modes, many of the games available for the N-Gage allow you to play with anyone around the world, wirelessly.
Take "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Chaos Theory," from Ubisoft. It's a 3D wonder with enemies that seem to have their own artificial intelligence programmed right in. Sure, it's sometimes old school in that the text pops up in a box as opposed to audio dialog. But the levels are brand- new. If you loved "Chaos Theory," you'll relish the new stuff in the N-Gage software, too.
More people have Sprint cell phones than N-Gage. These Sprint games cost $2 to $8 to download. That's not a bad price to pay for quick entertainment.
Recently, I played two games on the LG MM-535, the one with a 2-inch screen and a camera that shoots 1.3 megapixel photos. The first was Namco's "Pac-Man Pinball." Because I've been a pinball fan since childhood, I was looking forward to some fun flipper action. However, the makers of "Pac-Man Pinball" broke up the screen into a top and a bottom, which keeps the ball from moving between screens seamlessly.
That's the way PC pinball games worked when games first became a thing years ago. It didn't work then, and it doesn't work now. The game does offer good challenges, including a slot machine aspect. If you're a pinball fan, it's an addicting time killer, but that split screen makes about as much sense as cutting a laptop in half when two people need to use it.
Far more appealing for the Sprint service is "Beach Mini Golf" from Digital Chocolate. If you're searching for cutsie gimmicks, this game isn't it. Instead, it's a vexing challenge with maze-like holes giving you 10 strokes to make par. Sure, the aiming function is a little off and the physics feel like an alien made them for Saturn's gravity, but those things make "Beach Mini Golf" winsomely wilder and wackier. It's 18 holes of happy diversion that you can play again and again.
I don't trust it when market analysts say mobile gaming will be a multibillion- dollar business in three years. That's an exaggeration.
But if you simply need to play games almost everywhere you go, and a GameBoy or PSP isn't practical to carry around, try a cell phone game. It's a novelty that's probably here to stay.


Dinner Comes With a Side of Games

By Rachel Metz
02:00 AM Jun. 03, 2005 PT

Pong creator and Atari founder Nolan Bushnell thinks adults just want to have fun. In fact, he's banking on it.
Bushnell and his company, uWink, are preparing to open a video-game-themed restaurant aimed at adults in Los Angeles this fall.
Called the uWink Media Bistro, the eatery will allow customers to play video games, catch up on internet-based entertainment and order food via flat-panel displays angled over each table. At the restaurant's bar, screens will be projected onto tabletops. Visitors will be able to play networked games with everyone in the entire restaurant, according to Bushnell.
"This is going to be about meeting new people and having fun competing or cooperating," he said. "All of a sudden, you'll find people you've never known on your team. And you can talk to them or not -- that's OK -- but there's some kind of social component to it," he said.
The idea came to Bushnell about 10 years ago, but at the time the technology wasn't quite right and the business looked like it would be too expensive, he said.
So, for the past several years, uWink has been developing video-game consoles that can fulfill his goal. These machines can be monitored remotely from company headquarters, so any problems that arise or updates that need to be made can be accomplished with the push of a button, Bushnell said. Everything is connected via the internet and a virtual private network, and will be heavily encrypted to deter hackers. The technology is geared toward churning out a chain of the establishments.
This won't be Bushnell's first foray into the food business: He founded the Chuck E. Cheese's family restaurant chain in the 1970s.
That chain was aimed at kids. But Bushnell will face some competition on the video-games-and-dining-for-adults scene. At least one chain -- Texas-based Dave & Buster's -- already has plenty of restaurants offering diners various types of entertainment, including video games.
Bushnell said his concept is "tremendously different."
"Dave & Buster's is a huge place, but it's extremely isolating," he said.
Jay Horwitz, a senior analyst with JupiterResearch who covers video games, disagrees.
"I think (the concept) pretty much already exists, and I'm not sure what's different except it's from a video-game originator and somebody who had massive success with the same concept in a different time and with a different age group," he said.
As for Bushnell's claim that the restaurant setting will make gaming a more social activity, Horwitz counters it's already very social, saying the true mass-market game category is web-based games played with others using personal computers.
If consumers do flock to the uWink Media Bistro, one person is concerned about the impact it could have on her business. Laurel Touby, founder and CEO of mediabistro.com, a website that offers media news, employment listings, classes for media professionals and the media association AvantGuild, said she was aghast when she found out about the restaurant.
"I mean, here was something I'd spent years of my life building and it looked like someone else was trying to capitalize on it," she said.
Touby thinks people will be confused about the difference between the two businesses. She's even thought of opening her own restaurant-type business for media professionals, she said.
Touby said she has the phrase "Media Bistro" trademarked, and a search on the United States Patent and Trademark Office's website shows the phrase was registered to her in April 2002.
That the establishment is slated to have the word "uWink" before "Media Bistro" doesn't matter to Touby. She's not sure if she'll take legal action against uWink.
"I haven't evaluated all my options yet. I'm looking into everything, and frankly I'm just very frightened that this is going to dilute my brand," she said, adding, "I'm hoping (Bushnell will) have the decency and the gentlemanliness to reconsider the name he's chosen."
Bushnell said he chose the word "media" because he wanted to let people know the business had to do with games, movies and music videos, and "bistro" because it sounded more playful than "cafe" or "restaurant."
Alissa Bushnell, his daughter and uWink spokeswoman, said while they'd known about mediabistro.com, she doesn't expect any conflict "because it's very clearly identified as uWink."
Said Nolan Bushnell, "I just wanted people to be curious: What is a media bistro?"



Arcade Marathon Record Broken

Oregon man survives the Death Star for 50 hours.
by Patrick Klepek, 05/31/2005
From 8:00 A.M. on May 16 until 2:10 P.M. two days later, 25-year-old Brandon Erickson of Portland, Oregon blew up the Death Star over 1,500 times, raised $800 for the Portland Schools Foundation and broke the arcade marathon time record for Star Wars Arcade on a single quarter.
There was almost no time to breathe for Erickson. "Star Wars only let's you rest for about 7 seconds between levels. The gameplay is absolutely relentless," he said. "If I had left the controls for even 30 seconds, it would have been over. It's the most mentally and physically exhausting thing I've ever done."
35 hours after he started playing, however, the machine's controls started malfunctioning, forcing Erickson to quickly adaptor his playing style or kiss his record goodbye. Despite his fear of imminent doom, Erickson managed to survive for another 20 hours.
The previous marathon arcade record was also for Star Wars Arcade. In 1984, Brooklyn's Robert Mruczek survived for 49-1/2 hours.



Remember Pinball?

It's still hot, as collectors get in touch with their inner child, the obsessed kid in the arcade.
By LOGAN MABE, Times Staff WriterPublished May 27, 2005
The quarter drops into the slot. The plunger slides back with mechanical grace. Then the silver ball hurtles up the chute like a silver bullet.
Then, and only then, all things are possible. For this moment, you are transported back to a time when Slurpees came in just two flavors (Coke and cherry), when Saturday morning meant cartoons, and when the game world was dominated by Royal Flush and Old Chicago, not X-Box and PlayStation 3.
Back then, all it cost was 25 cents to become a pinball wizard.
Today, it costs a lot more. Oh, but it's worth it.
Back in the day, we used to ride our bikes to The Mall. And at The Mall, there was always an arcade. And in the arcade, before Pac Man and Asteroids and Joust, there were pinball machines.
Lots and lots of pinball machines, lined up on either side just waiting for someone to come along and post a new high score.
If you were good, and it took most of the early to midteen years to get good, you could play all afternoon on a machine for a handful of quarters. Pummeling the flippers, nailing the spinners, catching that extra ball, always, and I mean always, using just enough body language and oomph to coax the ball through its paces.
It was fun in a visceral way. The pinball machines of the '70s and '80s were a synergy of technology and physicality. You had the lights, the ringing bells and the action of a machine magically coming to life coupled with the dark inevitability of gravity that sent all those balls down the "drain."
Those days were perhaps pinball's heyday. Popular since the 1930s, pinball seemed to reach its pinnacle at a time when the boys and girls of the baby boomers had enough change in their pockets to feed the industry.
But the advent of video games sent the pinball machine into exile, and the uprising of home game systems cemented its place in the gaming gulag. It very nearly became extinct.
But not quite.
In 1975, Andy Kline was a business major at the University of South Florida when he stumbled across the entrepreneurial opportunity that would come to define his professional life.
Kline sat in classes all day long listening to professors exhort the theories of guns and butter. But a newspaper advertisement held more promise for him than any lesson in macroeconomics.
The ad said something like, "Be your own boss in the fast-paced world of arcade games." Kline called the number.
"I bought five Space Invaders, and that was the end of my college career," said Kline, who at 48 now sports a ponytail and the few extra pounds that long hours and middle-age success afford. In the beginning, Kline positioned his new machines around town, collecting quarters and running his route.
"Five games went to 10 and then 20 and then 700 machines," Kline said. "This became my career."
And slowly things changed.
"I needed a way to get rid of old games," Kline said. "Then all of a sudden, people started buying stuff."
And that's how Kline came to be the owner of the Game Gallery, one of the largest pinball sellers around.
With more than 9,000 square feet of showroom and repair space, the Game Gallery, at 7941 N Armenia Ave., serves clients around the globe. Turns out there are a lot of guys who played arcade pinball machines during the 1970s who would like to own a piece of their youth.
"It's the kind of guy who can finally afford something," Kline said of his typical customer. "He wants to remember his past, so he buys a machine he played as a kid."
That's what John Russo, 39, has learned as the owner of Apollo Amusements, which has showrooms in Brandon and Bradenton.
"Our customers are contemporaries who have just enough money to do themselves harm," Russo said, trading on his industry's inside joke. "It takes them back to a place in time, a pinball parlor."
That is a familiar sensation for Russo. In the mid 1980s, he sold waterbeds. "I was setting up a bed for a guy who ran a coin-operated route," Russo said. "I traded a waterbed for a Royal Flush (pinball) machine and a Defender video game. It was quite literally my hobby and it grew a life of its own. Before you know it, I had rooms full of them. It was ridiculous."
Russo and Kline now vend their pinball machines, many of them hard-to-find collectibles, internationally.
But with only one remaining pinball manufacturer still doing business, finding machines can be a challenge.
"When operators began pulling machines off the street, the collectors filled the gap," Kline said. "Now, pinball machines are great investments because of the very limited supply. My fear now is getting supplies."
Kline said he has traveled to South America, Europe and Japan looking for "pins," which he ships back to the United States, where the supply is largely exhausted.
"Anybody can sell it," Kline said. "The hard part is buying it."HALF A MILE OF WIRES
Finding and buying a vintage machine is often just the beginning of the odyssey. All those years and hard play take a toll on older models.
Again, that's where guys like Kline and Russo step in. Reconditioning old pinball machines has almost become a lost art, said Jim Nyers, a self-taught pinball and video game technician who works at Kline's Game Gallery.
"I started as a collector, but nobody knew how to fix them," said Nyers, who has been a pin fixer for eight years. "It's nice to have a hobby that's also an occupation."
Nyers knows his way around every inner inch of a pinball machine, which is no small feat considering the electronic complexity and the fact that no formal training exists in pinball repair.
According to Stern Pinball Co., the only remaining pinball maker in the world, the average machine contains about:
Half a mile of wire.
3,500 parts.
1,200 screws, nuts and washers.
115 lights
Throw in 70 switches, 100 connectors, 88 terminals and 357 tie wraps to hold it all together.
The guts of a modern pinball machine look like multicolored angel hair pasta for 20.
"An electronics background helps, but you've got to love it," says Apollo Amusement's Russo. "It's so time consuming and each game is so unique unto itself. You have to make sure everything is just so. You've got to dig it. To make it like new, you've just got to dig it."
With prices ranging from $1,500 for older machines to $5,000 for the hot new Sopranos model, it takes more than a fistful of quarters to own your favorite pinball machine.
But the market for home game rooms has kept sales on an upward climb as the children of the 1970s "Me Generation" graduate to today's "Mine Generation."
Russo said Apollo Amusements did nearly $1.5-million in sales last year. Kline moves five to 10 machines in and out of the Game Gallery each week.
Customers run the gamut, from families looking for an alternative to Mario Kart and Madden Football to professional athletes looking to trick out their home game rooms.
Kline says one of his best customers is Boston Red Sox pitcher David Wells, who has a home in Tampa.
"It's become a very fashionable thing to have in your home," Kline said.
Game Gallery sales manager Linda Cascone said she's not surprised that people are eager to furnish their present with games from their past. Growing up in Tarrytown, N.Y., Cascone would go to a pinball palace almost every night to compete against her brothers. Decades later, she still takes her turn as a "product tester," running up an impressive score on the new Sopranos game.
It's still fun, Cascone said. And she's a lot better now than when she was a kid.
The pinball industry has always been susceptible to cycles of boom and bust.
According to PinGame Journal, the earliest machines date back to the 1870s. During the Depression there were as many as 150 pinball makers. By the mid 1930s, there were 14.
The 1950s were pinball's golden age, and the 1960s brought technological advances that ushered in the kinds of games featured in the Who's Tommy, the original pinball wizard.
In the late 1970s and early '80s, the period when I spent most of my pinball quarters, the machines went totally electronic and entered the microchip age. Then video games came along and wooed us all into their Pac Man-shaped world.
Sure, video games were fun. For one thing, they had characters you could pull for, digitized alter egos you could champion. They had increasing levels of difficulty that kept you dropping more quarters to achieve mastery. They had explosions and endless ammunition and hyperspace speed.
Video games were MTV to pinball's American Bandstand.
And to a large measure, they still are. Tampa Lanes bowling center on N Dale Mabry has something like 100 games in its expansive arcade. Four of them are pinball machines.
But there's still something alluring about pinball machines, even though logic would suggest their extinction.
"Ten or 15 years down the road, I think they'll go the way of the dinosaurs," Russo said, "but the advantage will always go to pinball over video games. You never know exactly what's going to happen with that ball."
When you're standing there with your fingers twitching on the flipper buttons, you never feel quite as alive as when that ball is careening up and down, back and forth from bumper to bumper. And nothing feels quite as deflating as seeing that ball disappear down the drain and the words "Game Over" on the screen.
Then there's only one thing you can do.
Dig for more quarters.


Robotic Table Takes On Foosball Fans

By Julie Clothier for CNN
Friday, May 6, 2005 Posted: 1624 GMT (0024 HKT)

The table is now commerically available, and costs $32,500.
(CNN) -- For football fans with a spare €25,000 ($32,500), German scientists have created the ultimate tech-toy -- a robotic foosball machine.
The scientists have been working on the 350-kilogram (770-pound) table, which requires just one player instead of the standard two, since 2001.
Now the table, called StarKick, is for sale, but it comes with a hefty price tag.
Foosball, also called table football, traditionally involves two players, who twist, push and pull rotating metal rods attached to figurines of soccer players, which "kick" a ball into the opponent's goal.
Scientists at the University of Freiburg in Germany have connected the rods on one side of a foosball table to high-torque motors and an electronic control system, enabling humans to play against the machine.
Professor Bernhard Nebel, who led the research into the concept of the robotic table, told CNN the table could play at an advanced level, and beat its human competitors in 80 percent of games played during testing.
The base of the table is made of tinted glass, under which a camera photographs the ball 50 times per second. It then sends the data to a computer in the table, which tracks where the ball is.
Nebel said the reason the table worked so well was because it could react much quicker than a human player, which would react just 10 frames per second.
The table's downside was it could only kick the ball forward -- it could not stop the ball, dribble it or pass it.
"If it sees the ball, it kicks it. A human sees things differently. It can dribble, stop it, wait for the opponent to drop its defense and then take a shot."
He said it was the next best thing to a robotic team capable of playing humans.
The level of play can be adjusted, a bit like electronic chess games, and Nebel said there was still some research to get the table to world champion foosball level. He hopes to make these developments within four years.
The scientists have licensed the robot technology to a gaming company, which has produced the table.
The RoboCup World Football Championship, a league where robots play football against each other, is already popular throughout the world.
Those involved in the international research and education initiative hope to build a team of human-sized robots that can take on the human World Cup football champions under the sport's official regulations by 2050.
RoboCup 2005 will be held in Osaka, Japan in July.


Lucky Ju Ju's Awesome Pinball Collection

You might think: "Why is an art gallery that's really a pinball parlor showing photographs of pinball parlors?" Good question, but it probably comes under the heading of "So Obvious It Makes Perfect Sense." Michael Schiess and his Lucky Ju Ju Pinball/Gallery have been well noted in the visual arts and communications sphere of the Bay Area recently -- Schiess shows what he likes, and he obviously likes pinball. So does photographer Linda Hanson, who habitually frequented pinball halls on a mission to capture the colorful glories of flippers and bumpers. Her photo exhibition, forthrightly titled Pinball, opens this evening with a reception at Lucky Ju Ju from 6 p.m. to midnight -- which happens to be the gallery's hours of operation, Fridays and Saturdays only. 713 E. Santa Clara Ave., Alameda. Visit Homepage.mac.com/andcolor to see Hanson's work. -- Kelly Vance


Street Fighter: Anniversary Collection

Of the recent wave of classic arcade games to hit home gaming consoles, Street Fighter: Anniversary Collection may reign as the crown jewel on top of the heap. This collection not only features Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, with its plethora of fighting characters and “Super Arts” moves; but more importantly, packages it with Hyper Street Fighter II, which includes five SFII modes (Super T, Super, Turbo, Champ and Normal), each with slightly different playing features. As fighting games go, few rank with the influential Street Fighter II, and this collection proves its touchstone status. Plus, once your thumb blisters burst, you can enjoy the game’s bonus feature — the Street Fighter II animated movie. Can you say Hadouken?! – Maurice Spencer Teilmann -- Get the real arcade version of Street Fighter Anniversary Collection from The Game Gallery now on sale call 1-800-966-9873


Video Games

By John Gaudiosi / Special to Washington Post

Lucasarts Entertainment See the film before you purchase the "Revenge of the Sith" game.

• "Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge Of The Sith": The final "Star Wars" movie is about to finally deliver the goods on the big screen, and this latest Star Wars game shows that the Force has regained its strength in video games as well. But don't play it until you've seen the movie.
Revenge of the Sith features the likenesses of the actors from Episode III but sound-alike voice work from the cast of the animated "Star Wars: Clone Wars" TV show.
The game's single-player mode alternately puts you in control of Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi as they battle through 16 missions set in some of the flick's locales. Novice gamers will be able to jump right in, turn on a lightsaber and hack enemy droids and clone troopers with ease. Veteran gamers should like the 70 combat techniques and assorted Force powers (for example, the ability to use telekinesis to move a TIE fighter out of the way) that can be learned as you progress through the game.
The game's arcade action, however, can get repetitive: The enemies may be all over the map in terms of appearance, but they tend to fight the same way. Two multiplayer options add some replay value. One cooperative mode ups the ante with more enemies; the other, a versus mode, allows you to duel as any of the characters defeated in the single-player game. That should be enough to keep fans busy until Star Wars Battlefront II ships later this year


Tetris, PAC-MAN and Frogger

Verizon Wireless Get It Now(R) Customers Think Classic Games are Totally Awesome
Wednesday June 1, 9:46 am ET
Classic Games are Re-Born with Verizon Wireless' Get It Now Service
SAN DIEGO and BEDMINSTER, N.J., June 1 /PRNewswire/ --
Looking at the most popular game titles from Verizon Wireless, you're likely to think you're back in the 1980s (see lists below). Verizon Wireless is giving classic arcade games new mobile life with Get It Now and the getGAMES shopping aisle. A virtual software store on customers' wireless phones, Get It Now offers customers a selection of more than 500 games, productivity tools, information services, ring tone providers, wallpaper providers, an IM chat client -- Mobile IM -- that includes access to Yahoo! Messenger, MSN® Messenger, or AOL® IM (AIM), and more right at their fingertips.
It's no surprise that the most widely played and famous computer game of all time leads both the top games and top classic games categories. Tetris® by JAMDAT Mobile gives Tetris® addicts longing for video game action the freedom to play the game virtually anytime, virtually anywhere. With Tetris by JAMDAT Mobile, it's easy to manipulate the geometric shapes before they fall and arrange them into a horizontal row while waiting for your favorite Knight Rider episode to start or while in line at the video store renting "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." Tetris by JAMDAT Mobile is available on select Get It Now-enabled phones for $2.99 monthly access or $6.99 for unlimited use purchase.
Who can forget the countless hours (and quarters) spent munching away Pac- dots and power-pills while avoiding those pesky ghosts. Verizon Wireless Get It Now customers are reliving these experiences with PAC-MAN® from Namco America Inc. One of the most influential games in the industry's history, this wireless version delivers all of the same joy and excitement of the original in the best way possible -- in the palm of your hand. PAC-MAN is available on select Get It Now-enabled phones for $2.99 monthly access or $6.49 for unlimited use purchase.
Originally made famous in arcades during the 1980s, Frogger from Konami Digital Entertainment proves that life isn't all lazy days and lily pads. Frogger's adventures are full of cars and trucks whizzing by on busy roads and a river filled with alligators and he needs to get home safely by jumping onto floating logs and hitching a ride on helpful turtles. Frogger is available on select Get It Now-enabled phones for $1.99 monthly access or $4.99 for unlimited use purchase.
Verizon Wireless continues to expand its library of Get It Now classic games -- one of the newest additions to the lineup is Boggle® from JAMDAT Mobile. This classic head-to-head word-search game spells fast wireless fun for all ages as gamers make as many words as possible in 3 minutes by joining letters up, down, sideways and diagonally. This wireless version of the classic features dynamic animations and sound, statistics, plus a results screen that lets players view words spelled and missed. Relive this family favorite on select Get It Now-enabled phones for $2.99 monthly access or $7.49 for unlimited use purchase.
Download charges for Get It Now applications vary and airtime charges apply when browsing, downloading and using certain applications. Customers need a Get It Now-enabled handset and Verizon Wireless digital service to access the Get It Now virtual store.
Verizon Wireless products and services are available at more than 1,900 Verizon Wireless stores nationwide, including Verizon Wireless Communications Stores and stores within Circuit City, as well as at authorized retailers including Best Buy and participating RadioShack locations. Customers can also find information and purchase Verizon Wireless products and services online at http://www.verizonwireless.com .


50 Cent, Snoop, D12 Get Video Games

Wednesday - June 1, 2005
Verbal Walker
This year’s version of E3 showcased a number of new titles and consoles for X Box, Playstation and Nintendo. There were over 10 titles that were featured at the E3 that merged hip-hop music and various aspects of the culture with hard core gaming. Highlights include: Getting Up: Celebrity New York Fashion designer Marc Ecko is bringing his urban sense of style to a videogame developed by The Collective. The former graffiti tagger has written the story for Getting Up (PS2), which is about a totalitarian world that limits free _expression and the vigilante graffiti artists that challenge the authorities. The game includes authentic tags from more than 50 actual graffiti artists from around the world, with 6 of them appearing as in-game characters that help train the player. Visually the game is stunning with a very dark overtone set in a seedy world. 50 Cent Bulletproof: Bulletproof's script is penned by Emmy award winning The Sopranos executive producer Terry Winter. The premise is what if 50 never got his record deal and had to manage on the streets. 50 gets caught in a web of corruption and takes on one of NY's most dangerous crime families, uncovering an international conspiracy. In his first foray in the video game realm, 50 is not only providing his likeness, voice and all the tracks from his albums and G unit affiliates for the game (sans The Game), as well as three exclusive music tracks and freestyle rhymes that players can mix with beats provide by Sha Money XL. The game will be dropping later this fall on consoles with a release on the PSP scheduled for first quarter 06'. The PSP release will allow you to play as other G Unit members as well as upload your own tracks.Scarface: Scarface allows you to take on the role of Tony Montana in a third-person action title based on the film starring Al Pacino. The game takes place after the movie, with Montana trying to rebuild his criminal empires. Vivendi Universal Games is planning to include a major hip-hop element and has been in talks with rapper turned music exec Jay-Z to produce the soundtracks. Game is scheduled for a 06' release. Saint's Row: THQ will release Saint's Row for X Box 360. Players start out as a low-level member of a gang on the outs. Your job is to climb the ranks of the 3rd Street Saints, eventually leading them on a hostile takeover of rival neighborhoods and gangs. Earning respect- a measure of progress in the game- requires taking on different underworld pastimes such as pimping, armed robbery, and drug trafficking. Besides earning respect, your petty crimes and grand larceny pay in cash. The city, which is completely open from the outset, is full of shops to spend it in. Gold, diamonds, and exclusive fashions keep your respect level rising. Saint's Row will feature full X Box live support with head to head cooperative modes.Crime Life: Gang Wars: While Konami is keeping fans happy with its familiar franchises, the company is taking chances with new properties as well. Crime Life: Gang Wars, a third person action title for X Box and PC, features voices, likenesses, and music from the members of the rap group D12. Crime Life: Gang Wars is a free-roaming, crime-based beat-em-up with an engaging story from start to finish. The game focuses on the writes of passage of Tre, the new pretender to the crown of gang leader. Incorporating traditional beat-em-up action with a gritty, detailed storyline, players delve into modern-day urban gang culture. Fear & Respect: Another renowned filmmaker, John Singleton is stepping in for Fear & Respect. This gritty third person action adventure stars Snoop Dogg as 22 year old OG Goldie, who navigates the sweltering summer streets of South LA following a stay in the pokey. Expect the trappings of gang warfare, with street weapons including semiautomatic assault rifles, automatic assault revolvers, and shotguns in addition to bare-knuckle brawls. As the title implies, players can choose to motivate other characters by instilling fear or respect in them. The game's reputation system affects how they'll react. The game is slated to ship for the PS2, X Box, and PC in the first half on 2006.187 Ride or Die: 187 Ride or Die injects some hip hop influenced street culture in to the UBI Soft lineup. 187 which combines racing and shooting, is set to a hip hop soundtrack and includes LA emcee Guerilla Black as a main character. Beatmania: Konami made known its intent to ship music making title Beatmania for PS2 in 2006. Straight from the arcades, Beatmania is an interactive DJ simulation that puts you at the center of the music. Utilizing a specially designed DJ controller featuring a turntable, players must create and perform the music by hitting the notes that appear on screen and scratching the turntable at the right timing. Beatmania lets you spin the tracks, feel the vibe, drop the beats and create the energy of a club all at your fingertips.



The Latest And Greatest Video Games

5/27/2005 12:00 PMBy: Adam Balkin New York 1

Each year, some games just generate so much hype, their release is anticipated all around the globe. Take “Civilizations III,” the latest version of the strategy series where dominating the game means dominating the globe.
“Religion is a part of the game now,” Soren Johnson of 2KGames said. “[So are] great people like Michelangelo, Aristotle, Shakespeare - they'll show up and change the course of history. The game's in full 3-D now, so you can zoom out and see the entire globe and then zoom all the way down into your cities. It's rooted in real history so people can really connect with it, but it plays to sort of that megalomaniac in everyone who wants to rule the world.”
Rapper 50 Cent has taken over the world of hip-hop. He also has a shoe line, bottled water, a movie in the making, and even a 50 Cent game on the way.
Big fans of 50 Cent get an added value from the game because not only did he record unique tracks just for the game, and not only are there mini-documentaries on his life in there, but developers are considering including in the packaging some authentic 50 Cent bling.
“It's an over-the-top ‘what if?’ scenario,” Andre Emerson of Vivendi Universal Games said. “It really deals with a cinematic version of 50 and G-Unit, and how things might have turned out if music hadn't entered their lives if it never became an outlet for them.”
New gamesGet ready for a new wave of video games.
“Call of Duty” has a few sequels on the way for those who wonder what if some battles in World War II had played out a little differently. “Call of Duty II” will be for the PC and Xbox 360.
“Big Red One” is for current consoles.
“’Big Red One’ is the story of the Big Red One division, which they were the first to land in most places. They were the first to fight, basically,” David Pokress of Activision said. “They were at Normandy, they were in North Africa they really were in every theater of war in World War II because they really were such an amazing outfit.”
Finally, for more out-of-this-world battling, “Quake IV,” due out more than five years since its predecessor, is one of - if not the - highly anticipated game of 2005.
“With ‘Quake IV’ we're really combining what we think is the best of the three ‘Quake’ [games],” Todd Hollenshead of id Software said. “[It has] the single-player experience from ‘Quake II], so you have this classic story of the forces from Earth fighting this alien race that's bent on the destruction of the human race, taking the battle back to their planet. Then [we] combine that with what the skill-based multiplayer game was in ‘Quake III’ to bring what we hope with ‘Quake IV’ is the best ‘Quake’ yet.”
As always though, if you plan on getting these graphics-intensive games this winter holiday season, you may also want to beg your parents, Santa Claus, whoever, for the computer upgrade you'll probably need for them play properly.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?