SDCC has come and gone and we, the internet loomers, are left to pick up the pieces. In the wake of the news-storm are shrapnel and bombshells of oddities. One of the wordiest video games will be adapted into one of the most exhausting board games, Mortal Kombat enlists a popular teen killer, Nathan Fillion puts himself in the crossfires of his own fans, a surprise appearance by Phantasy Star and the Penguin gets a little British for Arkham City. But first, a note about charity.
Go Humble or Go Home
The Humble Indie Bundle has returned to a cheering internet. Now in it's third outing, this package of some of the hottest indie titles from prior years is coming at you for a most humble offering. How humble? Dunno, why don't you tell them? Costing that ever appealing "pay what you can" tab, you can pick up VVVVVV, And Yet it Moves, Cogs, Hammerfight and Crayon Physics Deluxe, which regularly would come to $50, for whatever your want for the next two weeks. Even the Minecraft team decided to pitch in an endorsement, wedging in a bonus trial if you hop on the deal. But be reminded that the money you pay goes towards the Child's Play charity drive, which helps out with children's hospitals and making sick kids happy. So some of you could be the Anti-Scrooge and feel like paying, dare I say, $51.
Go Humble and Leave Neil Burger Alone
It is true that Firefly, Castle and Doctor Horrible actor Nathan Fillion is a generously chiseled and sassy man, and it is true that Uncharted series protagonist Nathan Drake is, too, a generously chiseled and sassy man, so it was only a matter of time before some of you have effortlessly made that connection. With information that Limitless director, Neil Burger, was in and previous candidate, Mark Wahlberg, was out of the Uncharted film adaptation, many a nerd decided to make their findings heard. Nathan Fillion to those nerds? Quit it. "What I don't want is people pressuring that poor man [director Neil Burger] and souring him on the actual idea" said Fillion, who opts for a more nerd-free decision making process in regards to this maybe-will-happen-video-game-movie. All that said, Fillion nominates Sam Worthington but you know it's still totally Burger's choice like whatever.
Go Humble and Cut Losses
Last week I mentioned the future seemed uncertainties in the future of the 3DS due to low sales and vanishing games. Well that outcome just got shaken up. The gaming and financial world's stunned by the sudden announcement of a steep price cut for the portable that hasn't even had its first birthday. Mid-August, the 3DS will see a whopping price reduction of 40%, from $250 right down to $170. It wasn't an easy choice, but Nintendo was in a corner, and despite record-breaking first day sales, the 3DS had gone on to create Nintendo's steepest dip in profits in over 20 years. Don't expect too many Nintendo company jets flying around, as instead of letting the damage sour the company tree, the Nintendo execs will be taking the blow, each shaving 20 to 30% of their pay. President Satoru Iwata agreed to take full responsibility, cutting his pay in half entirely. While all this hurt stock value and failed projections may seem all doom and gloom right now, the cut could prove beneficial in the long run. And by the long run, I mean three months. The DS, too, had a weak first year before going on to become one of the highest selling systems of all time, not to mention one with the greatest game libraries. More interestingly, this gives Nintendo a new advantage over the upcoming PSVita, a system with many bells and whistles but now a less attractive price in comparison. Ah how history repeats itself.
All The Rest
- NetherRealm Studios revealed that Freddy Krueger will be a downloadable character for Mortal Kombat on August 9th, meaning they got those letters I sent when I was ten.
- Japanese retro game apparel outfitters KING OF GAMES now has an English section for international shoppers. So if you learned how to read Japanese just to to buy a t-shirt online, take a moment to reflect on your own humility.
- Someone has started a blog about indie game designers and their beards. I'm glad they kept it specific, to do all unshaven gamers would take a century.
- BioWare wants YOU to choose which angry looking woman will scowl as Shepard in Mass Effect 3.
- Revealed at SDCC, Metal Gear Solid will soon have it's own version of RISK, finally giving fans something that will consume more time than the cutscenes in MGS4 (thank you I will be here all week.)
- GamePro magazine will go quarterly this fall, which could either mean they are scaling back OR they've figured out a new way to cram seven new games per page like the in the good old days.
- Hey champ. Do you want Majora's Mask to be given the 3DS update too? Just tell Nintendo, they cool.
- Penguin goes all Guy Ritchie in the new Arkham City trailer, Solomon Grundy thankfully spared the cockney oi oi right mate.
- A Chopra meditation game, an HD Tekken combo pack, a new Double Dragon, a ton of social games made by a ton of big shots, a tapping game from Taito and the hoped-for Phantasy Star Online 2 are all things that will exist in the future.
Game(s) of the Week: Catherine & From Dust
Well this is tough. Remember when I said the dip in AAA games meant that weirdo ventures would start slipping out? Well this week they are throwing a full parade, and being an underdog kind of underdog I find myself at a loss when two games I had been anticipating all year walk out of the same limo. So I'll just give you the low down on both and you can mozie from there.
The long awaited and incredibly curious Catherine comes out this week. From the strange minds who brought you the Persona series is a a surreal tale of Vincent, who's cheating on his pregnant girlfriend, Katherine, with a temptress dream blondie, Catherine. Life only gets messier when strange deaths begin to occur around town and terrible nightmares plummet Vincent into puzzling worlds, forced to scale demented towers with only his nude wit to guide him. It's a steamy ambitious adventure unlike any before it, and the first game where Freud could probably interpret meaning out of your high score.
If only to prove Japan doesn't own the monopoly on oddity, legendary French developer Eric Chahi (Out of this World, Heart of Darkness) returns after over a decade absence from the virtual arts to deliver Ubisoft's From Dust. Inspired by volcanoes and the violent beauty of nature, From Dust is a strategy game that puts you in the role of God's Breath, overlooking a primitive tribe. You have no control over your people, instead total control of the wild elements. Each level has objectives that need to be accomplished by your people, totems to discover and portals to explore, and it is up to your powerful hands to lead them to gorgeous victory.