Gamer’s Roundup – Week Two, December 2009
Stevivor here with first edition of a new weekly column chronicling all the important news in the world of video games!
Another game bites the dust
First up: keeping it close to home, more news on the Australian lack of an R18+ rating for video games. The latest game to be banned in our fair country is none other than Aliens vs. Predator, the newest instalment in the popular series published by Sega.
Unlike Left 4 Dead 2, which was recently released to Aussies in a watered-down format, Sega has announced they “will not be releasing a sanitised or cut down version [of AVP] for territories where adults are not considered by their governments to be able to make their own entertainment choices.”
Previous Aliens vs. Predator games have received ratings of M or MA15+ in Australia.
Industry backlash against Michael Atkinson
This week has seen the industry lash out at South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson as he is solely responsible for the lack of an R18+ rating in the country.
The Interactive Gaming and Entertainment Association’s Ron Curry was quick to dispute Atkinson’s claim that the Attorney-General has “done nothing to impede [the] release” of an R18+ classification.
Curry has released a statement, which you can read in full here, saying “the debate [over the proposed rating] has been largely hijacked by Atkinson whose invective, in my view, is full of moral panic, misinformation, and factual inaccuracies.”
Paul Hunt, a former member of the Office of Film and Literature Classification Board, also fought back after the Attorney-General accused the Board of doing “everything [they could] to get games in under the radar.”
Whilst denying this vehemently, Hunt affirmed that “extremely violent, sexually depraved and drug use games are not permitted under the Refused Classification category in the guidelines. Creating an R18+ classification will not change this.”
God of War creator David Jaffe, attending the Asia Pacific conference in Melbourne, also expressed his frustrations with Australia’s lack of an R18+ classification. “There’s a government board and if they say it’s too offensive, in that case there’s no fight to fight — it is what it is,” he said. “There’s not much you can do if you’re making games aimed at a mature audience. We never like to cut it, but what are you going to do? You’re dealing with governments.”
A Dead Space sequel with 100% less on-rail shooter elements
While you may have enjoyed Dead Space: Extraction on the Nintendo Wii, let’s face it – you enjoyed Dead Space on PS3 and the Xbox 360 MUCH more. If you agree with that last statement, rejoice — a true sequel to Dead Space is on the way, appropriately titled Dead Space 2.
“We’re thrilled to jump back into the series, making the next chapter in Isaac’s journey,” says Steve Papoutsis, Executive Producer of the limb-dissecting survival horror sequel. “The infection continues to spread throughout space and our hero Isaac Clarke is the only person able to contain it. There are still loads of Necromorphs that need killing. In Dead Space 2, not everything is exactly as it seems. Expect plot twists that will surprise you and a huge cast of twisted, disgusting monsters that are sure to scare the daylights out of you.”
For those who never want to set foot in an elevator again
Whilst Mass Effect for the Xbox 360 was a brilliant game, it was best known for one annoying feature: enormous loading times, represented by your characters sitting around in an elevator.
BioWare, developers of Mass Effect 2 have heard you complaining, and have decided that the elevators are out. Says BioWare, “a completely new system” will be used that’s “part of the game experience.” The studio will be implementing “loading screens and movies” but will try to avoid “show[ing] boring loading screens.”
How they’ll feature loading screens without loading screens is beyond me. My best guess? Movies of escalators. That’ll teach you for whinging.
Loving Assassin’s Creed 2? Beware this game-breaking glitch
Without giving too much away spoiler-wise, gamers currently in the midst of Assassin’s Creed 2 should take note of a particularly nasty glitch on both the PS3 and Xbox 360 platforms.
If gamers shut off their console directly after the autosave triggered after completing DNA Sequence 11 and regaining control of Desmond, they will find themselves unable to continue on in the game.
For some reason, the autosave at that point in the game will corrupt. Future attempts to load that autosave will fail to fully load the Animus, meaning Desmond will essentially be stuck in a room with nowhere to go and no way to delve into Ezio’s next memory.
Publisher Ubisoft has acknowledged the glitch and is working on a patch, but my advice to gamers? Save manually once you get to that point, and then keep playing on through until you regain control of Ezio.
Then save again. Twice.
Best. Banhammer. EVER.
For those PC gamers out there, I’m not technically saying you should try to get banned from Aion, but still, you might want to just to see how cool it is.
Not content on simply booting cheaters from their game, developers have created a giant flaming squirrel or bunny (no idea how they decide which spawns to get you) to utterly decimate unruly sorts from their game world.
See below for a video illustrating the squirrel in all his death-dealing glory.
Multiplayer Tomb Raider?
Crystal Dymanics, responsible for a whole ton of (crap) Tomb Raider games of late, have put up a job listing for developers who are “able to effectively create and lead the multiplayer vision and design effort” in an upcoming “AAA title”.
Joystiq’s put their money on this multiplayer developer role being in the Tomb Raider franchise, and I tend to agree. One is left to wonder if it will reinvigorate the franchise, or drive it further into the ground. Time will tell!
NHL 10’s third jersey code is out!
I’m a hockey fan. Sue me.
This will be short but sweet. Since all of the NHL teams have revealed their third jerseys for the year, EA Sports have released the corresponding third jersey code for their hit title NHL 10.
If you’ve got the game, fire it up and input rwyhafwh6ekyjcmr to make jerseys available for the Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators, and the Minnesota Wild.
This week’s notable new releases
- Blood Bowl (Xbox 360)
- Buzz Quiz World (PSP)
- Colin McRae DiRT 2 (PC)
- Empire: Total War – Elite Units of America (PC – Steam)
- James Cameron’s Avatar (PSP)
- The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (Nintendo DS)
- Rayman (Nintendo DSiWare)
- The Saboteur (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
- Street Fighter Alpha 2 – (Nintendo WiiWare)
- Silent Hill: Shattered Memories (Nintendo Wii)
- Qiz++ (Xbox Live Arcade)
The fine print
This is by no means meant to be a comprehensive roundup of the entire weeks’ news. All stories are chosen by me for no other reason than that they got my attention and might capture yours. If something you think is more important chime in on the feedback; we’d love to hear comments and have a conversation about it.
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