PIXEL COUNT: Video Game News Roundup for December 1st, 2011

A game news article



Happy Thursday, kids! Sorry for the lack of a Hump Day post yesterday. Needed to post-pone due to unavoidable circumstances.


Now that all the games for the year are out, I hope you are all enjoying your down time, spending time with your loved ones and reading some good literature.


Of course not! Way too many games came out this season! I know you're spending most (if not, all) of your free time trying to catch up on all those other games that have come out that you couldn't get on Day 1. So, let's get through this news so that we all could get back to playing games with Comics Bulletin's video game news roundup that brings all the boys to the yard (or sends them back to their rooms with their Xbox)...











GamePro is No More


After over 20 years, video game magazine GamePro is officially shutting down on December 5.


We all know the state of print has been dying, which is why many printed video game publications have taken to becoming online publications, as well (including GamePro). But, of course, that isn't always enough.


GamePro was really one of the first magazines out there to cover video games, gaming culture and review games. Without them, there probably would not be the many video game sites that are on the net right now. This is truly a sad moment in video game journalism and I am sorry to hear that the magazine is gone and all these folks just lost their jobs.


Maybe IDG -- which publishes many other magazines, including PCWorld and Macworld -- could find a way to bring GamePro back at a later time. After all, Electronic Gaming Monthly came back...


(bit from Industry Gamers)





Activision CEO Taunts Star Wars: The Old Republic


Bobby Kotick Opens His Mouth Again


Activision is currently the biggest game publisher in the US, thanks to Call of Duty and Blizzard's World of Warcraft. But with WoW subscribers dropping off like flies and EA's impending MMO by BioWare -- a little game you may have heard of called Star Wars: The Old Republic -- investors are a bit worried that this cash cow might be put out to pasture. But is the Activision CEO worried? Of course not! Bobby Kotick (whom many have called "the Devil", "pure evil" or "a dick") believes that EA/BioWare's little MMO based on one of the most successful franchises ever created won't even make the money it needs to be deemed successful.


Oh, Bobby Kotick. I get that you are CEO to EA's rival company, but saying something so stupid and juvenile will not make your investors feel better. It may very well cause them to jump ship out of fear that you are just in denial.


All EA needs for SWTOR to make a profit is 500,00 subscribers. Analysts are predicting the subscriber number to be between 1.5 and 2 million. That would make the game a HUGE success.


Now, I am not an analyst. I am but a humble gamer. But I believe that the numbers might just open at 1.5 million and boom by the time E3 comes rolling around to about 3 or 4 million subscribers. I don't play MMOs, but I want to buy Star Wars: The Old Republic. Not only will EA have MMO fans, but they will also garner Star Wars geeks and fans of BioWare's games. As a member of the latter two, how can I not want to play Star Wars: The Old Republic?


That said, I had a chance to play the beta this past weekend and never got to do anything past character creation. I was kicked off their servers way too many times. If EA wants this to be successful, they better buy a private island and just use it to house servers. The game is getting a full release in about three weeks and I don't know how they will be able to handle the rush of people if they couldn't even handle a beta test. Some servers had 4+ hour wait times! That needs to be fixed if they want to steal the World of Warcraft subscriber-base that has had nothing but great server status from Blizzard.


(bit from Reuters)



Mass Effect 3 Getting a Canceled Mass Effect 2 Mission

One of my few problems with Mass Effect 2 was that, while the universe seemed far more expansive, the worlds themselves seemed less so. Specifically, the Citadel. In the first game, it was a large place where you were able to do so much. In Mass Effect 2, it was like 5 rooms. Granted, the excuse was that it was still being rebuilt after what happened at the end of the first game, but you never needed to spend any time there.


Well, the series head writer says that there was an entire Citadel mission that was completely scrapped during the game's development. But don't worry! That Citadel mission will now be included in Mass Effect 3!


Mac Walters, Mass Effect 3 head writer says:


"There was a Mass Effect 2 plot that was a kind of callback to the first Mass Effect that was going to be on the Citadel, and we cut it. But now it's made a resurrection in Mass Effect 3, so I'm happy, but I can't say what it is. That's the nice thing about trilogies, sometimes you get a second chance."


I was already far too excited for this game, but this makes me even more so!


(bit from OXM)



Sour Patch Kids: The Video Game?

Capcom has given us some glorious franchises! Street Fighter, Mega Man, Devil May Cry, Resident Evil and -- forgotten, but still loved by people like me -- Viewtiful Joe. Now, they are adding something new to their lineup: Sour Patch Kids. Yes, as in those candies you buy at the movie theatre when you remember that ICEEs give you brain-freeze.


World Gone Sour will be released next Spring on XBLA and PSN for $5 (or 400MS points, if you would rather). In the game, you will play a little gummy Sour Patch Kid that is trying to find his way to a human stomach. It will also feature the voice of Creed Bratton of TV's The Office (the American one that used to have Steve Carell).


But the best part of this news? Method Man is providing the track "World Gone Sour (The Lost Kids)" to the game! No, I shit you not. A member of the WuTang Clan provided a rap single about a box of candy. Why they did not ask MF DOOM is beyond me. But you must listen to this song!


And there's a fucking video!



(bit from GameSpot)



Obsidian and THQ making a South Park RPG

More news in the world of odd licensed titles, Obsidian Entertainment is developing a role-playing game that takes place in the fictional town of South Park, Colorado from everyone's favorite TV-MA rated show, South Park.


Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the show's creators and executive producers, will be scripting the game as well as overseeing development. The game itself will be developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by THQ. Players will take the role as the new kid in South Park and it will be up to them to make friends and save the town.


Now, I am not a fan of Obsidian Entertainment. I honestly feel that they are a group of people that have worked on some wonderful games before forming this company, that has just put out nothing but OK-at-best titles. Their games are never outlandishly bad, mind you. Just horrendously mediocre. I hope that having Parker and Stone overseeing everything will make the game somewhat better, especially considering the two are gamers themselves.


More details to be released in the January issue of Game Informer magazine.


While I know the game wasn't great, I liked the Acclaim South Park title for N64 and PS1. Honestly, before Ratchet & Clank, that game had the most ridiculous guns! My personal favorite:



(bit from Game Informer)



3DS Reaches First Year Sales of DS in Only 8 Months!

In a recent interview with TIME's Techland, Nintendo of America COO and President Reggie Fils-Aime reveals that the 3DS has passed the original DS first year sales mark in a mere eight months.


Fils-Aime credits this to such things like the eShop, the launch of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and, of course, the $80 price drop.


As someone who likes Nintendo (but feels they have fucked up a bit too much in recent years), I am glad that their new handheld is becoming a success. The DS is the highest-selling handheld gaming device ever made, surpassing even the many iterations of the GameBoy. While I look forward to picking up a PS Vita, Nintendo is going after a very different market with the 3DS: children. And no matter what you say, even PS Vita's best kids game will not reach the commercial or critical success of Super Mario 3D Land. It just won't.


(bit from TIME)



Indie Game: The Movie Accepted to Sundance

The Sundance Institute recently announced the selections for next month's Sundance Film Festival 2012 and in the category of World Cinema Documentary Competition, the highly-anticipated Indie Game: The Movie was listed.


Indie Game: The Movie is a documentary that follows stories and people behind some of our recent indie game hits. People like Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes (creators of Super Meat Boy), Jonathan Blow (creator of the remarkably successful Braid) and Phil Fish (creator of FEZ).


Considering that this film was completely funded by Kickstarter, this is a towering achievement and I only wish I were going to Sundance to see this film premiere. But I always wish I could go to Sundance...


(bit from GameSpot)



RUMOR: Creator of Shadow of the Colossus and The Last Guardian Leaving Sony

Now, I usually try not to report on speculation and hearsay, but this worries me.


Fumito Ueda, creator of beloved titles Ico and Shadow of the Colossus and the upcoming PS3-exclusive The Last Guardian, has reportedly left Team Ico and Sony and has gone freelance to finish up The Last Guardian before his departure.


The Last Guardian has been delayed many times since its announcement in 2007. Many gamers were also worried when the game did not show up at this year's Tokyo Game Show.


Ueda is said to be pursuing personal projects after The Last Guardian's completion.


Honestly, without Ueda, I don't see how Team Ico will not just fold up entirely. Sony has refused to confirm or deny this. This usually means that it is true. Truly a shame.


(bit from Eurogamer)







AmazonGames is doing a week-long Cyber Monday sale! I highly recommend checking it out!

Steam is letting everyone play Brink for FREE from now until Sunday at 1pm PST! And you can pick up the title for 75% off until Monday!

Xbox LIVE Arcade has Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting and Super Street Fighter II: Turbo HD Remix for 50% off this week!








Kal Penn and Rayman Origins



This video is a couple weeks old, but I just discovered it. Kal Penn being a dick to a child is pretty awesome. But the kid mocking Penn about Rotten Tomatoes scores: priceless! Also, the game is just awesome, kids!



Destructoid Staff Says Goodbye to GamePro



This reminded me of why I used to love GamePro magazine as a kid. They really were one of the first ones to do it and they used to do it the best! I will miss the magazine.



Adam Sessler Discusses Video Games and Venetian Art



I always love when The Sess is optimistic about where games are going and what could be accomplished in the realm of interactive media. He draws some compelling parallels to 17th century Venetian oil paintings and does it without making either seem hyperbolized or deprecated.



Half-Life: Origins Trailer



I really liked this trailer for a fanfilm. I almost want to see it become a real feature-length production. Almost...







Child's PlayThe last thing I want to let you all know is that the Child's Play charity is still taking donations for the sick kids that need a bit of a holiday distraction.


Child's Play -- from the creators of the Penny Arcade webcomic -- is a charity dedicated to improving the lives of sick and hospitalized children with video games and toys in over 70 hospitals around the world. Since 2003, millions of dollars have been donated and used to help these kids have fun rather than just sit in a hospital room.


Child's Play works in two way: You can click on a hospital on the Child's Play donation page and pick a gift to donate from the wish list or make a cash donation through PayPal -- which Child's Play uses to buy video games, consoles, toys, books and other fun stuff for kids throughout the year.


It is a great cause and if you would care to donate, please go to the site and make a kid a little bit happier this holiday season.


Thank you.







Until next time, kids...










Nick Boisson grew up on television, Woody Allen, video games, Hardy Boys mysteries and DC comic books, with the occasional Spider-Man issue thrown in for good measure. He currently roams the rainy streets of Miami, Florida, looking for a nice tie, a woman that gets him, and the windbreaker he lost when he was eight. He sometimes writes things down on Twitter as @nitroslick.


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