Category Archives: Windows Phone 7

Why Nostalgia Can Be A Dangerous Thing

Nostalgia is awesome, it allows long-time videogame fans such as myself to go back and play through some excellent retro games. Take Earthbound as a recent example of nostalgia working in my favor. Game companies like Nintendo have been making millions off of gamers’ nostalgia for retro games. It’s one of the main reasons why the Virtual Console has been such an international hit, because people always hold certain vintage games in a certain light because of the nostalgia associated. This article isn’t about the pros of nostalgia though, no instead this article looks at how certain publishers are using nostalgia to cash in, when in fact their product is actually garbage. Case in point…

Say hello to Contra: Evolution, which is a complete reworking of the original NES classic by Punchbox and Konami. This is a perfect example of a publisher simply cashing in on players’ nostalgia of one of the best NES games ever released. This game is absolutely horrible as it is, yet looks awesome and is currently one of the highest selling apps on Apple’s App Store. It has sold well over 2 million units already, since being released in late June. So what gives?

For one thing, Konami knows if they price this thing at $0.99 people will buy it based purely on nostalgia, and that’s exactly what people are doing. The comments say it all.

“This game plays like complete crap, but for a buck why the F not.”

“I can’t even survive the first minute, but come on its an NES classic!”

Doesn't this look awesome?  Shame it plays so awful that you won't want to play for more than five seconds after purchasing it.
Doesn’t this look awesome? Shame it plays so awful that you won’t want to play for more than five seconds after purchasing it.

The list of comments like these go on and on for pages. So what kind of a message are gamers telling publishers when they purchase games like this? Well for one, that there’s no real point to put any effort into making a videogame based on an existing property. To make matters worse the in-app purchases are a complete joke. You can pay real-world money to purchase extra lives, continues, and even weapons. I mean, really?!?! What’s sickening is that the game is making millions for Konami!

Don’t think for a minute it’s just Konami either, oh no, all the big console and PC publishers have learned that people buying these games are completely clueless. Capcom released an all but unplayable version of Marvel vs. Capcom 2, EA released Battlefield 3: Aftershock which just might be the worst app ever released on the App Store, and the list goes on and on. So why are these smart AAA publishers doing this, because people are buying these dollar games like wildfire, which constantly pushes them to the top of the charts and as a result gives these companies no incentive whatsoever to try and make better products. In the end, they’re using our very memories of these classic experiences, or famed franchises against us.

As awesome as it sounds to play a classic game completely remastered, without having proper and precise controls there’s no way these games can hold a candle to their original versions, however people overlook these “minor inconveniences” thanks to the incredibly low asking price. This is one of the major reasons why dedicated portable gaming devices like the 3DS have been so successful, because publishers know they have to put a thoughtful product out there or no one will pay $40 or more for it. Dedicated gamers know this, and as a result are playing significantly better games.

At the end of the day people are to blame for what’s currently happening to the mobile gaming market, and I fear that one day this could spread to the rest of the industry. Once prices go low enough, and people start buying games without even thinking about what they’re buying, publishers stop caring about releasing a quality product. As it is now, I’ll gladly go buy Contra Rebirth on the Wii eShop for a few bucks more, knowing at the very least I’m getting a much better product in the end.

E3 2012 – Ubisoft E3 Trailers Including Watch Dogs!

Let’s get the ball started with something you might not expect…

You Shape Fitness Evolved 2013 – Looks as promising as ever.

Rabbids Land – Another really wacky Rabbids game.

Rayman Legends – Since I adored Origins I’m certainly looking forward to this one. Might just pick up the Wii U release as well.

Just Dance 4 – I’ve always preferred Dance Central myself.

ZombiU – I’ve got a wide assortment of trailers for you to check out below. Hands-down the most intriguing Wii U launch title from a third party.

Ubisoft’s Wii U Line-up – Not much to say about this except they’ve got some really solid titles lined up for the Wii U, more so than even Nintendo themselves.

Splinter Cell: Blacklist – I can’t wait for this one. Loved Conviction so I’ll be all over this one.

Far Cry 3 – This isn’t the trailer you were all hoping for :-P

Assassin’s Creed III – This is likely the one everyone came here to check out…before Watch Dogs was announced.

Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation – An exclusive Assassin’s Creed for the Vita, yes please!

Watch Dogs – This is my Game of E3 2012, no question about it. It was a surprise announcement that looks incredible, and gameplay that intrigues as much as it impresses. Well done Ubisoft, well done indeed.

Best conference of E3, and some of the best software shown at the show as well. My hat’s off to you Ubisoft.

CES 2011 – Microsoft Report

Microsoft was the first company to send me a variety of press releases this morning detailing their CES 2011 announcements.  Instead of taking the typical Jarrod-way out and posting a series of boring press releases I figured I’d do you all a solid and sum up all the announcements.  Aren’t I so nice?  Yeah, didn’t think so ;)

The Megaton/s (Take your pick)

– Netflix and Hulu Plus will become Kinect-enabled sometime this Spring.

– While old news, Steve Ballmer showcased ESPN on Xbox Live and how wickedly cool it is.  Ok so it wasn’t really all that cool seeing him try it out, but whatever.

– The big announcement was Avatar Kinect and no this has nothing to do with tall blue creatures that look simply amazing in 3D.  Avatar Kinect is a new game/feature which will be added through Live, for free, later this Spring.  We’re not entirely sure what this is, but it looks like chatting software where you control not only the movements of your avatar, but also its facial expressions.

– Microsoft announced Xbox Live House Party, which kicks off February 16th and lasts for five weeks.  Every week one big new Xbox Live Arcade game will be released starting with Hard Corps Uprising, the direct prequel to Contra: Hard Corps.  You already know Steven and I will be all over that.  Here’s the details Microsoft sent over for the games.

  • “Full House Poker”(Microsoft Game Studios – Xbox/Krome Studios – Windows Phone 7): In the world’s capital for card playing, Microsoft is unveiling “Full House Poker.” Compete against your Xbox LIVE friends on Xbox 360 and build your bank roll on the go with a companion game on Windows Phone 7. Play a quick two-player game for some lightning action, join a big 30-player tournament, or play a round of Texas Heat, our live poker game show where you play with thousands of players worldwide and have 30 minutes to bluff, bet, and raise your way to the final table!
  • “Bejeweled Blitz Live”(PopCap Games): Take on friends in the brilliant gem-matching action of Bejeweled® Blitz Live! Choose your favourite playing style – Classic or Twist – and rocket up the leaderboards! Battle your way to the top in the all-new 16-player Party mode over Xbox LIVE.
  • “Beyond Good & Evil”(Ubisoft): Now you can experience the thrill of the fan-favourite “Beyond Good & Evil ®” on Xbox LIVE in full HD. Enter the futuristic world of year 2435, a world full of deception, where nothing is as it seems and exposing the truth is the only hope of restoring freedom. Play as action-reporter Jade and capture the truth using stealth, force, and wits against a government that deceived you in this action-adventure game with elements of puzzle-solving and stealth-based games.
  • “Hard Corps Uprising” (KONAMI): Thrilling retro run-and-gun action is back with a vengeance in “Hard Corps: Uprising,” a new 2D side scroller developed by ARC System Works that pays homage to classic Konami action series. Play as the soldier Bahamut as he begins to write his legend in this prequel to “Contra: Hard Corps.”
  • “Torchlight”(Runic Games/Microsoft): A highly-regarded PC game with over 800,000 units sold to date, “Torchlight” is now coming to Xbox LIVE! Combat is more exciting with revamped controls and mechanics, new armor and quests! There’s even an exclusive new pet for your character.  Send a select goodie or two to your friends on LIVE to share the fun for the first time.
  • – Microsoft also announced that Fable III would arrive on PC later this year, as will Age of Empires Online.

    – Finally the company took a little time to showcase their mobile offering.  There’s even a Fable in the mix, but not exactly what you have in mind.  Take a look at all the details.

  • “Fable III: Coin Golf”(Microsoft Game Studios): The best-selling “Fable” franchise is coming exclusively to Windows Phone 7. “Fable: Coin Golf” combines the fun of traditional British pub games with the logic of modern puzzle games to create a rich and entertaining “Fable III” companion experience, allowing players to earn gold and unlock new skills and abilities that can be transferred back to “Fable III” for Xbox 360 and the PC.
  • “Game Room” (Microsoft Game Studios): Relive the glory days of the arcade with six classic coin-op games in “Game Room” – “Centipede,” “Asteroids Deluxe,” “Shao-Lin’s Road,” “Time Pilot,” “Lunar Lander” and “Pitfall.” A shared “Game Room” profile and global leaderboards let you track your medals and top scores across the phone, PC and Xbox 360.
  • “Full House Poker”(Microsoft Game Studios): The mobile companion to the Xbox LIVE Arcade game, “Full House Poker” on Windows Phone 7 lets you build your bankroll and unlock awards on the go. Enjoy Single Player Pro takedown, standard and tournament-style single player games against up to five virtual opponents in the first Windows Phone 7 title to let you play as your actual Avatar.
  • “PAC-MAN”(NAMCO Bandai Games Inc.): The world famous arcade classic returns in this faithful rendition for Windows Phone 7! Direct PAC-MAN using the standard flick-to-change-directions method, or try out the virtual-analog “PAC-PAD” controls, new for Windows Phone 7. Munch fruits, chomp dots, and earn Achievements while avoiding capture by Blinky and his fellow ghosts.
  • “Pro Evolution Soccer”(KONAMI): The unrivalled and award-winning soccer simulation is entering its first season on Windows Phone 7! Experience incredible gameplay, stunning graphics and the most advanced team and player AI on the market, all while comparing your skills with friends and rivals around the world on Xbox LIVE leaderboards.
  • “Pocket God”(ngmoco): In this absolutely adorable and slightly twisted game, you rule a small island nation inhabited by itty bitty pygmies. Now, you can let the little pygmies live happily ever after, OR you can kill them in a countless number of hysterical and entertaining ways, boosting your Gamerscore with exclusive Achievements along the way.
  • So there you have it.  Did you enjoy all the omega news?

    How Many Gamerscore Points Are Featured In Windows Phone 7 Games?

    This is a question everyone with an Xbox Live account has been wondering.  Do you have any idea how many games are currently on the App Store for the iPhone?  Something like over 50,000 games!  Now imagine if all of those games had gamerscore points.  Yeah, that’d be insane.  Well I finally managed to dig some information out about how many gamerscore points are featured in games for Windows Phone 7 series by Microsoft, and let me tell you, achievement fans are going to be a little ticked.  Ticked not because these games will have points, but that they will be exactly like the Xbox Live Arcade games you love so much.  That’s right, each game will carry 200 available gamerscore points.

    That’s a little worrisome only in that the points will be virtually meaningless now.  If Microsoft has the same sort of success that Apple has had with their new phone series, we could be looking at over 10,000 games with 200 points each.  Also, it sure doesn’t sound like there are any sort of limits in place here.  In other words, make a solitaire game, you can award 200 points.  Make a game where you jump through a hoop, boom 200 points.  See what I mean?

    I personally understand why Microsoft would want to add points to these games, but if they are extremely basic in design, then the competition that’s currently available will be gone.  People will simply buy one of these phones, and download a ton of cheesy games just to get 200 points for doing nothing.

    What do you think about this?

    Microsoft Confirms Early Reports – Windows Phone 7 Series, Kinect Supports, And More

    Remember all those reports from early this morning?  Well Microsoft has just got around to compiling a large press release which recaps everything.  Since I already posted this info in a series of posts, this saves me from editing all of the previous posts with the exact same press release copied and pasted a dozen times or so.

    Microsoft transforms entertainment at home and on the go with launch of Kinect and new Xbox LIVE experiences on Windows Phone 7 and PC Kinect for Xbox 360 brings controller-free entertainment to Europe from November 10, 2010

    COLOGNE, Germany — August 17, 2010 — Xbox will transform entertainment at home and on the go this year with Kinect for Xbox 360 officially launching in Europe, Middle East and Africa  on November 10 opening up a new world of controller-free games and Xbox LIVE entertainment. Xbox LIVE and a blockbuster line up of games on Windows Phone 7 will also launch this holiday and Microsoft announced a new line up of LIVE enabled titles coming to the PC.

    Gamescom 2010 is the European premiere of Kinect for Xbox 360, introducing millions more to the intuitive freedom of  being controller-free. The show will unveil new games and experiences demonstrating the depth and breadth of the launch lineup of more than 15 exclusive Kinect titles, including never-before-seen levels, new environments, achievements and characters for “Kinect Sports,” “Kinect Adventures,” “Kinectimals” and “Kinect Joyride.” MTV Games and Harmonix will also announce new chart-topping dance tracks for  the highly anticipated “Dance Central”.

    Speaking before the show, Chris Lewis, vice president, Interactive Entertainment Business, Microsoft Europe said, “We are bringing the Kinect experience to Europe for the first time at Gamescom because this is the biggest show in the region and we’re committed to investing in Europe and the critical role it plays in Xbox’s global success.  When Kinect launches on November 10, it’s not just transformative for our business but it’s set to change how you use entertainment. You become the controller, giving you the choice in how you and your friends navigate entertainment and gaming experiences. We’re already seeing a high level of anticipation in Europe with sales of the Kinect ready Xbox 360 250GB creating an all-time record weekly market share .”

    “This is also the year of expansion for Xbox 360; in terms of new audiences, new markets for Xbox LIVE and multiple platforms. With Xbox LIVE on Windows Phone 7 we are bringing the quality, consistence and community of the Xbox experience to gamers on the go. With “Age of Empires Online”, “Fable III” and new games still in development we’re also bringing, social, connected gaming experiences to all new audiences on the PC. When you look at what we are bringing to the market this year with the magic of Kinect, alongside our blockbuster line-up of games, including the biggest game for 2010, “Halo: Reach”, we’re confident that Xbox 360 has something for all the family and will be the gaming and entertainment console of 2010 and beyond.”

    More Kinect To Love

    New Kinect game experiences which will be unveiled at Gamescom reveal a never-before-seen depth to controller-free games that will keep the casual or the hardcore gamer entertained for hours. The classic kart racing title “Kinect Joy Ride” featuring new modes that will keep gameplay fresh and challenging whether playing alone or with friends will be on show, along with  thrilling new adventures exploring exotic locations, collecting treasures and earning  rewards in “Kinect Adventures”.  A host of cute new animal friends to help you expore the world of  “Kinectimals” and three new events in “Kinect Sports” which are guaranteed to entice the family off the sofa, will also be revealed for the first time at the event.

    The Blockbusters Get Bigger

    2010 finds all the biggest blockbusters on Xbox 360, with an amazing 3rd party lineup proving that once again Xbox 360 is the best place to play, including the highly anticipated blockbusters “Halo:Reach” and “Fable III” which will be showing off some new features for play at Gamescom.

    A New Era in Mobile Gaming

    Gamescom 2010 is also the venue for the global unveil of the first wave of Xbox LIVE games launching on Windows Phone 7 this holiday. Building on Microsoft’s pioneering work with Xbox 360, Windows Phone 7 will be home to a premier, ever-expanding portfolio of Xbox LIVE titles from the most creative minds in game development, including Microsoft Game Studios. From Avatars to Achievements, friends and more, Windows Phone 7 is putting the power of Xbox LIVE into the palm of your hand.

    Reinventing Classic PC Franchises

    Microsoft will also unveil the newest addition to the best-selling “Age of Empires” franchise, “Age of Empires Online.” Marrying fresh online features with iconic gameplay,“Age of Empires Online” will offer something for long-time fans, newcomers, and everyone in between. Additionally, Microsoft will announce the development of a new game inspired by the time-honored “Flight Simulator” franchise. Published by Microsoft Game Studios, these new titles, along with the previously announced “Fable III,” fully integrate the free  “Games for Windows – LIVE” online service to deliver compelling, socially-connected gameplay experiences.

    Now that everything is compiled here in this one post, what are your Microsoft highlights from Gamescom?