November 2005

When Konami released Karaoke Revolution in 2003 it was just that… a revolution in what was then a stale and clich├ęd barroom activity. By using the PS2 as an impartial judge of singing ability, Karaoke Revolution breathed new life into the pastime. Here, finally, was undeniable proof that your version of "I ‘m Coming Out" was better than your Uncle Frank’s.

The series has stagnated a bit since that initial revolution, with two sequels providing not much more than new songs and support for a second microphone. Konami seems to have realized this, and has thrown a handful of new features that try to bring new life to the gameplay. The result is, well, less than revolutionary, but still quite good.

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Gamers Wary of MTV’s Venture Into Their World
By Steven Levingston

"The MTV promo is more an attempt to make MTV cooler than making games cooler," said Kyle Orland, the 23-year-old Laurel-based editor of Video Game Media Watch, a blog that assesses how video games are portrayed in the media.

Orland also wonders if the MTV segment "Xbox 360: A Gamer’s Paradise" is not little more than a promotional pitch packaged as a news program. The segment traces several groups’ wild attempts to win a chance to use the new console before today’s official launch.

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In its short life, the Nintendo DS has shown that its unique abilities can be put to some great, highly inventive uses. Countless original games have asked players to scribble on the touch screen, yell into the microphone, and keep track of two screens worth of action — and managed to be fun in the process.

But amidst that fun has been a troublesome question – where are all the "normal" games. It’s understandable that the first few games for a new system are obviously going to show off its new abilities, but are DS developers slaves to novelty? I mean, the stylus is great, but when are we going to use those face buttons? Can the DS handle classic gameplay without having to rely on its hardware gimmicks?

Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow (DOS) answers that last question with a resounding "yes."

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"I don’t think (video gaming popularity) is even close to getting to a peak," said Kyle Orland, a freelance video game journalist who runs

"As the population ages, gaming is going to continue to become more and more popular . . . At that point, what happens to the industry is up for grabs."

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Media Vulture: Game Blogs
By Colin Campbell

"When I started, it was because I was fed up with the differences between the journalism I was learning in school and the journalism I was seeing from the games press.  Back then, I had a pretty big chip on my shoulder about the whole thing. Kind of ‘me against the world of shoddy journalism’."

"In the ensuing years I feel I’ve mellowed a bit – I can see the good in the industry now too – but that outrage is still there when I see travesties like the Spike TV Video Game Awards or mainstream articles that get basic facts wrong."

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There has always been something about rhythm games. The pairing of simple, hit-the-button-at-the-right-time gameplay with popular songs has created one of the freshest new genres of the last decade. But not all rhythm games are created equal. While the best make you feel like an integral part of a concert experience, the worst replicate all the thrill of a science experiment (see the graphic, hit the button, repeat).

Guitar Hero falls into the former category, giving players an exciting simulation of the guitar playing experience.

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You say you want a Revolution in video game design? Well, you know, that’s just what Nintendo offered when they revealed the controller for their next console, code-named Revolution, at Japan’s Tokyo Game Show in September.

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Imagine a never-ending field of pure white snow. Now shape that snow into a mountain full of gently undulating banks and turns. Throw in the occasional ramp (including the occasional impossibly large ramp), some expertly placed rails to gently glide on, and some trees and rocks to break up the monotony. Now imagine yourself at the top, ready for the most amazing skiing and/or snowboarding experience of your life.

But wait… first you have to dodge that kid on the innertube. And be sure to grind the marked rails to build up your "hype." Don’t forget to pick up the little floating dollar sign symbols to earn cash for new gear. Try to ignore Tyson as he tells you that "you’re going down."

And why is there a helicopter in the middle of the mountain?

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