September 2008

Back in 2004, Namco’s Katamari Damacy proved that the videogame market was still safe for a certain type of playful, nonthreatening game. Amidst the metal walls and gray skies of countless first-person shooters and Grand Theft Auto-style crime simulators, this quirky Japanese game — with its simple graphics, bright colors and basic roll-around-and-pick-up-stuff gameplay — managed to become a minor hit. But Katamari‘s success didn’t really ripple across the gaming market, and the dark and gritty games it stood against continued to dominate.

Now, in 2008, de Blob injects a similarly fresh, carefree experience into a depressingly realistic gaming space. While de Blob never quite rises to the level of Katamari‘s unique, intensely memorable experience, it ends up being an enjoyable way to spend some time.

(full article)

Kyle Orland takes a look at game journalism in September, just moments before he and all the other game journalists are deluged with games for this year’s fall and holiday season. Issues include

  • Xbox Pure rumor reporting
  • Actual, good TV coverage of Spore and Rock Band 2
  • The 1UP Exodus continues as two more leave
  • Nintendo hosts a PR event and no one shows up.

(full article)

All your video game news are belong to us.

In this issue:

  • Harmonix reveals plans for “Symphony Orchestra” game
  • Nintendo tries to ease Wii supply concerns with price increase
  • King Features excited about first Sally Forth Expo
  • Will Wright considering “a mini-game collection or something” to follow Spore

(full article)

I’m really glad I’m not a farmer.

There are many obvious reasons for this. Being a farmer means performing hard, manual labor for long hours in sometimes harsh conditions. Being a farmer means depending on the vicissitudes of the weather and the global food market for your livelihood. Being a farmer means facing competition from huge, multinational agri-business conglomerates. The list goes on. But, if Harvest Moon: Island of Happiness is any guide to the life of a real farmer, then I have to add one very important new reason to that list of “Reasons I’m glad I’m not a farmer”:

Being a farmer means being really bored.

(full article)

Dan Hsu

After starting at major game journalism publisher Ziff Davis in 1996, Dan “Shoe” Hsu rose through the ranks to serve for six years as editor-in-chief of Electronic Gaming Monthly before being promoted to editorial director of Ziff Davis’ Game Group in 2007. So it was a bit of a shock when, in April this year, Hsu announced that he would be ending his career at Ziff Davis, with no immediate plans other than “taking some much needed time off.”
Or maybe it wasn’t so shocking. Even as a member of the game journalism elite, “Shoe” was one of the game press’ fiercest critics, frequently using his editorial space in EGM to deride what he sees as an overly cozy relationship between game journalists and game publishers. It’s a tradition of criticism he’s continued on his Sore Thumbs blog, where he’s written a series of posts revealing insider tales of some of the more sordid wheeling and dealing that goes on behind the scenes in the game press.

Despite this openness, Hsu has been reluctant to discuss the specifics of his abrupt departure from a top position in the game journalism scene — until now. In his first in-depth interview since leaving Ziff Davis, Hsu talked with Crispy Gamer about the reasons he left, the myriad problems with the current state of game journalism and more.

(full article)

Your game news is in another castle.

  • Ubisoft Announces Imagine: McDonaldz
  • Local man gets Wii Fit world record with perfect “Deep Breathing” performance
  • Popcap shocked that no one wants to option Peggle movie rights
  • Rumor Reporter

(full article)