Yesterday, I wrote a piece titled Top Ten Playstation 3 missteps and I was surprised by the sheer amount of response, not only in the comments section of the post, but on N4G.com, a gaming news website. Apparently, I struck a nerve.
What I'd like to do now is another list, thist time, a top 5 list addressing common misperceptions and inaccuracies which I gathered from reading the various comments.
5. I'm not a fanboy of any system. Why is it that people immediately think that I'm an Xbox or Nintendo fanboy because I said something negative about Sony corporate and their various marketing and PR missteps? I never said in my list that I think the PS3 is a piece of junk or that it is a bad gaming machine. I like the PS3, just as I like the 360 and Wii. They're like children, I love them all, just in different ways. People need to be able to separate fair criticism of a console and its corporate structure without the knee-jerk reaction of calling somebody a "fanboy" which offers nothing to an intelligent debate. (see "How to Tell if You're a Fanboy")
4. Online play wasn't ready at launch. The bulk of the comments I got on this one had to do with the fact that games like Resistance Fall of Man did have online play on day one. That's true.
However, my point is that there was no overarching master plan for online gaming when the console debuted. Sony kept saying that they have everything the Xbox 360 has, including online gaming, but it was disingenous to assert that they had something akin to Xbox Live.
Last month, as I mentioned, Sony announced "Home". It is not ready yet, but at least we know where they're going. I'm very intrigued by "Home" and think it will be a great success. That doesn't change the fact that, to date, there is no online community.
Continue reading "Top Ten Playstation 3 missteps - the redux"
Sometimes you just have to pat yourself on the back, which is made quite a bit easier if you have long arms. Today, I bring to you two pieces I wrote a year ago, "A 'Wii' Roundup and Why the PS3 is poised to lose the next-gen battle.
Now, shamelessly, I submit these pieces to you as proof that all of the video game stock market analysts should listen to me as their guru. Okay okay, let's get down and dirty with some quotes.
Continue reading "The Wii and PS3, a year later"
The four maps will go for 800 points, or you can wait until Sept. 3, when the maps will be available for free. How nice is that?
Here's the low down.
Bullet Marsh: In this Kryll-infested swamp, an old generator still powers the area lights. A few stray bullets could easily knock out the generator, leaving combatants to fend for themselves against the Kryll.
Garden: This overgrown and crumbling conservatory still has a working fertilization and pesticide system. This system can pose a serious hazard to anyone who ventures into the greenhouse without first venting the air.
Process: Teams must fight for control of this subterranean Imulsion processing plant, still active despite the cessation of the Pendulum wars.
Subway: Timgad's Central Subway station used to serve as a central hub for commuters. Now the tunnels are crawling with Locust.
Thanks to Matt K. for pointing this out.
The other day, Nintendo Pres., Satoru Iwata stated, 'We must do our best to fix this abnormal lack of stock. We have not been able to properly foresee demand." Now, anecdotal evidence is trickling in that the Wii shortage is easing.
Sure, you may still have problems finding one, but if you let your fingers do the walking and figure out on what day and when stores get shipments, you should be able to secure one.
I'm going to call around to the various stores today in the Portland, Ore. area to see what their stock is like.
They say that at the beginning of the game Sam learns that Anna Grimsdottir is in danger so Sam joins Third Echelon again in order to help. However Third Echelon is not what it used to be and in the first mission Sam gets false info and the wrong equipment, while his bosses are bickering amongst themselves about procedures, authority and such. Then Sam finds out that the threat to Anna comes from within the Third Echelon, quits and becomes a fugitive.
Over the past few days many articles have been written regarding Sony's PR event for God of War II, held in Athens and featuring a goat carcass. Now, various animal rights groups are getting involved, including PETA.
Continue reading "Just offal! Sony's dead goat PR blunder"
I see what Sony was going for here, a bacchanalia in celebration of the over-the-top and ultra-violent God of War II. Still, what was the thought process here for the Sony PR department, "You know what this party is missing? A dead goat with offal stuffed into its open belly. Our invited guests (journalists) can then eat that offal. Now, that's a slam dunk!"
Activision today announced that it expects fourth quarter revenues to be much better than what Wall Street had predicted: $313 million vs. $215 million. If the $313 million number stands, it will represent a 66% increase from last year's Q4 revenue of $188 million.
The numbers are being driven by strong sales of...anyone...anyone...Guitar Hero II, Call of Duty 3, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, and Tony Hawk's Project 8.
Looking forward, they have an impressive summer lineup with games for Spider-Man 3, Shrek the Third, and Transformers.
As Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter said, "If you take the same lineup they had last year and add 'Spider-Man', 'Shrek', 'Transformers' and lot more 'Guitar Hero' ... one would think they are going to grow revenues by a lot." This is one time that we agree, Mr. Pachter.
Add in the fact that last year they secured the rights to the James Bond franchise from EA, one of the most storied and popular gaming franchises. There is no word yet on a Bond game, but when it comes out, it'll be HUGE.
The only cloud hanging over Activision at this point is a $67 million charge for stock-based compensation due to the backdating of stock options. Activision, who was under investigation by the SEC, will restate previous earnings numbers at the end of May which reflect their new accounting practices.
Lucas Arts today announced a brand new game to add to their portfolio, Fracture.
Fracture advances players to the year 2161, where ecological and seismological disasters have radically altered the planet's landscape, and a clash in ideologies places society on the threshold of war. Players set foot on the frontlines of this epic conflict in the role of Mason Briggs, a demolitions expert fighting for the Atlantic Alliance, the side that relies upon cybernetic enhancement. Pitted against the genetically enhanced soldiers of the Pacifican army, players will experience a revolution in 22nd-century warfare.
What's revolutionary about this game, according to Lucas Arts, is the weapons system: Terrain Deformation. In a terra forming kind of way, on demand, you can create hills for cover or to help you gain access to unreachable areas, can cause huge monoliths to rise from the ground, and can create tunnels.Continue reading "First look -- Lucas Arts' 'Fracture'"
If you're here now, you missed the free weekend. But, don't feel too bad because we're offering you a coupon!
Yes, for simply visiting this page hoping for a free guide, you are being rewarded. You can either purchase the individual guide or join the LunaPass.
LB's LEGO Star Wars 2 Screenshot Guide - Save $2!
Enter Coupon Code: CPN9442555565
Sign up for the LunaPass (all guides, one low price) - Save $3!
Enter Coupon Code: 1279861FD5
This weekend, you have the chance to sample the LB 'LEGO Star Wars II' Walkthrough and Strategy Guide for FREE!
To access the FREE guide, simply visit the LB LEGO Star Wars II Walkthrough and Strategy Guide, Screenshot Version between now and 9pm PST on Sunday, May 6, 2007. This is a $7.95 value (Adobe Reader required).
You can also purchase any of our walkthroughs a la carte by visiting LunabeanGuides.com.
Have a great weekend and happy gaming!
Download Now, for FREE!
LB's LEGO Star Wars II Walkthrough and Strategy Guide, Screenshot Version
Folio Magazine (magazine industry periodical) has an interesting article up titled, Ziff's Last Stand, which details a comment made by a prominent PR firm exec regarding PC Magazine, a Ziff Davis publication.
The PR exec, who works for PR firm Edelman, said in a twitter post, "PC Mag is another. I have a free sub but it goes in the trash."
Assuming he didn't literally mean that he has a submarine which he can only use to visit trash cans, the exec is essentially saying that one of the best known tech mags out there is irrelevant. This brings up the larger issue of the relevance of Ziff Davis' gaming magazines, most notably, Electronic Gaming Monthly.
As a subscriber to EGM who just got his latest issue a few days ago, I have to say that it is irrelevant. The cover stories are old by the time you get them. In this case I had already read or written about: Tom Clancy's End War, the next God of War (PSP), Sakaguchi dissing Kutaragi, and a first look at Fracture.
Granted, I like the pretty pictures, but as Allison poignantly stated as she was looking at the latest issue of EGM, "This is something that I could have put together in my high school year book room."
The article in Folio goes on to discuss Ziff Davis in detail and is interesting if you're a gaming industry wonk.
Where do you get your gaming news?
We're pleased to announce the completion of the Lunabean Prince of Persia: Rival Swords walkthrough and strategy guide.
The guide is written for the Nintendo Wii version of the game and will expertly guide you through every jump, wall run, chain swing and puzzle in the game. It even includes the locations of all Life Upgrades.
Activision (ATVI) shares fell nearly 5% yesterday (and another 1% today) based on a slew of bad reviews for the Spider-Man 3 video game. Various reports point to the GameRankings.com score of 58% for the PS2 version.
Continue reading "Activision shares off 6% due to bad reviews of 'Spider-Man 3'"
I find this absolutely ridiculous and really points to the fact that a good deal of investors who are in ATVI don't understand the industry and got cold feet because of a bad review. As if bad reviews have anything to do with sales.
Here we go again. What the Virginia Tech shootings didn't provide for the likes of Jack Thompson, is now being provided by the terrible shooting near Fresno St. University, namely, a connection to a video game.
Of course, in this case, it wasn't over a video game, but over a stolen video game console. The nuance of that distinction will be lost on many, I'm sure.
The guy who shot us—he had stolen from our apartment. We went to confront him with the evidence and it just turned ugly from there. He pulled a gun out on us," said Drew Pfeiff, 22, a Fresno State junior from Raleigh, N.C.
The Liam Neeson character in Fallout 3 isn't just a "for hire" gig because the character in the game was actually written with the actor in mind and, according to Reuters, provides the dramatic foundation for the entire Fallout 3 experience. source
Fallout 3, in development by Bethesda (Elder The Scrolls IV: Oblivion), is an RPG set in a post-apocalyptic Washington D.C. (from what I've been able to gather). There is no word yet on a release date or what systems the game will play on.
The official site does say that a trailer is due in 27 days. I'll update you when that time comes around.
What do the three names mentioned in the title of this post have in common? They're all available for the PSP. An enterprising student, Ikhwan Nazri Mohamad Asran, from Malaysia’s Multimedia University, will make available for download an english version of the Quran on May 19th.
Even though there is already a Bible for the PSP, I'm sure that the folks at Left Behind Games are already in smotin' mode, developing a new age Bible for the PSP, focusing mainly on Revelations, of course.
Comic Book Guy would be so proud. A limited edition The Simpsons movie branded Xbox 360 Pro...wow! And, when I say limited, I mean limited. Only 100 will be made. That's rarer than Radioactive Man #1...rarer than a Krusty the Clown cocktail shaker...rarer than an unopened first-edition Malibu Stacy doll...I could go on, but won't.
The consoles will be given away at "special events and promotions" in conjunction with the July 27 release of The Simpsons Movie. We'll keep you in the loop in case any of the promotions actually sound like something that you could win. I want one so bad!
Also, check out the new The Simpsons game preview. Although it's not due out until autumn and has nothing to do with the movie, it's still exciting.Continue reading "Best. Console. Ever."
A new play has opened in San Francisco's "Playhouse" theatre titled, "First Person Shooter." According to the two reviews I read, it follows a group of friends who have a killer app video game, a violent video game, and form a start up in Silicon Valley.
Soon after they release the game, a school shooting occurs which eerily resembles their game. Both sides get lawyered up and friendships begin to disintegrate as various moral issues are explored.
Obvioulsy, I haven't seen the play, so I can't comment on it. However, I can comment on the fact that video games are increasingly becoming part of the cultural landscape of America. It's good that "art", in the form of a play, is taking on issues surrounding violent games. Nonetheless, I feel that the audience seeing the play (patrons of the arts...not patrons of video games) is going in with the preconception that violent video games equal school shootings.
Are plays like this more damaging than good? Is any discussion about violent games a good thing even if that discussion is predisposed to assume that games equal violence?
SEGA yesterday announced Condemned 2: Bloodshot, a follow up to the Xbox 360 launch title, Condemned: Criminal Origins. The first Condemned was truly disturbing, throwing you into a pyschological nightmare where you were put so on edge that even a slight noise or the appearance of a mannequin out of the shadows was enough to make you scream. The game excelled because of it's atmospherics, which were detailed, eerie, and yet familiar (a department store, for example).
SEGA promises that Bloodshot will evolve the series, adding a new combat system which features a lot of hands on action and grapples. You will once again play as Ethan Thomas, disturbed ex-investigator who is called back to duty to find his missing partner. The game will debut for the Xbox 360 and PS3 in early 2008.
Continue reading "'Condemned 2: Bloodshot' announced"
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The PS2, with God of War II has taken its last breath, and granted, it was an impressive gasp, but I predict that the days of seeing the PS2 at the top of the hardware sales for all consoles is now over.
We're pleased to announce the completion of the Lunabean Spider-Man 3 (Xbox 360) walkthrough and strategy guide.
This guide is all you need to make your way through this web-slinging adventure for the Xbox 360. Please note, this guide will also help you with missions and strategies for the PS3 version. However, the controls mentioned are specific to the Xbox 360 and it does not contain the content exclusive to the PS3.
It includes a complete walkthrough for the game's story mode and explains all of the extras including activities, crime fighting, and a map of the locations of all tokens so you can get a 100% completion (if you dare).
Okay, Mangojoyride, pervertdhermit, GabrielSaxon, and The Gurbil. I get it. You are better than me at Halo 3 multiplayer. In my defense (and that's sorely lacking in-game) I have only played four matches and I am improving. In fact, I had a great match before these level sixes and sevens really took it too me...three kills in a row and I won the match! Take that.
Yes, the Halo 3 beta is enjoyable, but I can't do it for more than an hour or so. I just get bored of it. I'm more of a puzzle-solving, story-driven gamer, so while this is fun, it's not my favorite. In fact the only multiplayer I've ever become addicted to is Brothers in Arms.
Here's one tip, though, that really drove me nuts. I'm an inverted Y-Axis kind of guy and I couldn't figure out where to adjust the control settings. If that's driving you crazy too, just hit Start and move the control stick to the right to open up the Settings menu. I just didn't see it there before.
Now, happy Halo-ing and look out for an ever improving LUNABEAN!
This weekend, you have the chance to sample the LB 'Bully (Canis Canem Edit)' Walkthrough and Strategy Guide for FREE!
This game was overlooked and is actually one of the better games I played last year. It puts you right into the midst of a prep school, has wonderful writing, and follows a school year complete with the change in seasons.
To access the FREE guide, simply visit the LB Bully (Canis Canem Edit) Walkthrough and Strategy Guide between now and 9pm PST on Sunday, May 20, 2007. This is a $5.95 value (Adobe Reader required).
You can also purchase any of our walkthroughs a la carte by visiting LunabeanGuides.com.
Have a great weekend and happy gaming!
Download Now, for FREE!
LB Bully (Canis Canem Edit) Walkthrough and Strategy Guide
A lot of you may be new to Halo or Halo multiplayer. You may be confused and overwhelmed by the Halo 3 demo, what with getting killed almost instantly and not knowing what does who and why goes where. See, I told you that you're confused.
It is for this reason that I humbly offer some very basic tips to get you through your first few sessions of the Halo 3 beta. If you're already an expert, and have some helpful tips to add, please do so in the comments section.
That's all of the sage advice I have for you now. If I think of anything else, I'll add to this post. Happy gaming!
Nintendo today announced their complete summer lineup and of most interest to us here at Lunabean HQ is that Metroid Prime 3 Corruption will debut on August 20th.
I've always been a big fan of Metroid games and a big fan of the Metroid Prime series. In fact, I'd go so far as to say their some of my favorite games. We'll definitely be on a walkthrough and guide for the game the moment it launches.
Also of note is Super Mario Strikers (Wii, July 30), Brothers in Arms (Wii, Sept.), Brain Age 2 (DS, Aug. 20), Chibi-Robo: Park Patrol (DS, Sept. 24), and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trials and Tribulations (DS, Sept.)Continue reading "'Metroid Prime 3 Corruption' dated and Nintendo Summer Lineup"
Wedbush's video game analyst Michael Pachter is predicting that GameStop, who report Q1 earnings on May 23rd, will come in at or just above analyst expectations. Q1 covers sales from Feb., March, and April.
"We expect the company to report results at or slightly above the high end of its guidance," said Pachter, "and EPS of $0.17" -- slightly ahead of consensus EPS estimates of $0.16.source
I never put much stock in what Michael Pachter, or video game analysts in general, predict and this case is no different.
Personally, I predict that GameStop will report earnings in the $0.20 - $0.22 per share range, beating expectations by a wide margin. My reasoning for this is that February sales for both hardware and software were very strong, Pokemon Diamond and Pearl debuted on April 23rd, giving it about 12 days of sales before Q1 ended on May 5th, and Guitar Hero sales have been brisk. Add in the crazy Nintendo sales numbers in general over the past three months and a more tightly run ship over at GameStop and you have the makings for a strong quarter.
After GameStop reports earnings on Wednesday, I'll be sure to let you know if I was right or wrong, and why.
Of interest to almost the entire gaming world is news that the website for Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. Brawl has gone live.
The site, in its current form, is known as Smash Bros. Dojo and will feature daily weekday updates from game creator, Masahiro Sakurai. As of now, it has information on How to Play, Stages, and Music.
The other category headings are grayed out and include Characters, Game Modes, Items, and Notices. As the game gets closer to it's still TBD release date, I'm sure we'll see more and more info fill in the gaps.
I like the fact that Nintendogs is somehow going to be part of it. Go Jenny! (my beagle)
The LA Times today has a decent preview of this summer's games. If you just want a quick look at what's being offered to us gamers, then this is the read for you.
Nintendo today released five new screenshots for Metroid Prime 3 Corruption and the logo. I'm not sure why they chose the screens they did, because in all honesty, they're not really that impressive. Not to worry though...we're looking for great gameplay, not cutting edge graphics. Judge for yourself.
Continue reading "Five new 'Metroid Prime 3' screens and a logo!"
Well, it looks like round one goes to Michael Pacther. He and his fellow analysts had a consensus estimate of $0.16 to $0.17 per share. I predicted earnings of $0.20 to $0.22 per share. GameStop today reported earnings of $0.18 per share, excluding a $0.03 debt-retirement charge.
What does this all mean? GameStop's profit doubled year on year and their earnings came in just above analyst estimates, meaning they're right on track. The stock price is down about 3% right now, however, once everything shakes out and people realize that GameSpot's guidance for the rest of the year remains strong, the stock will rebound.
GameStop said sales of products like Guitar Hero II, the DS, and the Wii are bringing in new customers and expanding the market.
Gamestop boosted its profit forecast for the year by 2 cents to as much as $1.42 a share. The company reiterated its forecast for sales to rise as much as 21 percent, with sales at stores open at least a year rising as much as 16 percent.
In other words, `"You have a near monopoly in a segment that's growing,'" said Robert Blews, research analyst with Cherry Hill, New Jersey-based Penn Capital Management, which overseas $5 billion, including GameStop shares. (source)Continue reading "Lunabean vs. Pachter - Pachter wins"
Activision today announced the next installment of Guitar Hero (Guitar Hero 3) for the PS2, PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii to be available this fall. The game doesn't break the mold by any means but features a new licesnsed Les Paul guitar and a variety of new tracks, eleven of which were announced today.
Note that the first six titles are by the actual artists. Activision actually got the licenses to use those songs, as opposed to the "as made famous by" of the other announced songs, and of previous Guitar Hero games.
That's a big step for the game and lends a lot of creedence to this latest version...speaking of creedence...wouldn't some CCR be great?
The game also features a new wireless controller (guitar) and will feature downloadable content on those systems which can handle it (Wii, PS3, and Xbox 360).
Hey, I'm just very excited about "Sabotage". Now, I just have to find a car hood to slide over.
Ubi confirms that the movies' two stars, Angelina Jolie and Anthony Hopkins, are signed up to do voice work for the game. They also say that the game will, "reinvent the hack and slash genre."
This sounds awesome.
Ubisoft this week held a two day promotional event featuring game trailers, previews, and news. Held in Paris, this Ubi bacchanalia was known as Ubidays.
Here, I offer you my take on games previewed at Ubidays. I've included on the games that I care about and they're listed in the order that I most liked the video.
Haze - PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Finally, a game for the PS3 that I want, and want bad! It's being developed by Free Radical (TimeSplitters and the group who broke off from Rare after developing Goldeneye and Perfect Dark), land it ooks amazing.
It's been a long time since a game's graphics have wowed me, but this did it for me. It also is representative of the Ubi motif for many of their upcoming games: a post-apocalyptic world in the strain of Children of Men. I'm so in.Continue reading "Happy Ubidays -- game videos inside"
So says a University of Illinois study which concludes that boys' exposure to gaming magazines influences their body image.
Wow, amazing. A study that concludes that young boys' body images are influenced by what they see or read. What's next? A study that reveals that young boys like Star Wars, insects, beating on their sisters, and ice cream?
Amazon is a great way to secure the most sought after games without having to run out on a wild search for the game on release day. It also helps us if you pre-order using any of the links in this story.
We'll write a walkthrough when the game comes out, so why not help us help you.
I have begun playing Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End and am currently in the midst of writing a Lunabean Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End walkthrough and guide. There's not much to see as of yet, however, check back often for updates.
So far, despite the fact that the game ranges between terrible and awful, I am enjoying it. It is that rare game that is so bad it's good; a perfect distraction.
We've known about it for a while, but today we have confirmation that Activision's Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (PS3, X360, PC) is in development at Infinity Ward, the developer of the first two Call of Duties.
For the first time in the series, the game will not be a WWII shooter but will instead focus on, well, modern warfare. The setting is an unnamed Middle Eastern country where a warlord dictator is raising havoc.
You'll play as a number of different special forces units in a variety of circumstances: sniper, gunship, stealth, etc. We expect the game to launch Holiday '07. If you haven't seen the trailer, here you go.
Anybody familiar with the book of Ecclesiastes knows the phrase, "There is nothing new under the sun." Well, Bible author (God), I beg to differ (free will).
I came upon some amazing video-game inspired parasols: Boo and a Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney-inspired "Objection" parasol. With summer right around the corner, it's a great way to avoid cancer, and look good doing it. I rest my case!
After the long holiday weekend I'm back on track with the Lunabean Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World's End walkthrough (PS2, Wii).
Now that I have a few more days of playing under my belt, I have to say that I continue to enjoy this subpar game. I don't know what it is, but it's actually put together quite well. It just plays as if it's out of 2002.
Anybody up for a game of Pirate Dice?
Update: We now have a complete 'The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass' Walkthrough and Strategy Guide. Please enjoy!
Nothing gets my gaming joy meter up (get your mind out of the gutter, sicko!) like news regarding Zelda. In this case, it's eight new Zelda Phantom Hourglass screenshots. How awesome do those look? The game will hit the DS this holiday season, raising the gaming joy meter of millions of gamers (hey, what did I say about that gutter and your mind?).
In other DS news, Nintendo yesterday announced that the Nintendo Wi-Fi connection has topped 5 million gamers and 200 million gaming sessions. When the Wii finally gets around to having some Wi-Fi enabled games, we'll see that number grow quite a bit. For comparison's sake, Xbox Live has 6 million subscribers.
Continue reading "DS roundup: 'Phantom Hourglass' screens, Wi-Fi connex tops 5 million"