For science, you monster
PokePark Wii has a photo-taking mode and also makes me think of Animal Crossing, a little. At least in the starting areas (Meadow and Beach Zones), what with the making friends and shaking trees and cheery music.
Only instead of paying off my sub-prime mortgage to Tom Nook, you bastard, I'm collecting berries to pay Pokemon for a go on their park attractions. To save the world, etc.
With all the distracting resource-managing, team-building, Monster-Hunting stealth action, maybe it escaped your notice that Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker eventually turns into Naked Snake's Beach Dating Sim For Eyepatched Mercenaries. Or maybe it didn't, I don't know.
Still. What's it going to be? Tux or trunks! Love Box or Hobby Mag! Your chesty deputy chief or the Costa Rican orphan schoolgirl adopted by your burgeoning private army!
WEIRD, YOU GUYS.
In the real world, element 99 on the periodic table is Einsteinium. It's an element that doesn't occur in nature--it can only be cooked up in labs, and only then in minute amounts. It's poisonous, radioactive and has zero practical applications, apart from poisoning or irradiating people.
In Singularity, the 99th element is E-99. It can be found in abundance, but only on the Stalinist island paradise of Katorga-12. It is orange, glows and back in the day was the Soviet scientist's equivalent of bacon in that it just makes everything better.
You can use it to make crops grow faster, make weapons better, make bombs bigger. You can rebeautify your crones. You can feed it to school children. You can use it to breed super soldiers and manipulate time and OH NO MY SCIENTIST'S HUBRIS HAS BROKEN REALITY.
Singularity, though: pretty good fun. It's got a gravity gun and Nolan North's in it.
It's not a proper blog post, and for that I'm sorry, but the last 40 tweets capture the essence of my E3 2010 experience. It's social media recycling!
# @ChrisMayhew87 Nono , it'll be a UK competition on Start/Select. Giant game t-shirts ahoy! 13 minutes ago via TweetDeck
# Also, think I was at a downtown IHOP at 3AM last night. Possibly with @superkaylo, @mikechannell and @slapdashash? #livingthedream 15 minutes ago via TweetDeck
# Last day of the show. We're shooting a Start/Select in an hour or two, need to collect swag for a competition prize. 18 minutes ago via TweetDeck
# @DarrylGU You too! Did you ever get into that ridiculous THQ party? about 5 hours ago via TweetDeck in reply to DarrylGU
# Also, Rock Band 3, seven-player demo: http://twitpic.com/1xedhz http://twitpic.com/1xed90 about 14 hours ago via web
# Have some more photos, why don't you? Tron cycle: http://twitpic.com/1xed5i Cylon: http://twitpic.com/1xedcb about 14 hours ago via web
# @nsbarrow I actually just missed Leonard Nimoy at the same event. =O about 14 hours ago via web in reply to nsbarrow
# @petah Afraid not! Guy only told me afterwards you said to tell her it was the best movie EVAR. >_< about 15 hours ago via web in reply to petah
# Did I mention I interviewed Zoe Saldana earlier? I interviewed Zoe Saldana earlier. about 17 hours ago via web
# @NateSeites @badassarmadillo Cheers! @EduardoReb Aw, you should've sent that question in, I would've asked it. Next time. about 17 hours ago via web
# Oh wait, I'm back on for Dead Rising 2. Gogogo. (Also, thanks @Sidburn19) about 17 hours ago via web
# @AllanD3 Did I? Oh well. I'll be a jaded live stage pro by the end of this year's show. And thanks! about 17 hours ago via web in reply to AllanD3
# You can see Fallout New Vegas' T-Rex from my desk: http://twitpic.com/1xamo8 about 23 hours ago via TweetDeck
# Alma Wade on the Fthreear stand over at the Warner Bros booth: http://twitpic.com/1xaly2 about 23 hours ago via TweetDeck
# Isaac Clarke is on the GameSpot live stage with Steve Papoutsis right now. Must be toasty in that metal suit. 16 June 2010 00:28:26 via TweetDeck
# Ghost Trick (DS) is magic. Another write-up for the pile, but first: Jurassic Park and Back to the Future from Telltale. 16 June 2010 00:11:09 via TweetDeck
# @markalexwalton Oh god, sorry to hear it. 15 June 2010 23:55:23 via TweetDeck in reply to markalexwalton
# @the_droog Now you mention it, yes, exactly like that. >_< 15 June 2010 22:30:43 via TweetDeck in reply to the_droog
# @ladieslovekazuo I'll write up impressions later today. I've got to see Ghost Trick with Shu 'Ace Attorney' Takumi right now. =O 15 June 2010 22:29:42 via TweetDeck in reply to ladieslovekazuo
# @JamesReadyUp I know, right?! Mizuguchi just did our demo with the 360 controller, though - also good (and you get rumble back). 15 June 2010 22:27:41 via TweetDeck in reply to JamesReadyUp
# Child of Eden with Kinect and 3D HD would be freaking transcendental. 15 June 2010 22:13:52 via TweetDeck
# Child of Eden is stunning. 60 FPS, audio like Lumines but better. Mizuguchi says no immediate 3D plans, but it's of interest. 15 June 2010 22:12:34 via TweetDeck
# I'll be at the WB booth for Lego Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest while Sony's show is on. So they'd better be good. >_< 15 June 2010 19:36:30 via TweetDeck
# And Kid Icarus Uprising looks great. Way to go, Nintendo. 15 June 2010 18:12:28 via TweetDeck
# Strong showing for the 3DS, even before Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid, DJ Hero 3D, Assassin's Creed and Kingdom Hearts confirmed. 15 June 2010 18:11:38 via TweetDeck
# This guy was last night's cab driver. Only in LA: http://imdb.to/d03FoC 15 June 2010 13:37:29 via TweetDeck
# @petah Not as bad as the "Kinect: it watches while you sleep" sign on the ceiling. 15 June 2010 10:34:51 via TweetDeck in reply to petah
# While you were out, we made your bed and left Kinect messaging on all your mirrors. Love, housekeeping. http://twitpic.com/1wy0ro 15 June 2010 10:25:35 via TweetDeck
# Actually, scratch that. Looks like I'm doing video at a Dead Rising 2 event. 15 June 2010 03:34:52 via web
# Now a Sega bash then some Activision-sponsored music festival. Thanks to O2 I'll be mostly off the (Twitter) grid without Wi-Fi. 15 June 2010 03:18:24 via TweetDeck
# @abellwillring The bisection and dismemberment are pretty extreme. Think it's a sign of a MGS game made with X360/Western audience in mind? 15 June 2010 00:07:55 via TweetDeck in reply to abellwillring
# @Leearigold Photos from inside the GameSpot booth.: http://bit.ly/dBaRli 15 June 2010 00:03:14 via TweetDeck in reply to Leearigold
# Actually, it IS hotter than the sun here in the glass GameSpot tank. 14 June 2010 23:44:24 via TweetDeck
# Watching that Metal Gear Rising trailer again. So hot. http://bit.ly/axz5kR 14 June 2010 23:42:45 via TweetDeck
# @Jearoon Holiday season means around (before) Christmas, fall means autumn and zucchini means courgette. 14 June 2010 23:42:13 via TweetDeck in reply to Jearoon
# "You scared the dick off me!" Bulletstorm, thank you. 14 June 2010 23:23:31 via TweetDeck
# RT @Gizmodo: "Xbox, Earl Grey, Hot": Microsoft Kinect Should Think Bigger Than Games http://bit.ly/bTAcgy (Headline win) 14 June 2010 22:03:44 via TweetDeck
# EA conference time, woop. Hoping for an RPG to plan 2011 around. 14 June 2010 22:02:58 via TweetDeck
# @guycocker Done and done. And I mean DONE. 14 June 2010 20:57:53 via TweetDeck in reply to guycocker
# Psyched for Child of Eden, should be talking to Mizuguchi tomorrow, whee: http://bit.ly/cIv0tC 14 June 2010 20:49:01 via TweetDeck
# RT @tamoorh: RT: @atheistium: And it begins http://i46.tinypic.com/2lk5l04.jpg (That was quick) 9:35 PM Jun 14th via TweetDeck
# @MrPointyHead Haha! I can whisper pretty loud, also. 9:08 PM Jun 14th via TweetDeck in reply to MrPointyHead
# @the_droog Believe it when I hear it. ^_^ 9:07 PM Jun 14th via TweetDeck in reply to the_droog
# Price unchanged, $299, shipping today so in (N. American) stores this week. "Ready for Kinect." 9:07 PM Jun 14th via TweetDeck
# That thing is super shiny, though: glossy case, shiny power button. Ace on the built-in 802.11N Wi-Fi though. Wonder how loud/quiet? 9:04 PM Jun 14th via TweetDeck
# @ladieslovekazuo Ditto. Highlight of the conference for me. Especially since I'm watching at the booth, no free Slim for me. >_< 9:03 PM Jun 14th via TweetDeck in reply to ladieslovekazuo
# WHAT WILL YOU CUT? Holy wow, Metal Gear Rising. 7:50 PM Jun 14th via TweetDeck
# The only GameSpot staff tee-shirts left are in large, extra large and double extra large. Roomy! 7:07 PM Jun 14th via TweetDeck
# @MrPointyHead Thanks, I have. Who puts chopped macadamia nuts in french fries, seriously? 7:04 PM Jun 14th via TweetDeck in reply to MrPointyHead
# @xFoxUK One day I'll warrant a disambiguation page. ONE DAY, WIKIPEDIA. 7:02 PM Jun 14th via TweetDeck in reply to xFoxUK
# @Xx_Danger_xX You better believe I will. >_< 7:00 PM Jun 14th via TweetDeck in reply to Xx_Danger_xX
# Seems like O2 failed to add the data abroad bolt-on I requested and now I'll need a mortgage to pay for those googlemaps. Gah. 4:26 PM Jun 14th via TweetDeck
# @lukewestaway Photos tomorrow! 9:40 AM Jun 14th via TweetDeck in reply to lukewestaway
# @braydee89 Some, not all, and it's pretty much GameSpot International for the duration of the show. 9:39 AM Jun 14th via TweetDeck in reply to braydee89
# @bajopants I thought that might be it. Still, light-up ceremonial ponchos > circus monkeys, no? NO?! 9:37 AM Jun 14th via TweetDeck in reply to bajopants
# Settling into the big glass-walled GameSpot base of operations/goldfish bowl on the show floor. Booths going up all around. 11:17 PM Jun 13th via TweetDeck
# @AntAttwood Not comprehensively, since someone else will be live blogging and I'll be doing write-ups. 11:10 PM Jun 13th via TweetDeck in reply to AntAttwood
# Heading for the Xbox UK E3 'tea party' at the JW Marriott. 7:50 PM Jun 13th via TweetDeck
# ...aaand 12 or 13 hours later, in the cab from LAX with @slapdashash and @guycocker. 12:56 AM Jun 13th via TweetDeck
# Short of being kicked off the plane at the last second, I have made my flight. Me: one. Heathrow: nil. 12:11 PM Jun 12th via TweetDeck
The proceedings kick off on Sunday evening with a big Project Natal bash. The invite from Microsoft says leave your technology at home, meaning no cameras or video, so, I don't know, I'll do you an artistic charcoal rendering of Mr Guy Cocker playing Ricochet. It'll be like you're right there in the room. IN THE ROOM WITH E3.
Then Monday morning is the actual Microsoft conference, followed by EA's, followed by an Activision event, and that's all before the show proper even begins on Tuesday. Exciting times, you guys.
Incidentally, the fact I'm planning on adding further hours to my 30-hour Peace Walker savegame so soon after completing the main campaign and filing my review for the thing is testament to how excellent it is, which is very. I've got Hideo Kojima (right) labouring away in Mother Base's intel lab, for real.
At the risk of taking a Rockstar game too seriously, I've come over all role-player in Red Dead Redemption, maxing out my honour stat at the price of my own convenience and precious, precious gamerscore.
John Marston is a reformed outlaw, after a fashion. He's a killer with a code. And he's a married man. A family man. He doesn't look twice at the terribly pleasant Miss "Call Me Bonnie, You Fool" MacFarlane. He's just an ex-con just trying to go straight and get his kid back, you know how it is.
That's baked into the game, that's not me. That is, how do you say, the plot. But the rest of my game, that's me interpolating between the plot points, keeping Marston in character from cutscene to cutscene. In a duel, my John Marston shoots men in the hand, not the face. He helps anguished strangers. He is depopulating Mexico of bandits and cannibals.
My John Marston is also a man of nuance. Of contrasts. He has been known to gather wild flowers and stab a wolf pack to death in one evening. He is bringing back the poncho. He is and does all these things. But he definitely does not hogtie prostitutes and watch them get pulped by the 9:45 from Armadillo.
Which brings me to an achievement impasse, and a finer moral dilemma a game has never raised: can I really break character for just 5G?
PS. I did feel pretty vindicated when I met, with a clear conscience, the top-hatted cowboy devil himself atop a cliff. I DIDN'T MUG THE NUN.
Just so we're clear, the "quantum immortality" on which the first episode of Alan Wake's awesome Twilight Zone parody Night Springs is based is really a thing.
Where by "thing", I mean "basically untestable thought experiment" spun out of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, that pop science and sci-fi staple in which the universe splits in two at every flip of a coin. Or, in this case, every pull of the trigger.
Much like the better-known Schrödinger's cat thought experiment, it's not actually meant to be carried out. So: no guns and no cats, people. Anyone else got a favourite Night Springs?
Though I can't get enough Mass Effect in the medium of game*, I have my reservations about a Mass Effect movie.
It's only partly the healthy skepticism with which we've learned to regard any impending game-to-film adaptation, though our "video game history month" game movies feature on the front page as I type, lays out that genre's chequered past pretty neatly.
But that's compounded by the screenwriter "in talks" to pen the script, Mark Protosevich. This is the writer behind the sub-par movie adaptation of I Am Legend, one of my favourite books.
Far be it from me to hold a grudge--and studio meddling may well have warped what started as a kickass screenplay--but it makes me nervous, that's all I'm saying.
*For the record, I mined every minable planet on the galaxy map. Where's my parade (achievement)?
Dragon Age: Origins' Darkspawn Chronicles downloadable content comes out today. I won't be downloading it immediately because Mr Alan Wake still needs to be seen safely through his most excellent nightmare, but I will get around to it because it's Dragon Age. I like Dragon Age a lot.
Further to the preview, I think BioWare missed a trick by not importing your player character into a death cutscene glimpsed in the DLC trailer. (There's no such introductory cutscene in the DLC itself.)
An alternate universe add-on in which your hero is dead, the darkspawn are winning and your beloved party members are getting clobbered should be, for my money, freaking heartbreaking. I think seeing the character I invested 60 hours in, before Awakening even came along, choke on darkspawn blood while Alistair watches would do nicely.
Speaking of Alistair, in Darkspawn Chronicles he and Morrigan are still together at the bitter end, somehow not having snarked each other to death in your absence. How'd that happen?
Fuse's tracking picked up my old World of Warcraft achievements, at long last. Apparently, Master Fisherman is among my rarest Raptr achievements. It amounts to at least 5,000 solid hours of waiting for fish to bite and looking for Patches of Elemental Water. I- I guess time well spent, is what I'm trying to say?
Fully 'programmable', customisable non-player characters (see one to the right with Media Molecule's Mark Healey). Slap on a green skin, set behaviour to follow, clone a few dozen times and pow! Instant zombie horde.
2) Steam and Cake
One of the new game's themes, as found in the Victoria's Lab world mentioned in the preview. This is a mash-up of steampunk and Victorian tea parties - so an instant win, basically, with the Fluffy High-Tech theme (robots and bunnies) a close second.
3) Passion Pit
It's hard to imagine a better tune to accompany the reveal trailer than Passion Pit's Sleepyhead. It's exuberant, bubbly and charming, much like LittleBigPlanet itself. More of this and similar tracks in the soundtrack of the game proper, please.
You - and by "you", I mean "I" - might have hoped that the first words I ever typed for GameSpot would be something momentous. But no, this is merely a hello, how's it going, I'm the FNG, pleased to meet you. The GameSpot blog equivalent of a mic check. (Tap, tap, is this thing on?)
On the other hand, what am I saying. For me, it already doesn't get any more momentous than this: taking up the mantle of GameSpot UK Section Editor. I'm proud to be joining GameSpot and looking forward to working alongside some great people here.
By way of background, I came to GameSpot from MSN UK's technology channel and Inside Xbox, co-presenting the SentUAMessage show with Messrs. Dan Maher and Andy Farrant.
I'm sure we'll be getting to know each other better in the near future, when I'll be typing more than tentative blog posts. Until then, hello, how's it going, I'm the FNG, pleased to meet you.