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The Making of Doom 3 October 31, 2010

Posted by Maniac in Editorials.
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Happy Halloween everyone!  In honor of the holiday I dusted off something I promised for all of you, the entire research paper I wrote six years ago on the development of id Software’s Doom 3.  The article itself is far too long to just simply post here so I created its own page on this website.  To view it, you can click on the tab marked “The Making of Doom 3” on the top of this webpage or just click the link right here

If you’re a historian of gaming news, a fan of id Software, or just curious what goes into development of a video game, feel free to check it out.  Enjoy!

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Movie of the Week: How to Make a Monster October 29, 2010

Posted by Maniac in Site Videos.
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It’s Halloween and what better time to review a 2001 made for premium tv horror film?  But why, if this is a gaming website, would I go to the trouble of reviewing a horror movie for Halloween?  That’s because I’m reviewing 2001’s How to Make a Monster, the first movie I ever saw that actually depicted game development as a legitimate profession (yet still being a completely awesome job).

Seriously this movie has a special place in my heart.  The acting is totally awesome, the writing and characters are completely cheesy yet lovable.  Of course, then a monster comes to life and starts ripping into all of that.  This is a movie that really should’ve been a comedy.  That said I really enjoyed it, and here’s (in the biggest video gameXcess.net has ever done) a full review of the movie complete with a whole theme song.

If you guys like the theme song defiantly post up a comment!

No More Heroes Coming to the PS3 and Move October 27, 2010

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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My favorite game series on the Wii is making the move to the Playstation 3 and it’s getting HD graphics in the settlement.  The first game of the series is being ported to the Playstation 3 with full Move Support, HD graphics, and extra features like a Cutscene Viewer (my favorite special feature games can have) and a seperate boss fight mode.  I am curious if they’re going to keep the mode in the Japanese release which puts all the female characters in sexy(er) outfits, but there’s no mention of that.

No More Heroes: Heroes Paradise is coming to the Playstation 3 in 2011.

Star Wars: The Force Unleased II Collector’s Edition Unboxing October 26, 2010

Posted by Maniac in Site Videos.
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I picked up Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II today, and got the nice pre-order outfit and lightsaber crystal along with it.  I made sure to shoot my unboxing on my 1080p camera, enjoy.

I have to say I was really disappointed by what was offered here, especially after the really high quality of the Dead Rising 2 Zombrex Edition and even Halo Reach’s Legendary Edition (when comparing the Limited Edition portion).  This felt like what would’ve been more worthy of a $70 price tag opposed to a $80 one.

This is the Xbox 360 Version, the CE is also available for the PS3.

PSP Go Drops Price in US to $199 October 25, 2010

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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The PSP Go, considered by many internationally as a complete failure, has gotten a price drop in the US from the original $250US launch price to $199US, putting the PSP Go at the same price as a PSP-3000 bundled with a game and memory stick.

The PSP Go was really a bad idea all around, however some good did come of it.  The reason why the PSP Go did not do so well is likely because of the price premium and the incompatabilty with PSP games that came on discs (which was the whole PSP AAA market pre-Go).  People didn’t want to pay an extra-fifty dollars for a PSP that wouldn’t run most games, regardless of how “cool” it looked.  They also knew that current PSPs, as long as you had a high enough capacity Memory Stick Pro Duo, would be able to run any games downloaded off the Playstation Network just as well as a Go would, making the higher price a complete waste.

That said, it is nice that a lot of games that are no longer manufactered on UMD format have migrated to digital versions for download on the Playstation Network, allowing me to play a lot of games on my regular PSP that are no longer on store shelves like Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops.  I wish Infected would make the jump to the digital platform as that is still my favorite PSP game and it’s so unfortunate most people have not been able to play Planet Moon Studio’s masterpiece since the game has been out of print for a few years.

Movie Review of the Week: Game Boys October 23, 2010

Posted by Maniac in Reviews, Site Videos.
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It’s a first for gameXcess.net, a movie review!  Maniac and Diskreader117 discuss The Cinema Snob Brad Jones’s independant comedy “Game Boys” and what we liked about it, and what he got right about gamer culture and gamers in general.

Word to warning on older or lower-powered computers.  This review is shot in 1080p, which we might continue doing.  The problem with shooting in 1080p is not picture quality but the time it takes to upload is much longer than a 720p movie.  Please make sure to adjust resolution accordingly.

If you haven’t seen the movie yet, it’s free to watch here.  All two hours of it.

Stay tuned to the site for the next game-related movie review, the 2001 HBO Creature Feature, “How to Make a Monster”.

BlizzCon Begins Today October 22, 2010

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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BlizzCon 2010 has begun today and most of the first day’s news has been about the highly anticipated Diablo III, the sequel to 2000’s Game of the Year Diablo IIDiablo II is considered by many still to this day to be the finest Role Playing Game ever made, and it defiantly plays like a father to the system that would become World of Warcraft’s interface.

The new World of Warcraft expansion is expected to also be previewed, as well as some other goodies, all ending with a performance by Tenacious D.

Console Wars V – Part II October 20, 2010

Posted by Maniac in Console War, Histories.
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Microsoft launched the Xbox 360 without a Halo game even announced at launch or internal Blu-Ray support.  A year ahead of the competition, the Xbox 360 struck first and hard.  At a release price of $399 dollars with a hard drive and a hard drive free $299 model, the Xbox 360 was the biggest Christmas item of 2005.  The number one game for it?  Halo 2 for the original Xbox, which was the first game Microsoft made backwards compatible with the new console, and gave it an HD facelift with a native 720p resolution, and removal of the texture pop.  This made Xbox fans think of the 360 as a logical upgrade, exactly what Microsoft wanted.  Of course there was also native 360 games like Call of Duty 2, the biggest 360 exclusive seller of the Christmas season, Perfect Dark Zero by Rare, who made the original Perfect Dark, considered by many the best game of the N64, and Dead or Alive 4, the first HD entry into the popular Dead or Alive fighting series.

Sony released a year later with Playstation 3’s, but just like with the Playstation 2’s launch, they could not meet the original launch numbers for the console, however unlike the Playstation 2, nobody cared how many Playstation 3’s were on shelves, they weren’t going to buy it.  The high price and lack of any high profile games was unconvincing to get early adopters to buy the system immediately.  Blu-Ray, seen as the killer feature of the new consoles, found itself in the middle of a format war at launch.  Sony’s competition in the HD war had launched HD-DVD months earlier, and had several exclusive studios and a strong early lineup of movies.  Sony, while it also had exclusive studios like Disney, 20th Century Fox and their own studios, they all had made very bad movies in the previous year.  When these bad movies had their BD release in the initial run, nobody cared about them, and Blu-Ray wasn’t the killer function Sony was banking on to sell the Playstation 3 in the early months.  Even the lack of vibration on the new controllers made Playstation 1 and 2 owners think twice about thinking of the Playstation 3 as an HD upgrade to all their current games, instead keeping their current Playstations as they were.  However nothing was more damning to Sony than the high price point, over $200 more expensive than their chief rival and the poor showing of launch titles they had at that year’s E3.  Very quickly the supplies of Playstation 3’s made it to the retail shelves where they just sat and collected dust.

But then something happened.  Something Sony and Microsoft had not even considered.  The Nintendo Wii released shortly after the Playstation 3 and was selling out everywhere.  Even with a larger supply at launch than the Playstation 3 had, retailers could not keep it on shelves and would always be sold out.  While sellouts were a common occurrence with a new console (the Sony PS2 could not be found on shelves for over half a year after release) the Nintendo Wii, the cheapest and lowest powered console of this generation, was sold out for over a year.

With all the processing power and HD graphics of the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, the Nintendo Wii has become the far leader in this generation’s console war based upon sales.

But how did the Wii, if it did everything wrong, still come out on top? The graphics were nowhere near as good as the other consoles, but with low system specs came a low price for the unit. The low price point at launch was a big initial draw. On top of that, even with the low price Nintendo was still making profit from every unit sold, Sony, even with their high price, was losing a fortune with each Playstation 3.

What about the lack of DVD? Well the truth is by this point in time, everyone already had a standalone DVD player, making DVD playback not the must have feature as it was the last generation. Also, Blu-Ray, which is what Sony was banking on to sell their PS3s just as DVD had sold the PS2s, simply was not taking off as quickly as Sony expected due to the low install base of HDTVs at the time (only about 20 percent of homes at the time had HDTVs and most of them only supported 720p or 1080i) and the poor initial lineup of movies.

The Wii also came with the best game for the system packaged inside the console already, just as it had been with Super Mario Bros/Duck Hunt in the original NES. By bundling with the console, Wii Sports became one of the highest selling games of all time with over 50 million copies sold as of this time of writing.

The war was just beginning, but the lines were immediatly drawn, the positions were immediatly cast, and the fanboys were completely fanatical to their sides.  More games would be coming, prices would be dropped, and new technology would be destined for the horizion.  Will the console war shift?  We’ll find out soon.

Video Game Voters Network Day of Action October 19, 2010

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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I’m a member of the Video Game Voters Network, as I’m sure plenty of you who view the website are as well.

Today, in anticipation for the November 2nd Supreme Court review of the unconstitutional California Video Game law, the VGV Network is holding a day of action.

Their request of their members is to simply pledge this:

I pledge to support video games

That’s it.  You can check out their website and sign up for their newsletter if you wish.  Other members of the organization who have written newsletters in the past include Stan “The Man” Lee and Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II Launch Trailer October 18, 2010

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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It’s ten days away from release, and it’s demo is just fantastic, Lucasarts has released a launch trailer for Star Wars : The Force Unleashed II.

The trailers for this game have all had great CGI cutscenes, and it seems to partially explain how a game that kind of wrote itself into a corner at the end of the first game could have a sequel.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II is coming multiplatform October 26th, 2010.