Archive for the ‘Video Games’ Category

The Georgia Straight does tech badly


Originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson.

Can someone please tell me when The Georgia Straight turned into a conservative rag? Their last two covers have been all about confirming stereotypes. Fresh off last weeks front page feature that promoted the novel and in no way stereotypical idea that Asians are good at school, we get the “Hey some girls play video games too!” cover [tgs]. Add to that the cheesecake FHM/Maxim picture and we’re reading a lads mag.

Yeah Straight 1999 called and it wants its article back.

The women playing video game articles are old hat to anyone who owns the internet. Gaming industry sites like IGN have been covering this for years, and even if you want to just look at general interest mags I’ve seen articles similiar to this in the lads magazines, most mainstream media outlets and magazines at least since the Wii was released.

Maybe aside from a few unfortunate cover selectionsTthe Straight‘s real problem is with technology. I’ve never seen a particularly good tech article in the paper, and a lot of times it’s like they’re listening to last year’s This Week In Tech podcast for ideas. Last issue they covered Google Maps for God’s sake. It’s especially disapointing because Vancouver is a high tech city, hell it’s a video game city with Rare, EA and others having studios here. As a tech writer myself I notice tech writing and even small town interior papers have better technology columns than your average Straight stab at tech.

What’s up my nerdz?


Originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson.

I know what’s up, you’re all in front of you computers just checking your favorite city blog before going back into the world of Azeroth. It is the dawn of the Burning Crusade, and time to get your Blood Elf on.

For those of you who got lost somewhere around the second sentance of this post today is the day that the first expansion pack to the high popular World fo WarCraft was released. Called the Burning Crusade it adds a lot of additional content to the game, including two new races to play as and a new world to play in. So if your Skytrain ride today seems especially lacking in the sorts of people who generally play online MMORPGs then you know why.

Best Buy plastered downtown Vancouver with flyers advertising the release like it was some sort of rave in a wharehouse in Surrey with DJ Woozy. It’s rare that a major retailer engages in this sort of paper and tape marketing at the street level; I’ve certainly hardly ever seen it in Vancouver. So did it work? Did you line up at midnight for your copy, or did you think it was an indie band and pass on by?

For more, and better, World of Warcrafting stuff why not check out Metroblogging Azeroth [mba], all the cool level 62s in Stormwind are doing it.

Playstation 3: the lines have begun

PlayStation 3

Originally uploaded by Sameli.

If you were planning on buying a Playstation 3 tomorrow then I’d suggest it’s too late. There’s lines already outside of local stores, the Robson/Granville Street Future Shop has a line that’s at least fifteen people deep. Most stores aren’t even going to get enough systems to cover their pre-orders because Sony couldn’t manufacture themselves out of a wet paper bag.

A lot of pre-orders have been cancelled. Best Buy (who also owns Future Shop) cancelled all of their pre-orders [eg]. Online retailers have cut their orders in half, so if you’re not already in line then you’re probably out of luck.

Besides the XBox 360 is already out, won’t be that much different and is way cheaper. Plus Sunday’s release of the Nintendo Wii is the really exciting event.

Bully a Vancouver game destroying civilization one gay kiss at a time


Originally uploaded by !HabitForming.

Bully is the first game out of Rockstar’s Vancouver studio. Rockstar’s best known for the Grand Theft Auto series in which you steal cars, commit crimes and get healt recharges by using the services of hookers (if you know what I mean). Bully is similiar in game play, but based on the adventures of a child at a boarding school. Without even being seen by anyone in the public it was being decried as having the potential to put every citizen of this planet in danger.

Now that it’s out and the world has yet to end the people who make their living trying to prevent adults from buying things that might hurt children, such as Jack Thompson a Florida lawyer, are having to look for reasons to complain about a game that seems to actually not be anywhere near as voilent and abhorent as they claimed it was going to be. Oh except as part of the game a player can court another male student and have their character kiss that male character [gs]. Yup, so there’s a gay kiss.

The world’s ending.

NHL 07: Yet another Vancouver export


Originally uploaded by Hot Grill.

Vancouverites can get pretty excited when a major Hollywood feature is filmed in our fair city. I mean let’s be honest how many people saw that Michael Keaton movie White Noise to play spot the Vancouver city site? I know flipping through the cable channels late at night that was what kept my interest in the movie.

So we can get pretty jazzed about a movie, but some of the world’s most popular video games are made right here in the lower mainland. Chief amoungst them for Canadians is NHL Hockey. This year’s newest installment NHL 07 has just hit the shelves.

In previous years the Canucks former head coach Marc Crawford was a consultant on the game, even appearing in one edition to talk about hockey with the human players, and the Canucks John Ashbridge has handled the PA duties for the in game sound for years*. I still sort of miss the ever goofy colour-commentary by Sportsnet’s Don Taylor [wp], a semi-quasi-local-celeb.

Even though after a seaon of playing as the Canucks I’m back to my Oilers in 07, the game is still great fun and worth picking up. Come on it’s as local a product as the Steam Clock and Paul Kayria.

* I can’t find confirmation on this factoid anywhere on the internet, though I was told this by a long time Canucks fan and it sure as heck sounds like him. If anyone knows for sure let me know.

Driving in Vancouver with no traffic

Having played a lot of video games and a lot of racing games I’m fairly used to driving the digital streets of such world class cities as Tokyo, Paris, Berlin and even Seattle however I have never been able to explore Vancouver in such a racing game. That is until now.

ToCA Race Driver 2 features Vancouver as seen in this video (don’t worry it’s early in the video). Science World and the Skytrain are both featured though I’m not sure how much more of the city is driveable.

A race down the Lions Gate Bridge would be some kind of awesome.

Rockstar Vancouver’s Bully to finally be released

Rockstar is the video game company behind the controversial video game series Grand Theft Auto that’s got American politicians up in arms about censoring video games due to violent and sexual content. How crazy did you think they went when with the rise of school yard violence Rockstar announced the first game out of their Vancouver studio would be called Bully and focus on the school yard violence of a young man.

Yup, they went ape-shit.

Shipping this October, about a year after it was originally supposed to come out, the game will most likely be a big hit if the pre-buzz and the trailer up at the top of the post are any indication. The game looks fun, mad fun indeed, and will most likely end up in my collection of XBox 360 games. The question is how many piece of ID are you going to have to show to buy it, and how annoying are the parents groups going to be protesting the game before it’s even been released and is playable by the public.

It’s nice to see a Vancouver made game getting this sort of attention, even if it’s not all good. The fact that it looks like a demented version of Wes Anderson’s Rushmore movie just makes it all the more better. More better indeed.

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