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gezegond Blog

Game Studios That Died in 2011

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Original Article

As some of you might already know, I wasn't following any game related news last year. So this totally came as a shock for me.


Most apparent one that even I knew about wasTeam Bondi of L.A. Noire fame. Apparently, Rockstar Games fired them and finished the game themselves.

Team Bondi


Then there was Black Rock Studio, the talented developers behind Split Second and Pure. The company was aSubsidiary of Disney.I am fairly certain the reason behind this closure was Disney's poor management.Split Second,which was designed and delivered in two mere years,performed poorly at the stores despite all the positive reviews. Following the retail failure, Disney simply closed the studio. They should have never tried to stick their nose in the gaming industry. :(

Split Second


A major shock to me wasKaos Studios, the developers behind Homefront, which actually sold very well. But THQ just happened to be in a studio closing mood. I'm completely serious, since that's the only reason I can possibly think of for this closure. This studio had a lot of potential, but it was closed due to yet another bad management choice.

Homefront


The most shocking news for me however, was the closure of Bizarre Creations. Most famous for their outstanding Project Gotham Racing franchise, these guys have been one of industry's major racing game developers. Having developed the successful Formula 1 for the original Playstation, and Metropolis Street Racer for the Dreamcast, they went Microsoft exclusive with the PGR series which became one of the original Xbox's most successful titles.

However, things took a turn for the worse when they were aquired by Activision. As almost everyone already knows, activision is simply bad news. Their idea for their next racing game, Blur, was somewhat questionable given the fact that they were working for a company that was a major investor on cliché gameplay: It was basically "PGR meets Mario Kart". Regardless of positive critical responses, it couldn't perform very well at the stores.

The next game activision assigned to them, 007: Blood Stone, was doomed to fail from the very beginning. Unfortunately these guys were never good with third person shooters, with their last shooter game, The Clubreceivingsomewhat mediocre reactions both in sales and reviews, and 007 not exactly being the shooter gamers' first choice, the inevitable occurred and Blood Stone failed to do well in terms of sales. That's when Activision simply decided to pull the plug on these critically acclaimed developers, simply because the last two games were not as commercially successful as the Call of Duty.

All of Bizarre's previous publishers used their talent to define the racing genre on a platform. Activision on the other hand, simply closed the studio because of the poor sales of one game. The worst part is, considering the positive reviews Blur managed to get, poor sales were management and marketing's fault rather than bad development.

Formula 1

Formula 1 - Playstation - 1996

Metropolis Street Racer

Metropolis Street Racer - Dreamcast - 2000

PGR2

Project Gotham Racing 2 - Xbox - 2003

PGR4

Project Gotham Racing 4 - Xbox 360 - 2007

Blur

Blur - Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC - 2010

Bizarre

RIP


Lots of talented developers got disbanded due to bad management. So Sad. :( What are your thoughts on this?


PS, does anyone frequent the Giant Bomb forums here? If so, which have more strict rules, Gamespot or Giant Bomb?

DOA2 easy, GS worries me

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I played Dead or Alive 2! On PS2, with my friend, co-op VS cpu tag battle. We had no problem pummeling through the six couples on normal difficulty. Then we switched to hard difficulty, and had to put a little bit of effort for the last couple. After that we switched to the game's hardest difficulty, and although a bit challenging, we got through them in 30 minutes. Was that it? The CPU practically didn't put up a real fight in the hardest difficulty! Rather surprising for a fighting game, even "Naruto Ultimate Ninja" CPU put up a better fight than this, blocking every attack and grappling every block. :'( Not really satisfied.

Dead or Alive 2

Unrelated question: What website do you guys use for getting general game information? For me it was gamespot a while back, but they have changed the game pages so much now it's practically become an advertising page instead of game information page. The worst thing is that gamespot removed the user reviews from the main page, making it really difficult (and probably impossible for a new comer) to find the user reviews. Those user reviews usually gave me a sense of what the game is about at a glance, specially when combined with the one-line description, screenshots, and critic score. The only alternatives I know are Wikipedia (That contains no user input and little pictures) and MobyGames (which isn't so up to date and usually lacks user input) So tell me if you know any website that gives you a general idea of what a game is about at a glance.

On a sidenote, now that gamespot has changed the critical score (Which pointed to Gamerankings) to metacritic score, I'm worried that gamespot (or CBS, whoever's in charge) might completely shut down GameRankings. GameRankings has an archive of reviews dating back to 1980 (link). It also has archives of printed magazine scores, and previews and news articles from all different websites. The sorting options and easy search system makes me a daily user of this website. They didn't even get rid of a simple bug (that puts two slashes instead of one in the link urls) even after I reported it to the email listed on the help page, which makes me even more worried. I feel like no one cares about this site and the valuable data that's on it anymore.

PS: I am now Level 22 - Blaster Master. Congratulate me, now!!! I wasn't really around when I was Level 20 and 21, not sure how I leveled up. >_>

2011: year of Remakes?

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So I was reading this blog post, and I realized that there have been lots of remakes of gen6 games released lately. Games that are "remade" are usually at least 2 generations old. The 2 generation distance makes sure that there have been enough technological advancements for a remake to be possible, while the time distance provides the opportunity for today's gamers that weren't gaming two generations ago to get the remake of a game they initially missed. Some of examples I can think of right now are the Final Fantasy III & IV remakes for DS, Dragon Quest 4-6 for DS, and Silent Hill: Shattered Memories for Wii, PS2, and PSP.

On the other hand, these new remakes often called "HD Collections" that started with the God of War 1&2 for PS3 and now have included many other games, are basically the same game from the previous generation with HD coating, and I would simply call them "ports". While they provide excellent opportunity for gamers that initially missed them, I can't really understand the sudden shift in the industry for these HD collections. Could it be that the gameplay of this generation of games have become so bland over time that gamers need to resort to the previous generation for some solid single player gaming? This generation is already 7 years old, and besides Wii U which could be called a competitor for the PS3 and X360, no new console has been officially announced or previewed. With the whole industry trying to copy a select few commercially successful games such as Call of Duty and Gears of War as well as generally dumbing down games with each new release to appeal to more newcomers, do you see signs of another game industry crash similar to the video game industry crash of 1983?

This is a list of some of the most recent HD collections:
Shadow of the Colossus and ICO HD
Resident Evil 4 HD
Resident Evil Code: Veronica HD
God of War: Origins Collection
Prince of Persia ****c Trilogy HD
Metal Gear Solid HD Collection
Beyond Good & Evil HD
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell ****c Trilogy HD
Silent Hill HD Collection
Zone of the Enders HD
Final Fantasy X HD
Sly Cooper HD Collection
Jak and Daxter HD collection
(tell me if I have missed any)

Metal Gear Solid HD Collection

So what do you think of this sudden shift towards releasing HD collections? Do you see it as a good sign or a bad one?

Also what is your favorite Remake of all time? and what game would you like to be remade most?

I'm Back!!!

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Hey everyone, do you remember me? I kinda got busy with my life (a lot has happened) and I didn't have any chance to check this place. Even worse, I didn't even get to play any games! (That means the PS3 I bought almost last year has been eating dust since then, and my wii, and my PSP :( ) More importantly, I have no idea what's going on in the gaming world. All I know is that BF3 is going to be released, but has no 256 player maps. :| If you feel like commenting, tell me the most important news (the most important to you, of course. I don't really care about MW3 :) )

Hmmm..., I see that since the last time I visited here, a lot has changed: gamespot is now facebook, I've received two new emblems without even checking gamespot :question: and that "Now Playing" list that I really liked is removed! :o Maybe I shouldn't have come back, eh?

In the other news, I finally moved to a new place which has ADSL! OMG, Online Play!!!! Well, for now I'm playing "Quake Live" and "Battlefield Play4Free" (I'm really enjoying both of them), and I've also downloaded "Cross Fire" and "Rohan Online". (All are free games) My connection speed is still kinda slow, so I get kicked for high ping often. :roll:

Now that I look back at it, gamespot has been one of the most restrictive websites I've ever joined. Even as I'm writing this, I'm afraid of getting B& for writing stuff that people might find disruptive or offensive. (That "Online Play" a few lines ago was initially written in all caps)

That's why I can't talk as freely and openly as I want here. I have another blog here, please consider checking it. If you follow me there, I'll follow you here. You can follow me by subscribing to the RSS feeds, and there's no need to log in in order to comment on a post.

I'll keep blogging here too, but I can't talk about many things here. I'll try to read some news and blogs, follow some games that I like, and not participate in the forums. :D I remember there was a cool union that I joined right before I left, but I don't remember it's name. I wonder if it's still as cool as it was then?

Anyways, thank you for reading this nonsense. And if you do remember me, please leave a comment so we can continue our friendship. I really treasured my GS friends while I was active here. :)

Battlefield Play4Free

I got my PS3 on a rainy day

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When PS3 was released, I vowed to get one after the release of Gran Turismo 5. Well, GT5 sure took it's time, but it's finally here, and so I have finally gotten a PS3! Yay! :D Now I can remove that GT5 in my wish list. I've always admired PS3, but I never had enough money to actually get it.

My first impression is: It's amazing! Much better than 360 in almost every aspect. No more gigantic fan noise, no more "don't play more than 6 hours or you get RRODed" stuff. I can finally relax and enjoy a game without worrying about my console blowing up to pieces. (The 360 was my brother's, and it RRODed twice. Really annoying)

I hope to get the 2 Uncharted games and I want to get a wheel for GT5. I'm completely broke as of now though, so for now it's just me and this GT5. :P

Gran Turismo 5 box

Putting that aside, I've been having lots of exams (I know, my exams started really late, and I still have 2 more), so if I didn't comment on your blogs that was the reason. I've also been playing lots of The Last Remnant and watching lots of anime. Here's my MAL profile if you're interested.

That's all! Hope ya'll doin good. :)

Back to Gaming

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Greetings, people. You may not know, but I haven't really been playing games lately. And by lately, I mean around 2 years. It's partly because I have other stuff to deal with. I can also blame anime and manga, which I've only started watching/reading about 2 years ago. (yes, I haven't watched any anime before that time)

Regardless, games always had a place deep in my heart, so even though I might not have had any time to actually play games, I followed all the game related news, kept "trying them out" (playing my brother's games, my friend's games, demos), and of course, read tons of reviews (that's the main reason I'm here on Gamespot). (and let's not forget SWM, which I print on papers and read between my college c-l-a-s-s-e-s)

This however, has changed in the past three days, in which I turned back to my all-time-gaming 12-year-old former self. I spent the entire past three days playing The Last Remnant, a game I got ages ago, but really hadn't put any time into it until now. The game has it's fare share of problems, but I enjoy playing it overall.

The Last Remnant PC Box

I hadn't feel this good in about 4 years (at least), Gaming is the best entertainment there is.

Hope ya'll are feeling good like me!

Play VVVVVV!

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Okay, I was just wasting time on the internets as usual when I found this extremely difficult game, VVVVVV.

http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/4990/vvvvvv123456.jpg

I just thought I might as well share this discovery. You can play the demo online in a browser, download the demo, or buy the full game here.

You can also play another game titled VVVVVV which is a stripped down version of the above game, but instead it will run instantly, so it's good if you have a low internet connection like me. (This is the one I played) (Go)

Enjoy!

PS: for the first time in my life I wrote something that had no spelling errors. :D

My greatest game villain

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The greatest game villain thing is over now, so I felt like blogging about my favorite game villain.

It's this guy

Nemesis

Nemesis from Resident Evil 3.

Why? Because he's a monster that can talk. (well, sorta) Because he has both a bazooka and tentacles. Because of his footsteps. Because he always appears when you're either low on ammo or health, and because he's generally cool.

Oh, and he doesn't plan to ruin the world, he couldn't care less. The only thing he wants destroyed is YOU!

So who's your favorite game villain character? (if you have any)

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