Sorry to break it you, but Lorne Lanning, the creator of the Oddworld series, broke word to G4TV that the latest Oddworld game titled "Oddworld Stranger's Wrath" has been put, as he so elegantly said it, "on the shelf." This comes after the next game was originally announced by Maxis co-founder Jeff Braun oh so long ago.
Lanning's explanation for the hold was given as follows: "There's a lot of shakeup going on [in the gaming industry], and in that turmoil, we didn't really want to put the Oddworld brand out there in the middle of it."
So far the series has enjoyed three installments across multiple platforms with the latest being one of the premiere launch titles for the original Xbox. If you're a veteran of the series, this news may come hard to you. If you're a new prospect then there will be a chance to play the game via Steam when the titles make their way to the platform as the Oddbox collection later this year. Then you can also be sad to hear this news. If you want to play some Oddworld right now Steam currently has a two game package available that contains Oddworld: Abe's Exodus and Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee for a cool Benjamin.
Someone sent in a screenshot to Destructoid that clearly shows Jet Set Radio available on Xbox Live arcade. This poses the question, "Is Jet Set Radio coming to Xbox Live arcade?" I can tell you that the game isn't on the XBLA right now, state side at least, which either means that the game was released unannounced in Europe or that this screenshot is fake.
Jet Set Radio is widely considered one of the best games released on the Dreamcast so there will be plenty of people hoping that this is real. If any news pops up later we'll be sure to let you know.
With Alan Wake's launch fast approaching, Microsoft and Remedy thought it a good idea to put out a couple short prequel videos, titled Alan Wake "Bright Fall", leading up to the game's launch. The trailer above gives a peek at what's in store for the mini series when it premieres on Xbox Live on April 27... and is currently available on the New York TImes website. So you can either wait for the series to show up on Xbox Live or just go to New York Times and watch it now. Your call.
Bioware has come out with another video talking about the combat in Star Wars: The Old Republic, and their argument brings up a valid point. Do you really feel heroic in other MMORPGs? Consider World of Warcraft where 10 and 40 man raids have you going up against a single large enemy or groups of "mobs". If you attempted to fight without tanks, healers, and damage dealers you would be killed. Effortlessly. Not very heroic sounding is it?
It will be interesting to see where Bioware will take this concept of "feeling heroic" as you start to get higher in level though. If you loose that sense of progress, the feeling that your character is growing stronger the more you play (which is integral to MMORPGs), the game's long term appeal could potentially suffer for it.
Well, Infinity Ward is definitely bleeding talent. Five more employees have parted ways with the Modern Warfare developer bringing the total tally of deserters to something around 17 since the studio's former headman got the sack. The latest handful to jump ship include Senior designers Mohammad Alavi, Chad Grenier, and Brent Mcleod as well as programmer Chris Lambert and designer Jason McCord. Just as with many of the other departed no new comments have been given as to why they've left the company, though it may have something to do with Zampella and West's recent "respawn" in the industry.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that these aren't the last people we'll see leave Infinity Ward. In fact, with Respawn Entertainment due to get started sometime in May, it's wholly possible that Infinity Ward will have few (if any) of their original talent within the next couple months.
Sorry Metroid fans. If you were looking forward to getting your hands on Samus's guns this June you'll be disappointed to learn that Nintendo has announced that Metroid: Other M will be pushed all the way back to August 31st, around two months longer than the originally announced release date. As for the whys of the delay? When Kotaku broke the story earlier today Nintendo got in touch with them to comment:
"The launch date for Metroid: Other M has shifted to Aug. 31. As you may know, this game is the product of a unique partnership between longtime Metroid producer Yoshio Sakamoto, Team Ninja and many other individuals and groups, all of whom have set very high standards for this latest installment in the series. Although it's taking slightly longer than expected to complete the project, we're confident that fans will find it to be well worth the wait. Video game development is a lengthy and complex process. We have always put the quality of our products first, and have historically taken the time needed to make our games meet the expectations of our fans."
Oh well, life goes on. It's not uncommon for high profile Nintendo titles to get pushed back at the slightest hint of trouble. At least Wii owners have Mario Galaxy 2 to look forward to next month. Unless, you know, that game gets pushed back as well.
So who didn't see this coming? Ubisoft's digital rights management which requires the user to maintain a constant internet connection in order to play has now been hacked, essentially placing the DRM scheme at the apex of its uselessness. The hack was developed by a group called Skid Row and gives users the ability to play their games, namely Assassin's Creed II at this point, without the need for a connection to Ubi's authentication servers.
Hacks for this type of DRM have been around mere weeks after the Ubi initially started releasing games featuring the copy protection. What makes this hack different though is that it completely removes the games need to connect to an authentication server where as previous DRM circumvention techniques relied on allowing the game to authenticate with bogus servers. In a comment directed at Ubisoft Skid Row has said that Ubisoft should "next time focus on the game and not on the DRM. It was probably horrible for all legit users. We just make their lifes [sic] easier."
It's hard to argue that point. This is another case where a publisher's new fancy pants DRM scheme has been reduced to nothing more than a hinderance to the honest consumer.
In a herculean effort to squeeze every last drop of blood out of the Call of Duty stone, Activision's Dan Amrich revealed in a Facebook thread that the publisher is planning on releasing three more Call of Duty games before the earth has a chance to finish two consecutive revolutions around the sun.
As for COD, they've confirmed three games in the next two years. Seeing as how there is a pattern of one new COD game every year, this is one new COD game from one new developer, and in a different genre from the core games we've seen. I don't think that's comparable to what happened last year with Guitar Hero, but maybe you see it differently.
So there's Treyarch's COD coming out this year which is rumored to take place in Vietnam, Infinity Ward's COD game which is assumed to be Modern Warfare 3, and finally, this third COD game which is said to be an action/adventure title meant to broaden the series audience. That's a lot of Duty. We better start digging a hole next to Guitar Hero so we can get ready to drive this series into the ground.
The update itself is said to "prep" the PS3 for 3D gaming which is a feature intended to be introduced in the future as in, you know, not now but later. At least this gives you some time to save up a few bucks for that brand new 3D TV you'll need to play your games with the added illusion of depth perception.
Steam for Mac is moving right along if the embedded video above is any indication of its progress. Too bad we don't get to see actual gameplay footage or a list of supported games, but it's still nice to see what's in store for Mac users when Steam releases for OS X in the, hopefully, not too distant future.