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Reacharound

Black Ops: A History of Call of Duty

Well, here we are again. Another lazy Sunday afternoon, and that means it’s time to celebrate the most insightful, humorous, and anti-Stephen Johnson comments from the past week in today's Weekly Reacharound Review. Let’s do this.

Two clever readers, JustTheBeginning and Spybreak kicked things off on Monday with these gems that framed the recent spate of Kinect-related injuries with the recent Supreme Court case regarding violent video games:

JustTheBeginning: See! Video games cause violence among adults too! Call California, we need a 99+ sticker instead of 18+!

Spybreak: See video games are so dangerous, we need to regulate them! Oh wait no no we need to regulate owning dads haha.

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Gran Turismo 5 Reveals New Cars, Courses, Modes, and More

Barring some spectacular last minute turn of events, Gran Turismo 5 will be released in two short weeks. I know. The thought of this game actually coming out in our lifetimes is nearly impossible to comprehend, but it appears it’s actually going to happen. That means that soon, we’ll no longer be able to joke about the game never coming out. So to take us out with a humorous bang, here’s reader xxCoolMikexx with one final GT5 release zing.

So they say November 24th? I can't wait to buy it on the day it's finally released, in February ...

Green Day: Rock Band Detailed And Dated

News that Viacom is offloading Rock Band developer Harmonix came as a bit of a surprise, but when you consider how much it costs to make those games (between standard development costs, licensing costs, peripheral manufacturing, etc.), and how much they have to make to recoup those costs, it’s easy to understand why someone would decide to sell them off. But as GatsuBlackSword explains, Harmonix’s fate is directly tied into the genre they helped create.

Harmonix has been around for 9 years now. They have always innovated. Frequency, Amplitude and Rock Band were nothing more than amazing, no matter where they get sold to they will continue to make some great games.

Unfortunately the "Music" genre is getting massively over-saturated and people are loosing interest. Entertainment has trends, some last for many years and some come and go.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes

A Kinect powered Star Wars game sounds simultaneously great and worrisome. The on-rails game demoed during E3 looked like it had potential, but, as reader lowkevmic points out, we don't know nearly enough about the game at this point to have any real sense of what the game will eventually end up being, or if it will even be the kind of game Star Wars actually want.

It's reached a point where you can no longer say if an upcoming game is going to be good or not until it is out. We all thought the Kinect was going to be crap, and everyone is eating their words. We though the PSPGo was going to be awesome, and you see where that went. For all we know this upcoming star wars game could be the best thing to come to the Kinect, or the fanboys can be right and it can just be crap. But I doubt that the fanboys will be right about this one.






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Call of Duty: Black Ops Multiplayer Reveal Hands-On

As we do with all big releases, we’ve put up our console comparison video for Call of Duty: Black Ops, and, as you’d expect, quite a few readers got bent out of shape about it. However, as reader balto85 pointed out, just because there might be differences between the PS3 and 360, that doesn’t mean either one is necessarily better or worse than the other. They’re just…different.

I have both systems, so I really do believe I'm not biased. I think PS3 games will always look just a little better. I mean, it truly is a more powerful console and I don't think that could be argued. There are games for the PS3 that the 360 could never do (if the developer really specifically designed for the PS3, such as Uncharted or Gran Turismo and not just a game out for all consoles). That being said, if it's a game that can be played online, I'll go with the 360 every time. That's where my friends are, and so that's where I want to play the game. The visuals on those multi-console games usually aren't noticeable enough to pull me away from Xbox. For me, single-player-only games are definitely PS3, online is 360.

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Kinect Adventures

We posted a video earlier today of a dad accidentally clocking his kid in the face while playing Kinect. We certainly hope the kid wasn’t seriously injured, but we’d also like to thank him for taking one for the team, and brightening our days ever so slightly. Of course, as two of our readers pointed out, injuries such as this one might just be the next big thing that anti-violent video advocates latch onto:

JustTheBeginning: See! Video games cause violence among adults too! Call California, we need a 99+ sticker instead of 18+!

Spybreak: See video games are so dangerous, we need to regulate them! Oh wait no no we need to regulate owning dads haha.

And on the day the audio recordings from last week’s Supreme Court case involving violent video games. Timely, humorous, and insightful. Well done commenters!

EA Sports Active 2.0 Arrives for Wii, PS3 & Kinect

The Microsoft Kinect launched today, and our site shows it, with a ton of Kinect game reviews, opinions and news. The reaction of the Kinect's launch from gamers seems decidedly mixed. While G4's editorial staff is embracing the new device, a lot of you guys aren't psyched at all. Of course, there are quite a few lovers to balance out the haters, but today's Reacharound goes to turboswag who intelligently explains why he won't be playing a Kinect just yet, even though he wants one:

"I own all three systems, and I personally like the PS3 best, HOWEVER, I will give Microsoft props for making me want the Kinect. Personally, I'm not too into motion controls. I easily passed up the Move and my Wii is kind-of collecting dust as well. I don't think I will get the Kinect quite yet. It's more of a waiting game until something good comes out. Either way, I think I'll stick to my controller. Thanks anyway."

What do you guys think? Are you taking a wait-and-see approach as well?

250GB Xbox 360 Kinect Bundle Announced

Today's Reacharound concerns the soon-to-be-released Microsoft Kinect. Specifically, reports that Microsoft is predicting sales of five million Kinect units this holiday. My gut says that's a reasonable number, but user Vesuvian Ast3r1x had a personal experience that he thinks indicates that Microsoft is set to own this holiday season:

In my personal experience it will be a hit. ONE major reason is this: My mother who is not the most technologically savvy person in the world came to me one day last week and asked ME what I thought about the Kinect. Now this a person who doesn't always know what combination of buttons brings up the cable guide, so yeah.

Love or hate Kinect, Vesuvian Ast3r1x makes a compelling point. I, too, have had more than one conversation with  non-tech-oriented friends and relatives that started, "So, tell me about this Kinect thing..."  How about you guys?




The Verdict: Red Dead Redemption Undead Nightmare Pack

Last week wasn’t all about celebrating the release of some of the year’s most anticipated titles. It was about enjoying another solid week of you all bringing the goods in the comments department. So lets recap, shall we?

FrenchBread147 started things off on Monday by bringing some levelheadedness to our Fallout: New Vegas comparison video discussion.

I find it interesting that everyone assumes one console has to look better. I just look at how each hardware handles the graphics differently.

The impending release of Microsoft’s Kinect has us all thinking about the potential of controller-free gaming, or, as Pound_of_Flesh pointed out on Tuesday, controller plus controller-free gaming.

I still think that games like FPSs and RPGs will eventually be able to find uses for Kinect. Easy one for shooters is leaning out of cover. RPGs could use gestures for spells and such. There is no reason that Kinect can't be used in tandem with a controller. I'm looking forward to the day COD brings back the lean. Rainbow Six could benefit from it. Even Gears of War could bring a new curbstomp to the table (maybe).

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Daily Reacharound:

We put up a lot of videos around here. A good portion of those are gameplay videos that we capture ourselves and then share with you for your viewing pleasure. Obviously, the skill level on display in these gameplay videos varies depending on who’s playing the game, and what difficulty level the person is playing on. I bring this up, because our own media/asset guru Donell Tucker put up a First 15 for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II today, and as reader Canid117 pointed out, it wasn’t Donell’s finest moment:

An Xbox 360 Elite: $300
A copy of the Force Unleashed II: $60
A 20 oz bottle of mountain dew: $1.25
Dying five times in the first fifteen minutes of a game and posting it online for us to laugh at: Priceless

To be fair, Donell was playing on the highest difficulty setting and was being bombarded with half-a-dozen requests for various tasks at the time, so he was dealing with a lot at the time. It’s no excuse, and I would never live down the embarrassment if that had been me playing, but I just thought you’d like to know.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Supports Kinect?

We are closing in on the release of Microsoft’s Kinect, and even the launch lineup leaves a lot to be desired, the technology powering Kinect is undeniably intriguing. It’s just going to be a while before we start to see the Kinect’s true potential. Still, like reader Pound_of_Flesh points out, there’s no harm in imagining how Kinect will be integrated into already established genres:

I still think that games like FPSs and RPGs will eventually be able to find uses for Kinect. Easy one for shooters is leaning out of cover. RPGs could use gestures for spells and such. There is no reason that Kinect can't be used in tandem with a controller. I'm looking forward to the day COD brings back the lean. Rainbow Six could benefit from it. Even Gears of War could bring a new curbstomp to the table (maybe).

All good suggestions. What say you?

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Fallout: New Vegas

I don’t want this to turn into a whole big thing, but there are some readers who consistently take offense whenever we post a video comparing two console versions of a big game. Today, we put up just such a video for Fallout: New Vegas, and once again, a certain portion of readers voiced their ire over what they consider to be flame war bait. While we do always like to have topics that encourage reader discussion, the purpose of these comparison videos is first and foremost about the technology of games and showcasing that technology in an easily digestible form. Reader FrenchBread147 appears to share this sentiment, as they explain:

I find it interesting that everyone assumes one console has to look better. I just look at how each hardware handles the graphics differently.

Rant and rave all you want, but this is precisely our intention with these videos. Just thought you’d like to know.

Gamescom 2010: 11 New Dance Central Tracks Revealed

Earlier today, we told you about the 17 titles that will launch with the Kinect in November, and the response from your guys was far from celebratory. Reader JohnnyBuku summed up most people's feelings, posting

Not one game in that list makes me want to be an early adopter. The only Kinect-related thing of interest to me at this time would be the ability to control the console UI minority-report style. But i am sure that worthy games will be forthcoming next year..

I don't know if I agree totally... I like the idea of Dance Central, and I'm looking forward to it as much as I'm looking forward to any other game on the immediate horizon.

California Senator And Two Psychiatric Groups Petition The Supreme Court Over Violent Video Game Law

Reader EKG offered the following impassioned response to the first part of Jake Gaskill's series of articles on the impact and meaning of the upcoming Supreme Court game decision:

"...The other thing people need to realize is that if this industry is removed as protected speech, you better believe all other forms of violent media will be next. They will go on the attack of films, and music, and the internet. If this law passes, it will already have a chilling effect on the film industry and any other industry that exercises its right to express violent content. Suddenly, nothing is safe. And politicians will try to censor everything and use children as the reason why.

Gamers NEED to understand how serious this is. If this was only about making it illegal for a child to buy M rated games than it wouldn't be as serious as it is. But it isn't only about that, it is about this entire industry having a gun to its head, with California ready to pull the trigger. DO NOT underestimate this law, it could destroy this industry like it destroyed the comic book industry in the 60's.
"

I couldn't have said it better myself.


Daily Reacharound: The More Things Change...

Capcom has been taking heat from Devil May Cry fans since it revealed its franchise reboot DmC, and the primary source of that anger is the new design of series protagonist Dante. While the outrage is hardly surprising, it’s also, as reader holidaybob points out, a bit misguided as well:

I think everyone's kind of makin a mountain out of a mole hill here. So what they changed the way Dante looks, big effin deal. They're game designers and its their game so guess what, they get to make it the way they want. And nuts to all you crybabies saying Dante looks like an emo drug addict. I personally don't care what he looks like so long as they're able to retain his personality and ridiculously over-the-top fighting style, which it appears they have, based on that trailer. This whole argument reminds me of all the whiners that got butt-chapped when Sucker Punch changed the way Cole looks in inFamous 2. It kind of pissed me off when I heard that they caved to the pressure and changed his look back to something similar to the first game, regardless of whether or not they may have had a story element to explain the reason for the look change.(Remember Cole's a terrorist wanted by the entire country, sounds like a good idea to change your look to me) Here's hoping Capcom sticks to their guns and doesn't change a thing just because a bunch of people on the internet are complaining like little girls about the way their main character LOOKS! Wait till we actually have some details about the story before you start whining about a game that probably wont even come out till 2012 or later.

So what say you? Classic entitlement debate, or justifiable gamer rage?

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