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Weekly News We Care About Wrap Up – 1.5.07

posted on January 5th, 2007 by jay

Crappy developer buys crappy developer
Traveler’s Tales, the awesome company behind such classics as Sonic 3D Blast, Crash Twinsanity and Muppet Race Mania has purchased Embryonic Studios, which is responsible for the all time great Looney Toons: Back in Action. Traveler’s Tales aren’t too bad, really, I’m just bitter over their multiple attempts at killing excellent franchises (Super Monkey Ball Adventure came from these guys).

I’d rather see a headline that reads, “Boring studios who make predominantly licensed crap go out of business due to the general public’s lack of interest in Disney for the past decade.” It’s always possible these companies are consolidating due to a shrinking market, much like the Great Abacus Consolidation of 1174.

Rare founders leave their company
The Stamper brothers, reportedly media shy partly due to their ugliness, have left Rare. They founded the company Ultimate Play The Game (pretty catchy name) in 1983, which later evolved into Rare. Microsoft doesn’t seem particularly bothered by their departure, simply saying that the brothers have helped shape Rare into the important company it is today. Because they don’t give many interviews, it is difficult to tell how much influence they have on their company’s titles, but it seems very likely they played a large role.

Microsoft probably wishes they hadn’t spent $377 million for Rare.

Behold Treasure’s greatest shame: McDonald’s Treasure Land Adventure

1up interviews Treasure
Reading an interview with Treasure’s Masato Maegawa always brightens my week. Being behind classics like Radiant Silvergun, Ikaruga and Gunstar Heroes is enough to ensure my eternal respect. But Treasure doesn’t just make great games, they have a development process that would give faith to even the most jaded gamer.

Maegawa is interested in revisiting Sega classics on the new consoles, like the aforementioned Gunstar Heroes. So he went to his development team and they said, “No.” And that was that. Maybe one day in the distant future they will release a new Guardian Heroes, but if it comes we can rest assured the designers at Treasure really wanted to make it.

As for specific games, they are working on a 2D (gameplay-wise) shooter on the 360 and a DS game or two. They also promise a Wii title. Sorry, I’ll stop drooling now.

Hybrid HD DVD/ Blu Ray player from LG
Hmm…

Discs that are both Blu Ray and HD DVD
HMM…

It may just be the case that the format war is sidestepped entirely due to creative inventions. A player that reads both new formats and discs that work in either drive may just save consumers the hassle (and money) of gambling on Blu Ray or HD DVD. Much like no one cares if their DVD is + or -, the average consumer won’t care if they are playing Blu Ray or HD DVD discs, as long as they look good. The cost of these new drives and discs are key, though. I’d rather choose between formats than pay double the price for access to both. If the format war becomes a non-issue, will it mean anything for the PS3?

“OK, so get this for innovation – We make a game like Splinter Cell or Halo or whatever, that doesn’t really matter… but here’s the kicker, in our game, you use two people to blow stuff up.”

EA set to make interesting games
It’d be easy to just write off any suit from EA, but I’ll give them a chance. Go ahead and make interesting games, just know I will not accept Army of Two as creative. It may be excellent, but I have seen more military guys with guns than most Vietnam vets have. Please come up with something other than a stealth action game where the goal is to blow up people’s heads.

Japanese museum uses DS as tour guide
So this is where the Escher art is. I went to the Tate Modern looking for his patented optical illusions and found only Van Gogh, Picasso, Ernst and other no talent losers. I did have my DS with me, though, so if I had the option to use it for educational purposes, there’s the distinct possibility I would have considered thinking about it.

Another divinely inspired rapture game
The plot focuses on a guy trying to prevent Christians from being persecuted after the Rapture. This is completely absurd. Everyone knows that at the time of the Rapture, we will ascend to Heaven and the damned will be left to fight it out amongst themselves. Bad news for you, developers, if you are hanging out on Earth post-Rapture, you won’t be joining us in Heaven.

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