Saturday, April 30, 2005

E3 and a bunch of other news

Okay, let's get the first news out of the way. Two reviews went up tonight at GameSpy. The first is for Resident Evil Outbreak: File #2 (PS2) and the second was Popeye: Rush for Spinach (GBA).

Moving right along, it's been a hectic few days. First off, I got the call from GameSpy about flying out to L.A. in a couple of weeks to help with their coverage of E3. I got that taken care of and everything was set. settled, and ready to go ... which naturally means everything was about to fall apart (Heh). So sure enough, the next day I tell my editor I've booked the flight and will be hitting L.A. on Tuesday the 17th. Then I find out some plans changed at the last minute and now they need me there on Sunday the 15th. So, I call the airline to change my reservation and I'm told it'll run me an EXTRA $400, to change the flight to Sunday, but only $150-ish to change it to Saturday. Of course, the rest of the GameSpy crew won't be in L.A. until Sunday, meaning there's no hotel set up for Saturday. Thankfully, a few quick calls later, I had my flight booked for Saturday AND a place to stay that night (thanks LeSean). Now I'll be at E3 all week, and cover some of the pre-show events as well.

As if that wasn't enough to keep me busy, it looks like I have yet another writing job lined up. This one is for a TV special ... one in a series which I may be involved with. And for those of you keeping score, this production company is NOT Greedy Productions (the company I usually do work for). I really can't say much more than that at the moment, but as soon as I can, I'll pass the details along.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

June 2005 EGM

Well, the new issue of EGM shipped today. I know because I get mine electronically. In it, you'll see a 2005 Preview feature. Most of the previews are fairly short, but the ones I wrote were:

(In order of appearance)
Beat Down: Fists of Vengence
Mark Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure
Without Warning
Spartan: Total Warrior
Delta Force: Black Hawk Down
Call of Duty: Big Red One

I was surprised at some of the edits done to the work, but looking over the feature as a whole, the edits made sense to have everything flow together as one solid piece.

As far as other work goes, I've got reviews up over at GameSpy for MVP (PSP) and Raze's Hell (Xbox). I've already wrapped up a review for ATV Offroad: Blazin' Trails (PSP) but it won't go up until Thursday. I'm also currently working on a couple of rush jobs, as well as an interview piece for GameSpy as well.

I also got an offer today to help cover E3 for GameSpy. Looks like I'm L.A. bound in a few weeks. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Hugo the what?

Quick post tonight. Just wanted to let you guys know my review of Hugo: The Evil Mirror (GBA) went up tonight on GameSpy's site. That's it, but there's more to come. Currently, I'm reviewing MLB (PSP) and Raze's Hell (Xbox). Those should be up any time this week. Later.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Buying games at "EB GameStop"

Big news coming out of the video game retailers today as it was announced that Gamestop and EB Games will be merging into one entity. This will give the new company control of almost a quarter of the video game market. According to the press release, the deal will give EB stockholders $38.15 in cash, plus the equivalent of 0.78795 shares of GameStop for every share of EB stock. The deal is valued at approximately $1.44 billion with consideration consisting of approximately 70% cash and 30% common stock.

As a result of the sale, GameStop will be the surviving name. A conference call with management from both companies is scheduled for today (April 18) at 1:00p EST, with a new investor presentation to be posted online shortly thereafter.

You can check out the press release and an archive of the conference call at both companies' respective investor sites:

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

A "Myst" opportunity

So it's a cheesy pun. Sue me. Anyway, my review of Myst IV Revelation (Xbox) went live today. It's one of those games that just seems a lot better on the PC than it does on the Xbox. Read the review and tell me what you think.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Majesco is officially "COOL"

Okay, so this is one to file away under the "What?" category.

Majesco, the publisher behind such games as BloodRayne, Advent Rising, and Infected, has officially changed its name from Majesco Holdings Inc. to Majesco Entertainment Company. While that in itself doesn't seem like such a major event, what is funny is that the company has also decided to take the opportunity to change its listing under the NASDAQ market. The company, formerly traded under the listing "MJES", officially began trading on the stock market under its new NASDAQ listing ... "COOL".

According to Carl Yankowski, Majesco’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer:
“We believe that the name Majesco Entertainment Company is indicative of our strategy to provide innovative and appealing digital entertainment products to the consumer. Furthermore, we believe our new ticker symbol COOL represents the unique culture and innovative spirit of Majesco.”

Majesco management will be on hand at the NASDAQ Market Site on April 13, 2005 to celebrate the new change by ringing the opening bell.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Next-gen Xbox debuts on MTV

For all of you out there upset that the new Xbox system will be unveiled at the press-only E3 event, well there's no reason to gripe about it any more. Microsoft has announced that it was joined up with MTV Networks to produce a half-hour special called "MTV Presents: The Next Generation Xbox Revealed". The special will be hosted by actor Elijah Wood, an admitted video game fanatic. Music will be provided throughout the special by Island Records recording artists, The Killers. The special will debut with a worldwide MTV broadcast on May 12 at 9:30p EST.

Viewers will get a sneak peek of the new (and as yet unnamed) system, as well as information on the system's feature, behind-the-scenes footage of the system's creation, an outline of some new Xbox Live features, and of course PLENTY of gameplay footage. After the special airs, the coverage will continue over at with extended event coverage, including more behind-the-scenes videos, photos, and other extras. will also provide ongoing coverage of the next-generation Xbox, highlighting the latest in news, product details, and game previews.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

A long LONG night

Ugh. Okay, I'm trying this again. It's late (early?), I'm tired, and I need to get some sleep. But before I do, I figured I'd toss up a post to keep everyone informed as to what the latest news is with good ol' Dave. And hopefully this time it'll go through. (Just as a side note, I wrote this post once already, but an internal server error wiped it out)

First off, more of my writing went up over at GameSpy today. This time around it was a review of Pac-Man Pinball Advance for the GBA. The game is decent enough, but kind of lacking in variety. Younger players will get a kick out of it for a while, but that's about it. Also, I'm writing up a review for GameSpy of Myst IV on the Xbox. This is one game I'm having to get my hands dirty with, because it's a bear to play. It's fun, don't get me wrong ... but it's long and the puzzles can be a pain. I was also supposed to review the new survival horror game Obscure on the PS2 and Xbox. Unfortunately, there was a slight mix up at the offices, and the editors forgot that someone already wrote up those reviews last week off of preview builds sent out. So, I've got both versions of the game, but no reviews to write for them. Ah well, I'll probably go ahead and write up the reviews anyway ... either for Electric Playground or for Visionary Ink.

And speaking of Visionary Ink, that's the big reason I'm still awake right now. I'd decided to start looking at some redesigns for the blog portion, and Shane and I were crawling through the system to tweak out some stuff for the site. I stayed up a few more hours to get some final tweaking done, and so far I'm really digging the results. Now, the site is best viewed at 1280x1024, because anythign lower will cause the daily comic strips to alter the layout. However, even if your resolution isn't that high, the site is still accessible and easily readable ... some of the images and such may just look a bit "off". Either way, head on over to the site at: and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

News bites

Time for a bit of news around the game industry. Here we go:

  • Eidos and Crystal Dynamics have started releasing information regarding the latest entry into the Tomb Raider franchise. The game, titled Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend, is scheduled to released on the Xbox, PS2, and PC. So far, there are no details on the game's release date, but more information should be released over the next few weeks. In the meantime, take a look at the new character model for Lara.

    The new Lara Croft Posted by Hello

    One thing you'll notice is the versitile looking backpack and belt. This time around, Lara's inventory will be limited and you'll actually see her store weapons and accessories on her person. Also, the developers decided to look back to what made the original game so popular, and they've listened to complaints from gamers. The result will be something that Eidos hopes will recapture Lara's appeal in the hearts of gamers.

  • Speaking of Eidos, there's a bidding war going on for the UK publisher. Elevation Partners, an investment company which includes former EA president John Riccitiello and U2 frontman Bono, had initially put in a bid for Eidos which many news reports announced as a done deal. Enter rival software publisher SCi. SCi has apparently made a competing bid for Eidos, and the new offer is building a lot of interest with shareholders. Reports are stating that at least 30 percent of Eidos shareholders have tenatively agreed to the SCi offer. It'll be interesting to see how this all pans out. And on a side note of interest to all of you comic fans, it should be noted that comic studio Top Cow has a vested interest in how this turns out. Back when Top Cow first started publishing the Tomb Raider comic, Eidos worked out a deal in which it bought a stake in the comic company. This means that whoever wins in the Eidos deal will also become a part owner of Top Cow. Hmmm ....

  • New Yorkers gamers are in for a treat this spring as Nintendo opens up a new two-story Nintendo World Store in Rockefeller Center. Nintendo World will be the new home of Pokemon Center, featuring exclusive Pokemon merchandise and host special Pokemon events. Nintendo World will also feature a huge display of playable GBA, GameCube, and DS titles ... as well as a few unreleased titles. So if you're in NYC later this year, check out Nintendo World for all sorts of Nintendo goodies.

  • EA is going old-school for its new Bond video game. The game is based on the classic Bond flick, From Russia With Love, and will feature the likeness and voice of none other than Sean Connery. Fans of the Bond games can expect to see the new game show up on the Xbox, PS2, and GameCube systems later this fall.

As always, there's more to come, but hopefully this is enough to whet your appetite.

More reasons for carpal tunnel

I've been a busy, busy little bee as of late. Two more GameSpy reviews went live today: Ford Racing 3 (Xbox) and Sega Classics Collection (PS2). Tomorrow, I'm getting copies of Pac-Man Pinball Advance and Myst IV to review ... along with anything else I can get my hands on. Also, I had a review of Ridge Racer (PSP) go live over at Electric Playground's website. So you see, GameSpy and EGM don't get ALL my attention. I'm also working on a review of Darkstalkers Chronicle: The Chaos Tower (PSP) for Electric Playground. Admittedly, the EP stuff takes a little longer simply because the paying gigs have to take a priority, but it is still being done.

And on a final note, I'm still trying to get things together for the Visionary Ink site. I've got the blog software up and running, but I've not had the time to set up a decent front page interface yet. However, one of my good friends, Andrew Charipar, is working hard to provide a regular daily comic strip for the site (with some occasional "editorial assistance" from yours truly). Anyway, check out the current colletion of strips over here.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

A little older, a little wiser, and a LOT more busy

Okay, so yesterday was my birthday. Yeah, I was born on April Fools Day ... no joke. I had a get together of sorts with a few friends, and I was surprised by the turnout. It meant a lot to me to see my friends all gathered together. It served not only as a reminder of how important they are to me ... but it also showed me just how important I am to them as well. It meant a lot more than anyone realizes. Thanks guys.

Okay, moving right along ... more work on the frontline. Yesterday, my GameSpy review for Midway's update of NARC went live. It was pretty painful. Read it for yourself and you'll see why. I'm also working on reviews for Ford Racing 3 (Xbox) and Sega Classics Collection (PS2). As soon as they're done and live, I'll post the links.

Lots of extra stuff going on too ... I can't really say too much at the moment, but just cross your fingers for me.