Category Archives: Main

Northwest Gamer’s Fresh Coat of Paint

Our long overdue redesign is finally here! Its our hope that our new design is easier on the eyes, and simpler to navigate. The redesign isn’t completely done, and even the average user will notice several obvious issues. These will all be worked out in time, so bear with us! That aside, some of my favorite new features include:

  • A featured post slideshow element, which allows us to highlight articles…if we ever actually get around to posting them!
  • A randomized, rotating banner image. Suggestions for additional characters are always welcome!
  • A new comment system powered by Disqus.
  • An updated, hierarchically organized navigation (though it still needs work)

Feel free to explore the new site, and leave any comments or suggestions here, or shoot us a tweet!

Breaking: Infinity Ward Founders Start a New Studio

Vince Zampella and Jason West, the former heads of Infinity Ward, announced the formation of a brand new studio: Respawn Entertainment.  Respawn will be doing publishing through Activision chief rival, EA, whom is also providing them with unprecedented full IP rights and ownership.  OMFG. This is totally insane.  But, it foretells a new trend in the video game world in which companies are starting to invest in individual talent, much like the movie industry does.

Seeing as how Vince and Jason are the creators of one of the most successful entertainment titles ever–EA probably isn’t taking that big of a risk.

Rumor also has it that people have started to bleed out from Infinity Ward to join them–including Todd Alderman, who is one of the designers largely responsible for CoD 4 and MW2’s groundbreaking multiplayer systems.

WCG Ultimate Gamer 2 Auditions are…yea

Ok. I’m back after a bit of a hiatus, and I have a confession. My gamertag is “NewtonsLaww” and I have an addictive personality — (everyone: Helloo newtonsla…nevermind). But it’s this personality that has led me to certain television shows over the years like Joe Millionaire, the old Jerry Springer, and even a little Jersey Shore.

So–what do they do? They go and create a Gamer reality show called WCG Ultimate Gamer. Reality show about GAMES?!?! Great. Just great.

I’m already a gamer with a weakness for bad reality TV. Why. WHY DID YOU MAKE THIS? Continue reading

Woe is Wii

Poor WiiAlmost three years ago in May of 2007, I purchased the Nintendo Wii.  I was oh-so-excited at the possibilities Nintendo’s new innovative system would bring.  By the end of that year I had procured and enjoyed Twilight Princess, Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition, Mario Strikers Charged, Metroid Prime 3 and Super Mario Galaxy.  Including Wii Sports, I had six games for the Wii.  That same year I only bought three games for the Xbox 360.  The Wii started strong in 2008 with the release of Super Smash Bros Brawl, and then………………………………………………………………………… nothing.  Brawl is the last Wii game I’ve acquired in nearly two years.  Meanwhile, I’ve since gotten hold of ten Xbox 360 games. Continue reading

VGA 2009 nominees revealed

The 2009 crop of nominees in Spike’s Video Game Awards is out, and we’ve got a big announcement to make. We’re not going to make fun of them. For starters, most of the categories seem pretty on point, with eight noms for Uncharted 2, seven for Batman: Arkham Asylum, and six for both Modern Warfare 2 and Left 4 Dead 2, which all seem pretty deserving.

Furthermore, we don’t want to rob you commenters of the fun of individually savaging the few embarrassing sections of the list, which honestly, make their own comedy gravy.

Stymied? Okay, we’ll get you started, but just this one, cool? Borderlands is up for Best RPG, huh? That’s the best pick since Serious Sam won for “Best Dating/Train Conducting Sim.”

We’re assuming you can take it from there.

You may be able to guess my votes, but Uncharted 2 certainly got a lot of love from me. Despite how stupid and unimportant the VGAs have become, I really hope Naughty Dog gets recognized this year. The PS3 is no stranger to great exclusive titles, but it certainly hasn’t gotten much recognition for most of those in the past.

Uncharted 2, I hope, will help break this stigma, as it deserves that recognition. I am also happy to see that Killzone 2 made the list for a few categories, and I’d argue it should be a shoe-in for Best Graphics, though I bet a lot of people have already forgotten about all that bump mapping and motion blur.

If nothing else, checking out the nominees list has just reminded me that I need to play Batman: Arkham Asylum and Dragon Age: Origins.

Have you voted yet? What were your picks? Leave a comment!

Posted via web from Northwest Gamer

Facebook Officially Coming to PS3

Last week reports indicated that Sony would be adding Facebook integration to its PlayStation Network. Today, Sony Computer Entertainment America confirmed on the that Facebook would indeed be part of the firmware 3.10 upgrade, which is coming “soon.”

Users simply just link their PSN account to their Facebook account in order to have the PS3 automatically update their Facebook News Feed with Trophy and PlayStation Store activity. Sony noted that developers will be able to set specific criteria in their titles to publish additional game information to a player’s Facebook News Feed. “This is just the beginning of our integration with Facebook and we are looking forward to adding new features enhancing the experience in future updates,” said Eric Lempel, Director, PlayStation Network Operations.

Firmware 3.10 will also revamp the Photo category on the XMB so that it’s easier to see more photos stored on the PS3, the PSN Friends List is being modified “based on feedback we received after update 3.00,” and users will be able to choose a color for the PSN ID on the XMB.

Of course, the PS3 isn’t the only console with Facebook integration. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is receiving an update today for Facebook, Twitter, and “instant on” HD video from Zune.

Am I the only one who thinks both Microsoft and Sony are going about social network integration all wrong?
The ability to update my Twitter from Xbox Live, or sync my trophy unlocks with my Facebook status updates is simple not attractive to me. For one, a keyboard of some sort is essential, and no, the PS3 keypad is not a viable alternative. Even with the PS3’s somewhat speedier predictive typing, what would I be compelled to say from my PS3?

Maybe I could tweet about the fact that I am tweeting from my PS3 instead of playing Uncharted 2 multiplayer. I’m sure that will be really interesting for followers.

The one feature to come out of this that I do like is being able to connect which of my social network friends also have Xbox Live. I’m just not sure that I need much beyond that.

Reader: Is there something I am missing here? Do you really have some latent need to tweet through a super clumsy and slow interface?

Beatles: Rock Band’s ‘Sgt. Pepper’s’ DLC

I for one, was extremely pleased with The Beatles Rock Band, and even more so with the three album selections as DLC. With Abbey Road already available, and Sgt. Pepper’s available today (Rubber Soul is next month), what are your thoughts on the quality level of the Beatles Rock Band DLC so far?

The three albums they picked as DLC are likely the only full albums to be released from the Beatles catalog in my opinion, but I’d like to see some sort of booster pack of additional songs from various albums, as there are still quite a few that I would like to play (Let It Be, Hey Jude, Happiness Is A Warm Gun, etc come to mind). What songs would you like to see in a Beatles DLC track list?

I hardly paid any attention to the pricing model for these song packs, though they did seem to be a bit more expensive than DLC in other Rock Band or GH games. Have you factored pricing into your decision to buy the DLC, or are you just a sucker for anything Beatles related like me?

In the meantime, enjoy this Sgt. Pepper’s video via Joystiq, courtesy of MTV.

Posted via web from Northwest Gamer

Modern Warfare 2 Recalled In Russia (Rumor)

Internet reports claim that the console versions of Activision’s Modern Warfare 2 have been recalled in Russia due to the game’s controversial airport massacre mission.

An early level in the game gives players the option to gun down civilians in a Russian airport, although the section isn’t mandatory as players can opt to skip the mission following a warning about the content.

Censored console versions of Modern Warfare 2, with the mission removed entirely, are expected to be released within a month pending government approval, according to a translation of a Russian language report.

It’s also been reported that developer Infinity Ward has released an official patch for the PC and Steam versions of the game that removes the mission.

We’ve contacted Activision for confirmation of these reports.

UPDATE: Apparently it was only the “No Russian” mission that was removed from Russian copies.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this rumor turned out to be true. Personally I was a little annoyed at how bold Infinity Ward has become with Modern Warfare 2. Its an enjoyable game, few would argue otherwise, but I feel they have stepped a bit too far to build shock value. The game’s inability to offer an alternate moral decision in the “No Russian” mission was disappointing at best, disturbing at worst.

Some may argue that films and television often go further to push the bounds of shock value, and that this scene in MW2 could be considered tame by comparison. I oppose this notion, and argue that videogames are an interactive medium where instead of simply observing a character’s decision, the player must handle the moral dilemma him/herself.

In retrospect, I wish I had opted not to play the mission at all, not because it disgusted me, but rather because, to me, the “No Russian” mission was a sacrifice of player choice at the sake of cheap shock value.

Posted via web from Northwest Gamer