If the images released a few days ago weren't enough to whet your appetite for the upcoming action title This Is Vegas, then try this debut trailer on for size. The footage looks early but the Vegas hook is sure to draw people in, especially those who think they can fool Gil Grissom.The open world action is slated to hit the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC this winter from Midway's internal studio Surreal Software, makers of The Suffering and Drakan: The Ancients' Gates. By the way, no one fools Gil Grissom.
Ah, reality. It can get pretty boring sometimes. Especially if you live in a place like Tulsa, Oklahoma (sorry Richard). Thankfully Midway knows your life is as boring as clicking refresh on X3F all day and announced This is Vegas. Combining Grand Theft Auto, Second Life and, well, Vegas, This is Vegas allows players to experience the wild desert wonderland and find out what people mean when they say "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." According to the official site, This is Vegas puts players in the role of a business man visiting the strip who will have to rise to the top and create a vast empire by reigniting the adult playground, drive the fastest cars and prove your power with weapons or via fisticuffs. The open world playground is being developed by the in house Midway team at Surreal Software and is slated for a Winter 2008 release on the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. Also, always double-down on 11.
According to the ASA, the Stranglehold commercial promotes guns, violence and is far too graphic for UK television. They especially had a hangup with the commercial's voice-over which says "Honor is his code. Vengeance is his mission. Violence is his only option", which they feel further promotes the "violence is good kids" message they are so against. Midway tried to convince the ASA that the Stranglehold TV spot wasn't promoting violence, doesn't show blood or gore and is far too stylized to be graphic. But, in the end, the ASA continues to enforce its Stranglehold ban while at the same time giving the game some much needed viral publicity. Which we're sure Midway doesn't mind.
Oh, for the curious fanboys of the world, you can take a look after the break as we've embedded the banned Stranglehold commercial for your viewing pleasure. To us, it's pretty tame.
Harvey Smith, who recently made a stink about the "f*cked up" development of Blacksite: Area 51, has parted ways with Midway. According to GameTap, the separation was a mutual decision between Midway and Smith. Word on the street, according to Joystiq, is that Smith actually made the BlackSite comments in order to get fired in the first place. The purely speculative reason he did this: so he could join Eidos to work on the recently announced Deus Ex 3. Smith has worked on previous Deus Ex titles for the now defunct Ion Storm game studio, so it makes sense (speculatively, mind you). We're glad it's Friday because, frankly, all the firings, rants, and ad agency shuffling is getting confusing.
In the financially driven world of the video game industry, honesty can sometimes be hard to come by. From sycophantic game reviewers to gab-gifted PR reps that constantly spin crap into gold (no easy feat), finding a bit of real honesty is refreshing. Kind of like politics. For today's bit of honesty we turn to Harvey Smith, designer of the recently released Midway shooter BlackSite: Area 51. You may recall the game not wowing critics upon release. So, how honest is Smith about BlackSite? Take this quote for a spin: "This project was so f*cked up." Of course, he didn't go to the trouble of injecting an asterisk into his statement. No, he really said it. Smith went on to say that development was hampered with multiple problems, noting that one (unnamed) aspect of the game took eight months to implement. Furthermore, the development team didn't have adequate time to test and polish the game, and Smith said that the project went directly from alpha to final (ouch). He concluded that he was upset that many failed to see the game's subversive and satirical nature -- he would have given the game an 80 -- but said the low scores were "no surprise."
Today, Midway announced that NBA Ballers: The One, the third in the NBA Ballers franchise, will be headed to the Xbox 360 and PS3 sometime in the Spring of 2008. And again Midway is going back to the original Ballers formula with The One by including over the top basketball gameplay, lifelike character models and promises to put you in the shoes of a living NBA legend. Playboy mansion and all! We've posted a new The One teaser trailer embedded above for your convenience and it should give you a pretty good idea if you'll be taking the red pill or the blue pill come this Spring.
Hey, remember BlackSite? What's that? You don't? Allow us to refresh your memory: Unreal Engine 3, aliens, rain, Clancy-esque squad controls. Ringing any bells? There we go. It seems BlackSite is hoping to make more of an impression, as a new demo has been released on Xbox Live Marketplace. We haven't gotten a chance to take it for a spin yet (it's nearly a gig, so the download is taking its sweet time), but the description lets us know two things. One, it is a new demo, and two, you'll be fighting your way through "the streets and backyards of a small American town." As you well know, there aren't nearly enough backyards in FPS games, so you should probably give BlackSite a try.
We have beef with the aliens of Blacksite: Area 51. In their latest television commercial we see one of them picking on an innocent little girl who's minding her business, singing "Ring Around the Rosy" by here lonesome. Her school bus is broken down, her house is on fire and her yellow dress is a filthy mess. And these insidious Area 51 aliens have nothing better to do then scare the poor girl and get all up in her face, seriously ... what do they want with her? Don't they know messing with a child is universally unacceptable? And to you Midway, do you expect us to reward such blatant commercial wrong doing with a Blacksite pre-order? Well, okay ... maybe this once.
So, now that you've had a taste of both, which is it going to be fanboys, Street Fighter or Fatal Fury? We can tell you right now that there is one thing Fatal Fury has that Street Fighter doesn't: the lovely Mai Shiranui. Your move, Street Fighter.
Filled to the brim with all the slow motion diving, double-guns blazing action you can stand, Midway has announced that Stranglehold has officially gone gold. The game has gone off to the printers, as it were, and will be making its debut on Xbox 360 on September 5th. By the way, if you absolutely can't wait to get your Stranglehold on, the 360 is your only shot, as the PC version ships on September 18th and the PS3 in "October." If by some coincidence you haven't heard of Stranglehold, it's essentially Max Payne with John Woo flair. It's also decent fun. Don't take our word for it though. Go download the demo and try it for yourself.
Wow, the Xbox Live Arcade press release came early this week and it is loaded with goodies. First and foremost, let's discuss next week's games. There are two games arriving next Wednesday, Fatal Fury Special and Cyberball 2072. If you're a longtime gamer, both titles are likely to bring back heady arcade memories. We're talking about real arcades of course. Fatal Fury Special is old school 2D fighting at its finest, whereas Cyberball 2072 brings us robotic football with a ball that explodes if you don't make those touchdowns quickly. It is, put simply, football for nerds, and it always managed to draw in the same two guys at the arcade. You know, the guys who put their drinks on the machine and played nothing else for five hours. Good times. Both Fatal Fury and Cyberball will be available for 400 points.
In other Arcade news, a select group of XBLA games will be available for half price this weekend in celebration of Labor Day. The four titles are Zuma, Small Arms, Dig Dug, and Gauntlet. Zuma and Small Arms will be available for 400 points, while Dig Dug and Gauntlet will be a mere 200 points each. The Labor Day special runs from 5:00PM PT September 1st though 4:59PM PT September 3rd. Hachi machi, it's so much Arcade goodness we can barely stand it.
Read -- Cyberball 2072 XBLA site
Read -- Fatal Fury Special XBLA site
You know, with a badass like inspector Tequila on the case, we imagine that the Hong Kong thugs are thanking their lucky stars that Stranglehold has been delayed. Xbox 360 gamers, on the other hand, probably not so pleased. Before you collectively turn your local game shop into a pile of debris that John Woo would be proud of, you should know that the game has only been delayed by just over a week. Originally promised for August 27th, GameStop is now informing customers that the game has been pushed to September 5th. See, that's not so bad, is it? You can take that, right? Just promise us you won't go all slo-mo and shoot up the place, m'kay?
[Thanks, Peter R. and Kyleia]