Nintendo: Achievement Still Locked

One of the biggest trends to come out of this generation of consoles is the idea of achievements which are scored and kept track of across numerous titles. Nintendo has bucked this trend, however, and the 3DS will have no such integrated system.

“We’re not opposed to Achievements,” noted Bill Trinen, head of product marketing for Nintendo of America, who added, “When they create their games, [Nintendo’s designers] don’t tell you how to play their game in order to achieve some kind of mythical reward.

Nintendo has included achievement-like features in a handful of games, like Super Smash Bros. Melee and Wii Sports Resort. As it stands, however, there’s no interest in making a concerted effort for similar rewards in Legend of Zelda or Super Mario games.

“Basically, the way the games are designed is they’re designed for you to explore the game yourself and have this sense of discovery,” noted Trinen. “To that end, I think that when you look specifically at games from EAD [the group long led by Mario and Donkey Kong creator Shigeru Miyamoto] and a lot of other games that Nintendo has developed a well, there are things you can do in the game that will result in some sort of reward or unexpected surprise. In my mind, that really encourages the sense of exploration rather than the sense of ‘If I do that, I’m going to get some sort of artificial point or score that’s going to make me feel better that I got this.’ And that, to me, is I think more compelling.”

Source: Kotaku

Google Announces Ad Opt-Out For Chrome

Google has announced that they are adding a “Keep My Opt-Outs” add-on to Chrome which will let users permanently opt out of ad tracking from certain companies. This announcement comes days after Mozilla and Microsoft announced that they would do similar moves with their browsers.

There are more than 50 companies that are members that offer opt outs via these programs, including the top 15 largest ad networks in the U.S. wrote Sean Harvey and Rajas Moonka, Google Product Managers. Some, like Google, enable you not only to opt out, but to tailor the personalization of ads by specifying what types of ads you re most interested in seeing.

Some of the reoccurring issues with such a program is that they usually rely upon brower cookies which might be deleted. By making the program a downloadable browser plugin, it makes op-out choices more permanent.

We’ve designed the extension so that it should not otherwise interfere with your web browsing experience or website functionality, wrote the Product Managers. This new feature gives you significant control without compromising the revenue that fuels the web content that we all consume every day.


No Strings Uncharted

No Strings Attached is currently doing well at the box office, but what would it look like as a game? This mash up matches up Chloe Frazer, Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher with events of the movie and it works fairly well (ignoring how the actual story of Uncharted 2 unfolds).

Duke Nukem Rocks Faces

Duke Nukem has been gone so long, missing persons reports have been filed over him. Still, if this trailer means anything, it’s like he never left.

Dragon Age II Getting Ser Isaac Of Clarke

Mass Effect 2 had a cross-promotion when it released with Dragon Age: Origins, wherein owners of the latter would receive Blood Dragon Armor in the former. With Mass Effect 3 not due out for several months, EA has a different cross-promotion in mind for Dragon Age II, this time with Dead Space 2 and a set of heavy armor called Ser Isaac of Clarke.

Microsoft Upsets Japanese Game Maker

Microsoft has had a rough go of it with their Xbox platform in Japan despite efforts to boost the Xbox 360 in the region, it still languishes far behind the competition. While shooter-developer Cave has brought some top-down shooter games (sometimes called shmups) to the Xbox 360, developer Makoto Asada has expressed public displeasure with an “M company” on Twitter.

“There’s a limit to how many unreasonable requests you have to respond to and we hope they realize that soon, said Asada. “We’re frustrated at having to fix things as a result of human error on Microsoft’s side.”

Developer Alchemist also had to change their game Gal-Gun of late, due to requests from Microsoft, and hinted later that they might change their target audience as a result.

Source: Kotaku

Virgin Signs With EA Sports For Online Tournament Management

EA Sports has announced that it has signed an agreement with Virgin Gaming. Under terms of this deal, Virgin will provide all head-to-head competitive play, pay-to-enter and sponsored tournaments for certain EA Sports games.

EA Sports is the leading sports video game brand and publisher in the world, and we are thrilled to offer our members the opportunities to compete in some of their very best multiplayer sports games, said Rob Segal, CEO of Virgin Gaming. Virgin Gaming is a unique convergence of competitive gaming, video games and social/community networking, and we are excited that EA SPORTS shares our vision for the platform and its potential.

Competitive online gaming is an increasingly popular component of our industry and a great way for EA Sports and Virgin Gaming to help connect gamers around the world through the global language of sports, said Peter Moore, President of EA Sports. Virgin Gaming demonstrates the system-wide integrity we desire, and this is a great opportunity for EA Sports fans to experience secure and impeccably managed online tournaments for some of our top titles.


Duke Nukem Is Forever May 3

2K Games and Gearbox Software have announced that Duke Nukem Forever has been officially given a release date: May 3, 2011. Duke gears up with huge arsenal for the purpose of kicking aliens off our planet, with all of the sophomoric comments and over-the-top action he’s known for. The Duke Nukem Forever playable demo will be available first to those who purchase the Borderlands Game of the Year edition.

The moment fans all over the world have been waiting for is almost here, declared Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K. May 3, 2011 marks Duke s return as he unleashes his brash and brutally honest wit on the world. His return is going to be epic and one that will make video gaming history!

When I said goodbye to 3D Realms and the original Duke Nukem 3D team in 1997 and soon after founded Gearbox Software, I never in my wildest dreams imagined that a day like today would come, said Randy Pitchford, president of Gearbox Software. “Today I am proud, humbled and even astounded to announce that the day is coming at last for all gamers to be a part of video game history: Duke Nukem Forever will launch worldwide this May!

Telltale Announcing Games February 17

Telltale will be announcing five new projects on Thursday, February 17 according to invitations sent out. While no specifics were given, the invitation indicates that there is one based on a just-launched property from the TV and comic book world whose popularity is changing life as some know it.”

Some are speculating that this unnamed property is Walking Dead. The show, based on the Image Comics series, launched on AMC in October 2010 to heavy acclaim, and deals with social mores on the backdrop of a zombie apocalypse.

Telltale is probably best known for their work on the Sam & Max series (based on a comic) though they have done numerous CSI games (based on the TV show) and a Back to the Future game (based on the movie).

Source: 1UP

Game Ads And Base Appeal

Video games have had a long and somewhat infamous tradition of appealing to the base of the male id, between violence and sex. Someone recently sampled a variety of the latter, in both classic and more recent forms.




See the list of magazine ads and trailers at