Airball: EA Sports Decides to Spin-off NBA Jam After NBA Elite Demo Makes Gamers Physically Ill

So Peter Moore must read WG (not surprising).  It seems EA Sports has miraculously realized the idiocy of their plan to release NBA Jam, the game you are currently imagining being HELLA FUN as a one-time download with a fresh purchase of NBA Elite ’11, the “new” iteration of the basketball-simulation  schlock that’s been the cause of countless controller smashings over the last decade.  In case you missed it, you can read all about me bashing that “strategy” last month right here.  Anyway, It seems the Elite demo was so buggy and universally criticized [YOUTUBE] that EA head Peter Moore announced that the game would be indefinitely delayed.  Since NBA Jam is basically good-to-go (it has been around for 20 years), it will be released separately.

“Unfortunately, NBA Elite 11 is not yet ready and we have made a decision to delay next month’s launch,” Moore said, without specifying a new release date. “The decision to delay NBA ELITE was hard because the game has great promise. But ultimately we feel this is the right thing to do. We’ve been making steady progress on basketball for the past few years and it’s going to take extra time to make the game.”

NBA Jam, the arcade-style two-on-two game also due on Oct. 5, will still ship on that date for the Wii. The PS3 and Xbox 360 version was to have been included with a free download code in NBA Elite 11. Moore said that game will now be a standalone product that will arrive “in time for the holidays.” He did not indicate a price point or if this will be a physical retail release or digital download.

Kotaku

Let me humbly point out that the important thing in all of this isn’t that I said that bundling the two games together was a crappy ploy, doomed to fail because it hinges on the assumption that people will actually willfully spend $60 on the crap that NBA Elite ’11 would surely be.  And it’s not that I predicted that NBA Jam would be spun off and available as an XBLA/PSN download within 3 months of launch.  No, it’s not all about being right here at WG, folks.  Sometimes, it’s about being SO RIGHT that the head of EA Sports had to publicly acknowledge the shittiness of his product, and announce on his official blog that he’s going to switch on over to the WG strategy, a week before the damn thing was set to launch.  MUAAHAHAHA! Dude ought to be thankful that he’s got the luxury of living in the world of demos, Internet message boards, and wannabe savvy bloggers like yours truly, or he might have released this thing and forced virtual-LeBron James to take his talents down to a landfill in New Mexico.

Well, it’s a glorious day in for wannabe geniuses everywhere.  Just goes to show you: if you go around blowharding a couple of times a day and you cover enough topics, eventually you’ll be right about something.  It’s all a numbers game.

Can’t wait to be the first person to fork over $10 for NBA Jam this holiday season.  I deserve it.

Peter Moore’s Blog via Kotaku

Advertisements

But What About Luigi? Happy Birthday to Mario

The Creation of Mario by DeviantArtist TsaoShin

So a lot of people are going around saying it was 25 years ago today that Shigeru Miyamoto created the Mustachioed One who’s helped sell over 200 million Nintendo games.  So I’m guessing the customary ritual is to eat mushrooms instead of cake? Anyway, they’re all crazy because Mario’s first appearance was in the arcade version of Donkey Kong, released in 1981.  He was then known as “Jumpman,” but come on, it’s the same guy.  What do you think, Billy Mitchell?

So it’s not really Mario’s birthday, per se, but the anniversary of Super Mario Bros. on the NES.  Now that I’ve set that record straight, enjoy some more delicious factoids about Brooklyn’s most beloved plumber.

  • He was originally named Mr. Video, as he was to be the face of video games.  He did, in fact, reach that level of superstardom, but ironically, Miyamoto-san has noted that had he not changed the name to Mario he likely would have “disappeared off the face of the Earth.”
  • He is largely credited with saving the video game industry, after the dark age of E.T.
  • He was originally a carpenter instead of a plumber, although he’s held several other jobs throughout his illustrious career including archaeologist, prescription-happy doctor, and ring referee.
  • Mario’s distinct look is less a fashion statement than a result of technological limitations.  The red/blue combo was used to contrast against black backgrounds.  The hat was slapped on to avoid having to deal with hair, and the mustache likewise in lieu of facial expressions.
  • Donkey Kong Jr., the follow up to the original Donkey Kong is the only game to have ever featured Mario (Jumpman) as a villain.
  • He’s made many cameos in other Nintendo properties, such as in a portrait in A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time in the Zelda series, and of course as the referee in Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!.

Now, in his honor, please enjoy the soothing sounds of two 7 foot Tesla coils playing the Super Mario Bros. theme with sparks.  It’s crazy but it’s science.

Waaa! British are Pussifying Us Too

What’s it like drinking tea while riding on a high horse? It must be especially difficult if you’re also retarded, but don’t take my word for it! Ask British defence secretary Liam Fox, who is calling for a ban on the popular war game Medal of Honor, errr Medal of HonoUr, because its multiplayer mode makes one team the Taliban [BBC video interview].

[British defence secretary] Fox is of course pissed that the game’s multiplayer mode allows one side to fight as Taliban insurgents against ‘Mericans – sorry, coalition forces. Many in this noncontroversy have gone out of their way to take offense (sigh,offence) but Fox gets special commendation. He’s assuming that because one of the multiplayer maps is set within Helmland province, where U.K. forces are based, this explicitly means the game’s killing British troops.

“I am disgusted and angry. It’s hard to believe any citizen of our country would wish to buy such a thoroughly un-British game,” the man who is not the network said. “I would urge retailers to show their support for our armed forces and ban this tasteless product.”

Kotaku

JEBUS, man way to make us look like a bunch of ninnies.  That kinda shit may fly in England, but over here that’s how you wind up fishing your tea out of Boston Harbor, bro.  And has anybody heard of the 1st Amendment over there? To be fair, I can’t single out England, it’s no better over here.  Everywhere you turn there’s someone calling for a ban on something.  Like maybe we should just legislate our way to harmony?  Ban everything that isn’t cotton candy and double rainbows? Isht don’t sink so.  It’s like no one ever read those books that they made everyone read.  Are they not making them read the same ones these days?  Maybe Fahrenheit 451 is banned now, in which case I’m all out of answers.  My head is just spinning like a top.  Bottom line: we’re pussifying ourselves enough over here in the States, we don’t need your help on this one.

Oh, and by the way.  There aren’t even any British forces in the damn game, so stay the hell out of my free market.

BBC via Kotaku

Epic Mickey Intro Video Part I Released

Epic Mickey is creating a nice little stir.  First, you’ve got probably the most iconic character of all time.  Then, there’s the man behind the (virtual) mouse: Warren Spector.  He’s already one of the most respected developers in the industry, and he happens to have a pretty hardcore Disney fetish.  But, hey, in his line of work I’m alright with that.  It’s not like he’s a lonely, Mickey-obsessed geometry teacher who spends 8 hours a day standing in front of a chalk board and creeping kids out by talking about the horrific video of his Magic Kingdom wedding to the monster from the Blue Lagoon (true story).  No, Mr. Spector seems to have found a healthier outlet for his rodentiaphilia (YUP): exploring the darker, mischievous side of Mickey that seems to have been buried under the years of Hannahmania and purity rings.  The game is designed around the concept of using the Wii-mote as a magic paintbrush in a world of long-lost Disney characters.  Mickey’s challenge is to complete puzzles by painting in or erasing objects and characters, with significant discretion left to the player.

So how’s it looking? Pretty awesome. Disney says they will release the intro video in parts, here’s the first one.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Gametrailers.com via Kotaku

The use of the Wii-mote is cool, and the story is 1. creative 2. genuinely Disney-esque.  The real treat is how deep Spector is diving into history of the House of Mouse – and there’s a lot (after all, you’re talking about one of the great American visionaries/creative geniuses/businesses).  This guy loves Disney, and he really loves games, so hopes are high that he’ll make a great one with Epic Mickey.  Let’s hope it sells well, so he can get a crack at the next project on his wish list.

Smart: How the Nintendo 3DS Works Without Goofy Glasses

Wondering when 3D will evolve past the need for goofy glasses?  Game site Kombo put together a nice little video of a dude named Jeff explaining how the Nintendo’s 3DS makes that a beautiful naked-eyed reality.  Sadly, he also points out that the tech used by the Big N, known as a “parallax barrier”  isn’t really translatable to movie theaters or televisions, because it depends on the position of the viewer relative to the screen to work.

A parallax barrier works like a vent. It is a filter placed over the screen that precisely directs one image to the left and the other to the right with a separation of a few degrees (equal to the distance between the average human’s eyes). It does this using tiny shutters.

Basically, it is like a pole sitting in front of a light source and your right eye can see behind the pole, but the left eye can’t. Only the scale is so microscopic that your brain doesn’t realize the pole is there and combines the two images as if they were one.

Jeff Grub, Kombo.com

Silly brain!  Always coming up with ingenious ways to trick its stupid gullible self.  Wait, what?

Kombo via Kotaku

BOOMSHAKALAKA! NBA Jam HD Looks Like The Most Fun Nobody Will Have

In an effort to show you how out of touch they are with their consumers, EA Sports decided to bundle the heretofore Wii “exclusive” NBA Jam remake as a free download for Xbox 360 and PS3 users who purchase their pro ball simulation title, NBA Elite 11.

The game will be downloadable with a free one-use code included in new copies of NBA Elite. The 360 and PS3 version get three modes – Play Now, Classic Campaign and Online Play. It doesn’t have the Boss Battles under the Wii’s Remix mode, but it does have online multiplayer, which the Wii doesn’t.

Kotaku

Well that’s great, but there’s one little problem.  There’s not a single person out there on this blue marble who actually wants NBA fucking Elite 11.  The biggest basketball fans I know don’t even play that garbage.  They’re too busy with Madden.  The basketball game most dear to everyone’s heart?  Of course, it’s 1995 Midway classic NBA Jam.  But don’t insult the gamers, EA.  We may be emotionally stunted and immature, but we’re not retarded.  Nobody, and I mean NOBODY is ponying up $60 for the pile of shit that is EA’s basketball simulation just to get at the free arcade bonus you decided to throw in there.  ESPECIALLY since the lesser of 2 evils that is NBA 2k11 is getting a unique game mode dedicated to His Airness.  One of two things will happen:

1. Gamers will rush to buy NBA Elite 11 for the download code and return it before major retailers start paying attention.  It’s hard to believe the world’s second biggest games publisher could overlook this scenario (but who knows).  More likely is

2. No one will buy NBA Elite 11 and within 3 months, EA will release NBA Jam on the XBLA Marketplace and PSN as a $10 download.  Personally, I can’t wait.