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.


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


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.”


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

Gears of War Voters are Doing it SOOOO WRONG!!!1

Boy, oh boy, are my gamers letting me down right now.  According to Epic’s recent update, the Save Carmine camp is currently overpowering the voice of reason that understands how vital his gruesome death is to the flow of the narrative.

After a fantastic debut at Comic-Con 2010 and tons of real shirts and Xbox LIVE avatar tees selling by the truckload, Save Carmine has the lead! That’s right—if things continue as they are, a Carmine will actually survive a Gears of War title. We can already hear the snarling. For many of you, this is simply unacceptable.

You know what? It’s more than unacceptable, and I’m more than mad.  I’m disappointed. If I had more than a mouse in my pocket I’d pick up my own Carmine Must Die tee right now [Amazon]!  If you’re more of a closet-gamer, 1. shame on you and 2. you can purchase a tee for your Xbox Live avatar to register your vote.  Voting closes on September 2, so hurry the fuck up.  Oh, and your $19.99 goes to Child’s Play, a charity that brings toys and games to children in hospitals across the freakin globe.  Good enough reason to sacrifice one silly faceless Gear, IMO.

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. 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,

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

Kombo via Kotaku

Madden 11 Kicks Off Tomorrow

How could I have forgotten this is last night’s post about the glorious baby steps towards football season taking place this week?  EA Sports will bring out their annual offering of digital football on the second Tuesday in August, as they always do, and promises to present a simpler rendition than we’ve seen in years.

I’m guessing if you’re the kind of person that ponies up the $60 for Madden every year, that might sound pretty awful to you.  But as the gaming industry continues to grow, we’re seeing a lot of developers focusing on mainstream appeal.  It’s just the sad fate of entertainment, much like the music industry has congealed into a homogenous lump of mainstream shit.

Madden NFL 11 arrives tomorrow to the marketing drumbeat of simpler, quicker and deeper. Laudable design goals, but for a game that’s been a living room ritual for a quarter of a century, let’s also ask, is it more fun?

Yes. Though we’ve heard all spring and summer about Madden’s new play-calling, faster game times and richer, more exciting presentation, this year’s show-stealer comes from an unexpected place – a true fundamental. You know, the kind of thing everyone always says a sports game should get right before worrying about anything else? Well this time, Madden did.

Kotaku Review

As much as I love football and video games, I fell off the Madden wagon back in 07 and haven’t bought another version of the game in this console generation.  If stripping away the hit-sticks, QB cones, and even turbo (*gasp*) will make the game more fun, I’m all for it.

IGN Review

This is a Triumph: DIY Portals in Your House!

As an optional test protocol, we are pleased to present an amusing fact. The IKEA mirror you purchased for $6.99 is now more valuable than the organs and combined incomes of everyone in New York City.

DO WANT.  Only thing is I can’t decide whether to put the orange one in the bathroom or the refrigerator.  There’s cake in there!

Kotaku << Gamereactor

Portal 2 is due out next year (although I’m about ready for it now please), and was declared by a bunch of reviewers to be one of the best games at E3 2010.  If you never played the first one, it’s a smart, exceptionally well-designed puzzler/platformer created by Valve, available for PC via Steam and consoles via XBLA or PSN for around $15.  Go get it NAO.

Those of you familiar with the first game may want to check out the videos below, which introduces some of the new puzzle mechanics you’ll be dealing with in Portal 2 (there are a bunch!).

Portal 2 is also on Facebook because that’s what video games do these days I guess?