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From The Worst Console Ever to Black Ops Blowout - News Roundup 29th May 2010

Jonathan Lester
Black Ops, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Games news, Pokemon Black and White, Treyarch, Virtual Boy
Call of Duty: Black Ops

Pokemon Black and White Dated for Spring

From The Worst Console Ever to Black Ops Blowout - News Roundup 29th May 2010

Whilst many of us still haven't quite caught every last legendary in HeartGold and SoulSilver, we'll have to wait until next year for our next fix. Pokemon Black & White have been officially dated Spring 2011 for the UK and US. The Japanese will be able to get their hands on it in September, so expect import previews to kick off in a few months.

Still undecided about those starters, though. Are Game Freak finally running out of ideas and just throwing paint at wildlife for pokemon inspiration?

Time: Virtual Boy Is One of the Worst Inventions Ever

From The Worst Console Ever to Black Ops Blowout - News Roundup 29th May 2010

Time Magazine has recently published a list of the worst, most evil and most pointless inventions ever devised my mankind. Agent Orange, CFCs, DDT pesticides and the Hindenburg all made the list... but one gaming contribution stands out above the others: the Virtual Boy.

Billed as a major foray into 3D gaming, Nintendo's Virtual Boy console teetered precariously between a pointless novelty and a downright trip hazard. Wrapping the user's face in its cheap plastic womb, the device completely cut off all peripheral vision and provided only a handful of weak vector graphics games. The system only sold for six months before being pulled from the market, resulting in the high-profile dismissal of Gunpei Yokoi (who helped develop the original Game Boy and went on to pioneer the Wonderswan, a classic competing handheld that was technologically very impressive for its time).

Not to be outdone, the diabolical thief of time known only as Farmville also made an appearance. Though I'm not sure that "worst invention ever" should really apply to Zynga's fantastically successful time sink. [Time Magazine]

Does the Virtual Boy deserve to be billed as one of the Worst Inventions Ever? Can you think of any other gaming monstrosities that deserve a place in the list? Have your say in the comments!

Black Ops Blowout: New Screens, Info

From The Worst Console Ever to Black Ops Blowout - News Roundup 29th May 2010

The Call of Duty: Black Ops picture and preview embargo has now been lifted, and plenty of new info from their London press event has hit the internet harder than a rapelling badass. It's roundup time!

  • Treyarch is excited to be doing something new... whilst retaining the 'spirit' of CoD. After the Infinity Ward debacle, Treyarch has been thrust into the spotlight as Activision's current premier FPS studio (not including Bungie, natch). Apparently, they're both excited and slightly nervous about delivering a totally new and refreshing FPS experience while retaining the tradition CoD vibe. Considering that they appear to be using Infinity Ward's engine, they should just be able to concentrate on the gameplay...and from what we've seen, it's...
  • ... all about the "Unparalleled" variety. Treyarch are doing their best to give players "new game mechanics and things to do", mixing up mission objectives, environmental hazards and a "deep" narrative to keep us interested. In fact, they've promised us that "the variety of gameplay we’re providing the player is going to be unparalleled in any other Call of Duty." We've already seen rapelling, Blackbird RTS segments and flight sections- what more could they have in store? [Adam Hartley]
  • Black Ops will be "Three Games in One." Apparently, Treyarch are treating each of Black Ops' modes like a separate game, comprising the singleplayer, four player co-op and competitive multiplayer. For the first time, Treyarch has a designated team working on the multiplayer aspects of the title. According to studio head Mark Lamia, each level will also support multiple play styles, with the ability to complete a level using brute force, stealth or any mixture of the two. [VG247]
  • Deep narrative will "weave through history." According to Lamia, the story is going to deliver an experience that's above most traditional FPS fares. “You are not just fighting a normal war and you are not just a common foot-soldier. Our story – like a needle and a thread – is going to weave its way through time and through these points of reference in history. You weave through the Vietnam war and the Battle of Hue City, but it is not about that battle, it is not about the war; it is about your objective in our story." Sounds like fun- so long as it doesn't get preachy.
  • Black Ops predicted to sell over 10 million copies in the US. Analyst Doug Creutz has predicted that Black Ops will shift over 10 million copies, and he's probably right. It's currently the top of the Amazon and Gamestop preorder lists, and the Activision hype machine has been truly immense. Whether it will deserve its sales remains to be seen. [Gamesindustry]

So, there you have it. Recent trailers indicate that Treyarch's got the action movie-style dynamic down pat, but we've yet to see if the rest of the game is as impressive as its trailer.

Add a comment9 comments
baz  May. 29, 2010 at 19:23

TBH ive never heard of the Virtual Boy until now!

the Gizmondo was a massive flop, the only entertaining thing to come out of that was the owner of the company infamously crashing his Enzo in Malibu


to name a few others, the Sega Game Gear, Atari Lynx, Sega Mega CD, Amiga CD 32, Atari Jaguar, Panasonic CDO (anyone remember these?)

Jonathan Lester  May. 30, 2010 at 13:23

Ah, the Jaguar would get my vote as the worst console ever. A 64 bit console that delivered worse games and graphics than its 32 bit rivals? Godawful.

It's a shame that "Enzo Crash Extreme" never made it to the Gizmondo. Now that would've been a killer app!

Late  May. 31, 2010 at 04:12

/me pulls on body armour.
Worst console? The Wii has got to be a contender in my book.

Allow me to back that up - and bear in mind I've owned most of the commonly known home gaming systems available for the last several decades (yes, I'm a bit old - I'm 37) including the xbox360 and wii...
If we're judging it on sales figures/market share, or any other method of commercial success then of course it's a winner. But in terms of how it compares to other consoles on the market, it's so far behind in the three areas of most import as to be criminal.
Current gen consoles should have HD graphics, fantastic processing power, and great games. Other factors are minor imho. The ps3 and the xbox360 both tick all three boxes. The wii fails on the first two counts - but I'll be generous and give it a pass on the third. It does have some very good games (Boom Blox and Super Mario Galaxy) but they're few and far between. 99.9% of the console's games are absolute dirge - and it's scary that a console can sell as well as the wii has purely on the back of some gimmicks and some good marketing.

As regards CoD:BO (BO heh) I'll buy it whatever they put in it - the series has been fantastic in recent years, whether Treyarch or Infinity Ward (albeit the three best/most recent were all from the same engine of course).
And if the game has Zombies in it it'll almost certainly go straight into my favourite 10 games of all time. That's some mean feat, given the number of games I've played in my years ;) (Of course, it's unlikely to topple Rebelstar Raiders from the top spot - it's doubtful anything ever will...)

Phil McC  Sep. 11, 2010 at 19:29

Gizmodo = worst idea in the history of the universe everrrrrr
Ninty properly fucked over Gunpei Yokoi with regards to the Virtual Boy. It makes me quite angry that it's kind of a stain on his otherwise amazing career.
*shakes an angry fist at nintendo*

Phil McC  Sep. 11, 2010 at 19:34

Also, I seem to remember rumours that the gizmondo was basically a front for the swedish mafia or such, ahahaha

Phil McC  Sep. 11, 2010 at 19:37

worst console ever?
Tempest 2000 and AvP probably save the jaguar from that fate!
I would also vote the phillips CD-I and it's dodgy Zelda games, or the Apple Pippin!

ODB  Sep. 11, 2010 at 21:35

Baz you are spouting a load of toss and obvo have never used any of the items you listed. Game Gear was alright for its day the rest were so so whereas the Atari Lynx was THE best handheld console for years until the modern wave....vastly underrated and a severe lack of new games killed it but it was awesome or its day graphically. I take it you never used one?

Your lack of knowledge is highlighted by the fact you've never heard of the Virtual Boy...its legendary FFS!

LanceVance  Sep. 12, 2010 at 16:17

I would say one of the knockoff Vii or Wu consoles have to be the worst. Utter crud. As for the old VB, didnt it give some people fits?

Rubisco  Sep. 12, 2010 at 18:24

And at 6 million units sold I'd hardly call the Sega Mega CD a flop!



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