Pokemon Black and White Dated for Spring
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
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
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.