Bethesda: Microsoft Should "Open Up Natal"
There's no doubt that Natal's going to offer some unique gaming experiences, but many of us are worried that it'll be focused too narrowly on a few third-party offerings and minigame collections (essentially becoming a novelty peripheral rather than a permanent living room fixture). Whilst Fallout 3 production director Ashley Cheng was impressed by Natal after getting some hands-on demonstration time (or hands-off, if you prefer), he believes that Microsoft's peripheral would be wasted on the big companies. Why not open up the API to the masses?
"Seeing it in action, I was totally blown away by it. It seems wasted on games, really. Microsoft should open the Natal API up like Apple does with the iphone/ipad. Let anyone make a Natal 'app'. I bet someone makes a killer app that has nothing to do with gaming." -Ashley Cheng
He's dead right. The Xbox Live Indie Channel already offers bedroom programmers and small businesses a way of coding their own games and breaking into the big time... so why not let them get their hands on Natal and see what they can do with it? Sounds great in theory- though both MS and Sony are traditionally very wary of sharing their secrets with the homebrew crowd. Watch this space. [Rice Always Wins via Gamesindustry]
Assassin's Creed 2 Complete Edition Spotted
Assassin's Creed 2 built on the strengths of its (fairly shaky) predecessor to deliver a truly superior sequel, and it's two DLC packs are both surprisingly capable offerings that add a whole bunch of extra missions and flying machine action to the storyline. However, if you've been holding off buying into Ezio's Renaissance adventure, you'll soon be able to get your hands on the "Complete Edition" containing both the original game and all of its DLC (including the secret Templar locations).
Sounds good- though it's always a kick in the teeth to loyal early-adopters when companies release a GOTY or complete edition of an original title. Does that make my copy an incomplete edition? Thanks, guys. [1UP]
Unique Features Close to Scoring Heavy Rain Film Rights
Oh dear. Production company Unique Features is apparently very close to securing the movie rights to Heavy Rain, Quantic Dream's interactive PS3-Exclusive thriller. Since UF was formed by the former heads of New Line Cinema...who released such titles as Seven, Heavy Rain seems like a natural addition to their portfolio.
If a Heavy Rain movie sounds pointless to you.. that's because it is. Heavy Rain was designed to be an interactive film that plays out over 8 hours...so why bother to squash it's stellar story into under 2 hours and remove its interactivity? Are Hollywood writers really so starved for original film ideas that they have to rework interactive titles for the silver screen? Since we've got an Uncharted, Prince of Persia and Castlevania movie on the way, apparently they are. [Deadline New York]
Square and Yahoo will "Make Japanese History"
We love it when big companies make big claims, and this is probably one of the biggest I've ever seen. A Square Enix banner has appeared on Yahoo's Japanese Games page stating that, in no uncertain terms...
"On May 21, we will make Japanese History!"
Whoa! Could this be a browser game set in an alternate Japanese timeline? A Final Fantasy/Mario flash crossover? Or just a last ditch effort by a second-rate search engine to get some attention. We'll let you know on may 21st- though if you can speak Japanese, you can get involved on the embedded Twitter predictions panel. [Yahoo Games via 1UP]