Prostitution was pervasive in the European theater. One Army report estimated that 80% of single men and 50% of married men would have sex during their stay in Europe. And the U.S. military did not really care. What it cared about was venereal disease, which soon after the GIs’ arrivals in France began to soar.
L4D in Japan!
“A 5-map campaign set in various locations throughout Japan. Survivors start in Tokyo’s red light district, escaping to Kyoto’s Kiyomizu temple, before moving further into the mountains the next morning.”
Kento Iwasaki is an orchestral composer whose musical background includes, EDM, Jazz, and Prog Metal. He grew up playing a ton of rpg’s and learned to write music by playing chrono trigger songs on his Casio keyboard by ear. His aim is to bring; the aesthetic of video game music composition to the classical world, through opera - and opera to the pop world and youth culture as an accessible form of entertainment. He could easily be the next Masashi Hamauzu or Nobuo Uematsu.
This coming Tuesday, will be the first free preview of his debut opera Shinju.
Have a listen to this piece “From the Dragon Palace”, which shows some of his orchestral chops.
You can also check out Kento Iwasaki’s really popular ragtime rendition of this Zelda Song .
More info at ShinjuOpera.com
Leave a comment below if you’re going, and maybe we can meet up!
Top Chinese leaders told us that they believe Japan is entering a period of right-wing militarist nationalism, and that the purchase of the islands was a deliberate effort by Japan to begin a process of eroding the settlement of World War II, including the Cairo and Potsdam declarations.
Chinese leaders speak of China’s “peaceful development”, but some analysts believe that China cannot rise peacefully, and will seek a form of hegemony in East Asia that will lead to conflict with the United States and Japan.
This will make a good Call of Duty someday.
I, of course, am rooting for Japan, since China takes american ideas and jobs AND could give us a few beat-downs in a real war. Also there’s no good bands there.
tomb raider | (2013)
As you can tell even from the screenshot taken by my iPhone, Tomb Raider is a gorgeous game. I often find myself stopping to admire the visual craftsmanship on display here, wondering why anyone would even entertain the thought of entering a new generation of video game consoles. Playing the game, on the other hand, makes me think developers need to step out of 2005 before they even consider designing software for upcoming hardware.
This is everything you’ve seen before: button prompts shoved in your face, things you can interact with have icons that appear when you approach them, and half-assed RPG mechanics that consist of little more than a skill tree filled with useless and/or redundant abilities. And it’s a reboot of an old franchise, which is the popular thing these days. But I really don’t want to go too deeply into the game. No, I’d rather focus on one particular part of the game that proved just how little game developers think these things out.
Protagonist Lara Croft has a torch. The torch can be lit at various sources of fire found scattered throughout the game. The torch, and by extension the fire, reacts to things fairly realistically. A few hours into the game you enter a room that has a few kerosene lanterns strewn about. You pick one up, and you learn that you can toss these in an arc much like a grenade. The room has a glass partition in the middle with a small opening at the top, which is meant for Lara to climb through to flip a switch or something (I’ve forgotten already). Once you’ve done this, it triggers an enemy to come in and turn on some poisonous gas that slowly starts filling the sectioned off part of the room that you’re in. You climb back out via the hole you entered from, and toss one of those kerosene lanterns through the same hole. The gas is flammable, and the entire room explodes, glass shattering, machinery destroyed, flames dancing everywhere.
There’s a little optional goal in this area where you have to find and burn five propaganda posters with your torch. There was one in the room you entered before you crawled through the hole. There was no fire source, but you could throw a lantern at the poster and burn it that way. Once the room explodes, you can progress to the far side of the room and discover another poster, unscathed from the explode-y, fiery destruction you just caused. Any remaining lanterns also got obliterated in the blast, so what do you do?
Man, there’s fire EVERYWHERE now. Just light your torch that way!
Fine, let’s just ignore the fact that the poster is the only thing in the room that didn’t suffer from the explosion. But you mean to tell me that I can’t just stick my torch in any old fire and get a light that way? For the sake of video game-iness, I need to backtrack to the last “official” fire source to get my torch lit ‒ running past perfectly good fire ‒ then go back to burn that poster. It’s kind of ridiculous; this is a game with real-time weather effects that go so far as to make it look like raindrops are splashing against your television, but I can’t use random fire to light a torch. You know what’s even more ridiculous?
Shortly after that sequence, you find a tool that lets you make fire whenever the hell you want. Why couldn’t I just do that in the first place?!
Yes, I’m nitpicking. Thing is, though, is that people want video games to be taken as a serious form of art. And with the way games continue to edge their way towards being more cinematic than actual game, it’s not something that’s outside the realm of possibility. But come on, things like what I explained above are the product of lazy design. At the end of the day the game is fine. It’s entertaining, moves at a fast pace, and even has some moderately challenging puzzles to work out. But here we are in 2013, about 50 years after video games came into existence, and fire still doesn’t work right.
telltale games | the walking dead (2012)
Downloaded the free first chapter of The Walking Dead Game on my iPhone two days ago.
Sat in a car making boring conversation with an old cop for five minutes, then we crashed, he died, I climbed out to get the handcuff keys, but quit halfway to his corpse and uninstalled the “game” because WALKING TEN METERS should not be a cumbersome input clusterfuck, and sitting through five minutes of “story” and “dialog” was mind-numbing enough that I’d rather have been doing NOTHING.
I would’ve forgotten all about the crap experience except I plugged in my iPhone to my PC just now, and Apple decided to force me to re-download the game I had deleted from my phone onto my computer. No way to stop it.
So it finished downloading and then I hit DELETE YESIMSURE and that’s nice, wasting 300mbs of bandwidth for no reason like that. Much like 300secs of time I squandered giving the game “the benefit of the doubt”.
I can’t believe people find this type of game ACCEPTABLE, much less rave-worthy.
Far Cry 3 expansion pack pitch:
You are John McAfee. Millionaire, genius software engineer, fugitive accused of murder. You and your 20-something girlfriend Sam are hiding out in the jungles of Belize. You must evade the authorities while making your way to the Guatemalan border. To survive you’ll rely on your dwindling weapons cache, a technical skill set that rivals MacGyver, and an uncanny ability to BS your way out of dangerous encounters. You’ll hunt wild boar to survive, mix up pharmaceuticals to heal, and bed down with your girl to raise stamina.
Still a work in progress. Definitely needs some kind of sanity meter. You do phone interviews to promote your cult of personality and get more assistance from locals/tourists. Of course if you don’t change phones often enough the chances of getting caught go up.
Resident Evil 4, the last-gen Capcom survival-action masterpiece was this close to be on Xbox, instead of Gamecube.
Back in 2000, Shinji Mikami wanted to move away from PS2 and before even talking to Nintendo, he had a meeting with guys from MS. A meeting that didn’t go so well, because Japanese MS employee wasn’t able to give him a good reason to choose them over competition.
One of Mikami’s unanswered questions:
What is your philosophy? Sony says games are entertainment, something larger, fuelled by the Emotion Engine. Nintendo says games are toys, created by the legendary Shigeru Miyamoto, perhaps the greatest game developer of all time. What do you feel?
A question that an english-speaking Kevin Bahus, director of third-party relations at Xbox, was more than capable of answering.
We had said repeatedly over and over and over that we aspire to enable games that could be considered to be art, much like film,” Bachus says, “that because of the maturity of the development tools and the APIs and the power of the technology, game developers on Xbox would be able to concentrate on the finesse features that elevated games to being something more than they were otherwise.
Bahus was sitting right there with them, but was unable to participate in the conversation because he didn’t know Japanese. He was only receiving notes from his colleague. After that meeting, and before Bachus was able to reach him again, the famous deal with Nintendo was made.
And that’s how a simple language barrier shaped (probably) a big chunk of gaming industry. Learn Japanese! (said someone who knows only a couple of words repeated all the time in anime).
Read the whole “Why Xbox failed in Japan?” piece on Eurogamer.
(Maybe the lack of answer from a MS Japan guy was intentional? A sabotage?!?)
hitman: absolution | square enix (2012)
Hitman:Abs’s greatest failing is that it forces a story on the character, rather than relying on situations. The character is paper-thin. And the story is a bunch of cutscenes.
I really liked Hitman 2 & 3 & 4 (4 was Blood Money, right?), but I found this fifth installment to be too crowded and too limiting, and so every mission devolved into a MASSIVE SHOOTOUT.
I regularly killed everybody. (“Who?” “EV-RY-BO-DDYYYY!!!”) That’s not Hitman.
The killin’ was fun, but not tense. The cover system was handy, but the keys were a little annoying, and I often had to look down and check which button to hit (rather than it being natural and fluid).
Also, Spike from Cowboy Bebop is in this game! A LOT!
I dunno, it’s a good game, and with patience I suppose it could be what the best of the franchise offers, but for me, I wish I had waited to buy it at half price in a few months.
Favorite map: the cornfield. Not for the leather-clad killer sex nuns, but for the free roamin’ sneak and pounce design.