Game Bits

I was at Toys 'R' Us today and got to see Guitar Hero III played for the first time. A little girl was testing it out as I was making my way through the aisles. Whoever narrates the tutorial for that game sounds a lot like the Ghost Host from The Haunted Mansion at Disney World.

My piece on accessibility in gaming came out last week and my new piece on virtual item sales at Neopets went up this week over at The Escapist.

As a result of deciding to do some last-minute shopping today, I missed the latest Xfire Debate Club chat. I caught the very last minute of it, and it seemed like I missed out on something fun. Guess I'll see everyone at TTHS in the new year.

This article by Mike Sylvester, "10 Things I Hate About Wii", over at Wii Fanboy makes some really spot-on points. Highlights include complaints about how Nintendo holds back its own franchises and often delays anticipated first-party titles, as well as touching on the system's clunky online multiplayer system.

Game Bits

I enjoyed Kingdom Hearts and its sequel on the PS2, Kingdom Hearts II. So, I was wondering just what SquareEnix would announce at this year's Tokyo Game Show. Promises of something unlike a direct sequel, something else in the franchise were rampant before the announcement.

Just like with the upcoming Final Fantasy XIII, the new Kingdom Hearts installments come in triplicate. The PSP installment sounds a bit like Knights of the Old Republic, in the KH universe. Called Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, it takes place many years before the events of Kingdom Hearts, and features gameplay like the PS2 titles we know. The story seems to have something to do with Keyblade users in search of a master. 1UP's preview suggested the main character looks like Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core's Zack. I haven't seen the video yet myself.

Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days is a 3D game for the Nintendo DS that features Roxas from KHII, apparently in his Organization XIII days. This game apparently ties into the secret ending video attained at the end of the Japan-only Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix.

The last title, is a cellphone game called Kingdom Hearts: Coded, that seems to run parallel to events in Chain of Memories.

Nothing on a PS3 KH3, which was what many had hoped for for a while. However, since that possibility was sort of put to rest, the question remains whether any of these new titles will serve as a sort of bridge to KH3 like Chain of Memories did between the first two games.

Popular Science has a nice feature on the tech side of game creation. A look at processors and more here.

Team Fortress 2 is making me laugh with its oddball, cartoony sense of humor. Anyone know the voice cast? I'm just curious if I've heard any of these guys before because some sound slightly familiar.

Game Bits

An Oklahoma court has overturned the law in that state criminalizing certain video game sales to minors. A victory for parents and for gamers. I hope that other states, including New York, my home, will follow suit. To criminilize the sale of games undermines parental rights, and separates games unfairly from other media such as movies, music, or even books, that are either available to all freely or have self-regulated industry policies.

I'm also trying to pick my next game. Though I haven't finished Final Fantasy VII yet, I'm thinking perhaps Grim Fandango will be next.