Changes Coming to Video Game Librarian

You may have noticed that this is the first 2011 update at The Video Game Librarian. That’s because I launched a new site, Warp Zoned, on January 1st. Warp Zoned is a gaming website full of news, previews, reviews, interviews and features. I’ve got an amazing staff and we really think we’re doing some good work. So feel free to hop over there for your video game news fix.

With the launch of Warp Zoned, I plan to turn The Video Game Librarian into a more general information portal on games and libraries. So stay tuned for that, but no promises on when it’ll actually happen.

Sam Raimi Directing Warcraft Movie

After what seems like years in development hell, Legendary Pictures and Blizzard are ready to move forward with the World of Warcraft movie. Now simply titled Warcraft, the two companies have used the 2009 Comic-Con to announce that Sam Raimi will be directing the movie adaptation of one of the biggest games of all time.

Raimi is something of a hero to the geek set, having previously directed The Evil Dead trilogy, the Spider-Man trilogy and this year’s Drag Me To Hell. He is currently doing pre-production work on Spider-Man 4, which is scheduled to start filming next year. As such, Warcraft is still quite a ways away.

“At its core, Warcraft is a fantastic, action-packed story,” said Raimi. “I am thrilled to work with such a dynamite production team to bring this project to the big screen.”

There is currently no word on who will star in the movie or even what story in the Warcraft universe it will tell. But I think the more important question is, how will Ted Raimi and Bruce Campbell be involved?

Harmonix Reveals Even More Beatles Rock Band Tracks

After unveiling the latest trailer for the game (which showcased eight Beatles songs that will be appearing in the game), Harmonix and Electronic Arts have announced seven more songs that will make the cut in The Beatles: Rock Band.

  • “Do You Want To Know A Secret” (Cavern Club)
  • “I Wanna Be Your Man” (Ed Sullivan Theater)
  • “And Your Bird Can Sing” (Budokan)
  • “With a Little Help from My Friends” (Abbey Road Dreamscape)
  • “Birthday” (Abbey Road Dreamscape)
  • “Dig A Pony” (Rooftop Concert)
  • “I’ve Got A Feeling” (Rooftop Concert)

    As you can see, Harmonix has included the venue each of the songs will appear in as well. And in case you missed the eight songs announced with the new trailer (and their venues), they include…

  • “Twist and Shout” (Cavern Club)
  • “Paperback Writer” (Budokan)
  • “Can’t Buy Me Love” (Ed Sullivan Theater)
  • “Eight Days a Week” (Shea Stadium)
  • “Yellow Submarine” (Abbey Road Dreamscape)
  • “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (Abbey Road Dreamscape)
  • “Within You Without You/Tomorrow Never Knows” (Abbey Road Dreamscape)
  • “Revolution” (Abbey Road Dreamscape)

    The Beatles: Rock Band will be released for the PS3, Wii and Xbox 360 on September 9. Continue reading

  • More Beatles: Rock Band Tracks Revealed

    Joystiq has gotten their hands on the new trailer for The Beatles: Rock Band and it reveals eight more songs the game will have when it comes to the PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360 on September 9.

    You can let out your inner Ferris Bueller with “Twist and Shout” along with seven other Beatles classics:

  • “Twist and Shout”
  • “Paperback Writer”
  • “Can’t Buy Me Love”
  • “Eight Days a Week”
  • “Yellow Submarine”
  • “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”
  • “Within You Without You”
  • “Revolution”

    And here’s the trailer for those who’re interested (which may just be everybody at this point):

    Continue reading

  • 1 I’m Playing: Ultimate Shooting Collection (Wii)

    Ultimate Shooting Collection is a terrible name for a video game. The words evoke images of a cheaply made mini-game collection, most likely of the “huntin’ varmits” variety, that would be found at Wal-Mart for a few bucks. Instead, the game is a collection of three shoot ‘em ups created by Milestone, a Japanese developer who specializes in the genre (the game was actually titled Milestone Shooting Collection in Japan). Obscure, yes. But shovelware this ain’t. And yet, calling it the ultimate anything is stretching things a bit too far.

    Ultimate Shooting Collection (Wii)
    The three games included in the package are Chaos Field, Karous and Radio Allergy. All three games are vertically-scrolling top-down shooters that allow the player to step into the cockpit of a “flying suit.” The flying suit of each game is basically a giant flying robot that has some kind of shooting weapon (a laser or a machine gun or a bubble cannon) and a sword that is used to deflect bullets and damage close-range enemies. Chaos Field was previously released in America on the GameCube in 2005 while Radio Allergy was in development for Nintendo’s purple lunchbox, but was canceled after the Wii’s emergence in 2006. Karous is notable for being one of the last games released for the Dreamcast, a full six years after the system was discontinued. Continue reading

    Del Rey Publishing God of War Novels

    Del Rey is quickly establishing themselves as the go-to publisher for video game adaptations. After publishing novels based on major franchises such as Halo, Gears of War and Mass Effect, the Random House imprint will now turn their attention to God of War.

    Del Rey will publish two novels based on the God of War series, with the first scheduled for release in March 2010. Titled God of War and based on the first game, the novel will be released alongside the third and final game in the series, God of War III for the PlayStation 3.

    In the novel God of War, Kratos, the game’s protagonist, is a great warrior who seeks revenge on the God of War Ares for the deaths of his wife and child. On his journey to Olympus, Kratos must battle great monsters of legend–and fight his own inner demons. Kratos’ quest will take him through a world of Greek mythology transformed, in which the familiar legends take on a terrifying new life–from the Aegean, where Kratos will grapple with the Great Hydra, to the depths of Hades, where Kratos will face death itself, to the heights of Mount Olympus. With all the thrilling action that got fans hooked on the game, the novel God of War takes us deeper into this fascinating world.

    The novel will be written by Matthew Stover, who is best known for his contributions to the Star Wars Expanded Universe: Star Wars New Jedi Order: Traitor, Star Wars: Shatterpoint, and Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. Continue reading

    1 I’m Playing: Punch-Out!! (Wii)

    It has been fifteen long years since the release of Super Punch-Out!! on the Super NES. Since that time, video gamedom’s premiere boxing franchise has been on hiatus and two entire console generations, the Nintendo 64 and the GameCube, passed by with nary a peep about the further adventures of Little Mac. But when Nintendo introduced Wii Sports (and its two-fisted boxing mode) to the world, gamers knew that Doc Louis would begin training a new generation of Little Macs someday soon. That day was May 18, 2009. After months of speculation about the fight card and the control scheme, Nintendo released the third game in the series, simply titled Punch-Out!!, for the Wii.

    Punch-Out!! (Wii)
    Punch-Out!! for the Wii is actually an interesting blend of the first game in the series, Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! and its Super NES sequel. More than a simple remake, the game takes the roster of the NES Punch-Out!! (along with the Star Punch mechanic) and mixes it with the play style of Super Punch-Out!! (with the camera zoomed in close, behind Mac’s back).

    To that end, this Wii update feels like little more than a new coat of paint on an old game at first. Glass Joe, Von Kaiser and King Hippo play exactly like they do in Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!, right down to the timing patterns of their attacks. But as you delve deeper into the game, familiar boxers start sporting new attack patterns. And having to dodge certain attacks with a move to the left or to the right or even ducking (like in Super Punch-Out!!) makes the game feel even more different. Continue reading

    1 I’m Playing: Space Invaders Extreme (Xbox 360)

    With the advent of the Xbox Live Arcade and other console download services, retro-tinged games have gotten quite a boost in the last couple of years. “Remixed” versions of old favorites abound such as Pac-Man: Championship Edition, Gradius ReBirth and now Space Invaders Extreme

    Space Invaders Extreme (Xbox 360)
    Space Invaders Extreme was first released on the DS and PSP in honor of the franchise’s 30th anniversary. This version was met with some decent success (and a few Game of the Year honors), so it’s no surprise to see it pop up on the XBLA a few weeks ago. Like last year’s handheld versions, the XBLA version of Space Invaders Extreme places the player in the cockpit of a laser cannon that can slide back and forth across the bottom of the screen shooting at invaders above them. The invaders swoop back and forth and they get nearer and nearer to the player, or as Futurama famously put it, “Increase speed, drop down, and reverse direction!”

    However, that’s not all there is to the game with Space Invaders Extreme. Continue reading