Aliens RPG Cancelled

Obsidian Entertainment, the development team behind the upcoming role-playing game based on the Alien movies, has announced that the unnamed Aliens RPG that was in development for the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 has been cancelled.

An administrator on the official Obsidian forums had this to say about the cancellation:

Hi guys, The Guildmaster here. Rumors have circled around a bit regarding the fate of the Aliens role playing game that Obsidian and SEGA had been working on. Unfortunately, it is true that we are no longer working on the game, and we wanted to finally announce that officially to everyone who has been following its development. We’re going to keep this forum up for another week for archival purposes and to allow you guys to finish up any open threads, and then we will shut it down since it is no longer a product that is in development.

Sega still plans to publish two Aliens-related games for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360: Aliens vs Predator 3, a first person shooter from Rebellion and Aliens: Colonial Marines, another first person shooter from Gearbox Software.

Uncharted to Become a Movie

The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that the popular PlayStation 3 adventure game Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is being turned into a movie by Columbia Pictures (which is a division of Sony Pictures). The script will be written by Kyle Ward, who is a very busy boy as of late, agreeing to write Hitman 2 a few days ago while also writing the movie adaptation of Kane & Lynch.

Uncharted is a treasure hunter adventure similar to Tomb Raider or Indiana Jones and follows the exploits of Nathan Drake…

The story follows a descendent of explorer Sir Francis Drake, a treasure hunter named Nate Drake who believes he has learned the whereabouts of El Dorado, the fabled South American golden city, from a cursed golden statue. The search becomes competitive when a rival hunter joins the fray, then is racheted up several notches when creatures — actually mutated descendants of Spaniards and Nazis — begin attacking those hoping to learn the treasure’s true secrets.

No release date was announced nor were any actors rumored for the part of Nathan.

Review Round-Up Round-Up: Godfather II, Guitar Hero Metallica, Excitebots, X-Men Origins Wolverine

I’ve been a bit lax on posting Review Round-Ups of some of the newest releases, so here’s a look back at what a variety of video game critics had to say about Guitar Hero: Metallica (PS2, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360), The Godfather II (PC, PS3, Xbox 360), Excitebots: Trick Racing (Wii), and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (the PC, PS3 & Xbox 360 “Uncaged Edition”)…

Guitar Hero: Metallica (PS2, PS3, Wii, Xbox 360)

  • Boomtown (7/10
  • Eurogamer (8/10)
  • GameSpot (7.5/10)
  • GameZone (9/10)
  • Worth Playing (9.5/10)

    Metallica fans will find the most to like in Guitar Hero: Metallica, but Guitar Hero fans in general will find another great entry in the series. Even if it is a tad on the short side.
    Verdict: Buy It (VGL Review Guide)

    The Vitals
    Publisher: Activision
    Developer: Neversoft
    Release Date: March 29, 2009
    Genre: Music Game With Plastic Instruments
    ESRB Rating: Teen

    The Godfather II (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

  • Crispy Gamer (Fry It AKA 1/3)
  • Kotaku (Overall Negative)
  • Game Daily (8/10)
  • GameSpot (4.5/10)
  • Giant Bomb (3/5)

    The Godfather II is little more than a poorly done Grand Theft Auto rehash that features awkward controls, tiny open world environments and ugly graphics. Also, the “Don’s View” portion of the game isn’t particularly interesting and the Godfather license feels more or less tacked on.
    Verdict: Skip It (VGL Review Guide)

    The Vitals
    Publisher: Electronic Arts
    Developer: EA Redwood Shores (AKA Visceral Games)
    Release Date: April 7, 2009
    Genre: Open World Action/Mob Simulator
    ESRB Rating: Mature Continue reading

  • 1 I’m Playing: OutRun Online Arcade (Xbox 360)

    When Sega announced OutRun Online Arcade back in December, they touted it as a high definition remake of the original OutRun arcade game. But somewhere along the way to the game’s release on the Xbox Live Arcade, it became an HD update of OutRun 2 SP (which was last seen as part of the PC/PS2/PSP/Xbox package OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast) instead. While it’s not quite the same game I envisioned when it was first revealed, OutRun Online Arcade supplies that sense of speed and reckless abandon that you want from an arcade racer.

    OutRun Online Arcade (Xbox 360)
    As a port of OutRun 2 SP (a game of rather recent vintage), OutRun Online Arcade features few changes beyond the cosmetic touchups needed to make the graphics high definition. Not that that’s a bad thing. OutRun 2006 was a fantastic game that spent a good deal of time in my PS2 and OutRun Online Arcade retains the slick arcade racing gameplay of its predecessor. And seeing as how the game has never looked prettier, what’s not to love? Sumo Digital (the developer of both OutRun 2006 and OutRun Online Arcade) even managed to smooth out the slowdown that was present on a few tracks in OutRun 2006.

    However, that’s not to say that OutRun Online Arcade is the definitive version of OutRun 2 SP. While gamers that loved OutRun 2006 will find plenty to like here, they will also find fewer options overall. Fewer tracks, fewer cars and fewer gameplay modes prove that OutRun Online Arcade is more or less meant to be a faithful adaptation of the OutRun 2 SP arcade game. How faithful is it? After completing the OutRun Mode, the game displays the staff credits for the arcade version. Another change for the worse is that all of the cars have been rebalanced and now handle more or less the same. While OutRun 2006 only boasted slight variations among it’s nearly 40 vehicle lineup, at least they had some differences. Continue reading

    1 I’m Playing: Gradius ReBirth (Wii)

    While people are quick to slap the dreaded “casual gaming” label on the Wii, Nintendo’s little system that could has also brought about another revolution to the world of video games: It made retro gaming cool again. From the wild success of the Virtual Console to the beautiful Mega Man 9 to recently resurrected Punch-Out!!, older games and “new” older games rule the Wii. Which brings us to this review of the WiiWare shooter Gradius ReBirth.

    Gradius ReBirth (Wii)
    Not a completely original game like Mega Man 9, ReBirth is closer to a remix of previous Gradius levels, enemies and concepts. For example, the first level of ReBirth is a rough recreation of the first level of the original Gradius, while the first boss is a reworking of a boss found in Gradius V. So, if you’ve played any of the previous games in the series, you’ll know exactly what to expect from Gradius ReBirth.

    But if you haven’t, allow me to give you a crash course on the finer points of one of the best shooter series’ to come out of the 80s. In Gradius, players control the Vic Viper in a side-scrolling space shooter. Enemy ships (or robots or mutants or giant Easter Island statues) charge your ship and you have to shoot them down. Some enemies drop glowing orange power-ups that begin to fill a meter at the bottom of the screen. Pressing 2 on the Wii Remote (Gradius ReBirth is played with the Wii Remote held sideways like an NES controller) allows you to purchase an upgrade that could be a new weapon, a shield, a speed increase or a “Multiple” (an indestructible ball that flies next to you and doubles your firepower). Continue reading

    Elder Scrolls Books Coming Soon

    Bethesda Softworks has announced that two novels are in the works based on their popular RPG The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. The novels will be published by Del Rey (the same publisher that handles the Halo and Gears of War novels), with the first set to appear in bookstores in Fall 2009.

    The first novel will be written by Greg Keyes, who previously wrote the Age of Unreason tetralogy and three novels in the Star Wars: New Jedi Order series. The novel, The Elder Scrolls: The Infernal City will be set after the events of The Elder Scrolls IV:

    The Infernal City is set after the events of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, the latest game in the video game series, and finds the citizens of Tamriel once again facing an uncertain future. Floating high above the land is a strange and mysterious city that is casting a horrifying shadow – wherever it falls, people die and rise again as undead. It is up to an unlikely duo – a seventeen-year-old girl named Annaig and the Emperor’s young son, Prince Attrebus – to rescue the kingdom from doom. Annaig and Attrebus’ quest will take them through the Elder Scrolls universe and their adventure is sure to add to the series’ already magnificent mythology.

    More Halo Novels and a Halo Encyclopedia on the Way

    At this weekend’s Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle, Tor Books (and Microsoft’s Frank O’Connor) announced that famed science fiction author Greg Bear will be writing a new trilogy of Halo novels based around the Forerunners, the ancient race in the game’s mythology that built the Halo. The series will be set 100,000 years before the game and trace the Forerunners’ connections to humanity.

    The first book in the Forerunner trilogy will be released

    If that weren’t enough, DK Publishing has announced they will publishing The Halo Encyclopedia in November. The book will be 352 pages long and feature full color illustrations of many characters, locations and weapons from the Halo universe. The forward will be written by Frank O’Connor, a member of Microsoft’s new “internal Halo team”, and will include content from all four current available Halo games and the upcoming Halo 3: ODST. Presumably, the encyclopedia will also cover events from the popular Halo novels.

    Pokemon Platinum Review Round-Up (DS)

    Pokemon Platinum follows the tradition of releasing a “side story” game before the next full-fledged Pokemon sequel. Following up on the first entry in the series to appear on the DS, the well-received Pokemon Diamond/Pearl, Pokemon Platinum adds a few tweaks to the series and a few additions and enhancements over Diamond/Pearl.

    Does Pokemon Platinum make gamers want to catch ‘em all again? Here’s what a selection of five reviewers had to say about Pokemon Platinum and what the overall verdict on the game is.

    1UP: “Following in the tradition of Yellow, Crystal, and Emerald, Nintendo brings yet another slightly revised side-story Pokémon game to the DS. If you’ve already played Diamond/Pearl, then Platinum will feel familiar — but with some noticeable changes. While a new dungeon to explore after you collect most of your badges and new forms of familiar Pokémon to catch, provide reasons for Pokédex completionists to return to Sinnoh, this version feels more like it should be called Pokémon Diamond/Pearl: Special Edition.” (B+)

    GameDaily: “Yeah, Pokemon Platinum could’ve undergone a few more visual upgrades beyond the weirdly-designed Distortion Town. And sure, the gameplay hasn’t changed enough. Nevertheless, Pokemon Platinum delivers a single-player quest that lasts dozens of hours, and the Wi-Fi supported options, limited by Friend Codes as they may be, are still welcome. Platinum should have no problem living up to its name, selling a million-plus and guaranteeing the legacy of Pokemon will live on. So go on, catch ‘em all.” (8/10) Continue reading