Monthly Archives: October 2012

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 censored for us of “Allah”

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 will be receiving a patch due to a controversy regarding their “Saudi Arabia” stage, which features the Arabic word for “Allah” written on the floor tiles.  The game’s producer, Katsuhiro Harada, tweeted about it, stating that it was unintentional, and that it will be removed from the game.

I really don’t want to open a can of worms about this, but I do feel that the censorship any sort of religious term is an outdated practice.  My very first blog post features a picture using the term “God,” and no one bats an eyelash at it.  I know it’s not the same, but I find the controversy not so controversial.

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GameStop launches experimental “GameStop Kids”

GameStop opened its first branch of stores titled “GameStop Kids” on Friday.  The store is specifically for young children, featuring only E-rated games, the equivalent of G-rated films.  The stores will also feature a variety of toys related to the games on sale.  There will be eighty stores opened by November 15.

While these stores are a shameless attempt at the pockets of parents everywhere, I welcome their presence.  The number of parents who buy M-rated (17+) games for their children is obscenely high.  If parents can’t read a ratings label on the game itself, why not slap it on the store?

100k view presidential election via Xbox 360

According to Microsoft, more than 100,000 people watched the second presidential debate through the Xbox Live service for the Xbox 360.  The service provided live coverage of the debate, and asked around seventy questions on various topics, such as the winner of the debate and the truthfulness of the candidates.

Xbox Live has a variety of non-gaming features, but this one is very interesting.  Services such as Netflix make sense on the Xbox 360, considering its main purpose is entertainment.  I am not sure how necessary the live stream was on Xbox Live, but regardless it was a fun little feature.

College course links Scandinavia and Skyrim

Bethesda, developers of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, posted on their blog about a college course titled “Scandanavian Fantasy World: Old Norse Sagas and Skyrim.”  The course, offered at Rice University in Houston, Tex., explores the concept of fantasy and the use of Scandinavian settings in modern fantasy.  Students enrolled in the course will be reading Norse and Icelandic sagas as well as playing parts of Skyrim.

The class, similar to Ryan Vaughan’s “Gaming as Literature” at Binghamton University, is exploring the medium of video games in an academic setting.  What I like about the class at Rice University is that it doesn’t focus solely on video games.  Rather, it uses a single game to explore certain concepts.  It’s easy to just make a class about video games, because it’s completely separate from ‘real’ courses.  By putting Skyrim at the same level as the other readings in the course, the professor is creating a unique hybrid and supporting video games as a legitimate medium that can stand next to literature and film.

“Mega Man” 25th anniversary to feature no new games

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Mega Man, the classic action/platform game, is turning twenty-five this December. This anniversary has resulted in a slew of merchandise related to the series being announced. Upcoming releases include five music albums featuring a variety of remixes and covers of various songs from the franchise.

As nice as the music could be, Capcom, the developer behind the game series, just isn’t showing the Blue Bomber any love. Any true fan of a video game franchise would rather have a new game than anything else. Christian Svensson, corporate officer and senior vice-president at Capcom, quashed any plans of a big announcement come December. For now, the most fans can do is hope and wait.

“Assassin’s Creed 3” to feature alternate universe DLC

Earlier this month, Ubisoft announced “The Tyranny of King Washington,” a series of downloadable content (DLC) for their upcoming title, Assassin’s Creed 3.  The single-player expansion will focus on an alternate universe scenario where George Washington becomes an evil tyrant after the American Revolution, forcing the protagonist, Connor, to assassinate him.  The DLC will be released within six months of Assassin’s Creed 3, which comes out Nov. 20.

While highly unusual, I think this DLC is a breath of fresh air within the America-centric game industry. The number of military shooters where Americans must fight back against terrorist threats from nonspecific Middle Eastern and Eastern European nations is staggering.  While it could be considered offensive how the Montreal-based developer is depicting America’s founding father, is it really any better than how Call of Duty developer Treyarch ended their Vietnam War-era shooter with an over-the-top American victory?