Queen Rock Band 3 DLC Arrives Tomorrow


Two song packs stuffed with Queen songs will be available to download for Rock Band 3 on Tuesday 07 December for Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii.

Queen, who are probably best known for the opening scene in Wayne’s World, released 15 studio albums and appeared in LEGO Rock Band.

The first downloadable pack, ‘Queen RB3 Enhanced Pack,’ features updated Rock Band 3 versions of “I Want It All,” “I Want to Break Free,” “Killer Queen,” “One Vision,” “Somebody to Love” and “Under Pressure”. ‘Queen Extravaganza Pack 01’ features Rock Band 3 versions of “We Are the Champions” and “We Will Rock You,” as well as “Hammer to Fall,” “Keep Yourself Alive,” “Now I’m Here,” “Tenement Funster” and “Play the Game,” which are new to Rock Band.

We admittedly can’t afford Rock Band 3 because we’re from the north. So, instead, we clubbed our heads together in the office and came up with five computer-based Queen puns, which we assumed was just as or possibly even more fun than Rock Band 3 itself:

Seven PS3s of Rhye

Wii Are the Champions

PSPs are the Days of our Lives

Who Wants to (Xbox) Live Forever?


We’re deeply sorry, and will understand if you never return to our lovely little site ever again…

Civilization IV Breaks Grammy Record

The opening theme to Civilization IV has made history by becoming the first ever video game song to receive a Grammy nomination.

Being based in the UK, we have no clue what a Grammy is or does, but laud the achievement anyway. Composer Christopher Tin – who also has a nomination in the Best Classical Crossover Album category for his debut, album, Calling All Dawns – will discover whether he has picked up the gongs on 13 February 2011 at the 53rd annual awards.

The nomination is for Baba Yetu, and will compete in the Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists category. The song features the Soweto Gospel Choir, a distinct lack of Vuvuzelas, and can be heard below:

Did Ubisoft Purvey This Survey?

ubisoft logo

The internet caved in on itself over the weekend as a rumoured survey commissioned by Ubisoft was discovered which seemed to suggest planned changes for Assassin’s Creed III.

The survey can be found here, and the questions found within should you meet their target demographic (we didn’t for some stupid bloody reason, despite owning all the games in the series…) are:

Would you like to see ____ in the sequel to the ASSASSIN”S CREED: BROTHERHOOD?

1) An upgrade to the assassin’s blade that increases the fluidity and speed of free-running

2) An enhanced Eagle Vision: see the patrol paths of guards, spot clues to complex navigation puzzles, detect when characters are lying during interrogations, etc.

3) An intuitive crafting tool that lets you create custom bombs from dozens of ingredients found throughout the game world

4) Tactical use of a variety of bombs suited to unique contexts and situations (smoke, poison, flash, explosive, etc.)

5) An additional objective where you and your Assassins guild fight against the Templars to gain control of a city, district by district

6) Playing as a new Assassin, in a different historical time period

7) A continuation of Ezio’s story as the leader of the Assassins, set outside of Italy

8) Deeper connectivity between all the Assassin’s Creed projects (eg. an action you make on the Facebook game will impact your game experience on the console; events that you read about in the comics will be related to the storyline of the videogames, etc.)

9) Online Cooperative Mode

10) Offline Cooperative Mode

11) The availability of new maps for the Multiplayer

12) A choice of additional Multiplayer characters with new skill-sets

13) Playing new Multiplayer modes

14) A deeper team-based Multiplayer experience (guilds / squads that have common objectives, new tools for clan management, etc.)

15) A customization of the Multiplayer experience (logos, avatars, objects, team names, etc.)

Had we been able to vote we would have said yes on 6 and laughed at 8 (especially as WordPress has turned it into an emoticon), whilst mulling over what we could call ourselves in 15. ‘The High Priesthood of Spunkdom’ or something else hilarious, no doubt.

Donkey Kong Designed to Make Gamers go Bananas

Donkey Kong Country Returns was released on Friday in the UK, and as many have found out to their peril, it’s very bloody hard indeed.

Critical reception has been favourable, but the difficulty hasn’t gone unnoticed, with some claiming the unfairness of some of its challenges is something of a miscue for a Wii platformer.

Developers Retro Studios remain defiant though, with two senior designers explaining to Official Nintendo Magazine that the game’s difficulty was part of the overall strategy.

Mike Wikan, senior designer at Retro told the publication: “I thought it was extremely important that the game be challenging. When this project began, I played the Super NES version again and was a little irked at how hard it was. I only remembered that it was fun. I thought it’s really important to make the game tough, but in a good way.

“I wanted to make a game that was not simply difficult, but possessed a kind of difficulty that made players want to try it again. I thought it was important that, rather than make players angry, the game makes players feel that even if they fail, they will be able to jump better next time.”

Another senior designer, Kynan Pearson, was in agreement. “It’s a game with broad appeal that all sorts of people can play, so I thought we needed to keep that approachability. At the same time, I thought it’s important the game be a little difficult.”

So hardcore is creeping back into Nintendo’s remit. Have you played DKCR yet? Did it make a monkey out of you? (arf)

PlayStation Mobile Video Ain’t No Phoney

PlayStation Phone

Engadget posted a video on Saturday – which looks pretty official – of the much-rumoured PlayStation phone in all its glory.

We should know a lot more by Wednesday. Reports suggest an official unveiling on 09 December with a possible release in February 2011.

Engadget say that the Ericsson model is codenamed ‘Zeus Z1’, with the video showing it as a smartphone running on the Android platform.

No analogue sticks – in their place appears to be touch-sensitive pads alongside a standard D-pad and four face buttons. Also shown on the phone is an LED flash and what looks like a microphone and standard earphone jacks.

USB functionality is also a given, although all of these features are at the expense of style. Look at it, it’s massive. We don’t want to shatter its already-fragile confidence, but it wouldn’t look out of place with its knickers around its ankles behind an alley in Newcastle’s Bigg Market.

Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime to be Released Spring 2011

Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime

Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime is to be released next spring on XBLA, PSN and PC.

Atari, alongside developer Wanako, appear to be making a top-down shooter in the style of Smash TV for this almost-sequel kind of thing. Downloadable, up to four players can work together on an online or local basis, and the rookie from the first game is so far the only confirmed character.

Pretty disappointing that the amazing Ramis, Akroyd and co. aren’t reprising their roles, but to make up for it gamers have been promised ‘gigantic bosses’ to fight (Stay Puft again??) and… wait for it… the ability to drive around in the Ecto-3!

Mixed feelings so far from us, but then again, Ghostbusters: The Videogame absolutely knocked our socks off in 2009.

Source: 1Up

The UK Celebrates Five Years of Xbox Magic

Xbox 360 S

It was five years today that the Xbox 360 launched in the UK, and Microsoft has taken the opportunity to laud the console’s achievements during that time (and with Christmas fast approaching, of course…)

Director of Xbox and entertainment in the UK & Ireland, Stephen McGill, says: “Families are looking for more value than ever this Christmas and looking to stretch their money.

“An Xbox 360 console and Kinect can bring everyone together this season and entertain every single member of the family, from kids to grandparents.

“And with Kinect for Xbox 360, all you need is your voice, hands and body to jump into the controller-free fun.”

Microsoft certainly has a lot to be congratulated for. The achievement system can rightly be pointed to as adding an extra incentive to gaming and its introduction of HD gaming in 2005 made us all go out and stump up an extra wad for an obscene television.

So, in the spirit of things, NAGF wants to know what your favourite 360 moments have been and why. On a personal note mine was when Modern Warfare was released, eating up thousands of precious man hours that could have been spent staring at the wall. Or wanking.

Grand Theft Annualise? Not According to Take Two


Strauss Zelnick, Take Two chairman, has ruled out plans to annualise key titles Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption to maintain quality control and keep gamers interested.

He told Reuters that Take Two wouldn’t “annualise” the properties in the foreseeable future, and also spoke of the company’s digital distribution and mobile arm, citing that he expects it to grow to achieve twenty-five to thirty per cent of revenue “over time”.

He still thinks total digital distribution is a long way off at the moment, though: “I still think in five years the packaged goods business will dominate,” he says. “It’s kind of irrelevant to us – basically the same gross margin, basically the same risk.”

He also gave hope to baseball fans that Take Two could possibly renew its license deal with Major League Baseball, but wants to see a change in economics first, citing: “”It’s a losing proposition and we don’t have any interest in pursuing losing propositions.”

Source: CNBC

All Rowe-ver Bar the Shouting?

BBC Panorama Logo

Raphael Rowe BBC Panorama

Raphael Rowe, Panorama journalist, today told CVG not to pre-judge Monday’s ‘Addicted to Games?’ show before it is aired.

The investigative programme, fresh from its FIFA expose, is spending its half-hour slot on Monday night dissecting the video games industry and ‘revealing the hidden psychological devices in games that are designed to keep us coming back for more.’

Rowe promises to discuss the matter with ‘leading experts calling for more independent research into this controversial subject,’ and will also feature ‘youngsters who’ve dropped out of school and university to play games for anything up to 21 hours a day.’

When pressed by CVG however, Rowe urged gamers to “judge after you’ve watched” the report. The trailer, which you can view below, is said by Rowe to contain real children’s reactions when playing games, which were captured as they went about their usual playing habits.

Panorama’s ‘Addicted to Games?’ will be screened on BBC 1 on Monday 06 December 2010, at 8:30pm.

Source: CVG

Dante’s Peak?

Dante's Inferno Pack Shot

EA had high hopes for Dante’s Inferno when it was released in February, but divine judgement has seen it slip to the seventh circle of the bargain bin. We ask an Alighieri expert what went wrong…

Dante's Inferno

“The logic of slaughtering souls who are, after all, already dead is a bit odd, but again that applies to the whole game.  Did the game’s creators pick cynically on unbaptised infants for shock value?  Well, maybe…”

Claire Honess is currently in America, but she has taken some time out to talk to us about EA’s Dante’s Inferno. She knows a wee bit about Dante – she’s currently co-director of Leeds University’s Centre for Dante Studies which The Guardian ranks as second in the UK league table of University Italian departments. She’s immersed herself in Alighieri’s original text for most of her adult life, and would be incredibly useful in a Dante-themed pub quiz.

So we want to know what she thinks of EA’s 2010 adaption of what is viewed as one of the most important texts in history. To date EA have sold just under one-and-a-quarter million copies combined on the 360 and PS3 , which should be viewed as tepid, especially considering the positive reviews that Dante received.

“I suspect that the poor sales mean that it’s just not a particularly good game.  But I am not the right person to judge on that.  I can’t imagine that the title put people off: Inferno is a pretty enticing title, I think.  Nor do I imagine that many people thought, ‘Oh, I won’t buy this because I read the book and didn’t enjoy it that much’.  So I think the reasons for the game’s relative lack of commercial success need to be sought out in something other than the fact that it was ostensibly based on a ‘classic’.”

Maybe the whole interpretation side of things is at fault, and some serious questions need to be raised with EA’s creative heads. There was certainly no shortage of inspiration for EA to draw on, as Claire points out. And EA’s marketing blitz left no stone unturned when whipping up interest in the game – PR director Tammy Schachter admitted to hiring a baying mob to protest the game’s content at E3 2009 in Los Angeles, while the International Nanny Association took a pretty dim view of the aforementioned baby-beating shenanigans.

Did EA make a blunder in trying to adapt such an old text for the modern gamer? “That’s a difficult question.  For the adult market, I suspect that most texts are just too wordy and lacking in action to transfer to this kind of market. Moreover, I think it’s wrong for any of us to assume that we have the right to pronounce on how Dante should be read and on how his works should be used.

Dr. Claire Honess

“My Dante is not the same as the Dante of Boccaccio, reading him in the fourteenth century, or of Dorothy L. Sayers, reading him as an Anglican in the first half of the twentieth century, or of a bored Italian teenager reading him in class in modern-day Florence.  And since I tend to see the game as ‘inspired by’ Dante rather than as actually engaging in any real way with Dante’s text, the ‘mis-use’ of Dante is not really an issue.”

There were a lot of other factors to consider when the game was released in February. The world was still curled up under its duvet after its recession bender and the time-burgling Mass Effect 2 was released a month earlier. February also saw the release of the phenomenal Bioshock 2 and the much-hyped Heavy Rain. Dante was probably doomed to walk its path through Hell alone before it was even released.

Claire does draw parallels with writing a story for consoles though, and Alighieri’s own troubles when he wrote Inferno some 700 years ago: “Certainly I don’t think that the art of storytelling in the traditional way, involving words on a page, is dead.  Nor do I think that the two [continued existence of a literary tradition alongside new media] are necessarily mutually exclusive.  And we need to bear in mind that, by the standards of his own day, Dante, writing an epic in the vernacular was doing something not very far removed from writing literature-as-console-game.

“The disapproval of some of his contemporaries (like Petrarch and Giovanni del Virgilio, both of whom thought that he had ‘debased’ the poem by writing it in Italian, and that it should have been written in Latin) is enough to remind us of that.  But Dante foresaw that this was the future of poetry, and he privileged communication of his message over rigid adherence to tradition.  So, if a modern-day Dante comes along with a pressing message to convey to the youth of today, then why not do it through a medium that will actually reach them?”

We point her in the direction of Limbo and open up a brand new can of worms.

Dante's Inferno boss fight

Woods in Danger of the Chop

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 Packshot

Ea Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11

Electronic Arts are considering dropping Tiger Woods as their cover man, unless he reclaims the form that made him golf’s number one player.

John Riccitiello, EA chief executive, has confirmed that they will stick by their man despite his current run of poor form, but also underlined that EA and Tiger’s partnership is strictly business, and that he needs to start adding trophies to his cabinet again if he wants to continue as the face of EA’s PGA Tour titles.

We have no plans to move away from him, but it’s a business relationship on the basis of we make the best golf game and he’s the best golfer.” – John Riccitiello, EA chief executive

“This is no threat against Tiger,” Riccitiello stressed at the Reuters Global Media Summit in New York.

“We’re with him because he has the promise of being the world’s best golfer. We have no plans to move away from him, but it’s a business relationship on the basis of we make the best golf game and he’s the best golfer.

“Both of those things need to be true in the long run for the partnership to make sense. He sort of stuck with us for a very long time and we made great business together and we’re willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for a period of time.”

Move Over, Microsoft

Playstation Move outsells Kinect

Playstation Move outsells Kinect

Sony have announced that they have sold over four million Playstation Move units since its launch, and are confident that sales momentum will continue over the Christmas period.

It will have to have a strong holiday period – Microsoft yesterday confirmed that they have sold over two-and-a-half million Kinect units in twenty-five days, suggesting that Sony’s lead could evaporate sooner rather than later, despite its head start.

“The 4.1 million units are global sales for the company.” – Director of corporate communications and social media for Sony Computer Entertainment America, Patrick Seybold

Playstation Move has been available in a variety of bundles from September 15 in Europe, September 17 in the U.K. and North America, and October 21 in Japan. The PS3 though has an estimated user base of 41.6 million people, meaning only a fraction of owners have currently bought into the Move philosophy.

Kinect meanwhile has been available since November 04, meaning that Microsoft are shifting approximately 100,000 units a day compared to Sony’s 53,000 daily sales.

Source: Gamasutra