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Watchdog Group Reports 10 Games Parents Shouldn't Buy Kids

295w ago - The National Institute on Media and the Family is to release its 13th annual video game report card today and have given a list of 10 games parents should not buy their children.

They are Blitz: The League II, Gears of War 2, Saints Row 2, Dead Space, Fallout 3, Far Cry 2, Legendary, Left 4 Dead, Resistance 2 and Silent Hill: Homecoming.

The group recommended the following five T-rated games: Guitar Hero World Tour, Rock Band 2, Rock Revolution, Spider-Man: Web of Shadows and Shaun White Snowboarding.

To quote: Bloodshed and brutality are staples in the list of 10 games to avoid. All the games were M-rated, intended for those aged 17 and over.

"Blitz: The League II" players can target which body part of their football rivals they want to injure. Warriors in "Gears of War 2" use a combination rifle and chain saw. "Saints Row 2" features gang violence and allows players to shoot police officers.

Other games listed were "Dead Space," "Fallout 3," "Far Cry 2," "Legendary," "Left 4 Dead," "Resistance 2" and "Silent Hill: Homecoming."

Meanwhile, the institute recommended five T-rated games, intended for ages 13 and older: "Guitar Hero World Tour," "Rock Band 2," "Rock Revolution" "Spider-Man: Web of Shadows" and "Shaun White Snowboarding."

Microsoft to Offer Community Games in New Regions

295w ago - Microsoft announced today it will start offering Community Games in new regions, thus allowing more developers around the world to distribute their titles on the new Xbox Live Community Games Channel and potentially share in the profits from their creations.

Below is the press release with the announcement.

Press Release: Microsoft Opens the Flood Gates of Community Game Development in New Regions

Following the highly-anticipated launch of the Community Games channel as part of the New Xbox Experience on Nov. 19, Microsoft today announced that it will open up the service to even more developers around the world to create their own games for Xbox 360 and share them with millions.

Beginning on Dec. 15, independent, student and hobbyist developers in Singapore, Australia and New Zealand will have the opportunity to distribute their titles on the new Xbox LIVE Community Games Channel and potentially share in the profits from their creations.

For developers like team Gambit of Singapore that created the 2008 Dream-Build-Play first place winner "CarneyVale: Showtime," this offers the unique ability to develop games using Microsoft's free XNA development toolset, share them on a console like never before and potentially turn the hobby of game-making into a full-fledged...

Sony Says More PSOne Games on PlayStation Network Soon

296w ago - Sony's director of hardware marketing, John Koller, has stated that they working on further PSOne additions to the US PlayStation Store and they should be arriving shortly.

To quote: There are many classic PS One games available to download through PlayStation Network in Japan, but we've seen barely any here in the United States (does anyone want to play "2 Xtreme," anyway?)

I didn't ask John Koller, the head of hardware marketing at Sony Computer Entertainment America, whether this was changing when we spoke earlier this week. My bad, readers.

But he did follow-up over e-mail last night.

"Yes, we are working on further PSone additions to the PS Store and should see those launch shortly," he said.

Criterion Games Announces New Carson Extreme Hotrod

296w ago - Today, we're announcing the incredible new Carson Extreme Hotrod.

We'll be back in the New Year with all the details on this powerhouse racer, but for now we're keeping it under wraps.

We could tell you that it's the fastest car in Paradise City - a stripped down, ultra low, overpowered straight line monster.

We could talk about its roots in American Rat Rod culture and it's wildly exaggerated Hot Rod features, based on a '20s Roadster.

We could explain that we've rewired Burnout's vehicle dynamics system, so it handles more intuitively and drifts more realistically than any other car.

We could reveal that it's the first of a pack of 2 cars designed to re-imagine Burnout Boost. Which explains the blue exhaust flames.

We could do all that, but we don't want to give away too much. For now, all you really need to know is that this car will give you the ride of your life and in early 2009 you will NEED to own it.

The Carson Extreme Hotrod. Light the touch paper and hang on for dear life.

We'll be back with movies, screens, more info and interviews with the creators on this and the "other" boost car that will be available to buy as part of our Burnoutâ„¢ Paradise Boost Specials Pack in 2009.


Controller-Throwing Moments: Are Games Getting Too Difficult?

296w ago - Have you ever played a game and got to a point that just frustrates the heck out of you and no matter how many times you try you just can't complete a task/perform a jump/find a switch?

That's the point that I'm tempted to toss the controller across the room.

That point hit me while playing Mirror's Edge the other day, the parkour-inspired game where you're a futuristic courier on the run who must bounce, jump, swing and wall-run from the pursuing police. All had been going well until I came to a section where I had to wall-run, jump then turn and grab on to a bar. Do you think I could do it first go? If you answered no, you'd be right.

After about 15 minutes I was still trying to master the move, but generally ended up on my back on the floor below or missing the wall run completely and just dropped to the floor below me.

I think that was when I tossed the controller on to the couch - gently, mind you, as I'm too tight to buy a new one - muttered a couple of choice expletives and turned the game off. I came back to it later that night after I'd cooled down, where I managed to complete the maneuver and move on.

Sometimes leaving something, cooling down, then returning to it can pay dividends, but sometimes I wonder whether game makers sometimes expect...
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