It was with a heavy heart that we learned earlier this year that Capcom was shutting the doors on Clover Studios, the development house responsible for great games such as Okami and Viewtiful Joe, as well as oddities like God Hand. We sometimes forget, though, that "shutting the doors" in studio-speak isn’t equivalent to "shutting the doors with all employees trapped inside and fumigating the place." The talented folks behind Clover had regrouped, with many of their ranks untouched, as Seeds. (As long as they don’t go running after Ultimecia, I’ll be happy.) There’s no really hint of what Seeds’ first project will be, other than it will be (from their website) "preposterously amazing." With minds that contributed to Resident Evil 4, Devil May Cry, and the aforementioned Clover games, I’m plenty prepared to wait and see.
The ever-improving online service GameTap has officially declared redundantly-titled Myst Online: Uru Live out of beta, fully armed, and operational. When the original Uru came out several years ago, an online component was slated to be one of the game’s defining characteristics, but didn’t wind up as much more than a footnote. Leveraging GameTap’s already considerable online audience, Cyan Worlds has made what they hope will be an attractive alternative to traditional MMOs. Says Rand Miller, co-founder of Cyan Worlds and one of the two brothers who created Myst, in the press release: “By developing an interactive, online world driven by intrigue and exploration instead of violence, massively multiplayer online gamers now have a choice unlike any of the other options.” I’ll be interested to see how the mood of lonely sleuthing transitions to a populous virtual world.
Undeterred by his worsening relationship with things technological, presidential hopeful John Edwards is descending further into the mire of the Internet and setting up campaign offices within the Second Life virtual world, reports Slashdot Games. If Second Life is seen as a valuable promotional tool, Edwards is liable to be followed by his competing Democratic front-runners. It’s just another way to get the message heard, but it’s another step in an increasing legitimacy for Second Life, the reigning king of user-defined entertainment.
So, the Wii has it’s essential Wii-ness, the PS3 has its revolutionary SIXAXIS technology (more below), and the 360 doesn’t have either. But fear not! No longer does that mean Microsoft fanboys are out of luck when it comes to wildly gesticulating at their screens. TeamXbox is running a story today about Wii launch title (and minigame extravaganza) Rayman Raving Rabbids will be ported to the 360, and feature integration with the optional Live Vision camera to allow players to "gesture control" some of the games, similar to the control found in the few novelty games that used Sony’s EyeToy peripheral.
Sony’s late-game decision to scrap the rumble feature in their SIXAXIS controller in favor of motion-sensing technology made more than a few gamers upset, for reasons that are best kept behind closed doors. Hideo Kojima agrees with them, and now we can add another developer to that short list. 1up has a quote from Guy Wilday, head of the newly-formed Sega Racing Studio. This Guy says, "Tilt control’s not difficult to do. Fundamentally, though, the whole tilt control thing is rubbish. It’s no compensation for rumble." I had no idea tactile feedback was so important to people, especially abstract, localized tactile feedback.
And, finally, a semi-rumor for the day: Ico and Shadow of the Colossus mastermind Fumito Ueda and his team have taken out an advertisement/recruiting poster in venerable Japanese gaming publication Famitsu. Seems the team is looking to hire some new talent on for an upcoming PS3 game. Oh goody. I can’t wait to feel again like I want to kill myself out of excruciating loneliness.
Nick and Renn disagree on just how deep Abrams went into darkness… — By Renn Brown