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Thursday, July 5, 2007

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RWS: Postal Movie Interview, Postal III Concept Art
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Running With Scissors has posted its July newsletter which offers a variety of information about all things Postal. This edition offers a Tips & Tricks Magazine interview with actor Zack Ward about what it is like to take on the persona of the Postal Dude in a movie. Other highlights include some concept art from the upcoming Postal III and an interview with Dennis McCauley of and the Entertainment Consumers Association about gamers' rights and the censorship of controversial games.

From the Tips & Tricks Magazine article:

AH: So, how do you become the Postal Dude? He's an icon... especially in Russia, where the games are huge. You might be really big there after this.
ZW: Cool. I just made the character real in an insane world. As this film is what makes the Dude go postal, he can't start out a psycho. Kind of like Mad Max... but funny.

AH: Postal is a pretty controversial game; were you shocked by anything in the movie?
ZW: The opening is iconic and risky. But they pulled it off. Don't ruin it for anyone who hasn't seen it, but the truth is, when you read the script, you think you'll get lynched by page three.

AH: Had you played the games before you started working on the movies, or did you try them after you got the role?
ZW: I played the games after. Fun stuff, with the shovel whacking and the vomit. Reminds me of high school.

Head over to the site below to check out the rest of the newsletter.

Postal Nation Newsletter
Running With Scissors
Postal 2
Buy Postal 2

The Sims Pet Stories Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Eurogamer is the latest site to post a review of The Sims Pet Stories, the second title in the laptop computer friendly Sims Stories series developed by Aspyr Media. This episode features two new storylines revolving around the impact pets have on the daily lives of two Sims. Eurogamer gave the game a score of 7 out of 10.

From the review:

Of course, the fact that Pet Stories is essentially Life Stories with new content means that it must be reviewed almost entirely on narrative criteria. Personally, I find this quite an exciting development - being able to judge the value of a game in the same way you'd judge a film or a book: as, first and foremost, a story. For years the games industry has chased the Holy Grail of "interactive movies" and here, in a rather unlikely fusion of God sim and Machinima, we might have the answer. These may be fluffy distractions aimed squarely at the chick lit reader, but imagine a future in which your Dad is addicted to an ongoing series of Sims stories about an aspiring footballer or where short digitised stories in any genre can be told using these virtual, controllable actors. It's highly unlikely, naturally, but I can't help wondering if the future of casual and accessible games lies in guided narrative and carefully rationed creative freedom. Anyway...

In this regard, Pet Stories represents a significant advance. While naysayers may furrow their brows, stroke their chins and grumble about EA simply rejigging and re-releasing the same software, the addition of pets results in two stories that are both more fun, and more structured, than anything in Life Stories. The first tale revolves around Alice Whitt and her Dalmatian, Sam. She's inherited her grandparents house but, in order to avoid eviction by local property developer Diana DeBore, she must train Sam to win the local dog show. There's a tentative love interest in the shape of an old friend, a wise old mentor who helps her discover the secret of dog training and even a sparky best friend. If it were a movie, it'd be Cameron Diaz and Will Smith trying to outsmart Meryl Streep.
A Mac version of the game has not yet been announced. Read the rest of the review at the link provided below.

Eurogamer: The Sims Pet Stories
The Sims Pet Stories
Aspyr Media
Electronic Arts

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Rolling Along With FizzBall
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Mikhailtech recently posted a review of FizzBall, a colorful arcade action title from Grubby Games. In the game Professor Fizzwizzle must save his animal friends using his FizzBall invention. Mikhailtech praised the game for its colorful cuteness and enjoyable gameplay.

From the review:

You, professor Fizzwizzle (the hero from the first Grubby Games game, a mix of Einstein and Edison), discover that all people are gone from the islands. Now all the animals are starving, leaving only you to rescue them with your latest invention: the fizzball. Which brings us back to Breakout:

With all the advantages of modern PC's. Bricks are replaced with animals, crates, pieces of fruit and indestructibles such as trees and rocks. The paddle is a railway car powered by rocket engines, and the ball is, well, a fizzball. It starts out small, so it can only absorb small things like apples and butterflies. But this also increases its size so you can break down crates and fences. As size of the ball increases it can absorb the larger animals such as sheep, pigs and panda bears .
Head over to the site below to read the rest of the review and check out a few screenshots.

Mikhailtech: FizzBall Review
Buy FizzBall

Courting The Gaming Press
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The Washington Post has released an article focusing on the lengths companies will go to in order to impress writers of game previews. The Post uses Bethesda Softworks's recent media blitz for the upcoming Fallout 3 as one prime example of the creative ways companies are promoting their products to the public and the gaming press.

Bethesda flew Masson and about 60 other writers in from as far away as and Japan to give them an early look at the company's Fallout 3, scheduled for release late next year.

In addition to an hour-long demo and chats with the game's designers, the trip included a two-night stay in downtown's swank Helix Hotel, dinner at Logan Tavern and a private party at a nightclub in Adams Morgan . Airfare, hotel, food, drinks and shuttle bus were provided, courtesy of Bethesda Softworks. Although a few attendees paid their own way, most did not.

"What we're trying to accomplish with an event like this is to have the undivided attention of the important people in our industry, that cover the industry," said Pete Hines, vice president of marketing at Bethesda Softworks, whose Fallout 3 will be set in a version of Washington that's been scorched by war. "There are a lot of titles out there competing for attention."

It looks like Bethesda Softworks is getting that attention: Fallout 3 is scheduled to soon grace the covers of 20 gamer magazines, largely as a result of the event.
To read the rest of the article head over to the site listed below.

Washington Post: An Inside Play To Sway Video Gamers

Mac Games News for Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Anti-Cheating Hardware In Development At Intel6:00 AM
Civilization IV: Beyond The Sword Discussion6:00 AM
The Sims Pet Stories Reviewed6:00 AM
Tower Of Destiny: New Screen, Editor, Release Date6:00 AM
Will Ratatouille's Movie Success Translate To Gaming Gold?6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, July 4, 2007 on one page

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Tuesday, July 3, 2007
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