Game Of The Year: BioShock, Halo 3, Mass Effect & Orange Box nominated in Spike’s VGA

9 11 2007

Yes, The Game Of The Year (GOTY) discussion is already beginning! Spike is hosting its 5th annual Video Game Awards this December in Las Vegas, and this morning the nominees were released on Spike.com. What’s in contention for Game of the Year? Orange Box, Halo 3, BioShock, and Mass Effect.

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‘Simpsons’ video game spoofs industry

31 10 2007

In the latest antics of The Simpsons, Bart chases a giant ape through a video game factory, Lisa destroys a logging camp, and Marge storms city hall with an angry mob.

But don’t look for those episodes on TV.

They are levels in The Simpsons Game that hit stores on Tuesday amid praise from critics for its faithful recreation of the hit TV show’s look, feel, and humor.

“That was one of the big design challenges on this game, to make each of the levels feel like episodes. We wanted to make the game feel like a fully playable season of the show,” said Hans Tencate, lead producer on the game at Electronic Arts.

Several writers from the TV show injected the game with the irreverent wit The Simpsons is known for, coming up with some 8,000 lines of dialogue–enough for a full season.

“Few games embrace their license’s soul so well–The Simpsons Game nails the show’s trademark humor, in-jokes, and social satire, plus it features impressive cartoony graphics and the real-deal voice actors. This is total fan service, meaning Simpsons fans–and apologists–will be pleased,” gaming news site 1up.com said in its review.

The new game is the latest addition to the already large catalog of more than 20 Simpsons titles, which range from 1991’s arcade machine to 2003’s The Simpsons: Hit & Run.

But this appears to adhere most faithfully to the show.

Developers came up with a way that let them create Homer, Bart, and other characters in 3D yet retain a look that is remarkably like the cartoony visual style of the show.

“It’s actually much harder to do than you would think partly because The Simpsons is hand-drawn. We came up with proprietary technology…that gives the game a little more of what the TV show would look like,” Tencate said.

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