Features// SPOnG's Review Of 2006: October

October: a hissy fit of a month

Posted 31 Dec 2006 09:00 by
Games: Canis Canem Edit
He doesn't look a thing like Jesus...
He doesn't look a thing like Jesus...
?Kissing is, of course, a bad thing as it can lead to talking and then, horrifyingly, listening.?
Gay Kissing in the USA: Latest on the Bully ?Weak Tea? Scandal

No-one wants that. No-one.

As the evenings began to draw in and the leaves began to fall, Sony, once again, made the headlines. The word that kept cropping up was ?SIXAXIS?, the announced name of the new PS3 motion-sensing controller. Dubbed SIXAXIS due to its ?technology enabling 6-axis of precision control?. We?re cautiously ignoring the fact that someone at the company had incorrectly pluralized the word ?axis? and that same person duplicated the three axes that actually exist to avoid calling it Thraxis and having it sound like a B-Movie insect monster. We wouldn?t want to be pedants, after all?

Of course, shame follows Sony wherever it goes. It didn?t take long for its claims that including force feedback in the SIXAXIS would mean additional cost for the consumer to come under scrutiny. Victor Viegas, CEO of Force Feedback patent holder Immersion, stated that Immersion "...knew how to technically solve their problems?[and] how to do it without adding any incremental cost."

Microsoft had us quaking in fear for our 360s when it showed us its Xbox Live Vision Camera. A system that watches what you?re doing and make the game react? Great. Putting your face straight into Rainbow Six Vegas? Loads of fun. But surely a camera that interacts with your 360 means that video calls over the network can?t be too far away. Which means that our significant others taking over the 360 whilst they natter to their friends all evening can?t be too far away either?

October also saw the evils of console scalpers unleashed on gullible Sony fans as Electronics Boutique and GameStop in the US started taking pre-orders on the PS3. By lunchtime of the October 10th pre-ordering had commenced and ceased all in the space of several hours. By the next morning eBay was awash with photographs of pre-order receipts, and bids were already hitting the $1,000 mark. SPOnG remains unequivocal in its equivocation that we are completely against console scalping.

My favourite bit of October was the continuation of the whole big thing that is the Canis Canem Edit media debacle. I will do my level best to keep this brief. In Britain flagrant media opportunist Keith Vaz, Labour MP for Leicester North East, jumped on the bandwagon calling for the game to be banned. The juicy stuff came from Florida, however, when anti-gaming ?crusader? Jack Thompson took Rockstar?s CCE in front of a court to get its sale to teens banned under the state?s nuisance statute. Judge Ronald Friedman subsequently ordered the game be produced in court for his perusal, before throwing out Thompson?s request four days later, prompting an undignified hissy-fit from Thompson. Following this Rockstar?s lawyers decided to go ahead and call for Thompson to be held in contempt of court, an action that could result in jail time for Thompson. Hah!

To cap things off, further outrage ensued when the conservative press finally realised that there was a gay kissing scene in CCE. This was promptly and predictably added to Thompson?s list of grievances. For the record, SPOnG does not have a problem with the notion of restricting the sale of games (and any form of entertainment) containing mature content to minors. It?s the way folk like Thompson carry on about it that bothers us.

As October bled into November a couple of tidbits of hardware news crept into our peripheral vision. The first was the announcement that Microsoft will release a 100gb hard drive add-on for the 360, trumping the 60gb capacity of the PS3. The second was that In2Games is working on a motion-sensing controller for the PS3 and 360 which could, if done well and with adequate software support, challenge the Wii?s domination over all things motion sensory.

And, as is won't to happen in a month of the year, some games came out. Among them, of course, was the *ahem* controversial Canis Canem Edit on the PS2 and Xbox. October also saw Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence on the PS2, Scarface: The World is Yours on PC, PS2 and Xbox, more Singstar with Legends on the PS2, Pro Evolution Soccer 6 on the 360 and PS2, and Splinter Cell Double Agent on Xbox, 360, PS2 and the GameCube.

Look back at SPOnG's review of September
Games: Canis Canem Edit

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