Features// SPOnG's Review of 2008: November

Posted 14 Jan 2009 20:00 by
Maria Valentine, WoW widow
Maria Valentine, WoW widow
[i]" I left my pregnant girlfriend over World of warcrack
thesun.co.uk — What a load of ballz!!!"[/i]

World of Warcraft Addiction: How The Sun Got it Wrong[/b]

November: Damp leaves, pagan burnings, tonnes of games! You know the drill for that time of year.

While the glut of high quality games was certainly something to take joy from, November was, tragically, the month that Shigeru Miyamoto became the David Brent of games development. Oh so sad, but true.

Sticking with the goings-on of Eastern parts, we got an intriguing insight into the potentially huge Indian games market – EA owns it, as far as Sony's concerned. Because it has money. Sony India isn't interested in having the developers of interesting and exciting titles around purely for their own merit. Oh, no. It wants the cold, hard cash. The honesty of Atindriya Bose, the manager of Sony Computer Entertainment India who said that was refreshing. We want him to move to the USA.

November, really, was all about the New Xbox Experience in the news. It brought with it a radically overhauled graphical user interface (GUI), complete with avatars that had a little hint of the Wii about them (see them moving here). As with any big move on the industry stage, however, it attracted its share of problems and criticism.

For starters, disappointingly, there were pirates out there. Microsoft was threatening bans and it seemed a bit of a shame to have that bad blood out there when the damn update was to be given out for free.

Then there were some hiccups admitted by Microsoft relating to Marketplace, while users were reporting issues including freezes and slowdowns.

According to some, the 'hiccups' were going to be nothing short of apocalyptic for Xbox 360 users. That didn't really seem to be the case, however.

Despite all that bluster, it seemed to go down fairly well.

Microsoft wasn't just all about the present and NXE, however. Looking to the future, Shane Kim (Microsoft's corporate VP of Strategy and Business Development in its entertainment business) told the world that the 360 would have a lifespan one day longer than the PS3's.

With November being a month with a vowel in it, the mainstream media took a pop at games. SPOnG caught The Sun up to some sloppy tricks in its bid to capitalise on the launch of World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King. The motives of Maria Valentine, a "31-year-old housewife" but also a semi-professional model, for turning up in a Sun article for example, are perhaps a little questionable...

SCEE sprung a leaky staff member. There was a meeting (which Sony effectively confirmed took place) from which a wealth of information spilled. Whether it was good information or not wasn't too clear (“rumour and speculation”, according to Sony), but we were told there would be a PS3 price cut, MotorStorm PSP would turn up and that God of War III is looking lovely.

Really, though, November was about a list of big releases as long as your arm and the arm of the guy sat next to you fastened together using a bargepole. The was a whole great pile of games for SPOnG to review, including Resistance 2, Mirror's Edge, Call of Duty: World at War, Fable II, Tomb Raider: Underworld, Shaun White Snowboarding: Road Trip, LocoRoco 2, Mortal Kombat vs The DC Universe and Skate It.

It did not, of course, stop there. Other games of note included the delayed LittleBigPlanet (review here), Gears of War 2, Guitar Hero World Tour, MotorStorm Pacific Rift hit (review here), World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, the PC release of GTA IV (see SPOnG's preview here) Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Lightsaber Duels and Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Jedi Alliance, Wii Music, The Last Remnant, Lips and Tom Clancy's EndWar (see SPOnG's look-in here).

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